Memories Dreams Reflections


[Carl Jung – occasionally the dreams of others, helped to shape, revise, or confirm my views on a life after death]

Not only my own dreams, but also occasionally the dreams of others, helped to shape, revise, or confirm my views on a life after death.

I attach particular importance to a dream which a pupil of mine, a woman of sixty, dreamed about two months before her death. She had entered the hereafter.

There was a class going on, and various deceased women friends of hers sat on the front bench. An atmosphere of general expectation prevailed.

She looked around for a teacher or lecturer, but could find none.

Then it became plain that she herself was the lecturer, for immediately after death people had to give accounts of the total experience of their lives.

The dead were extremely interested in the life experiences that the newly deceased brought with them, just as if the acts and experiences taking place in earthly life, in space and time, were the decisive ones.

In any case, the dream describes a most unusual audience whose like could scarcely be found on earth: people burningly interested in the final psychological results of a human life that was in no way remarkable, any more than were the conclusions that could be drawn from it to our way of thinking.

If, however, the “audience” existed in a state of relative non-time, where “termination” “event,” and “development” had become questionable concepts, they might very well be most interested precisely in what was lacking in their own condition.

At the time of this dream the lady was afraid of death and did her best to fend off any thoughts about it.

Yet death is an important interest, especially to an aging person. A categorical question is being put to him, and he is under an obligation to answer it.

To this end he ought to have a myth about death, for reason shows him nothing but the dark pit into which he is descending.

Myth, however, can conjure up other images for him, helpful and enriching pictures of life in the land of the dead.

If he believes in them, or greets them with some measure of credence, he is being just as right or just as wrong as someone who does not believe in them.

But while the man who despairs marches toward nothingness, the one who has placed his faith in the archetype follows the tracks of life and lives right into his death.

Both, to be sure, remain in uncertainty, but the one lives against his instincts, the other with them. ~Carl Jung, Memories Dreams and Reflections