Carl Jung Dream Analysis Seminar Lecture V 4 June 1930
LECTURE V 4 June 1930
We got as far with our dream as the meaning of the names Michel and Jalaubout, and now we come to the next point, the arrangement
of this new enterprise, this branch business.
You remember the dreamer said that he was explaining to an employee that the firm would be arranged as a compte-joint.
A joint account is, as the name expresses, a very close connection.
The new branch is almost integrated into his former business; the two firms, that is, are partially incorporated with each other.
That gives us a certain hint.
You may remember a former dream in which it was indicated that his psychology was split up into what we called compartments.
Here he joins another firm and incorporates a new branch into his former business in a very intimate way, and you can be sure that this new
enterprise has been in him for a long time, but in a sort of air-tight compartment which has now to be opened up.
The two different tendencies are coming together; we have here the first sign that they are blending.
He is a man who likes to have compartments for different parts of his psychology; he puts certain things in one drawer and other things into another, in the hope that they will never touch.
But in that former dream he already began to show these different compartments to his wife, in other words, to make her acquainted with the different sides of his own personality.
And he here makes a new and very serious attempt to organize those different sides in a business-like manner.
The dreamer says, then, that he is explaining his plans to employees-what he is going to do about it.
It often occurs in dreams that there are indifferent or obscure people about, and when one asks patients for their associations concerning them, they say they don’t know, there are just people about, quite unimportant.
But obviously they are on the stage, playing a role, and we therefore ought to know what they are.
Have you an idea what employees would be in such a case?
Are there no theosophists to tell us something about it? Theosophists know everything!
Well, when one doesn’t know the meaning of a symbol, one had better take it quite naively and say they must be something like what employees really
are in a business, that is, subordinate forces, sort of delegated powers, psychical factors that can be personified.
You see, our minds have the peculiarity, which we see in the whole structure of the nervous system, that certain ways of functioning become reflexes.
For instance, when you are learning to ride a bicycle, you have all the trouble in the world to keep your balance, till suddenly you get it; it has entered your system, you have delegated it to one
of the employees who is now trained to do that job for you, it holds the balance for you without your knowing it.
Of course, you would feel it as a subconscious factor, yet every part of the human psyche has a personal character.
One sees that quite easily in such experiments as table-rapping or table-turning.
These subconscious contents come to the surface then, and are produced by things that resemble persons.
When one asks who is writing or manifesting through the table, invariably that thing says, I am doing it. And who are you?
And then it says, Aunt Mary or Uncle So-and-So-somebody who has died. Now, we cannot assume that it is always just ghosts.
There are stupid people and perhaps there are stupid ghosts and whether they get -more intelligent I don’t know.
But at all events there is one important case published in the reports of the Psychical Research Society, where a man took immense trouble to find out who the thing was that talked, and it got quite embarrassed in the end and finally confessed, “I am you, you should not ask any more, I am yourself.”
And that is very probable.
It is an unconscious delegate that says things occasionally which the conscious would not say, sometimes quite commonplace, and sometimes in symbolic form, like typical dreams.
These are the persons who produce dreams.
Also we are dreaming more or less during the day, and whenever we lower the glare, the acquired intensity, of our conscious for a moment, up come those things and we hear voices.
Of course, we do not hear them exactly as voices-we are not crazy-and when one studies the hallucinations of insane people, one can see these minor telephone apparatuses at work much better.
But they make all sorts of trouble for us.
For instance, if you have to walk across a floor in a big assembly, you naturally get self-conscious and you hear voices: “There he goes-he is terribly self-conscious and is probably going to fall
over the feet of somebody. People think he is ridiculous!”
That is what you feel, though you will not get it in definite words.
An insane person would hear a stentorian voice shouting: “There goes that fool and sure enough he will show that he is an ass!”
And you will get the same, practically, when you analyse the feelings you have in such a moment.
Or at a funeral, when you are expressing your feelings in an appropriate manner, the voices may say you are not so sorry, you are rather glad the old man died, and that gets so much under your skin that you may find yourself congratulating the mourners.
Perhaps you are walking in a funeral procession, knowing that you should have a sad face, yet you can’t help smiling, all sorts of jokes occur to you that you would like to whisper to your neighbour, and you will do so if you have a chance.
The parson says the old man is now sitting at the right hand of the Lord but you know that is all bunk-he is burning in Hell.
All such phenomena are due to those employees who are perfectly aware of the real situation.
There are a host of them-we don’t know how many-probably a perfectly unlimited number that represent our thoughts and feelings.
They amount to reflexes, and if one splits off any part of a psychical function and gives it a chance to live by itself, it will take on the character of a person.
It will be a little personality, but a restricted personality, with only a very partial realization of its own existence; the smaller the personality, the less the realization.
One gets very little from such things.
If one asks the ghosts that are manifesting in the table what their condition is, they cannot tell very much, mostly platitudes, they seem to be very unaware of their surroundings.
Perhaps some of you have read Sir Oliver Lodge’s book about his son who died, Raymond.
He asked him all sorts of questions and the replies were peculiarly meagre.
The boy was very intelligent and one would expect of him much better answers.
The father asked him, “Do you live in houses?” and he answered vaguely, “Yes, we have houses,” as if he didn’t realize that they lived in them.
He answered as if he were in a dream.
It is the psychology of a very fragmentary person, and that may come from the fact that it is only a psychical phenomenon; or if it is a ghost-which I don’t know, as proofs are impossible-then ghosts must live in very fragmentary forms.
One sees the same thing in lunatics.
I remember an old woman who had formerly been a tailoress, and when one said good morning and asked how she was, she would reply, “Oh, I have just had a telephone.”
“But I see no telephone.”
To which she would explain that it had been fixed through the wall, she didn’t know how, but nearly every day God sent her special messages.
She might say she was empress of the whole world, or that she possessed an island that consisted of pure silver-nonsensical things.
They have no realization of their surroundings.
These minor figures in our patient’s dream are like that.
They are unconscious creative forces and they are perfectly normal, because in dreams we are dissociated anyhow.
But if one sees such figures in one’s ordinary conscious life there is trouble, for that is an indubitable symptom that one is dissociated.
People in that condition walk out of their houses as if it were already printed in their biography.
It is as if a voice were repeating what they were doing, with either appreciation or criticism.
For instance, a voice tells them that what they have just said was wonderful, and then they have a peculiar backwash of feeling in their faces.
And then naturally that oilier voice comes up, for these voices are always balanced.
In cases of insanity one finds that there are always favourable and unfavourable voices-employees who are working for your interests and against your interests, pairs of opposites.
The next thing in the dream is that he is making a room ready for that new branch.
He takes all sorts of bottles and boxes out of drawers and puts them together in order to carry them into another room; his association was that they remind him of his own little drug-store at home.
I have already spoken of his hygienic interests.
Although this seems a ridiculous detail and one would assume that these bottles and boxes were terribly uninteresting and meant nothing, yet it is typical for this man’s particular psychology.
Now, what do you see in that symbol which is so typical?
Be nai’ve about it, please, then you get at the truth. Try to picture the man handling his boxes and bottles.
Dr. Deady: His life depends on them and he is going to sacrifice them.
Dr. Jung: Oh no, why should he get rid of them?
Miss Hannah: He just loves keeping things in boxes.
Mrs. Deady: It is compartment psychology.
Dr. Jung: Exactly. He has everything neatly in bottles and boxes and drawers.
People with such a psychology always have these little drug-stores, and there is always a fuss about them.
Like people with tender reminiscences who cherish certain divine remains pressed flowers, or the teeth of the grandmother, or all sorts of little books and bric-a-brac tucked away in drawers and chests because it expresses their compartment psychology.
This man is like that, each content divided from the other and each neatly labelled; one uses at this moment such a drug and at another moment such a pill.
Now, that is a well-ordered mind of a sort, it means a regulation of the whole feeling or Eros system.
If he should liberate all the contents, it would be an indiscriminate flood, and that is exactly why he bottles them up.
The flood would be too interesting, that is the trouble.
Now, emptying these drawers and sorting the contents suggests that he is cleaning out and stowing away things in order to have a whole room ready for the new business.
That is a decidedly important step forward.
He is now proceeding in a very businesslike way.
But naturally, when going into such an enterprise, he will hear voices, and here is the employee saying: But what about the rest of your business?
You see, doubt comes up in him quite inevitably, because the new business seems to be a very interesting enterprise which he has been avoiding for quite a while.
You remember how, whenever he touched it, he at once fell away from it again, but here it seems to become a very real and serious thing.
The fatal question is asked. In such a moment it is quite inevitable that some reaction should take place, so here comes the employee who asks the question about the main business.
What is his main business?
Dr. Deady: His intellectualism, his whole attitude, a regulated system of life, as opposed to the irrational thing he is going to take on.
Dr. Jung: Yes, it would be the totality of his psychological situation, his complete life, and there would lie his natural fear.
If he begins a new business, it might interfere with his former business or with the functioning of his total life.
So the fear that there might be some disturbance is not unreasonable, and he hastens to explain to his employee that it will not affect the main business, it is only a branch.
He uses that term, just a branch business; it does not affect the whole.
Here he is doing something in the dream which you can discern in everyday life when such an objection occurs to you.
You even talk to yourself, you say: now don’t get excited.
People talk to themselves as if they were talking to an excited horse, or somebody else has to do it for them.
It is a sort of fragmentary consciousness.
Now, that is the whole dream, and before going on to the next one we should realize the exact situation.
The mouse has escaped, which means that something is going to happen, and his church resistance has been broken down.
He went through a very complicated unconscious raisonnement about his religious philosophy, and he came to the conclusion that his psychological enterprise is the really vital thing for him.
It is the enterprise upon which he is going to embark for good, and that is the third living child, you remember.
That child has to become a reality somehow, and now in this dream he is ready to create it in reality in a very businesslike way.
Therefore his unconscious chooses the methods of his own business life in order to emphasize the absolute reality of his enterprise.
So we are now in a situation with the dreamer where we would expect a continuation – the beginning-of-that-business.
The branch is not yet fully organized; this dream contains only the preparations.
The following dream came five days later.
He was called by the voice of a child to go to a swimming-pool.
The child said that there was a big animal in the water.
He goes with the child but instead of a swimming-pool, he comes to a large bed.
The child pulls away the bed-cover, and there is an enormous tortoise.
He finds in his hand an iron tool, a chisel with a wooden handle, which he takes by the iron part.
He beats the head of the tortoise with the wooden handle-not with the iron part, mind you-whereupon the animal opens its mouth and spits out a living
Associations: The dreamer says that man is not in his habitual element when he is in a swimming-pool-in the water, that is. He thinks that swimming has something to do with living in the unconscious,
it is something like dreaming. He wonders that the swimming pool is not a bathing-place but a bed, really the place where one dreams.
The tortoise, he thinks, is like a crocodile, a relic of prehistoric animals, and he says that it looks as if he were not intending to kill it (as he had no feeling about it) but apparently only wanted to
overcome it, because he was beating its head not with the iron part of the chisel but with the wooden handle. He says, concerning the child that came out of the tortoise, that it looked like an embryo
in the womb, that is, it came out with the arms and legs all drawn up in the embryonic position. He says that this is obviously a birth, but he doesn’t know what to think about it.
This dream is not simple.
I think we will start with the first sentence.
He hears the voice of a child calling him to the unconscious, the swimming-pool. What would that mean? You see, it is not his own child, he doesn’t know it.
Mr. Schmitz: His honest attempt.
Dr. Jung: Yes, one thinks naturally of that third child, the honest attempt, his new business which is also a sort of child.
And the new attempt, the new life, is calling him to a certain place.
We had that child symbolism in the second dream before this one, and the question left over from the last dream was how the new enterprise was to continue, so it is obvious that this is the new attempt.
Then his associations show that he has found out the analogy, the immediate relationship, between the bed and the swimming-pool. It is a movement in the unconscious.
Water generally means the unconscious, and one’s movement in the water is not the habitual movement, like walking in the air, but a new way of locomotion, as the conscious life is naturally different from our psychic life in the unconscious.
Dreams have a different kind of movement, and in his associations the dreamer insists upon comparing the bed and the swimming-pool-what is swimming in the pool is dreaming in the bed. I think we can hardly add anything to his associations.
That is perfectly plain.
Now, something is hidden in that bed-in the unconscious which he discovers in pursuing his new attempt.
Naturally, the new attempt would have no reason if one were not going to discover something new-have an adventure.
Such an enterprise always means a wish for new discoveries, and the first thing he encounters is a tortoise.
We don’t know why he should find such a prehistoric animal on his way to the new enterprise, that is perfectly irrational, we simply have to accept the fact that it is so.
Now he links up the tortoise with the crocodile.
Do you remember about the crocodile in a former dream?
Mrs. Sigg: The crocodile was a holy animal in Upper Egypt.
Dr. Deady: The saurian brings libido from some very great irrational depths.
Dr. Jung: You remember I said that when a crocodile or any saurian turns up, one may expect something quite unusual to happen.
This is again such a case.
As I explained at that time, the crocodile, as well as the tortoise and any other cold-blooded animal, represents extremely archaic psychology of the cold-blooded thing in us.
Schopenhauer said: “the fat of our brother is good enough to smear our boots. ”
That is the thing we never can understand that somewhere we are terribly cold-blooded.
There are people who, under certain circumstances, would be capable of things which they simply could not admit.
It is frightening, we are shocked out of our wits and cannot accept it. I gave you examples of the natural mind of woman; there you see the cold-blooded animal.
And naturally the same thing is in the cold-blooded man; they will confess it to each other, but never to a woman, because it is too shocking.
It is like an awful danger very far away.
It used to be in the Balkans, but now it is much farther away-in the moon.
It would be a moral catastrophe, but since we are so far away we can laugh about it.
But when it touches us, we don’t laugh, it drives people almost crazy.
Once we were quite certainly cold-blooded animals, and we have a trace of it in our anatomy, in the structure of the nervous system.
The saurian is still functioning in us, and one only needs to take away enough brain to bring it to the daylight.
Let a man be wounded very badly in the brain, or have a disease that destroys it, and he becomes a vegetative and utterly cold-blooded thing, exactly like a lizard or a crocodile or a tortoise.
I told you that Hagenbeck, the famous connoisseur of animals, said that you can establish a psychic rapport with practically all animals until one comes to snakes, alligators, and such creatures, and there it comes to an end.
He told about a man who brought up a python, a perfectly harmless and inoffensive animal, apparently, that he used to feed by hand when it was quite big, and everybody assumed that it had some knowledge of him and knew that he was its nurse; but once, suddenly, that animal wound itself like lightning round the body of the man and almost killed him.
Another man had to cut it to pieces with a hatchet in order to save the man’s life.
That is a typical example of the untrustworthiness of these creatures.
Warm-blooded animals have an idea of man; they are either friendly, or they avoid him and his habitations because they dislike or are afraid of him.
But snakes are absolutely heedless.
So we must assume that cold-blooded animals have an entirely different kind of psychology-one would say none, but that is a little arbitrary.
These cold-blooded relics are in a way uncanny powers, because they symbolize the fundamental factors of our instinctive life, dating from paleozoic times.
If constellated by circumstances, the saurian appears.
For instance, a terrible fear or an organic threat of disease is often expressed in dreams by a snake.
Therefore people who understand nothing of dream interpretation will yet tell you that whenever they dream of snakes, they know they are going to be ill.
During the war, when I was in charge of the British interned soldiers, I became acquainted with the wife of one of the officers, a peculiarly clairvoyant person, and she told me that whenever she
dreamt of snakes, it meant disease.
While I was there, she dreamt of an enormous serpent which killed many people, and she said: You will see that means some catastrophe.
A few days later, the second of those big epidemics of the so-called Spanish flu broke out and killed any number of people, and she herself almost died.
The snake comes up in such cases because there is an organic threat which calls forth all one’s instinctive reactions.
So whenever life means business, when things are getting serious, you are likely to find a saurian on the way.
Or when vital contents are to appear from the unconscious, vital thoughts or impulses, you will dream of such animals.
It may be the hindrance that comes up, and it will block your way though you think it is perfectly simple.
Up comes an invisible hindrance, and you don’t know what it really is because you can’t see it, or symbolize it even, and yet it can hold you.
There is something hidden.
Perhaps your libido drops, it appears usually in that well-known form; one loses interest suddenly, and the dream expresses it as a dragon or a monster that appears on your way and simply blocks the path for you.
Then in other cases, such a monster is a help: the tremendous force of organized instinct comes up and pushes you over an obstacle which you would not believe possible to climb over by will-power or conscious decision.
There the animal proves to be helpful.
Now we do not know how vital the coffee business will be for our patient, whether it really is important or dangerous to him, but this dream tells him: Look out! Here is the saurian-this is serious!
At all events, the decision he obviously has made means that it will be a situation touching his instincts, the very foundations of his being.
So the appearance of a tortoise is rather a startling discovery in this case. And it seems to have a very important function here, because it brings forth a child, which clearly demonstrates the fact that it is really a doctor tortoise, not an ordinary one, a thing that is a secret human being.
The only association the dreamer gives is that he links it up with the crocodile. Now what about the tortoise?
Mr. Schmitz: There is important mythical symbolism connected with the tortoise.
There is even a myth, I don’t know where, that the tortoise is the mother of the whole world, that everything living is born from the tortoise.
Dr. Jung: You find it in Hindu myths chiefly.
The world is carried on the back of an elephant that is standing on a tortoise.
A tortoise is a most fundamental being-the basic instinct that carries our whole psychological world.
For the world is our psychology, our point of view.
And as our point of view is carried by our instincts, so the world is carried by the tortoise.
Now, what about the symbolic aspect of this animal?
Mrs. Deady: It is also very fertile.
Dr. Jung: That is true, but all lower animals are very fertile.
Miss Wolff’ The tortoise has been a mother symbol.
Dr. Jung: Yes, the tortoise in mythology has that female character maternal, underground. But these sex analogies are everywhere, and the tortoise has something very specific about it.
Mrs. Crowley: Its longevity.
Dr. Jung: It has a tremendously long life.
Miss Sergeant: It moves slowly.
Dr. Jung: It is not very temperamental!
Prof Hooke: It only becomes vocal at the moment of coition.
Dr. Jung: That is also a particularity, but it is not so accessible to human experience. There is another very striking feature.
Dr. Howells: The amphibious side of the animal.
Dr. Jung: The amphibious side is exceedingly important as referring to the unconscious side; that has a symbolic aspect. But there is something else.
Dr. Baynes: There is its crustacean character.
Dr. Jung: Yes, it can withdraw into its own house.
But the tortoise is a very impersonal symbol.
The obvious features are that this animal has an armoured house into which it can withdraw and where it cannot be attacked.
Then it is amphibious, it is apathetic, it lives a very long time, and it is highly mythological and mysterious.
Remember that the I Ching was brought to land on the shells of one hundred tortoises.
These are all the qualities of a particular psychological factor in man-age-old, very wise, and manifesting in the conscious as well as the unconscious.
This makes the tortoise very meaningful. What would it portray if you translated it into a sort of conscious function?
Dr. Jung: Yes, but only in an extraverted type.
Dr. Baynes: Sensation?
Dr. Jung: Only in an intuitive type.
Mrs. Fierz: Feeling?
Dr. Jung: Only in an intellectual type.
If that thing should be fully developed, fully integrated into man, what would happen then?
You see, if you translate the tortoise symbolism into the most differentiated thing man possibly can attain to, it always contains the thing that is in the beginning and also in the end.
Dr. Baynes: It is an irrational function.
Dr. Jung: Only in a rational type.
Dr. Schlegel: It has the ability to introvert and extravert, go in and out.
Dr. Jung: Yes, but it is more than that. It is the transcendent function. That is what the tortoise symbolizes, and therefore it is so important.
Mrs. Baynes: l don’t see that.
Dr. Jung: The characteristics of the tortoise are the characteristics of the transcendent function, the one that unites the pairs of opposites.
Mrs. Baynes: l thought the transcendent function was created each time the pairs of opposites came together.
Dr. Jung: The coming together each time is the transcendent function. The term transcendent function is used in higher mathematics, where it is the function of rational and irrational numbers.
I did not take that term from higher mathematics, I learned only later that the same term was used there, meaning the same thing, namely, the function of rational and irrational data in the functioning
together of conscious and unconscious, of the differentiated function with the inferior function.
It is the reconciliation of the pairs of opposites. From this reconciliation a new thing is always created, a new thing is realized.
That is the transcendent function, and that is the tortoise.
And the new thing is always strange to the old thing.
A plant, for instance may have fruit which is -not at all the same, like the spores of the water algae.
The mother is a plant, but the child is a little animal with a little head and a little tail, swimming about, and then it settles down and becomes a plant again.
So the result of the transcendent function is as strange to us as the turtle is.
Dr. Schlegel: ls it only the tortoise, or every cold-blooded animal?
Dr. Jung: Not so much as the tortoise, on account of its great age and its amphibious quality.
The snake has a somewhat different meaning, it can renew itself by shedding its skin, which gives it the quality of eternity.
But the snake comes nearer to the tortoise than the crocodile, in spite of the fact that there are enormously old
According to the biologist John Bonner, certain algae (the “parent” plant may be male, female, or asexual) produce asexual zoospores (single-celled, with two flagella or “tails”), which can swim to a new location, settle, and produce a new, fixed plant. (Personal communication.)
crocodiles. There was one on the west bank of Lake Victoria which the Negroes fed because they said that crocodile protected the whole coast, it chased away all the others.
It was tremendously big and fat-they fed it with fish, and it never ate human beings.
It was the friend of man, a doctor animal.
Usually the crocodile symbolizes the voracious quality of the unconscious, the danger from below which suddenly comes up and pulls people down.
That is also a function of the unconscious, a very dangerous one.
Now we come to this very peculiar action of the dreamer, that he beats the tortoise on the head with the wooden handle of the chisel.
He says that he obviously wants to overcome the animal, but has not the intention of killing it or he would have used the iron part. Now what about the chisel?
An instrument is an important motif.
Instruments often turn up in dreams with the same meaning that they have in mythology.
Dr. Deady: I think he said that it was a tool for opening boxes.
Dr. Jung:· Yes, as if there had suddenly been an allusion to a locked box and it was necessary to pry open the lid, but that was not meant.
Dr. Deady: Striking the head, then, would be to bring about consciousness.
Dr. Jung: To beat somebody on the head?-Unconsciousness, rather!
Although we have a nice story in this country of thieves who broke into a house and tried to smash a man’s head with a hammer.
But the man said, “Come in!”-as if somebody had aroused a slight interest in him by knocking at the door.
In this case it is probably something of the sort.
The tortoise is not killed, it merely got dizzy and delivered that child. But why such an instrument?
Mrs. Deady: It would help him to open all his drawers and boxes, his compartments.
Dr. Jung: That he must have it to open the boxes is quite possible, but what does the instrument mean?
Mrs. Crowley: In mythology it is a phallic symbol, so it might mean penetration.
Dr. Jung: Yes, and in the I Ching penetrating means understanding a thing; therefore we speak of a penetrating mind.
And naturally when one speaks of a thing that is able to penetrate, one thinks of an oblong and pointed object.
So there is the obvious phallic analogy, but it also symbolizes and expresses the penetrating will of man. In psychology, the action of the mind is symbolized by penetration.
And we have figures of speech in other languages, in French and in German, where the action of the mind is symbolized by the idea of penetration-a ray of light like a spear, for instance.
Later on, this man had a dream where he came to an illumined wall, and he knew that behind it was truth, and he holds a spear trying to pierce that wall.
There is the act of penetration. In this case he uses a penetrating instrument but not for penetration.
He knocks the animal on the head just to beat it down without smashing its skull. What does that mean?
Mrs. Nordfeldt: He is overcoming it.
Dr. Jung: Yes, and where do you see that in folklore?
Mrs. Baynes: In the similarity of cutting the dragon open.
Dr. Jung: Of course.
It is the fight with the dragon who holds the treasure inside, and when the hero has succeeded in beating the dragon down, out will come the father or mother, or he will get at the hidden treasure.
In this case, the dragon or tortoise delivers a child.
That is what the dream means exactly-the overcoming of the unconscious.
He has to make it conscious, he has to wrench it loose from the original unconsciousness, to detach that bit of consciousness or that content from the unconscious and make it his own.
Now what has he to make conscious by beating back the instinct that keeps everything in the unconscious?
Mrs. Nordfeldt: The honest attempt.
Dr. Jung: Yes, the child. And what child?
Question: The inferior function?
Dr. Jung: Sure enough, it has to do with the inferior function, with everything that is inferior in him, that is still to come, still to develop.
But that is not specific enough.
Could it not be that it is the same child again?
You see, in the dream before we had a new enterprise, but are we sure that he was quite conscious of what that new business meant?
If he were entirely conscious of the new attempt, of what it would mean and what its implications were, he would not have such a dream.
He does not know it in the conscious, it is too obscure, and therefore he explains to his employee that the new enterprise is just a side business, and of course the main
business will not be interfered with.
Then this next dream speaks of the birth of a child, the birth of the honest attempt, which he has to detach from the unconscious as if he were a new St. George who has to kill the dragon first in order to go on.
He must first overcome his unconsciousness in order to continue with his purpose.
That seems strange to you but not to an analyst.
One shows a thing to a patient and he says, “Yes, I see that perfectly, is it not wonderful?”
Three or four weeks later it is as if he had not understood at all, and there must be a new recognition of the same thing.
You see, a real recognition, a full realization, of these unconscious contents never happens all at once.
It always comes in waves, wave after wave, with a pause in between before a new and more intense realization of what that thing is.
There are cases where a dream in the beginning of analysis contains the whole analytical procedure.
If one realized it one would possess everything that one needed to get at it if one could.
At first, you get only a very vague glimpse, it is as if you had never seen it.
Then it comes again and you think, that is it, and then it fades away.
And then comes a third wave and you think, is it not marvellous ?-a perfect revelation.
Then that ebbs away, and a fourth and fifth wave come, and many waves must come until we realize that what we call progress is really always one and the same thing, which we are simply unable to realize and which only dawns upon us very slowly.
It is as if the sun, in order to become visible to us, must come up and go down again and again until we realize that it is the sun and it is day.
We shall have other dreams where that problem will come up again.
This man’s first attempt at realization was not enough, he is still up against the old dragon, against the old unconsciousness.
Therefore he must first overcome the dragon in order to detach the child from the maternal abyss in which it was concealed.
Mrs. Baynes: But didn’t we say that the child that took him to the bed and turned down the cover was the new attempt?
Dr. Jung: Of course it is.
Mrs. Baynes: Is this new child the same?
Dr. Jung: One and the same! The first attempt was the effort to realize, but that was not enough.
He is not fully conscious, which is demonstrated by the fact that he has such a dream.
I can give you a practical example: I was once treating a man who was a doctor and by no means a fool.
He was an alienist too–which of course does not prove that he was not a fool.
He had a mother complex; he lived in his mother’s house and she took care of him.
He was a little husband.
From the very beginning he had dream after dream about his mother complex, and each one told him that it simply would not do, that he could not live like that.
After about six weeks-you can see that I am a poor analyst-I realized that there must be a special tie between the man and his mother, and I discovered that he was writing daily letters to her in which he explained his whole analytical procedure, every detail.
So he remained in the closest connection with her all the time.
And this was after six weeks of talking about that mother complex every day.
It was six months before he came with a long face and said: “But, Doctor, do you really think I should detach from my mother?
Is it possible that you think I should not live in the same house with her?”
I said: “Exactly!
That is what I expect of you, how often have I told you that?”
And he said: “But I thought you did not mean it.
You cannot possibly think that I should live in a flat of my own! What about my mother?”
“Well,” I said, “there you are!
That is your problem. I mean just what I say, and it is extraordinary that it takes so long to realize what I told you in the first hour.”
It is as if somebody said: “Hurry up, the house is on fire!” and one replied: “Do you really think that houses in Zurich can catch fire?”
Perfectly unable to hear what is said. And that is very general.
It is amazing what it takes to make people hear and see.
The simplest thing will not get under their skins and one can repeat it a dozen times or twenty times.
The moment that that man realized that he had really to detach from his mother he had an awful dream.
He dreamt that he was climbing a steep hill which was very slippery.
He just managed to reach the top when, looking down, he saw his mother. He shouted: “For heaven’s sake, don’t try to come up!”
But his mother started, and then slipped and broke her leg.
Next day, in reality, a telegram came: “Your mother has broken her leg.”
That explained his stupidity, why he was so deaf. His unconscious knew that it might kill his mother.
Those old bonds, cases of participation mystique, are exceedingly dangerous.
One must not get impatient. Just say it again. So this difficulty in realization explains certain dreams.
You see how many attempts our dreamer has already made to approach the problem, and that is merely the difficulty of realization.
He cannot make up his mind to see the thing exactly as it is, and to give it the right value.
This seems to be a tremendous difficulty, and I never hastened him, never bullied him, because I know quite well that it cannot be forced.
It is vital, there is a saurian in it and one must not push the thing. It needs to mature slowly.
If you push it you might injure vital instincts. I have never made any conditions-if you do not do this, and all that stuff.
That won’t work at all. One has to be exceedingly patient in such a case.
But we shall encounter quite a number of dreams where the wave comes on again and again and where he has a new chance to take it.
One often finds that motif, the hidden treasure, or the blossoming of the treasure or the flower in mythology and folklore.
It is supposed to blossom after a certain period, say nine years, nine months, nine days.
On the ninth night, the treasure comes up to the surface and whoever happens to be on the spot on the ninth can take it, but the next night it goes down to the depths, and then it takes nine years and nine months and nine days before it blossoms again.
That is the demonstration in folklore of the difficulty of psychological realization.
Miss Howells: How long is it since he began till the time of this dream?
Dr. Jung: He began in May and this dream is in the middle of October. ~Carl Jung, Dream Analysis Seminar, Pages 637-653