The boy is in a way a bridge between the remote past and the remote future.
LECTURE VII 18 June 1930
We discussed the ape-man in the dream last week, and today we come to the next point, the boy. Y
ou remember that we have occasionally come across the boy in former dreams.
Of course, that symbol does not always mean the same thing.
Sometimes it is repeated in exactly the same sense as before, and sometimes not at all. It always depends upon the context in the dream itself and also upon the conscious attitude of the dreamer.
The best technique, therefore, is to take every dream as an entirely new proposition, every situation as entirely new, as if we had never heard of the meaning of symbols before.
I recommend that technique in this case.
The dramatis personae so far are the dreamer himself, the driver who has become the ape-man, and several unknown people only hinted at, among them a boy, obviously not very conspicuous to
Begin with. Have you an idea concerning these people?
Mr. Schmitz: They are those minor forces-sort of cabiri. They were the employees in the former dream.
Dr. Jung: It would be the same, but in this case without the particular connotation of the employees.
You see, an employee denotes a person who is in a certain dependent or cooperative position, but here they are mere presences, and it is not sure that they are in any cooperative relationship to the dreamer.
They are just there, and we cannot even say whether they are hostile or friendly.
That is, they represent subconscious figures that are not yet clear, not yet decided, but among them there is this recognizable figure, the boy.
Naturally we must have the dreamer’s associations in such a case, because we cannot afford to assume that the boy is exactly what he was in former dreams.
You remember, for instance, a dream in which he had decidedly divine qualities, like a Greek god, Eros, as the dreamer said.
Here the boy obviously functions as a sort of medium, for the dreamer says that he gets into a trancelike state and then that great-grandmother appears.
This is the first time we have had such a figure in a dream.
Now, that in itself is a symbol, because it is not reality; he is not concerned with any boy that would be a medium in reality, and therefore it is a perfectly fantastic symbolical creation.
How would you translate that in psychological language?
Mrs. Sigg: The boy is young, so he suggests a beginning, a new attitude.
Dr. Jung: But what else?
Mrs. Fierz: Perhaps the mind of all those other subconscious figures.
Dr. Jung: If the dreamer were a woman, we might say that he represented a new thought in her, because the mind in a woman is usually represented by a male figure, but since the dreamer is a
man, it would be something else.
Mr. Schmitz: A message from the unconscious to the conscious.
Dr.Jung: Yes, but that is a very positive interpretation. You can also interpret it a bit more reductively.
Mrs. Sigg: A boy also appeared in that former dream when the dreamer was doing acrobatics in the trees, and he tried to beat the dreamer with a rod.
Mrs. Sawyer: The dreamer pulled the rod out of the boy’s mouth so that he was bleeding.
Dr. Jung: That is true, The boy was holding in his mouth the rod with which he had tried to beat the dreamer, and when the dreamer took it out of his mouth, he made the boy’s mouth bleed.
Well, here we have, as often happens, two motifs that have also occurred together in a former dream, in this case, the ape-man and the boy.
So we are at once confronted with the question of what connection there is between them, and that leads us to the reductive interpretation of the boy. What is the boy?
Mrs. Crowley: The opposite of the man, the compensation for the ape-man.
Dr. Jung: That is again a very positive idea of the boy, but we could have a negative idea of him just as well.
We might say, for instance, that he was the childish aspect of the dreamer, the dreamer himself as a boy.
You know real boys have very ape-like qualities, climbing where they should not climb and playing all sorts of monkey tricks; boys are known for that, they often behave like monkeys.
We have absolutely no reason for thinking little boys are angels.
So men who still have the boy in them are by no means charming human beings, they can be beasts.
You see, when he turns up in connection with the ape-man, we have to look at the other side; the boy is a very ambiguous symbol.
I hope you remember the German book which I quoted when we were speaking about this motif, Das Reich ohne Raum (The Kingdom without Space), by Goetz.
That is about the negative side of the Puer Aeternus, the story of the boys with the leather caps who played the most amazing tricks on people, by no means nice.
In the former dream, then, we have the ape-motif, climbing in the trees, and the boy, and here again this ape-man appears, and immediately after comes the boy.
So we must pay attention to the connection.
As a matter of fact, the childish element in a man naturally leads down to ancestral figures, ancestral life.
That is why the primitives have such peculiar ideas about education.
They hold that the ancestral spirits are incarnated in the children, and therefore they are very loath to punish them; the children must not be beaten, because if one offends the children one would offend the ancestors.
But when they reach the age of puberty those spirits go away, and then there is violence.
The spirit of the young man is broken in as a horse’s spirit is broken in.
Before that there is no education on account of their fear of the anger of the ancestral spirits, who might turn against them, and then the child might die or some other evil befall the family.
Now, that idea that the child is possessed by a spirit, or that the very essence of the child is an ancestral spirit, corresponds to the fact that the psychology of children does really consist of ancestral spirits, or the collective unconscious.
It is a long time before the child develops a psychology of its own, and all our attempts to create a child psychology will be quite fatal as long as we disregard the fact that it is collective psychology.
It is impossible to understand children’s dreams if one assumes otherwise.
They have dreams which are absolutely adult and more than adult and which come directly from the collective unconscious.
That of course is quite understandable, since the child starts in complete unconsciousness.
It is the psychology of the collective unconscious, including the ancestors back to remote ages-to the cave-man or the ape-man.
Therefore one sees the most amazing symbols in their dreams, and in their behaviour old rites become revivified.
And everybody knows the wisdom of little children; they say the most extraordinary things if one cocks one’s ears.
There is a German proverb that children and fools tell the truth.
That is because they speak out of the collective unconscious and therefore reveal things which the ordinary man would never think of revealing.
So the boy, or the boyish element, in an adult man may mean a part of his psychology which reaches back into his remote past and which links up through his instinctive life with the collective unconscious.
And inasmuch as our future is brought forth through the collective unconscious, the boy also points to the future.
For everything that we are going to be in the future is prepared in the collective unconscious, so it is in a way also the mother of the future.
Therefore on the one hand the boy means something exceedingly childish, right back to the monkeys, and on the other hand something that reaches out into the far future.
One often sees that a little boy in his games seems to be anticipating the future, as when he is playing with soldiers and arranging battles-he will perhaps do that in reality.
The boy is in a way a bridge between the remote past and the remote future.
In this case he is a medium, and a medium is a bridge between the conscious and the unconscious, or between this reality and ghost-land.
Now, this is all theory, but I should like to know what it means practically, how it feels in reality.
How can I bring it home to the dreamer so that he feels it himself for that is the main point of dream interpretation, that one brings it right home to the dreamer so that he feels: now it clicks!
How would you proceed in that respect? Where does he feel it in himself?
Mrs. Sigg: He might feel it in his physical nature. It seems that the dreamer has sometimes an inclination towards things that are too artificial.
Dr. Jung: It would naturally have the effect that he would get more simple as he becomes a child, but it would have a further effect.
You see, the boy is pushed up into the foreground of his dreams, which is simply a graphic demonstration of something which happens to the dreamer himself in reality.
How would he feel this in his psychology?
Mr. Schmitz: He was interested in spiritualism before he was occupied with psychology, and since this boy is a medium, it is as if he went back to occult things.
Dr. Jung: Yes, that is an important hint.
Obviously this part of the dream is taken from his spiritualistic interests.
The boy is a medium, and thus far it is a regression to a former interest; he takes a step out of psychology back into spiritualism.
Moreover it is not very mental, it is a piece of infantile psychology-he is becoming partially infantile.
But I would like to know if you have any imagination about it, whether you get what that means.
You have the hint that the boy is getting into a rigid state of trance, and that would about describe what the dreamer would feel if he could realize the boy.
Dr. Schlegel: Would he not feel somewhat separated from reality?
Dr. Jung: That is true.
The trance itself is obviously a means used by the professional medium to cut off the individual from reality, so that the mental process is completely isolated from external influences.
It is a sort of sleep, yet not an ordinary sleep; it is a part which is split off from consciousness, isolated from the real surroundings.
That is one step, but we must go a bit farther.
Why should he get isolated from his surroundings? What is the trance condition?
Mr. Schmitz: Is it a regression to magic-a minor means?
Dr. Jung: Yes, obviously his regression is to a magic mentality, so we must try to find our way through the complications of the primitive mind.
This is a piece of primitive life.
The situation immediately before, in the dream, is very awkward and could easily become dangerous; the driver has been transformed into a naked ape-man, and he is doing acrobatics.
There is a sense of danger in the whole dream which is confirmed by its later development.
Of course, it is most uncanny to the dreamer that a quality expressed by a naked ape-man should get loose in himself; that fellow can do God knows what, and immediately following comes his attempt at violence against the great-grandmother, which is a crime.
There is an overwhelming, uncontrollable power about, a sort of gorilla, and what can he do against that feeling?
And when they begin to shoot, what can he do against cannons? So he is bordering on panic, and in the moment of panic people develop a primitive psychology.
This is an inner panic which the man realizes in his dream state.
You see, it began originally with the mouse that ran away and now it is becoming more an avalanche, it is growing on him, he has already to deal with an ape-man.
Under such conditions man always regresses to the magic mentality.
When you are confronted with a dangerous situation which you don’t know how to deal with, what do you do? Did you ever observe yourself at such a moment?
Dr. Howells: People do most absurd things.
Dr. Jung: What would you call absurd?
That is a value which comes from our conscious standpoint when we say afterwards: God! have I not been absurd!-or when we see something happen in a panic and call it idiotic, judged from the outside.
Miss Sergeant: Sometimes people pray.
Dr. Jung: Yes, sometimes people who ordinarily never think of praying suddenly begin to pray, or they make corresponding gestures.
Or they make quite different gestures-I will tell you something I once saw.
A barn was on fire near my house. It was in the night, people came right out of sleep, there were peasant women very scantily dressed and naturally in a state of complete panic.
I was one of the first on the spot, and I opened the stables to let out the cattle.
Then a woman came running out.
She simply walked on the highway in the moon, imploring the gods with tragic gestures, sort of intoning Oh-h-h-! I ran after her and said: “What the devil are you doing here?”
Whereupon she fell on my neck and crushed herself against me in the most caressing embrace.
Being a psychologist, I knew that it was a moment when sexual cohabitation would be indicated, for here was a great tragedy, the world was going to pieces, and therefore she must propagate on
It was no joke, it was a very serious business.
That happened in the streets of Messina at the time of the earthquake, numerous couples were observed.
Almost invariably in a family murder, a man has sexual intercourse with his wife before he shoots her; it is the usual thing, a well-known fact, human nature reacts like that.
Mind you, that was not the only case on the evening of which I am telling you; there was another woman, a servant, who woke up suddenly and lost her head.
Mr. Schmitz: But also the contrary is true. If sexual intercourse is expected and not fulfilled, then one has a dream of a conflagration.
Dr. Jung: Yes, or a corresponding hallucination that the house is on fire. And in such a moment apotropaic actions, old magic rituals, come about. So our dreamer is obviously in distress about
the presence of the ape-man, for one must not think of such a dream as a sort of picture-painting on the wall; it is a drama enacted in him. He is in the throes of the drama and it has got him, a sort
of delirium, a fury of emotions, and now in his fear he applies a very peculiar means, a magic ritual: the boy goes into a trance in order to bring up the great-grandmother from Hades.
People would have done that a thousand or two thousand years ago when they were in great trouble, or in doubt as to an important decision.
We know that from the Bible: they went to the dead, or they went to a witch.
Now they go to a doctor, which is the same thing, and he analyses their dreams, calling up the dead, calling the unconscious, all magic ritual from beginning to end.
Here the boy is used for the purpose of raising the dead.
Boys are very often used for crystalgazing or for other magic performances.
For instance, I remember the story of a snake charmer (a true story told me by a Swiss engineer employed in Egypt) who always went about holding a little boy on his arm while he was catching
He was not a professional like the famous man in Cairo, he was a Bedouin who was called in when snakes were really a pest.
The country was infested by the horned sand-viper; they are terribly poisonous and they live buried in the sand waiting for their victims, with just the tip of the head sticking out.
There had been a number of casualties among the native labourers.
They could not catch them, so with some reluctance they called in this snake-charmer, who appeared, whistling, and carrying that little boy.
He said the child was absolutely necessary to give him protection.
He went from bush to bush, put in his hand, and pulled out the snakes in a completely stiff and charmed condition.
You have probably read such stories, where boys or little girls functioned as mediums in a somnambulistic state.
In antiquity it was a sort of profession.
A very interesting example of that was found in an excavation in Egypt.
They discovered a list of the servants in the house of a Roman official in imperial times, and among them was a name written in Greek, Walburga Sibylla.
Walburga is a German name, and the women of Germany were particularly mediumistic; it is known that many German women slaves were sold to be used as mediums and somnambulists.
So that was the name of the house medium, a German girl who had been sold as a slave up the Nile.
She belonged to the household of a distinguished nobleman, and in case of emergency could be his medium; he could ask his Sibylla to prophesy what he should do.
And now also we have clairvoyants whom we consult when in doubt.
That is an expedient which was used in early civilizations as well as among the primitives, and that is the connection in the dream.
The situation becomes awkward, and in his panic this man seizes upon that old means to get advice or help.
Because there is no human help, the unconscious is conjured, and in this case it is the great-grandmother.
We still have not gotten down to the concrete fact of how this boy symbolism would function in our patient.
It is obviously the childish element; the adult man in him does not know how to solve the problem, and I was incapable of telling him.
I told him that there must be some mysterious solution of which I did not know.
So he is thrown back upon himself and has most obviously come to the end of all his mental resources.
He feels something is creeping upon him, something is increasing in strength and danger, and now it is the ape-man, and under these conditions people become childish.
Many neurotics impress themselves upon one through this particular childishness, but if you knew their particular problem, you would understand.
When everything is absolutely dark, the only thing to do is to become hysterical or childish.
Sometimes it needs very little to reduce a man, no matter how adult, to a whimpering child who simply breaks down and weeps for his mother, and that is what happens to this man.
He finds no other way out so he becomes a little boy, and that proves to be the way for the time being.
By following that way, which he cannot find by intellectual means, by indulging himself in that regression, he falls down into the archetype of the boy, as millions and millions of people in untold thousands of years have already done.
When they were in a bad condition they became childish, utterly absurd.
They simply let themselves drop down upon the bedrock of instinct.
Thus is formed the pattern of the boy who doesn’t know what to do and in his desperation gets to a state of eh.stasis.
That is the term, for when a panic or a terrible pain reaches the culmination, it ceases and people become ecstatic.
Pain cannot be endured in ever-increasing intensity beyond a certain point. Then it turns and becomes eh.stasis.
This symptom is mentioned in the famous book, the Malleus Maleficarum, as one of the symptoms of witchcraft; it was called the witches’ sleep.
When one’s mood reaches the deepest blackness, then the light comes.
That is the sun myth.
One simply falls into the mythical pattern, the archetype; it is the natural way which things take.
There are innumerable cases in the Bible: when despair has reached its climax God reveals himself, which is simply a psychological truth.
So when this man is reduced to that little boy, perfectly helpless and rigid with fear, after that state of numbness and utter exhaustion, then the eh.stasis comes and the mother appears.
Of course, no real mother appears, but the great
It is not as the ordinary mother appears to the little boy; when the adult man becomes like a child, utterly despairing, then the divine mother appears, and she is very old and yet quite young, as the description says in his dream he has a very young face.
Now before going on, I hope you are sufficiently acquainted with the inner mood of the dreamer.
He is rather desperate on account of the coming up of the ape-man.
You must realize what it means to a respectable and very rational person when he is suddenly confronted with such a reality.
We are naturally inclined to think: Oh, well, dreams are not so real.
But in the night these things are terribly real.
One may forget oneself for awhile, and then up comes the problem again.
He cannot get away from it.
He confesses that he knows nothing to do about it, so he simply gives up, and that is the most favourable moment for the manifestation of the unconscious.
When we come to the end of our wits, then the archetype begins to function.
For since eternity man has gone through situations with which he could not cope, where instincts had to step in and solve the situation, either in a cunning way or by a coup de force, and that is the situation now.
We would expect that the unconscious in such a situation would produce the image that is the most likely to be helpful, and when a man is reduced to a little boy, he is naturally crying for the mother.
If an adult man comes to that reduced condition, it is not the ordinary mother, because he knows very well that his own mother would not be very helpful, unless she happened to possess second sight or to be a superior personality.
The ordinary mothers are not superior personalities.
So it is the great-grandmother, an early mythical mother, the mother of an immense past, who appears.
Mr. Schmitz: I think a man would not do that in his conscious. I know a case where a man met a wild man in a dream and said to himself:
Of course, I can do nothing against that man by using force, but there are tricks; people have always been able to kill animals much stronger than themselves in that way.
So in the dream he plays a trick and he kills the ape-man.
What would you say about that?
Dr. Jung: That was presence of mind. And it was not a case of complete despair.
The man kept his rational mind and applied jiu jitsu.
The ape-man could obviously be dealt with in such a way.
But in this case it is of no use for our dreamer to kill the ape-man.
Mr. Schmitz: The man I am speaking of was satisfied with the dream, but two hours afterwards he had a fit of sickness.
Dr. Jung: That is a very questionable case.
You see, in mythology, the hero has to kill a series of monsters and nothing particular happens, but suddenly with a certain monster something does happen.
Usually there are quite a series of victories over the ape-man until life is so purified that nothing happens any longer.
But then the ape-man comes again, and that time you cannot kill him.
The trouble is that no general prescription is possible. In certain cases, one has to say: now kill it, just stamp it out.
In another case, quite the contrary. Therefore I give no advice at all.
Mr. Schmitz: That fit of sickness perhaps meant that in his case it would have been better to be a little more masculine; instead of killing it, to go to the grandmother.
Dr. Jung: Well, he could not choose to do that, it would be a case of necessity as it is with our dreamer.
He has tried practically all means of dealing with his problem, and in such a case there is nothing to do but to go to the mother.
Like Faust-he couldn’t kill Mephistopheles, and he had to go to the mothers to seek rebirth.
Mr. Schmitz: If he had tried to kill him, it would have been wrong perhaps?
Dr. Jung: If he had been Mr. Smith or Mr. Jones, he might have been allowed to kill the devil. But not Faust.
There are many unimportant people who are obliged to kill the devil, but it could have no value at all in such cases.
In this case, our dreamer had to deal with the problem of the ape-man.
He could not kill him, and the situation was such that the great-grandmother had to come up.
Now what is that great-grandmother?
Dr. Schlegel: The whole past of humanity.
Dr. Jung: Yes, in a way, But why not the great-grandfather?-is he not also the whole past?
Miss Bianchi: She is Mother Nature.
Dr. Jung: But why Mother Nature?
Dr. Schlegel: Because man must yield to her. If it were the father, he would not yield.
Dr. Jung: Why not? If I were in such a situation, I would not run to the mother, but if there were a nice old father, I should go to him perhaps.
Mr. Schmitz: He is bound to the paternal principle, and here is a moment where the male principle no longer helps; he must go to the female principle. I believe that is the reason why the man I spoke of was ill.
He should not have killed the wild man.
He should have gone to the female principle.
Dr. Jung: That is perfectly true.
And this is the case of a man who has used up all the masculine means at his disposition.
You often find that in mythology.
If a man does not know how to solve his problem, he turns to the witch, as Saul in the Old Testament turned to the witch of Endor.
In the Wagner legend, it was Wotan and Erda.
There are many other examples in mythology where men had to go back to women’s advice.
A very good case is in L’fle des pingouins, which I have quoted several times, where all the great Fathers in Heaven could not decide about the baptism of the penguins, and finally they had to call in St. Catharine and ask her what she thought about it, and she decided it very nicely.
So here, it is obviously a case which cannot be decided by the masculine mind, and therefore Mother Nature, the great-grandmother, as a last resort has to be called in, and she is very old and very young.
like eternal nature.
She appears to him as a mystical revelation out of the trance of the boy.
When childishness appears and ekstasis begins, then nature comes in to speak the last word.
But now something exceedingly important happens, the ape-man springs upon her to violate her. What does that mean?
Mrs. Baynes: He won’t have her compete with his authority. They are naturally two antagonistic forces, and if he possibly can, he will subjugate her.
Dr. Jung: But the ape-man-nature-and the great-grandmother are not antagonistic.
Mrs. Baynes: But I thought, considering the position this man was in, that the great-grandmother would have to cope with the ape-man. I mean, she could not co-operate with him.
Dr. Jung: The unconscious, it is true, reveals the great-grandmother at this moment with the idea of doing something really helpful, but it is not a bit sure whether one’s conscious would feel it as that. Sometimes the solution of a problem is something that one would consider far from helpful.
Therefore I ask: why should the ape-man not jump on Mother Nature? Is that wrong necessarily?
Mrs. Baynes: In this particular case, I should think it was very wrong.
Mr. Schmitz: He does it, of course, in a very primitive and violent way, but symbolically he must take possession of Nature. Mrs. Baynes: But the great-grandmother is not going to have it, so that shows that she doesn’t think it a good idea.
Dr. Jung: You hold opposite points of view. What are you going to do about it?
Mrs. Baynes: Mr. Schmitz is all theoretical, but I have on my side the great-grandmother who jumped out of the window!
Dr. Draper: ls there an implication of the Osiris myth here, with the figure of the great-grandmother in this case as Isis?
Dr. Jung: You are quite right, it is a complete analogy.
The apeman would fill the role of Set.
In contradistinction to all the other Egyptian gods, Osiris was a god-man, he was supposed to have lived on earth like a man, and his fate was the typical fate of the sacrificed god, like Christ, Attis, etc.
He was dismembered by Set, the Egyptian devil, who usually appeared in the form of a black pig, utterly despicable and evil, a pig that lived in the mud.
The left eye of Osiris was blinded because he had seen Set-that was enough to blind one.
The famous motif of the eye of Horus comes in here, which is a very important symbol in Egypt; Horus sacrificed one of his eyes for his father Osiris.
Unfortunately the tradition in that respect is quite deficient, we don’t know the whole myth.
The Catholic Church has justified that cycle of myths as a dogmatic precursor of the Christ myth, because they could not deny the extraordinary analogy.
It is the eternal problem of man, the typical situation in which man has found himself millions of times, and therefore it was expressed in a current myth.
And the value of the myth in those days was that it was a sort of recipe, a medical prescription what to do in case of trouble.
In old Egypt, when someone was in such a typical condition, the medical man, the priest, would read the corresponding chapter from the collection of myths in order to effect a cure, so it had a very practical therapeutic value.
For instance, if a man was bitten by a snake, they read the particular legend of Isis, how she prepared a poisonous worm and laid it on the path of Ra-or Osiris-in order to sting him, so he was lamed
and very sick.
And they had to call in Mother Isis again to cure him,
Because they had no other means; as she had prepared the poison, she also knew how to heal him; Mother Isis spoke the true word and the god was healed.
He was not, however, as strong as he had been, as people are apt to feel rotten after a snake-bite.
That was Egyptian medicine, and we still have something like it.
People go to a doctor just to have an opinion.
That is very typical of Americans; one must only utter an opinion and they believe.
A doctor says: “He is suffering from a catatonic form of schizophrenia,” and the Americans believe that something has happened he has said it!
The patient tells all his symptoms, and the doctor says, “Yes, it is so,” and gives names to his trouble, and so he assimilates it to the conscious of the patient; he lifts it out of the sphere of pain and anguish and uncertainty into the sphere of contemplation.
He reads out a certain chapter of the legend or the hymn, or makes some other incantation about it.
Thus he brings up an archetypal image of eternal and universal truth, and that evocation has a peculiar influence upon the unconscious.
It is like the effect of music on a company of soldiers after a long march; they may be quite tired and demoralized and don’t want to walk any farther, but then the music starts in and the whole thing comes
into motion again.
Our dreamer is now in despair, as primitive people are when they are ill; if they do not receive a moral kick, they let themselves drop and fade away, and they get such a kick out of certain incantations because that mobilizes the forces of the collective unconscious.
Therefore, exactly as it is in the Osiris legend, or the poisoning of the sun-god when the great mother Isis comes in to heal him, here comes in a great-grandmother.
And that is simply Nature-Nature as it is, with no moral considerations at all.
You see, that is the position of masculine psychology.
I don’t know whether women will agree with me, but a man is convinced that the real standpoint of woman is amoral.
He is fundamentally convinced of that, no matter what women have attained or to what they aspire.
I personally hear a great deal about moral considerations from them, they talk of it because they do not believe in it!
So when a man comes to the end, he appeals to that amoral female principle.
Having no morality, she is in federation with the devil and knows what to do in such a case.
I remember a most respectable lady doctor who was concerned with a typical case and did not know what to do about it.
A very distinguished gentleman, quite well known, founded a dairy for poor people during the war.
He had appointed two young girls to run it, and became interested in one of them and even fell in love with her.
He was a married man, highly respectable, and it dawned upon him that he was up against a conflict, but he had no psychology for the situation.
So he went to the lady doctor and asked her advice, and she didn’t know what to do in such a delicate case either, so she asked me.
I said: “Could his lordship perhaps inform his wife?” “Of course,” she said, “but how do you know that?
You must be a very wicked man to know that!”
Moral considerations right away! But that is exactly what a man thinks; when Isis-Mother Nature-comes in, he fears a hell of a trick, something terribly evil and doubtful.
Now that is the mythological situation.
A man would feel exactly as Ra did when Isis was called in, for of course Ra knew who had made that poisonous worm and naturally he mistrusted such a doctor.
So one could expect such a reaction here.
Obviously the ape-man has not purely friendly intentions.
If she understood his action as particularly nice behaviour, she would not jump out of the window, so we must assume that it is not very welcome to her; she finds it somewhat rash perhaps and prefers to withdraw.
Therefore we must conclude that the behaviour of the ape-man is not very clever.
He obviously frightens Mother Nature very badly so she cannot fulfil the helpful role.
Even though it was Nature that got our dreamer into such trouble, she might have known a means, a counter poison to help the man, but after that interference of the ape-man, she can do nothing, the help she might have brought cannot come off.
Now we should understand why the ape-man is jumping on her.
It is quite obvious in the dream that he gets sexually excited and that explains his action.
But how do you understand that?-a thing that upsets the helpful purposes of the unconscious, the healing properties of the archetype.
What if Set had suddenly felt attracted and jumped on Mother Isis, for instance?
In Faust, the devil is attracted by the nice little angel-boys.
Mr. Holdsworth: You. said just now that when a man murders his wife, he first cohabits with her. In this dream do you think the man is ashamed of the unconscious appeal of the great-grandmother
and so he wants to kill her?
Dr. Jung: That would be right if we were certain that the apeman was making a murderous attack upon her, but that is not the case. He is obviously attracted by her sexually, and anger is not mentioned, so we have no evidence for such a conjecture.
Prof Eaton: Is it not the ape-man himself who has to be regenerated through Isis?-and naturally he would be sexually attracted by her, because he himself is going to be made over.
Dr. Jung: Yes, the ape-man has been generated by just that poisonous worm, and when he sees Mother Isis, he wants to enter her again.
It is a sort of incest. It is as if the worm that Isis made wanted to return into her.
That is like primitive magic: the primitives hold that when someone with magic influence wants to commit murder, for instance, he sends out a sort of magic projectile which kills the victim; but then it returns, and if the sorcerer is not very careful it will kill him too.
The magic effect always returns, according to primitive ideas.
And that is a psychological fact; a fascination or magic effect only takes place if the person who causes it is a victim himself.
If you are just moderately angry, if you say something rather nasty to the other fellow but in a controlled way, then it has only a surface effect.
But if you are overcome by your own anger, made sick by it, then through contagion mentale you arouse the same condition in him.
The thing that the primitives are most afraid of is arousing the anger of the medicine-man, for that has a most destructive effect on every living thing through unconscious contagion; but it only takes place if the magician himself is under the effects.
There is a case of magic influence in a book called Black Laughter by Powys, an Englishman, about a sorcerer whose hut had been burnt down.
It is based upon the fact that as long as one feels that one’s opponent controls his emotion, it is not so dangerous, but if it is really uncontrolled, anything might happen, and one is afraid.
Then it reaches you as nothing else does; nothing is so contagious as uncontrolled emotion; it is almost unsurmountable, it just grips one.
For instance, if everybody is laughing like mad in an uncontrolled way, one is almost obliged to join in. One sees that very clearly in children and primitives.
Here the magic effect plays a great role.
Mother Isis has generated the ape-man and produced that whole conflict, and now the upset reaches a certain culmination, and the mother comes back in order to cure the trouble.
She sent out the projectile and to her it returns, and that means terrible danger because it might kill her.
Therefore she jumps out of the window.
She has to do what the primitive sorcerer does-jump aside when the projectile comes back.
He is all the time afraid of ghosts and spells and magic factors, and Mother Nature is working with just such desperate means; she also is the victim of returning projectiles.
Of course, that is primitive psychology, that is mythology, but how does it feel in the dreamer himself?
You see, he is in a way the primitive man, but when you say to such a person that there is a very natural solution, he says: But one cannot afford to behave like that.
The dreamer tries to be very respectable and repress the whole problem, and then nature works and works so that he cannot deny it any longer.
Then the ape-man breaks loose, and in comes Mother Nature and there is the very devil to pay.
If he says: “That is my nature!-! am the monkey-man!” then nature escapes or nature is destroyed; something happens which should not happen.
Now what would be the result if the dreamer were to identify with the ape-man?
You see, the dream shows how much he is afraid of it, and yet how great the temptation is to do just that.
Mr. Schmitz: His life would be destroyed.
Dr. Jung: Yes, he would lose all his civilized values, his moral and philosophical values.
He would no longer be a conscious rational man, he would fall down into the mud and lose himself entirely.
Well, that is exactly what modern nature has produced, that is the eternal paradox.
Nature has obviously not only two, but many sides, and it is quite possible that one side destroys another.
We might say that she is an equal mixture of construction and destruction; she is not only a kind and generous mother, she is also a beast.
She produces not only lovely plants and flowers and animals, but also the hellish parasites which feed upon them.
So here is the helpful side of nature which would be destroyed if the other side were allowed to jump on it, and here obviously something must interfere to help the situation.
Is there any hint in the dream to show how this problem could be solved?
The great-grandmother goes to the police, and then comes the danger of the artillery, and ~~tnen ~the photograph:er appears wno saves tne wnolecollection oC pictures which he has taken of that scene.
That seems to be the solution.
But the main point that we must make clear today is the attack on the great-grandmother.
It is by no means easy to formulate, because the psychological concept of nature is as paradoxical as Mother Isis in the myth-almost revoltingly paradoxical.
Picture Mother Isis, that treacherous hell of a woman, fixing the poison worm for her husband to step on, and then coming in as saviour, while he is the damned fool in the whole game.
That is revolting but that is nature.
Nature has produced the problem of our dreamer and nature is meant to cure it.
But if nature comes in, he will misunderstand it in the way the ape-man misunderstands it, he will assume: here is complete freedom for the ape-man.
That is the eternal mistake.
You have heard of the mistake of the eleven thousand virgins.
There is a little something repressed, perhaps; naturally nature has something to say, so they become neurotic and go to the doctor.
And he says: You should live, that is all repressed sex, you should have a friend or you should marry.
So if the girl is in the position of having the right kind of parents, they take the thing in hand and put her in the marriage box.
But then there is a hell of a trouble, and it does not work at all.
People say it is repressed nature and they solve it on the cow-bull level, forgetting that they have to do with a human being.
That other is done in stables. A man on that level will think: Oh, well, any woman will do.
And then he will wonder afterwards, because he is confronted with all the civilized values he has attained and he has completely lost his self-esteem.
Provided he understands this, our dreamer will reflect about what he is doing.
He cannot merely live, he has tried it and sees that it did not work. ~Carl Jung, Dream Analysis Seminar, Pages 672-689