Seminar on Children’s Dreams Lecture I (Winter Term 1936/37)
Papers and Commentaries on Dreams of Two Children
- DREAMS OF A BOY ABOUT NINE YEARS OLD
- Dream of the Three Young Women Presented by Dr. Markus Fierz
Text: I had a dream: From the street one could go down into a strange store. Richard and I went down. Three young women sat at a small table behind the counter. They gave us red sticks that we didn’t have to pay for: like sealing-wax that one could smoke. So we put them into our mouths and started to smoke. Then I staggered out of the store; I’d gotten all dizzy and sick.
Dr. Fierz: I structured the dream as follows:
- Beginning and locale: This is the part of the dream until the mentioning of the three young women.
- Development: The handing over of the red sticks.
- Peripateia: The smoking.
- Lysis: Staggering out, dizziness, nausea.
The locale: The street is the world of collective consciousness.
What happens there is common and normal. Now, from the street it goes down into a strange store. This store is called strange, and so deserves our attention. A store is a place for exchanging goods: for money, one gets some goods that one doesn’t have. Usually, these goods are not manufactured at the store itself, but the store acts as an intermediary between customer and manufacturer.
As this store is below street level, underground, it can be conceived as the location where goods, that is, contents of the unconscious, are traded.
Therefore, I wouldn’t like to simply identify this store with the unconscious.
The store table is called a counter; the young women sit at a small table.
A counter is reminiscent of a place where people eat and drink, a tavern or a bar.
There adults enjoy inebriating beverages—with effects similar to those in our boy.
The analogous place for a child would be a candy shop, where one can eat sweets in excess.
Persons: Richard, the friend, can be conceived as a double, as a shadow of the dreamer.
I also find it essential, however, that such company in this adventure indicates the common, harmless nature, the collectivity of this experience.
It also relieves the dreamer of his responsibility, following the principle: “Not me, he too” (I wasn’t the only one, the other was there too!).
Three young women sit in the store.
Putting them in analogy with the three Fates (Moirae), they are a new manifestation of the “iron woman” of a previous dream.
To understand it, the parallel with Hekate seems particularly important.
This goddess appears in three forms; she is triformis. Professor Jung: That the “iron woman” signifies fate allows us to assume that the three women—exactly because of the trinity—could have a similar meaning.
The number three is also “numinous,” a synonymous attribute.
The motif of the scissors in the previous dream, together with “Fate,” points toward the three Fates.
In this connection the figure of Hekate triformis also seems to be of importance.
Dr. Fierz: She opens and closes the underworld, for which she has the key. So this fits with the store, because in our view it represents an access to the unconscious. Her animal is the dog; let me remind you of the dream of the dog. The sacrifices offered to her were fishes; in the preceding dream, the fishing giants played the main role. Now, there are three shrines from antiquity that were dedicated to Hekate, at the same time being temples of Priapus—who is an ithyphallic river god.
Professor Jung: Even today, in Egypt, Priapus figures are put up as scarecrows in the fields.
Such a symbol was embedded in the St. Alban Schwibbogen in Basle.
In Nuremberg, too, there is such a curbstone, on the Dürer house near the city gate.
Dr. Fierz: Diana Luna Hekate: this is the old equation. So let us have a look at Diana (Artemis) too. Although virginal, she was a goddess who helped to give birth. Horace says: “Montium custos nemorumque, virgo! Quae laborantes utero paellas ter vocata adimisque leto, diva triformis!” In Sparta, the most infamous phallic cults of antiquity were dedicated to her. With these materials, one may also interpret the sticks of sealing wax as phallic symbols. Putting those into the mouth and smoking them can then be conceived as coitus.
Professor Jung: Even if the sealing wax sticks didn’t have a sexual meaning from the start, one could be led to the same assumption from the mythological context.
Dr. Fierz: Something similar is true for the number three. Here one would also have to mention the Graeae, the three of whom have only one eye and one tooth (female and male genitalia). Worthy of consideration as a further parallel are also the three ladies in the Magic Flute (Mozart) who, as we know, hand over the magic flute and the
enchantingly beautiful picture to the young man The Magic Flute will protect you,
Will support you during greatest bad fortune, Through it you will deal all-powerfully,
To transform the suffering of humankind.
The sad will become joyous, The old bachelor is captured by love;
Oh, such a flute is
Worth more than gold and crowns,
For through it human happiness
And contentment will be increased.
The three ladies of the Magic Flute are servants of the Queen of the Night; they appear as huntresses and can justly be equated, therefore, with Diana.
The Magic Flute also shows further curious parallels to our dream series: persecution by the snake; the bird-catcher; the three ladies; and fire and baptism with water—these are the images of the libretto.
In the dream series, this corresponds to the persecution by the dog; the fisherman; the three ladies; the fire in the hospital; and water.
As to the smoking: “Be a man, smoke cheroots and cigars!” is a well-known advertising line.
Smoking is, or has at least been considered for a long time, as specifically male: “The German woman does not smoke!”
The fact that what is smoked here are sticks of sealing wax, or better, sticks that look like these, shows that this is no normal smoking after all, rather we would interpret it as a specifically male activity, as procreation.
This is linked with strong emotions, as strong unconscious instincts are unleashed.
The bout of dizziness, the staggering, and the nausea are consequences of being overpowered by the unconscious.
Summary: In this dream the boy is being acquainted with the strange power of sexuality by a significant goddess (Anima).
Professor Jung: The boy is here being initiated, for the first time, into sexuality, through women of a mythological nature who replace the mother.
Procreation, however, is here still in the stage of nibbling sweets. It corresponds to the nutritive stage of the libido.
Sexuality is still unconscious and makes itself felt only indirectly, in a way that is typical of the unconscious, through nausea, dizziness, and staggering.
The parallel with Hekate is quite valid.
But why are there exactly three young women?—When a trinity appears, this means that a fateful point has been reached, that something unavoidable will therefore happen.
The three Nornes, the Fates, or the Graeae appear.
The triads of Gods play a great role everywhere, for example: Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva. Osiris, too, is in the womb together with his two sisters Isis and Nephthys; so are the two brothers Jagannat and Balaram with their sister Subhadra.
The triad goes back so far in antiquity that it is difficult to make out something definite about it.
One of the most probable structures is “father, mother, son.”
The Christian trinity is in all likelihood originally based on such symbolism.
The Holy Spirit was originally female.
The symbol of the Spiritus Sanctus is the dove, the animal of the goddess of love.
Another probable origin is the very basic and quite graphic anatomical triad of the organ of procreation.
The transformation into a divine triad is affirmed, for example, by the lingam cult.
That we are indeed dealing with these things is also shown by the fact that the Graeae have one tooth and one eye.
This motif is also found in German fairy tales, as for instance in the tale of the three
spinners: one has a big thumb, the second a big lower lip, and the third a big toe.
The Graeae are goddesses of the underworld out of the darkest reaches of mythology.
It is possible that such archaic images are here involved, for we have to view this one tooth as an exquisitely phallic symbol and the eye as the corresponding female symbol.
In the dream text it says that the boys put those sticks into the mouth.
Undoubtedly, this is a sexual allusion, with the mouth representing the female organ.
The simultaneous appearance of the male and the female organ is an archetype, that of constant cohabitation.
Another aspect of this same type is the hermaphrodite or according to Winthuis, the bisexual being [Zweigeschlechterwesen].
Regarding the book by Winthuis, Das Zweigeschlechterwesen, I’d like to remark that I don’t completely agree with it.
Winthuis makes too much out of that motif, but he is right in his main idea that there
is a certain basic idea present in very many archaic images, namely, the idea of a being that fertilizes itself, that is male-female, that carries within itself the guarantee of its ongoing existence, of its own eternity; and that each human being originally feels identical with this archaic being, or hopes to become one again with this being by initiation.
Many ornaments and art symbols of primitive nature likely go back to this.
It is a curious fact that these images also appear in a place where I wouldn’t have suspected them, that is, in alchemy.
The basic symbol is the dragon biting into its own tail, the ouroboros.
The alchemists knew that the “tail eater” is a sexual symbol: ouroboros fertilizes itself.
Similarly, Ptah is the creator of his own egg that he also hatches.
He is the one who creates himself.
The phoenix rises again from his own, or from his father’s, ashes.
All these are images of a being that recreates itself again and again.
It is the dragon that impregnates itself, with the phallic tail that he takes into the mouth, “se ipsum impregnat.”
Ra, the sun god, fertilized himself through the mouth with his own semen, and then vomited the world.
The inside of his body would thus have been the uterus that he fertilized.
He reproduced the world as a creature.
As a consequence, most of the cosmogonic archaic beings are hermaphrodite.
This is connected with the fact that man, from the dawn of history, has had a notion of his double gender.
As a matter of fact and truth, we are of double gender, because only the greater part of the male genes decides whether the embryo becomes a male.
The female genes do not die away in the male, but are there in his structure, and function according to their femaleness.
This accounts for the peculiar fact that in certain men we can perceive certain female
traits that correspond to the feminine ideal (and vice versa, male traits in women).
There are persons who boast of their bisexuality because it is an archetype: “I carry Eve in me, so I am a god.”
God has His wife in him.
In India, goddesses are only the feminine form of a masculine god: Shiva is a point or a phallus, and it is enveloped by Shakti:
The active existence of these and similar archetypes in the unconscious of the child can, under special circumstances, give rise to “perversities.”
The children then do strange, disgusting things that, however, carry a symbolic meaning.
For they display a too orderly behavior on the one hand, and a too dirty one on the other.
A nine year-old boy, for example, eats a toad, because it disgusts him; a four year-old child from the city eats excrement on a meadow.
A child from the countryside would never do that.
Only very well brought up city kids do such things.
The motive for such activities is the unconscious search for the original unity.
One should rather not call them perversities, but educational mistakes that often balance out later.
This archaic image, therefore, leads not only to the most strange, painful, disgusting forms of satisfaction, but also acts as protection, for instance in persons who pick their noses, or who “copulate” with a fountain pen in the mouth.
These things are only used as protection: one makes a ring with oneself.
In fertilizing oneself one proves that one is absolutely round, the perfect round archaic being (the sphairos of Empedocles).
Nothing can touch it any longer.
The archaic being was once cut in two by the Demiurge.
The two parts are, however, one and the same being (Plato, Timaeus).
At the end of the dream there comes that strange drunkenness.
It refers to the fact that the unconscious gets out of hand and emerges.
It corresponds to the phenomenon of seasickness.
sick is the feeling of disgust that is connected with this bout of nausea.
In pathological cases, precisely those disgusting things have to be done to
What is disgusting is the unacceptable “other.”
When children are able to incorporate it, they will become inaccessible by this, meaning that they have attained “divine” independence.
The mentally ill, too, act in a way similar to the children.
This gives them a feeling of independence and of being cut off emotionally.
They make themselves inaccessible by incorporating the disgusting object.
The most unappetizing stuff is in the balms and magic potions of the medicine man.
When one takes them, one has incorporated the disgusting object and is then immune.
The first infantile autoerotism should not be viewed as immoral, but should be tolerated.
It shows itself in attempts at self-fertilization in order to transform oneself; these then give way to attempts to fertilize others.
Under the guise of caring concern, children are pushed toward masturbation and the like by educators.
For it is completely wrong when children get marked with conscious sexuality by adults
touching these things.
The dream just discussed is a case of an anticipation of puberty.
The number three belongs to the juvenile age and to the early days of humanity.
Being an odd number, it has been male since primeval times (for instance in China or Greece, but also see the Middle Ages in our region), and it points toward the male attribute and its function.
The speculations about the symbolism of numbers in the Middle Ages were concerned with the number three, the Ternarium, as a divine trinity.
Nonetheless, the connections with the primitive sexual image are clearly discernible.
Like any archetype, the triad or the Ternarium can be represented either primitively by sexual images, or philosophically by abstract notions.
An archetype is neither abstract nor concrete.
It can express itself in primitive “instinctual language” (for instance, sexually) or “spiritually.”
One can replace the other, just as sexual terminology can be replaced by a nutritional one.
The Song of Songs, for example, drastically bears witness to this.
This archetype in itself is plain “three-ness,” which can be filled with any content.
- Dream of the Burning Clinic Presented by Professor Jung
Text: This night I dreamed that there suddenly was a fire at the clinic Hirslanden, in the basement, coming from the heating.
We wanted to go down the stairs near the elevator for goods, but the staircase unexpectedly broke off.
We took the elevator to go up, but could no longer fetch the beds from the first floor, where the little kids are.
They must have got them out through the windows.
Professor Jung: The location of the plot is the clinic Hirslanden.
The child had been there as a patient.
The place where one is cared for often takes on a motherly meaning, in a figurative sense.
One gets a personal relationship with it, more or less as to a mother.
It then contains some directly personal quality.
A house where one is psychically and physically cared for, where one is caressed, becomes an extension of the family web.
So the clinic Hirslanden can become a dream figure for the boy and his psychology, which is situated in it.
In the case of neurotic children, the new environment is brought into relation to the mother.
The school, the church, and the like, become the mother in a too personal sense.
Through this, she grows out of proportion within the child.
The relationship to the real mother becomes impossible, because the child makes outrageous demands on her.
This is, as such, already a neurotic situation, namely, the well-known neurotic demand placed on a person that he or she should be everything to one.
Once such a demand is made, relationships no longer work.
This happens quite often; as soon as one makes the acquaintance of a person, all hell breaks loose.
One has made that person a part of one’s psychological sphere, and he becomes a pawn on one’s psychological chess board, until he complains or a misunderstanding arises.
That is why one often keeps people at arm’s length, because otherwise one would simply become a psychological object in their psyches.
Something unconscious settles down on one; one is included in a family matter, meaning one has to embody a father, a grandfather, or whoever.
This can be very bothersome.
As to our dream: a fire starts in the basement, originating from the heating.
The basement is the underworld, the abdomen of the boy.
In there is the heating, the stomach, the digestive system.
This produces heat.
From this area of heating the fire starts, threatening to destroy the whole system, to burn down the clinic Hirslanden.
The breaking out of a fire—as, for instance, in the phrase Feuer im Dach—stands for an emotional outbreak that threatens to mess up the whole psychical system. Here there is an emotion coming up from down below.
Here we could possibly also consider a preoccupation with sexual questions.
Es überläuft einen siedend heiß, when one is seized by a thought as by fire.
One blushes when one becomes aware of certain things.
Often one is caught in an embarrassing situation, or one notices, for example, that an idea leads further than one had thought.
The boy goes down. The staircase breaks off. He can’t go into the basement.
The elevator only goes up.
He can’t save the little children on the first floor. The little children are in danger.
At the time of the dream, the boy was still at the clinic.
If one is restrained in a place in a too infantile state, the unconscious will have a tendency to destroy that place.
On the one hand, the hospital should burn down, as one doesn’t want to be so infantile any longer.
On the other hand, one has sympathy for the little kid, that is to say with one’s own
childlike quality, and one hopes that this quality will be saved.
- A School Dream Presented by Dr. Pitsch
Text: I’ve had a “school dream.”
One morning I spilled Indian ink in school—no, it was ink—the sleeves of my pullover and the shirt were all full of it.
I had to take off the pullover; a band-aid was stuck all over the shirt.
I then went home with Ehrhard—we made a detour and came to a stable; it was pitch dark.
led up at the side, but it was so dark that I didn’t find the first step. Ehrhard knew this stable well.
Now a man entered with a dog, and the wall changed into a glass wall, there were vegetables and flowers behind it, and a lot of people shopping.
Ehrhard went home, and so did I.
When I ran past, upward, near the locksmith S., I saw a father with two boys in a garden; they wanted to make a well.
They drove a post into the ground.
Suddenly I realized that I didn’t have a coat; I was cold and ran back to get it.
All of a sudden there appears the image of Gl. [the former place of residence], the upper part near the Strenger Bach. Regula Z. comes. I ask her how late it is. Regula doesn’t know, she doesn’t have a watch. Then Ellen comes, and she’s got a wristwatch; in the beginning it’s very small, but then it suddenly gets so big that it has to be carried. Ellen says the time is half three. Then I quickly ran home. When I sat at the table—suddenly it was again the table in Z. [the present place of residence]—I wanted to start telling something, and said two strange names, like in the “Thousand and One Nights”; I wanted to say I’m one of them, and—finished—I woke up!
Dr. Pitsch: The dream can be divided into the following sequences:
- the scene in the school; 2. the scene with Ehrhard in the stable; 3. the man with the dog and the transformation; 4. the father with the boys who make a well; 5. the scene in Gl. with the two girls; 6. The scene in Z. at the table at home.
The dream begins with: “I’ve had a school dream.”
Actually this dream taken as a whole is a dream of school or apprenticeship.
The actual content is: the dreamer spilled ink; originally he says Indian ink, and then corrects this to ink.
The difference between Indian and ordinary ink is that the former, the writing material of the Far East, is blacker than ordinary ink, which is not as black and can, with some
effort, be removed again.
This is a kind of moderation, a subtle nuance.
The sleeves of the pullover and the shirt are full of it.
A dark spot developed that certainly has to be connected with a certain guilt feeling, owing to the fact that sexual processes and sin are only too often mentioned in one breath.
The dreamer has to take off the pullover.
In Swiss German one says:
Es hett eim d’r Ärmel ine gno, that is, that one has had bad luck,
which is partly one’s own fault. A band-aid is stuck all over the shirt.
Perhaps this is about sexual events of later puberty. Think of night emissions of sperm.
There is certainly a relation between the ink, the sticky shirt, and sexual processes in the present dream.
The dreamer is burdened with a certain guilt feeling.
The abovementioned topic is taboo.
It is not stated explicitly if he goes on walking without the pullover, but this seems to be confirmed when he is suddenly cold and looks for his coat.
In any case, taking off the pullover means giving up a part of oneself, specifically, of a particularly warm cover.
Such a cover can perhaps be seen as a mother symbol.
The boy entering the years of puberty will have more and more to live his own, increasingly manly, life.
Now he wants to go home with Ehrhard. Ehrhard, presumably a friend of his, is all one with the dreamer, his alter ego.
But they do not go home directly, as one should, but make a detour. Boys often
make detours, much to the chagrin of their upset parents.
and investigative spirit let them often forget that there is a table set and waiting for them at home.
I know the dreamer and I know that coming home on time is not really his forte.
He is not one of the so-called well-behaved boys, he’s a real boy.
As it is, the school of life is always a detour.
How much is there
that we strive for, and that we reach only by detours!
They come to a stable, in which it is pitch dark.
This dark stable is the same as the dark forest, the caves, the “john,” very attractive places for boys, and places that stimulate fantasy to the highest degree.
There are stairs leading up at the side, presumably inside the stable.
The dreamer does not find the first step, however, but Ehrhard easily does.
This stands for the instinctual aspect that finds the right way even in the darkness of the stable, that is, the unconscious.
In reality, too, they are completely different types.
In my view, Ehrhard seems to be the more balanced one.
The motif of the first step still has to be considered.
It presumably represents the first step from childhood to the growing personality.
This step has to be made in darkness.
It is best made unguided, naturally.
In the healthy child one should let this develop more or less without interference.
If one introduces something artificial, the first step will not be found.
Then comes the man with the dog. “Through the mind of the dog
the world exists,” it says in the Vendidad, the oldest part of the Zendavesta.
Since primeval times, man has been unthinkable without the dog, and this all over the world.
Brehm says: “Man and dog complement each other a hundred and thousand times over, man and dog are the most faithful of comrades.
No single other animal in the whole world is more worthy of man’s friendship and love than the dog.
He is part of man himself, and indispensable for his thriving and well-being.”
“The dog,” says Friedrich Cuvier, “is the most remarkable, perfect, and useful conquest that man has ever made.”
Descending from the jackals or wolves, the dog has truly become “brother animal” to us; he just lacks language to become a fully adequate replacement for many a human comrade.
I have spent much time with animals.
Often the clever, questioning eyes of a dog have made me retract a stupidity or an idea, or to get off my self-made little throne.
My dog is always part of my own personality.
He knows his master’s language, he observes the master’s finest movements, he knows when his master is sad or glad or when he is in a bad mood.
He rejoices and mourns with his master.
I have observed that old dogs assume the posture and the facial features of their masters, and vice versa.
As a lover of dogs, I may say that the dog is a part of man, a kind of shadow.
Many famous persons are entities only with their dogs, for instance, Frederick the Great with his Bichée, Prince Bülow with his poodle, Bismarck with his mastiff.
There are less famous examples: the retired neighbor with his pinscher, or the drunkard whose equally shabby mutt accompanies his master from one pub to another.
So, in the present dream man and dog belong to each other.
In mythology, the dog has outstanding responsibilities.
I refer to the work of Professor Jung, Transformations and Symbols of the Libido.
The dog is the gravedigger who disposes of the bodies, as happened in ancient times in Persia.
There it was also customary to lead a dog to the bed of a dying person who then had to grant the dog a bite, presumably to appease him so that he spared his body.
Cerberus, too, is calmed by the honey cake of Heracles.
In the Mithras reliefs, a dog jumps up on the killed bull.
Cerberus is the guardian between life and death.
Anubis with the jackal head helps Isis to gather the dismembered and scattered body of Osiris, so that he can be incorporated by Osiris and reborn.
The dog helps with dying, and consequently also helps with rebirth. In the present case, a man comes with a dog, and their appearance causes a transformation.
Unity, agreement, and evenness can work wonders.
Man and dog stand for a harmonious unit between man and animal, that is, between consciousness and less consciousness, to put it cautiously.
Strangely enough, by the way, one often speaks about human characteristics while meaning animal ones.
In this man-dog pair the unconscious (the consciously domesticated dog) is, so to speak, bound, and so the miracle can happen.
What was dark and opaque is suddenly seen through; a glass wall appears, and with it brightness, light.
The boy looks through the window like a yearning child pressing his nose to a shop window.
Already once, the dreamer was in a store in a dream, in a shop below street level, where he then got sick because of smoking the wax sticks.
Here he is separated from the store by the glass; he looks in, but quite reasonably
he himself is not yet in there, presumably he needn’t buy anything yet. He sees many people buying vegetables and flowers.
The transformation took place before his eyes.
It was the dog, the helper
in dying and being reborn, who caused this—from the unconscious to consciousness.
Out of the eternal cycle of nature, products of the earth emerged before the dreamer—once he saw in a dream a transparent mouse, a microcosm within the macrocosm; now he sees creation, a synthesis.
Our body, decomposing after death, serves again to create beauty, usefulness, and the products of the earth and so, again, life.
Darkness, the first step, has been overcome.
It further says: “Ehrhard goes home, and so do I.”
That means they separate.
The dreamer is in a hurry, because he runs past the house of the locksmith S. Locksmith and smithy represent archetypal symbols that, for adults, could stand for a regression but, for the boy, are rather the “black man” or the bogeyman.
Then higher regions are reached.
But very soon there is again something to be seen.
Three persons—a father and two boys, so to speak a Laocoön group without snakes—want to bore a well.
We have already talked about the number three.
Notice the ambiguity of the expression in the dream text: “They wanted to make a well.” “They drove a post into the ground.”
Here we are dealing with a phallic symbol, as in the sealing-wax sticks.
The “male” is incorporated into Mother Earth. This creates a source, a well.
Similar ideas are frequent in mythology.
Wotan, Baldur, and Charles the Great let sources flow in this way.
A blow with a rod—or a horse’s hoof—makes the ground yield water.
A saint puts a branch into the ground, Pegasus made the Heliconian hippukrene with a hoofbeat.
Rhea created a source in Arcadia with a staff, as did Moses for the thirsty Israelites.
In Old High German, source is called Unsparing, which means something jumping or bubbling out.
The staff makes something bubble out.
So the dreamer is seeing the act of procreation in symbolic language.
But now he has eaten from the tree of knowledge and knows that he is “naked.”
He gets a fright, and he is cold. He shudders at reality. He has to go get his coat.
Again he puts a warming maternal cover around himself, and promptly goes through an abaissement du niveau mental: all of a sudden he is at the place where he lived in earlier childhood, in Gl. at the “Raging Brook,” where untamed water, still uninhibited, not yet having become a more or less large river, bubbles over stones.
There Regula and Ellen, who would actually have to be at the present home, come toward him.
Thoma would not have been able to depict “yearning,” in his beautiful picture of the same name, by the body of a woman.
Woman is more related to Mother Earth than man is.
She floats much less in higher spheres.
So these girls are the animas that have to bring back the boy as a consequence of his outing.
He also asks them for the time.
I know Regula and Ellen, two sisters, rather well.
Regula is corpulent, phlegmatic, slow, sleepy, also always comes late; Ellen is the opposite: sharp, always ready, quick, and perhaps less likeable than Regula.
Two completely different temperaments.
Asked for the time by the dreamer, Regula has no watch.
Ellen does have one, however, a special one that gets bigger and bigger, so that one “has to carry” it, meaning, presumably, that one has to hold it in one’s hands.
If in a dream something gets bigger to the point of unnaturalness, one should pay particular attention to this symbol.
The clock is man’s memento of the flow of all time.
It transmits the structure of the day and, with that, our tasks.
One says: “You will know it when the bell tolls for you.”
The so impressively swollen watch in the dream says: it is half three.
To his fright, one of the animas makes him realize that the time is half three.
Both girls show him, however, that he should actually be in Z.
The number half three is not easy to interpret, if we do not simply see it in a concrete way, as the actual hour it stands for.
The symbolism of numbers is something special.
I refer to the article by Professor Jung, Beitrag zur Zahlensymbolik.
One often does not succeed in getting to the bottom of the numbers appearing in a dream.
Frequently, one sees the most obvious thing only at the very end, and needs the most detailed knowledge about the dreamer’s environment for a more exact interpretation.
An example: In a dream in which traveling and a train station played a role, the numbers 2.10 and 2.30 appeared.
An attempt to break down these numbers in all possible ways failed.
Only later was it found out that 2.10 was the phone number of the local train station,
and 2.30 the phone number of the inn The Three Kings.
The connection could be established.
The dreamer did not consciously know these numbers.
It fits in with the previous dream, however, that the dreamer had failed—as often before—to appear for lunch.
So he runs home quickly, that is to say, guiltily.
Everything experienced so far pathetically collapses, for he has to take his place at home at the table, which is the father’s table, meaningful insofar as one cannot move away from it as long as one is young, not yet grown up, and dependent.
So now he would like to give an account of his experiences at that table, to his probably not all too pleased parents, presumably to distract them—something that’s just like him.
He can’t quite utter something intelligible, however, but just a kind of a slip of the tongue.
Only two names out of A Thousand and One Nights come to his mind, names so strange as to fascinate him.
But he finds it preferable to keep them to himself; otherwise, he could make a fool of himself.
Perhaps he identifies with Aladdin, perhaps as a consolation that a little good-for-nothing can still become a king.
In most of the stories in A Thousand and One Nights there is eventually a happy end.
Partly the dreamer is ashamed, partly he consoles himself.
I want to try to bring some structured coherence into this dream by means of a curve. [See the illustration.]
After the school and the ink blot, there is a lowering of the niveau mental.
The man and the dog have to help to raise it again so that everything becomes “transparent” again.
Then again there is a lowering, through the father with the two boys.
The dreamer needs a coat und seeks shelter in a previous place of his childhood.
There the animas tell him how late it is, and where he really belongs.
Professor Jung: Indian ink blots happen inadvertently.
This is about something dark, opaque, for which one might also get punished.
It is about the secret of puberty that was already then announcing itself.
That is normal, but naturally it is an anticipation.
Band-aid: This dream can no longer be explained quite as well with the help of archaic material.
This material is replaced by personal relations with the environment.
These are normal phenomena that are to be expected, and that occur regularly.
The boy is of an age in which the archaic world of mythical conditions gradually subsides, and the figures begin to get contaminated with those figures whom we meet in everyday life.
Those three young women are now replaced by less archaic figures, namely, by these two girls.
The “three-ness” of the young woman now blended into something male, the father plus two boys.
The two-ness as a “female,” even number is more appropriate for the girls.
And after the dream of the clinic Hirslanden, in which the little children, childhood, could no longer be saved, there now follows a dream about the personal relationship to the environment.
And that is why we would actually need the personal associations of the dreamer.
One could really ask him about them, and for a thorough analysis of the dream we would actually be forced to let the boy himself speak.
In the case of the dream of an adult, we actually ought not to proceed this way, that is, to bring it in parallel with archaic material only; with the one exception when we are dealing with a so-called great, that is mythological, dream, to which people
very often have no associations at all.
The band-aid, for instance, is a very modern image.
It probably means that which sticks, it could be that which sticks something on something.
The dreamer still has too few personal experiences, he is still too little; but he knows about using a band-aid on a wound.
The sticking, something that adheres to one, and that one cannot easily get off again, would also refer to the blots.
These refer, as mentioned by the speaker, to the sexual sphere.
As to young Ehrhard, with whom he experiences the adventures: here again one would have to know which kind of boy this is.
The role in the dream seems to point to a perhaps somehow more balanced, more grown-up personality.
In any case, we can presume that the dreamer projects a leader, an ideal, onto his friend.
In every school class there is usually one leader.
He is the one for fights, and so on.
It’s always someone who shows off; he’s always one for the show.
These leader figures regularly appear in dreams and fantasies, similarly in the case of girls.
You wouldn’t put anything past those figures, anything you yourself would never presume, or have presumed, to do; this is the soil from which rumor epidemics arise, in which everything imaginable is attributed to these heroes.
I assume that the boy Ehrhard plays such a role.
He is the figure within the dreamer who is already a bit more grown-up and mature, who is already “in the know.”
This Ehrhard is about one to two years older than the dreamer (information from the mother).
We always have to be aware of the fact that children also contain a future personality within themselves, the being that they will be in the following years.
The experiences of the coming years are, so to speak, there already, but only unconsciously, as they have not yet been made.
The children already live in a tomorrow, only they are not aware of it.
This figure exists in potentia, naturally in a projected form.
This is quite distinctly so in pathological cases, linked to the fact that these persons remain below their level, below the line.
They are living a couple of years behind themselves: a twenty-year-old behaves, in consciousness, like a fifteen-year-old.
In this case, the second personality is nevertheless already present, has even been lived, but unconsciously.
Such people then cling to a more mature personality in their environment, attach themselves, so as not to be forced to live their own maturity.
This is a neurotic condition.
In the case of children, the imitation of a role model is normal and quite all right.
Children cannot yet be truly original; they are not yet mature personalities, they still have to search tentatively for the ways of life.
They do it by taking hold of the hand of the leading person.
So it is all right for children until the age of twenty to have their ideal figures.
Later, it becomes more difficult.
In certain cases pathological inadequacies may develop.
But given that most people are immature and lack independence, it is good for them to have leaders.
As to the interpretation of the stable: A relation to Christ, born in the stable, seems to be a bit far-fetched.
This motif, the birth amidst ox and donkey, means: being born in the world of animals, low as animals.
Nativity has taken place in a cave, and this cave in Bethlehem is still being visited.
Even today people partly live in caves together with their animals.
This is an extraordinarily archaic place, reaching far back into human history.
The cave is the most original of all places to live.
The savior is born amidst the animals.
This symbolism recurs at the end of the life of Christ: the thieves, here again the lowest of all men, among whom he dies.
It is also the lowest of all births: an illegitimate birth.
This, however, is the most meaningful: the low, sad human life, beginning in lowness and ending in lowness, as the highest possible symbol.
It means: remember that you came from the stable, from the world of animals.
There is a (possibly Gnostic) bust called sotér kosmú, the savior of the world; it exists in a double form, sotér, the savior, and the phallus.
Our development begins in the unconscious.
If we do not realize this, we forget that we are descended from the animal world.
Then we will imagine that we live in a two-dimensional world without depth, the newspaper world for instance, or the paper world.
The body is an animal, our body soul an animal soul. One must not forget this.
This is the great difficulty: that we have to reach, from the completely unconscious animal soul, the stairs on which we can ascend to the heights.
The Pueblo Indians have a mythical image for this: in the development of mankind, one cave on top of the other has to be reached.
We are descendants of cave dwellers.
There is within us an immortal memory of the time in the cave world.
The dark blots of Indian ink are those dark memories of the cave world, in which one was unconscious.
The inevitable inner growth of the animal soul creates the big, dark spots in human life: “To earth, this weary earth, ye bring us, To guilt ye let us heedless go.”
It is quite necessary to ascend from this unconsciousness.
The boy/leader Ehrhard shows the way up; then things become transparent.
The glass wall appears.
The glass wall is a typical symbol, one often comes across it.
One needs this image when one is emotionally separated from the object.
You can look through it, but nothing else passes through it.
One is cut off from contact.
This means that the dreamer is now separated from that underworld store, where he got the sealing-wax sticks from the Fates.
It is the idea that now there exists a wall between him and the mythological archaic world.
He sees flowers and vegetables.
Flowers usually stand for emotions, while vegetables play with erotic innuendo.
In the stable an adult has to enter as the leader: the man and the dog. He is the master of the dog, which obeys him.
The unconscious is correctly integrated.
The man, accompanied by the dog, is a unity, just like horse and rider.
The man is consciousness, the dog obeys him, or the horse carries him.
This is the ideal solution in the relationship toward the animal unconscious.
In Persia, the dog is the companion of the dead.
To give it bread is a ceremony: one gives it bread instead of the body, meaning, don’t
tear me apart, don’t tear my soul apart, but guide it to the destination through the desert of Hades.
Anubis, the Egyptian jackal god, helped Isis to gather the pieces of Osiris.
This jackal is a son of Osiris and Nephtys. Isis and Nephtys are characterologically separated.
Isis is the beneficial goddess of vegetation.
Nephtys is identical to Hathor; her later form is Venus/Aphrodite.
She has one doubtful aspect; therefore, she is not the wife of Osiris, but the wife of Osiris’s evil brother, Set or Typhon, who also represents the shadow of Osiris.
Due to a little misunderstanding, Nephtys became pregnant from Osiris.
The jackal god was the son: brother dog is thus a descendant from the gods.
Symbolically speaking, he came from the liaison of consciousness with the unconscious—even with the unfavorable side of the unconscious.
Nobody, therefore, has a good relation to his unconscious if he cannot impregnate the dark.
This is actually possible only through a misunderstanding. Something to meditate on!
The locksmith: he really stands for the smith.
He is a magic figure; the black man dealing with the fire, the evil one who knows how to
do it; the sorcerer, the medicine man, the enigmatic man working in the underworld, practising secret arts. He often stands for the devil.
The father with the two boys: here it is quite useful to think of Laocoön and his two sons.
Laocoön dared to come too close to the sea—the unconscious—and was gripped by it, in the form of a snake.
In sexual, primitive terms: the male is captivated by the female (coitus); abstractly speaking: the unconscious overpowers consciousness.
The essential point is the number three, here as in the further course of the dream, the time “half three.”
This could mean: it is not yet quite three o’clock, there is still a half hour left until then.
All over the world the number three has a male meaning; this is in connection with male anatomy.
The number three is not yet complete; there is no ripe fruit yet, no sexual maturity.
The post bringing forth a well: this is the motif of boring a well, conceived of as an act of impregnation.
This is a parallel to the numerous traditions of fertilizing a field, of the phallic plow, the fertility gods who should fertilize the fields.
Priapus too was simply a post of fig wood.
He is the ithyphallic Hermes, simply represented by a wooden post.
He also exists already in megalithic form, because the menhir too has a phallic meaning.
It makes us shiver to sense connections that point far into the future.
These insights are “shivery,” they cause a feeling of coldness.
A cold wind is said to always blow before the appearance of ghosts: “Sharp spirit-fangs press from the north.”
A cold, ghostly draft is always a concomitant of a being that essentially has no body.
When we are mentally taken by somebody into a region where we no longer feel at home, we speak of “ice-cold heights of the intellect,” or about him, “a cold person.”
Whenever something is taken too far, we at once have the idea of coldness.
When we can no longer humanly empathize with something, we get cold and sad at heart.
So when we have an idea we cannot yet grasp, we sense a shivery draft; we are instinctively afraid of new ideas that somehow go too far, because instantly there is the fear of being driven insane by them.
And with the fear there also comes the coldness.
A cold shiver runs down our spine, and our hands and feet are cold.
This feeling makes our dreamer put his coat on.
What makes him shiver is the realization or the view of a future in which he himself is
not yet present.
The coat is a protective cover giving him warmth.
Wrapping himself into the coat corresponds to going back to a warm, safe place where one still is surrounded by the feminine and the motherly.
The motherly is represented by the two sisters, Regula and Ellen.
Here again we have the Osiris situation!
In the dream, the two girls are different, that is, opposites (information from the parents), with compensatory differences, as is often the case in sisters.
We have already talked about the contrast between Isis and Nephtys, the two sisters of Osiris.
The two girls have a watch, and this watch is getting big and heavy.
Heavy is gravis, meaning that something is serious, a difficult matter.
“This is a weighty issue”: such figures of speech convey important relationships.
The watch swells.
Reducing this to its sexual meaning, one
may interpret this as early sensations of intumescence.
However, this is also an image describing how an unimportant matter becomes “weighty” (similarly Faust: “It’s growing in my hand! It shines and glows!”).
In the Christophorus legend the little child gradually becomes too heavy for the giant, because he is carrying the king of the universe.
Similarly, in a legend of the Mahabharata the (unrecognized) Hanuman makes himself so heavy that not even a god can lift him.
What makes the watch so heavy?
It is the problem of time; it is a problem that becomes important in the course of time.
The two girls are the two anima figures (Osiris myth).
It is the anima, split into a positive, active side, and a more negative, passive side.
The watch is in possession of the anima.
This watch is something that looks very far ahead: it is the watch we carry within ourselves, the Self.
It is the iron wheel, the machine of fate. Just a tiny wristwatch!
But it tells the time that the whole fate carries in its womb.
It is a mandala and represents the dynamism of fate, it is heaven’s watch, the zodiac, the twelve signs standing for the houses in the sky.
Therein fate is inscribed.
Men have been convinced of this since time immemorial.
These two anima figures carry fate.
They are impersonations of the unconscious that holds our own peculiar fate.
Woman is man’s fate.
Otherwise he is suspended in the air and has no roots.
Woman is always the bearer of fate; the woman to whom a man is bound is his
fate, she makes him take root in the earth.
It is from this world, then, that a foreboding of his fate approaches the boy.
The girl will be fate for him; something unforeseeable, improbable, ungraspable. He wants to tell about that, he happens onto A Thousand and One Nights, “Contes des Fées,” age-old stories.
This points back to the impression he received from the watch and from the girl as anima.
These are mythological themes, a faint impression of something long gone.
In Goethe’s poem Erlking, the king tries to lure the soul of a boy away from his real father, to become a playmate for his own daughters!
In the end, he takes it with force.
Those mythological themes also pull the dreamer back from reality.
He therefore has to tell “fairy tales” to get away from this.
That’s quite similar to the glass wall!
He even no longer knows the names of those people.
Presumably, the two names only refer to the two girls.
The real name, however, is the real innermost nature as it is given in the unconscious in its totality already at birth.
But it is also the watch, because the human character is determined by the point of
time of birth.
This is a wonderful thing, just as a wine specialist knows when and where a wine is “born.”
This tiny watch is his fate, developing out of the course of time; it seems to be light at first, only to become unbearably heavy in the end.
We ourselves are our fate, as Seni says to Wallenstein: “In your bosom are the stars of your fate.”
The Self revealing itself in time is represented by the instrument that determines time and fate, the watch.
As a mandala, the circle also expresses the deity unfolding in space.
Hence the circle metaphor of St. Augustine for the deity: “God is a circle whose center is everywhere, and whose periphery nowhere.”
The archetype of the circle, the mandala, means concentration on a midpoint, meaning either the Self, the deity, or both simultaneously, for example, “Atman.”
- DREAMS OF AN EIGHT- TO NINE-YEAR-OLD GIRL
- Dream of the Lion, the Bread, and the Magic Mirror Presented by Margret Sachs
Text: I went into the forest, then a lion came. I wasn’t afraid of the lion, I wanted to stroke him and ride on him.
But I fell off. Then he ate me up, and I was dead.
Now my mommy came and took me on her arm.
She went home with me and laid me on the bed.
Then I discovered a magic mirror in the pocket of my apron, which I turned toward myself, and then I woke up again; I had enchanted myself.
I had also put a spell on the whole house, and there was a store down stairs, and everything was completely different now.
The people walked all slanting, me too, and I kept thinking I’d fall over, but I didn’t.
I went and got a loaf of bread in the store, and the woman said: “You have to hold on to the bread.”
But I let the bread fall, and then many worms came out of it.
Now she had to give me another loaf of bread, and then I walked up the narrow staircase and fell over myself.
There was a hole in the stairs; I stuck the bread into the hole (I don’t know why), threw the money away, and brought Mommy a couple of stones.
She was angry with me and beat me with a switch. Then I woke up.
Additions, context, and fantasies associated with the dream:
In the mirror, I saw, for instance, a burning house and people running out of the house; but they were very small people: little men, women, and kids.
On the other side of the mirror there stands a tree, and a kind of string and a head are tied to it; a head like a skull, with four things like horns or legs protruding from it, no eyes, just holes, no nose, everything decayed, just teeth, and that scared me.
Then the magic mirror turned its light toward me, and I had to throw up.
Then I climbed up the tree and I clung to the skull; then my legs and arms fell down, and also the body, but then the legs and arms came up again, only the body stayed down.
(In the Wesemlin church such arms and legs hang in the chapel, what is that?)
Mrs. Sachs: The dream is of a girl eight-and-a-half years old.
In the year she had the dream she had to repeat the second grade.
The teacher complains about insufficient results, absent-mindedness, and superficiality. Her intelligence is—according to tests—quite adequate for her age.
The girl comes from a lower-middle-class background, and has three brothers.
The mother claims that she has not been able to get the girl to help in the household at all for a half year or so.
The dream is long and seems very complicated.
In a work of Professor Jung we read: When there are a couple of scenes in one dream, each of the scenes usually shows a specific variant of dealing with a complex.
This seems to be the case here too.
As to the individual motives:
The forest: it is the unknown, the dark, the place of danger where the mysterious happens, as in fairy tales.
Forest also means a place of transition and passage into another life: in the Divine Comedy, for instance, the Selva del Tevere stands before the gate to the Inferno, and
the Divina Foresta at the end of the Purgatorio and as a passage to the Paradiso.
For the girl this might possibly mean the transition into the age of puberty, or rather prepuberty.
The lion: it is the mightiest and most powerful animal; as a symbol for power, it is often used as a heraldic animal (the British lion, the Lion of Judah).
The constellation of Leo is the constellation of the greatest summer heat and symbol of the most powerful desire.
According to Steinthal, Simson kills the sun god, the zodiacal image of the August heat, the lion that devastates the herd.
According to a Rosicrucian fable (in the article by Silberer), then Myste has to tame the lion.
In the Mithras cult, the lion symbolizes the fire; the fourth grade in initiation is the lion grade.
The officiants, says a Church Father, roared like lions.
As the libido appears here theriomorphically, it represents animal sexuality.
The zodiac of Leo is thought of as domicilium solis, and “the libido is justly called sun,” as we read in Symbols and Transformations of the Libido.
Alone in the dark forest, the child encounters a tremendous force, the lion, the fire, the libido.
After the fact she says she was not scared by it, she wanted to stroke it and ride on it, but then fell off after all and it devoured her.
She wanted to tame, to direct, the powerful force. But she is defeated and devoured.
Her mother comes, takes her into her arms, and at home gently tucks her into bed.
This could be a sign of regression; she is absolutely helpless.
The mother’s arms—after all, the greatest comfort and security for the child—do not have the desired effect.
The child has to bring herself to life with the help of a magic mirror.
Doesn’t this show that the child’s soul has already made the step away from the security and comfort in the mother and her home, and that she is no longer in that participation mystique, as one might assume?
It is this point that lets us also assume that the child does not dream the conscious or unconscious problems of the parent.
So the question remains: Are we dealing with the child’s own problem, or with a general human difficulty?
The magic mirror: In a mirror you do not see your true image, but a deceptive one.
With the mirror, the girl charms herself into an unreal world, a fantasy world.
She herself and the whole environment are transformed by this charm.
One goes slanting, not straight, moves on an inclined plane, is uncertain, has lost orientation.
This seems to illustrate her situation at the moment, in which she is superficial, unreliable, and inefficient, at school as well as at home.
As the people around her are charmed too, this could be about a conflict concerning all human beings.
Bread means, in the language of symbols, the nurturing substance, the body that is sacrificed.
Think of the shewbreads in the Temple of David, of the Holy Communion in the Christian Church.
We read in Symbols and Transformations of the Libido that, once the libido has
regressed to a presexual stage, one might expect the nutritional function and its symbols—such as the bread—to replace the sexual function.
According to Freud, this would be a regression to the oral phase.
Sexuality would thus be moved to the stage of presexuality, where nutrition plays a great role.
She fetches the bread down in the store and lets it fall despite the woman’s warnings; then many worms crawl out of it.
Worms live on something rotten; they are lower life forms, they do not possess a cerebrospinal nerve system.
With the second loaf of bread, she tries to climb the stairs, to bring it to her mother.
Climbing up the stairs may mean the attempt to come to a higher form of consciousness.
The hole: the dreamer throws the bread and the money into a hole in the stairs. With that, she throws the bread—a symbol for life and the “sacred body”—away, into a hole, into darkness.
According to Pausanias, there was a sacred room in Athens, in the Temenos of Gaia.
In the floor there was a foot-wide crack, and it was said that after the flood in the times of Deucalion the water flowed into it.
Each year, wheat flour kneaded with honey was thrown into this crack, presumably as a sacrifice to ward off a new flood.
At the Arrhethophoria festivals,59 too, little loaves of bread in the form of phalluses and snakes were thrown into a crevice.
In Rome, money was sacrificed into a former crevice, the Lacus Curtius.
This crevice could be closed only through the sacrificial death of Curtius;60 as a typical hero, he traveled into the underworld and thus saved the city of Rome from destruction.
Also at the Asklepieias an offering was thrown into a hole in which a snake was said to dwell;
To throw the bread into a hole could thus represent a soothing
charm, a sacrifice.
Heracles, too, placated Cerberus with a honey cake.
The disappointments the girl brings to her mother—and probably
also the teacher—could not have been depicted more clearly than by her bringing stones instead of bread.
Now follow fantasies about the reverse side of the mirror, in part additions to the dream.
As it is not possible to question a child of this age for many exact details, it is not so easy to distinguish the one from
The girl should neither be upset nor feel important and interesting.
The burning house and the little people saving themselves again indicate a state of panic, of dissolution and need.
The reverse side of the mirror bears the symbol of death.
Sarah Bernhard had a skeleton standing in her boudoir, in whose chest a mirror was set.
This may be due to the whims of a theatrical actress; in a child, however, this juxtaposition of death and life has an extremely disconcerting effect and can be understood only if the layer of her consciousness and her personal unconscious is penetrated until the collective unconscious is reached.
A similar juxtaposition of death and life can be found in the following part, in which a skull hangs from a green, living tree.
The girl gets sick from the light of the magic mirror and has to vomit.
Realizing that a spell was put on her makes her lose her sense of security; she clings to the skull despite her fear of it, and she wishes death would come as a salvation and a way out.
Since arms and legs come up again, and only the body stays down, it could be thought that she wants to be relieved from the body in particular.
What is meant here is the abdomen, where the unconscious and the uncontrollable emotions reside. Here, too, it becomes clear once again that the symbol of death—like any other symbol—allows for two interpretations.
In the analytical sense, the skull means dying; in the hermeneutic one, salvation.
We feel it may be justified to assume that this problem is not a conscious problem of the infantile soul, but rather a general one that finds expression in this dream: the fight of the spirit against physical matter, the longing of the creature to be saved from the bonds of the flesh, the fight of the higher against the lower powers.
In the arts, the most striking expression of this motif is Rodin’s female Centaur.
She stretches her upper body forward, she reaches forward with her arms with an immense longing, and one senses her ardent wish to be completely freed of her animal body.
The artist’s intuition and the dream of the 8-year-old child speak the same language, as both of them take their images from the collective unconscious.
An association experiment made with the dreamer—with an average mean reaction time of 2.6 seconds—registers rather strong reactions that could point to the beginning of a neurosis.
To the stimulus word to sin she reacts with death, and explains that she thought of mortal sin in this context.
Four weeks after the dream, the child has no recollections of it whatsoever; it was completely eradicated from her consciousness, which in itself could point to the fact that it emanated from the deepest unconscious.
Professor Jung: The dream begins as follows: “I went into the forest,” meaning, I went into my darkness, where anything that cannot be explained comes from. It could also have been still water—running water has a different meaning—or a labyrinth, a cave or the basement, the dark space of the house, the dark attic, the toilet.
For this is the place of fantasy; there creative work is done.
There are children who cannot defecate without fantasizing.
In the case of adults suffering from constipation, it is sometimes necessary to stir up again the fantasies that alone make them able to defecate.
In Kundalini yoga, Muladhara (Sanskrit, literally: root support) is the lowest chakra.
The Perineal chakra is situated in the hypogastrium (lower abdomen), the so-called cloacal zone.
There the kundalini lives in her lotus.
She is the creative fantasy par excellence.
So going into the forest, to the dark place, means concentration on those regions of the body that belong precisely there, in this darkness.
A gloomy, evil darkness, filled with fantasies.
And now there comes a lion, the devouring monster. This is the instinctual life.
The child is 8 years old, already in prepuberty.
If a cathexis with libido happens here, a phenomenon of prepuberty may appear in the form of an immature sexual instinct, or this may happen in the form of a flooding with fantasies that only later in puberty will become actual sexual fantasies.
The lion is a kind of fantasy that grasps and completely devours the child. All the images in this dream go back to primal situations.
In former times, the woods were really full of danger zones. Robbers were in it.
In dreams, the forest is the uncanny place, which is filled with the projections of fantasy: Pan, witches, wild hunters, Rübezahl, or any other delusion spreading panic-stricken fright.
The dreamer is 8 years old. Between eight and nine years of age, the transition toward ego consciousness takes place.
The child frees herself from the closest ties to the familial milieu.
She already has experienced a part of reality.
The libido that had been tied to the parents is decathected, often introverted, goes into the unconscious, and arranges something there.
As to the lion: it is the king, the mighty instinctual energy, the fiery principle, the heat of the sun, desire.
In royal coats of arms it stands for great courage, strength, and power.
The deus leontocephalus is the god of time.
He appears at the climax of the zodiacal circle, at the end of July and the beginning of August. He stands for fire.
The lion is also the symbol of Mark the Evangelist and of St. Hieronymus.
Most often it is depicted as the animal supporting the pillars of portals, the pulpit, or the font.
This lion, as a Christian symbol, is the sign for domesticated paganism and is meant to stand for the power of heathen Rome.
That is why the lion is the bearer of the pillar of the church.
The constellation of the Lion is the domicilium solis.
In the Mithras cult there were underground grottos, for example, at the Saalburg near Frankfurt-on-Main.
In these mythraeums, most often there stood a strange statue near the altar, a man’s figure with a lion’s head, with a snake coiled around it that laid its head on that of the lion.
This is the deus leontocephalus, that is, Aion, meaning infinitely long time, the god of time who combines the opposites.
This is an old Persian image. In the north, the bear appears instead of the lion.
Originally these probably were animal masks.
In antiquity, in the Mithras cult one even went so far as to imitate the voices of animals.It was believed that the god would hear better something roared in the voice of an animal; or one whistled and clacked one’s tongue to attract him.
His animal attribute was thought to listen more to that.
This goes back to the fact that the gods were originally conceived as animals.
Another conception, that of god as a bird, is still found in Christendom: the dove of the Holy Spirit, corresponding to the feminine aspect of the Holy Spirit in early Christendom.
In the so-called Acts of St. Thomas, the Holy Spirit is simply the feminine side of the deity, the Woman God.
The lion is always goal oriented, a directed fire.
When a lion attacks, it always runs toward its target in a direct line.
It is, by the way, always interesting to know about the natural character of animals.
Whenever animals appear in dreams, read Brehm!
Our forebears knew even more about the life of animals. 71
The Rosicrucian conception of overcoming the lion is that of overcoming the instincts. In alchemical tracts there are descriptions of how the lion’s paws are chopped off.
In the Mithras cult, as well as in The Epic of Gilgamesh, it is the bull that is overcome.
In our dream the lion embodies an instinctual force that the girl does not have under control.
We know only that she is overwhelmed by something instinctual, stronger than she is, by an instinctual force that is represented by a feared beast of prey.
She is the victim of an animal instinct.
The child then acquires a psychology that would no longer be appropriate for her age, but for an animal.
She regresses to an animal-like being.
The lion means all-consuming fire; that is why it is the symbol for the heat in August that burns all the vegetation.
So the child comes into a state of inexorable desire.
The desire will also play a role later on.
Examples of such states are when the Malaysians go berserk or run amok.
The Maenads, those raving women, tear up young goats and eat them raw in Dionysian orgies.
The Indian goddess Kali has got teeth like a wild animal; she has drunk wine and blood and is dripping with blood and grease.
She is a raving lioness.
In most pictorial images, she is riding on a lion, or goes over the bodies of her male victims.
When she went into a fury, her husband Shiva was called.
He lay down among the bodies of her victims; she then came to him and recognized him, thus coming to her senses.
The consequence of the regression in this child was that she could not concentrate.
Regressing adults, too, can’t concentrate, but revert to a primitive state.
Similarly, primitives, or civilized persons who stay primitive, cannot concentrate.
We also understand why the child wants to ride on the lion: this is the backside.74
But then she fell off, that is, she falls down into those regions where one is completely being driven, loses consciousness, and is devoured by fantasies.
In primitives, this phenomenon leads to various measures of precaution out of fear of such emotional states.
The same may happen in the case of adults when they have all too lively fantasies or embarrassing ideas.
They fear those fantasies because they easily fall victim to them.
That is why one avoids speaking about certain things or thinking of something particular—because then one can be robbed of one’s soul or devoured by the fantasies.
When this happens to the child, it becomes clear that she can no longer follow in school or is superficial; her interest is occupied by an overpowering fantasy production.
Her interest vanishes and her achievements become unsatisfactory.
So here comes a well-known solution: when you are in this passive and vulnerable situation, you have to call in sick.
You are paralyzed; someone has to take care of you.
If an adult happens to be devoured, he eventually has to call the doctor, so that the latter may carry him on his back, or accompany him and play the roles of mother
and father, until he has found himself again.
In our dream, this happens when the mother brings the girl home and lays her down in her bed.
The bed is the place of shelter and care.
Now this is precisely the opposite of the situation at the beginning of the dream: originally the child wants to stroke the lion, just in the way little kids do.
She has started to play with her own force.
It is possible to lose consciousness to a certain extent during play, and then to become identical to this play. So this is also dangerous.
We can, for instance, see that when primitives perform dances: eventually they become identical to their roles.
In play, the child becomes unconscious with the lion, and identical to it.
This means that she wants to assimilate the instinctual forces.
The center of the ego has to be equipped with the instinctual forces.
This, however, entails the dangers of the rapacious animal, namely, being devoured by it.
The same happens in the dream: what the mother takes home is precisely the child devoured by the lion.
The child has turned into a little lion, she has become an invisible lion child.
We find such ideas also in primitives: in some South American tribes, the humans turn into parrots.
Although they don’t look like parrots, they feel like parrots.
A new situation arises out of this transmutation: in some way or another the child is bewitched.
But now she discovers that she has got a little magic mirror, and it is in the pocket of her apron.
This is a very suspicious place; we must not overlook this.
This is the place where children keep all sorts of things.
Boys have pockets in their trousers, girls in their aprons.
In our case this means: this is the pocket that the girl has within her own body, again that region of the Muladhara, that region from where certain fantasies come forward. She can change reality with that strange little magic mirror, and she can change it at will. She can use witchcraft, she can cast a spell.
This is a favorite idea of children, to change the world according to their own wishes.
In this case, there is no magic wand, but rather a magic mirror.
She holds it in front of herself; seeing herself in it, she herself is also immediately bewitched and so, at the same time, is the whole world.
It is a knowing mirror, as in the fairy tale of Snow White.
The ancient Greeks, too, found the mirror, when it appeared in a dream, uncanny.
It meant the death of a person; this is so because the image one sees in the mirror is one’s own double.
It is the Ka of the Egyptians. It is an image of the soul.
That is why the primitives do not want to be photographed, out of fear that their double, their soul image, be taken away from them, thus causing a loss of soul.
Seeing one’s own double means death.
Narcissus sees his image and drowns in it.
The student from Prague, who sells his own reflection to the devil, no longer has any image, that is, the soul has left the body, and this means disaster.
We find the same problem in Chamisso’s Peter Schlemihl, about a man who does not cast a shadow, and in Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray.
The mirror has a murderous effect.
A magic used by the Aztecs consisted in filling a bowl with water, and then putting a knife into it.
Then they had the person whom they wanted to harm look into his mirror image in this water.
He would be killed by this, because there is a knife in his mirror image.
So we see that the mirror in this dream is a highly charged symbol, seized on by the child in a natural way in order to perform the magic of awakening on herself.
Originally, the child was kind of ill, overwhelmed by the fantasy, and had lost her identity with herself.
The mirror brings one’s own image in which one can recognize oneself.
Here, therefore, a mirror is needed to reestablish her own identity.
I had a patient who once asked me for a mirror. She had forgotten hers.
At first I thought that she wanted to check her hairdo.
But she said: “I am all confused, and cannot start speaking unless I know again how I look.”
The mirror in the dream stems from Muladhara, the dark instinctual region.
Now if I am able to contemplate that region I regain a feeling of myself, I again know who I am.
As it is, the loss of one’s own self consists in turning a bodily factual reality into a fantasy system.
Then one reverts to bodily reality to prove to oneself who one is.
People often fool themselves, thinking they are this or that, in any case someone different from who they really are, because they forget about their bodies.
Like isolated ghosts, they live in their fantasy and forgot that they are real, bodily persons.
But then the uncomfortable consequences show.
Although the dreamer had considered her bodily sphere—to reestablish her self—her self-knowledge shows her how slantingly she is standing.
But all the other people are also slanting, meaning she is seeing everything lopsided.
The house is different, everything has become different.
There is a store down in the house, there’s coming and going, all the people rush in.
It is like on the street, one has a chat; a store has been opened, and anything can go into it.
This is an inundation from below.
Down there everything is now coming in, the whole environment; and it’s just so for all the other people.
In spreading herself over the whole world, the whole word is also entering into her.
Introjection and projection: I am all of them, I have them all in me.
Driven by instinct, one has become universal.
If someone is blinded by instinct, he naively supposes that all the others will view things the same way he does.
This also plays a role in the psychology of love.
The man supposes that the woman would like the same things that he does.
The disaster of the whole world stems from the fact that people think that others have the same psychology they do.
When we are within an emotion, in an instinctual state, we are no longer able to account for other people’s condition.
We are radiating our state onto the others. This affects them.
Nothing is as contagious as emotion.
Every emotion is an outward motion.
One leaves one’s house and blends with the others outside.
This brings about a psychology that is characterized by instinct, and causes a projection that makes it appear as if the whole world were in this state, too.
This is a very uncomfortable situation, it is the thickening of the plot.
A peripateia has to take place.
The peripateia comes in the second part of the dream: she buys a loaf of bread in the store, and worms come out of it; she falls on the staircase with the second loaf of bread, and it falls into a hole; she throws the money away.
She brings stones instead of bread to her mother, and is beaten for it.
Presumably, this dream has to give insight into the child’s actual situation.
There is something malicious in it.
She deceives her mother and gets a beating for it: so this is the solution.
Where does she get the bread from? Down in the store, in the underworld, in the instinctual world, in which she is identical with the whole world. What is this bread?
A loaf of bread is a body. Body consciousness is being gotten from the instinctual sphere.
This is understandable: she gets a consciousness of the body from there.
Nature has intended that many animals initially limit themselves to eating, and only then develop sexual organs, for example, the butterflies: before, as caterpillars, they only eat; as butterflies they are nearly completely a function of sexuality.
So here we are dealing with a displacement from the instinctual sphere to the presexual stage of the feeding instinct.
This is a step backward, a typical occurrence in the transformation of natural instinctual energy into the so-called mental processes.
The natural instinct would flow only into sexuality.
But if it is to become spiritual, it has to transform itself backward, so to speak, to the presexual level, that is, to the original nutritional form.
That is why we find the symbolism of nutrition in the mysteries of transformation [Wandlungsmysterien].
The dreamer is still a child.
Given this dream, it can be supposed that her fantasy world is sending out feelers to sexuality, and because the sexuality is still completely unconscious, a corresponding unconsciousness in the head ensues.
The stage of nutrition, however, was experienced consciously.
So when the instinctual state is deflected into nutrition, it is actually reshaped into something conscious, something known.
She does not yet know the sexual instinct and its gratification, but she does know hunger and eating.
A creative person, who is plagued by completely new and, therefore, difficult states, goes back to a time when he was helpless, back to his mother who nurses him.
Or, he will talk about things he has already experienced before.
He will remember that things are like they used to be, when he painted this or that, or wrote poems.
That is not true, however, as now something new is happening, but he is looking for an
analogy, and through this analogy he can save himself into consciousness.
The caterpillar, which has become a larva in the pupa, is in a state of which it is not aware.
It does not know that it will become a butterfly, it can only make use of the memories of the caterpillar stage.
We always have to dock onto something conscious to reach a new state of consciousness.
You need stairs. There is no direct way from the unconscious to consciousness.
So this is why the whole problem, in the dream, is transformed into eating.
The new instinctual state wants to say: remember eating!
It is a different, but known form of instinctual gratification.
Hunger, too, and what should feed us, can be brought into connection with the instinctual core.
But now something unpleasant happens.
The hunger instinct should keep her on that level.
The bread, however, falls down and dissolves into worms.
This bread, which she buys in the store, is hollow within and rotten.
It cannot be used as it already contains, and covers up, live contents—fantasies—that belong to the sympathetic nervous system.
The presexual state is already hollowed out within.
There is an early awakening of a new stage.
Now she has to go and get a new load of bread.
She has to go up the stairs with it, that is, with her original body consciousness.
This time she falls down. Also, there is a hole in the stairs.
This simply means: just as her ascent had previously been made impossible by the fact that the bread contained worms, she is now again hindered by something, and is pulled downward to that unconscious instinctual state.
The money, too, is thrown away.
Money is libido, the possibility to buy bread, also sweets; it is disposable libido.
This possibility too is abandoned.
This attempt to gain consciousness only leads to her giving away the possibility of getting another loaf of bread, and also giving away the fetched one, thus relinquishing a bit of consciousness, coming home in a new state that just earns her a beating.
At a Later Meeting of the Seminar
Professor Jung: Let us go through the dream once again, step by step, as there is much more contained in it.
Let’s remember: Why does the girl have a little magic mirror?
By using a magic mirror one is removed into a mythological situation.
One comes into an inflation.
The situation in an inflation is like riding in a balloon.
It ascends, and we feel the ground fall from beneath our feet.
We feel unreal, dizzy, too light, gaseous.
We lose touch with reality, are governed by the unconscious, no longer feel our weight, and lose orientation in space.
In our dream it says: the people walk around slanting in the room.
Whenever the unconscious reaches a certain level of intensity, there are feelings of dizziness or outright symptoms of seasickness, a feeling of the ground surging.
The moving surface of the water represents the unconscious.
In such situations, people feel as if they stood on ship planks on rough seas, or were lifted into the air by the wind.
Even vertigo, nausea, palpitations, and vomiting occur.
It is, in those cases, as if we had lost the physical, lost the body.
Then we have to cling to the physical and descend into the body.
Now in this dream the girl has to go down into the store and get the loaf of bread there.
The physical is expressed by this nutritional motif.
She has to descend to that nutritional level because of the inflation.
She goes down, so to speak, into her own belly.
As to the woman in the store: She tells the dreamer to take care and not let the bread fall.
She is the older, more experienced one, the mother; not the real mother, but rather the archetype of the mother (she is the counterpart to the “wise old man,” the imago of the father).
She is a witch, the “old woman,” the earth, Erda, earth goddess.
She is the old one who gives good advice.
In the course of development, the archetype first stays with the real mother, or with the father.
The unconscious, however, seeks to sever the parental figure from the archetype to make one understand that the idea—the archetype—and the natural mother are not identical.
This leads to the reconstruction of an archetypal world, in which I am not the son of
my natural mother, but of the archetype “mother.”
This is a kind of magic world, of a world of gods or a spiritual world, and as this does
exist, and as this has always been so, men have always talked about two kinds of reality: one that we see with our eyes and touch with our hands, and one that cannot be experienced with our senses.
Here two different principles show.
The Aristotelian will say: the archetypes are ideas derived from the experience with real fathers and mothers.
The Platonist will say: fathers and mothers have only come into existence out of the archetypes, as those are the primal images, the preimages of the manifestations, stored in a heavenly place, and it is from them that all forms come from.
That is the origin of the term archetypos.
Where truth lies, we cannot decide.
We are forever encapsulated in our psychological experience.
We are in the world of images.
Whatever we say about the psychical, we always are talking out of an archetype.
When Freud says that sexuality is the base and the beginning of all that happens, this too is an archetypal idea.
It is the primitive idea par excellence, as in Adler’s aspiration to power.
We find these two ideas in the ancient philosophers, in the Gnostic alchemical concepts: nature delights in nature, nature rules nature.
This is also expressed in the symbol of the snake biting its own tale, the Ouroboros.
So when we imagine we have said an absolute truth, we are mistaken; we have just expressed an archetype.
What it boils down to in the end is that the archetype lives.
It lives in Freud, Adler, and also in myself.
When one is seized by such an archetypal idea, one thinks one has surpassed everyone; it is an inflation.
If an idea comes to your mind and you think you “possess” it, it is actually the other way around: you are possessed by it.
You can do nothing but speak it out loud.
These ideas have to be spoken and elaborated.
It is through the living of these ideas that we live.
These are the flores cerebrariae, this is the “brain stone” of the ancient alchemists; the plant that grows through us and out of us, and that is about to open—which is perfectly all right.
It’s just not right for our devil of knowledge, he wants to have the definitive truth.
Absolute truth, however, cannot be established anywhere, and least of all in psychology.
In the dream, the wise old woman now tells the girl to cling to the loaf of bread and not to let it fall.
But now it happens that she does let it fall. Then nothing but worms come out of it.
Worms feed on decomposing things.
Worms are an indefinite number of small, living entities.
That is to say: the body has disintegrated into many living entities.
The body is composed of hereditary entities, of Mendelian entities.
Let’s take the face of a child: the nose is from the father, the beautiful eyes from the mother, the ears that stick out from the grandfather.
When you have pictures from your ancestors, you can single out parts of your face and detect them in the various pictures of the ancestors.
The same is true for the whole body, and likewise with the soul.
Certain of its peculiarities stem from certain forebears, and these bits are, in general, naturally merged in the single person, though not without some sutures.
It can be seen where the parts have grown together.
If the sutures do not close, a schizoid personality will develop, a compartmental psychology, which, if everything goes wrong, may turn into schizophrenia.
The personality will then disintegrate into islands that no longer have any relation with one another.
An atrophy of affect will develop, an insufficient control of evaluating emotions, and the impression of a personality that has fallen apart.
The single clods are no longer a whole, because they were never quite properly grown together in the first place.
The years of Sturm und Drang are, so to speak, the time of bringing things to a boil, when the scattered pieces should melt together.
If a part is not integrated, an “inclusion” will result, which will be encapsulated.
If an entire part is left out, this will make itself felt very unpleasantly.
Our psyche is parceled out, just like the body and its organs.
Under neurotic or psychotic conditions, organ representatives can separate from one another and begin to march on their own.
That’s when those strange attacks occur, tachycardia for instance.
The heart behaves like a lunatic no longer under control; digestive problems or some paralyses may occur as well.
The functions become independent of one another.
Something similar to schizophrenia is taking place.
In metabolic factors, too, the same dissociative phenomena occur, just as in the psychical sphere.
In the case of the child whose dreams we dealt with last winter semester (the child died soon thereafter), there were dreams of disintegration into many small insects, ants, and midgets.
These are the smallest living entities, like the single cells of the body.
Each cell is actually a living system with some autarchy, and when the whole organism is dissolving, the single groups of cells start out on their own.
When the girl drops the loaf, this means: she is no longer the living entity of her body, but leaves the system to its own devices; then it falls apart.
When the government dodges and leaves the country, everybody does as he pleases, just as in today’s Europe, which is no longer held together by an idea.
Instinctively, a higher brain will then be sought.
The League of Nations, for instance, is such an attempt, and it is the same in the psychology of the individual.
We always seek to discover a holistic idea, allowing us to live as a whole, and to create
an optimum of possibilities in life.
If our ego consciousness is removed from its bodily basis by inflation, however, dissociation will set in.
The dream continues: the girl again goes up, and falls; a hole is in the stairs.
Stairs mean gaining consciousness step by step; they correspond to the segmented structure of the sympathic and spinal nervous system, the single vertebrae.
The ganglia are arranged in different levels, like a ladder.
The stairs are the steps, the system of the rope ladder, that makes itself felt.
That’s the reason why we encounter these steps in all those cults dealing with developing consciousness out of unconsciousness.
In America, a fusion of the lower part with the virginal earth—where primitive man lives—takes place.
As a consequence, consciousness stays above, removed from the primitive functions: ideals on the one hand, primitiveness on the other.
This explains much of what is absurd in America.
The ground of the basement has sunk a few meters.
There is no access: the door to the basement is walled up, the stairs leading down are missing, and so the American is living in a world of reasonableness and idealism.
It was an American who invented the League of Nations!
If an American wants to go into his lower regions, he will have to make a leap into the dark.
That is why often those “perverse” stories can happen, such as the young girl who runs away with a negro or a Chinese, or other things that are rather uncommon in this part of the world.
An American businessman, for example, wanted to get a divorce from his wife, with
whom he had four children, after twenty-two years of happy marriage, because he had fallen in love with a young woman.
He had married according to the law, he argued, and he could also get divorced according to the law.
When I pointed out to him that it’s a bit rich to walk out on the mother of his children just like that, it dawned him that, in the end, this might indeed be about a matter of feeling.
A person with warmth and blood is below, unconscious; above everything happens “correctly,” respectably.
The person above does not see the person below.
The dream goes on: There is a hole in the stairs.
When a step is missing, this stands for a state of unconsciousness.
A “hole” is something unconscious. We do not notice it.
The scotoma, the blind spot in the retina, also exists in psychology.
When patients fall into the dark “hole” of the doctor, they are the victims.
At the same time, however, they have power over the doctor.
They are always standing where he does not see them, and can then exercise their magic—but not as they want, but as it happens to them.
This is how relationships develop that the analyst would rather not have.
We ourselves create effects we do not like, because we do not see ourselves there.
Such a hole is missing consciousness.
The child throws the bread down into the hole.
With that, she throws away her body, and thus remains in the inflation.
The money, too, she throws away.
Money is libido, so it would enable her to reestablish the connection with the body.
If she is now throwing the money away, this means: to cap it all, she also throws away the awareness of her body, down into the hole.
She brings her mother a few stones instead of the bread. “Stones instead of bread.”
Stones are something hard and dead. Why the mother?
She no longer has the natural affective relationship to her mother.
The most probable reason is: the libido for the mother is in the magic mirror, in the inflation.
It causes a buoyancy and is necessary for hauling consciousness upward.
For women, the mother also stands for the relation with their own instinctual sphere (uterus), that is, precisely the relation to the unconscious.
The latter is also the mother. The unconscious is the mother of consciousness.
Empirically speaking, the physical and psychical world are not the same, even if we would like to always see them together; so, mother means: my mother as a person, but also the mother of my consciousness as the origin of my ego, simply—the unconscious.
As the mother is a very essential person for this child in the real situation, we have to say: the dream refers to the real mother.
The child’s relation to the mother is vitally important.
When she says “mommy” in the dream, this does mean the mommy.
When vitally important persons are dreamed exactly, then this means them.
The dreamer utterly disappoints her mother.
She does not give her love; if she does not pay the necessary attention to her own body, she also will not give her love.
For adults this means: when a woman does not pay the necessary attention to her body, she does not love her mother.
When she has difficulties with her, she also has difficulties with her instinctual sphere, this without exception.
It can clearly be inferred from this dream that the relation to the mother is disturbed.
After the actual dream, now come the fantasies and supplements to the magic mirror.
On its backside, the child sees horrible things: a tree with a skull.
The body has rotted away, the head is still attached.
The face described by the child seems to be a mask.
She says: The eyes are like holes.
Then, the horns: they somehow have to do with the uncanny, devil’s horns.
What are those four things, such as the horns and the legs?
These are the crossed bones shown with a skull, or four arms and legs.
The body is missing. The libido has fallen down into the underworld. Then you are dead.
The image initially conveys: if you let your body fall, you will be dead; a skull, a floating head with crossed bones.
The image also reminds us of the sun wheel.
It is through inflation that the girl turns into this object. This is a solificatio.
The sun is thought of as being born out of the tree—as in many myths and cults such as the Mithras and the Ra cults—because it rises into the air like a bird.
For the Druids, the mistletoe that grows on the tree is also a symbol of the sun.
The unborn sun is the skull.
When you are in the tree and are not born, you hang.
Christ is hanging suspended on the cross; so does Odin on the tree: “For nine nights I have been hanging on the wind-moved tree, Been wounded by the spear, ordained to Odin, Myself, and to myself.”88
Wotan’s victims, prisoners of war, were hung on trees and used as targets, pierced by spears.
In the Attis cult, the picture of Attis is hung on the fir tree.
Moreover, the fir tree is also Attis himself. Only the skull is hanging above.
When you give up your body, you are hung, you do not fly like a bird, but hang like a hanged man.
But there are four extremities.
Then the magic mirror in the dream turns a light toward the girl; it casts its light on her, enlightens her, she can see herself.
Then she gets sick and has to throw up. The mirror that turns onto her, enchants her.
This is inflation. This makes one unreal.
Just as she saw people askew, under a spell, she herself is now askew in space.
She notices that she herself is askew. This is when she gets attacks of seasickness.
She climbs up the tree and holds on to the skull.
This is an identification with the skull. She is the dead one.
It is a voluntary sacrifice made by her. “Then my legs and arms fell down.”
What previously happened to the dead person is now happening to her.
At a Later Meeting of the Seminar
Professor Jung: Given the contents of the dream, it would not be surprising that one remembered it vividly.
Such dreams, however, are often forgotten.
It would have been much more common that the child had forgotten this dream.
Such a dream is also interesting in an objective sense.
The personal side is a quantité négligeable [negligible quantity].
Peculiar relations to mythological ideas in the Wotan religion, and also in the Dionysus cult, can be detected in this dream.
In a way, Wotan resembles Dionysus.
The two are similar gods of emotionality, ecstasy, prophecy, the mystical, the peculiar and the wonderful, the mysteries, the dervish-like states of intoxication.
With Dionysus we find the Maenads, with Wotan the Berserkers.
When such a relation presents itself so clearly in a dream, deeper layers of the unconscious have been set in motion.
This happens only when important, fundamental matters occur that disrupt the quiet flow of life.
I cannot tell from the dream what the motive of this situation was.
We have to leave open the question of the causality of this dream.
What happens first to the dreamer is that she is overpowered by the lion.
The latter, too, refers to a myth.
Dionysus also has something to do with the lion: about to cross the sea, he is captured by sailors, whereupon he transforms himself into a lion and tears them apart.
The lion is the animal that overpowers the dreamer.
So Dionysus is that enigmatic instinctual being that causes the agitation.
In the Dionysus cult, ecstasy and invasions of the unconscious are also specially cultivated.
One could say: the dreamer was overwhelmed by the unconscious.
In the language of the dream, this lion is the sun animal.
The sun has attacked her and wants to devour her. This is the god. Wotan seizes her.
Unfortunately, this very much corresponds to our present situation.
Now those things occur that happen to somebody who has been eaten by the god.
The dreamer has to perform magic to escape the clutches of the god.
She has magic means, the magic mirror.
Her psychology contains it: this mirror must refer to a psychological capacity, with which transformations can be achieved—fantasy.
This child is able to imagine something; now she simply imagines something different, and thus magically removes the unpleasant situation at the same time.
A parallel case to this dream is that of a five- to six-year-old little boy with a vivid fantasy life.
He told the mother that he saw an enormous horse such as doesn’t exist in reality, or an enormous house.
The mother says: “But that’s impossible.”—The boy: “So I’ve got yellow glasses, and when I look through them things just are that big.”—The mother: “Where have you got the yellow glasses?”—The boy: “I’ve got them in here!” He points to himself: the little magic mirror!—
The boy often dreams of mounting a high tower, but on rotten wooden stairs, off which one might easily fall. In the dream the boy fears something could happen to him.
And indeed, the stairs cave in.
He falls down, is dead; the mother picks him up, and he comes alive again.
Here we have the same process: climbing down from the height of this fantasy.
Or he dreams of big animals, a big camel.
It comes from the street and then wants to push in the window of the bedroom to eat him.
Father and mother stand before the inner side of the window, but the camel gets through nevertheless and wants to eat him.
This is the parallel to the lion!—At the time of the dream
some deaths occurred in the boy’s environment: a canary, a dog, and a man in the neighborhood.
Moreover, the boy was nearly run over by a truck and was slightly injured.
He is endangered by the impression of death.
The boy is in a situation similar to that of the girl, only he is younger and his character is not yet as individually shaped.
Such endangerings occur at certain moments of psychological development; then one has to be careful.
Children’s dreams are often extraordinarily important because the infantile consciousness is still weak, so that such dreams can surface uninhibited from the collective unconscious.
Consciousness is: this time, this here and now.
Consciousness wants to let everything appear as a here and now.
The unconscious, on the other hand, is an eternity, a timelessness, and has no intentions regarding the here and now.
Accordingly, the values are also on a quite different level.
When a part of the collective unconscious reaches consciousness, and is perceived as alien by it, a shattering of consciousness, a splitting—that is, dissociation—may ensue.
So if an important part of the collective unconscious, which stands in starkest contrast to consciousness, forces its way through, there is always a certain danger of being overwhelmed.
If consciousness is weak, it can get into the wake of that content from the collective unconscious and be towed away by it.
This is possession, “the peril of the soul.”
The starting point in the present dream is the forest. We have already discussed that.
The forest, as an aspect of the unconscious, is the dark place where we go, or let ourselves go, on forbidden paths.
The child has given herself into the hands of a something, and immediately is in the tow of the unconscious.
We sense danger. “You can’t just do what comes into your mind,” we say in primitive fear of something we do not do of our own will.
It is indeed dangerous; we cannot just leave ourselves to our own resources, particularly when consciousness is weak.
For then it is possible that something will emerge, and that it will carry us away.
What emerges are instincts, instinctual forces.
The instinct, the desire, appears as a lion in the dream.
This is so because the lion is a devouring, overwhelming animal; precisely because there is the danger of being overwhelmed.
At first, the child strokes the lion; this is letting herself get lost tenderly in the fantasy.
That is why we say that fantasizing is unhealthy. This is right, it is indeed unhealthy.
What is unhealthy is the moral aspect, for we lose our capacity to decide.
The lion devours the girl, meaning that the instinct, the instinctual force of the unconscious, has now gained the upper hand, and what follows is an involuntary, unstoppable process.
The spirit goes down in the instinctual commotion.
This is the typical onset of a descent into the unconscious; as in Dante: at first he encounters wild animals.
Poliphilo goes into the Dark Forest.
For the Romans, the Dark Forest was a mythical place.
For Europeans, Tibet, among others, is the place of their unconscious.
For the ancients it was Ethiopia or Ultima Thule, the unknown region of the Earth.
The mother is the rescuing figure in the child’s helplessness at the beginning of the dream.
She brings her to bed. This may be a rescue, but only by regression.
It is somehow as if somebody sees a great adventure lying before him, but realizes that he may really be destroyed in it.
The reaction in such cases: immediately home to mother, into bed!
The same for little children: they just become even smaller.
Our child, however, has learned something.
She has seen that you can leave yourself to the fantasy, and that very interesting things will happen.
The magic mirror means: I see things in the reflection of my spirit.
The mirror changes everything in a magical way, and the girl becomes enslaved by it immediately.
There follows the phenomenon of seasickness, the people’s lopsidedness.
Then comes rescue again: the loaf of bread.
This is hard to interpret, forcing us to go so carefully into the details.
It is bread, food, but also a body.
This is an allusion to the middle of the body, the stomach region, from where one is fed.
At the same time this is the seat of the vegetative bodily functions, the largest concentration of sympathetic ganglia.
This region also always plays a role as the center of the body, in the solar plexus.
The body always makes itself felt whenever there is an intuition that transcends the body.
We are reminded of it when the fantasy threatens to get lost in the unreal, to rise into the stratosphere.
The loaf of bread replaces the mother.
The mother is much less a sexual object for the child than a nurturing object.
She is the breast, the nurturer.
So a loaf of bread can take the place of the mother.
In short, the mother reappears, but as a feeding function, as body-unconscious.
She had to get this loaf of bread on the mother’s instructions; this becomes clear from the end of the dream.
Again the protecting hand of the mother comes up, which wants to save her from the danger that threatens the child of getting lost in the unconscious fantasies.
Having the bread, she can go up the stairs.
She can climb to the world of light, the world of consciousness. But she sees the hole.
There is a disruption in that ascent. She falls over.
There is a figure of speech, umfallen, meaning that although somebody made a decision, he cannot stick to it.
This means: she cannot hold her body, which is nurturing her, she cannot integrate it into the world of her consciousness.
In throwing the loaf of bread and the money down there, she has thrown out and rejected the body.
She no longer receives tenderness for this, but a beating.
With this beating, the disruption of the conscious state should be reversed again.
This is a kind of talion, an “atonement,” to make her become one again with the body.
Consciousness is reestablished, but the after-dream shows that she cannot let go of fantasizing: again she has to come back to the magic mirror.
Although she has been punished and could now repent, she does return again and imagines what kind of things could be seen in the magic mirror.
Here the real danger appears: the girl sees the house on fire.
The house is the real world of consciousness, the psychical space in which she is.
This world of consciousness is destroyed by fire.
Before that it was latent, invisible. The dynamis of the unconscious is invisible.
It feeds the intensity of our consciousness.
When consciousness diminishes, the fire breaks out; that’s why it is often used as a symbol for this situation.
When the world of consciousness is invalidated, the world fire breaks out, according to Germanic mythology.
Hell consists of fire, because fire that has erupted destroys everything.
Consistently the dream continues: on its reverse side, the mirror depicts death.
More precisely, death in the guise of an already decayed, hanged man.
That, of all things, it is a hanged man and a tree, is extremely peculiar.
The tree is the world tree. Odin was hanged on a tree.
Also, the wood for the Christian cross comes from the tree of paradise.
Christ is crucified on the tree of life.
Strangely enough, the cross has a feminine meaning.
It symbolizes the woman, the cruel woman, in whose arms Christ died.
There is a legend that Mary talks to the cross, which she addresses as “mother cross,” how cruelly she would treat her son.
Here, too, the tree as a cross takes the place of the mother who, however, was
She is the mother of death.
The mother gives birth, and at the end of life, as earth, she again receives the dead in herself.
In a Maori myth, death is the old ancestress Hine-nui-te-po.
She sleeps with her mouth open.
Maui, the hero, wants to overpower her in order to defeat death.
He has arranged with all creatures that none of them make a sound when he creeps into her mouth.
But a little bird cannot stifle a laugh.
Hine-nui-te-po wakes up and snaps her mouth shut. So that’s how Maui finds his fate.
The ancestress is in the past, but also in the future. She is the beginning and the end.
The Madonna too, the heavenly mother, has her hellish counterpart in the devil’s grandmother; likewise,
Kwannon, the goddess of mercy, has a hellish manifestation.
In the East it is not believed that deities can be good only.
Also the mother has got a reverse side, like the mirror; there she becomes the tree of the dead, in which the dead are buried.
A Germanic legend recounts: the last men on earth vanish again in the tree from which they originally came out.
There has to be a consciousness that mirrors the world; otherwise, the world would not exist at all.
The primitive man still had a premonition that the world will cease to exist when consciousness ceases to exist.
This will be when the forest reappears; Earth will belong to the forest.
The tree is the vegetative, unconscious life, which will emerge again when human consciousness has been extinguished.
Death, as he appears in the magic mirror, is a “hanging” [Aufhängung].
Hanging is a ritual in sacrifice. Christ too was called the “hanged” by the pagans.
On the other hand, death is also characterized by the motif of dismembering.
This connection is also evidenced historically: the relation to Wotan and Dionysus. Dionysus is the dismembered one.
In this dream it is a dismembering into four pieces.
So I ask myself: Why exactly four? Whenever four things appear in a dream, I “see my chance.”
I have always found that we are doing a dream injustice
if we overlook the fact that the motif of the Four appears in
- This Four is four entities, just as the extremities are differentiated entities, like parts on the body fulfilling specific functions.
They are symmetrical: the left hand is like the right one in the mirror.
So actually they are two pairs, which fall apart.
As it is, only the head is still hanging in the dream.
Arms and legs have severed themselves from life; these are the organs, differentiated members, that can separate themselves.
What psychological meaning do they have?
are four functions of consciousness.95
They make up the essence of
They can separate from one another and fall apart.
This dismemberment is simply a dissolution of the psychic body, of the body of consciousness.
Now the mirror turns against the dreamer.
The climax has been reached. The magic now turns against herself. So she has to throw up.
It is as if she had taken poison, as if she were seized by vertigo.
It is not there in the dream, but absolutely conceivable, that it is the revulsion against that carrion, that gruesome image of destruction.
She feels revulsion or fear, a primitive reaction.
When certain animals are being chased, they too vomit their stomach contents, possibly out of fear of death.
These are cramps of the stomach muscles, like a seizure.
The stomach tells you: “Spit out what you have eaten. It’s poison!”
Then there comes a peculiar, analogous offer of a sacrifice: she hangs herself on the tree.
Arms and legs fall off. She decomposes, then composes herself in a new form; so it is a regenerative sacrifice, and identification with the one hanged on the tree.
This is exactly
what is done in the Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola: you contemplate
the crucifixion and suffer the same death, thus being regenerated.
Through identification with Christ we also go through hell with him, only to rise again with him.
Our dreamer says that her arms and legs have fallen off of her, but then they come up again.
She is put together again, but the body remains down there and turns into earth.
What remains are the four functions of consciousness, hanging with a head on the world tree.
This is a very dark image and, characteristically, it is on the reverse side of the mirror.
When we have a look at that dream, the following thought strikes us: a collective idea—an archetype—came to light in the child.
Either consciousness is almost pathologically weak, or the archetype extraordinarily strong.
Question: what is the reason for that? What weakened consciousness to the extent that a content could become visible?
This I don’t know. It could be something physiological.
That the background becomes so prominent is also found in connection with deaths in the family or neighborhood, or when threatened by illness or other things.
It could also be the problem of the mother.
There may be no external reason, the reason lying rather in the child’s constitution.
In this case, we would have to take into account that this psychic constitution is perhaps not quite unproblematic.
The threshold to the unconscious is very low.
For the prognosis we would have to make a little question mark.
In adults, such important dreams are always linked to something special.
There is always something going on here. In an adult we could find out what happened; in a child this is extraordinarily difficult.
In such a case we should put forward all possible hypotheses.
We could ask, for instance, if there was an illness in the child’s family or in the neighborhood.
A doctor, for example, once examined the dreams of a patient, then his own dreams, those of his wife, of his children, of visitors and maids, and found a considerable correspondence.
Spouses, too, often dream in a parallel way, often in opposites which, however, are connected with each other.
It is uncanny how we dream out of our environment and take up problems.
Themes from all around flow in, although no word is spoken. The air is full of all that.
We always think that only dreams of important persons are important, but this is wrong.
In any case, this dream contains a perfect series of symbols, which represent the way of solution and at the same time the way of initiation, but with a minus sign.
If a person in the second half of life had had this dream, we could say: this is the descent into the underworld, the experience of the Myste in hell.
And the end would be the sunrise.
One would have become a “child of the golden head.”
We find this expression in the third century, in the Tracts of Zosimos.
The image of the dead body on the tree is also reminiscent of the wonderful “Story of the Indian King with the Corpse.”
In the case of this child, however, this is not about individuation; her dream produces abhorrent images in order to prevent her from going astray in fantasy.
For the child lets herself go in her fantasy; the dream scolds her for that.
It says: if you do this and disobey the mother, that is, the life instinct, something will happen to you—death!
Then you will be badly off, then you will turn, nolens volens, into a hanged god.
And this is extremely uncomfortable!
You asked me how we should deal with such children in a practical way.
We have to pay attention to the child and try to stabilize his or her consciousness.
The child should draw to make the fantasies concrete; the freely floating danger will thus be made concrete.
Writing and drawing cause a certain cooling off, a devaluation of the fantasies.
Another question was: “You describe the woman in the store as the archetype of the mother. Why then does it say in Faust: ‘the mothers’?”
In the scene of the mothers in Faust, Mephistopheles says to Faust, before he goes to the mothers:
Sight of a glowing tripod will tell you, finally,
You’re in the last deep, deepest there might be.
By its light you’ll see the Mothers,
Some sit about, as they wish, the others,
Stand and move. Formation, Transformation,
Eternal minds in eternal recreation.
Images of all creatures float, portrayed:
They’ll not see you: they only see a shade.
Be of good heart, the danger there is great,
Go to the tripod: don’t hesitate,
And touch it with the key! (Part 2, Act 1)
Why mothers and not one mother?
It’s like in that dream of the child of the heavenly virgins,100 who are the many mothers.
This is connected with the Fates, Norns, Muses, and similar figures.
These are actually all mother figures.
The plural means that this is not about one mother with a specific personality.
The pluralis diminutivus is to be interpreted apotropaically.
That’s why we address each other in the plural: Wie geht es Ihnen [How do you do]?
This actually means: Wie geht es Dir? This has an effect, this is magical.
That is a protective formula, a polite phrase.
The pluralis diminutivus takes away the importance.
It is a euphemism with which we actually want to create a counter effect. “Pontus Euxinus,” for instance, was called the “hospitable” sea; this was the name for the Black Sea, because it was notorious for its storms.
Similarly, the Eumenides were called the “well-meaning.”
In English there is no [informal] Du, so you can always remain the well-protected gentleman.
If you can say “to the mothers,” it can be a thousand figures.
But if you say “to the mother,” it is specific, personal, it immediately becomes problematic.
When you say: “the ancient wise men tell us,” this means nothing at all. “That old man told me,” however, is something concrete, then you are committed.
- Dream of the Mountain and the Murder of the Mother Presented by Ilse Berg
Text: I dreamed that I was on a high mountain and went for a walk with mommy.
Then mommy slapped me, because I went too far out (toward the precipice).
But I got very angry at her and beat her to death with an ax that was lying around there, and the flesh was all hanging down.
But I was standing on a wooden board, like on a bridge, and suddenly the board breaks and I’m falling down.
Many dead persons and skulls were there, they filled up a whole barn; there was also a man (alive), he had 120 cows.
My brothers were allowed to milk the cows, and we could all drink milk.
There was also a bell. I rang it for a long time, whereupon an elevator came.
The man in the elevator took us up, but suddenly the suspension cable of the elevator broke, and I fell down into a big, wide tube (of glass, and at the top like what I saw in the Glacier Garden; glacial mills).
I kept falling and falling down, until all of a sudden I landed on a burning ground.
There was a stick that looked like an iron staff with a hook on top (crosier).
This staff was unbreakable.
I stuck the staff into the fire, which had started to burn more and more, and suddenly I was sitting on the stick (on a board).
And now I had to remain sitting on the stick forever and ever and ever.
But then water gushed down, and the fire went out at once.
Then there was a little road going uphill.
I had grown long (as long as fingers) finger nails. So I clung to the path and went up.
There was a hole in the tube, and there I slipped in, just into a house and there were also many cakes in it.
I had gotten hungry and ate them all up.
The dream would have been longer, but then daddy came to wake me up.
Mrs. Berg: We have divided the whole dream into three parts, because it seemed to us that these parts represent three different phases of one and the same process.
We have structured the first part, which we have conceived of as going until the collapse of the board, as follows:
- Locale: The child with the mother on the mountain.
- Exposition: The child goes to the precipice, is warned by the mother and gets beaten.
- Peripateia: The slaying of the mother.
- Lysis: Collapse of the bridge.
We have already seen in the previous dream that the child is hostile toward the mother.
She brings her stones instead of bread, and is being beaten for it.
There it seemed as if the libido—the bread and the money—would sink into the hole, that is, into the collective unconscious:
Now she has arrived there.
And in the present dream, the unconscious itself seems to want to pull the child down.
The mother again steps in to prevent that.
As the personal mother, and not a collective image of her, is appearing here, we have at first to pay some attention to the significance of the real mother for the child.
The mother figure symbolizes a part of the child’s libido, the part that is rooted in the world and is integrated into it.
The mother is the first image for the feminine attitude toward the environment, she also is the link with it.
However, she also represents, in her deeper, impersonal aspect, the life instinct itself.
She is the home, the earth, the ground on which we stand.
If that hold is given up, on the one hand, the loss shows in a dissolution of the persona: in our case, for example, by her inattentiveness in school and probably also by other things.
On the other hand, this being at the mercy of the world of fantasy is a consequence of such a dissolution of the persona.
The violent murder of the mother lets us conclude that the unconscious has gained a devastating force of attraction, clearing away any obstacle through the loss of libido, that is, its sinking into the unconscious, as already hinted at in the previous dream.
As all this is happening on a high mountain, we might infer an overly heightened level of consciousness, maybe even an inflation.
This would result in a precocious attitude and a certain arrogance in daily life.
The girl then walks on a bridge, on a board, which—as the dreamer depicted it in a drawing—is above an abyss.
The bridge over the abyss is a very frequent mythological motif.
It is said that in the Koran a bridge over hell is mentioned, thin as a string and sharp as a sword, that only the righteous can cross.
A Muslim legend tells of a bridge between the Temple of Jerusalem in the East and the Mount of Olives in the West.
Below is hell, into which those who are not righteous must fall.
A Celtic legend tells of a bridge of horrors, not broader than a string.
Moreover, in a Persian collection of legends there appears the so-called Chinvat bridge, on which angels and demons fight over the souls of the people crossing it.
The mythological importance of the bridge is further based on the idea that a spirit or a god is at the bottom of the abyss.
By building the bridge, man has evaded the influence of his direct power.
So as not to provoke him, various sacrifices were offered to him; human beings at the beginning, later puppets in human form and other things.
The chapels built on bridges remind us of the last remnants of this idea.
Over the course of time, the original meaning of the sacrifice
offered to the god or demon down in the depth faded; the old places of sacrifice were used for profane purposes.
As an example, let us mention the chapels on the big bridge in Paris, which were used for public money transactions.
Or, a clothes market was held in a chapel on a bridge in Leeds (England).
An interpretation of this change could be that the potential dangers in crossing a bridge have been pushed into the background by the rise of civilization.
To the degree that bridges became safer, the fear of the spirit down in the depths diminished, as did, however, also the knowledge of their existence as such.
Yet the bridge remains the place of danger, the precarious hold above the abyss. Psychologically, it represents the weak spot of consciousness, the place where it might cave in.
Seen from this point of view, the slaying of the mother—that is, the destruction of the persona and of the relations to the environment—seems to be a preliminary stage of this collapse.
- Locale: In the barn; dead persons and skulls; a shepherd with 120 cows.
- Exposition: Milking the cows by the brothers; drinking milk.
- Peripateia: Ringing the bell; going up in the elevator.
- Lysis: Breaking of the elevator cable; falling down again.
The libido, which had been forcefully withdrawn from the mother, is now introverted, and in this way resuscitates figures of the collective unconscious.
Let us now concern ourselves with the deeper mythological meaning of the cows.
There is a lot of evidence that cows are mother symbols.
In Indian religion, cows are extremely highly revered.
Not only they themselves, but also their five products: milk, quark, cheese, urine, and manure are holy, and have a cleansing effect on man.
Earth itself was conceived as a cow by the Indians, from which the creator Prtu milked everything edible.
Then came, according to their conception, all the other living creatures, including the mountains, to milk this primal cow for the milk they need.
In Egyptian mythology, heaven is often thought of as a cow, the so-called sky-goddess
Hathor, bearing the sun disk between her horns.
She is the heavenly mother of the sun god, who recreates himself in the evening by entering into her mouth, to rise again in the morning as his own son.
In her motherly aspect she is often identified with, or portrayed at the side of, the life tree, administering heavenly food and heavenly drink to the dead souls.
Let me mention in advance, already at this point, that this conception of Hathor later became unified with the figures of both Isis and Ishtar.
These two goddesses display still further aspects of the cow symbol, that is, the godly mother, of which I will speak later on.
The multitude of the cows probably corresponds to the splitting of a figure so frequently found in myths and fairy tales, so as to make this figure appear more depersonalized and abstract.
We do not want to give further details on the number hundred and twenty.
Let us just mention that the Picts in Ireland protected themselves against the poisoned arrows of their enemies by taking a bath, prepared from the milk of 120 white, hornless cows.
If it can be concluded from all this that cows have a motherly meaning, then it is the motif of the two mothers—found in many heroic myths—that appears. In drinking the cows’ milk the dreamer gains immortality, that is, a life from the godly mother.
There are numerous parallels in mythology, as in Heracles or the legend of Romulus and Remus.
The whole process from the collapse of the bridge to the drinking of the milk has to be understood as a rebirth fantasy, of which so many examples are described in Transformations and Symbols of the Libido.
As is set out there, these images serve to resuscitate the incestuously bound sexual libido and to raise it, by the way of fantasy, to the level of consciousness.
The brothers that milk the cow are animus figures, whose function as such is to establish contact with the collective unconscious.
The man standing there seems to be a kind of peasant or shepherd, a guardian of nature’s life-giving forces.
On the other hand, the dead and the skulls in the barn point to his connection with the underworld.
A figure combining both characteristics in himself is the sun god Osiris. In the most original meaning, Osiris, the brother-husband of Isis, is the god of change in nature in the broadest sense of the word.
As such he can, on the one hand, be portrayed by the daily and yearly path of the sun, causing the greatest change in nature; on the other hand, he is also the god of death.
Perhaps it should be mentioned here that in almost all portrayals, his attributes are either a staff ending in a hook, or also very often the symbol of the Tau cross, which will become important for the following part of the dream.
Tammuz, too, whose cult was widespread in the Semitic countries since prehistoric times, was a dying and resurrecting god.
His cult was founded on the belief in a tortured saint, Dumuzid, which means “faithful son,” who died and rose again, thus becoming a god.
In a song he is addressed as follows: “Oh Dumuzid, Lord, Shepherd of the glorious Anu,” or “Lord of the herds, which art the highest and most glorious.”
So, as a shepherd, he gains a specific significance in our dream. In the same sense as Osiris, he represents nature that is dying and resurrecting again in spring.
Here Hermes also has to be mentioned, the thief of the sun cattle of Helios, also the escort of the souls in the underworld.
So the man mentioned in the dream can probably be interpreted as a fatherly archetype, in any case as a positive animus figure.
In a general way, he would represent the function of holding together and guiding the forces of the unconscious.
We now arrive at that point in the dream where the girl calls for the elevator by ringing the bell.
All of a sudden a modern mechanism appears in this mythological world.
We have tried to explain this in the following way: the regaining of the libido, symbolized by drinking the milk, is now put to use in a mechanical way that does not correspond to the meaning of the rest of the dream picture.
It is an attempt to move upward again, comfortably and as fast as possible with the help of a mechanical device.
This elevator is being operated by a man, definitely a negative animus figure, who helps her to set the whole thing in motion.
It seems, however, that she does not succeed in reaching the level of consciousness in such a way, as the elevator breaks and takes her to a new depth.
- Locale: Glass tube; burning ground.
- Exposition: Sticking the staff into the ground; sitting for ever and ever.
- Peripateia: Gush of water and the fire goes out.
- Lysis: Ascent to a higher level.
Falling down in the glass tube, reminiscent of the first fall from the bridge, would mean a new introversion of the libido, and simultaneously a renewed entry into the maternal womb, as we can interpret the penetrating of, pulling through, or slipping into narrow holes.
She now comes to a burning ground, actually a fire that burns higher and higher.
Here an analogy with the fire in the interior of the Earth seems to suggest itself.
This concept is still more general than what we found in connection with the cows.
No longer one of her creatures, but Earth herself becomes the procreating maternal womb.
We can also attribute, therefore, a feminine meaning to the fire.
In a Maya mandala, which represents a cosmic idea, there is the fire goddess Xiuhteti at the center, the center of the Earth.
She is “the Mother,” but also the “Father of the gods in the middle of the Earth.”
Primitives often address the fire as “mother fire.”
As a symbol of the terrifying mother, it also appears as a fire-breathing dragon or a child-eating Moloch.
The cleansing and purifying effect of the fire is a very old concept, which also found its way into the Christian world in the form of purgatory.
In our dream there is now an iron staff, a crozier, that the girl sticks into the fire.
In this connection, we would like to call to mind the Hopi myth that Professor Jung read to us in the last winter semester.
This is a myth describing the evolution of mankind by a slow ascent through three underground caves, lying on top of one another.
The fourth and last step would be the surface of the Earth.
When man was still in the lowest cave, a plant, a bamboo plant, was brought to him, enabling him by its growth to climb up.
We may probably interpret this little plant brought from above, the germinating seed sunk into the lowest cave, as an act of fertilization.
In this case it would again signify one of the numerous attempts of the restricted libido to reach ever higher levels of consciousness by way of fantasy.
In this connection, we might refer to a Greek concept that is found in Plato’s Timaeus.
According to it, the Moira, the personification of inevitable fate—the mother—is in the center of Earth.
The iron axis of the world, around which the whole cosmos is revolving, goes through her womb.
In this dream, sticking the staff into the fire also means an act of procreation.
It is interesting that the iron staff as crozier is also the symbol of Osiris, as it is the attribute of the shepherd or of the male deity in general.
So here the image of an animus figure is reduced to a simple symbol of the creative and procreative force, similar to what happened with the mother image.
The dreamer now has to sit for ever, forever on the staff, on a board, that is.
When we look at the drawing made by the girl, we are struck by the similarity with the above-mentioned mandala figure.
Here the tree of life is rendered in the form of a Tau cross.
Although the bird on it is certainly a fertility symbol of phallic meaning, we think we can find a connection in the two drawings, which would point to the hanging on the tree of life, a motif which had already appeared in the previous dream.
Another important symbol is found in a very old Egyptian sign, the “key of life.” It has the general meaning of stirring up the dead to eternal life, and later becomes the overall sign of the Babylonian goddess Astarte, whose name is translated as “She Who Gives Life.”
Astarte stands in close connection with, and is often identified with, the divine goddess Ishtar, an Asian goddess of love and war.
Her animal is the lion, and she is often depicted as standing or riding on him.
In the previous dream, the lion was interpreted as an unbridled, desirous, and instinctual force.
Ishtar too represents a wild, unbridled instinctual force, uninhibited desire.
She transforms the men she desires into animals; in the Gilgamesh Epic, for example, she unleashes the heavenly bull against whom Gilgamesh has to fight.
The only one she really loves is the young man Tammuz, mentioned earlier.
His death induces her to go on a journey through the underworld.
In doing so, she falls into the hands of Ereshkigal, goddess of the underworld, who wants to keep Tammuz for herself and takes Ishtar prisoner.
Only after she is soothed by a gift from the Earth goddess does she set both of them free by pouring the water of life over them, thus reawakening them.
This myth ends in the same way as that part of the dream just discussed.
A gush of water pours down on the dreamer, too, the fire goes out, and she can again reach a higher level.
This myth confirms anew that this is about a rebirthing process.
That the fire ceases immediately probably symbolizes regaining the libido, which has, so to speak, entered into the girl herself, and can be compared to the drinking of the milk in the previous dream passage.
The deep level on which this rebirth fantasy is taking place can be explained by the strong splitting off of the unconscious instinctual force, as depicted by the slaying of the mother at the beginning of the dream.
Through this, the libido regresses deeper and deeper, and can resuscitate ever more archaic images of the collective unconscious.
With the help of this regained libido, she now succeeds in reaching a higher level.
As the dream says, she clings to the path leading uphill and comes to a house, where she can eat many cakes.
Here the ascent is achieved by quite different means than previously with the help of
It seems to be a piece of instinctual, animal libido that can be lifted only with difficulty.
In this way she does not yet reach the level of consciousness, however, but—to come back to the Hopi myth—only the second or third cave, where this animal maybe has to
be reborn in a new way and in a new maternal womb, until it can finally reach again the level of consciousness in human form.
In concluding, we just want to say that we have mentioned the Ishtar myth not only because it, too, confirms the rebirthing process in the third part of the dream, but also because it seems to us that the archetype of Ishtar is of special significance for this girl, and because this dream contains hints at how such a descent can become somebody’s fate.
Professor Jung: The mother at the beginning of the dream is reality.
When the relationship with the mother becomes bad, then a piece of reality is shattered.
The girl goes for a walk with the mother.
This is a common situation, but for the girl in the dream this feels like being on a high mountain.
Now this is very conscious.
Because there is an inclination toward the underworld, she feels as if being in the normal world were like being on a high mountain.
So the child has difficulty remaining conscious.
There is always the danger that she sinks down into a mythological prehistoric world.
A part of the collective, primal world has burst open: she slays the mother.
Children are cruel; they find legends of murder and slaughter quite natural.
The child is herself actually still stuck to a great extent in that legendary world, within the collective unconscious.
In comparison, she experiences the normal level of consciousness as a high mountain.
She approaches the abyss, because to do so is actually within her; she is always being attracted by this depth.
The mother is the countertendency.
Her example, indeed, shows how one should be conscious.
Because the child goes too close to the abyss, she is beaten.
This resuscitates in her precisely that affect, and subsequently she goes down into the depths.
As to the bridge: it hints at the continuity of consciousness; the child lacks the wholeness of consciousness, the latter consisting of irregular contents that alternately establish relations with ego consciousness.
One part is the nice child of the mother, the other is the devil.
The child can unscrupulously be the evil, or nothing but the nice child.
The child can say: now I am this or that.
We find the same constellation in the mentally insane, who alternately identify with varying figures. This is the discontinuity of consciousness.
Only over the course of time do land bridges emerge in the child, connections remain, whereupon a coherent consciousness develops.
The ideal case would be a wholeness of the personality at every moment.
As a rule, we do not have this wholeness.
Sometimes we play this role, sometimes that role.
The land bridges and islands never become a perfect continent.
Remnants of the primitive and infantile condition remain.
We are living on various single islands of consciousness.
In the view of the primitives there are demons on the islands of consciousness by whom we are possessed.
Psychologically speaking, we are possessed by an affect there because we completely identify with it.
For in the affect we can totally be what we feel.
That is why it has something fascinating about it; there are many people who worship the affect they have at that moment. This is childlike.
Such a person forgets that he is also the other.
The noble forgets that he also has a mean side, and the ignoble—if he is still able at all to muster a feeling of inferiority—that in some place he is also a decent guy.
The great prejudice against psychology is caused by the fear of becoming conscious.
The greater the fixation to affects, the greater the aversion to becoming conscious.
The images of the skull and the barn appear side by side.
This is a peculiar constellation: skulls characterize the vault of the dead, but here it is a barn at the same time.
The motif of the skull was already present in the first dream, in a highly significant connection.
Seen in this light, the unconscious is a kind of charnel house.
These are the remains of lived lives, remnants of various generations.
The unconscious represents a kind of graveyard of the past.
This simply means: the breakthrough from the past into the future goes through death.
The charnel house usually belongs to a church, however, and is not a barn.
Here enters the strange idea that the place of death, where the skulls lie, is not a church or a chapel, which always seem cold and unfriendly.
A barn, on the contrary, is mighty comfortable and warm, and has a friendly, vegetative, animal atmosphere; it has a fecund feeling.
The barn means the second mother.
We find the same story in India, where there is an ancient cow culture, in which the cow
symbolizes protective, feeding, rebirthing qualities.
In the classrooms in school we have a calf to clear the atmosphere.
The Indians hold their hands underneath to catch the cleansing matter, the cow dung.
Somewhere in India there is a leather cow through which the people crawl in a rebirth ritual.
So the cow stands for the Earth cow, the cow of heaven, the world cow.
This cold place of death, this uncanny grave, is thus, at the same time, also warm and fecund and nourishing like a barn.
The fact that there are many cows is a multiplication of the one idea, of the one cow that simply stands here for the fertile, feeding mother goddess.
Cow barn for cow—that’s like Downing Street for the prime minister, or the Vatican for the pope.
The number one hundred and twenty: symbols of rebirth often refer to time, for example, the Mithraic “seven steps.”
Then the god of these mysteries corresponds to the number 365, that is, he represents the year, Abraxas or Abrasax.
We find the same thing in the mythology of Christ: Christ is the ecclesiastical year.
Of Prajapati, the Indian creator of the world, it is said: he is the great Self.
He became absorbed in the year, that is, he represents the year and the yearly cycle, because creative power is identical with time.
Proclus says: “Where creation is, there also is time.”
That is why the god of creation, for instance, in Stoicism or in the Neo-Pythagoreans, is
called Chronos, a god of fire, light, and time.
This dream cannot be about a male matter.
Wherever a female rebirthing symbol appears, we have to consider female connections, for instance, the moon, or the month.
With the cows there comes the number one hundred and twenty.
We can link this number with the astrological calendar.
One hundred and twenty days are four months.
Our Western astrology comes from Mesopotamia and Babylonia.
There we find only three seasons: winter, summer, and fall.
This corresponds exactly to a duration of four months each, that is, one hundred and twenty days.
Dr. Frey: One hundred and twenty days correspond to 120 degrees on the zodiac. This forms the astrological aspect of the trigon.
The exact aspects of the trigon always combine signs of the same material quality, that is, three fire, earth, water, or air signs each.
It was natural for astrological speculation to bring the various elements into a certain sequence of stages.
Professor Jung: This idea also suggested itself to the classical Pythagorean and the Neoplatonist philosophers.
The Gnostics, too, had a sequence of stages of earth, water, air, and fire.
Dr. Frey: In modern astrology, other points are more important for
the classification into stages.
In connection with the trigon, the following applies: in the fire trigon, for example,
Aries represents the deepest, Leo the middle, and Sagittarius the highest stage.
In psychological terms, we could say that the first stage is the unconscious, the second what is colored by the ego, and the third one the superego.
The order in each trigon group results from the fact that in each respective case, the first signs—Sagittarius, Taurus, and so on—are more collective, more primitive, than the later ones.
Professor Jung: The idea of a sequence of stages is the image of a creative process: an emergence from the earth through water, through air, and through fire.
We find this image in those philosophers of Neo-Pythagorean and Neoplatonist orientation.
The four stages correspond psychologically to the four stages of individuation.
Earthly man—a Gnostic concept—is hylikos; then a higher development is psychikos, water and air in one.
The word “psyche” (soul) is connected to “physein” (Greek, to blow); psychos corresponds with psychros (Greek, cold, damp).
“The soul of a drunkard is moist,” says Heraclitus. The soul oscillates between air and water.
It is always the go-between for the two principles marking the extremes: below there is earth, the material matter; above there is pneumatikos (spirit), air, and fire. Dry, hot air—this is the spirit.
The psyche is originally moist vapor: brooding mist, a creature of the mist.
The air settles on the water, fertilizing.
“The spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters”—like the hen on the egg—He impregnated it.
The germ of fire enters man as his soul, as his life, and makes man warm; this is a kind of descensus of the spirit into matter.
The mysteries are about setting these germs of fire free again.
This is an idea that goes way back to megalithic times.
All initiations have had the goal of creating an immortal human being, surviving death.
This is always about peeling the immortal germ out of mortal nature, and giving this germ a form, that is, there is an effort, so to speak, to replace consciousness, identical with the ego, with the new, the spiritual man.
The dogmatic life of Christ demonstrated all of this: the transfiguration, when the fire man, the light man appears; the death, the rising again, the ascension into heaven.
This idea is also prominent in the teachings of Mani.
This process is always linked to time, and in the case of complicated numbers, these numbers have always to be viewed with reference to coming into being and dying.
For there is no coming into being and dying but in time.
This is where the meaning of numbers enters the picture.
The number in a dream always has a meaning.
If we cannot find this meaning, we are the idiots, not the dream.
There are particular numbers in many initiation rituals.
We would need much material, however, to get to the bottom of them.
Our unconscious has a quite fabulous relation to time.
People have been hypnotized with the posthypnotic suggestion to count seconds.
When they were hypnotized again, they could tell the exact number of elapsed seconds. We are unconsciously oriented about time.
You can wake up at a certain minute if you intended to do so.
This is possible only because of the perfect time function of the unconscious.
Astrology presupposes that we are identical with time.
It expresses the quality of the moment at which we were born.
Insofar as the reconstructions of character in astrology are correct, we evidently have to be identical with the moment of birth, or with time.
My view on this is that time is a psychological function, identical with living as such. Such a view cannot be proved but is extremely valuable heuristically.
When numbers of no distinct mythological meaning appear we can ask if they might stand for years.
For example, when someone dreams of the number seven, we can ask: what happened seven years ago?
When someone dreams of birth, or a completely new factor appears
under the sign of birth, and when we count back nine months to the time of conception, we sometimes can uncover a very important event that happened at that time.
Years or periods of time are also often represented by animals.
The regression in our dream is actually a sin: it is a falling down into hell, hence the motif of suspension.
The girl remains attached to the staff.
She falls into the ground of the world, which is male and female at the same time, and simultaneously neither male nor female.
The primal being exists before any differentiation has taken place.
The dreamer falls down into her innermost being.
There, in a way, life starts again and again.
The staff represents guidance; it will become a guide as an inner law when someone came into the inner ring of fire and remains suspended in the soul fire.
In humility we stay on hanging in the fire, until we are burned up.
That’s how the transformation of the ego into spiritual, immortal man goes.
There are many mythological images of this: Isis holds the little son of the king of Phoenicia over the fire at night to make him immortal.
But once the mother happens on this, she cries out loud; Isis quickly has to draw the child out of the fire, and immortality is lost.
Mr. Baumann: The same happens to Demeter with Demophon, the son of the queen Metaneira, whom she nurses.
Professor Jung: In our dream, too, the fire appears, but it does not lead to rebirth. The dreamer remains sitting on the staff “forever and ever.”
Then comes the gush of water, extinguishing the fire.
Dreams like the present one otherwise only appear in persons who are somehow in danger, for instance, in critical moments of their lives.
If we are able to give them the meaning of such a dream, something may happen, a healing, for instance.
I have never been successful, however, except when it was possible for the dreamer to consciously register the meaning and the intention of such a dream.
In the case of this dream, however, we have to take into account that we are talking not about an adult, but about a child.
A child is always nearer the collective unconscious.
So no quasi-fatal regression at all is needed to create such a dream.
We must not attach too much significance, therefore, to the disturbing quality of this dream. ~Carl Jung, Children’s Dreams, Seminar, Page 32-103