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001 vertebrates

ETH Lectures aka Modern Psychology

The patient feels quite unarmed before the monster and has no associations to

He is too rational and merely thinks that it is nonsense to dream of a great beast that is half a lizard and half a crab.

In our modern civilization we are too rational to accept such a creature; a primitive who lives among ghosts and wild beasts would have no difficulty in finding his associations to it.

When a patient has no associations I ask him to think of me as quite stupid and to describe to me just what the beast looked like.

Then all the associations which he has involuntarily withheld will come out.

The dreamer says that the lizard is a vertebrate animal that likes to sun itself, it looks like a miniature dragon and has a spinal column.

The crab can live under water and has a solar-plexus.

Together they represent the instinctive being that exists in us and so we come to the conclusion that the monster stands for the dreamer’s instinct. We sprang from these lower vertebrates – children who suffer from atrophy of the brain show all the characteristics of animals – and this man has come up against his own instinctive nature and feels that he must fight it.

Our life’s achievement depends on our organism.

Some people do no manual labour and live entirely on their intellect.

If the task they set themselves is above their capabilities, they get nervous symptoms and warning dreams from the unconscious. We are always fighting our own nervous systems, such proverbs as “Where there is a will there is a way ” are hysterical exaggerations.

There is a way, it is true, but it leads downhill, not up, as we suppose.

We might say ” Where there is a will there is a nervous system ” and we must realise that we have to take the strength of this nervous system into account.

It is very important to know how much we can do and it is immediately apparent from this dream that the dreamer is going beyond his strength.

He had the neurosis already his nerves have already said ” No” but he came to me in the hope that I would give him some magic to spirit away his symptoms, but if he lost those symptoms he would be in still greater danger and I could only warn him to be extremely careful.

The dream itself takes a different course, he does get rid of the monster, and how!

A real animal could not be got rid of like that, but his rationalism thinks that it is just psychic and that therefore it can be wished or analysed away.

Symptoms are our b est friends, we should not wish to be free of them, but to try and understand them.

Sugar in the urine, for instance, is not in itself desirable, but it is a benevolent wish of nature to tell the patient something.

We shall make no mistake if we follow nature, and if the warning is ignored a catastrophe is sure to follow, whatever form it takes. ~Carl Jung, ETH Lectures, 7 Dec 1934, Page 163-164