Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche

Instead of multiplying examples I can best show what I mean by reference to our specimen dream.

It will be remembered that the dream introduced the apple scene as a typical way of representing erotic guilt.

The thought abstracted from it would boil down to: “I am doing wrong by acting like this.”

It is characteristic that dreams never express themselves in this logical, abstract way but always in the language of parable or simile.

This is also a characteristic of primitive languages, whose flowery turns of phrase are very striking.

If we remember the monuments of ancient literature, we find that what nowadays is expressed by means of abstractions was then expressed mostly by similes.

Even a philosopher like Plato did not disdain to express certain fundamental ideas in this way.

Just as the body bears the traces of its phylogenetic development, so also does the human mind.

Hence there is nothing surprising about the possibility that the figurative language of dreams is a survival from an archaic mode of thought.

At the same time the theft of the apple is a typical dream motif that occurs in many different variations in numerous dreams.

It is also a well-known mythological motif, which is found not only in the story of the Garden of Eden but in countless myths and fairytales from all ages and climes.

It is one of those universally human symbols which can reappear autochthonously in any one, at any time.

Thus dream psychology opens the way to a general comparative psychology from which we may hope to gain the same understanding of the development and structure of the human psyche as comparative anatomy has given us concerning the human body. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 474-476