Carl Jung Depth Psychology Facebook

Flying through Roofe

Beauty said, “Yes, dear Beast, I will marry you. ” At this the castle filled with a blaze of light and the sound of music. Beast disappeared, and in his place stood a handsome prince, who told Beauty he had been en­ chanted by a witch. The spell was ordained to last until a beautiful girl should love Beast for his good­ ness alone. -“Beauty and the Beast”

I WAS ONCE TOLD that it wasn’t important if I understood my dreams. What was important was that the dreams understood me.

My attitude toward my dreams would determine their attitude toward me. It’s a living dialogue. When we listen to dreams, we change, and when dreams are heard, they change.

Dr. von Franz, these four dreams of an airline stewardess demonstrate how the unconscious responds to conscious attention. The male figures in her dreams transform when she takes a firm stand and enters into a feeling relationship with them.

I had this dream about flying. I could fly, sort of like Samantha in Bewitched, just straight up through the roof and disappear. I was flying l:hrough the roofs up into the clouds. And I could produce a gray mist which encircled me so that nobody could see me. I could still see through it. I could still see other people, but nobody could see me. I flew up about cloud level, and just sort of sat there weightless, and had tea with somebody. -‘female flight attendant

This first dream is difficult to interpret, because in her outer situation the dreamer is an airline stewardess. The flying, therefore, has a double connotation. It refers to what she is actually doing in life, but it also has a symbolic meaning that describes how she is behaving psychologically. Naturally, one can also say that it is not by chance she has chosen her profession as an air stewardess, so, in a deeper sense, the two meanings are one. She is flying in midair, and can even produce a gray mist which makes her invisible. Here I would rather take the slightly negative connotation of the flying. Her weightless state and sipping tea on a cloud show a very light and unrealistic attitude-delightful, but unrealistic. There is no earth. For the English, having a cup of tea expresses having a light, chatty, social contact with people. Tea is a stimulating drink but it doesn’t nourish.

The gray mist indicates the role a stewardess must play. She has to be the charming geisha. She is the waitress of the air. Nobody is interested in her private life, in her as a woman or as a human being. Because of the erratic scheduling of their time, stewards and stewardesses have a constant temptation to have slight flirtations and not to have deep, ongoing relationships. The time program makes it a very difficult life. That’s why in the next dream she is in prison.

I was in a jailhouse, one of the old-fashioned kind, like in Western movies. It was a wooden building, and I could see two or three jail cells behind the one main desk. The

guards were talking about how there had been a lot of jail breaks recently. There were also two prisoners. One came out of the shower, and the other went to take a shower and escaped. The two guards were discussing this and said it was very strange that there had been two jailbreaks in one evening. Then they all turned around and looked at me. I thought it was very suspicious and woke up.

I would take the prison as the timetable in which she is imprisoned. It is a very difficult profession because . . . well, let’s say, the stewardess, the dreamer, meets a man she likes. She can stay with him for two hours at a airport so-and-so, but she has to take the next airplane back that evening. So she is constantly in prison and, except for short holidays, cannot break free from that. As well, there is the physical discomfort of jet lag in this profession. The irregularity of sleep and physical discomfort make these people even more uprooted, even more disconnected from their bodies and from their own depths. Even the dreaming business is difficult for a stewardess. She sleeps once in the daytime, once early in the evening, once late in the night. When has she time to record and think over her dreams? So it is a very difficult profession. It’s good for young people who like the spirit of adventure connected with it, but when one gets older a strong wish comes to retire. There is a desire in the dreamer to break free from that prison and to have a life of her own. The dream says there is a need to form her own life.

I dreamt that I was living with my friend Sue. The two of us were sharing a large two-bedroom apartment. Sue was out of work though, and quite often when I came home from work I would find the place disorderly and messy. It really got on my nerves.

This time I came off a flight, got home, and Suzie was  there. She had spilt red wine all over our light gray carpet. I was really annoyed because the stains are hard to get out. So we went down to Simpson’s and spent a whole day looking for cleaning utensils. Up one floor and down another just to buy a sponge and some bleach. We went home and finally cleaned up the mess.

Then my mother came for a visit. Sue left. My mother and I were talking about the two-bedroom apartment and wondering if it really was worthwhile having this extra space for the hassle it was causing. I went downstairs to see if maybe I shouldn’t go back to living by myself in my mother’s one-bedroom apartment. As we were talking, my mother just faded out of the dream.

Then I came back from the flight and I wanted to do my laundry, but for some reason I didn’t do it in our building. I packed it up and took it to a girlfriend’s place. She and her husband started arguing that this was kind of silly. Why was I there doing my laundry? I really shouldn’t have been there at all.

Then a party started and people were dancing. I was dancing with a woman who was weightless. She was a big person, and I had to keep holding her up. Then the laundry was finished and I started back to my apartment.

Then I was walking along a balcony which ran along the outside of my apartment building. All the apartment doors opened off one side, but the other side was open except for a railing which protected me from falling down to the ground below. I was twelve floors up. As I approached my apartment door, I saw a man hanging on the railing. It was my brother. He had been tied up there by Suzie. He was unconscious. It was tricky to untie him without letting him fall the twelve floors to the ground.

So I went into the apartment and got scissors and stuff and started untying him really carefully. Then I pulled him off the railing and over the balcony, and dragged him into my apartment. I put blankets all over him and knew he was going to be all right.

Mvf: Cleaning and washing is mostly a woman’s connection with the earth, with the body, with the material world. It is an expression of love toward matter, devotion to the principle of matter. Because of this dreamer’s profession, psychologically and outwardly she cannot express this devotion. If the dreamer could live the Suzie side of her personality, there wouldn’t be such a difficulty. But she cannot live the side of herself which likes to do the housework, likes to live introvertedly daydreaming while washing up. You know, washing up is a marvelously creative recreation. One can hang on one’s own fantasies and thoughts, think over one’s dreams, and such things-all that the dreamer cannot do. So Suzie is cantankerous and makes mischief and all sorts of trouble. In the end we see that she even hangs the brother of the dreamer.

You notice that when the dreamer goes to do the laundry, she doesn’t do it in her own house. She goes to some friends further away and washes the dirty linen there. Washing dirty linen is to sort out all of the little shadow things one has done, in order to dwell on them. Generally, if we do some- mischief against our will, if we do some harm to our friends, or forget something important, we are for a moment aware, but then we push it aside and forget about it as quickly as possible. By the afternoon we have already forgotten. So we accumulate a lot of dirty linen and have from time to time to do some washing. People say, “My friend said this about me, gossiped against me, and I got angry. ” Then they both project the shadow on each other and it comes out in petty little quarrels and jealousies. That’s dirty linen. Actually, psychotherapeutic treatment is mostly washing dirty linen. But you see in the dream that the dreamer does not do her laundry at home. Rather she goes to a friend’s house where she finds a strange weightless woman with whom she dances and whom she has to hold up.

That weightless woman is yet another shadow figure side of her, another part of her personality which has no weight, no substance. In colloquial speech we may say about someone, “What they say has no weight,” or “As a personality, they are a lightweight,” which means that they have no psychic validity, no substance. Strangely enough, what gives us substance is our shadow. Our shadow is the positive thing. That girl’s shadow is weightless because she does the washing of the dirty linen outside her own apartment. That means she probably enjoys a lot of gossip, criticizing other people among colleagues and so on. But she never takes it home to herself. She never asks herself, “What am I doing to the others?” She doesn’t bear the weight of that responsibility. She hasn’t realized her shadow yet, and therefore her other personality is weightless in a negative sense.

Then in the last part of the dream she discovers a catastrophic situation, namely, that her friend/enemy, Sue, has hung up her brother from the balcony on the twelfth floor. Now, in reality the dreamer contributes substantially to the education of that younger brother and is mothering him. So we can take the young brother who is hung up as her own possibility of studying and making an intellectual career. It is the masculine side of the woman, her intellectual mind. She probably neglects that side of herself or, rather, she cannot live it in her present profession and therefore projects it onto her brother. She gives her money and devotion to her brother and vicariously enjoys him getting his education, when actually she should be doing it herself. By projecting onto her brother, she quits her own develop­ ment. Obviously, she should not stay in the air hostess business. She has a good mind and should elect for a change of profession.

But her Sue-shadow hangs her brother up. Her Sue-shadow is the mechanism which projects “the man who makes a career” onto her brother so that the dreamer sees her masculinity fulfilled in her brother instead of seeing it as a part of herself. She has therefore to take down her brother and get him into her own space. But that’s a dangerous undertaking. He might drop twelve floors. Psychologically, the great danger is that she may be overwhelmed by the realization that she herself must do what she is paying her brother to do for her and therefore drop the entire undertaking before ever beginning.

Now, to suddenly drop in a dream has generally to do with a sudden disappointment in outer reality, with giving everything up, with falling into nothingness. That would be a reaction in her to say, “Oh, I am hopeless. Nothing will ever come out of me. I can’t make it. I give up. ” And then just throw herself away into the street, literally, and not make the effort to build up her own personal life. It is dangerous for her to ask, “Why am I paying for the career of my brother? Is it not me myself who needs to do something more than being an airline hostess?” That would be bringing the brother home into her own inner realm, bringing him home to her real self. That is the dangerous enterprise which is recommended at the enc; of the dream. And in the dream she seems to succeed.

What is the significance to that part of the dream in which the dreamer discusses with her mother the possibility of leaving Sue and living alone in her mothers one-bedroom apartment?

The dreamer’s mother in outer life is a down-to-earth, practical person who probably represents in the dreamer someone who always offers a short-cut, practical solution. Now, if your shadow annoys you, the short-cut, the practical solution, is to avoid it, to go away and have your flat. on your own-not to live with Sue, so to speak. In other words, the most practical thing is to repress the shadow. You see that when you want to talk to people about their shadow; they just switch the conversation. They say, “Oh, by the way, I wanted to tell you . ..     ” and they talk about something else. That’s the practical way of getting rid of Sue. But it’s not really practical. It’s practical at the moment, but one pays for it later.

Why do dreams use close friends to personify the shadow aspects of our personality?

Because we make friends with people who live out our shadow. Friends can do the things we cannot do. Tell me who your friends are, and I have the whole panorama of your good and bad qualities. Our bad qualities as well as our good ones hold an attraction, a fascination for us. The friend is often the person whom one envies. The friend is more elegant, or dances better, or can move about better in outer life, or has depth, or has a better mind. So if one hasn’t worked on one’s shadow, there is always a kind of love-hate relationship with the shadow and with one’s friends.

In her next dream a male figure appears in a very negative form, but the dreamer handles him very firmly and directly.

I had this dream about being in a large city airport. It was very crowded, people everywhere. There were a lot of guns and people were shooting. One guy seemed to have it in for me and kept following me around. I kept hiding, but wherever I went he would find me. He kept aiming this rifle at me and I didn’t like it. I got really frightened. Finally, I looked at him and said, “Look, I don’t want to die. I don’t like this stuff with you aiming your rifle at me. ” And he went away. He just got up and left.

Now, here we have a dream in which the male figure, the animus, plays a prominent role. There are rifles everywhere and shooting all around. It’s a scary situation and an unknown man points a rifle at her. Thinking of the dreamer as an air hostess, we can say that what with modern terrorists, she might at any moment find herself in exactly that situation in outer life. The dream picks up that fantasy, that situation, and brings it into reality.

There is psychological chaos in the masculine side of her personality. This has to do with the fact that the dreamer had very little contact with her father. Because this first experience of a man is practically missing, she has this chaotic situation. In such cases, there is no

preformation in the woman to help her relate positively to a man in later life. She doesn’t really know what men are and how to relate to them. She knows how to put that gray mist around her and appear as an attractive woman to men, but .when it comes to establishing a human relationship, she falls into a scary chaos. But then in the dream one man singles himself out. But he is unknown. This is the way she experiences men in outer life as well as her own inner masculinity. She is not familiar with the masculine side of her personality, the side who knows what she wants, is goal oriented, has willpower, strength­ all the qualities which she needs.

In the previous dream, the male figure, her brother, was hung up­ completely immobilized. Here he is certainly very active, negative but active.

This man is pointing a rifle at her. A rifle is a phallic, masculine symbol and points to goal orientation, to accuracy, to being able to want something, to have a goal accurately in mind and go for it. Because these qualities are generally unconscious in a woman, they are either projected onto men or appear as an inner masculine figure in her dreams. This man points the rifle negatively at her. He threatens her, and she becomes frightened. Then she suddenly realizes that he is responsible for her scary situation.

When the contrasexual inner figure in a woman is negative, like this rifleman, it personifies very sharp negative judgments about herself: “You are a nobody. You will never make it. Men don’t like you. They only want to have sex with you. Nobody loves you. You’ll never find a husband. You are not really a good woman. Your life will always go on as meaninglessly as it is now. ” These self-destructive thoughts cut her off from her femininity and block her possibility of relating to an outer man in a positive way. It is, therefore, great progress in the dream that she suddenly stops running away by hiding in her gray mist and thinks, “It’s not me; it’s that man who is responsible for my fearful situation. ” It’s as if at that moment she disentangles herself and realizes that those negative thoughts are something outside of her. They are not her thoughts. It’s as if she said, “It’s not me thinking that; it’s only something in me thinking those thoughts, and I don’t need to believe them.”

I remember once I dreamt a murderous burglar came into my bedroom, and I woke up with a cry of fear. I went through what I had thought the evening before. I had had a very peaceful, quiet day which could not account for such a terrible dream. Then I remembered that before going to bed I had thought, “The book I am writing is all nonsense and I must throw it away. ” I thought that I really thought that. Then when I reflected on the dream, I thought, “No, I don’t think that. It thinks that in me and I needn’t believe it. I don’t think that at all. ” Then I could disentangle myself from the negative thought. I didn’t accept it. And so with this air stewardess’s dream, she must realize that the negative man in her that always says, “You are nobody. You’ll never relate properly to a man, blah, blah, blah,” is not her. Then the miracle happens! At that moment that rifleman gets up and walks away.

Is it really that simple? Can the negative animus be transformed simply by bringing it to consciousness?

It’s as difficult and as simple as that. The dream shows her that if only she can wake up and see that the critical judgments and negative opinions about herself are not really what she thinks, she can send that devil back to hell. Then she can develop as a woman. ~The Way of the Dream, Page 166-175