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Letters of C. G. Jung: Volume 2, 1951-1961

To 0. Schrenk

Dear Professor Schrenk, 8 December 1952

I greatly enjoyed your interesting letter.

Naturally your “reaction” made a special impression on me.

It was quite in keeping with the deeper meaning of the dream that you should write to me about it.

The “teacher” shows you the secret of his “daughter.”

Perhaps I may draw your attention to a small but, in its consequences, serious technical mistake in your interpretation of the dream. (It plays a greater role in the dream that follows.)

The dream’s extremely negative criticism of your “product” may be connected with this.

The conscious starting-point of the dream is the reading of my book, or rather its affective impact which evokes the image of your one-time teacher.

The dream leads away from me to Prof. Gaub, who is entirely your memory.

Gaub didn’t write Job, also he has no daughter, but he is an ideal teacher.

Contrary to all expectations, the dream has concealed me and replaced me by Gaub.

Why does the dream make such an arrangement?

Why does it say “eagle”instead of Schrenk or Jung?

The dream quite obviously means Gaub and eagle.

It is only we who think it must actually mean Schrenk or Jung.

In this respect your colleague has already corrected you, only to make the same mistake himself of wanting to know better than the dream.

It is as if a doctor found sugar in a patient’s urine and told him, “The sugar really means albumen,” and then treated the patient for nephritis on the basis of a mere opinion.

Freud himself made this fundamental mistake.

It is the simplest way of killing the dream’s meaning.

Of course we look round for figures in our world of experience to explain dreams.

But the first thing to be established is that a dream is a natural phenomenon which we cannot interpret with a flick of the wrist, otherwise we are doing alchemy instead of chemistry.

Since the second dream obviously means eagle, and neither you nor I are eagles circling round concentration camps, this interpretation is purely arbitrary.

But what, then, is the eagle?

The eagle is here meant as a threatening factor which has to be “shot down.”

It is all-seeing, spying out its prey from above with a telescopic eye which nothing escapes.

Understandably enough, this invigilation is particularly disagreeable to the rationalistic and atheistic Jew as it reminds him of the eyes of Yahweh, which “run to and fro through the whole earth” (mentioned in my Job!) and from which nothing remains hidden.

The eagle “seizes” and “snatches up” (Ganymede and the eagle of Zeus).

Your colleague is reminded that he is still stuck in an intellectualistic concentration camp and feels the liberator as an enemy.

Here we are dealing with an archetype and not with the writer Jung.

The same is true of the teacher and even more so of the daughter.

Here the figure of Sophia insinuates herself, divided into the “Wise Old Man” and his daughter, who stands for the virgin soul.

The two dreams do not point back to the daytime impressions, but forwards into the world of living archetypal figures, which apparently or in fact we have long forgotten but which are always there if only we would think scientifically and not be satisfied with mere opinions.

Please don’t take these remarks as schoolmasterish criticism; I only thought they might help you to understand my apparently very difficult
and so often misunderstood psychology.

With best thanks for your stimulating letter,

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 98-100.