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Dream Analysis Seminar

LECTURE IV 12 February 1930

Before we continue I want to go back for a moment to our famous mechanic.

As you have probably noticed there are some doubts still.

The great difficulty naturally is the paradoxical explanation one has to give in such a case.

We are always concerned with two sides in dealing with such a symbol, namely, the conscious standpoint of the dreamer and the standpoint of the unconscious.

Then there is another difficulty which I have spoken of several times, and that is the method of interpretation which Freud has followed, that the dream symbol is a more or less concrete facade which is a sort of cheat, something which tries to lead you astray, and which therefore has to be destroyed in order to find out the real meaning of the dream.

That point of view is in everybody.

We are all acquainted with it, and it forms a prejudice which I am always having to fight against. It forces me to say that the dream is not a facade, it is a fact.

It is like an animal-what is the name of that curious animal in Australia? The duckbill?

Miss Ordway: The duckbill platypus.

Dr. Jung: Yes, that’s it.

Well, that animal is not a duck, nor a mole, nor yet a rabbit; moreover it has a marsupial pouch.

It is a most monstrous mixture of elements, a thing which should not be.

If somebody dreamt of such a thing, the analyst might say, “‘But there ain’t no such bird,’ it is surely a most damnable thing, a mistake of nature that must be destroyed, there simply is no such animal, so you cannot have dreamed it.”

But there is such an animal.

One cannot say that it is a mistake.

Among primitives, when a woman brings forth a monster, a child with three legs or two heads, they kill it right away; it is dangerous and should not be allowed to live; they are always afraid of anything abnormal.

So the abnormal paradoxical surface of the dream has led Freud to formulate the idea that it was merely a facade for something rational and understandable and that therefore he had to tear it down.

This is the prejudice we have to labour against.

But I hold that when nature made that hell of a duckbill, she really meant to produce that thing.

It is really in existence and is as little a mistake as a man or an elephant.

It has been born, and the dream with all its paradoxes and unexpectedness is a fact too, so one has to take it as it is, and when it speaks of the mechanic, that man is really meant to be the mechanic.

I never thought that he would become such a famous fellow!

We are having to spend more time on him than if he were a well-known historical character.

The dream says it is that unknown mechanic, but as long as I am actually repairing his machine, naturally I am also the one who is doing it.

The dreamer, the conscious point of view, says that the man who is repairing the magneto is Dr. Jung, yet the dream says the unknown mechanic is
not Dr. Jung.

A paradox, I grant you.

One can hold a certain conviction in the conscious while the unconscious holds a completely opposite conviction which is equally true.

As one can think to oneself, “I am all right, I am a fine sort of fellow,” whilst the unconscious is saying that I am a perfect swine.

Well now, my chief opponent in last week’s discussion, Mrs. Baynes, has acquired the great merit of having worked out a definite statement with which I agree.

She says: “In the former dream where the magneto explodes, the conscious says the mechanic is the doctor but the unconscious says the. Mechanic is the unknown man.

In this dream of the grinding machine, the conscious standpoint remains the same, but the attitude of the unconscious has shifted.

The unconscious now says, ‘Although a mechanic is present it is you (the dreamer) who are taking the place of him as an expert; it is you who are mending the machine.’

Thus the dream shows the doctor up as a negligible quantity, and for the dreamer, this marks a distinct progress.”

The dreamer is naturally disconcerted that his most appreciated doctor should be so depreciated, that he should have made him into a porter or a chauffeur or a waiter whom he tips, for instance. Freud would say, “Ah, a resistance! You represent me as a waiter.”

But that is wrong.

It is a mistake to take it like that, for you then kill the perfectly legitimate attempt of the patient’s unconscious to liberate himself from the yoke of the analyst, who, whether he wants it or not, takes the place of God and is expected to perform miracles and to heal him.

The patient should learn that there is another mechanic within him who will eventually be himself, even if the doctor is still mending his machine.

It is still a conviction separated from the dreamer, but in time will become himself when he has acquired the capacity.

Now I think this should be clear, and we will continue.

You remember I began to talk to you last week about the significance of the Eastern mandala.

The different forms of the Eastern mandalas are dogmatically fixed, varying according to the different religious standpoints.

The mandala plays a great role in the Tantric and the Buddhist religious systems in India, but there are innumerable sects, and it is sometimes very hard, even for a connoisseur, to make out the particular differences.

One group with an especially dogmatic and definite creed is the so-called Tibetan or Lamaistic Buddhism, and I shall bring you next week a mandala
from that sect.

The outer circle is usually a sort of fringe of fire, symbolizing the fire of desire, or concupiscentia.

The concept of St. Augustine and of the Christian church, describing the arch sin, or the fundamental quality on which sin is built, as the desirousness
of man, is exactly like the Buddhist conception-that all the senses are aflame, that the whole world is surrounded by the fringe of desirousness.

Then comes the black circle, which often contains little golden thunderbolts, symbols of continuous energy; this is a magic circle which denotes, “I contract my energy,

I hold myself in, so that I do not burn up in the flames of desire.”

Then comes the gazelle garden, the lovely garden of the courtesans, in which the Buddha taught and where there are beautiful plants and birds and flowers.

There is also a circle of petals before you enter the garden; they are the petals of the lotus on which the Buddha was standing when
he appeared and announced the law.

And inside the garden is the courtyard of the monastery temple or the “pagoda,” and there are the four gates.

Then you must realize that it is not only a flat thing, but is also thought of as having body, relief, so there is a sort of higher terrace.

In the book that we published together, Wilhelm speaks of the “Terrace of Life.”

The temple of Borobudur is built according to that scheme, and also the old Mexican or Mayan ternples, which rise from the ground in pyramidal form by steps at the different levels.

There is a very ancient one at Sakkara, in Egypt, which is on raised terraces, and probably expresses more or less the same idea.

We have no texts that give a sufficiently clear interpretation of their symbolic meaning.

The only access we have to such symbolism is in China.

Now, upon that terrace of our mandala is a central circle, again raised above the level of the courtyard, which is filled with symbols of emanation or contraction, thunderbolts of bilateral extension called diamond wedges.

And within is the innermost circle, in the centre of which is again the diamond wedge.

That symbol had originally a yonic and phallic significance.

For instance, in our day,this is a very obscene gesture which an Eastern cocotte makes to attract a man; it means sexual intercourse.

And it meant in Babylonia the worship of the god; priests made that gesture to the idol or to the Tree of Life.

The thumb has a phallic meaning, so the gesture would mean life.

And those of you who heard our discussion of the cross symbolism will remember that the disc of the sun, with the cross in the centre, had also the meaning of life.

Holding the ankh to the god meant, “I bestow life upon the god”; or the gods held the sign before the king, meaning that they bestowed life on the king.

So that sign means generative power, because generative or creative power is only manifested where man is the victim.

He offers himself to the gods as an instrument, and whatever he is creating, the will of the god is superior to his own desire, despite the fact that he identifies himself with the god and thinks he is the hell of a fellow to create such a thing.

You see, this symbol meaning life, right and left, above and below, is checked in itself.

One finds it everywhere, meaning life emanating from the centre and going towards the centre, systole and diastole.

It is like the movement of breathing and suggests the rites of Hatha Yoga; the rhythmic performance of breathing is part of the Yoga ritual and can be compared to the vacuol in the amoeba.

Therefore the central place to which the four directions in space converge is called the germinal vesicle; it is the field where extraversion and
introversion are symbolized.

Extraversion means going out through the gates of the courtyard.

The inside square is divided like this: and each of the triangles is characterized by a different colour and represents particular philosophical conceptions.

Red is in the north below, the cardinal points of the horizon being all reversed: A most interesting book, the Bardo Thodol, or the Tibetan Book of the Dead, has been translated recently by an American named Evans-Wentz.

There the coloured triangles are explained, and one can identify them with the four functions as we know them is in our Western psychology, the basis of our consciousness, the four qualities of our orientation in space, and therefore identical with the cardinal points of the horizon.

One leaves the gates through the different functions or habitual attitudes.

The man who leaves through the south gate will live in the southern world, and the man who goes out through the gate of thinking will live in the thought world.

But when they return, the functions do not matter; only as long as they are outside are the functions important.

When he enters the courtyard of the monastery, he approaches the place where all the functions meet; in the very centre he goes into the void where there is nothing.

We cannot say it is unconsciousness, it is a consciousness that is not.

We come here to the famous Buddhist paradox, the non-existent existence, the being which is non-being, or the consciousness that is absolutely void.

That idea of the void of consciousness is explained in the book which I published with Wilhelm.

It is really, as the Buddhists always try to explain, not an empty consciousness as we would understand emptiness, but a consciousness that is not dominated by its contents.

These contents attack our consciousness with the fire of desire and we become possessed by them.

The Buddhist idea of liberation is that we should not be devoured by them, we should rather be their masters; therefore one has to empty the conscious, as it were, of those overpowering contents.

Or if anything is there, it should be like fishes in a pond; they are not masters of the pond, they are simply contents and so they cannot rule it.

The pond is the very reason for their existence, it is the vessel which contains them, they don’t contain the pond-though there are always fishes suffering from megalomania, who think that they contain the pond, that they are able to drink all the water and have it in their own inflated bellies.

So that consciousness of the inner circle, that void, is perhaps better described as a vast unconsciousness, holding so many contents that there is nothing there because nothing matters.

That is the nearest approach I can give you to the idea of Nirvana: positive non-being or non-existent existence.

Now, that paradoxical thunderbolt in the centre of the mandala I have been describing symbolizes a supreme state of revelation, a state of potential or latent energy.

Everything is possible, but it is still, as before the dawn of the world; everything in suspense, yet the next moment there will be a world.

This expresses the most gigantic feeling of a god, a Demiourgos that exists before anything exists; or of a god who suffers from a tremendous headache and hopes to be delivered soon.

For I suppose he must have suffered terribly when he was in this state of pregnancy.

That is not my ·~ invention, there are old esoteric ideas that God was very lonely, bored beyond words, and the desire was simply unspeakable to have someone who would be not himself.

And that was the origin of the world: he had a terrible headache and wanted to get rid of it.

We really have all been in the same psychological condition, so we can feel at those moments that we are exactly like the Creator with a creative headache.

This gives you a general idea of the Eastern mandala, and while I have been explaining this symbolism, you may have been thinking that it had some likeness to what we ourselves feel or experience.

That is perfectly true.

As a matter of fact, productions of similar structure are quite naturally made by many patients when they get to problems that are beyond the personal.

There comes a certain moment or climax in any analysis when, at least for a time, the personal simply collapses, it no longer matters, and where something impersonal forces its way in, which is felt to be far more important, even against the will and purpose of the individual.

And then these symbols appear.

I learned about the Eastern mandalas after I had become conscious of our Western ones.

When I first saw one I thought, now what is this?-for it seemed to be just what I had seen with my patients.

Then I went deeper into the study of them and found the most amazing parallelism.

Of course, the Western mandala has no dogmatic form yet, because it is completely individual; it is still as if played with.

The Eastern form is a ready-made machine into which one puts oneself to be transformed, but the European drawing is not ready-made, it has still to be made, it is a most individual expression and anyone
making such a thing has the feeling that he is producing something which is entirely himself.

He believes it to be an individual variation or fantasy, not assuming that it could be of any general importance.

So the Western mandala, being a means of self-expression, functions entirely differently from the Eastern way.

It is not a finished temple in which there is a definite ritual, it is only an attempt.

There is no ritual and no priesthood.

It is as if many people were trying to build temples.

That is the way these things come into existence.

The Eastern stupas were once individual attempts, and so were the pyramids.

Some king had a fantasy, or it was a high priest, or anybody who was in power and could afford to build such an enormous thing.

There is always the individual attempt on the primitive level also; they build their ghost-houses according to their own plans.

Nobody has yet felt the urge to produce a Terrace of Life in the West, to buy a piece of ground and build a mandala, instead or drawing it and bringing it to me in an analytic hour.

A fellow with plenty of time and money might say, “Why, I will build that!” and there would be a peculiar monument which might become a national monument later on, simply because it expressed something which was of the greatest importance.

If people take to it, it will remain; that truth will be convincing because it appeals to the general imagination.

The great audience hall built by Akbar was also a mandala, a most individual expression of that particular man, and it became extolled as a historic monument because it was built on generally convincing lines.

That is the way such things come to pass.

With us, as I say, they are in the making, but I shouldn’t wonder if something came out of it, it is possible.

Out of these Western mandalas something will be created when one understands that it expresses something at the same time artistic and fundamental.

Dr. Draper: Will you explain what appears to me at the moment rather paradoxical, that the primitive people of whom you were just speaking are collective in their reactions, and yet at the same time more individual than we are?

Dr. Jung: Yes, that is a paradox, I grant you.

They are more individual and less so. They are like animals.

A complete thing, unhampered, simply what it is, identical with the laws of their species.

That is my idea of the complete individual, not perfect, but individual. Complete in their virtues and in their vices.

Fulfilling the meaning of the species, utterly collective, and at the same time individual.

I say that you cannot be a really collective being without being completely individual, because only when you are humbly the thing that nature intended you to be, fulfilling decently the experiment nature is trying to make, only then are you a decent member of society.

Not society with a capital letter, you might well be a holy terror to that society.

Now I want to show you how the mandala enters in our dream. Are there any questions?

Mrs. Baynes: I would like to know if it is possible for the Western mind to get into that interior circle without falling into the Christian Saint psychology – that is making a lust of renouncing lust.

Dr. Jung: Yes, it is quite dangerous to talk about Eastern psychology, because we Westerners are so imitative, particularly about things we don’t understand.

We try at once to ape the thing, assuming that we are thus getting it.

We would like to transport Western psychology into Eastern form, but that would be a tremendous mistake.

It would be the same mistake the missionaries make with the Negroes. Christianity is the religion of a highly civilized people, it is not expressive of primitive people.

The missionaries spoil the native religion completely, and they themselves get spoiled.

That is what happens when Western people identify with the East. It is really regrettable, a complete failure.

They do it in order to escape their own problems, it is nothing but a cheat, a lie.

That thing in the East is no lie, it is very sacred, but it is not for someone coming from a Western city, with that Western life in him.

The East reaches the Inner Court by a ritual which is collectively valid; there it is real life, but for the Westerner it is simply lying.

He does not come from the life which that thing in the East presupposes, namely, a man who is low and also perhaps noble, a man who is perfectly acquainted with his vices as well as his virtues.

Along comes a pale Westerner, very respectable, and enters the gates to be still more respectable.

But he makes use of it only in order to increase his specific lie, and the result is that such people are perfectly empty.

They walk about with glassy eyes, dead, every scrap of imagination gone, completely sterilized.

They use that ritual to remove themselves from life. In the East they use it to increase life, life spent luxuriantly, like the jungle; all that is guarded and fathers intensity.

The Westerner uses the very same means to mutilate his life still more.

His left hand is already cut off and then he cuts off his right hand as well, so that instead of completing his experience, he completes his ignorance.

Quietism has a meaning in the East, because if one is not quiet one goes to pieces; if one worries one goes mad.

We live on time. Their watch is eternity.

To ignore, time is useless and fruitless for us; we live in the actual moment, and if we ignore it we mutilate ourselves still more.

Much of what goes on in Eastern rituals is hushed up.

For instance, in certain Tantric systems, at the crowning moment when the initiant has entered the central place on the Terrace of Life, he performs a ritual cohabitation with a woman.

That fact is not known, or it is just whispered.

Westerners think the centre is a great void.

Only when a man is capable of thinking of that act as a sacred nuptial can he understand the East. Christianity originally ended in the circus, wild animals in the arena and death.

It is the idea of totality which is the necessary ingredient, not an artificial two-dimensional being.

So it is absolute nonsense when Western people try to get into such a shape.

They simply cannot do it.

But what the unconscious is surely trying to bring about is the building up of that temple, which means that it has a tendency to create the idea of the totality of man.

That idea will get stronger and stronger as we get more oriented in our moral values-the more we learn that there is nothing very bad without a bit of good, and nothing very good without a bit of bad.

We shall be improved by that truth, by that relativity, and get a little of the attitude of the Eastern man, who was always close to the earth and never dreamed of being absolutely superior to the laws of nature.

They worshipped the laws of nature.

You can see that in every Indian, in their worship of the phallus.

They know it is a phallus, and the sterile woman brings offerings to it, often a little polished stone like an ash tray and in it an oblong stone.

It is an olive mill to press out oil, a fertility symbol. One can see it in the streets and buy it, and there are huge representations of it in the temples.

In Roman times no woman was in the least genee to wear a phallic symbol as a brooch. Even in the early Middle Ages they used phallic amulets.

It is only lately that it became indecent and completely hushed up. Now these things are discussed quite openly again, but that leads into a sort of disorientation of our morality.

If you read about the conditions prevailing in certain countries now, especially the condition of the young people, and their point of view, you get an idea of what we are up against in our times.

One understands why the unconscious is trying to bring up a new stability, a new order.

To return to the bearing of all this on the dream, we had come to the peculiar fact that the machines were connected with the mandala.

The first machine made a road which very clearly amounted to a mandala.

And in this dream the structure of the machine is again something like one-a revolving central part, suggesting a complicated device, with its constituents or parts working in perfect order.

As far as I can make out every part is rotating, and in the mandala there is rotation also; the rotating idea is in fact necessary to bring about the magic circle around the sacred place within.

In the foundation of a Roman city, for instance, they moved in a circle, the sulcus primigenius, around the fundus in the centre, they went with a plough in the way of the sun, making a furrow around that
central place.

Not far from Zurich, at Irgenhausen, near Pfaffikon, are the remains of an old Roman castle with the fundus right in the centre; it has been excavated and repaired to a certain extent.

It is always a good idea to see these things in reality, and it is easy to reach-there is an omnibus line from Zurich.

Still more interesting psychologically as an illustration of the rotation movement is the temple at Borobudur, which I spoke of before.

That is a pyramidal mass consisting of circular corridors decreasing in size, like a spiral, till one comes to the central point on top.

One walks in a spiral round and round, and the walls of these corridors are decorated with bas-reliefs representing former incarnations of the Buddha.

It is a pilgrimage of initiation, and one is surrounded on either side with the images of the many lives of that perfect man.

The pilgrim is taught that he lived as a plant and as a locust and as a monkey.

That is not like our Western ideas, we would see a bill on the wall with Verbot.

But there he sees the life of all nature, including every mistake one could make-all the 576 processes the Buddha had to go through, working through the spiral way till he reached the centre.

Then only was he the perfect man.

Utterly unlike our idea of the proper kind of living!

The rotating movement has the particular significance of the completion of life; if one covers the whole ground one cannot fail to complete oneself.

If one remains on the East side, one is developed only on that side and absolutely atrophic and non-existent on the other.

This is our psychological situation; we are a one-sided product with an unknown shadow side, which may cast a cloud over us at any time.

The Buddhist creed, the spiral movement, gives one a chance to become the all-around man.

The Platonic idea of the first man was an absolutely globular being, hermaphroditic, because the idea was that one must pass through the lives of women as well as men to grow into the perfect man.

Through such an initiation an almost complete consciousness would be produced, in which there would be nothing left to take possession of one.

In the Westerner, that side forms autonomous complexes which roll over him, and then there is a darkness and he doesn’t know himself any longer.

It is that other unknown side. The idea of rotation really means an evolutionary movement, a rounding out, a consciousness of the whole extension of one’s life.

So the dream of the patient obviously means to put his machine in order and to let it rotate.

And we see that the mandala symbolism comes in to show him that it really is his own individual yantra, that mechanism which ought to function and to transform him-as if he were walking round and round at Borobudur.

By being identical with the machine he would arrive at his goal.

The Eastern idea is demonstrated by its chiefly circular character, in which the cross is not so obviously represented; the idea is that man should enter the centre, and there he should become identical with the god that occupies it.

Our Western mandalas on the other side show a tendency to represent the cross in the centre in the following fashion.

This would mean a differentiation of the most central thing, and that does not exist in the East.

It is probably what they criticize in us because it is missing in themselves, and that is why the East is coming to the West; as we go to them in order to get away from that spikey torture instrument and come round by the circular movement.

I say this with reservations, but I have by now seen so many European mandalas and have been so impressed by the fact that the centre is preferably characterized by the cross that I think there must be something in it. It is not coincidence or mere chance.

It is a Western characteristic, as working round in a circle is characteristic of the East, the circumambulatio.

They work around, always having the centre on the right side. To go the other way would be absolutely wrong or regressive, and black magic would result.

Dr. Draper: Does the whirling dervish dance have any relation to that?

Dr. Jung: I don’t know. There might be a connection.

There is a mandala dance, which is beautiful because of the rotating movement and the position in space, the centre establishing relations with the figures on the sides.

Sometimes there is a vessel of gold in the centre with flames rising from it and four pillars around it.

Anyone with a motor imagination could make a very beautiful dance out of that motif.

Now in the dream of our patient, the mandala has to do with sexuality-and-that is linked up with his inferior function; it is a curse a taboo, arising perhaps from his colonial inferiority.

It is as if, in the mandala, one had blotted out a part.

He should get himself together and then that damned thing would function.

He must acknowledge the inferiority of his relatedness, which has hitherto been his stumbling block.

When he came to the place where the whole thing should function together, he collapsed and had to begin again, for sex cannot be left outside.

One can imagine that when the Buddha was a monkey he was a real monkey, he was just that thing; otherwise he would not acquire merit.

For instance, in the East, when a man wants to be a holy man he is allowed to enter a monastery.

Then if the life of a celibataire doesn’t suit him, he can step out of his monastery and marry and is none the less a monk, only he doesn’t live in the monastery.

That is perfectly logical.

He hasn’t lived that phase enough, he has not burned out all that needed to be burned out, and one can overcome a thing only

when it is burned out.

Otherwise one is bound to it for this life and many others.

One has to work that way, and then one comes to the place where there is no more.

The Buddhist idea is a perfectly natural one, so natural that it has been called the religion of pure reason.

Dr. Deady: What did the patient get in his conscious out of your handling of the dream?

Dr. Jung: I really did not tell him all that I have told you, only hints.

He was aware that these machines have to do with sex and are also an expression of human will.

The mandala is really an effect of some fundamental idea in man for which I find no explanation.

It is like asking why a certain thing should be beautiful people call it beautiful and so it is.

So this machine represents an underlying fact of an ideal nature and is the means by which he can transform himself.

I called his attention to the fact that the revolving machine had to do with clockwork, time, a libido machine, and that it meant the complete functioning of his life energy, and I told him he must put it right.

The dream says, now go and do it if you dare.

But perhaps it is not the right time, as the Chinese would say.

Therefore we cannot foresee what the next dream will show us.

What we might expect, if the time is ripe, is that he will start something along the locust line or monkey line or certain human lines, but in any case that he will go a step further and come to a new chapter of his psychology.

But if the general situation is not favourable, we may expect a catastrophe. Something may interfere. Perhaps somebody has an intuition.

Mrs. Deady: Are these all his dreams?

Dr. Jung: Practically all. He is not a very prolific dreamer.

This one was seventeen days after the one before. What would you expect to be the next move?

Mrs. Henley: That he tries the machine.

Dr. Jung: Fine! You are an optimist.

Mrs. Baynes: I think he looks over the field in his conscious mind.

Dr. Jung: I hope he will do that because I told him he ought. And then what?

Mrs. Baynes: He might try to avoid it again.

Dr. Deady: This is the most positive constructive dream that he has had. Something ought to happen.

Dr. Jung: That is what we really could expect.

We even must expect it. When a thing is ready it is very important that the expectation of the analyst is positive-now things are all right!

He must have that self-confidence, he must go out into the world and say, now the motor is perfect. But the great question is, has he been in such a situation before?

If not, unless he takes it very seriously, there might be a Tartarin result-when he assumed that the glaciers in the Alps were all brought up there by the Anglo-Swiss Corporation and arranged so that he was in no danger in climbing them.

It is quite possible that, never having been as ready as now, he probably also never realized the nature of the dangers and doubts which he might encounter when taking the hypothesis seriously.

It is now possible that, though ready, he will hurt himself against an obstacle which he hasn’t seen hitherto-a subtle snag of a rather unexpected nature.

When I analysed that dream I remember thinking: now everything is ready, start the motor.

And then came the thought, there might be a snag somewhere!

Dr. Deady: A snag outside? The motor is bound to act.

Dr. Jung: He starts his motor in the garage and he may get stuck in the garage, without letting his libido out at all! ~Carl Jung, Dream Analysis Seminar, Pages 463-476