Meaning of Dreams
Meaning of Dreams
Dream Away Stress
Freud and Sex
He called this the Collective Unconscious, this discovery caused the final split with Freud who denied this fact, as do many people today, hence our modern mess because most of us especially the ruling class have a major part of nature missing from their lives and are therefore unbalanced and unconscious. This onesided view leaves a void of lop sided and destructive actions. The language of the Collective Unconscious is dreams, so when we look at our dreams and work on them, we do not only heal ourselves but assist the collective as well.
Dreams and The Future
Therefore if one takes note of one’s dreams, life will have more meaning, as well as avoiding fatalistic events, thus living one’s true destiny. So this font of knowledge will improve, relationships, careers, health and help explain the meaning of life, thus alleviating the curse of stress, as well as helping the collective struggle
Ancient and Modern Stresss
Although some of these have been temperorarily conquered in the Northern Hemisphere we have replaced these ills with the new ones of cold and hot wars, terrorism where peoples are fighting for their rights as well as the dramatic increase in certain illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, mental health issues all caused by the pollution of modern living.
Here I am using the word stress to encompass all the pressures that the psyche encounters in the world which can include the strain of work, a bereavement, relationships, depression, poor health, insecurity of personal or world affairs and so forth.
Stress was first used in the middle of the 16th Century in England being derived from ‘distress’ which in turn comes from the French word ‘destresse’ via ‘distrain’ from the Latin ‘districtus’ meaning divided in mind. There are many other offshoots including, ‘straits’ as in Straits of Dover, describing a narrow or restricted stretch of water, or the phrase ‘goods in distress’. A legal term from the past, still used in law today, when goods are seized or distrained to offset a debt, thus causing distress. Stress can also describe the pressure on a human being or an inanimate structure such as metal which will buckle when over stressed and so forth, but always denoting a strong onslaught of focused tension.
Stress & Health
However some types of stress can be positive, in manageable doses, being a necessary teacher which can fortify and stimulate development, because tension produces growth. This necessary tension has been and still is a character builder of mankind and a selective evolutionary tool in the natural world. However too much stress is a danger because the intensity becomes overbearing and destructive inwardly to an individual’s mind and body or expressed outwardly as collective disasters and war.
When stress becomes too much for a person, it becomes destructive, however disguised whether on a personal plane or in society as a whole. This syndrome can lead to selfish hedonism which covers up the fear, provoking a form of self deception, in order to justify the ‘I’m all right Jack’ attitude, all too prevalent today. In short, individualism which is one of the mainstays for global injustice and environmental destruction. This short sighted view not only blindly ignores the plight of the less fortunate, but above all, maintains a disparaging blind spot towards nature. These synthetic and superficial forms of compensation can only end in disaster for the individual and society. There is a golden rule that if one tucks away an uncomfortable truth in the dark recesses of the psyche, it can only manifest itself in a negative manner in the world of light. This rule applies to both the individual or the collective. Thus we meet our darkness as fate in a disastrous manner, whether as personal or collective crisis.
There is a simple solution that will not only relieve the individual but help the collective as well. If one takes a fresh look at the whole situation, the solution for this divisive stress is to be found at the core of the predicament. Let us return to the original meaning of the word to ‘narrow’ or further back ‘divided in mind’. One can see that the root meaning of the word, is a split. This division fractures the ability of the person to handle dilemmas in a balanced fashion. Surprisingly with the best will in the world, positive thinking will and can never work because it is one sided. For, if the negative is not accepted and realised, this dark element will control the situation in the end, by way of projection. The unconscious always projects through the individual, until reflected or caught with the mind by honest self-analysis. Therefore all this modern stress is really a manifestation of the individual or collective strife engendered out of unconscious projections.
It is obvious that stress effects people in many differing ways, some people thriving on it, in a sort of masochistic fashion. Whereas some are split apart, whichever the case, both are detrimental in the long run. The question is where does one look for the answer? Doctors, therapists and the media are full of any number of superficial solutions including, exercise, meditation, diet, holidays, alcohol, drugs, counselling, change of lifestyle and so forth, all having varying different levels of superficial success
The method I will lay out is suitable for any person who is willing to take a bit of trouble in examining themselves. This will not only resolve the conflict, but also give true meaning to life itself, because the solution always lies at the heart of the problem. The problem is how to access this centre. Initially this can be awkward because although the dilemma holds the key, it is hidden behind a blind spot. Even though this blind spot can be very evident to enemies who can exploit this weakness. On the other hand, the well meaning, but the all too often unwanted advice of family and friends is often ignored. However the key to unlocking this mystery is available to all, completely free every night, in dreams. Because dreams are personal, they can be more poignant than any other stimulus. (See Time for A Change).
Historically, Jung has often been wrongly associated with the Freudian school of thought. Although Sigmund Freud was an early mentor for Dr Jung, he soon parted Freud’s circle because the young Swiss doctor found Freud too rigid in his view of the psyche and dream interpretation. Jung realised that Freud, although a pioneer in the field of psychoanalysis, could not address the deeper, mysterious realms of the human being, where religion and science meet. Also the psyche’s ability to ‘see’ into the future or contact other people at great distances and so forth, plus containing the meaning of life.
Jung’s research proved how buried in each psyche there is an objective autonomous core, which can guide any person, willing to look inwards. This not only heals any split, but also gives a true meaning to human existence. He determined that there was a totally independent and personal arbiter in the dark areas of the psyche. He called this area of the psyche, the unconscious because one is not aware of its contents. He proved that dreams are the method of communication between the two worlds. Because dreams are expressing unconscious contents, their language has to be symbolic. This language of symbols is necessary in order to bypass the blind spot, expressing allegories from religion, poetry, ancient myths, folklore and fairytales. Thus dreams point to the missing ‘half’ of a person, acting as a balancing and compensating arena.
The personal unconscious is where we tuck all personal events pleasant or repressed. This area nowadays is fairly easily aired with a little self-honesty, by education and open discussions with a partner and friends. It also contains archaic remnants of survival techniques which evolved in order that our primitive ancestors could perpetuate their species, before collective societies. This explains the selfish gene syndrome.
Unfortunately these methods of survival have developed, misguidedly, into the new dilemmas of the desire for power, opportunism, materiality, greed, selfishness, jealousy and so forth. However these initial instincts were necessary to protect food, family and the tribe against the hazards of nature and rival aggressors. But now these instincts are more or less redundant, as mankind is more conscious and able to provide and protect itself in cohesive societies. But due to levels of unconsciousness still prevalent today, there are vestiges of these prehistoric instincts that display themselves today, spilling out as environmental destruction, exploitation of people and war etc..
The personal unconscious is really an instinctual, upper echelon of the collective unconscious. The psyche is formed out of an archetypal structure, which is made up of four main areas. The first is the ego complex which is the centre of consciousness. It is like an island floating above a vast ocean. The meaning of the word complex has been distorted by psychology and its very relationship to this area of the psyche. It actually means, a coming together (com = cum. Lt.) of many things (plex), be it expressing the ego or a repressed set of circumstances. i.e. like the collection of factors that create an inferiority or mother complex. Complexes manifest themselves as irritable moods, tantrums, depression and uncontrolled tempers, obsessive behaviour, etc..
The ego is a fusion or complex of features and experiences formed into a cohesive entity, at around the age of seven years. This usually occurs when a child starts to identify him or herself as a person. Quite often children say ‘we’, prior to this, as they identify themselves with the egos of their parents, family or social group.
In reality, individual or collective conflicts are the effects of unconscious projections battling themselves out in the material world.
A simple, yet uncomfortable way to identify one’s own shadow qualities is to look out for a person of the same sex or similar personality who has all the qualities one dislikes. This may be housed in one or several persons mirroring our own repressed and rejected traits. For example a very manipulative person who is constantly weaving selfish plans in the shadows, will clash or will accuse others of being control freaks. Often such people are petrified of snakes, spiders and creepy crawlies as they represent their own clandestine qualities. The shadow can appear in dreams in these forms. However with a little honesty, if such a shadow trait is accepted, it can become a positive aspect of the psyche and create a consciousness with great organisational abilities.
Jung wrote the following inspired description of the feminine:
“a calming beauty of a moonlit night where the sharpness of the landscape is caressed into gentle curves by the delicate light which the Queen of the Night reflects.” That silver disc in the night sky is the calming reflector of the sun, silently yet dutifully controlling the tidal flows of all the great waters on earth, without even uttering a whisper”.
The anima is conditioned by the relationship to the mother. Therefore if there was a negative experience or total lack of a mother figure, the anima will have those qualities which in later life are projected onto women who will live out the negativity, thus giving rise to bad relationships. This does not mean that this experience has to be all bad.
All love quarrels are made of this stuff and have been in evidence all over the world since time immemorial. The anima is tied up with the sexual energy of the body and of course, is the true food of love.
The anima as well as being the inner ‘inspiratrice’ and cohesive substance for relationships is the inner guide to the centre of the male psyche, the God Image of the Self, which is always masculine for the man.
Whereas the male personification of the female psyche, when enlightened, will be her best friend. This is laid out in the fairy tale of beauty and the beast. When the possessed and entrapped girl, can embrace the beast, he turns into Prince Charming, the man of her dreams, and she lives happily ever after.
Most religions being patriarchal are of little use to the modern woman or at best a stepping stone. Whereas the older nature cults have more in tune with the feminine psyche where Goddesses were worshipped and served the female, so the true way is to find the Goddess within which is a major leading role for the animus.
Jung pointed out that if the world was to survive, it would be due to the feminine and the feeling function. The Self for both men and women is the ultimate goal of human existence. It is the Image of God and the centre of the human psyche. The Self can only, truly be realised when the shadow and the animus or anima are made conscious. However a path towards the Self can be activated by guilt which usually occurs after a trauma. A raw encounter with the Self will be recognised, never to be forgotten, as it can be awesome. A mild manifestation of the Self can be felt sometimes as a temporary feeling of well being or oneness caused by a number of ‘happy’ occurrences such as the warmth of a family gathering, winning a prize or an event, promotion, creative endeavours and so forth. For the Saints, it was a dramatic experience, the ‘Ectstasis’ or ecstasy. Over the centuries people have sought out this elusive spirit, in many forms even misguidedly, from the ‘spirit’ in the bottle, with alcohol being the hidden inner spirit, and also drugs. A modern sickness is the scourge of alcohol and drug abuse in many consumer societies, with some substances even being falsely labelled ‘Ecstasy’. The devastating ‘worship’ of materialism and all the other ‘ism’s’ are another area which needs correcting to ensure a secure future for subsequent generations. These are all a ‘loss of soul’ and an unhealthy projection of the archetypes of the unconscious.
There is a caveat as always, because along the path of self-discovery, involving the complexes and archetypes, there is a personal price. However when identified as a natural occurrence, is less disturbing than when it first appears, for if recognised it can be controlled. This is a mild depression. When the centre of consciousness absorbs these dark elements, the light of the ego is dimmed, thus causing a slight depression. This is necessary to allow the effect, and the unconscious contents to congeal into the world of light. If this is repressed, it will only appear at a later date in another fashion, usually more destructive. Jung discovered that when life has no meaning one day and meaning the next then you know you are on the Via Regia.
It is extremely dangerous to accelerate this phenomenon by artificial means such as mind-altering substances. Although in many native cultures a ritual lowering of consciousness was controlled by an experienced medicine man. Alas many of these rituals have been lost, along with the knowledge of the shamans, leaving many native cultures to fall into depravity.
This altered state, is not to be confused with manic depression or a psychosis which must be treated as an illness because the ego has lost control, albeit due to an unconscious eruption. In such cases the island of consciousness has been overwhelmed by the waters of the unconscious. It was not by chance that Western Alchemy used the sobriquet of Mercury for this domain with all the allusions to lead and quicksilver. These substances were not only pseudonyms for the unconscious but its potential quality of being poisonous. The curse of the genius is that he or she is precariously close to the unconscious. This can explain their bizarre, even mad and sometimes short existences because the unconscious, although a source of inspiration can overwhelm the ego, if care is not taken.
This listless feeling of mild despair, if understood, then controlled, can be exploited to improve our well being, because when the ego potential is diminished temporarily, it opens a door allowing in these illuminating features. These factors then enlarge and strengthen the ego making it more fertile. Thus the island of consciousness grows, rather like the layers of congealed lava surging up from the depths of an oceanic volcano turning from a barren landscape into a balanced and diverse eco-culture.
After a lifetime of experience adopting the Jungian method of analysing dreams and the psyche I acknowledge, as Jung determined, there are no fixed laws to elucidate the unconscious, but there are certain archetypal components which are more or less common.
A man is walking on a sea shore where he encounters a black magician who scares the dreamer, for it appears the evil wizard wishes him harm. He flees into the sea to escape, where after nearly drowning, he is rescued by an enchanting mermaid who carries him off to a sacred island. There, she introduces our refugee to a wise old man who is a white magician, living in a cave. The helpful magician whispers secrets into his ear and gives him an amulet to control the evil magus. He notices, much to his surprise, that both magicians have the same features’.
The man is our ‘make believe’ dreamer. The seashore is the border between the unconscious, represented by the sea, and the conscious, terra firma of dry land. The black magician is the man’s dark shadow personality, which is always the same sex as the person who dreams. The shadow of an individual is easily, but painfully recognised in dreams or otherwise in life by being those characteristics which we dislike in another, usually of the same sex. The shadow, as all unconscious contents, is projected and destructive until being made conscious by reflection. People often create a false persona or public face, which acts like a mask covering the darker shadow personality, often revealed in a person’s laugh.
In this example, the mermaid (half human, half fish) being the helpful anima figure acting as a positive aspect of his feminine soul. In myths and folklore the mermaid has had two aspects on the one hand, helpful, the other, the siren luring sailors and their ships to crash on to the rocks. The anima can also be devastatingly irresistible, the ‘femme fatale’ which destroys the man because he is chasing a dark, destructive projection of his own soul. The anima is conditioned by the mother imago, so it often occurs when a man has had a negative experience of motherhood, he is easily seduced by actual sirens or indulging in impossible liaisons, also sometimes personified in the form of the unobtainable ‘She’ of Rider Haggard, such as beautiful women, actresses, pop stars etc., always, much to his chagrin.
The benevolent anima can be exemplified in myth and literature as the ‘inspiratrice’ for a man, much as the Muses were to the Ancient Greeks. These nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne (memory), encouraged the creative spirit in man to the fore, inspiring poetry, dancing, songs, painting, the art of love and so forth.
I have not delved too much into the female psyche, in print for a variety of reasons therefore I recommend the works of Dr. Marie-Louise Von Franz for further reading on the workings of the female psyche. When trying to interpret dreams, a simple rule of thumb is to take the meaning literally first, then look at any symbolism making it an adventure of self-discovery. Remember dreams are not there to insult you but to guide and forewarn you on your path through life.
Professor Jung stated that an oral communication in a dream must be accepted, verbatim.Also to help understand dream language here is a brief intermezzo into Jung’s four functions which are needed by the psyche to orientate itself in consciousness.
The reverse will be true for a woman. If a woman has sensation and feeling as her lower functions, they will be her masculine attributes and attached to the animus. This type of psyche can make a successful entrepreneur or dealer.
Often people are attracted to each other at an unconscious level because the type is opposite and complimentary. Hence a ‘thinking’ man will be attracted to a feeling type woman and so forth.
Jung pointed out that thinking is the opposite function to feeling which he considered to be logical. Whereas sensation is contrary to intuition, being the illogical functions. Here illogical does not mean that they are unreasonable, but outside the norm. For example it is a well-known fact that people can dream or have accurate hunches about the future whether a businessman, dealer or a medium. If all events were purely causal it would create a dead world without inspirational criteria, especially in the arts but equally one needs a sixth sense to buy the right house. These illogical facts are just so, hence accepted logic needs redefining to incorporate this quantum field of the unconscious.
Wholeness is dependent on including all the functions into consciousness, therefore a balanced standpoint is to use all the functions equally, in a rounded way. Simplistically, take a problem, think about what it is, then use sensation to tell you what it is in material terms, thereafter intuition will determine where it came from, the past, and where it is going, into the future; lastly feeling will guide one as to whether it is good or bad thing. In this way one sees any situation or dilemma in a wholesome fashion.
We now live in a period of excessive flying both literal and figurative ignoring the feeling area of sensible compassion to our fellow humans, animals and the environment.
Earth spirits or animals, crocodiles, bulls, snakes, chthonic gods like Pan, trolls, earth dragons etc. normally relate to an unconscious instinctual side of our nature. Snakes and saurians possibly indicating a cold-blooded approach to a problem or a person, i.e. using a thinking aspect only. Bulls or Pan could demonstrate the raw sex drive of self-preservation or desire.
When one dreams of a house, it can represent the psyche, the upstairs being the conscious realms and the lower floors, more towards the unconscious. Houses on fire could be danger or change. Running away is usually evading a problem. If one is being chased, the gender or type of pursuer will determine whether one is trying to escape the reality of the soul or the shadow.
Therefore the only real combat to stress or division is to integrate the archetypes from the unconscious into consciousness and when one is contact with the Self, one’s life will have true meaning and security. If knowledge is power, then self-knowledge is freedom.
Jung proved this fact time after time and only ignorance denies it. Obviously one has to be questioning about ‘voices’ from inside, but the ‘voices’ in a normal person will be the ever obliging, informative archetypes, as in the above situation. In the case of the very disturbed, being schizophrenics or psychotics, the ‘voices’ will be dangerous complexes which need professional analysis. Safer are the ‘voices’ and or their images from dreams.
Since antiquity from the Greek Tragedies or the Arab Story tellers throughout history including Shakespeare, the archetypes of the unconscious have been portrayed as the heroines, heroes and demons of literature. These acting as a catharsis, thus temporarily exorcising the unconscious projections from the psyche. This is what makes a play, opera, book, film or soap fascinating as it acts out these archetypes. For example Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the word still taboo for English speaking actors. It is a story of greed, thus the shadow, motivated by a manipulative female, Lady Macbeth playing the role of the dark anima. The tale resolving itself with the hero emanating from a wood, representing the redeeming function from the unconscious.
Thank you for reading meaning of dreams, please continue your journey by reading the following…