Archives for posts with tag: dream analysis

11 June 1930

Dr. Jung: As you know, the public does not always buy the high-grade merchandise, they want to have things cheap; so it is quite possible and even very probable that his own new realizing powers are more or less unwilling to acquire that high-grade merchandise. Now, what would that mean? Well, this is a precious piece of masculine psychology. We have so often spoken critically of women, and here we come to men. I shall not spare them.

Mr. Schmitz: He does not realize it enough. It is unconscious.

Dr. Jung: That is right, and that is a very important point about men. You see, a man knows exactly when a thing is wrong or what it should be if it were right, and he is inclined to assume that, when he thinks the thing, it is done, because he is convinced of it in his mind. Yet it is not done at all. A man can write a book or preach a marvelous sermon about how people should behave without carrying out the principle at all in his private life. He does not live it. That is an entirely different consideration.

The spirit is strong, but the flesh is awfully  weak. The Yin power, the realization power, is very low, very inferior, it doesn’t follow suit, it doesn’t accept that wonderful thought and put it to work; it remains inert and passive and fails to move at all.

The thought enjoys itself in itself, revolves in itself and goes on revolving in itself, and nothing comes out of it. Reality goes on as it always has and nothing is changed, yet the man who is identical with that wonderful thought up in the air thinks it has changed a great deal. He thinks: I have an entirely different view of things and the world, therefore everything is different.

Yet when it comes down to hard facts nothing is different, everything is as it was. If such a man had a good Yin power, a good realizing power instead of an inferior one, he would feel at once that he thought but never realized, and therefore he had no right to think that way–that he shouldn’t think those things.

If he does think those things, he must realize that he has pledged himself. But that absolutism of thought and conviction is rarely to be found, as it is entirely a religious quality. Only a religious man has that quality, that Yin power, that puts his thoughts through into work. The mere intellectual has nothing of the kind, he has absolutely no realizing powers; it is air.

Thus the most important thing he can imagine turns out to be just words; to say it is nothing but words is not far from the truth. And this is so common that nearly all men believe it is words and not reality. When they hear somebody talking, I say about ninety-nine percent of all men surely assume that it is just words and not reality, because in ninety-nine cases that is true.

21 May 1930

You see, as long as man has but one function, he is just aware that he can do something, but he is always up against an overwhelming psychological condition, the three in the unconscious, the majority, on top of him.

Then he acquires a second function and becomes more complete. He gains more balance and acquires something like a philosophical consciousness. He can be aware of himself as such a psychological being. He can say: I want to do this or that, and he can also say: I see how foolish that is. While with only one function that is impossible, there is no reflection; it is only with the acquisition of the two functions that he has acquired a mirror. The left hand can then judge the right hand, and he has thereby gained a sort of divinity, a superior point of view.

The third function makes a second mirror. He can say: I see this fellow here who is watching that chap down there, and I see how he thinks and that he makes a wrong conclusion. With a fourth function there would be still more consciousness.

Obviously, it is a tremendous thing in the growth of consciousness that one can get behind oneself, that one can as a spectator again and again mirror oneself. Probably one can actually do it only to a limited extent, there are presumably certain restrictions to our consciousness, but one can see the possibility of infinite mirrorings and of infinite judgment. In that case, one would arrive naturally at a being who was so fabulously superior to conditions that it would be an almost limitless freedom, like the complete freedom of God that has not to obey conditions because it is the only condition that is.

Therefore the more functions one acquires, the more one deprives the divinity, or the magical factor, the mana factor, of its efficiency. It is as if one were undermining it, or hollowing it out, because one takes away from it and adds to oneself with every new point of view. So one lifts oneself up above conditions. That is the path of redemption in the East, the attainment of successive conditions of consciousness which gradually liberate man from the pairs of opposites, from the qualities, from concupiscentia, from the wheel of death and rebirth, as they express it.

Now, one would conclude that, through this detachment of the functions, we would arrive at a complete assimilation of the Trinity, in other words, a complete assimilation of the divine factor within ourselves. But then nothing would be left apparently. Or is that a wrong conclusion?

. . .

Dr. Jung: Yes, that is a terrible paradox, but you must not mix it up with philosophy. This is psychology, where we really move in paradoxes. The more divine, the farther from Earth–speaking psychologically, and from that you may conclude that God is a most inefficient being. But that is of course metaphysical. It may be true and it may not be true.

Mr. Schmitz: That is the reason why God incarnated himself in the Son. Empirically, he is not, he is incapable, and that is why he has created this terrible world. He must be not only in potentia but in actu.

Dr. Jung: Yes, that is why man is indispensable to God. Without man, God could do nothing. That is not metaphysical. I don’t believe in metaphysics, I only own to psychology, and in our psychology it is surely so–that God finds himself in a very helpless condition. We find that idea in old legends, in that cabalistic legend, for instance, that God in the beginning was all alone, there was nothing except himself, and his loneliness grew and grew to such an extent that he got a terrible headache from it, and realized that there should be something that was not himself.

Suppose one has a tremendous universal insight into things. One shrugs one’s shoulders and says: better that I know nothing at all, for then I could do something. Knowing so much would keep one out of existence,m one wouldn’t know whether one was alive or dead, one would be simply universal.So through that awareness one would be aware of functions, but the interesting thing is that when one is mirroring a thing one does not possess it.

. . .

Mr. Schmitz: Would you say that the divine in analysis might be the method of removing resistances against this honest attempt?

Dr. Jung: Yes, one could say that. For most people’s attempt is not honest, it is an illusion. They make heroic attempts to escape the real attempt, because that is the thing of which people are most afraid. The honest attempt is the worst danger.

Mr. Schmitz: Why danger?

Dr. Jung: Oh, danger because one is afraid of it. It is a risk; one dies by living.

14 May 1930

Mrs. Baynes: You said about this specific case, when you discussed this phase of the dream, that it was as if he were in such close participation mystique with his wife that he could take her as himself subjectively, and it was true that she also was going to be productive.

Dr. Jung: That is it. As you know, this man has practically no relation with his wife, he cannot talk to her because she much prefers to cling to traditional things, to stay in a safe refuge against the chaotic possibilities of the mind, as many a man clings to a safe marriage against erotic possibilities.

This absence of relationship is compensated in the unconscious. You see, when you are living with somebody with whom you have no real relationship, you are unconsciously connected. And that peculiar unconscious relationship produces a psychological condition which could be compared to a sort of continuum where both function, as if they were both in the same tank under water. They are under the same cover, in the same boat, which makes a particular kind of immediate relationship.

This unconscious relationship produces most peculiar phenomena, such as dreams which clearly do not belong to the individual. So when it is a matter of husband and wife, the husband may dream the dreams of the wife, or the other way around; or one of them may be forced to do something which proceeds not from his own psychology but from the psychology of the other. Those are symptoms of such a participation mystique.

Obviously, that man’s conscious relation to his wife is insufficient, so here we can assume an unconscious contamination in which he as well as his wife functions. You see, his wife has a marked resistance against any kind of thinking, as he has against his Eros side. She will not use her mind. A thing must be ready-made and safe, guaranteed for at least two thousand years, backed up by the highest authority, before she will accept it. It must be absolutely water- and air-tight and nothing to be changed.

Of course, that is perfectly unnatural; it is abnormal and machine-like; something has been killed, and it has therefore been compensated in her unconscious, where she produces extraordinary things of which we do not know. There she thinks furiously, there she is busy with all sorts of radical things, perhaps with religion. If we had her dreams we would see that. Her unconscious is in a real turmoil, and it is repressed and cannot boil over into the conscious, but in the night it creeps into the open canals of her husband’s brains.

His mind is open and he speaks it out and shocks her out of her wits, because it is her own stuff he is talking, the stuff she is talking in the night with the devils. And likewise, on the other side, what she says in the conscious is to a great extent brought forth by the unconscious feelings of his anima.

When the patient had this dream I didn’t tell him all this, because at that stage it would have been wrong to preach too much wisdom. It was more important that he should learn to make his own way in analysis, catch the feeling that he could handle the stuff. At first it was very strange to him, but now we shall see his attempts to interpret the dreams coming to the foreground, and I did not want to interfere with that.

In the case of such a man it is very important to be on good terms with his superior function, as in the same way it is wrong to put oneself in opposition to a woman’s Eros. Otherwise one works against a great power, which is too much waste of energy.

14 May 1930

Now, I hope you understand what I said about that acquired divinity. It doesn’t mean that you are going to be gods. The most confusing thing seems to be that people think the three functions must be specific functions. That is not at all the case. You see, there are always the types, and for certain people a certain one is differentiated and three are unconscious; that is, the majority of the functions are unconscious. That is what the Trinity means; it is by no means three specific functions.

For those among you who don’t know why we speak of four functions, I must explain that they are the four sides of our orientation in the field of consciousness. I am unable to add anything to that. The four functions are based upon the fact that our consciousness says there is something in the unconscious. Sensation is a sort of perception, it knows the thing is there; thinking tells us what it is; feeling says what it is worth to one, whether one accepts or rejects it; and intuition tells us what it might become, its possibilities.

I must confess I don’t know what more I could include. I could discover no other. With that everything is said.

And the peculiar fact that there are just these four coincides with the fact, which I only discovered much later, that in the East they hold the same conviction. In their mandalas, the four gates of consciousness express the four functions, and the four colours express the qualities of the functions. You can see that very well in the text I mentioned, the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Are there any other questions concerning the functions?

Mrs. Henley: I think most of us are clear as to thinking, feeling, and sensation, but we are least clear about intuition. Could you say something more about that?

Dr. Jung: Sensation simply tells you the visible, tangible, sense qualities, while intuition is sort of a guess about its possibilities. Your senses tell you that here is something, and your thinking tells you what it is, but it takes a lot of intuition to tell you what is behind the walls.

If you allow an unbeautiful way of expressing it, intuition is a sort of elephant’s trunk put into someone’s spinal cord–to go into and behind it and smell it out. Therefore good intuition is often expressed by the nose. A primitive uses his nose, he smells out thieves and ghosts, and it is the same with mediums in our day. One may discover a peculiar psychology by smell: you smell a rat. That is intuition.

Dr. Deady: What is the condition of the differentiation of the three functions still in the unconscious of the relatively primitive man? Could you say that they were differentiated?

Dr. Jung: No, they are not differentiated. Anything that is in the unconscious is contaminated with everything else. Only the conscious function is differentiated. That is the split between man and the pleroma, or God, or the universal unconsciousness, whatever you like to call it.

He stole one function from the gods. That is beautifully illustrated by the myth of Prometheus stealing fire from the gods. Whatever consciousness man has acquired he had to steal from them. He emerged from the thick cloud of general unconsciousness, and it s was only by tearing loose one of the functions that he was enabled to become detached.

How that was brought about I don’t know; it is a peculiar quality in the psychological structure of man; animals have not that ability to free themselves from the original psyche. It is a kind of dissociability. That is mysterious, one can speculate about it; we do not know how that came about, but it was so.

7 May 1930

Through the extension of consciousness, the predomination of the unconscious becomes depotentiated. The one conscious function detaches an auxiliary function from the trinity of the hitherto unconscious functions, and by the aid of this auxiliary function, the conscious is enabled to acquire a new standpoint over against the one function that is conscious.

From this standpoint man is like a mirror, in which he can reflect the picture of his former consciousness. It means that we are now capable of saying: I see myself as this inferior, unfree and foolish being, and I am also the function and I am another function also, that can look at this prostrate figure as if I were a god.

We have acquired the divine quality of being able to look at ourselves, which the primitive man cannot do, we have acquired a second observer. The primitive man has only eyes to see the object, he has nothing behind his eyes. But we have acquired a mirror in ourselves which says: that is yourself, and in saying that we have a superior point of view. I look down upon myself as if I were a god, as if I were superior, and I am superior, that is my superiority.

And if I acquire another function I have two mirrors and can say: I see that miserable figure and I see the man who observes that figure; that is function No. 3. And if I acquire a third function I say: I see that man, who sees that man, who sees that miserable human being; and that is completion, that is the No. 4. That would be the acquisition of the complete divinity of man, namely, a complete self-criticism through man himself.

Therefore Schopenhauer quite truly says: the only divine quality that I attribute to man is his sense of humour.

26 March 1930

Mrs. Henley: In the case of unconscious interpenetration, do people take on new relationships if there is a divorce?

Dr. Jung: It may cause extraordinary situations, great disturbances. If such a participation mystique is destroyed, it leaves an open wound, and most probably the same thing will happen again.

Mrs. Henley: Unfailingly?

Dr. Jung: Almost, because you are there. Whatever condition you create, you will create again. You do not change if you are a being without equilibrium; it doesn’t matter where you are. In the long run, when a thing is unconscious, always the same pattern must be lived through; the unconscious things come through. When one is conscious, something can be done with one’s little bit of personal will. But the unconscious things are carried out by seven devils.

Mrs. Crowley: What happens if that participation mystique is assimilated in consciousness by one and not the other?

Dr. Jung: That is a difficult problem which one often meets in analysis. Such a case creates a new potential. T he one who becomes conscious says, “I can’t stand this any longer. You must come along and get conscious too.” Then there is also the possibility that something might happen even if only one of them is conscious, such as is happening to the wife of the dreamer. All the time she is in analysis too.

19 March 1930

Dr. Schlegel: Do you identify the idea of archetypes with the idea of symbols, so that everything which has a symbolical value can be considered as an archetype?

Dr. Jung: No, the symbol is an entirely different conception. I would call an archetype a symbol when it was functioning as a symbol, but it doesn’t necessarily function in that way.

The word symbol has been very much misused. Freud calls things symbolical when they are only semiotic. If he had had a philosophical education, he could not mix up those terms. For instance, railroad employees have a design of a little winged wheel on their caps, and Freud would call that a symbol of the railway, but it is a sign of the railway. If it were a symbol, it would mean that the men who wear it had been initiated into a secret cult symbolized by a winged wheel, and the devil knows what that might mean, perhaps something divine.

One uses the word symbol for something which one can only vaguely characterize. A symbol expresses something which one cannot designate otherwise; one can only approach the meaning a little by using certain designs.

For instance, the Christian faith is symbolized by the cross, which means that the cross expresses something which cannot be expressed in any other terms. The Greek word symbolon means creed, and the term symbol in its original use also meant the creed. The original idea of the creed was not that now God is caught and we know exactly what he means. The actual creed is the nearest approach in a human way to certain institutions and beliefs–the belief that God is the Father and in the same person the Son and the Holy Ghost, for instance. The great mysteries of life and eternity could be expressed only by symbols, and therefore they were always sacred.

The archetype when functioning can be expressive of a situation, and one can call it symbolic inasmuch as the situation is more or less unknown, but the archetype can also function in a situation which is entirely known to you.

For instance, we say a woman suffering from bad temper is like a fire-dragon. That is an archetype, but one wouldn’t call it a symbol; it is simply an exaggerated metaphor.

But when someone makes a peculiar design in order to express something which he cannot express otherwise, and in so doing uses an archetype, you would then call it a symbol.

If a person makes a drawing of a snake, and above that a cross, and above that a moon, and you ask what that may be, you will probably see him begin to stammer, a jumble of words and vague conceptions; there is nothing to do but guess, and then he informs you that it is the only way in which he could characterize his thoughts and visions. Now that is a symbol, and he has used the archetypes of the cross, of the snake, and of the moon, but in this case it is not semiotic, it is symbolic.

That difference was always known in philosophy but Freud mixes up the two. His use of the word symbol is really meaningless.

29 January 1930

As a matter of fact, if man were liberated from the compulsion of sexuality, he would not be fastened to the Earth, he would be always free, like a bird on the wing. He never would be limited to any definite fate, because he would escape any obligation.

Sex is the power that binds everyone, and therefore it is the most important and the most dreaded thing. The neurotic tries to escape it because he wants to escape a fate which doesn’t agree with his childish wishes or his egotism.

In his sexuality this man is not right. There is something which upsets him, and in fact he is lacking in his relation with his wife. There you would all agree with him in assuming that such a thing should not be, but be careful in drawing such conclusions. How can one judge? Human life and human fate are so paradoxical that one hardly can make a binding law. The average truth is that if a certain woman marries a certain man there is a sex relation between them, but there might be something stronger than the power of sexuality bringing them together for entirely different ends.

We must allow for such things, because they really happen, and when one treats those cases one learns an extraordinary tolerance for the manifold ways of fate. People who have to live a certain fate get neurotic if you hinder them from living it, even if it is appalling nonsense in relation to statistical truth.

It is truth that sometimes the water runs uphill. It may be wrong from the rational point of view, yet such a thing will happen and we must submit. We see that these things have a certain purpose, for we really have no standpoint from which we could hinder them.  They contribute to the fullness of life, and life must be lived. One must not try to teach a tiger to eat apples.

29 January 1930

Practically nobody realizes that one has to climb to a very high standpoint in order to see the full extension of the psychological problem. We all start with the idea that psychology is one small aspect of life. One even thinks in derogatory terms of it as “nothing but,” only this or that, but when one follows up the royal road of dreams, one after a while discovers that the problem of human psychology is by no means small. One is impressed by the fact that the unconscious of man is a sort of mirror of great things. It mirrors the totality of the world–a world of reflex images.

Looked at from the standpoint of the conscious, this world is the reality and that the reflex. But the reflex is just as living and real, just as big and complicated. There is even the standpoint that the external world is a reflex of the unconscious. It is only the Western minority who believe that this is the reality, and that the other the mirage, the world of images. While the whole East, the majority, think the only reality lies in those images, and what we say in reality is just a sort of degenerate phantasmagoria which they call the veil of Maya.

That is Plato’s idea–that the original things are hidden, and the realities of our own conscious life are only limitations of the real thing.

13 November 1929

We find that astrology is the psychology of the ancients projected into the heavens, into the most remote bodies. There are two main principles in a horoscope, the sun and the moon.  The sun has the psychological quality of man’s active nature, the moon of man’s reacting nature.

In his active nature one would designate his character as willed, voluntary. In his reactive nature he is passive, merely responding to stimuli. As a matter of fact, when you meet a man in his lazy hours, as he is at home, for instance, you find that he is quite different from the man in his business hours. They are two different men; astrology would say that one was his sun character and the other was his mooon character.

People having such reactive natures are passive, they are parts of nature in mind or mood. They play parts in which they are surely not the active leaders but more or less the victims, managed by circumstances or by other people, by external and internal stimuli. They are not quite free. They are under a dark law. That is what man feels most in the night, so the moon became the exponent of that side of man’s psychology, quite different from the sun psychology.

And because it is so difficult to deal with, the moon is an appropriate symbol; the contradictions and paradoxes of night psychology fit in well with the moon. As Dr. Harding has pointed out, it is exceedingly difficult to deal with this psychology in rational language. It seems to be violated by that approach. It is as treacherous as moonlight in masking forms. Such a psychology represents an indefinite, peculiar condition of mind where a thing may be so and not so at the same time. All our attempts to define it refer to a condition that is semiconscious, nocturnal.

So when we speak of the unconscious in terms of the moon, we are really talking about the psyche in a semiconscious state, where thing are unclear and contradictory. In the unconscious, opposite things are lying close together.