Jung on Dreams
"In the dream the psyche speaks in images and gives expression to instincts, which derive from the most primitive levels of nature. Therefore, through the assimilation of unconscious contents , the momentary life of consciousness can once more be brought into harmony with the law of nature from which it all too easily departs, and the patient can be lead back to the natural law of his own being."
Collected Works, Volume 16, par. 351
"The dream is the small hidden door in the deepest and most intimate sanctum of the soul, which opens to that primeval cosmic night that was soul long before there was a conscious ego and will be soul far beyond what a conscious ego could ever reach."
Collected Works, Volume 10, The Meaning of Psychology for Modern Man
Where Do Dreams Come From?
Dreams come from the original whole Self, and lead us back to the original whole Self. They represent “the intelligence of the background,” and are both purposeful and meaningful.
What Purpose Do They Serve?
Dreams want us to understand something that is important, or something we haven’t yet understood clearly enough, or something left out of our everyday, conscious view.
How Can We Remember and Work With Our Dreams?
For Jung, dreams are truths of the psyche, designed not to fool you but rather to increase understanding, move the individuation process along, and relate consciousness to the greater mystery that is the whole.
“Once upon a time, I dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was myself. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.”
― Zhuangzi, The Butterfly as Companion: Meditations on the First Three Chapters of the Chuang-Tzu
"When you have whispered into the ear of God, and remain before his divine image, then you suddenly see that the god, the statue, is nodding. He has heard you and agrees or disagrees; that is numen! One observes such a phenomena in studying fantasies. When you concentrate upon, betrachten, a fantasy image, after a while it perhaps begins to walk. You have made it pregnant with your life and it moves, just as when you concentrate upon a picture with exclusive interest, it begins to move."
C.G. Jung, Zarathustra Seminars, Vol. 1, par. 452
Angelo Spoto, Course Instructor
Angelo Spoto, M.A., LMHC is a licensed mental health counselor with a Master’s degree in Analytical Psychology. He is co-founder of the C.G. Jung Library of Tampa Bay and author of Jung’s Typology in Perspective (Chiron Publications).