Jung Dream Interpretation

As with the work of Sigmund Freud, my University days briefly covered Jung dream interpretation, but failed to enlighten me to Jung’s magnificent mind. The man was insightful beyond the average human being. Like Freud, he was brave in the sense that he spoke about matters that could not be proven with science and never wavered from as much. Jung has the capacity to make one see in a new way, especially with regard to spirituality.

Carl Jung on Dreams

Carl Gustav Jung As the field of psychology moves toward a scientific approach to convince the hard science world that it too is a hard science, my greatest fear is that the theories of Jung will be lost.

At the end of the day, psychology is a “soft science”. It cannot provide hard core evidence similar to that of ballistics or DNA testing. The best it can offer is to suggest that in such-and-such a situation, a certain percentage of people, are likely to do such-and-such. Consequently, Jung’s theories are now deemed outdated by the psychology fraternity because they cannot be tested. What the aforementioned profession fails to understand is that Jung’s theories are not about physical evidence. To be susceptible to scientific analysis would make the unconscious obsolete. That is; only matters of the conscious world are able to be tested.

In Jung’s own words:

“I have no theory about dreams, I do not know how dreams arise. And I am not at all sure that - my way of handling dreams even deserves the name of a "method." I share all your prejudices against dream-interpretation as the quintessence of uncertainty and arbitrariness. On the other hand, I know that if we meditate on a dream sufficiently long and thoroughly, if we carry it around with us and turn it over and over, something almost always comes of it. This something is not of course a scientific result to be boasted about or rationalized; but it is an important practical hint which shows the patient what the unconscious is aiming at. Indeed, it ought not to matter to me whether the result of my musings on the dream is scientifically verifiable or tenable, otherwise I am pursuing an ulterior-and therefore autoerotic-aim. I must content myself wholly with the fact that the result means something to the patient and sets his life in motion again.”

Jung’s Theory on Dreams

A one time colleague of Freud, the pair shared the opinion that an unseen unconscious existed. However, they parted company due to a difference in belief about the purpose of the subconscious. Basically, Freud, in Jung’s opinion, was too steadfast in his theory that the subconscious was essentially a negative force where all “immoral” impulses were repressed. Jung believed more in the notion that the subconscious was a gift designed to impart wisdom; that dreams were a direct means with which to communicate with the unconscious and specific to the dreamer.

Jung postulated that every image visualised by the dreamer was a reflection of something within that person. As such, Jung, as opposed to Freud, believed that any individual had the capacity to decode their dreams as much as a trained professional. Jung considered the individual, with guidance, had the best understanding of the meaning of their dream because the symbolism presented was unique to them.

The Jungian Collective Unconscious

One of the main theories in Jung dream interpretation was that of the "collective unconscious." Jung believed this to be a collection of symbols that were shared by every human being but retained at the unconscious level. The symbols of the collective unconscious are provided to humans via the process of dreaming across generations and cultures. You can read more about the seven separate characters and themes commonly occurring in dreams here.

Myths and Dreams

Jung believed the value of myths was highly significant within the dream state in that these tales arose from the collective unconscious. You can read more about Jung's thoughts on myths here.

If you would like to know more about Jung dream interpretation, check out the following link to an excerpt from Jung’s final literary work, “Man and His Symbols”. It explores Jung’s ideas about the place of symbols in dreams and myths.

Related Pages

If you found our Jung Dream Interpretation article interesting, make sure to visit the following pages too:

* Carl Jung Theory: The Collective Unconscious

* Carl Jung on Dreams: The Significance of Myths

* Carl Jung Quotes

* Sigmund Freud Quotes

* Freud Dream Interpretation

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