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“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 conscious ego and will be soul far beyond what a conscious ego could ever reach.”
The Meaning of Psychology for Modern Man
Each week on the podcast, we examine a listener’s submitted dream. Jung was careful to note that the dreamer is the final authority on his or her dream. Dreams cannot be thoroughly interpreted without personal knowledge of the dreamer and the context of their life situation. We deeply appreciate listeners trusting us with their dreams. Our intent by referencing their material is to educate listeners on the general principles of dream interpretation and offer a symbolic approach to their inner lives. Our comments may not relate to their personal situation, but we appreciate their willingness to allow us to use their dream material to help others.
All shared dreams are received anonymously. We review each dream and select one for each podcast that will allow us to bring forward information we hope will be generally helpful. By leaving a dream here, you are giving us permission to discuss it on the podcast.
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In medieval times, the threshold was a plank that kept barnyard “threshings” outside the house. In the sciences a threshold is the limit of magnitude or intensity that must be exceeded for a definitive change to occur. In human development life stage thresholds are marked and recognized through ritual. In psychoanalytic work the symbol is the threshold—a visible but not literal representation that calls consciousness to apprehend a larger, unseen reality.
Phallos, the central archetype of a man’s psyche, was once worshipped as sacred. Its urgent, dynamic, and fertilizing power was split off with the rise of ascetic monotheism and banished to the unconscious. Misplaced and maligned, it surfaces as resentful passivity, fear of passion, confusion of values, and reluctance to take action.
Although Jung’s theory of typology is the foundation of various personality assessments, it is important to appreciate its profundity as Jung’s theory of consciousness. The four functions of consciousness – sensation, intuition, thinking, and feeling–are governed by two attitudes, extraversion, and introversion. Jung defines extraversion as “an attitude type characterized by concentration of interest on the external object.”
The hosts of No Small Thing podcast interview Lisa & Joseph on dreams, gender, fatherhood and a host of Jungian ideas.
Fear of social rejection, workplace retaliation, or family conflict can erode our healthy no, leading to resentment, an uncertain sense of self, and inability to answer the call to life. We also need to be able to say no to our own bad habits, rigidities, and avoidance of challenges. No is robust and can open space for self-determination and authenticity. When we find our no, we also discover that yes has been waiting for us, and it is alive and inviting.
We can’t help knowing that something bad could happen if we do X…or Y…or maybe Z. Like Odysseus steering his ship between sea monsters Scylla and Charybdis, we must navigate between risk avoidance and recklessness. One keeps us out of life; the other jeopardizes wellbeing. In pre-modern times life in the external world was fraught with danger and risk; in the modern world, the consequences of risk are more often internal.
There is value in examining your values, the powerful emotional and cognitive attitudes that underlie large and small life choices. Although values are initially acquired through family and institutions, an essential task of adulthood is consciously embracing traditional or individual values.
The German poet Rainer Maria Rilke expressed this idea pithily: “I am in love with you, and it’s none of your business.” Introverts are not shy, reclusive, fearful, detached, or avoidant—they simply find their inner world enlivening. Introversion places a high value on receptivity, quietude in a busy world, and relationship with oneself. Jung, himself an introvert, valued the ability to claim inner life, freedom, and independence.