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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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The ability to choose and exercise will is a defining characteristic of humans. Only humans have enough energy available to consciousness to escape the rule of instinct. Jung says, “the realm of will cannot coerce instinct nor has it power over spirit,” so ego shall not dictate to psyche but find alignment with instinct and spirit, values, and volition, before springing into pursuit of a goal.
Women’s initiation into adulthood and authority involves encountering shadow, finding inner fire, taking action, and wielding power. Kore became queen of the underworld; Snow White metabolized the poison and revived; Psyche reclaimed her mate and ascended to Mt. Olympus. Female initiation involves relational trauma and the sacrifice of a naively romantic and other-oriented stance. This mythological pattern points to the potential for finding clear-eyed selfhood, life direction, and the will to achieve goals.
Charles Dickens’ novella, A Christmas Carol, vividly portrays the journey to healing and transcendence. It was written in a fever, released on December 19, 1843, and sold out before Christmas. Ebenezer Scrooge’s visitations by the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come are vivid depictions of the path from trauma to transformation. As in psychotherapy, Scrooge revisits his past; by reclaiming the feelings he exiled as a child, Scrooge discovers compassion and connection.
The divine child appears when least expected, new potential born from the womb of the unconscious. Helpless and blessed and against all reason, the divine child represents the creative union of opposites that births a new beginning.
Fantasy is the process of engagement with unconscious processes, from the depths of the mythic unconscious to the make-believe worlds of online gaming.
Doubt disturbs us. Unlike the more defined polarities of ambivalence, doubt is pervasive, muddy, and ranges from crippling to constructive. We may doubt our capacity to meet a challenge, achieve a desired outcome, or make the right decision. At a deeper level doubt can threaten our orientation to reality and erode our sense of self.
We welcome Sonu Shamdasani, PhD, scholar and historian of depth psychology and Jung’s opus. His research and expertise were instrumental in bringing Jung’s Red Book to the public in 2009. Jung’s Black Books, the journals in which he recorded “my most difficult experiments,” have just been published. We discuss Jung’s encounters with figures and images from his psychic depths–experiences foundational to Jung’s subsequent work and which opened a portal to humankind’s imaginal mind and mythic substrata.
The spider is a symbol of generative and destructive capabilities. As creator, spider spins the sustaining web of life. As predator, spider’s sticky web is an inescapable trap. Parents weave webs of familial ties, cultural norms, and generational patterns that contain—or restrain–their children. Emotional strings of attachment or enmeshment affect how—or if—a young adult child is released into the world.