1) Locale: Place, time, “dramatis personae.”
2) Exposition: Illustration of the problem.
3) Peripateia: Illustration of the transformation—which can also leave room for a catastrophe. 4) Lysis: Result of the dream. Meaningful closure. Compensating illustration of the action of the dream.
(From Jung. C. G. Children’s Dreams: Notes from the Seminar Given in 1936–1940 by C. G. Jung. Princeton: Princeton University Press (Philemon Series), 2008, 30.)
How many of you are able to remember any early dreams from childhood that pointed you to a future destiny? Can you relate their meaning to your vocation, or some other calling? This may be difficult for some of you to do from a rational angle, with the aid of free association or other methods of dream recall; due to the symbolic language of dreams, however, we will explore some Jungian techniques to explore this question in-depth, with the aid of some irrational or non-verbal methods.
Dreams are not intentional. They are not premeditated. We can form an intention to remember our dreams, but we cannot control our dreams any more than we can control the weather patterns. They simply happen to us. They are not calculated beforehand. The most basic thing for us to learn is how to catch them. The aim is to get a handle on dreams as a natural occurrence. Understanding them takes some careful deciphering, as well as a well-trained ear for affective attunements: how the dreamer feels about the sequence of their dream imagery during any of the four parts in the above schema.
Dreams are purposive. The development of the personality is determined by an unconscious purposiveness. Some “big” dreams are a product of the teleological function of the unconscious. So, in order to interpret dreams properly we need to observe the unconscious goal orientations of dream processes and know how to recognize them. What are some good methods for catching dreams and recording them?
Preferably it is best to catch them in the morning when the dream images and emotions are still vivid and fresh on our minds. What are some techniques for keeping a dream journal? Can being in a Jungian dream group be of some help in acquiring a daily practice of recalling and recording and interpretating dreams? Some of you may have been or are currently in Jungian psychotherapy or analysis or are practicing psychotherapists or analysts yourselves who have some experience working with patient’s dreams.
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