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Jungian Dream Analysis
31st Jan 2011Posted in: Blog 2
Jungian Dream Analysis
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Interestingly, i last blogged about Freud dream analysis and the fact that my perception of what goes on in dreams was greatly influenced by it. Well, this post is about something interesting which happened the night following the writing of that post. Well, I had a dream. I kid you not. Guess what happened in my dream. I'll tell you. I dreamed that i was sitting in a session of Jungian dream analysis, as a client, talking about my dream. In essence this was a dream within a dream. Unfortunately, this is all that i remember. As it turns out, Freud would have anticipated that i would dream up a manifest content consisting of ideas which occured to me consciously throughout the day or days preceding the Dream. In the manifest content of my dream, we can observe that the context itself is directly linked to the subject of the post which occurred the night before. To be specific, my post was about Freudian dream analysis and the psychoanalytic method while the ensuing dream placed me in a session of Jungian dream analysis. Thus, the idea of dream analysis occurs to me in reality and is used as psychic material in the manifest content of the dream.

I had also been listening to podcasts of a Jungian dream analyst for about 2 or 3 days preceding the dream. As a result, just as Freud predicts, some of that material with which the psyche is consciously concerned surfaces in the manifest content of the dream. The manifest content refers to those aspects of the dream which take on sensory form as sights, sounds, odors (rare) touch and taste (also rare) and are able to be recalled by the dreamer.

Beneath the manifest content there is a latent content according to Freud. This is where the symbolic or unconscious meaning is.  It is the stream beneath the ice rink. Because i am not able to recall any other details about the dream it will be impossible to access any of that content. However, the notion that i should have had a dream within a dream is interesting to me. I have never had that kind of dream before and i suspect it is extremely rare. At first analysis i do not believe it would be possible to recall the dream which was being reported within the dream. The reason for this is in keeping with a Jungian look at things. If all the parts of the dream from the table to the analyst to the carpet to the walls are all aspects of the psyche of the dreamer, there can be no dream within the dream. As there is only one ego, a dream within a dream would not be possible because it would require that the dreamer first construct an entire subreality within the subreality already created for the actual dream.  Having a dream within a dream and waking to recall the nature of both would necessitate that the dreamer have two separate egos operating different narratives simultaneously. One narrative is the told as a story about a person having a dream and recalling it in Jungian Analysis while the other simultaneous story is about the dream being discussed with the analyst in the dream. Since it is not wholly possible for an individual (ego) to have two separate narratives running simultaneously  it is also not possible to do this within a dream. The psyche strives for integration of information into a consistent and coherent whole. Consequently, it does not, under normal circumstances engage in splitting of thought or sensation.

2 Responses

  1. Garybaldi says:

    but at least the sub-dream would have been analyzable to the Tom in your main dream. the solution may be to dream the interpretation.

    • tom says:

      It is true that we can get too wound up in theory and forget that there is a life to be lived somehow. Still, this does not mean that everything we theorize about should be theorized about. I do like the bit about dreaming the interpretation though i must say, even though i wonder if you are not being a little flippant again. Perhaps this is nothing more than a dream within a dream… still, because i can ask that question i decided a long time ago that i had better take the whole thing seriously just in case it is all real. So, I play for keeps.

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