C.G. Jung: “One would do well to treat every dream as though it were a totally unknown object.”

 

Jung-working-with-dreams-unknown object
 

C.G Jung  On  How to Approach a Dream

 

One would do well to treat every dream as though it were a totally unknown object. Look at it from all sides, take it in your hand, carry it about with you, let your imagination play round it, and talk about it with other people.

Primitives tell each other impressive dreams, in a public palaver if possible, and this custom is also attested in late antiquity, for all the ancient peoples attributed great significance to dreams.Treated in this way, the dream suggests all manner of ideas and associations which lead us closer to its meaning.

The ascertainment of the meaning is, I need hardly point out, an entirely arbitrary affair, and this is where the hazards begin. Narrower or wider limits will be set to the meaning, according to one’s experience, temperament, and taste. Some people will be satisfied with little, for others much is still not enough. Also the meaning of the dream, or our interpretation of it, is largely dependent on the intentions of the interpreter, on what he expects the meaning to be or requires it to do.

In eliciting the meaning he will involuntarily be guided by certain presuppositions, and it depends very much on the scrupulousness and honesty of the investigator whether you gain something by his interpretation or perhaps only become still more deeply entangled in his mistakes.

 

CW 10, Civilization in Transition
The Meaning of Psychology for Modern Man
Page 317

Image: Henry Moore, 1942

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