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Archaic Self

I come to semi-consciousness from my dream state with the feeling and thoughtform of integrating my primitive/archaic self. As I lay there in the bed, considering this feeling, still half in the dream state, I have a mental image as if I am turning back the pages of time. I then encounter an energy that is black, vast and primal feeling. It's dark and unformed, wild in its creative nature. It's empty, unknown and unknowable, yet it holds all potential.

Embrace

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 41, Overland Park, KS

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Re: Archaic Self

Embrace,
Within us all are those creative aspects awaiting recognition and utilization. At mid-life we reflect but the overwhelming energy is to be that true Self, creative and spiritual. When this aspect is not fully developed there are feelings of emptiness. Beneath the emptiness is your true potential.

The process of Individuation confronts these feelings of emptiness. First there must be that reflection of experiences and a reconciliation. Then the creative spirit can be known. The unknowable becomes known. The potential is no longer an unknown. The created becomes creative.

Gerard

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Re: Archaic Self

Thank you, Gerard. I do think this is what it is about. Not so different, really, than my dream statement in another thread, that says, "I want to be filled." It was not just about "sexual" union, but about the creative spirit.

Embrace

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 41, Overland Park, KS

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Re: Archaic Self

Gerard,

I've just read this brief article on individuation and many thoughts, and feelings, stirred in me. One, is a great compassion for my self as I look at the amount and depth of shadow work I have already done - though I know there is more to go. As I write that, I wonder, is there even ever an end. Being a person of possibilities, imagination, empathy and intuition, the veil is rather thin for me - and it has been very easy for me to see all possibilities in myself, even the most abhorred. I realize that the other could be me, too (be he/she the likes of a Hitler, etc.) and I do believe that we are, ultimately, All One Whole. Sometimes, its a bit more than I want to consider. Not being certain where I (my boundary) stopped and another's started has been a struggle for me. In my past, all the more I sought to know only the light, bright and beautiful, is all the more the darkness (shadow) in me became apparent. Not always the easiest thing to "embrace," hence my moniker. It has been, for me, a profound process, much more than "just" an intellectual experience. I think I've just needed to share/express some of this... and to go spend more time with my inquiry. I have a hard time seeing the shadow as only the same sex as myself. Can not our shadow also be represented in our dreams as our opposite sex? I believe that we are all, ultimately, androgynous; both masculine and feminine. Is it fair to say that the Animus, my Animus, is a composite of all the projections of the masculine I have ever held?

Embrace

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Re: Archaic Self

Embrace,
Although the rule of thumb would be the shadow is represented in dreams as the same sex, Jung always insisted that no symbol should ever be 'fixed'. If you are a woman and have a dream of women it doesn't mean they are shadow figures. It would depend totally on the context of the woman in the dream.

It would be extremely rare for a male in a woman's dream to represent her shadow. The best way to determine if the symbol is a shadow representation is to compare 'her' to your waking life. If 'she' naturally fits then she is probably a representation of your shadow. One should not force a representation in a dream to fit any mold.

An exception to the rule would be a figure within a dream that you named as 'androgynous'. But again it depends upon the context of the dream motif. And the conditions of the waking life. If it fits then it could very well represent your shadow. But I would use caution. An androgynous figure could fit someone with an androgynous psyche. As in a gay person.

Identifying different aspects of the psyche is important but understanding what the underlying message of the symbol{s} is even more important. I have gotten away from using terminology such as the 'shadow' in my interpretations unless I believe strongly it should be named as such. The shadow is you and the experiences that are referenced are actual waking life experiences. That is where you will find the meaning with the dream of the shadow. The dark, emotional experiences that are 'a collection of inferiorities, undeveloped, and regressive aspects of the personality. If you have identified, acknowledged and confronted these personal aspects then 'she', the shadow should be less of a concern. If she/he is acknowledged the power to control the waking life diminishes.

As to the underlying causes. Why is this woman in your dreams even represented? What gave her birth and the power to control. Again the waking life supplies the answers. More often she takes birth during early life, the imprinting of experiences that cast a 'shadow' on what would normally be bright and harmonious life. If there was physical or psychological abuse as a child those experiences will remain within the unconscious until they are acknowledged and put into perspective. 'She' will follow you through life until she gets her needed attention. And she often has control over your waking life, affecting the personality and actions.

"Sometimes, its a bit more than I want to consider". My response is to slow down and take time to digest what you have learned, about the shadow as part of Jungian psyche as well as what you have learned about yourself. Although dreams are my passion I do not give all my energy and time to it. Outside having to pay the dragon {my description of work} I also take time for physical fitness {a form of meditation} and relaxation. Someone mentioned my lack of grey hair and my response was "I don't tend to worry". The physical fitness aspect is very important but also taking time just to do nothing can also be as important. Trying to realize too much too soon isn't healthy. I have been working with my 'individuation' for 15 years. Could I have moved the process along sooner? Probably. But the time taken has let me naturally progress. I like to consume as much info as possible but if I feel I am overloading I back off and let myself digest the info so it can incubate. My psyche naturally begins to understand. As in all of nature {except maybe for man induced global warming} evolution takes its time. What is meant to be happens.

I will comment more later. Again, I need to get ready to do battle with the dragon. I have four furry felines that are used to living a lifestyle fit for a queen.


Gerard

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 58 Murfreesboro, Tn. {Nashville}

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Re: Archaic Self

Embrace,
One more thought before I enter the 'social world' to slay the dragon. When interpreting dreams I do not go looking for a 'shadow'. If it is there {we all possess a shadow} and requires attention I let it pronounce itself. Then I try to determine to what extent it plays within the dream, and within the waking life of the dreamer {they will correspond}. This is a change in my approach to dream interpretation, something that 'naturally' came about within the past year. I no longer use the term 'interpreting' a dream. I tend to believe I am 'reading' a dream, much in the sense I would be reading about a person's life if were in the form of a play. Or a personal myth. That is what dreams are, personal myths. It is puzzle to be put together that will ultimately make sense to the dreamer.

Dreams are private myths, myths are public dreams....Joseph Campbell

Gerard

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 58 Murfreesboro, Tn. {Nashville}

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Re: Archaic Self

"I have a hard time seeing the shadow as only the same sex as myself. Can not our shadow also be represented in our dreams as our opposite sex? I believe that we are all, ultimately, androgynous; both masculine and feminine. Is it fair to say that the Animus, my Animus, is a composite of all the projections of the masculine I have ever held?"

Ive just been reading your posts and I always learn much here from Gerrard and the other forum members, I would just like to share my thoughts on this question you asked as for me this was Also a question I asked myself, sometime ago when I was quite active in reading many of jungs works, though this question led me to a certain departure if you like from Jungian understanding.

Over the years, as the more I merged into the dreaming mind and expressed the inherent dynamics that dream symbolism evoked in me, the more I found that the male and female characters in my dreams were composite opposites of the same shadow energy.

To explain this I found that male characters reflected traits that were charcteristic in patterns of behaviour, attitude and belief, and that female characters reflected feelings, intuitions and aspects of the feminine.

Both made up composites of one 'whole dynamic' where emotion mostly motivated behaviour, and where beliefs were tied to emotions. To give an example fear of abandoment motivates ones behaviour in such a way as to control the situation where one feels one may be abandoned, this dynamic exists as a bond of the lower feminine to a lower masculine energy and is often characterised by dreaming of a couple, husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend which conveys the 'whole' of the shadow characteristic bringing to ones attention where energy in ones system is being lost or impaired.

A powerful symbol in all dreams is the sexual act where freud would have expressed this on the basis that such a union is expressive of the unconcsious desire for sexual union. Jung went on to express this act of sex in such a way that it was the merging of the feminine and masculine energys, the conscious penetrating the unconscious, but to take this one step further it expresses even more of the bond of such a relationship between the masculine and feminine energetic.

When there is a lower feminine energy of fear present, there is often an accompanying belief around the fear, which is expressed in the masculine energetic, fear of failure is accompanied by beliefs that one is not able enough, skilled enough etc, fear of being abandoned is accompanied by beliefs that one is going to be cheated on, betrayed or deserves to be alone, the masculine energetic will also express the behaviour motivated by such fear, fear of abandonment may motivate ones behaviour to smother the other in such a way as to create and bring about validation of such fears. Or it may ba a catalyst to the start of many arguments and a rough and rocky relationship. When working through and releasing such fears if we release them though the expression of the body, by bodily expressing them that is and releasing them through love as you so wonderfully put it in your last post, then naturally the masculine energetic shifts, our beliefs change as well as they were held in resonance by the feminine energy tie.

It is also likewise for higher unions of bonding, in healing when we 'feel love', 'peace', 'joy' and other energies of the higher feminine then we find the accompanying beliefs that are 'tied' to these feelings are life affirming and our behaviour is motivated through acts of kindness and compassion, 'the higher masculine energetic'. This union then, is reflected in a symbolic sexual union of the 'coupling' of some new belief/feeling that one has.

Through this it has helped me to understand much about the flow and expression of our energies and how we constantly recreate ourselves.

Many blessings [o:)
Marce

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Re: Archaic Self

Hello, Gerard and Marce:

This is a discussion I would like to say/ask more of at a later time. For now, I just want to thank you both for responding.

Embrace

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 41, Overland Park, KS

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Re: Archaic Self

Gerard, you said: "Identifying different aspects of the psyche is important but understanding what the underlying message of the symbol{s} is even more important." I agree and this is generally what I most aim to do.

You also said: "The dark, emotional experiences that are 'a collection of inferiorities, undeveloped, and regressive aspects of the personality." Yes, I understand this - and when I have dreamed of (or will dream of) masculine aspects in this regard, I have also seen them as unrecognized aspects of my self.
My dreams are full of the element of feeling, "connection" with the figures making themselves known, be they male or female. There are, without a doubt, aspects of the masculine that I have disowned just as much as I have my feminine aspects. And they have required development/growth/healing, too.

I sense of it tends to agree with you, Marce, where you said that "the (male and female characters in your dreams were)composite opposites of the same shadow energy...that both made up composites of the whole dynamic."

Take the scene (in my dream thread entitled Healing Enterprise) where I am walking with the masculine/animus character when I stop to embrace him from behind to tell him, "I think I love you." This IS a "new" development in me, learning to love both my feminine AND MASCULINE self. Notice how he turns around, not quite sure, as if to determine the sincerity of my words... As if he too is beginning to recognize/know that I do care and love him also. And with this movement, my outer life is also changing, more. Call it the inner man, the developing animus, or what have we - how can he not also be a part of me which has gone unrecognized, undeveloped. Quite simply, I have had to pour much love and nurture into my masculine aspects as well as my feminine.

Marce, you also said that: "I found that male characters reflected traits that were charcteristic in patterns of behaviour, attitude and belief, and that female characters reflected feelings, intuitions and aspects of the feminine."

I agree with this also. For instance, if I dreamed of an angry man, I found that I also had an angry man inside of me, into whom I needed to pour love and understanding in order to help him (me) grow, just the same as do I have to pour love and understanding into wounded feminine aspects...

When an emotional charge with a man in waking life has grabbed me, I found (do find) it is because my inner masculine has a similar way of being in the world, may be a reflection of how I go about things (the energy or action dynamic) or how I have treated myself. And I find that I must embrace and love this aspect, and through understanding what the energy is trying to teach me, do I grow.

Thank you, Gerard, for the reminder to take things slow.

Embrace

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 41, Overland Park, KS

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