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Carl G. Jung, a Psychologist who believed we have the solutions to life's problems within ourselves

I came across this article from Squidoo.com which contains some language about the therapeutic value of dreams, and other aspects of Jungian psyche, for which I agree with and for which I want to comment.

Jung believed that we have a collective unconscious. In other words, as a species human beings share a realm of symbols that have meanings which are important for the species and not just the individual.

This is a 'staple' of Jungian psyche. All humans possess 'symbols' of experience that have shared meaning. But I believe we can go one step further and name these shared experiences as 'shared patterns of emotional behavior'. As is the fable of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde the tale addresses the psychological pattern of behavior of the 'shadow' self. If a person has a dream that involves this motif {need not include the actual tale of Hyde/Jekyll but the shadow motif} then we can look to the dreamer as sharing the general psychological complex as Dr Hyde. The tale itself is a 'psychological pattern of behavior' possessed/shared by the dreamer. These symbols/patterns of behavior are from the collective stratus of the psyche and the written story is from the collective unconscious. I dare say if we look to the life of the writer Robert Louis Stevenson he either possessed a profound shadow aspect or recognized this unconscious pattern.
If this were a pattern that fit only one person then it would not be 'collective' but individual. But since so many people possess this 'shadow' aspect then it not only is a 'collective' experience but a recognizable pattern of behavior when it appears in a dream. This is a primary reason to understand the importance of mythology when interpreting 'big' dreams. Dreams and myths share the same symbols and motifs. Sharing by the same symbolic motifs we can say the dream is addressing the same patterns of behavior as the tale, fable or myth.

As an analytical psychiatrist, Carl G. Jung also believed dreams are lenses into the soul. Through dream work which involved a therapeutic process called "active imagination" his patients became familiar with their "shadow" side and put their inner lives into a balanced perspective.

My belief about dreams, from my experiences of working with them at the Dream Forum, is they are themselves therapeutic. The process of dreaming itself is a therapeutic process {the dream is a physical act, the contents psychological}. Because the dream attempts to 'showcase' emotional conflicts within the dreamer's life the dream is attempting to help heal those inner conflicts. The dreamer may or may not be consciously aware of the conflict but the dream is aware, no matter what the dreamer's conscious ego wishes to remember. Just as with the immune system of the body where there is a mechanism to fight off 'invading' germs that cause and/or help heal illnesses, the dream is the mechanism for the psyche/mind that helps heal emotional wounds. When I interpret a dream I look for the motif{s} that defines a psychological conflict. Just as in a play the dream tends to act out a scenario that addresses the emotional conflicts within the dreamer's life, focusing on those issues that are at the time of the dream the most pressing in the dreamer's life. The particular issues are both current, having to do with recent waking experiences that possess an emotional charge, and the deeper issues, more often than not focusing on the underlying causes of the emotional distress that have their roots in childhood {or more recent extreme emotional conflicts such as combat in a war}. Jung did not go to the extent of saying the dream itself is a therapeutic process but I do believe it is the case.

Carl G. Jung believed in the creative unconscious. For him, the unconscious mind held solutions for us as individuals and as cultures.

The creative unconscious is the true self. If we all could tap into this aspect of the psyche there would a world of balance and harmony and not the world of material seekers who find at best a temporal soultion to life's problems. Whether your 'thing' be writing, poety, music, or like my own 'working with dreams and exploring the deeper psyche, it is in this space of the physical brain where real solutions to life's conflicts reside. Not that the creative aspect solves the problems all together but that this aspect provides relief from those emotional conflicts by taking the mind away from the inner turmoil. It is what 'you think' that drives the individual. By changing the thinking one changes themself. By focusing on that thing you love doing most in life you create a world within yourself, not to hide but to produce. By 'giving of oneself' creativitely one enters the spiritual realm. As Jung stated about his many patients, "those who found within a spiritual aspect were healed of their psychological/physical wounds".

As with a picture that speaks a thousand words, the words are a healing tool for someone. And one of those is the creator. At least 'two' healing aspects to every creative device, as well as the dream.
Go figure.

For your entertainment and education I have provided a short film about Jung's theories below. Enjoy!


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Re: Carl G. Jung, a Psychologist who believed we have the solutions to life's problems within oursel

Amen, Jerry.

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