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Numbers as Original Archetypes and in Dreams

While reading up on archetypes {I am currently reading 'Jungian Archetypes; Jung, Godel, and the History of Archetypes' by Robin Robertson} I came across this excellent synopsis with excerpts from the last chapter of the book. From the webpage {The Books of Three} I found this piece that explains in simple terms how numbers could be considered {as Jung did} to be the original archetypes. A simple hypothesis proven by a simple experiment.

1 2 3 and Many

Begin Article

Number is a very ancient archetype that seems to predate humanity itself. In Number and the Language of Science, mathematician Tobias Dantzig mentions a number of examples of animals and even insects who seem to possess a number sense. In one striking example, he tells the story of a crow who had built its nest in the watch-tower on a squire's estate. The squire was determined to shoot the crow, but the crow was too canny; whenever the squire or his men would enter the tower, the crow would fly away until the coast was clear.
The squire tried sending two men into the barn. One stayed hidden in the tower and one came out again. However, the crow was too smart and wouldn't return until the second man also came out. The experiment was tried on successive days—unsuccessfully—until finally five men went in and only four came out. This time the crow evidently thought that all the men had come out, and returned to the watch-tower. The squire was finally rid of the crow.[17]
The story seems to demonstrate that a crow (or at least the crow in the story) has a sense of “one”, “two”, “three”, and “many”. When five men went in and four came out, the crow saw “many” go in and “many” go out and thought that it was safe to return. Interestingly, early twentieth century anthropologists found that the numeric systems of some African, South American, Oceanic and Australian cultures had the same limitations. E.g., the Australian aborigines—who we now realize have a very sophisticated culture—only had numbers for “one” through “six”, and many”.

Though crows are very intelligent birds, no one would argue that human beings and crows are of comparable intelligence. It is more likely that the archetypal quality of the smaller numbers is so ancient that it predates humanity itself, and is carried in the heritage of creatures even as primitive as insects. Because human beings are capable of counting (“one, two, three…” , we imagine that is how numbers were arrived at. But when crows can recognize “one”, “two”, “three” and “many”, few of us would argue they arrived at these numeric relationships by counting per se. Instead there must be a pattern recognition, a “primordial image” (to use Jung's earlier formulation of “symbol” that corresponds to the smaller integers. In other words, we have an innate sense of what “one” and “two” and “three” mean.
End of Article

In this light would not the crow with its origins of archetypal knowledge see the number 1 as not different, meaning there is only one man. Two would represent polarity, more than one, opposites, two men. Three would be finality of numerical recognition {by the crown, and thus by the original psyche}, three men. Four would be the actual realization of a limitation of numbers, or many men. Every number after that would be a 'start over', repeating the sequence but with additional meaning. Five would be again returning to non-differentiation, the crow could not differentiate from one.

What does this say about numbers in dreams?
Earlier in the book/article, and something that has been discussed previously here, there was this:

Through his study of his patients’ “number” dreams, Jung came to believe that the smaller natural numbers are symbols in much the same sense that the people and events of our dreams are symbols of personified collective character traits and behavioral situations. The integers {whole numbers} seemed to correspond to progressive stages of development within the psyche. In brief, one corresponds to a stage of non-differentiation; two—polarity or opposition; three—movement toward resolution, as expressed, e.g., in the Christian trinity; four—stability, wholeness, as in a quaternity, or a mandala, which is most commonly four-sided.
End of Reference

Quote from last chapter of book:
The sequence of natural numbers turns out to be unexpectedly more than the mere stringing together of identical units: it contains the whole of mathematics and everything yet to be discovered in this field.
End quote

Natural numbers? would that mean the numbers one, two, three and many {four}? Numbers in dreams are more than after thought, having no meaning. Indeed all numbers do have meaning. Interpreting numbers is important to properly and correctly interpreting the dream because they are archetypal.




Numbers in Dreams
Four is wholeness, the ultimate achievement and desire by nature for man in life. We are born with this natural aspect of wholeness. Total balance, a life of harmony and wholeness.

So, would it be in dreams that the number four {wholeness} +is the last number to be recognized before differentiation once again takes place. The number five would be starting over. I have thought of the number 5 {and use this when interpreting dreams} as representing change. A change from wholeness as desired by natural intent in the ego life, the number 4, to 'one' of non-differentiation. Back to square one but perhaps after having achieved or realized an aspect of wholeness. Perhaps not in the conscious ego life but unconsciously {in the dream}. Six again would revert to two or polarity. Seven would be three, having achieved or realized something or one aspect and moving back to a resolution of a repeated conflict {repetition of a personality trait for instance-repeatedly marrying someone like your father/mother}. Eight would be the achievement/realization of the whole. I see the number eight as a 'marriage' of opposites in the conscious life but not an actual marriage of the opposites in the personal life {the number 4}.

Nine, the ultimate number of the universe would be the last number of humanity. Compete and continued realization of wholeness through the muse {the feminine}.

Ten would be starting over in a new dimension. But since man is so narrowly minded and focused on the ego self there is not the ability of a realization of completeness and continued wholeness but a repetition of continuing disparity and incompleteness. With 10 you are back at number one and not able to differentiate ego from Self. Totally lost without hope of redemption. This is where man is in the history of time and space.

I haven't completely thought this through having rushed to post it will fresh on my mind {the number system as explained}. I do sense a connection { without having read or heard it elsewhere} and when my intuitive mind tells me to pay attention I pay attention. So I leave it open until I can determine any definite conclusions.
Disclaimer: Because I am the webmaster {think of me as God in terms of controlling this forum}, I reserve the right to change any or all of what I said about numbers in dreams until after I do read the last chapter of the book.

Until then, food for thought hoping others will comment.

If nothing else, if I am being delusional in my thinking, we have proven that crows are very smart at the least and can count to 4 at the worst.


Jerry The God Within You A Prayer For You



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Re: Numbers as Original Archetypes and in Dreams

An excellent review of the book 'Jungian Archetypes; Jung, Godel, and the History of Archetypes' can be found at http://wp.dynapsyc.org/

Jerry

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Re: Numbers as Original Archetypes and in Dreams

Philosophical thoughts that resonate while reading this book.

Emmanuel Kant
Psychology is the most important of all the sciences since our innate psychological makeup inherently colors all observation of nature, and all logical conclusions we make about those conclusions.

Makes sense. The only thing I can think of off the top of my head is when there is an intuitive realization. Such occurrences, when not allowed to be filtered by thinking, are always correct because they come from the innate stratum of the psyche. They are not colored by the psychology of the individual but are direct realizations from the archetypal psyche.

Jerry

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Re: Numbers as Original Archetypes and in Dreams

Jung and the Nature of Numbers
Random thoughts about archetypal numbers

Quote, "Through his study of patient's 'number' dreams, Jung came to believe that the smaller natural numbers are symbols in much the same sense that the people and events in our dreams are symbols of personified collective character traits and behavior situations. The integers seemed to correspond to progressive stages of development with in the psyche

smaller natural numbers, or integers {whole numbers 1-4}, are personified collective character traits and behavior situations. I take that to mean, in dreams, the numbers 1-4 are symbolic of collective character traits personified within the dreamer's psyche. They correspond to the 'progressive stages of development.

One corresponds to the stage of non-differentiation-aspects of oneself that are not normally conscious.

Two corresponds to 'polarity' or 'opposition'. Compensation, conflict, progression and transcendent function. i look at the number two more often as opposites meaning an emotional conflict.

Three corresponds to 'moving toward resolution. Identified the conflict and able to move in resolving it

Four corresponds to 'stability, wholeness. Resolution of the emotional pattern or conflict.

Looking bat these definitions I am struck to how well they fit with Jung's concept of the 4 parts in the structure of the dream.

1. Exposition: setting, characters, and theme
  aspects about oneself that are not conscious. The part that is in conflict

2. Development: story line
  what the conflict is

3. Crisis: crux or climax of the events
  developing the story. the crux or the decisive or most important point at issue

4. Lysis: resolution or conclusion, ending
  resolution, or conclusion of the emotional pattern. The dream may offer a resolution to the conflict or a conclusion as determined by the unconscious {true self without bias}.

With the number 5 we see a change within the original exposition. It is begins another stage beginning with the number one
six, seven and eight correspond to the numbers two, three and four but at another level or stage.

four and two make six. So to the number 42. A degree of wholeness has been achieved in the conscious life. I equate the number 6 to ego consciousness.

four and three, seven would represent developed wholeness in the conscious life but there is renewed conflict

four and four, or eight would represent 'assumed' wholeness on a conscious level. I say assumed because there may be an element of wholeness that comes to the conscious life but not the metaphysical self.

Nine is the balance and wholeness in all aspects of the life, unconscious and conscious. Moving out of the field of space and time to an inner awareness of metaphysical properties that assist the conscious life.

If natural numbers or integers are archetypal that would suggest they have possess 'archetypal energies' just as would the shadow or the anima/animus or Self. There would be a need to look at these first four numbers as important to the dreamer's psyche just as would be in identifying the shadow. Using the above scale as an interpretation tool {loosely} there could be an understanding of their meaning in dreams. The above description of the application of numbers in dreams is how I look at each number when giving an interpretation. I have being using this method/application {for the numbers 1-9} for many years. I would give even more attention to them in my interpretations when I see them in dreams. The Dream Forum is and has been a vast data bank for such discoveries {at least on my part}, where the feedback to an interpretation often identifies the correctness of the symbolic meaning of an image. The one primary difference will be treating numbers as archetypal as I would if I were to see the image of Jesus in a dream. Jesus would correspond to the number 4. So would the higher self, the number 4 representing an attainment of higher aspirations or achievements.

One last term we need to discuss. Unus mundus, Latin for "One world," is the concept of an underlying unified reality that everything emerges from and returns to. That bis the number 0, the void. All things come {evolved} from the void and return to the void. Before the big bang there was nothing but the void. Within the void there is 'no thing'. At least no thing that is 'known' or that can be understood by the conscious mind.

New discoveries in interpreting dreams. What Jung knew I am learning more of with every interpretation I give. Practical experience, or should I say experience, is wisdom.


Jerry The God Within You A Prayer For You




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