Jung’s Analysis of 20,000 (?) Dreams

Jung’s Analysis of 20,000 Dreams

Freud without glasses

C.J. Jung was not only a very prolific writer, but relying on his accounts, surely analyzed more dreams than anyone in recorded Western history. 

Reading and interpreting his writing and interpretations of a patient’s conscious reporting of unconscious events is something best done critically.  Examining the claims and stories in more detail, one might wander as to the correct number of dreams Jung accounted for.    The number of 20,000 is an extraploation from the number of patients and number of dreams related by them over 20 years.  There is much more on this in the chapter on Hobson and Sleep Science. 

Regardless of the extent of faith put into Jung’s theories, two facts can not be argued with- he was prolific, and would come over the 20th Century to be largely ignored by many scientists and analysts in the fields of Psychiatry and Neuroscience.    

Anyone trained in the Scientific Method is keenly aware of what bias might exist, and also anyone who is naturally skeptical.  Both are good ways to read Jung’s descriptions. 

In ways, it is astounding that so many people would become his patients, and we must balance of course, those who came willingly, who might have read, or even heard Freud, and thought perhaps it was fashionable to have a psychiatrist, with those who were patients of the Insane Asylum (having much less choice perhaps)  where students and teachers from the University of Geneva School of Medicine went to practice, and learn, by trial and error, this new branch of science called collectively “Psychiatry and Psychology.”

For a few moments, a bit of writing on Freud, who simply seems needed as a preface to Jung’s work.  This may be drawn out into a separate chapter, so if anyone has had enough of Freud and needs to move more quickly along, simply skip down a few paragraphs where we dwell only on Jungian Dream Analysis.

CJ Jung Red Book

CJ Jung, The Red Book

Sigmund Freud was the best known of Jung’s contemporaries and had a great influence on the younger analyst.  Freud admitted that he had often surrounded himself with adroit admirers, who were neither intelligent nor critical enough to offer challenges to his theory.  Jung was encouraged to be a critic, and did move far past Freud’s preoccupation with explaining much of the mind’s workings as being rooted in sex.  In looking at the lives of both men, one can see the temptation to use the psychoanalytic method with young, attractive women, not only in the medical context, but the romantic one.

Certainly, in Freud’s Vienna of the early 1900s, a great many women would be attracted to hear someone openly discussing sexuality.  A subject whose discussion was primarily limited to men in public, it is not difficult to imagine a young woman wanting to hear someone apparently well versed in the subject deliver a lecture, but to imagine having an affair with them.  Of course, these stories are well known, and the recent film about Jung and Freud, as well as their biographies describe them in detail.  It seems little is more interesting than the sexual affairs of a psychoanalyst. Controversial, topical, times were changing in the early 1900s, with the censorship of James Joyce’s Ulysses an interesting comparison, regarding who could get away with writing and saying what.  I imagine that Joyce and Freud would have had an interesting discussion.

It is hard to resist extracting a few quotes of Freud’s, demonstrating his fascination.  Yet, despite the questioning that so much comes down to sex, Freud’s explanations are interesting.  The following are quoted from “Dora- An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria,” which  describes one of Freud’s most famous patients, an 18 year old girl, whom he treated for several years, serving perhaps as a bit of a guinea pig in Freud’s methods, as well as a source of much lecturing and discussion, but sadly was never cured of her mental illness.

Freud without glasses Lib CongressFreud, standing (!) without glasses (!) with cigar (not !) photo from Library of Congress

Freud was not shy to claim another medical speciality besides psychiatry, as it might be needed:

“In this case history…sexual questions will be discussed with all possible frankness, the organs and functions of sexual life will be called by their proper names…I will simply claim for myself the rights of the gynaecologist…and add that it would be the mark of a singular and perverse prurience to suppose that conversations of this kind are a good means of exciting or gratifying sexual desires.”

With regards to Dora being turned off by the unsolicited kiss of a man, Freud speculates that it was not pressure upon the lips that caused discomfort and a withdraw from social situations, but

I have formed in my own mind…she felt not merely his kiss upon her lips but also the pressure of his erect member against her body…. the perception was revolting to her,” [repressed from her memory, and with a displacement of remembered sensation from the lower body to the upper body] “replaced by the innocent sensation of pressure upon her thorax”

yet, just past this feeling of innocents, Freud writes:

the disgust is the symptom of repression in the erotogenic oral zone, which, as we shall hear, had been overindulged in Dora’s infancy by the habit of sucking for pleasure.”

After some discussion of feces and excrement, Freud returns to his fascination with sex, writing:

“the subject of erection solves some of the most interesting hysterical symptoms.  The attention that women pay to the outlines of men’s genitals as see through their clothing becomes, when it has been repressed, a source of the very frequent cases of avoiding company and of dreading society.”

And yet, not completely breaking free, as if to somehow feel the need to remind us that this is all somehow very dirty:

“It is scarcely possible to exaggerate the pathogenic significance of the comprehensive tie uniting the sexual and the excremental, a tie which is at the basis of a very large number of hysterical phobias.”

That is enough of a preface about Freud to Jungian Analysis; any further dwelling upon Freud will take place elsewhere.  However, the point has been demonstrated, I hope, that with Jung a significant jump forward in finding explanations for human behavior has occurred. 

One can look at the writings of both, and find a style which is wordy, but refreshing.  Particularly with Jung (and admitting a possible bias here as I have read more of Jung’s original writing than Freud’s), there seems a great effort made to explore all alternatives and possible critiques in the exposition of an idea, which serves to spread the concept over not only multiple pages, but chapters and books.  It is difficult now in this writing not to adopt some of the same style and be a bit verbose.  But needing to go back to study and reading, and not dwell farther in this writing, it is time to end this paragraph, and get to the point!

I think it best to start off directly here, and we begin with some general quotes from Jung on the function of dreams, and its bearing in the relative aspects of the uncounscious and the counscious, are drawn from  “General Aspects of Dream Psychology,” published first in 1916, as rev. 1948I will withhold comments but one, until after the direct reading, which is that writing of this sort, rarely encountered in today’s busy internet driven world of texting and net lingo, is most beneficial to the working out of one’s own mind.  That from paragraph 491 in the 1948 revision, is particularly adept at so doing.

para477- “Dreams are derivatives of uncounscious processes, containing a reflection of unconcious contents.  To interpret a dream, we must know the conscious situation at the moment of recall, because the dream contains its unconscious complement, that is, the material which the conscious situation has constellated in the unconscious.”

para487- “Dreams are compensatory to the conscious situation of the moment.  They preserve sleep whenever possible, but they break through when their function demands it, that is, when the compensatory contents are so intense that they are able to counteract sleep.  A compensatory content is especially intense when it has a vital significance for conscious orientation.”

para491- “not only should the function of the unconscious be regarded as compensatory and relative to the content of consciousness, but the content of consciousness would have to be regarded as relative to the momentarily constellated unconscious content.”

Red Book Solar Barge p55

Jung, a talented illustrator as well as dream analyst: “Solar Barge” from the Red Book

There is material beginning with Paragraph 519 (and following from The Psychology of the Transference) that finds another  place in the discussion of transference and countertransference, and is only briefly extracted here.

“For all projections provoke counter-projections when the object is unconscious of the quality projected upon it by the subject, in the same way that a transference is answered by a counter-transference from the analyst when it projects a content of which he is unconscious but which nevertheless exists in him.”

the following is work in progress…

these CJY quotes come from references id’d as the Bollinger/Princeton Series XX publication (others drawn from biography, Life of, and as otherwise noted):

Psychogenesis of Demintia Praecox Vol 3 (1907-1958)

Dreams from Vol 4 8 12 16

Psychological Types vol 6 (1921, + papers 1913-1936)

Archetypes and the Collective Unconsciousness vol 9 (1934 rev 1954, + papers 1940-1955)

Psychology and Religion: East vol 11 1935/1954)

The Practice of Psychotherapy vol 16

Dreams:

General Aspects of Dream Psychology, 1916, as rev. 1948

para477- Dreams are derivatives of uncounscious processes, containing a reflection of unconcious contents. To interpret a dream, we must know the conscious situation ot the moment of recall, because the dream contains its unconscious complement, that is, the material which the conscious situation has constellated in the unconscious..

para487- Dreams are compensatory to the conscious situation of the moment. They preserve sleep whenever possible, but they break through when their function demands it, that is, whe the compensatory contents are so intense that they are able to couneract sleep. A ompensatory content is especilly intense when it has a vital significance for couscious orientation.

para491- not only should the function of the unconscious be regarded as compensatory and relative to the content of consciousness, but the content of conciousness would have to be regarded as relative to the momentarily constellated unconscious content.

[now this is a good place to take from Eastern Religion, about TTBD being always with him…]

(from wiki:) Cryptomnesia occurs when a forgotten memory returns without it being recognised as such by the subject, who believes it is something new and original. It is a memory bias(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memory_bias) whereby a person may falsely recall generating a thought, an idea, a song, or a joke,plagiarism(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptomnesia#cite_note-1″>%5B1%5D not deliberately engaging in “One of the most disheartening experiences of old age is discovering that a point you just made—so significant, so beautifully expressed—was made by you in something you published long ago.”

Carl Jung(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Jung),Man and His Symbols(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptomnesia#cite_note-14″>%5B14%5D in “An author may be writing steadily to a preconceived plan, working out an argument or developing the line of a story, when he suddenly runs off at a tangent. Perhaps a fresh idea has occurred to him, or a different image, or a whole new sub-plot. If you ask him what prompted the digression, he will not be able to tell you. He may not even have noticed the change, though he has now produced material that is entirely fresh and apparently unknown to him before. Yet it can sometimes be shown convincingly that what he has written bears a striking similarity to the work of another author — a work that he believes he has never seen.”

(wiki) The Zeitgeist (spirit of the age or spirit of the time) is the intellectual fashion or dominant school of thought that typifies and influences the culture of a particular period in time.

In psychology(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychology), jamais vu (pron.: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:IPA_for_English”>/ˈʒɑːmeɪ French(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:IPA_for_English#Key”>ˈvuː/; from déjà vu(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C3%A9j%C3%A0_vu), jamais vu involves a sense of eeriness and the observer’s impression of seeing the situation for the first time, despite rationally knowing that he or she has been in the situation before.

Jamais vu is more commonly explained as when a person momentarily does not recognise a word, person, or place that he or she already knows.

Advertisements

One response to “Jung’s Analysis of 20,000 (?) Dreams

  1. Pingback: New Publications | Love, Dreams, Mind, Dharma·

Comments are closed.