‘This is how they affect our lives’- Read to know about the origin of dreams.
From ancient times to the present, various cultures have regarded dreams as a gateway to a magical dimension that allows us to predict the future or communicate with spirits or other immaterial entities.
Many of these beliefs are still part of contemporary popular culture even in the West.
In 1900 the creator of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud published his book The Interpretation of Dreams, introducing his studies and analysis into modern science no longer as a form of communication with metaphysical entities, but as symbolic expressions of individual unconsciousness.
From Freud’s pioneering research on dreams, methodologies and conceptualizations developed related to the interiors of several psychological schools, such as Alfred Adler’s individual psychology or Gestalt psychology; however, analytic psychologist Carl Gustav Jung is perhaps a perspective that emphasizes dream interpretation as a fundamental part of the psychotherapy process.
Let’s see how dream subjects are discussed in this school.
What is the origin of dreams?
In Jung’s psychology, dreams are considered natural products; the emanation of creative power implied in cell conformation, in the leaf tissue of trees, in our skin and in cultural and artistic expression.
Therefore they are associated with intrinsic wisdom expressed through symbolic images. Jung studied some most popular dreams and found this conclusion.
For Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, the creator of analytical psychology, this creative power utilizes the impressions of the previous day, diurnal remnants and our vital experience to build images and stories of our dreams.
Dream matrix: the basic pattern of collective unconsciousness
According to Jung, the Freudian approach to the subconscious as a reservoir of repressed sexual desire is not enough to explain content that is not related to the individual’s personal history.
Jung realized that often in the imagination and hallucinations of psychiatric patients, as well as in people’s dreams in general, themes, stories, and characters appeared spontaneously, after being examined and interpreted, they came to keep a surprising similarity.
With mythological narratives that have accompanied humanity at different times and places, Jung argues that such similarities cannot always be attributed to direct or indirect contact between individuals and ideas during their daily actions, so he concludes that these stories and symbols emerge from the same creative source, which he calls unconscious collective.
The distinctive motives of mythological narratives, delusions and dreams are for Jung’s symbolic expressions of behavior patterns and the universal meanings that we humans inherit as species, which he calls archetypes.
The basic pattern including the lucid one is considered to be psychologically correlated with biological instincts and serves as a mechanism of self-regulation, integration and promotion of psychological development. They are also seen as a forum and transmitter of wisdom that is common to all humanity.
Dream as a representation of hero archetypes:
The basic myth of a hero journey (humble and magical birth, individuals called for missions, meetings with masters, interactions with allies and enemies, trials, wars against evil, going down to hell, meeting treasures, marriages with the princess, etc.) found in the structure of many ancient and contemporary stories, is considered a symbolic manifestation of the process of psychological transformation that is driven by all individuals to do throughout their lives.
This transformation is directed at revealing the single potential of each individual, to the experience of his most sincere personality, about his vocation, about his single contribution to the world. Accompanying this transformation process, called the individuation process, is the goal proposed by Jungian psychotherapy.
From Jung’s theory, variations and fragments of mythical heroes are represented every night in our dreams by the way in which archetypes are incarnated in individuals, namely effective complexes.
Dream as a complex embodiment of affective
Complex is a set of ideas and thoughts with strong emotional content that is formed from personal experience related to the themes of some basic patterns. Father’s complexes, for example, are fostered by the personal and singular experiences we have with our own fathers and with other father figures, always under the background of a universal “father” pattern.
Always according to Jung, the complex is a constitutive element of our soul and behaves as a sub-personality that is activated in certain circumstances in the external or internal world.