Dreams are part of the collective unconscious as identified by Carl Jung. They are symbols into the soul and hidden in our subconscious. Dreams guide us with messages for healing and personal growth. In Jungian psychology dreams are highly regarded and here is why...
In search of a deeper understanding of the human condition, the founders of psychology, which included Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and others, there was deep interest in exploring the dimensions of our motivations, emotions and behaviors. At the beginning of psychology in the western world, which began in Europe and eventually transitioned to the United States, Freud identified the conscious and subconscious. The unconscious is our waking reality. Waking reality is the world as we see it. It is what we experience in the external world through the five senses. we see, hear, taste, smell and touch. The subconscious is our dream state, internal world and what actually drives our decisions in life.
Carl Jung, a colleague of Freud, took Freud’s understanding of the conscious and subconscious one step further and called it the collective unconscious. The collective unconscious is the world of archetypes, stories, movies, heros, villians, saints, and sinners. When stories such as Star Wars and Harry Potter have such an impact, they are because we all relate. We all can understand the journey of the hero as identified by Joseph Campbell in his book, “The Hero’s Journey.” We know what we know about wizards, witches, princes and princesses because they are in our collective unconscious.
This is not just relative to our childhood. Why has the archetype of Wonder Woman been so popular for her re-emergence? It is because her time has returned. The power of women, not in the ways of the women’s movements of the 70’s but in the new way of internal power, and she doesn’t just relate to women. Men have lost their connection with this force from within as well. It is in all of us, whether we are male or female. This power comes from within and is deeply connected to symbolism, which is also speaking to us through our dreams. This is why paying attention to our dreams is so important.
So, going back to the dream, how do you remember your dream tonight?
Here are the steps:
1. Place a journal and pen beside your bed.
2. Take a full glass of water and place it beside your bed.
3. Drink half of the water.
4. Say, “In the morning I will remember my dream.”
5. Go to sleep.
6. Upon waking, finish the glass of water and say, “Now I will remember my dream.”
7. Write in your journal whatever comes next.
8. Pay attention to the symbolic and metaphoric meaning of your dream. See what it means to you and then dive into a dream analysis book. I love “Llewellyn’s Complete Dictionary of Dreams,” by Dr. Michael Lennox.