Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Dream a little dream

I had a conversation last week with a colleague about CG Jung (the psychoanlayst some would say the PSYCHO analyst). In his refreshingly blunt way W said...."The trouble with Jung it's all crap isn't it?" [Does one expect more of a PhD than "it's all crap"] I tend to respect his point of view as it's likely that even in areas where I am quite well read he is likely to be better and more extensively read and to have synthesised it better (in fact Yes! I hate him for being so smart!).
But I think he is probably wrong.
The trouble with Jung, I suggest, is that he has been picked up by so many New Age wierdos that it looks like Jung is whacko himself. In fact I think he is more seriously scientific than that.
His writing and life's work extend well into the modern era, which makes him rather different than Freud who died just as the Second War was breaking out. So while Freud seems like psychology (rather like Darwin is foundational biology) from which we have moved on, we are still enaging with Jung as someone who continued to adapt and change, and that change has continued for good and ill as the work of others, some of whom have hung their whacko work on Jung's shingle to give themselves a respectability which they otherwise would not have.
Maybe I am one such!

My present round of reading and study is about Jung's understanding of personality and the process of the maturing psyche, about self-awareness and the process of growth that he calls individuation.
Part of his way of looking at things focusses on dreams. Not so much the interpretation of dreams (as the whackos want to have us believe) as the understanding of our dreaming.
He has certain key principles (which I won't bore you with here) and there is an encouragement to record your dreams and review them, in order to try and discern what they reflect about our lives.
As people we are fascinated by dreams, they just have that mystery about them which is enough to suck us in to believing that they may be bigger than they are.
This is where we might be invited to get (as W puts it) sucked in by the crap. Not all dreams are of the calibre of the sort Joseph and Daniel interpret in Holy Writ.
But as with life maybe our ordinary dreams are as important as the extraordinary, if not more important because they are ordinary.
Any way, I finding it helpful at the moment to try and record the dreams I have.
I struggle a bit with how far I create dreams so that I have dreams to record...Catch 22...but I am like that.
The question for me as I encounter Self (Jung suggests that Self with a capital S is not God, but that part of us which knows God...that seems to me a tantalising idea) is how does this invite me to be more free....which is what individuation is about


JahTeh said...

I'm in the habit of writing down dreams then going back to them a month or so later. A lot I don't recall but there is always one that is still clear and vivid on a second visit.

stephen clark said...

Thanks that's worth bearing in mind

Anonymous said...

I meant "crap" in a deeply theological and PhD sort of way.

stephen clark said...

I often think a lot of theology in a crap sort of way. Well in an Honours sort of way