.. eud’s dream symbols are a great help. 2.1.4 Dream symbolism Freud derived dream symbols from the resistance of dream interpretation. He noticed that resistance regularly occurred with certain elements of dreams even in dreams of mentally healthy people. He claimed that formation of visual answer on stimulus (dream) is not coincidental.
He figured out that some parts of manifest content typically correspond with certain latent content. Freud called these manifest elements symbols – to which he ascribed constant meaning. The dream symbols are in his opinion more or less sexual. Number three has in dreams symbolic meaning of man’s sexual organ. All dream ideas which consist of three parts can mean the man’s sexual organ.
Phallus is symbolically substituted with all things that are similar to it by their form, namely long things that jut out: mountains, rocks, sticks, umbrellas, poles, trees?Then objects for which the penetration in the body and harming is characteristic – weapons: knifes, daggers, lances, sabres, swords.. and fire arms: guns, rifles, revolvers, cannons?Obviously, the phallus is also substituted with objects from which water runs: pipes, watering-pots, fountains?and with objects that can be lenghtened: hanging lights, extensible pens, aerials?Baloons, airplanes, helicopters, rockets, etc. are symbols of erection. Less evident male sexual symbols are reptiles and fish, especially a symbol of snake. A hat and a coat as well as various machines and appliances have the same meaning.
Female genitalia are symbolically represented with hollow objects that can contain things: shafts, pits and caves, vessels and bottles, boxes, suitcases, tins, pockets, closets, stoves, ships?The same holds for house with entrances, passages and doors, churches, chapels, castles, mansions, fortresses and even landscape itself. The material such as wood and paper as well as objects made of them: a table, a book?symbolize the same. Typical female symbols among animals are snails and mussels and their shells. Apples, peaches and fruits in general symbolize breasts. All kind of playing (playing instruments also), sliding, slipping and breaking branches are symbols of masturbation.
The teeth falling out and extraction of them are symbols of castration as a punishment for masturbating (castration’s complex). Various rhytmical activities such as dance, riding, raising and threatening with weapon symbolize sexual intercourse itself. Typical activities that symbolize sexual intercourse are also climbing and going down the ladder or stairs and running inside a house. The queen and king or empress and emperor and similar relations symbolize parents. The fall into water or raising out of it symbolizes birth. Many dreams which seemed puzzling before, become more clear when concidering Freud’s symbols and the censorship of dream.
Although dream symbols allow for direct interpretation of dreams, we must never do that without previous knowledge of patient’s psychological background. The dream can be understood, Freud held, only in light of the dreamer’s associations to it.4 After telling the dream, the therapist has to ask the patient to engage in free associations stimulated by certain element of the dream. When following the spontaneous flow of thoughts and feelings, the patient is asked to describe it as fully as possible. The patient, however, has to consider an agreement that s/he will tell every idea without trying to censor or control it in any way. We tell the patient a rule that must not be broken: when telling [dreams] s/he must not leave out any idea even if s/he gets one of four objections: that idea is irrelevant, too senseless, that is not connected with the issue or is too embarrassing. (Freud 1977: 117) Only such a rule will ensure efficient relationship between the dream teller and dream interpreter.
2.2 JUNG’S ANALYTICAL INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS Carl Gustav Jung is a scientist, who assigned more importance to dreams and dream work as perhaps no other of his colleagues. His father studied theology due to financial problems,5 which is why he later began to have doubts as to whether the knowledge he was passing on to others was true or not. Therefore the father influenced on his young son Carl so that he soon started to deal with metaphysical questions. In his writing Jung showed the close parallels between ancient myths and dreams. Jung explained the relationship between the unconscious and conscious in his original way and proposed the now well-known idea of collective unconscious. Ultimately Jung believed that by understanding how one’s personal unconscious integrates with the collective unconscious, a person can achieve a state of individuation, or wholeness of self. (Vered 1997) Much like Freud, Jung also emphasised the importance of interpretation of dreams in therapy.
The most significant dream is that from the night before a patient visit the therapist. This dream is so called initial dream. 2.2.1 Initial dream The interpretation of initial dream is so important because there is a good chance that the main problem of patient will be discovered right at the beginning of therapy. Jung, too, claimed that dreams are psychic phenomenon and that they can mirror central conflict of dreamer. All dreams at certain point in our life, Jung held, reflect our life situation until we seriously start to concern ourselves with it, that is, so long as we do not draw back completely or remove it. (Bras 1977: 206) We all know how concerns, problems or excitement can occupy our mind just before we fall asleep. For instance, as we may put it, a boy who is going on a trip tomorrow, will hardly think of anything else because of his excitement.
It is also very likely that once he manages to fall asleep, his dreams will contain elements of the trip he is about to have when he will wake up. It is not easy to decide to visit the therapist. The state of alert mind, which is caused by the importance of the event, can produce a strong impulse for the manifestation of patient’s conflict in dreams. Furthermore, such dreams usually contain a prognosis: ways of resolving the conflict, possible troubles and even final result. Jung claimed, that all dreams in certain time frame express most important internal process of person, namely some conflict or complex, even when there is no obvious interconnection between respective dreams. All dreams will be pointing at conflict that the dreamer should become conscious of, and remove it.
This of course does not mean that each and every dream reflects conflicting psychic state, nor that people who do not remember dreams do not have any conflicts. Special importance must be put on repeating dreams, which as a rule deal with the same conflict but from different points of view. A series of dreams actually indicates more complex conflict; dreams show that we rightly hesitate in some situation, or we cannot avoid it, and they always point in same direction ?at same solution. (Bras 1977: 206). Jung is of the opinion that precise dream record is a basis and a minimum for every dream interpretation.
The patient must not leave out, beautify or in any other way deform dream material. Only such material is the real text of subconsciousness. S/he must also tell as many details according to certain dream element as possible (what, who, where, when, why, how?. The therapist’s task then, is to carefully write down all these details as they suggest the direction of main dream flow. In case that patient does not remember some part of dream, s/he will be asked to use imagination.
The ideas that patient tells are psychotic fantasies, which are coming directly from the subconsciousness and move around the central problem. Even when the therapist gathered and processed dream material, s/he cannot know the meaning of dream. It is impossible to adequately explain a dream without patient’s cooperation and being acquainted with patient’s life situation (e.g. social status, buisness worries, economic and marital status, social aspirations, inteligence?. The therapist begins interpretation with easier and more evident parts of dream.
With patient’s help, s/he then moves further on more difficult and complicated parts. It is important to notice the sequence of dream events, since they are interconnected, and hence the relation between them reveals the meaning of dream. Jung discovered that a course of events in dreams is similar to that in a stage play. 2.2.2 Dramatic structure of dreams The majority of dreams are composed of four parts or phases, pretty much like in drama. Firstly, we need to figure out the scene and time of dream as well as dramatis personae. In first phase, which can be regarded as the exposition, the initial situation (setting) is represented ?already pointing at central conflict expressed in dream.
The second phase is the plot and contains something new (essential change), which leads the dream in the third phase: the culmination. In this phase the most critical things happen, which bring the dream to a closure: the fourth phase or denouement. Jung attributed extraordinary significance to the end of dream. The end of dream is so important, Jung held, because we cannot consciously influence on the outcome (i.e. change the end), and dreams so reflect the real situation.
Nature is often obscure or impenetrable, but she is not, like man, deceitful. We must therefore take it that the dream is just what it pretends to be, neither more nor less. If it shows something in a negative light, there is no reason for assuming that it is meant positively.6 According to the end of dream, he discriminated between favourable and unfavourable dreams. If we were to reverse the well-known proverb, then for dreams we may say that a good end makes a good beginning. Favourable dreams have quieting effect and direct us to the most constructive ways of solving problems. On the contrary, unfavourable dreams contain a warning of, perhaps life important, negative changes. Hence dreams can be said to have a prospective function; they warn us about bright or dark future.
Favourable or unfavourable end of dream, however, must not be taken as a final and absolute meaning of dream. This can be done only after several interconnected dreams. 2.2.3 Archetypes Dreams are also an expression of collective generic experiences, which refer to basic life problems and manifest in terms of symbols and myths ?thoughts and memories shared by all humanity. The interpreter of dreams must therefore be familiar with various myths, religions, cults, rituals and fairy tales in order to fully understand the meaning of dreams. These mythological motifs, which can be found in dreams, Jung called archetypes.
Archetypes or primordal images are specific forms and pictorial relationships, which did not only consistently appear in all ages and in all latitudes, but also appear in individual dreams, fantasies, visions and ideas. (Jung 1978: 396) This observation led Jung to think that there exists collective unconsciousness ?the sum of all experiences that human race acquired in its phylogenetic development. The access to collective unconsciousness is particularly easy, when a person has to take an important decision or is in life situation, crucial for his/her personal growth. S/he gets a suggestion from the collective Philosophy.