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Carl Jung is one of the founding fathers of psychology and helped to create a number of theories one of these known as archetypes. His work had a large impact in the world of dreaming because he gave alternative interpretations to his mentor Sigmund Freud. Although Freud once referred to Carl Jung as the “adopted eldest son, his crown prince and successor,” Jung would go on to forge his own path with theories that differentiated from his mentor Freud.
Similar to his mentor Freud, Jung believed that the unconscious mind was at work while dreaming, however, his views were very different than Freud on the meaning of dreams.
While Freud’s work often emphasized the sexual meaning of a dream, Jung’s view was that the dreams were a window into the subconscious, not masking them. He believed that dreams were designed to help offer dreamers advice in the waking life, taking a similar role to a counselor. Dreaming was a communicative process that allowed for you conscious and subconscious to connect with each other.
Like Freud, Jung believed there was an ego, but his ego was a sense of yourself and the perception of yourself to the outside world. He was a firm believer in opposites such as young/old, male/female, and dark/light. For this reason, the ego had a counterpart, which was aptly named the “counter ego” or “shadow.” This counter ego represented specific parts of you that you wanted to hide or rejected. Very similar to Freud’s Id.
Freud’s view on dreaming was that everyone has their own tools to interpret a dream. He viewed specific dreams as something designed to help reveal something about yourself that you didn’t know. Your dreams were given to you to help realize your full potential in your waking life. His view was that your interpretation of your own dream was the most important opinion that matter, more valuable than anyone else’s opinion.
Jung’s view was that by discussing what is currently going on in your life, you can help unlock specific cryptic messages and images in your dream. Jung’s overall interpretation of dreams emphasis the dreamer and the power they have to unlock the answers in the dream. There is no single correct interpretation of a dream; whatever interpretation feels right to you is the most significant one.
Carl Jung’s Archetypes
To help people discover the meaning of dreams, Jung helped define certain symbols that possessed the same overall meaning for men and women universally. This phenomenon was coined “collective unconscious” and was used to help find meaning in dreams. Carl Jung created archetypes which are specific models of people, behaviors and personalities. Here are some of the Major Archetypes:
The Persona – The Persona is the exterior mask that you wear to the world. This is your conscious minds representation of you. The persona is the superficial values that you perceive and want to show the world around you. A great example of this is a business man wears expensive suits and an artist may wear eccentric clothes.
The Shadow – The shadow is represented by everything in us that is unconscious, denied, suppressed or underdeveloped. These are often seen as dark rejected aspects of yourself. This shadow is often seen as an aspect of yourself that you want to hide from the world because you view it as ugly and unappealing to others.
This shadow can be represented as: someone who frightens you, usually a shadowy figure the same sex as the dreamer; walking dead person or a zombie; dark object or shape; an unseen thing; someone or something that we feel uneasy about; someone addicted to drugs; something dark or threatening in a dream; a minority; prostitute; gypsy; or a burglar.
The Anima/Animus – The anima and animus represent the male and female aspects within you. Dreamers always have both masculine and feminine qualities within themselves. In dreams the anima represents a man’s image of a woman. She will often appear young and feminine. Conversely the animus is the opposite of the anima and the masculine unconscious element in women. The woman
A woman having an animus dream could dream of having male genitalia in a dream. This dream could represent the females need to express her masculine side by being more assertive or aggressive. Conversely a male could dream that he shaved all his body hair, representing the need to be more emotional or feminine in his waking state.
The Wise Old Man – The wise old man often represents a helper or guide in your dream. The can be a father, doctor, priest or another authority figure that can offer you guidance and help you choose the right path. By listening to the guidance of the wise old man we can develop the gifts given to us.
Divine Child – The Divine child can appear as a child, animal or even jewel. It is represented by your true self in the purest of all forms. It helps to symbol your innocence, helplessness and vulnerability that you have in the world around you.
The Great Mother – Is the nurturer in your dreams. Anyone or thing in a dream that represents a nurturing role or figure can be the great mother. She can often provide the dreamer with specific nurturing and reassurance that they are making the right choice.
The Trickster – Just as the name might imply, the trickster uses jokes and other funny imagery to prevent the dreamer from taking themselves seriously. The trickster will often make you feel uncomfortable or embarrassed in certain situations. Just like the name implies, the trickster plays lots of jokes and pranks.