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  • NOTE: This is a Google Translator version. Translation mistakes may be present in the text.

Dream symbolic resources in the process of individuation
By Prof. Dr. Daniel Wilhelm
(Excerpts from a paper presented at the "V ° Conference of the Association for Training and Research in Analytical Psychology", August 2000, Buenos Aires)

The dream like the imaginal dimension, is a unique setting that allows the ego (1) through their respective sides, the dream ego and the imaginal ego, have a space of experience and interaction with unconscious contents that allow you confront and assimilate deep psychological dynamics, thus facilitating the course of individuation.

The dream is, in the eyes of the ego, an indecipherable enigma, a confused and strange territory in which the dreamer while recognizing himself as an actor, often surprising places, objects, characters and situations, as well as their own thoughts, feelings and actions. Despite all its technological achievements, modern man does not seem to be entirely exempt from the challenges of symbolic and metaphorical way described in ancient myths and legends. In his dreams, as in real life, often he faces trials and situations where it is required a different and transcendental attitude, thus marking the opportunity to take a major step on the path of individuation, or otherwise , stay in the stagnation of the current situation, characterized by a relentless and fruitless attempt to release cycle repeats unchanged, prisoner in his own wheel of samsara. It is here from somewhere deep within himself, the dream symbol is presented as a psychological resource that enables an opportunity for transcendence and freedom. The dream symbol and an important element of change and transformation.

Far from being a neutral intrapsychic event, the course and outcome of the dramatic structure that occurs during sleep and active imagination, both largely determined by the attitude adopted by the ego before the images and symbols of the unconscious, are a determining factor personality development. Thus, the dream space and the imaginal space offer a unique setting, in which the ego of the dreamer, through the establishment of new symbolic relationships, advances in the way of individuation.

The dream is then presented, sometimes, not only as a starting point from which by an endless and ever-increasing possibility of amplification becomes possible to reveal significant unconscious aspects, but also as the end product of a deep symbolic process, which it is offered to the dreamer a chance to open the door to new development opportunities in your waking life.

As is known, the ego is the central complex in the field of consciousness. "As a conscious aspect of personality, Jung says the ego knows only their own content, not the unconscious and its contents." The discovery by the ego of being the center of psychic totality, not as well as a complete and finished form, is one of the biggest challenges for those who must go through the ego in individuation, corresponding to these and other situations an important source of metaphors of death and resurrection.

The attitude and the result of the actions or inactions of the dream-ego during the dramatic course of sleep affects the way the complex is organized in the psyche, causing changes that are inherited by the ego in waking, usually manifests as small, subtle changes in emotional reactions or other aspects of behavior. The dramatic development of the dream, like that of active imagination, and has effects and consequences of waking life.

Bridging the differences we find in psychoanalytic theory as to the origin, meaning and significance of dreams, the important thing to note is that Freud also recognized in dreams a dynamism that commits the ego-personality traits, and what is even Most importantly, the presence of identificatory mechanisms between the I and the various contents and bizarre performances.

With respect to the place of I in the dream, Jung says that while dreaming consciousness not totally disappear, but there is still some of it represented by the "dream" or "dream ego" (Traum Ich / Dream Ego). "As the sleep rarely completely passes without dreams, says Jung can also assume that the complex I rarely ceases entirely as activity ... Psychic dream Jung adds content to appear as I facts wakefulness, so most of the times we are in dreams similar to real life situations, but rarely exercise our thought or reason about them. "

Ernest Rossi, a pupil of the famous hypnotherapist Milton Erickson and Jungian analyst CG Jung Institute of Los Angeles, says the dream experience is, in many cases, a base for creating new facets of personality. With regard to this says, "The dreamer is himself out of old habits and patterns of roles, thereby experiencing strong feelings". It seems then, that the events that occur during sleep (and the imaginal states in general) in the psyche can leave a similar mark which would leave a real experience of the outside world. It should add to this that, as Jung says, actually any real experience or perception from the outside world through our senses, ultimately becomes a psychic event. This seemingly simple, is what ultimately sets the principles of what, from the psychological point of view, we understand the subjectivity of experience.

The ego and the unconscious belong to separate worlds apart. Under the clear light of day, the realm of ego is built on the territory of consciousness; the unconscious however, belongs to the realm of the deep night. Both worlds, however, intercommunicate in a subtle border, a diffuse common area sometimes known by the name of "intermediate states" and represented, from ancient times, through a wide variety symbols and metaphorical images, such as circles and magical and sacred spaces, the twilight zone, the states of Bardo, the temples of initiation, mythological and heroic space geography, "other worlds" and "dimensions", the "thresholds" and "doors", etc. These intermediate states, states of "altered consciousness" naturally also belong the imaginal states, the states of hypnotic trance and dreamlike dimension.

Somewhere, as mentioned earlier, the dream remains today, with the clear look of consciousness, an enigmatic and strange territory. But also a path to deeper levels of being an inexhaustible source of symbols and images that offer the ego of the dreamer the possibility of knowing who was, who is, and who can become.


(1) A term used in English to refer to psicológoco concept of "I", equivalent to "Ich" the German language, originally used by Freud.


- CG Jung - "Man and His Symbols". Luis de Caralt Editor SA - CG Jung - "Memories, Dreams, Reflections". Seix Barral. - CG Jung - "Psychologischer Kommentar zu: Das Buch der Grossen Tibetische Befreiung" - Gesammelte Werke / CG Jung, Vol 11, Walter. - CG Jung - "Psychologischer Kommentar zum Bardo Thodol (Das Tibetanische Totenbuch)" - Gesammelte Werke / CG Jung, Vol 11, Walter. - CG Jung - Collected Works of CG Jung. Princeton University Press. - Ernest L. Rossi, Ph.D. -. "Dreams in the creation of personality". Rapport, Vol I, No. 4 -. Mircea Eliade - "Myth and Reality" -Editorial Labor SA


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