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find amongst my material. I have chosen examples in which the rebirth motive occurs clearly in the manifest content. The dream occurred in a young officer, in the early thirties, who was becoming rather neurotic. He dreamt that he was on a steamer with a crowd of people. He suddenly dived over the side of the steamer and plunged into the sea. As he went down the water became warmer and warmer. At length he turned and began to come up. He reached the surface, almost bumping his head against a little empty boat. There was now no steamer, but only a little boatl. He had no idea why he should have such a dream. In his associations he said that the water was about blood-heat at the depth at which he turned. As I have said, the idea of going into the water as a symbol of rebirth is found in the ritual of baptism. Baptism means a rebirth. But why should going into the water mean rebirth? Rebirth, concretely expressed, means a return to the womb. The sea is a symbol of the Great Mother. You will note that in my example the water is of blood-heat. This is a mythological expression used by the unconscious to indicate the idea of returning to the maternal depths, for a movement of the libido towards the unconscious in its aspect of the re-creative mother. You will see by the manifest content of the dream, which is always of the utmost importance, the motif of rebirth comes between two symbols, that of the steamer crowded with people and the little boat. Broadly speaking, this means that the dreamer must leave collective values, which are represented by the crowd on the steamer, and go through a process of rebirth whereby he comes to the little boat; that is, to something individual. Whenever we cease to live by purely collective values and begin to develop individual values for life we undergo a psychological rebirth, and rebirth symbolism begins to appear in the dreams.
I will give two further examples of dreams in which the rebirth motif is contained. In the case of a woman approaching the climacteric she finds in her dream that she has to go somewhere she has never been before. She is taken to this place and discovers it to be a kind of Turkish bath. She is taken inside and placed in a small room not much larger than herself. The door is closed and the steamy heat gradually begins to increase. At the same time she observes that at the top of this small room there is a brilliant light. She feels she cannot stand the atmosphere and realises suddenly that she has taken in her fur coat with her, although she was warned not to do so. She escapes. Here the idea of the womb is contained in the symbol of the small room, in which there is an increasing moist heat. This dream was one that occurred during what I term the psychological menopause, which precedes the actual menopause by several years. The difficulty that this patient found in facing the alterations in her attitudes which were apparently necessary at this stage is shown by the dream. She cannot yet stand the process of rebirth, which she complicates by insisting on retaining the fur coat. A sacrifice of the instinctual (the fur coat) in favour of the intuitional (the brilliance) is the underlying theme that the dream deals with in this symbolism. I suppose that this idea of rebirth, of the libido becoming divided against itself, is at the root of the conflict between the different schools of analytical psychology. About the period when the most powerful rebirth symbolisms appear another kind of symbol is met with. It recurs continually in conjunction with rebirth motifs. It is the symbol of double personality. The dreamer dreams that he is two people. I am not referring to that ‘familiar with whom we are so constantly associated in dreams—that shadowy other person whom we never see, but who accompanies us often in our adventures and is our other-self. In the case of the symbol of double personality there is a distinct sense of being two people or of splitting into two people in the dream. “I dreamt that I was two people,” or “I dreamt that I saw a person who was two people at the same time and yet it was the same person.” Consider for a moment what the movement of rebirth means in the psyche of the individual. It means that he has to sacrifice himself to himself. He is at once a sacrifice and sacrificer. He thus becomes two personalities. In the Norse myth in which the god describes how he acquired his divine power the words occur “I know that I hung on the windy tree for nine whole nights, wounded with the spear consecrated to Odin, myself to myself.” Turning to another part of the world we find in the initiations of a Brahman two black antelope skins are used, upon which the initiate sits. This is symbolical of the inner situation which is supposed to arise at the time of the ritual. When consecrated the initiate becomes Vishnu, a god, but at the same time he is a sacrifice and the same person is the sacrificer; he is the god who sacrifices a god to a godhimself to himself. The black antelope skins have also the significance of the womb, being in certain variations of the ceremony wrapped round the initiate, thus forming an envelope. After this the initiate is proclaimed the twice-born or the spiritually born. You will understand how easily this motif, i.e. of rebirth, which according to my experience continually appears in dreams of people who are entirely unacquainted consciously with mythology or ritual, may be taken in a literal and objective way as a horizonless incestuous wish. Because the regenerating aspects of the unconscious are so often represented by a striving towards the mother, they can easily be misinterpreted in terms of concrete reality instead of as a psychological reality.
1 This dream was recorded at the first interview.
The final example is more difficult; it belongs very much more to mythological themes. “I was out in a field and a wolf came to me. He seemed to know me and caught hold of my wrist and tried to urge me to go with him. I went with him and we came to a grey rock through which we seemed to pass magically to the interior in which there were two caves. I remained in the outer cave, while the wolf went into the inner cave with me, because I was somehow two persons. I thought that the wolf was teaching something to this other person who was myself in the inner cave.” This dream contains the idea of a major rebirth. More properly, it deals with the preparatory stages of a major rebirth. The going into the rock and the coming out of the rock are mythological themes. In myths the god is sometimes born out of the rock. The god Mithra is observed by the shepherds emerging from the rock. I must say a word here about the significance of the 'god’ in mythology. Rebirth leads to the development of individuality and of psychological regeneration. This is one aspect of the 'god. In the dream above the patient passes into the rock and there splits up into two personalities and one of these is related to the wolf, who appears to be teaching it in the inner cave. The emergence from the rock will be the act of rebirth-that is, the birth of the individuality. The rock is the same thing as the sea. It is the same thing as the womb of Sheol or the Hades of Christ. It is the same thing as the mountain which rests on Jonah. It is the same thing as the belly of the whale. From these situations, which are psychological and represent the movement of the libido into the unconscious, comes the resurrection. If we manage to undergo a psychological regeneration we throw off old attitudes and so become renewed. Part of the libido leaves the old values that we have worked with consciously, and goes down into the deep (rock, hut, mountain, whale, etc.) of the unconscious, where it finds the new symbol waiting, and re-emerges under a new attitude to life. This is the underlying idea in the treatment of all neuroses by psychological analysis as I understand it. When such a dream as the one I have just quoted occurs in patients it marks an important crisis. By analysis, we have to find out the necessary task, the new attitude. As I have said, there appear to be dreams dealing with the motif of rebirth in a minor way and others dealing with it in a major way. When the major symbolisms appear then the psychological development is at an extremely critical stage, and requires careful handling.
I have given dream examples dealing with the going into the womb-the first movement in the drama of rebirth. The emergence from the womb is the third act in the rebirth drama. Its treatment by the unconscious is extremely complicated. The idea that something is gained after the rebirth is put variously in myth and ritual; as a magic substance, a stick, a jewel, a new faculty of vision, a new power, a new protection from enemies, etc. In myths of higher culture, the thing gained is often expressed as divinity or immortality. This follows the release of the hero from the womb, and he may carry in his hand the magic thinge.g. the heart of the monster, which is, psychologically, the new-born libido. The idea is well expressed thus in a dream of a patient of Dr James Young's. “The patient knew there was a dangerous monster under the sea-it was like a submarine. People were all waiting in fear. Then up from the depths came a man. He had come out of the submarine, destroying it by so doing. He was borne upwards by a parachute, which he held in his upraised hand, and rose into the air.”
Here is the motif of the rebirth of the hero out of the womb, with the magical power in his hand. The ship under the sea is the whale of Jonah. Such a dream marks an important phase. It is potential. But I cannot enter into this enormous field in this short paper.
I have given some suggestions concerning the significance of the mother and of the little child in dreams, regarded from the constructive or anagogic standpoint, and I would conclude by making a suggestion about the significance of the father in this respect. You are familiar with the Oedipus myth, in which Oedipus, the swollen-footed one, murdered his father and his father's charioteer and was confronted by the Sphinx. It is only after guessing the riddle of the Sphinx that he can pass into Thebes and marry Jocasta, his mother. This myth is very wonderful and contains many difficult points and it has been used in analysis chiefly as showing the tendency that is found for the striving towards the mother after the overcoming of the father. It has been only used in an objective relationship. The overcoming of the father is a theme that appears in the dreams of adults, especially when the need for individuality is strongest. The enemy in the dream frequently is connected with the idea of the father or with the idea of authority. With the development of individuality, when the power lies within, the motif of the father and of the enemy ceases. Psychologically we only overcome the father in ourselves through a rebirth of values in ourselves, and this is the development of the human spirit in all functions that are individual, and not merely a collective imitation. We give
birth to the father in ourselves and pass from what I would term the first psychological orientation to the second, and so enter a new mythcycle. Just as the child stands between the mother and the father, so does the libido of the adult stand between the world of the magical unconscious and the world of stern reality-between the world of the germinating and becoming, and the world of fixed values. To overcome the psychological father (which always has a special meaning for each person and denotes a special use of a function) before the psychological mother (which always contains a special value for each person) can be reached means a sacrifice of that part of the libido which is held to fixed attitudes and old ways of thinking or feeling. To remain, however, ‘in the mother' is disastrous—as disastrous as it was to Oedipus, who made himself blind. In giving these suggestions and interpretations I am aware that they are only outlines drawn from one angle, but they offer new avenues of approach to the subject of symbolism in dreamsavenues of approach that were originally opened up by Carl Jung. I think they are well worth following even though they lead into the most complicated mysteries, for the solution of which we have to turn to the records of folk-lore, mythology, religions and primitive culture. But the unconscious is primitive mind, and to understand it we must study the history of man, and the myth of man, which nowadays requires to be discovered afresh.