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three, to make sure of being in time. I see a dead bird like a dove on the floor. I have touched it with my foot which is contaminated by its corruption. When I awake I think, "My soul is dead."
My associations referred to the primitive idea of birds being souls, to the Holy Spirit appearing as a dove, and to the Trinity.
Perhaps a parallel to the dead dove may appear in the fact that primitives believe that the life or soul can be disengaged from the body without harm so long as the object which receives it remains intact. Frazer says: "The advantage of this is that so long as the soul remains unharmed in the place where he has deposited it, the man himself is immortal; nothing can kill his body since his life is not in it." On the other hand, if an animate object containing the soul is injured or is killed, the man suffers correspondingly. Frazer gives many examples from Folk-lore illustrating this. One modern Greek story tells of an ogre whose strength is in two doves, "and when the hero kills one of them, the monster cries out, 'Ah, woe is me: Half my life is gone. Something must have happened to one of the doves.' When the second dove is killed, he dies."
Analysis showed that whether the appointment with Dr Jung in the dream was for three or three-thirty, the third hour was already ended, the third person of the Trinity was dead, and I was living in the fourth hour, which, as it did not belong to either person of the Godhead, must be ruled over by the Devil.
The first dream, in which the mother is carried out to be buried, expresses the same idea, for in the Egyptian Trinity of Osiris, Isis and Horus, the Holy Spirit is replaced by the mother. Frazer says in The Dying God: "If the Christian doctrine of the Trinity took shape under Egyptian influence, the function originally assigned to the Holy Spirit may have been that of the divine mother. In the apocryphal Gospel to the Hebrews...Christ spoke of the Holy Ghost as his mother... My mother the Holy Spirit took me a moment ago by one of my hairs and carried me away to the great Mount Tabor'." The Gnostics also called the Holy Spirit "the First Woman," or "Mother of all living."
(5) In the fifth dream I write to a friend who is a Presbyterian minister in Scotland, and tell him my mother is dead.
(6) I see a bed on which a mother and daughter are lying. The daughter is dead, but the mother is unaware of the fact. I feel I cannot tell her, and ask someone else to undertake the task. When this has been done, I return and tell the mother I knew she was dead. She replies, "Then, in the name of God, why didn't you say so?"
J. of Psych. (Med. Sect.) II
Another theme is blended with that of death in some dreams, namely, that of contempt for the organized forms and beliefs of Christianity. (1) I put two buttons instead of money into a collecting-box in church, held out to me by a clergyman, and am reproved by him for doing so.
(2) In this dream I have come to the end of a journey. I get out of a carriage, and see part, though not quite all, of my luggage deposited on the ground. I say "Good-bye" to a lady I know who remains seated and is presumably going on. She is a sweet and gracious personality, whose church and simple orthodox faith mean much to her. As I shake hands with her she gives me the bill. There is always an account rendered from the past! Nevertheless, there is a hint of something new, for I see, in another dream the same night, the figure of an old friend who was a modern languages student at Newnham College when we first met. She stood with a short pipe in her mouth, a figure of the ultra new woman, as against the somewhat Victorian lady who had given me the bill, but she did not speak and I only saw her picture, as it were. The new was not yet ready to emerge into consciousness.
During these weeks my vitality of body and mind was very low. Physically I was anaemic, and suffered from palpitation and breathlessness. Mentally I was depressed and apprehensive, passing through the Valley of the Shadow. A dream at this time showed my individuality to be sick, and no longer capable of holding the balance between introversion and extraversion. I was in a state of dissolution, living in an underworld of shades which were bloodless and unreal. Consciously I was miserable, burdened with a dull weight of depression which at times felt unendurable, though no adequate concrete reason for it existed. The cheerfulness of others was irritating. It seemed too much trouble to smile or be glad. The present was viewed through eyes which, for the most part, saw only negative aspects. I was dissatisfied, critical, vacillating. The future was regarded with more or less cynicism. It appeared unlikely that any aim would ever be realized, any hope fulfilled. I felt useless, homeless, hopeless, ill in mind and body. The 'hero' had gone down to hades, taking the positive, constructive libido with him, and death and disintegration were the result.
At this point strange and terrifying phenomena occurred. The libido found and revived archaic images which were externalized in consciousness, chiefly in the form of sound. Sharp, explosive cracks, like pistol shots, not to be explained by change of weather or of temperature, occurred in the dead of night when I awoke from my first sleep. Some
times the explosion sounded near my bed, sometimes it came from other parts of the room. On one occasion the projection assumed a momentary life, for a phantom Something, like an intangible cat, leaped on my bed, startling me into uttering an involuntary scream.
The noises came very rarely by day, but they occurred nightly for about a fortnight, and then ceased as abruptly as they had begun. Three or four weeks later, soon after going to bed one night, I heard three sharp explosions with a short pause between each, and since then they have ceased to trouble me.
About this time the libido began to ascend, and the character of the dreams changed. The motif of life began to creep in.
(1) I see deep water and think, “I have been at a lake but this is the sea."
(2) I see an erotic cat sitting by a window.
(3) I try to light a fire in order to fill a hot-water bottle for my 'sister.'
The next dream is more definite. I see rocks coloured with the light of sunset or of sunrise, and Dr Jung directs my gaze from them to some trees which grow near, the leaves of which are also coloured. The colour may be that of death or life, sunset or dawn; it is not yet certain which it is; but the trees at least are living things set side by side with the nonliving rocks.
Now we come to a dream which seems to me to give the key-note, or to epitomise the experience and its issues.
I dream of a word, a 'nonsense word' it seems, given to me by a teacher but forgotten. It is the first among other objects in a specimencase which Dr of London is holding in his hands. When I awake
I remember it. It is the magic word ABRAXAS. The previous dream had presented the separation of vital opposites. Sunset and sunrise are opposites: end and beginning. Rocks and trees are opposites: living and non-living. Abraxas presents the most tremendous of all the opposites: creation and destruction; emptiness and fulness; God and Devil. The unconscious in its own way exhibited to me these alternatives. Perhaps one only gets to know God through the Devil; life through experience of death.
We now come to dreams in which the symbols of death and resurrection follow one another or are combined, recalling initiation ceremonies, and marriage with creative possibilities.
In the first of these dreams I see through a window a new and empty burial ground, in which my father, who seems to symbolize the past,
the 'old man,' is being buried in a solitary grave. No mourners are present and it seems very sad and lonely.
The next dream is a trifle complicated, but I will try and make it clear.
I call at the house of some people I have known since I was a child, friends of my parents called A——. Mr A―― is dead, but his widow, now over eighty years of age, is living. She is characterized by an optimism which no sorrow can quench, and a religious attitude of the most naïve literalness. My visit is apparently to see her, but she meets me at the door of the room, preventing my entrance, and says Mr A
wants me. I go
to another room where he is sitting, and see there an attaché-case which has reappeared from the water into which I had thrown it. (In reality I have such a case in which I keep money and important papers.) Mr A then shows me a paragraph in a newspaper which says "Mrs Crowgate had arrived, or would shortly arrive, in England. The lady, whom the dream designates by such an ominous name, is Mr A's elder daughter, and her father and I understand, in the mysterious manner peculiar to dreams, that instead of being dead for many years, as we had supposed, and as is in reality the case, she had only been married, and resident in a far country from which she was returning.
In this dream the rebirth motif is clear. The return of the 'hero' is at hand, and, with a touch of humour, the unconscious announces the arrival in modern fashion by a newspaper paragraph. Taken in connection with the preceding dream, we have the whole drama of death and resurrection. The dead past is buried in its lonely grave, the new libido of the future is just arriving from the progressive Continent of America, not only alive but married, and therefore full of possibility.
The symbolism of the two following dreams resembles some of the beliefs and initiation ceremonies of primitives. In one I see a man, whose naked back is caked with clay, rise from out of the ground accompanied by a woman. She wraps a black cloak round her, the garb of mourning for the dead. It is the spirit of the dead ancestor who has come to communicate to me the wisdom and power he has acquired beyond the grave.
In a book on Primitive Secret Societies, by Hutton Webster, the author, following Frobenius, says that the intention of many initiation rites and ceremonies is "to assimilate the novice to the condition of spirits." He writes: "When, as especially in the African conceptions, the dead are considered as exercising much power over the living, there will exist a natural desire to assimilate one's self as much as possible to the condition of spirits and to become 'totengleich' and 'geistergleich' in order that
the spiritual power appertaining to the dead may be obtained. Puberty rites originate in a period when manes worship, totemism and ancestor cults prevail, and their significance is thus primarily religious rather than social."
The clay on the man's back in my dream shows that he was an initiate, one who had passed through the mysteries of death and rebirth, and who was therefore qualified to instruct me. Webster says: "The use of some substance, usually white clay, with which the novices are daubed over face and body is common throughout Australia and Africa. Doubtless some obscure connection exists here with the death and resurrection ideas. Pipe clay is often employed by the Australians as a sign of mourning for the dead. Moreover there is the widespread belief that after death the bodies of the natives become white."
The same custom is found among certain Indian tribes. The boys about to undergo initiation are painted white, or smeared with white clay. Frazer, in one of the volumes of The Golden Bough, quotes a passage from a book on The Pagan Tribes of Borneo, by Hose and McDougall, showing that among one of these peoples there is a belief in a spirit who constitutes himself a man's secret helper. It is usually the spirit of an ancestor or dead relative, and is called ngarong. It manifests itself first to the individual in a dream, and promises to be his secret helper. The parallel of my dream to these ideas is, I think, sufficiently clear.
In the next dream I am with my mother who, by a cruel and revolting operation, is preparing me for, or initiating me into the meaning of, marriage. Initiation ceremonies inaugurate the beginning of manhood and womanhood, and are intended as a preparation for marriage which usually follows immediately after their completion. Webster says: "The ceremonies which take place on the arrival of girls at puberty are distinctly less impressive than those of the boys." Some of their trials are, however, appalling enough. Some savage peoples perform an operation on the genitals of girls; in the case of other tribes, beating, stinging with ants, the infliction of gashes and incisions in the flesh, starvation and seclusion, sometimes for lengthened periods, are a few of the horrors undergone. Frazer tells us that girls often "die or are injured for life in consequence of the hardships they endure at this time."
In my dream I do not like the idea of marriage as it is there presented to me, and when I awake I am trying to break off my 'engagement' with the unknown figure of a man. The succeeding dream, however, warns me that victory is the reward of endurance.
I see a cat and a bulldog sitting facing each other on the platform of