Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dream interpretation by mating birds

I am revisiting Jung's practice of monitoring synchronicity on the way to giving a lecture to the Jung Foundation in New York City next month, and I came upon a choice example of how he used coincidence to get a second opinion on dreams - and sometimes to get a point across to a dreamer who seemed to be missing the point.
-A patient whose dreams seemed to Jung to be full of strong sexual imagery declined to look at this aspect of her dream life, drifting off into associations that seemed to Jung to be far removed from what the dreams contained. His efforts to get her to look at the possible sexual content did not prosper until, on the day of the woman's next appointment, a pair of sparrows fluttered to the ground at her feet ans "performed the act" right in front of her.
This incident, recorded in the notebooks of Jungian analyst Esther Harding, recalls the famous epiphany of the scarab that Jung recorded in his own memoirs. He felt stuck in his analysis of another female patient until the session in which she recounted a dream of a scarab, vitally important to the Egyptians as a symbol of rebirth. At theat instant, Jung heard something scraping at the window of his consulting room. He opened the window and caught in his hands a flying beetle known as a rose-chafer, the closest thing to the Egyptian scarab that was likely to be found in Switzerland. He presented the golden-green beetle to the woman, saying, "Here is your scarab" , and noted this as the breakthrough point in her analysis.
These episodes are fine examples of how (to borrow from Richard Tarnas in Cosmos and Psyche) "spontaneous archetypal resonance" can act as "a healing solvent on the hardened polarities - between self and world, subject and object conscious and unconscious - of the person experiencing the synchronicity."


vanessa paradis said...

Thank you for your blog. Confirming dreams is an interesting idea and I can relate to it. When I was reading your book, "The Three 'Only' Things" a few days ago, I took a nap at about a third of the way through. I had a dream of traveling on a ferry in the NY area. I was holding a book. I figured it was a dream of the future because the book was based on my dissertation. When I woke up, I researched online to figure out where I had been in my dream and I was thinking I would not want to travel in the wintertime, due to the rough waters getting to an island I had found, for fear of the ferry crashing. Then I finished reading your book and read where you had traveled on a ferry in the state of WA. That was interesting. But what was really freaky, the very next day was the NY Ferry crash (just a few days ago). I will have to pay more attention to confirmations of dreams and my feelings associated with them. I am not sure what all of this means.

Robert Moss said...

Vanessa - By my observation the dream self is forever traveling ahead of the waking self, scouting the ways (and the ferry lines). If I had experienced the sequence you described, I would certainly feel prompted to keep the dream in mind as a travel advisory for the future - maybe a wholly benign and encouraging one, since in the dream the book is out (a time marker, as you note) and there is no problem with the ferry in the dream (as you recount it). I would be open to future travel to New York. Visitors to NYC often take ferries to enjoy the Big Picture.

I would also reflect on the symbolism of the ferry as a means for making an important life crossing.

My feelings around the dream, immediately on waking from my nap, would of course be my first and best guidance on where to go with the dream, and which ferry to take or not take in the future.

vanessa paradis said...

Thank you for your insight. Yes, the dream was very positive and I have been given multiple signs about future travel to NY, so with the insight you have provided, I will be sure to follow through. It feels right. I was also given the song "Ferry cross the Mersey" (maybe mercy?) Now I have a lot of food for thought here. As always, thank you for replying to my post.

Don said...

Thank you for posting this. One thing that strikes me is that the synchronicity was pointed out to the client in both the scarab and the birds mating synchronicities.
We have all had synchronicities in our lives. I wonder, however, how many I have missed becasue I did not see them.
I have been thinking about this ever since you posted it.
Thank you,

arifmahmud said...

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Unknown said...

Cardinals in dreams speak to us about compassion, hope and love. I’ve had many dreamers claim to have dreams of cardinals just prior to new romance coming into their lives. The bright shock of red we see in male cardinals could certainly awake intuitive messages of amorous potential.

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