Theories of Personality 9th Edition

(やまだぃちぅ) #1

132 Part II Psychodynamic Theories

there he descended into another ancient room with beautiful vaulted ceilings, which
he knew intuitively were from the ancient Roman period. While exploring the floor
of this cellar, Jung noticed a ring on one of the stone slabs. When he lifted it, he
saw another narrow stairway leading to an ancient cave. There, he saw broken pot-
tery, scattered animal bones, and two very old human skulls. In his own words, he
had “discovered the world of the primitive man within myself—a world which can
scarcely be reached or illuminated by consciousness” (Jung, 1961, p. 160).
Jung later accepted this dream as evidence for different levels of the psyche.
The upper floor had an inhabited atmosphere and represented consciousness, the top
layer of the psyche. The ground floor was the first layer of the unconscious—old but
not as alien or ancient as the Roman artifacts in the cellar, which symbolized a deeper
layer of the personal unconscious. In the cave, Jung discovered two human skulls—the
ones for which Freud insisted Jung harbored death wishes. Jung, however, saw these
ancient human skulls as representing the depths of his collective unconscious.
The second kind of collective dreams is the typical dreams, those that are com-
mon to most people. These dreams include archetypal figures, such as mother, father,
God, devil, or wise old man. They may also touch on archetypal events, such as birth,
death, separation from parents, baptism, marriage, flying, or exploring a cave. They may
also include archetypal objects, such as sun, water, fish, snakes, or predatory animals.
The third category includes earliest dreams remembered. These dreams can be
traced back to about age 3 or 4 and contain mythological and symbolic images and
motifs that could not have reasonably been experienced by the individual child. These
early childhood dreams often contain archetypal motifs and symbols such as the hero,
the wise old man, the tree, the fish, and the mandala. Jung (1948/1960b) wrote of
these images and motifs: “Their frequent appearance in individual case material, as
well as their universal distribution, prove that the human psyche is unique and sub-
jective or personal only in part, and for the rest is collective and objective” (p. 291).
Jung (1961) presented a vivid illustration in one of his earliest dreams, which
took place before his 4th birthday. He dreamed he was in a meadow when suddenly
he saw a dark rectangular hole in the ground. Fearfully, he descended a flight of
stairs and at the bottom encountered a doorway with a round arch covered by a
heavy green curtain. Behind the curtain was a dimly lit room with a red carpet
running from the entrance to a low platform. On the platform was a throne and on
the throne was an elongated object that appeared to Jung to be a large tree trunk,
but in fact it was made of skin and flesh, with a round head and eye on top. Filled
with terror, the young boy heard his mother say, “Yes, just look at him. That is
the man-eater!” This comment frightened him even more and jolted him awake.
Jung thought often about the dream, but 30 years would pass before the obvious
phallus became apparent to him. An additional number of years were required before
he could accept the dream as an expression of his collective unconscious rather than
the product of a personal memory trace. In his own interpretation of the dream, the
rectangular hole represented death; the green curtain symbolized the mystery of Earth
with her green vegetation; the red carpet signified blood; and the tree, resting majes-
tically on a throne, was the erect penis, anatomically accurate in every detail. After
interpreting the dream, Jung was forced to conclude that no 3^1 / 2 -year-old boy could
produce such universally symbolic material solely from his own experiences. A col-
lective unconscious, common to the species, was his explanation (Jung, 1961).
Free download pdf