The little dream that doesn’t mean anything (part 1 of 4)

The Little Dream That Doesn’t Mean Anything (Part 1 of 4)

During my early days of training to become a Jungian analyst, I was taken by research I did surrounding the process certain indigenous cultures used to understand dreams.

The Lakota, a tribe from North America was particularly interesting since they used dreams and visions to speak to the entire tribe.  Not all dreams, but some.  Black Elk in his semi- autobiography describes a vision he had in childhood that later became a permanent ceremony called the Horse Dance.  He was tormented by fears that he had lost his sanity until he shared his vision years later with a healer.  Then it was understood the vision was for the community and that who ever held a vision like this without sharing it would suffer.

Black Road says to Black Elk:  “You must do your duty and perform this vision for your people on earth.  You must have the horse dance first for the people to see.  Then, the fear will leave you; but if you do not do this, something very bad will happen to you.”  (Black Elk Speaks, Page 135)

This really struck me because first of all I was hearing over and over in my training that dreams were for individuals to tell their analyst and no one else.  Being in the Zurich community at the time, this was not even possible it seemed to me.  We all told our dreams to one another, sometimes we were characters in each other’s dreams and we would tease out which pieces were objective or subjective for the dreamer.

Also, we would have similar dreams or similar images would appear throughout a period of time for several people.  These mysteries kept speaking to me throughout my training and later in my practice.  Then, on occasion, a person would have a dream that seemed to speak to “all of us” just as Black Elk’s vision had meaning for his tribe.  I have termed these dreams “tribal dreams” since they occur within a social cluster where significant connection is established. Recently I heard one of these dreams that the dreamer had during his training in the 1970s.

seatedbeggarleaningoncaneI come to the institute.  It is a magnificent building, a castle or a mansion with a palatial exterior.  As I round the side of the building to enter in a side door I see it is really just a façade and behind the huge front there is no building at all.  Then I see some prominent Jungian Analysts walking around doing their business as if this is normal, not seeing that the building does not really exist. One figure stands out against the well dressed analysts:  a small beggar, with spindly thin legs dressed in a burlap hooded garment limping along with a cane scratching at the earth.  He seemed to be looking for something.  Then I saw there were diamonds and rubies and sapphires on the ground that he was collecting.  Then he lifted his head, pulled back his hood, looked at me and winked.  It was Carl Jung.

I think most Jungians can see the information in this dream goes beyond the dreamer’s personal realm and seeks a larger audience.  What a confrontation!  He dreamed this for our “Jungian Tribe” and it seems to be just as relevant and alive now as it was then.  Tribal Dreams are not only consequential for more than the dreamer, they also operate outside of a space/time reality and can impact others over decades.  In Lakota tradition, an important dream would be cause to adjust a ceremony, or create a new one altogether, possibly change a planned course for hunting or give a new name to a person.

Perhaps some would be willing to speculate what this dream means for our community?  How does it correct our attitude or push us to confront issues of which we are unconscious?

I hope you will visit this site again for Part Two of “The Little Dream that Doesn’t Mean Anything” which will be posted in coming weeks.


3 Responses to The little dream that doesn’t mean anything (part 1 of 4)

  1. Renae C. says:

    What a dream! This one will sit with me a while I think, since I am just starting off on this adventure of training. I will be looking for beggar finding treasure buried in the dirt, without a doubt.

    What fun to see you have a new site. I’m very much looking forward to the next installment.



  2. Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your site is very cool. I’m impressed by the details that you have on this site. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for more articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the information I already searched all over the place and simply could not come across. What an ideal web-site.

  3. Thank you for sharing. The more information online about dreams and supporting people to understand how work with their dreams the better! I have put together a resources page full of free films on Carl Jung, Depth Psychology and dream work from a transpersonal perspective. I think that you and readers of your blogs are likely to find it of interest. Here’s the link:
    Feel free to share.

    Warm wishes


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