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

Part 4 – Conclusion

little dreamIs it possible that a dream has no meaning?

I heard a story recently that made me a little sad. Years ago a student was asked in an exam if “all dreams mean something?” She said yes, she believed they did. The examiner shook her head slowly and with a pained and patronizing countenance said, “Oh when you have heard thousands of dreams we will see what you think then.”

I have been listening almost everyday to numbers of dreams since the 1970s and have not found a meaningless dream yet. The tiniest, most banal image can open the world. When a person insists he has not dreamed all week, sometimes a wee little image will emerge.

“Do you have a dream today?”

“No, I don’t, sorry.”

“No need to be sorry. They come, they go. But what might be happening, are you aware you are dreaming, or not writing them down in time to capture them or what?”

“Oh, I just don’t have a whole dream.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, I have a few images but they are not the long good dreams I like to bring to analysis.”

“Could you tell me one of the images you do remember? They are not random, since you have so many memories and thoughts in your mind, it is curious just what precisely your dream maker brought to you.”

“Oh, well…..I had an image of a ….”

And then the session cracks open like so many eggs for a soufflé.
I have asked the students at the Jung Institute in Zurich/Küsnacht to bring me a dream that means absolutely nothing but no one has managed so far.



Castleman, Tess. (2004) Threads, Knots, Tapestries: How a tribal connection is revealed through dreams and synchronicities. Daimon Verlag: Einsiedeln
–(2009) Sarcred Dream Circles: A Guide to Facilitating Jungian Dream Groups. Daimon Verlag: Einsiedeln

Jung, Carl. (1984) Dream Analysis: Notes of the Seminar Given 1928—1930 by C .G. Jung. Ed. William McGuire. Bolligen Series 49. New Jersey: Princeton University Press

Neihardt, John G. (1932) Black Elk Speaks. Washington Square Press: New York

Victor Gollancz. Grimms’ Tales for Young and Old, (Oxford: UP, 1979).

von Franz, M-L. (1972) The Feminine in Fairy Tales. Spring Publications: Dallas, 1972
–(1974) Shadow and Evil in Fairy Tales. Spring Publications: Zurich
–(1996) The Interpretation of Fairy Tales, Revised Edition. Shambala: Boston and London

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