Spiritual dreams: in sequences

In Psychology and Religion, Carl Jung states that our dreams “speak of religion.” In this discussion Carl Jung is talking about the spiritual nature of dreams. One of the issues he addresses is how spiritual dreams tend to occur in a dream sequence that takes place over a period of time. Carl Jung says “dreams are the visible links in the chain of unconscious events.” (p. 38)

According to James Hall, “the ego always has a limited view of reality.” (1934, p. 40) The dream can help the ego open to a larger truth that is available only within the unconscious of the dreamer. Carl Jung said “I have to admit the fact that the unconscious mind is capable at times of assuming an intelligence and purposiveness which are superior to actual conscious insight.” (p. 45)

Carl Jung tells us that dreams often occur in dream sequences. We can follow spiritual dreams over an extended period of weeks, months, or even years to see what the unconscious is revealing to us about our spiritual nature.  In Psychology and Religion, Carl Jung talks about a man and his dreams. He shows the progress of the man’s religious dreams over a period of time. He states that if we want to understand “the deeper reasons for the dream, we must go back to the series and find out where it has its position in the long chain [of dreams].” (ibid., P. 38)  In the dream sequence the archetypal imagery shifts and changes over a period of time.  It is through watching these shifts and changes that the sacred truth of the psyche begins to emerge.

Most of us make our life choices though our ego choices, but to begin to work with the spiritual nature of dreams is to tune into the deep tapestry of archetypal form as it arises from the depths. In The Interpretation of Fairy Tales, Marie-Louise Von Franz notes “we constantly build our lives by our ego direction, and it is only in old age when one looks back that one sees the whole thing had a pattern.” (p.78) She suggests that we can “turn toward dreams and the unconscious to… find out more about our life pattern”. And in knowing more about our life pattern we can “make fewer mistakes” and “fulfill our destiny.” (p.78)

Marie-Louise Von Franz adds that the “purposiveness of an individual life pattern, which gives one a feeling of meaningfulness, is often symbolized by the carpet.” (p.78) Dreams that arrive in sequences can be seen as possibly revealing the deep and complex sacred tapestries of our life. To interpret the complex archetypal patterns in our dreams is to begin to speak the hieroglyphic language of the divine.

Reference:

  1. Psychology and Religion (Collected Works of C.G. Jung Vol. 12)
  2. The Interpretation of Fairy Tales by Marie-Louise Von Franz

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