The Reason We Dream and Why Should Pay Attention
I just finished a terrific book entitled Jung: A Very Short Introduction by a British analyst named Anthony Stevens. It was for me an outstanding, succinct and understandable explanation of Jungian thought and theory. I naturally gravitate toward Carl Jung’s approach to dreams and therapy – and I’d like to quote from Dr. Steven’s book to demonstrate why:
“It is more likely that dreams are, as Jung maintained, natural products of the psyche, that they perform some homeostatic or self-regulatory function, and that they obey the biological imperative of adaptation in the interests of personal adjustment, growth and survival.” p. 104
So, it stands to reason that if we consciously engage our dreams, we can enhance and even enjoy our personal growth and adjustment.
Dr. Stevens summarizes Carl Jung’s theory of dreams further:
1. Dreams are natural, spontaneous events, which proceed independently of conscious will or intention.
2. Dreams are both purposive and compensatory, in that they serve to promote the balance and individuation of the personality
3. The symbols of dreams are true symbols, not signs, and they possess a transcendent function.
4. The therapeutic power of dreams is better served by the techniques of amplification and active imagination than by interpretation based on “free association.”
I get excited just reading that and thinking about the possibilities for all of us! More on these four ideas in my next blog.