You're in Charge:
A Guide to Becoming Your Own Therapist
Chapter 6 (an excerpt)
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My Critic subpersonality
got very annoyed at this point. Not only was this not my definitive
dream, but also it sounded like one of what I call my "show-off"
dreams. So I angrily said to myself, "Jan, you know you don't
speak German. If you were really speaking German in that dream,
I'd like you to reproduce just one sentence of dialogue." And
then the word "bleiben" popped into my head. I knew I
had heard the word, but couldn't think what it meant. I was on my
way to look it up in the dictionary when I remembered the situation
in which I had heard it, and realized it meant "to stay".
This was too powerful a message for even the most adamant stage-trooper
to ignore, so I cancelled the workshop and stayed in Germany. And
fortunately so, because the next few days I was far too sick to
be traveling or working.
Your Dream Sender is
a very creative person and can be helpful to you in your waking
life in a variety of ways. There are innumerable inventions and
artistic creations that were initiated by dreams. Elias Howe had
begun to despair of designing a sewing machine that would work until
in a dream he saw his sewing machine needle with the eye at the
bottom, rather than in the middle or at the top, as in his previous
models that wouldn't sew properly.
August Kekule had been
wrestling with the problem of how to conceptualize the benzene molecule.
There weren't enough hydrogen atoms to satisfy the valence of the
six carbon atoms when they were placed in a straight line (which
is how organic compounds had been arranged up until this time).
He fell asleep. Then, as he later reported to a scientific gathering:
"The atoms flitted before my eyes, wriggling and turning like
snakes. One of the snakes seized its own tail and the image whirled
scornfully before my eyes. As though from a flash of lightning I
awoke. I occupied the rest of the night in working out the consequences
of the hypothesis. Let us learn to dream, gentlemen." And this
is how Kekule conceived of arranging the carbon atoms of the benzene
molecule in a ring, a discovery that was the foundation of the chemistry
of dyes and pharmaceutical compounds.
Otto Loewi received
the Nobel Prize for a discovery that was the result of a double
dream. He had been puzzling about how the nervous system affects
the heart beat. During a dream he "discovered" the principle
of the chemical action on the nervous system and designed the experiment
that would demonstrate it. He scribbled some notes and went back
to sleep. However, tragedy! The next morning he couldn't decipher
his notes. The following night he slept fitfully, but in the middle
of the night he redreamed his solution. This time he didn't take
a chance on writing notes, but went straight to the laboratory to
start the experiment.
and Their Symbols
Individuation is Carl Jung's word to describe the process by which
you become the definite and unique being that you in fact are. There
are two growth processes needed to accomplish it.
First you must rid yourself
of the false wrappings of the persona, which is Jung's term for
your facade, social roles, and games. Many of the exercises and
suggestions given so far in this book--- journal writing, the Evening
Review, subpersonalities, disidentification exercise, self-observation,
and gestalt dreamwork in particular--- should help you to discern
your self (who you really are) as distinct from the social roles
that you play in the world.
You need also to come
to terms with the primordial images (or archetypes) of the collective
unconscious so that they will no longer be able to influence your
behavior. These are myths and symbols that, according to Jung, seem
to be universal for all people in all cultures and in all historical
periods. Unlike the personal unconscious, whose contents were originally
conscious but then were forgotten or repressed, the contents of
the collective unconscious have never been conscious, but are a
racial inheritance. Examples of such archetypes are the eternal
child, the witch, the mother, the hero, and so on. It could be a
mythological figure of which the dreamer has no conscious knowledge.