You're in Charge:
A Guide to Becoming Your Own Therapist
Chapter 6 (an excerpt)
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As the individuation
process moves along, there may be dreams containing progress symbols
such as voyages, highways, forks in the road, or wading across a
stream from one bank to another.
Some archetypes that
are sure to emerge in dreams are those of the "wise old man"
and the "wise old woman." They symbolize that you are
about to withdraw your projection of wisdom from your outside mentor---
Plato, Christ, Swami Muktananda, your dissertation chairman, Einstein,
Bertrand Russell, or whomever--- and give it to the guru within.
Finally, you can anticipate
having some dreams that seem to denote pure energy or the unity
of all life. I'd rather not suggest illustrative examples here,
but let you dream your own.
A mandala is a perfectly balanced design whose center is particularly
important. They are frequently circular but they can also be square.
They are frequently used in the East, especially Tibet, as objects
for contemplation. The design is constructed to encourage the viewer
to focus on the center and to ignore the outer designs.
Jung was very intrigued
with mandalas and studied them in many cultures. He found that patients
often had mandala dreams at that point in time when the Self emerges
as the center of the integrated psyche and also at times of psychic
dissociation and disorientation when some "self-healing"
is needed. Here's an example of a mandala dream:
I'm walking in the woods
when I come to a very large cleared area that is square in shape,
with four very tall pine trees marking each of the corners. As I
move into the cleared area I step over a large, long log that is
lying across my path. I notice that it is joined by two other logs
which are joined by two more logs which all together form a pentagon.
In the center of this pentagon is a small circle of dark rocks,
some of which are carved in interesting shapes. Then I see that
these rocks must have once contained a campfire. I go over to examine
the area to see if there are still any live embers. I hear a roar
behind me and realize that the forest is on fire. I look around
and see a circle of red and yellow flames leaping above all but
the highest four trees. I know that I must stay in the safety of
the pentagon and the rock circle until the fire has burned itself