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Dream Interpretation Ancient and Modern

Dream Interpretation Ancient and Modern: Notes from the Seminar Given in 1936-1941

John Peck
Lorenz Jung
Maria Meyer-Grass
Translated by Ernst Falzeder
with the collaboration of Tony Woolfson
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition: REV - Revised
Pages: 320
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  • Book Info
    Dream Interpretation Ancient and Modern
    Book Description:

    From 1936 to 1941, C. G. Jung gave a four-part seminar series in Zurich on children's dreams and the historical literature on dream interpretation. This book completes the two-part publication of this landmark seminar, presenting the sessions devoted to dream interpretation and its history. Here we witness Jung as both clinician and teacher: impatient and sometimes authoritarian but also witty, wise, and intellectually daring, a man who, though brilliant, could be vulnerable, uncertain, and humbled by life's mysteries. These sessions open a window on Jungian dream interpretation in practice, as Jung examines a long dream series from the Renaissance physician Girolamo Cardano. They also provide the best example of group supervision by Jung the educator. Presented here in an inspired English translation commissioned by the Philemon Foundation, these sessions reveal Jung as an impassioned teacher in dialogue with his students as he developed and refined the discipline of analytical psychology.

    An invaluable document of perhaps the most important psychologist of the twentieth century at work, this splendid book is the fullest representation of Jung's interpretations of dream literatures, filling a critical gap in his collected works.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5279-6
    Subjects: Psychology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Note to the English Edition
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Ernst Falzeder and John Peck
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Preface and Introduction
    (pp. xi-xvi)
  6. Calendar Contents for the Full Seminar, Winter Term, 1936/37–Winter Term, 1940/41 (coordinated with contents of the Children’s Dreams Seminar)
    (pp. xvii-xx)
  7. Introduction
    (pp. xxi-lii)

    In this seventh seminar series of Jung’s to be published, more than in any other to date, a deliberate pedagogic intention structured his triple stranding of materials. That fact begins to account for the pragmatic sequestration of dreams recalled from childhood, in the portion of the seminar devoted toChildren’s Dreamsalready published (Princeton University Press /Philemon, 2008), from the assigned reports on the history of dream interpretation gathered here in a separate seminar volume, together with three extended series of visions and dreams selected by Jung for practical exercise. All of this material, devoted to both clinical and historical...

  8. A. Older LiterAture on Dream Interpretation (CommenCing Winter Term 1936/37)

    • CHAPTER 1 Macrobius: Commentarius ex Cicerone in Somnium Scipionis
      (pp. 3-13)
      W. Bächtold

      Mr. Bächtold: Macrobius lived around AD 400. He was a Neoplatonist in Rome who wrote in support of pagan antiquity. Besides his commentary on Cicero’sSomnium Scipionis,to be discussed here, his works are theSaturnaliaand contributions to grammar.

      The text of Scipio’s dream in Cicero’sDe re publicais extant only in the work of Macrobius, and has been reconstructed from that source. The dreamer is Scipio Africanus Junior (Africanus Minor). He lived from 185 to 129 BC, dying at fifty-six (= eight times seven years, which will be important later on). By adoption he became the grandson...

    • CHAPTER 2 Artemidorus: Five Books on the Art of Dream Interpretation
      (pp. 14-21)
      Grete Adler

      Ms. Adler: My paper is based on the monograph of Monsieur Edmond Le Blant¹ on Artemidorus of Daldis and his work in five books,² one of the main sources for the treatment of dreams in antiquity and also for ancient superstition. As a philologist in the spirit of the nineteenth century, Le Blant had only minimal interest in, and even less understanding of, the dream as a research topic, and his study gives but an inadequate picture of Artemidorus.

      On the maternal side, he was descended from Daldis in Lydia³ and was initiated into the mysteries of Apollo Daldianus. He...

    • CHAPTER 3 Synesius of Cyrene: Treatise on Dream Visions
      (pp. 22-31)
      Rivkah Schärf

      Ms. Schärf: Synesius¹ was born around AD 370 in Cyrene. He was a Neoplatonist and pursued his higher studies in Alexandria and Athens. For three years he was an envoy in Constantinople. At the beginning of the fifth century he converted to Christianity, and in 411 was elected bishop of Ptolemais. He died around AD 415.

      Among other books, he wrote the following philosophical treatises:Egyptian TalesandOn Divine Providence.Starting from the Egyptian myth of the brothers Typhon and Osiris, who fight the battle between good and evil, he developed Neoplatonic ideas about the combat between light and...

    • CHAPTER 4 Caspar Peucer, De Somniis
      (pp. 32-42)
      Marie-Louise von Franz

      Ms. von Franz: Caspar Peucer was born in Bolzano in 1525.¹ He spent the first half of his life as a professor in Wittenberg and as the personal physician to the elector, August of Saxony.² Being a humanist and the son-in-law of Philipp Melanchthon,³ he took part in the “Last Supper controversy.”⁴ After Melanchthon’s death he was even viewed as the standard-bearer of Lutheran orthodoxy. He was arrested in 1574 during the religious wars; upon his release in 1586, he went to the Duchy of Anhalt as the prince’s personal physician. He died in Dessau in 1602.

      His main works...

  9. B. The Enlightenment and Romanticism

    • CHAPTER 5 M. l’Abbé Richard, Théorie des songes
      (pp. 45-48)
      Alice Leuzinger

      Ms. Leuzinger: I could find no references to the life of the author, Abbé Richard.¹ TheThéorie des Songeswas written around 1750, with the intention of destroying the ancient belief in the preternatural and prophetic characteristics of dreams, and of explaining them in terms of rational causes.

      The formation of dreams rests upon the physiological basis of theesprits animaux,² defined by Descartes as follows: these are the most subtle and agitated kind of blood corpuscles, secreted from the circulation of the blood and absorbed by the nervous system. They are vitalizing and watering forces, which play a part...

    • CHAPTER 6 Franz Splittgerber, Schlaf und Tod
      (pp. 49-54)
      Kristin Oppenheim

      Ms. Oppenheim: The title alone, in which the author designates his work as apologetic,² shows the difference between him and scientific authors of our time. He has a certain agenda—namely, to strengthen the reader’s adherence to Christianity or to convert him to it by proving the existence of a metaphysical connection between the soul and God. This tendency does not seem too questionable in our eyes, because the method is not affected by it, only the conclusions. As we shall see, his position is not far removed from today’s psychology. He, too, teaches a connectedness between all souls, those...

  10. C. The Modern Period

    • CHAPTER 7 Yves Delage, Le Rêve
      (pp. 57-68)
      Hans Baumann

      Mr. Baumann: Delage was a biologist and a member of the French Academy. In his old age, eye problems forced him to interrupt his work for long periods, which gave him much time for introspection. Thus he could further elaborate his theory of dreams, which he had already written up in 1891, and publish it in 1920. The main part of the book is taken up byphysiologicalexplanations of dream causes and processes. The psychological interpretations he offers are based onassociation psychologyand thepsychology of faculties(Vermögenspsychologie).³ With regard to the numerous dreams and parts of dreams,...

    • CHAPTER 8 Discussion of Paul W. Radestock, Schlaf und Traum (Sleep and Dream)
      (pp. 69-73)
      Alice Kitzinger

      Professor Jung: This book offers an interesting insight into a psychology characteristic of the 1870s. At that timematerialismflourished. The physical was seen as what was really essential. Basically, therefore, psychic processes were traced back to the organic and physiological nature of man. Medical psychology degenerated into brain mythology. So the sleeping and waking states, for instance, were explained by the contractions of the nerve processes of brain cells: during the waking state the processes touch each other, resulting in a circuit. In the sleeping state these processes withdraw, and then consciousness is obliterated. No person had ever seen...

    • CHAPTER 9 Discussion of Philipp Lersch, Der Traum in der deutschen Romantik (The Dream in German Romanticism)
      (pp. 74-81)
      Charlotte Spitz

      Professor Jung: Do you see a connection betweenRomanticismandpsychology?

      Participant: Yes, in the relation to the unconscious, particularly to thecollective unconscious.

      Professor Jung: Is the Romantic’s idea of life in general identical with the idea of the collective unconscious?

      (From the paper:)

      The way individuality recedes in the dream is correlative to the emergence of collective psychic life. Hence the assumption, so important to us, that the individual is rooted in life in general, in a general psychic life. The dreaming human being receives the contents of life from these roots.

      Participant:⁴ No, collective life is unformed...

    • CHAPTER 10 Discussion of Jackson Steward Lincoln, The Dream in Primitive Cultures
      (pp. 82-93)
      Kenower Bash

      Professor Jung: Lincoln, who wrote this book, is actually an amateur in psychology and ethnology. I know him personally. He has worked very diligently, but, as is so often the case, his knowledge of psychology is lacking. After all, one must have experienced the psychic facts to some extent in order to understand the ideational world of primitives. One will never be able to know, for example, what a primitive means by a great dream if one has not experienced for oneself what a great dream is. For a Negro it means everything when he says, “The Great Vision.”


    • CHAPTER 11 Discussion of Eugène Marais, The Soul of the White Ant
      (pp. 94-104)
      Carol Baumann

      Professor Jung: You can imagine, after the very informative review of the book, how mysterious the life of termites is. In the tropics one is forced to deal with them intensively. They are a terrible plague there. When you pitch a tent somewhere, you have to check the posts every eight days and look for tracks of termites, which can be detected by a small, half cylindrical mound.

      The following once happened to an Englishman who lived in the tropics.

      He went to Europe for three months and entrusted his house to the servants. He owned three beautiful old etchings,...

  11. D. Visions and Dreams

    • CHAPTER 12 Discussion of the Visions of St. Perpetua
      (pp. 107-121)
      Marie-Louise von Franz

      Professor Jung: You have gotten an excellent impression of the strange mentality of those early Christians, or Montanists³—namely, the strange mixture of Christian ideas with purely pagan ideas. It’s of secondary importance to which of these two groups Perpetua belonged. When we’ve received a Christian education, we’ve generally been raised with the idea that Christianity came directly down from heaven, that it has no history, so to speak. But nothing exists that hasn’t been around for a long time. In reality, all essential ideas can be found much earlier. The figure of the shepherd, for example, already existed long...

    • CHAPTER 13 Discussion of the Dreams of the Renaissance Scholar Girolamo Cardano
      (pp. 122-215)
      E. Levy

      The doctor and philosopher Girolamo (Hieronimus) Cardanus (Cardano) was born on September 21, 1501, in Pavia. He was a typical “uomo universale” of the Renaissance: doctor, mathematician, astrologer, physicist, musician, politician, and philosopher. His mathematical formulas for solving quadratic equations and his invention of the Cardan shaft⁴ are known to this day. In philosophy his stance was in part still committed to medieval Aristotelianism, but in part already adhered to a more modern naturalism. In his medical theory he favored Epicurean principles. He was dealt a heavy blow in life by the execution of his son, whom he often...

    • CHAPTER 14 Discussion of Three Dreams of Dr. John Hubbard, alias Peter Blobbs (The Censer, the Swinging Ax, and the Man at the End of the Corridor)
      (pp. 216-240)
      Carol Baumann

      It was the eve of the Coronation. I found myself in a vast and lofty cathedral, so lofty that I could see no roof, and so vast that all the outlines were vague, and left but little impression on my mind. I was one of a crowd assembled to witness the strange ceremony known as “The Night of the Flaming Censer.” During the night preceding the Coronation of their King, peasants and yeomen have the immemorial right to occupy the cathedral in which the ceremony takes place on the following day. I found myself surrounded by whispering groups of country-folk,...

  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 241-248)
  13. Index
    (pp. 249-260)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 261-268)