Myths, dreams & symbols: when it comes down to brass tacks, those are the facts, myths, dreams and symbols

20 Oct


It is all in the name. Myths-Dreams-Symbols. But the primary focus is on Dreams. The physiological act of dreaming but more so the psychological contents of our dreams. And what does the psychological contents of our dreams speak about? The life of the dreamer, with a focus on the emotions. The dream addresses the true self, unencumbered by the ego bias of the waking condition. They can assit in emotional healing when properly understood. Dreams are a conduit to the vast unconscious, personal and collective, and the stored knowledge of personal experience and emotional experience, accumulated throughout the dreamer’s life.


“The dream is a little hidden door in the innermost and most secret recesses of the soul, opening into that cosmic night which was psyche long before there was any ego- consciousness, and which will remain psyche no matter how far our ego-consciousness extends.”…..Carl Jung



Our dreams are important, and it is Myth
{mythology} which provides us with an understanding of the deeper self, a primary function of our dream where the intent is to provide the dreamer with a better understanding of their emotional life. ‘Dreams are private myths, myths are public dreams’. The everyday life is the subject of most dreams but the deeper emotional aspects are also a part of many dreams. We begin to recognize these deeper aspects when we explore the world of mythology.

The deeper aspects are those parts of the psyche which convey unconscious contents of the psyche. These include repressed experiences in life as well as creative and spiritual aspects

I like to think of myths as ‘exaggerated truths’. King Arthur {the Historical King Arthur} was a fictional character based loosely on a real person.

Modern day mythological themes can be found in George Lucas Star Wars.



The common link in dreams and myth are the symbols and motifs {patterns} found in both their narratives. They are the symbolic metaphors that provide clues to a deeper understanding of the dreamer, using the symbolic language, a language for which both dreams and myth share.
Dreams symbols come in two sizes. One is the everyday symbols pertaining to who we are. A house is most always a symbol for the dreamer. The rooms may represent the different aspects of the psyche. Or different emotional values.
Cars are another common ‘personal’ symbol found in dreams. Are you driving, in control, or is there someone else controlling your life, and symbolised in a dream as someone driving your car?
The second symbolic value is of the deeper Self, dealing with unconscious emotional aspects that are often symbolized by mythological persons or themes
{motifs}. A dream that has King Arthur, or a king, may be trying to addressing these deeper aspects. These ‘big’ dreams usually come about during major life changes, especially at mid-life. They go to the deeper core of the psyche where you find the rejected, repressed, ignored aspects. They also will address the creative and spiritual aspects, aspects Jung {a scientist} believed we all possess. These aspects add up to form who you are psychologically.
Read about Jung’s Personality types….introvert, extravert, intuitive, perceiving/judging types

Mythological symbols is the imagery within a myth that underscores the known aspects of a subject, providing clues to the deeper meaning, the emotional values that form the universal psyche. In Star Wars Darth Vader represented the evil aspect and Luke Skywalker the good. The deeper aspects of these two conflicting forces are the central theme of myth, where the son wishes to reconcile with the father {a common mythological theme}. From there a story unfolds, the myth, that will fit individual emotional patterns, and addresses causations for behaviorial patterns during the person’s life. 



When it came to the study of dreams Freud and Jung had some different ideas. Freud believed dreams were primarily about sex. No matter what the dream was, he could relate it to a sexual feeling or fantasy. Freud also believe that dreams were trying to hide unpleasant experiences and emotions.
Jung had other ideas, he thought that dreams were a tool to help us grow, not just to release extreme sexual desires. Jung felt that dreams were more than about sex, they were about life. Jung said that sexual drive doesn’t even motivate us as much as the fear of death. Jung was an inspiration to all in the psychology field. His theories are instrumental in psychology and psychiatry fields today.
FREUD depicted the unconscious as a receptacle underlying the conscious mind, whose task is to contain rejected and un-encountered events, feelings, thoughts and experiences of the resenting conscious mind.
JUNG postulated two layers of the unconscious – a personal unconscious, right under the conscious mind, taking in personal psychic contents and down below the collective unconscious, containing the accumulating experience of all humanity. 



George Lucas was the first Hollywood filmmaker to openly credit Campbell’s influence. He stated during the release of the first Star Wars films during the late 1970s that they were based upon ideas found in The Hero With a Thousand Faces and other works of Campbell’s. Indeed, many of the great cinema’s make use of the universal mythological themes for which Campbell made popular in his works. We unconsciously recognize these recurring themes because they are a part of the collective psyche. And these collective themes are found not only in the world myths but also in our individual dreams.


One continuous theme within Jungian psyche and Campbell mythology is the importance of recognizing nature as a vital aspect of the human condition. Both speak of the power of the feminine, in mythological themes as with the Great Mother and psyche themes of the feminine aspects {animus}. It is only logical to believe that the earth is a living organism whose fate is dependent on human activities.

The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life: he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself….Chief Seattle

For Carl Jung, and unlike Sigmund Freud, God was no “illusion.” He believed many of our modern ills were due to our being cut off from our spiritual roots and, therefore, from meaning. Jung’s psychology offers us an alternative to the rationalistic materialism of our culture to which even religion has fallen victim. It serves to remind us that religious dogma is not enough. To find meaning each of us must live in relationship to The Great Mystery through our relationship with all of inner and outer creation. Jung’s psychology can help us come to this awareness of God’s all-encompassing reality, of religious truth as relevant today – that it does indeed work and that it can act as a transforming, relational, and renewing power if we open ourselves to it. Myths-Dreams-Symbols places an emphasis on understanding the spiritual aspect of the human condition and attempts to articulate Jung’s philosophy to help visitors find within themselves the spiritual Self.

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