Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dream State

We might know next to nothing about psychology but recognize the name of Carl Gustav Jung. Jung was a student of Freud who departed from his teacher and mentor in significant ways. Jung's personality types were appropriated to create the Myers Briggs Indicator that many of us undergone. Jung was much more open to the spiritual dimensions of the human psyche than Freud who thought God and the gods were a crock, despite his Jewish upbringing. As a result, Jung's psychology is often drawn upon by liberal Christians.

I was fascinated to read that an oversized, red leather bound book created by Jung will be released to the public in limited edition copies. This book is nearly one hundred years old and has been locked away for decades. It features many elaborate, fantastic coloured drawings made by Jung as an expression of his subconscious.

Through the years I have read scriptural stories about dreams and visions and wondered how they apply to our modern lives. Many people have spoken to me about their dreams, although often as though they were sharing a dark secret. Were biblical dreams and visions simply a way of speaking about psychological realities in a time before what we understand as psychological and psychiatric categories were developed? Or have we grown suspicious of the possibility of God breaking into our reality through our dream state, to our detriment?

The psychiatrist in the novel Prince of Tides comments that she is fascinated by dreams which she describes as the love letters and hate mail of the subconscious. Succinct.

Do you pay attention to your dreams? Are you comfortable with the possibility of a subconscious reality through which God speaks?

1 comment:

Laura said...

Never having paid too much attention to dreams, I recall being quite surprised by a CBC radio show on "Dreams" when I heard my reoccurring dreams being listed as fairly common among recorded dreams. I had never spoken of my dreams, and then to find that lots of people seemingly spent their nights searching the hallowed halls for classrooms or exam rooms caused me to put a little more consideration into my dreams.
Night time dreams seem, for me, to be the "darker" dreams, less visionary, not so aware of the "Spirit" but definitely the psyche but nonetheless revealing.
For me God breaks into the daylight "dream hours", when if I am paying attention amidst the dailiness of life messages are delivered.
Joel's is a favourite passage..the old will dream dreams and the young will see visions....