A Review of

Carl Jung: The Wisdom of The Dream

Who am I? Why do I do the things I do? These are all important question we all ask ourselves, and we all have an innate desire to understand our behavior better. In the film Carl Jung:The Wisdom of The Dream  we learn how Carl Jung revolutionized the way we discover ourselves and his teachings inspire others. The film is rich with Jung’s ideas that roll over and over in a persons mind and start creative thinking and a path to ones own self-discovery. 

Before he died he said, “My work will be continued by those who suffer.” Indeed as the film describes that his work has made a huge impact on how psychology is viewed. We all dream, and we all strive to understand what our dreams mean. Carl Jung was determined to understand where dreams came from and the significant meaning. He determined that the unconscious mind revealed itself to our conscious mind and In the film Carl Jung states that, “The whole personality of man is indescribable his consciousness can be described, but his unconsciousness can’t be described, because the unconsciousness is always unconsciousness and so we don’t know our unconscious personality, we can get hints of it, but we will never know it.” The unconscious of man can reach who knows where and he dedicated his life to solving that mystery he concluded that by analyzing our dreams we might be able to begin to understand the relationship between conscious and unconscious, thus truly understanding oneself.

The film describes that Jung produced some of his best work while at his isolated cabin near a lake, he felt that he could truly start to understand himself without all the cultural responses to “fit in”.  He explains that, “I played alone, daydreamed or strolled in the woods alone and had a secret world of my own. The pattern of my relationship to the world was already prefigured today, just as then, I am a solitary because I know things and must hint at things that other people do not know and usually don’t want to know.”

He began is work by analyzing his own life, for example if he became upset and acted out he would later try to analyze his behavior. He had a collection from early on of his dreams, which, he believed might have useful information. He believed they were important to understand events in our lives and used them to determine his life’s work.  He treated dreams as a direct response to a connection between the conscious and unconscious conflicting and upsetting the psyche. Marie Von Franz speaks of an significant event where she was reporting to Jung about a mentally ill patient who claimed she had been on the moon. Franz argued that she could not have been on the mood due to it being impossible for her, however Jung was firm when telling Franz that the women had been on the moon. Franz admitted to believing Jung was crazy when he said that, but then he explained that psychically what happened to this patient was real. It was then she realized the reality of the psyche that in the patients psyche had experienced being on the moon.

The film elaborates this by telling the story, about a patient was 18 year-old female with a history of abuse and feeling ashamed she retreated into isolation, and explained to Jung that she had lived on the moon. She explained that “she felt humiliated in the eyes of the world, but elevated in the realm of fantasy” This caused her to be in a state of psychosis but after revealing this story to Jung she explained that “She slay the demon that kept her there and by attaching herself to a human on earth and then returned to a normal life and even got married, I never looked at mental illness that same for I have gained insight to the richness of their inner experience” Jung understood that her experience on the moon was real which allowed her assimilate to the “concrete” reality that she had been avoiding.

His discoveries of the psyche prompted him to categorize the different parts such as extrovert and introvert. He concluded that each of us uses a mask called the persona and states that we use our persona to hide our true self from the world. And also the collective unconscious, which he defines as,

“The collective unconscious - so far as we can say anything about it at all  - appears to consist of mythological motifs or primordial images, for which reason the myths of all nations are its real exponents. In fact, the whole of mythology could be taken as a sort of projection of the collective unconscious... We can therefore study the collective unconscious in two ways, either in mythology or in the analysis of the individual.”

The film describes one of the most significant findings was that his development of the word association test, which is a fundamentally important in discovering one’s complex. Some test words caused hesitation and anxiety and Jung believe these cues were coming from the unconscious any inhibition in the word he believed was a direct interference as result of the unconscious being momentarily revealed. A background personality striving to be “normal” called a complex. Currently his method of word association has evolved into a high sophisticated test using technologies of measuring brain activity. This enables the therapist to gain a precise detail of the stimulus word’s effect on the patient. These associations show the complex relationship of the psyche. Jung’s work with the word associations and physiological response helped pave the way for the modern polygraph test. It’s as if the unconscious personality has a voice through the test. Ultimately revealing the physiology is a separate entity of the ego as if two people are involved and the secondary one is interested only in truth.

It is stated that the real depths of human psyche are largely unknown. Jung concluded that people wear a psychological mask called the persona which Jung states as the individuals attempts as fitting in to society, which ultimately is a compromise of what one likes to be and what one likes to appear, it is not a part of their real personality despite what others may think of them.” He stresses that a persona is acceptable as long as the individual accepts the fact that this is not an integral part of who they are.

He believed these conflicts could result in depression, schizophrenia, hysteria and many more psychological disorders. He noted that schizophrenic fantasies had the same importance of dreams, which carried the same meaning for the patient. His primary method of analyzing these dreams was to have the person paint their inner fantasies and dreams. He believed it was vital we expressed ourselves whether it was dance, writing art or any other outlets was key to understanding ourselves. He stated that the unconscious is creative and independent which was different from Freud who thought it contained the repressed feelings of the individual. Jung argued that a collective unconscious was the reason why so many concepts of human culture spread across space and time. These prompted him to arrange the meanings into archetypes. The archaic thinking provides insight into our ancient ancestors, and that we aren’t that different from them.

Instincts and archetypes together form the collective unconscious, Jung called it collective because unlike the personal unconscious it is not made up of individual contents rather these are universal and occur regularly” These are most prevalent in images or symbols.

A significant discovery was of the personality types which allows a person to identify with one another based on several factors including introverted or extroverted, intuitive, thinking, feeling, and sensation. Jung stated that “ sensation tells you that there is something or a fact, thinking tells you what it is, feeling tells you whether it is agreeable or not, and intuition.” He believed opposite types attract, but then get into conflict and was the root of all relationship issues. For example an introverted sensation-type would conflict with an extroverted feeling-type can result in many confusing thoughts.

Later in his life he described a spiritual peace in a custom built home near a lake stating that, “I’m at a place where I am most deeply myself. At times I feel as though I am spread over the landscape and inside things. I am myself living in every tree, plashing of the waves, clouds and animals that come and go and the precession of the seasons. Without my piece of earth, my life’s work would not have come into being”

The film concludes that jung believed that religion was an “inescapable reality” of the human psyche, was a scientist who believed the soul and spiritual reality of the human experience. He recognized the human soul as an important part of psychology, something that revolutionized the practice. He stated that religious realities are realities, similar to the girl on the moon, because they have effects. He believed that the significance of religion wasn’t worldly, but was an inner experience. That by experiencing the unconscious you were experiencing god. Nearing his death he stated that, ” I have failed in my foremost task to open peoples eyes to the fact that man has a soul, that there is a buried treasure in the field and that our religion and philosophy are in a elemental state.” It is stated that Jung gave man to have the courage to have a soul.

This film was well done in encompassing Jung’s most important theories and beliefs. It was concise and entertaining and by the end one could really start to ask questions about what our unconscious is trying to tell us. 

 

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