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Jung's house dream and the collective unconscious

THE DREAM - The psychoanalyst Carl Jung had the following dream - I was in a house that I did not know,which had two stories. It was "My House". I found myself in the upper story, where there was a kind of salon furnished with fine old pieces in rococo style. On the walls hung a number of precious old paintings. I wondered that this should be my house, and thought , "Not bad". But then it occurred to me that I did not know what the lower floor looked like. Descending the stairs, I reached the ground floor. There everything was much older, and I realized that this part of the house must must date from about the fifteenth or sixteenth century. The furnishing were medieval; the floors were of red brick. Everywhere it was rather dark. I went from one room to another, thinking, "now I really must explore the whole house". I came upon a heavy door, and opened it. Beyond it, I discovered layers of brick among the ordinary stone blocks, and chips of brick in the mortar. As soon as I saw this I knew that the walls dated from Roman times. My interest was by now intense. I looked more closely at the floor. It was of stone slabs, and in one of these I discovered a ring. When I pulled it, the stone slab lifted, and I again I saw a stairway of narrow stone steps leading down into the depths. These, too, I descended, and entered a low cave cut into the rock. Thick dust lay on the floor, and in the dust were scattered bones and broken pottery, like remains of a primitive culture. I discovered two broken skulls, obviously very old and half disintegrated. Then I awoke.

THE REALITY Jung had this dream when he was thinking about the unconscious and the human psyche in general. The dream constituted a kind of structural diagram of the human psyche. He had started to think about the unconscious mind.

THE INTERPRETATION If you are thinking a lot and exploring new ideas then dreams can represent crucial developments in your thinking. Jung had this dream when he was starting to develop his idea of the collective unconsciousness. Its easy to see how the dream represents his ideas.

Houses in dreams tend to represent the self. In this dream the various floors represent the various levels of human consciousness. For Jung the ground floor represented the first level of the human unconscious. The cave represents human instincts - the remains of primitive man which we have within ourselves.

If you have been thinking in creative ways and have explored new ideas then try to see how a dream could represent your minds imaginative new thoughts.

Dream Dictionary Meanings
HOUSE: This house was Jung's metaphor for the human consciousness. The different floors represented different aspects of the brain.
ANCIENT: Ancient parts of the house were metaphors for portions of human consciousness which go back to our primitive past.
CAVE: The remains of primitive man within the human psyche

DREAM MEANING The dream captures the following new ideas that Jung was thinking through - "I have been developing my ideas about the collective unconsciousness. Humans have a collective unconsciousness which is based upon instincts."

See how the different symbolic meanings join together to form Jung's crucial new insights

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The definitions on this website are based upon real dreams. If you feel like you have a dream which you understand then please feel free to email it to me at