Heaven above, Heaven below: what the soul foretells

Pure Soul, Russian icon- 18th century
Pure Soul, Russian icon- 18th century. US Public Domain via wikimedia

“Everything psychic has a lower and a higher meaning, as in the profound saying of late classical mysticism: ‘Heaven above, Heaven below, stars above, stars below, all that is above also is below, know this and rejoice.’ Here we lay our finger on the secret symbolical significance of everything psychic.” (CW 5, para 77)

In the above passage, Jung is referencing a mystical text titled the Oedipus Aegyptiacus. Jung  borrows from this text to express the tension of opposites within psyche life. The psyche has an urge, aim, a desire: part an expression of base instinct and part spiritual instinct. Fantasy holds the potential to express both of these instinctual urges.

Jung explains his point of view: the [Freudian] “sexual problem” is “only one half of the meaning, and the lower half at that. The other half is ideal creation as a substitute for real creation.” (CW 5, para 77) Here, Jung recognizes the spiritual instincts of the soul. Such instincts modify base instinctual urges into the spiritual through the creation of spiritual symbols and ‘ideals.’ Through spiritual symbols the soul expresses a capacity to dialectically integrate the tension of opposites within the Self.

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Zombie Apocalypse: a symbol of collective transformation

 Gajda, Tegning af en Zombi. US Public Domain via Wikimedia
Gajda, Tegning af en Zombi. US Public Domain via Wikimedia

What cannot be worked through at the conscious level is often worked through at the unconscious level, in dreams and fantasy. cf. Carl Jung  (CW 5, para 4-45). When encountering that which we cannot dream, we confront the limits of sense.

Film and art may present an unconscious attempts to work through collective transformation at the limits of reason and sense. In zombie movies and the growing zombie apocalypse movement, we may be seeing an attempt to dream ‘apocalyptic’ change.

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Dreams may act in a compensatory manner to waking thought

Awareness of dream consciousness is of central importance to the process of integration and Self-realization. Carl Jung offer great insight into the nature of dreams, in particular their role in psychic integration.

Jung postulates that dreams compensates for the one-sidedness of conscious thought. He says:

“those thoughts, inclinations, and tendencies which in conscious life are too little valued come spontaneously into action during the sleeping state” (CW 8, para 466)

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Dreams of a Vehicle

Four headed sun god, Sūrya- 19th Century. US public Domain
Four headed sun god, Sūrya- 19th Century. US public Domain

A vehicle can represent “a mode of traveling the road of life.”

“Vehicles of often certain folk tradition to symbolize an attitude to life. Thus, the two major groups within Buddhism are popularly termed the Mahayana and the Hinayana, words which mean ‘great vehicle’ and ‘lesser vehicle’, respectively… The specific image ‘car’ has no fixed meaning, but must be interpreted in the light of the dream story.” (Broadribb, 1990)

Reference:

  1. The dream story by Donald Broadribb – 1990

Dream Yoga: transformation processes announce themselves mainly in dreams

Illustrations of practitioner of ancient Tibetan yoga. US public domain via wikimedia
Illustrations of practitioner of ancient Tibetan yoga. US public domain via wikimedia

Carl Jung understood that psychic transformations presents itself in dream form. He says: “Natural transformation processes announce themselves mainly in dreams.” (Carl Jung 9i para 235)

For Jung, dreams are coincident with the process of psychic transformation. Such transformation is a “long-drawn-out process of inner transformation and rebirth into another being. ” When Jung speaks of this ‘other being’ he is speaking of ‘the other person in ourselves-that larger and greater personality maturing within us, whom we have already met as the inner friend of the soul.” (ibid)

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