Friday, August 07, 2015


I recently had an inquiry from a college student who had had a troubling dream about being watched. He awoke feeling anxious and tried to google information to understand the dream.  In response to his questions, I sent him a couple of pages about the "seeing eye" in a dream and the following explanation:

Hi Danny,

I sent you two pages that are pretty opaque.  Essentially the idea is that there is an entity (The Self, in Jungian Psychological terms) that lies in the unconscious and keeps a watchful eye on the ego.  The Self is a kind of guiding principle that needs something from the ego and will guide and grow it up in ways so that it (the ego) can function effectively both in the world and in the unconscious. All real creativity emerges from this Self-ego relationship, and it is fundamentally important for full development of the personality.

One way to examine the state of the relationship is by reflecting on one’s dreams.  Is something (the Self) in the unconscious critical of me, pleased with me, helping me, wanting something from me?  The dream storyline and characters present a drama in which the dream ego (the part of the dreamer’s personality depicted in the dream) has a role.  Is the role cooperative, adversarial, passive, etc? Does the dream depict me as responsible, worthy, adult or as a petulant child, angry, obdurate, difficult?  The dream seems to hold an opinion about our ego, and will tell us that opinion in no uncertain terms.  That is precisely the reason so many people ignore and/or dismiss their dreams.

Of course, if you think about it a minute, for every dream there has to be something like an "eye" (of a camera?) or "watcher" that captures the action and presents it the dreamer as a memory upon awakening.

If you pay attention to your dreams, jot down notes and reflections about them, you will, over time see that the dreams begin to respond to your attention.  That is when it gets really interesting.

There is solid empirical evidence for all this, so don’t take it as an article of faith but as a working hypothesis for your own personality development.

Anyway, Danny, this might give you a foot hold for gleaning some meaning out of that one dream and, of course, out of others.

Best of luck in the coming school year.

Sincerely, Rose F. Holt

No comments: