The next and final dream in the series takes place a week later. The dream contains several similar leitmotivs that suggest a direct connection with the first and second ones. This is what the man recalled from this dream:

July 12, 2014 – Last night I had another big dream. My wife and I were over at a friend’s house visiting him and his girlfriend. My friend’s house was different and was located on the ocean. In contradistinction to his real house, the dream house was equipped with a series of large panel windows overlooking the ocean. As we were watching television, a gigantic wave abruptly rose from the ocean and immersed the house for a few minutes. The intensity of the wave on windows was so great that I was surprised they did not break. The wave eventually receded, and we walked outside to inspect the damages. To my surprise the house was intact, and I also observed that the waterline was now much further from where it had been prior to the wave strike. I also noticed that there was a large swath of the beach missing. It was as if a bulldozer had uniformly extracted a section of the beach. Water now had flowed into this newly formed tide pool. I looked into the pool which was transparent. I saw some sea-life, in particular I spotted a crayfish. When I dropped a rock into the water, I watched the crayfish jet away. A dolphin then swam up to the shore and let me pet it. I was still amazed we were not overtaken by the wave.

Figure 1. Peter Pan.

      From the outset, we observe the same basic motif from the first dream—a wave. In all three dreams, a wave appears and either envelops the dreamer or comes close to enveloping the dreamer (e.g., second dream). The only thing that has really changed is the setting. As opposed to the first and second dreams, the dreamer finds himself in the house of a friend, who he describes as a middle-aged man with the mentality of a 22-year-old. In psychological terms, one could call this person a puer aeternus or eternal youth, of whom Ovid wrote: “For thine is unending youth, eternal boyhood: thou art the most lovely in the lofty sky; thy face is virgin-seeming, if without horns thou stand before us.” In fiction, Peter Pan (Figure 1), Huckleberry Finn, and The Little Prince all, in varying degrees, can be viewed as examples of the puer archetype. Thus, the dreamer finds himself in the house of his puer friend accompanied by his wife and the puer’s girlfriend, who happens to be another puer. So, the question arises: why has the dreamer’s psyche imported a puer symbol into the dream? Jung (1921/1971) suggested that the eternal boy or divine child frequently appeared in dreams or fantasies as reconciling symbols representing the emergence of a new conscious attitude:

In psychological terms, introversion and extraversion cease to dominate as exclusive principles, and consequently the psychic dissociation also ceases. In their stead a new function appears, symbolized by the divine child Messias, who had long lain sleeping. Messias is the mediator, the symbol of a new attitude in which the opposites are united. He is a child, a boy, the puer aeternus of the ancient prototype, heralding the rebirth and restitution (apocatastasis) of all that is lost. (CW6, para. 459)

Thus, one could interpret the appearance of the puer in the new dream as guideposts that heralds the synthesis of something new.

      Another peculiar feature of the dream are the windows. The dreamer describes “a series of large panel windows overlooking the ocean.” Glass is a symbol par excellence of the unconscious. The image of glass and the ocean behind it seems to suggest that the dream is finally making a conscious connection to the greater expanse of his unconscious, which comprises most of his psychic reality. He can now see through a glass clearly, as it were. According to the last depth psychologist James Hillman:

Glass is the metaphor par excellence for psychic reality: it is itself not visible, appearing only to be its contents, and the contents of the psyche, by which placed within or behind glass, have been moved from palpable reality to metaphorical reality, out of life and into image…Glass is the concrete image of seeing through. (1975, p. 142)

Figure 2. Tide pool.

     Not unlike the first two dreams, the wave, despite its colossal size, does not injure the dreamer or his companions. The dreamer then makes a few interesting—and telling—observations. The force of the wave strike apparently carried enough energy to cleave out a large swath of beach leaving behind what the dreamer describes as a “newly formed tide pool” (Figure 2). The dreamer is able to see through the water and spots miscellaneous sea life below the surface going about its business. What this suggests is that the dreamer has assimilated unconscious contents that were hitherto unknown to his conscious mind. The psyche, Jung suggests, is a self-regulating system. Thus, the psyche strives to create and maintain a balance between its opposites while at the same time actively seeking out its own development. The dream then reaches a dramatic climax when a dolphin swims up to the man and lets him pet it. The dreamer reveals that when he was a young boy he and his grandmother traveled to the ocean where they stood near a tide pool. After investigating one of the pool’s annexes, the man said he saw a baby dolphin swim up to him and later amended his account of event. “I thought I saw a baby dolphin swim up to me.” In this way, one could view the baby dolphin siting as a waking fantasy, which the dream—30 years later—recalled and used in the dream to demonstrate the transcendent function.

Figure 3. Boy riding a dolphin (Etruscan).

      In the Greek religion, the dolphin was honored above all other ocean faring creatures and the Greeks thought it symbolized the ocean’s ability to  bear children. In fact, in Greek dolphin is synonymous with womb. In this way, the dolphin could be viewed as yet another harbinger of the  collective unconscious. What this suggests is a basic restructuring of the dreamer’s personal unconscious, a self-regulation as it were, and a deeper connection with the collective unconscious. Another interesting feature of the dolphin is its association with the god Eros—the Greek god of love—who was often depicted riding a dolphin like a horse (Figure 3). This motif suggests the same puer psychology described earlier and as it were, indicates an apocatastasis—a restoration of psychological value—of the dreamer’s personality, a return to the land of the children, another symbol of the collective unconscious. For Jesus said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). It also merits mention that Eros played an important role in Jung’s individual cosmology.

      The aim of this study was to suggest, by illustration, that most dreams are psychologically meaningful. Dreams are natural products of the psyche, and thus, can teach us a great deal about ourselves. I also hope that I have underscored to the reader that dreams do in fact possess a practical side. Although I selected only three dreams from a broad sampling, the dreams seem to provide an adequate picture of how the psyche constantly attempts to establish an equilibrium between the conscious mind and the unconscious, as evidenced by the continuity of symbolism throughout the dream sequence. Thus, in the final analysis one could infer that the dreamer has reached a critical milestone in his life. After speaking with the dreamer, he told me that just in the last few years he seems to have found more peace with himself and the world. His dream life also continues to be active.

So, to recap the key points of this three-part blog:

  • “Every interpretation of a dream is a psychological statement about certain of its contents” (CW8, para. 533).

  • Dreams usually possess both a complementary and compensatory relationship with the conscious mind.

  • Through the dream, the psyche speaks.

  • Dreams, if nothing else, can help us reorient our conscious attitude to live a more whole and meaningful life.

  • When we closely pay attention, a dream can teach us a great deal about ourselves that has evaded our conscious awareness.

  • There is a practical side to dream analysis.

  • Dreams have a compensating function.

References

Jung, C. G. (1948). General aspects of dream psychology. In: R. F. C. Hull (Trans.) & H. Read, M. Fordham, G. Adler, W. McGuire (Eds.), The collected works of C. G. Jung (Vol. 8). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. (Original work published 1916)

Psychological types. In H. Read, M. Fordham, G. Adler & W. McGuire (Eds.), The collected works of C.G. Jung (R. F. C. Hull, Trans.) (2nd ed., Vol. 6). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. (Original work published 1921)

Hillman, J. (1975). Re-visioning Psychology. New York, NY: HarperCollins.)