Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Both of Them Are Me

The Dream:
I have split into two people, who are in conflict. As the dream ego I watch the argument. The two look identical, and I am told that “they are both the same.”

This snippet underlines the realization I came to in my last dream: there’s a conflict between the part of me that gets along in the world by compromising and accepting limits and the part of me that thinks I should express myself—no holds barred--with great passion. Why did I unconsciously choose this turn of speech, no holds barred? I looked it up and found it comes from wrestling and means without rules or restrictions: how apropos! The phrase summarizes the dream's conundrum: wrestling with freedom.

But what to make of the dream message: "They are both the same?" Besides referring to my two minds over the conflict, is the dream telling me that freedom and responsibility are inexorably linked?


Robur d'Amour said...

I would have said that 'two people arguing with each other, and it's the same person' is a reference to the Shadow archetype.

The idea is that when anyone argues, with anyone else, what they are really arguing with is their own projection.

Jung also extends this idea beyond the personal unconscious to the collective unconscious. He says that international conflicts are mostly (possibly always) caused by a country projecting its shadow onto another.

The American Civil War is an even better example than international conflict. There, what is really a single entity, has an argument with itself.

Carla Young said...

Robur: As you point out, in international conflict we see entire nations projecting shadow material onto the other side. This enables each side to dehumanize the other, making the horrors of war possible. This human tendency to project shadow material is relentlessly exploited by politicians as they attempt to increase their own power base. How long will humanity fall for this? I expect we'll fall for it until we fall by it--
unless we wake up and start paying attention to what our dreams can teach us.

Anonymous said...

I see this dream as an example of dream ego's attempt to hold the tension between two polarities. Our dreams usually show us polarities (well, life is a polarity in that there can't be light without darkness, cold without hot, etc) and a mature consciousness is one in which we can hold the opposites. Thus "they ARE both the same" - they both exist. To me, it's not so much the question of freedom and responsibility being inexorably linked, but one of example of all the opposites that are inexorably linked. How we recognize and reconcile this existence of opposites is the key to a fuller life. Emily

Carla Young said...

Thank you, Emily. That's an excellent point, and one that I think is often expressed in art as well as in dreams.

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