Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Inferior Function


The Dream: A young man, an aspiring artist, is friends with an older woman. I want to be part of their group but am concerned that I might be intruding, and I do get a bit of the cold shoulder. Nevertheless, the young man and I engage in a serious chat about art. I am aware that he wants to take courses at the Art Students League. I go off in several directions with this information. I tell him that every artist must teach himself, ultimately, and not rely on the judgments or opinions of others. Each must develop a personal style, unique to herself. “For example,” I say, “when you see a Picasso you know it is a Picasso.” He mentions the many changes in style as Picasso evolved. “Yes,” I say, “because art is the working out of our inner selves, and as we change the art changes.” The conversation gets heated since he wants to pursue study, and he feels I'm negating that choice. But I'm not—at least not entirely. “It's important to study to develop the necessary skills,” I say. “If it hadn't been for Anthony Palumbo at the Art Students League I would never have learned to draw.”

I get back to the idea of art as a reflection of the artist's deepest self. I say, “My work, for example, is pretty and superficial, just like me.” A pause. “Well, I might not be pretty anymore, but I'm still superficial.” After this tongue-in-cheek statement a cloud descends on my spirit. I become aware that, while I might appear self-confident and even tough, I actually feel inferior. The outward aspect is a defensive shell.

Interpretation: This seems to be one of those dreams that interprets itself. It tells me to look at my vulnerabilities if I want to discover my true self. Pretty and superficial can only take a person so far.

2 comments:

Emily said...

I like to look at the overall conflict/tension/opposites dreams are bringing up for us. In this wonderful dream, the tension is one's authenticity on the one had and one's superficiality on the other. They are opposite poles on the same axis from each other. One way I interpret "integrating the opposites" (Jungian terminology) is asking myself how I can exist in the center between these two extremes. It's not that I haven't discovered my true self, for I am composed of authenticity and of superficiality. I would like to know more about Antohony Palumbo (I'm not familiar with him or his work, but the little I saw on the internet shows some very strong feminine images-but are they superficial?). I am relieved that my dream is showing both my competence and confidence and my inferior feelings. They are playing at each other - maybe something in my waking life triggered my feelings of inferiority. My dream is reminding me of my past feelings of competence. The dream also speaks about aging to me - I was pretty but I am not anymore - but that doesn't mean I am superficial. For some reason, my dreaming mind linked being pretty to being superficial. Age brings wisdom and authenticity, hopefully, for most of us. Very important if one is an artist. Authenticity is the greatest asset an artist can have. Just my first thoughts on this dream - great job again, Carla. Maybe I haven't said too much new stuff to add to the interpretation, but this dream spoke to me.

Carla Young said...

Very glad to have your thoughts and comments, Emily. The idea of the dream centering on resolving opposites was very interesting, and can be found in several places (now that you mention it!) For example, learning from others as opposed to following one's own inner wisdom; youth and age; confidence and inferiority. Thanks!

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