Though academe and the psychological community rarely speak of it, Carl was very into the metaphysical arts, though he was careful to talk about it as “research”. Research, hah! Here was a guy who initiated séances, felt his house at times was crowed with spirits and held conversations with entities that he channeled. One entity he named Philemon, which he labeled as his animus. Archetypes, rather than being theoretical constructs, for Jung were as real as you and me.
Back to last’s night’s experience. I decided to do an extensive unguided meditation. I spend at least an hour suspended between the waking and sleeping world, relaxing my body and experiencing free floating images produced by my minds eye. In a state of peace and calm, I ended my meditation and went to sleep.
My dream started with me in what I recognized as an area of a “high school” where there were black folding chairs lined up in rows. There were a couple of others there beside myself, one person who was “chasing” me and another person with who I was conversing. I was not alarmed about the person chasing me since I was aware that I was dreaming and I could change the outcome of the dream any time I chose. There were a group of people following me, since I was leading them, but I didn’t take much notice of thesm. What is interesting is not the dream itself, but that during the dream I became aware of the dream as the top layer in the structure of the dream itself. Supporting the dream was a foundation of images that I immediately identified as archetypes, symbols that stretched universally through the psyche of man.
I examined a box of these images that looked to me as cats and mice as furry little stuffed animals. These images were supposed to be all the people at the high school about which I was dreaming. As I picked one up thinking it was a cat, but it turned out to be a mouse. I then realized that all the images in the box were mice, not a single one a cat.
Well, shades of “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”! In “Hitchhiker” mice were an alien race performing an experiment. Wikipedia explains it:
. . . the Earth was actually a supercomputer commissioned and paid for by a race of “hyper-intelligent,” “pan-dimensional” beings. These creatures had earlier built a supercomputer called Deep Thought to calculate the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything. This computer, after seven and a half million years of calculation, had announced that the Answer is in fact 42. Being unsatisfied with the Answer, they set about finding the Question which would give the Answer meaning, whereupon Deep Thought designed the Earth, to calculate it. However, ten million years later, and just five minutes before the completion of the program Earth was designed to execute, the Earth is demolished by the Vogons. [to create a hyperspace bypass].
Are the mice are our frustrated desires to uncover the “meaning of life” and the “answer to everything”? This certainly is an apt description of the quest of the human soul.
As Jung said:
Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
Image published under a Creative Commons license from user alicepopkorn on Flickr.