Dreams & Myth
The Language of Symbols & Metaphor

Jump to:__ Dreams___ Myths___ Symbols___ Carl Jung___ Joseph Campbell
Nature/Environment___ Dream Forum___ Spirituality___ Mid-Life Issues___ Videos
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What Is Myths-Dreams-Symbols About?

It is all in the name. Myths-Dreams-Symbols. But the primary focus is on Dreams. The physiological act of dreaming but more so the psychological contents of our dreams. And what does the psychological contents of our dreams speak about? The life of the dreamer, with a focus on the emotions. The dream addresses the true self, unencumbered by the ego bias of the waking condition. They can assit in emotional healing when properly understood. Dreams are a conduit to the vast unconscious, personal and collective, and the stored knowledge of personal experience and emotional experience, accumulated throughout the dreamer's life.
Read more about Understanding Dreams

"The dream is a little hidden door in the innermost and most secret recesses of the soul, opening into that cosmic night which was psyche long before there was any ego- consciousness, and which will remain psyche no matter how far our ego-consciousness extends.".....Carl Jung

Our dreams are important, and it is Myth {mythology} which provides us with an understanding of the deeper self, a primary function of our dream where the intent is to provide the dreamer with a better understanding of their emotional life. 'Dreams are private myths, myths are public dreams'. The everyday life is the subject of most dreams but the deeper emotional aspects are also a part of many dreams. We begin to recognize these deeper aspects when we explore the world of mythology.
The deeper aspects are those parts of the psyche which convey unconscious contents of the psyche. These include repressed experiences in life as well as creative and spiritual aspects
I like to think of myths as 'exaggerated truths'. King Arthur {the Historical King Arthur} was a fictional character based loosely on a real person.
Modern day mythological themes can be found in George Lucas Star Wars. Back to Top of Page

The common link in dreams and myth are the symbols and motifs {patterns} found in both their narratives. They are the symbolic metaphors that provide clues to a deeper understanding of the dreamer, using the symbolic language, a language for which both dreams and myth share.
Dreams symbols come in two sizes. One is the everyday symbols pertaining to who we are. A house is most always a symbol for the dreamer. The rooms may represent the different aspects of the psyche. Or different emotional values.
Cars are another common 'personal' symbol found in dreams. Are you driving, in control, or is there someone else controlling your life, and symbolised in a dream as someone driving your car?
The second symbolic value is of the deeper Self, dealing with unconscious emotional aspects that are often symbolized by mythological persons or themes {motifs}. A dream that has King Arthur, or a king, may be trying to addressing these deeper aspects. These 'big' dreams usually come about during major life changes, especially at mid-life. They go to the deeper core of the psyche where you find the rejected, repressed, ignored aspects. They also will address the creative and spiritual aspects, aspects Jung {a scientist} believed we all possess. These aspects add up to form who you are psychologically.
Read about Jung's Personality types....introvert, extravert, intuitive, perceiving/judging types

Mythological symbols is the imagery within a myth that underscores the known aspects of a subject, providing clues to the deeper meaning, the emotional values that form the universal psyche. In Star Wars Darth Vader represented the evil aspect and Luke Skywalker the good. The deeper aspects of these two conflicting forces are the central theme of myth, where the son wishes to reconcile with the father {a common mythological theme}. From there a story unfolds, the myth, that will fit individual emotional patterns, and addresses causations for behaviorial patterns during the person's life. . . Back to Top of Page

Carl Jung
Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and founder of the school of analytical psychology. He proposed and developed the concepts of the extroverted and introverted personality, archetypes, and the collective unconscious. Aside from Sigmund Freud, no one had a bigger impact on modern psychology and psychiatry than did Carl Jung.
When it came to the study of dreams Freud and Jung had some different ideas. Freud believed dreams were primarily about sex. No matter what the dream was, he could relate it to a sexual feeling or fantasy. Freud also believe that dreams were trying to hide unpleasant experiences and emotions.
Jung had other ideas, he thought that dreams were a tool to help us grow, not just to release extreme sexual desires. Jung felt that dreams were more than about sex, they were about life. Jung said that sexual drive doesn't even motivate us as much as the fear of death. Jung was an inspiration to all in the psychology field. His theories are instrumental in psychology and psychiatry fields today.
FREUD depicted the unconscious as a receptacle underlying the conscious mind, whose task is to contain rejected and un-encountered events, feelings, thoughts and experiences of the resenting conscious mind.
JUNG postulated two layers of the unconscious - a personal unconscious, right under the conscious mind, taking in personal psychic contents and down below the collective unconscious, containing the accumulating experience of all humanity. Back to Top of Page

Joseph Campbell
Joseph Campbell was an American writer on mythology and comparative religion who gained fame with such works as THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES (1948), an examination of the archetype of the hero, THE MASKS OF GOD (1959-1968), exploring the complex mythological heritage and its implications for modern humanity. But his true fame came from his popular PBS series of interviews The Power of Myth with Bill Moyers which was first broadcast in 1988, the year following Campbell's death.
Campbell's influence upon cinema
George Lucas was the first Hollywood filmmaker to openly credit Campbell's influence. He stated during the release of the first Star Wars films during the late 1970s that they were based upon ideas found in The Hero With a Thousand Faces and other works of Campbell's. Indeed, many of the great cinema's make use of the universal mythological themes for which Campbell made popular in his works. We unconsciously recognize these recurring themes because they are a part of the collective psyche. And these collective themes are found not only in the world myths but also in our individual dreams. Back to Top of Page

Nature & the Environment
One continuous theme within Jungian psyche and Campbell mythology is the importance of recognizing nature as a vital aspect of the human condition. Both speak of the power of the feminine, in mythological themes as with the Great Mother and psyche themes of the feminine aspects {animus}. It is only logical to believe that the earth is a living organism whose fate is dependent on human activities. The science is indisputable; the planet is suffering from mankind's abusive nature toward the environment and we must do something to change those destructive attitudes. Recent science is even more affirmative. We need to start now and not ignore the drastic climate changes that are taking place. As an informed and caring citizen of this planet I feel obligated to the planet, as well as to the future of my grandchildren to provide this important message in the pages at Myths-Dreams-Symbols.
The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life: he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself....Chief Seattle
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Dream Forum
This is where you the visitor can post your dream for a FREE interpretation. Gerard {Forum Host & MDS WebMaster}, Kathy, Steve, Justin and other Forum contributors offer their insights to the dream using Jungian dream psychology. There are over 1700 posts where the visitor can determine the validity of Jung's approach to the dream. But more important the interpretations offer insights to the dreamer's life, conscious and unconscious. If the visitor leaves with a better understanding of their dreams, and most do, we believe they leave with a better understanding of themselves. That's what dreams can do. Mission accomplished!
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For Carl Jung, and unlike Sigmund Freud, God was no "illusion." He believed many of our modern ills were due to our being cut off from our spiritual roots and, therefore, from meaning. Jung's psychology offers us an alternative to the rationalistic materialism of our culture to which even religion has fallen victim. It serves to remind us that religious dogma is not enough. To find meaning each of us must live in relationship to The Great Mystery through our relationship with all of inner and outer creation. Jung's psychology can help us come to this awareness of God's all-encompassing reality, of religious truth as relevant today - that it does indeed work and that it can act as a transforming, relational, and renewing power if we open ourselves to it. Myths-Dreams-Symbols places an emphasis on understanding the spiritual aspect of the human condition and attempts to articulate Jung's philosophy to help visitors find within themselves the spiritual Self. Back to Top of Page

Mid-Life Issues
'Mid-life transition' is something that happens to most of us at some point during our lives (usually, at about 40, give or take 20 years). It is a natural process (first identified by the psychologist Carl Jung) and it is a normal part of 'maturing'. Carl Jung provided a theoretical foundation when he published his ideas about predictable stages in life. He believed that before midlife, people focused on either thinking, sensation, feeling, or intuition. At about ages 35-40 (at a time when people lived to 60 or so) the others assert themselves, helping the individual achieve balance. "The task of midlife," Jung wrote, "is not to look into the light, but to bring light into the darkness." This was all part, Jung believed, of creating wholeness. And one path to creating this wholeness is working with dreams and their inhterpretations. The Dream Forum offers insights to this one aspect of the mid-life transition. Back to Top of Page

This is a recent addition to MDS. Videos provide the visitor with visual imagery of what MDS is trying to convey in its message of dreams, myths and symbols. The goal is to better inform the visitor in ways that resonant. What better way to convey that message of the dream, the theme of the myth, the meaning of the symbol, the plight of the planet than through videos? With the invention of MySpace and YouTube MDS is able to bring its visitors the most recent videos that apply to the themes found within these pages. The video that is perhaps most applicable to what Myths-Dreams-Symbols is about is The Hero's Journey in Film which is now playing as you read this narrative.
View the Video Catalog
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