While I was away last week on a three day printmaking residency, I happened upon a book about the Swiss Psychologist Carl Jung. I had heard of him before and I was familiar with some of his basic ideas about archetypes and the relationship of our dreams to our unconscious but I had never taken a close look until just recently.
I went to the library on Sunday and took out a few books including Introducing Jung A Graphic Guide which is a book in a graphic novel format. This book is really helpful for a quick general and accessible over view of his life and work. One of the things I really like is the way Jung gives dreams an important role in the work of bringing a stronger connection between our unconscious and conscious selves. I have had powerful and vivid dreams my entire life and yet I have always been at a lose with what to do with them and at the same time feeling that I am missing out on a helpful resource. What are my dreams trying to tell me? How can I begin to make sense out of these very strange images and impossible and irrational pieces of narrative?
What I am finding is that our dreams are important and we can learn to understand their poetic language. Our dream language is personal to us and books that attempt to create a code out of the various images and situations that occur in our dreams are not to be relied on and mostly a waste of time. I have begun to write my dreams down in the morning when they are still fresh. My hope is that I will be able to understand my own dream language and what recurring themes and images my be there to tell me. I would like to see if learning the language of my own dreams could become one more trail that could lead me into deeper self knowledge and a better grip on who I am and what my role is in life.