From: “Dreams: The Carpet Maker Of The Night.” – an upcoming book by Dr. Luc De Schepper
Anyone who has inadequate ideas about himself and the illusionary world he lives in, can never find the courage and reason to destroy his illusions in order to change life aspects which otherwise require illusions. It is then that man’s reason (the Thinking conscious function) is damaged by irrational passions and moods (proof of an ill-equipped Feeling conscious function).
To gain a better relationship with oneself and to be able to use one’s psychic forces, one must recognize and assimilate the unknown and rejected in oneself, the vast content of the foreign unconscious territory. Growing as a human being is to explore this terra incognita, or to know and try to understand, and make an active effort to integrate these repressed elements of the unconscious into consciousness. Only then can a revived man, completely transformed, appear on the scene as he has broken the shell of the old man. But is dream analysis part of the totality of the symptoms, in order to find with more predictability the simillimum? Although Hahnemann could have known about the importance of dreams in assessing the health of his patients (as dream interpretation goes back to the ancient Greeks), homeopathy has failed to understand the often distressing and authoritative power of the unconscious on the individual. Psychic assaults from the unconscious easily penetrate every conscious defense. In depth exploring our unconscious is in a way discovering true humanity, not the masked one, in ourselves. The unconscious’ cryptic message through its messenger−dreams, exposes more of the patient than the conscious ever can reveal. In spite of our elaborated and sincere efforts, the information we obtain from our patients is far from complete. One only has to attend a day in the clinic of homeopaths, physicians and healers alike, to find out that what is elicited during the inquiry reflects only one quarter of the patient’s life story. This small part is called the “totality” of the personal story the patient is aware of or rather wants to display no matter how deep the healer probes! This is called the “normal state” of consciousness. No doubt, few are those patients who reveal their sycotic and syphilitic symptoms, the latter the homeopath absolutely needs to discover as entry point to the case in order to prescribe the simillimum. The other half of the conscious, because it is too shameful, too painful, and its contents are of such shocking nature that they would impede further living, is promptly delegated to the unconscious, more precisely deposited in the archetypal image of the Shadow. While this unconscious part expands more and more, the conscious contracts in an equal way: conscious resembles an island, ever diminishing, invaded by the ever-growing sea, the relative fixed symbol for the unconscious.
Therefore, the other half of human life, the ever-growing personal unconscious, the obscuring force, remains dark and unattended. It becomes the garbage can, used with daily frequency, the dark and threatening cellar in the house man rarely pays a visit. I wish that there would be weekly garbage pick-up like in my neighborhood (and yes I put that garbage can out without a Geneva convention between my wife and I), but there seems to be no limitation of the largeness of this personal garbage can. Alas! What the homeopath so much wants to know, the real character and personality of the patient, not the bright, obvious and positive aspects, but the hazy and dark aspects of his personality, the intensity of neurotic reactions which have become chronic and have become incorporated into the ego, and the undiluted time line of events in the patient’s life, will remain hidden, deformed, ignored, mistuned, falsified and skipped over, left alone in a sealed tomb that never will be visited, along the lines of the empathetic advice of the Philistines to “let sleeping dogs lie.”
This is what Jung called “the monotheism” of the consciousness,” (from the Greek, “monos” or “single or one” and “theos” or “god”), only believing that the ego and its world exist, albeit in a very limited matter (Secret of the Golden Flower, p111). Nietzsche expressed it already before Jung: What we call consciousness does not by any means constitute the whole of our spiritual and psychic world, but only one state (perhaps pathological-emphasis by author). (Hayman, p.302). Man denies, remains oblivious and fails to understand that other parts of his psyche, the elements in the unconscious world, are autonomous, and have their own independence while possessing a powerful psychic energy that guides and controls his life. While we understand that every man somewhere in the depths of his psyche, because of the toxic waste buried in himself, is susceptible to psychosis, schizophrenia and of course plenty of neuroses, even the healthiest among us are susceptible to sudden irrational reactions produced by a psychological plague of which suppression and projection are ever present favorite tools.
Objectivity and truthfulness, the driving forces of all strivings for freedom, are always the first victims. Especially the thinking intellectual will use his conscious function to confirm and rationalize predetermined irrational ideas and fixed delusions, which at first seem “logical, compelling and truthful.” Man neglecting his feeling function and protected by ingrained subjective convictions, will be unable to see the harmfulness of his actions as he can find all kinds of superficial “logical” arguments to validate his thinking and consequent irrational decisions. It is especially the Cyber delusion that is the dark force in a person as it governs any behavior no matter how honest personal intentions seem to be. A perfect example is a deceived woman, immersed in the Nat-m jungle of hatred and revenge, who will at all cost wants sole custody of her child “as it is in the best interest of the child,” while the real motive is a sadistic and revengeful punishment of the father.
Every homeopath in practice has been confronted with the difficulty of getting the patient’s info so much needed from his vast continent of terra incognita, this unknown vast barren land, containing the shameful, painful and private parts. “Private” comes from the Latin “privare” or “to deprive,” that is to say, this is “property” the use of which everybody is deprived of, except the owner! But is this the right course? When will the patient let his guard down to tell us what he is otherwise so busy suppressing, repressing or projecting personal contents on others? How can we loosen the character armor of the affects from their concealments? There is a way! He will relax when you ask him, “Tell me about your dreams.” He might laugh and say, “Listen to this crazy dream I had! I had this crazy ugly woman chasing me!” He will do so without reservation, not knowing that dreams, the messenger of the unconscious will reveal much more of his personality than we ever can obtain from his limited conscious. Dreams fill all the gaps of the limited well-guarded self-knowledge, the patient’s blind spots, guiding us with more prediction to the simillimum and hence to greater well-being and growth. The homeopath needs to pay attention not only to what the patient recounts in dreams, but also to how he communicates them: Coherently or inarticulate, politely or aggressively, with sneers or a mask-like face, with gestures or zombie-like behavior, as they all can be valuable clues to how candid the patient is in the narration of his history. Does the patient remain silent (i.e., Nat-m), become angry for probing (Nit-acid), shuts down (Silica), tries to overpower you with “superior” knowledge and language (Lycopodium, Lachesis) or changes into an overanxious person repeating himself just to convince you finally see the seriousness of his disease (Arsenicum). Such “material” and form of communications are often of greater importance and value than their content and their investigation and can successfully be used for selecting the simillimum, as well as effecting quantitative changes which approximate qualitative changes when they have reached a certain measure.
All too often in the homeopathic practice, not only the patient but also the homeopath is focusing on trivial problems. For the homeopath, truly “trifles” is only important when his patient despairs over trifles or pays to much attention (conscientious about trifles) or is over anxious about trifles. Usually “trivial” refers to the discussion of superficial things and banalities or glorified gossip, rather than distinguishing between what is essential and what is unessential in a conversation. My wife reacts to such humdrum with “Don’t hurt my ears.” While trivial talk between people might not be detrimental to one’s health and often is entertainment for many, it sure kills critical thinking and puts the physician half asleep. For man banalities have a good purpose as they draw attention, making him feel “understood,” and avert loneliness, a common characteristic of mankind nowadays. However, when it comes to have a talk with man’s unconscious, triviality is out of the question. A dialogue between man and his unknown world requires honesty and hard work, making him feel coming alive. Such dialogue is found in dreams where deep insights, not silenced by the noise of daily life, can be formulated and discovered, leading to a greater well-being. Increasing conscious (from the Latin “cum” or “with” and “scio/scire” or “knowledge,” or being aware of) can only be achieved when man becomes aware of what is hidden. This can only be achieved through and active and above all an honest and courageous effort, by integrating unconscious elements into consciousness, elements that were for such a long time repressed and suppressed. Only then can the unconscious possess a creative, positive and healing force! What are some of those aspects of dreams we need to be aware of?
Important Aspects of Dream Analysis in the Homeopathic Practice
Hahnemann cannot be faulted for not having incorporated dream analysis in the homeopathic practice as the publishing and constant evolution of his six editions of the Organon required a life time effort in the midst of constant opposition to the practice of his Art. It is left to us, his disciples to expand the homeopathic investigation with the unknown element of the human being: his unconscious and its messenger, dreams. The ubiquitous baffling ASD epidemic has made the understanding of dreams even more important. Too many of such children seem to be caught between conscious and unconscious or are withdrawn completely in the unconscious, as the normal selective conscious filter has been closed to elements from the outside world, making increased communication and exchange impossible if not undesirable. Children in general are caught in their own dreamy world (Fancies and delusions of fancy illusions, syphilitic characteristics) and understanding their dreams can help us navigating through the maze of their world. Moreover, depth-psychology, especially dream interpretation, enables the crossover to biology and medicine, with great benefit to the medical and homeopathic community. Every homeopath therefore should make it his duty to master the art and science of dream analysis. As the homeopath will study the contents of this book, besides receiving an in-depth new and expanded view of the patient’s suffering, dream analysis will contribute important information that will assist him in finding many aspects of the homeopathic Art. Dream interpretation can be used
- To find the simillimum (expanded by the elusive Cyber delusion, hidden in the unconscious (See my book, “Advanced Guide for the Professional)” and the appearance of the Shadow).
- To know when to change the remedy or not during the homeopathic treatment as the conflict becomes resolved (lysis) in the dream (another aid to Hering’s Observations and the connection with Embryology, discussed by Dr. Vijayakar of Mumbai)
- To explain why a remedy would not work, even when there is no miasmatic block and apparently the remedy is seemingly well-chosen as the inner conflict is not acknowledged or remains obscure
- To tell the homeopath about the management: is he on the right track or not? Is he going too fast or too slow? Can he go full steam ahead (as the VF is strong enough) or is the dream indicating a hidden serious disease that should warn the homeopath to use low potencies and infrequent small doses of the remedy (the latter always advisable)?
- Dreams, through their symbolic message, show the patient and homeopath where the patient is straying from his ideal individual path (and therefore straying from the direction of cure creating an impasse) and whether he let certain aspects of his life remain unconscious (one-sided unconsciousness), like certain interests outside of the family business, or unused libido for any possible hobby for instance. The dream reveals those factors in the patient that are in conflict with his conscious attitude and therefore not only cause numerous hysterical neuroses but eventually also horrible physical conditions. No matter how much the patient will try to hide the truth, a dream will always remind him of the real situation till he is willing to correct the harmful situation. Carl Jung states it this way: “The personal unconscious corresponds to the figure of the Shadow, so frequently met with in dreams (CW7, par 103)”
- Warns the homeopath for dangerous aspects in his patient’s life (latent serious disease or imminent death) to be remedied by the suitable medicine or information can be obtained through the compensatory dream where the patient’s conscious mind cannot see the reality of his dangerous life style and ambition. A corrective dream, beyond the control of the patient’s conscious mind, will warn the dreamer to slow down, talking in fact directly to the dreamer or a dream will end in a catastrophe
- The homeopath can understand and bridge the gap between the patient’s conscious behavior or mask (Persona) and what he wants to hide from him (Shadow), the information that is most important for the homeopath in finding the simillimum. Through careful integrating of the unconscious contents, the homeopath receives a higher point of view where the “true totality,” the unconscious and the unconscious are represented, which is called the Self, a symbol that creates peace and totality, appearing mainly in one’s deeds and relationships. Dream interpretation will serve life by removing obstacles and freeing the VF. Jung: “The self is the most individual thing, the essence of individuality. It is the uniqueness. It is the sum total of conscious and unconscious processes (p.151; p.153; 1988, Nietzsche’s Zarathustra).” And, “The partial awareness of the Self is consciousness; the ego consciousness is that part of the Self which is elucidated and which is immediately accessible to our reasoning and judgment. But the unconscious is merely noumenal and we have no immediate access to it. (Jung, 1988, p. 407, Nietzsche’s Zarathustra).
- Tell the homeopath also how the patient is hiding unconsciously (in his Shadow side) dormant good qualities which when integrated into consciousness would give the patient a greater meaning of life and vocation as well as providing a ground-plan of future activities and potentialities for personal development
- Tell the homeopath about the prognosis (direction of cure and prophesying dreams) and about the psychological, mental or physical causality of his neurosis (NWS) as well as errors of life style (A77 and A5 and 7), so that the patient does not become an obstruction in his own cure when he repeats the same mistakes over and over again; so dreams are helpful in differentiating between organic and psychogenic diseases
- Dream interpretation adds elements, unknown to the patient and physician, to his subjective and objective symptoms, on which the homeopath can rely for the diagnosis including knowledge of the patient’s true temperament and constitution, as he really is, not as he wants to be perceived, in other words the emperor without clothes. Dreams are indeed the homeopath’s number one ally for ruthlessly puncturing the man’s illusions and delusions of grandeur telling him to take command of his life and pull himself out of inertia and blind alleys that stop his individuation (meaning having for goal the development of the individual personality), creating a deadlock in life as he is traveling a undesirable road which is the ‘road most traveled,’ motored by unrealistic inflations
- Provide the patient (and the homeopath) with an urgent message and warning that he is taken a wrong decision in life, a decision contrary to generally accepted moral standards, that this will lead to many missteps in his life; for instance when someone is thinking about leaving his spouse and children for a woman many years his junior, the dream is confronting him with a point of view opposed to his own desires and convictions but looking at his conduct from the standpoint imposed from man’s moral nature
- Give the homeopath a wider view about the true causalities or what derailed the patient from his life course by examining his formation of Anima and Animus or the patient possible being forced to function in his archaic conscious function
- Will shorten the length of any analysis and homeopathic treatment
- The simillimum helps the patient’s ability to bear the pain and conflict and protecting his ego that is too fearful and brittle when faced with the analytical dream work and discovering the hidden truths in his unconscious, avoiding a psychotic break
- Integrating unconscious contents with the help of dreams contributes to the general health of the population by finding a true meaning of life as the highest suicide rates are found in the most technically and rationally developed countries
- Spiritual questions (meaning of life) are often answered by the unconscious, acting like a psychopomp, providing a guiding life in middle life crisis
- Man can obtain optimal awareness of his reality, of his body and mind, not just the simple superficial façade that he usually tries to put on, leading to an inner liberation achieved by increased awareness of all his repressed conflicts. Exploration of the unconscious in depth leads to discovering humanity in oneself and in every other human being
- The psoric need of the patient is reflected in the dream with a total opposite compensation: if there was lack of love, the dream often creates intimate and loving behavior. If there was too much protection, rather called “domination,” anxious dreams are created in which the dreamer is pursued by someone that wants to kill him (Law of Compensation).
- During provings often dreams immerse, which when rightly interpreted, would show the deeper psychological needs covered by that remedy rather than talking about “dreams of falling, anxiety, of dogs, of failures and the so many sub rubrics found in the repertory,” unexplained and mainly useless for the practice
- Last but not least, if the patient and the homeopath understand the urgent message of the dream, and the patient act upon this message, a remedy will not even be needed!
Looking at these many advantages, similar to the need of taking his own simillimum, the homeopath finally sees the necessity and finds the courage to apply the same perseverance to investigate the unconscious on himself as he heaps on his patient, rather than remaining in the dark while claiming he enlightens others! And lo and behold, such discovery might remain very unpopular as he might discover that he himself is not able to live up to the standards he demands and expects from his patients! But who claims to be enlighted when he remains in the dark? Who educates others if he himself remains uneducated? Who can act as the analyst when he has never resolved his own complexes? The man who suffers from a contagious disease is not fit to treat others! No wonder many people and homeopaths prefer to have nothing to do with this evil unconscious force! Rather than clinging to his conceit of authority and intellectual bluff, the homeopath must have the courage and drop his professional mask to not only take his simillimum and understand the long hard way to recovery full of vicissitudes and dead ends, finally understanding that “knowledge increases suffering,” and that “only the wounded physician heals.”
Even Jung found those benefits of analyzing his dreams as it warned him of the wrong attitude he had towards one of his patients. In Memories, Dreams, Reflections (C. Jung, 1941, page 133), he was warned by his dream that he looked down on his patient rather than feeling empathy and compassion; this interpretation, once communicated to the patient, was immediately followed by a change in the patient’s situation and a going forward of the treatment, annihilating the counter-transference problem. Because of the process known as transference and counter-transference, the homeopath through a dream receives not only information about his patient’s simillimum but also about his own. Unconscious contents are always projected upon concrete persons, and because of a similar situation in the life of the homeopath, transference always affects both parties. No therapist involved is ever a “blank piece of paper.” Homeopaths should remember what Jung had to say about transference: “The neurotic maladjustment of the patient is now transferred to him (the homeopath)…When two chemical substances combine, both are altered. This is precisely what happens in transference…it is inevitable that the doctor should be influenced to a certain extent and even that his nervous health should suffer (counter-transference) [C.G. Jung. The Psychology of the Transference. Page 7; 1954). There is also a possibility of latent negative transference to the homeopath: hostile emotions towards one of the parents can easily be projected towards the therapist with failed therapeutic result if this negative transference is not drawn out of concealment by confronting the patient with it. If the patient is too polite at all cost, too nice and seems to be all too willing to be an open book−in other words he looks like the “good” patient, one can be sure that beneath this positive attitude often distrust, deceit and anger is concealed. The mask of politeness is just a means of protection as he does not want to start on the wrong foot. So the homeopath and therapist must understand that every case coming to him starts with an attitude of distrust; it does not mean this patient will outright lie but he wants to conceal aspects of his life he deems “unimportant,” even when they are the trigger to his illness and part of his genetic structure. Those unimportant facts are just too private and taboo, and what’s more disagreeable to the ego, so strong repression is the only solution. But man will soon discover that not obeying to the unconscious leads to a process of self-immolation.
Moreover, the reader will discover in this article that all of us need to start the Herculean task of cleaning our own Augias’ stable where masses of deposited manure threatens to overtake our conscious life. Where Hercules was ordered to clean King Aegeus’ vast stables in one day, at least all of us, mere mortals, can use the rest of our life to take on this vast venture and try to find the hero archetype in ourselves, where each step forward rewards the owner with becoming a more enlightened and complete person. Few though will reach the stage of Self-realization, truly the real Herculean task with salutary results, but this should not deter anyone of starting the “road less traveled.” Such shift from ego to Self is truly a healing of the soul.
References and Bibliography
- Spiritual Axis, (Ling Shi Jung). People’s Health Publishing House, Beijing. First published c. 100BC.
- Hahnemann. The Organon of Medicine. 1982. Jost Künzli, MD. Alain Naudé and Peter Pendleton. Cooper Publishing. Washington, USA.
- G. Jung. Memories, Dreams, Reflections. 1963. Recorded and Edited by Aniella Jaffe. Vintage Books. A division of Random House, New York.
- G. Jung. The Psychology of Transference. Translated by R.F.C. Hull. 1954. Bollingen Series XX. Princeton University Press.USA.
- G. Jung. Psyche and Symbol. Translated by R.F.C. Hull. 1958. Bollingen Series XX. Princeton University press.
- G. Jung. Dreams. Translated by R.F.C. Hull. 1974. Bollingen Series XX. Princeton University press.
- G. Jung. Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. Volume 7. Translated by R.F.C. Hull. 1972. Bollingen Series XX. Princeton University press.
- J. Jung. Nietzsche’s Zarathustra. 1988. Princeton University press.
- White, Robert. Artemidorus. The Interpretation of Dreams or 1975. Original Books. Torrance. California.
- Ronald Hayman. A Critical Life: Nietzsche. Penguin Books. New York. New York.
From: “Dreams: The Carpet Maker Of The Night.” – an upcoming book by Dr. Luc De Schepper
Luc De Schepper, M.D., Lic. Ac.
See also: Discovering Life: In-depth Homeopathic Portraits.