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- The process of removing energy from an unconscious content by assimilating its meaning.
- A psychological state characterized by lack of energy. (See also abaissement du niveau mental, final, libido, night sea journey and regression.) Energy not available to consciousness does not simply vanish. It regresses and stirs up unconscious contents (fantasies, memories, wishes, etc.) that for the sake of psychological health need to be brought to light and examined.
Depression should therefore be regarded as an unconscious compensation whose content must be made conscious if it is to be fully effective. This can only be done by consciously regressing along with the depressive tendency and integrating the memories so activated into the conscious mind-which was what the depression was aiming at in the first place.["The Sacrifice," CW 5, par. 625.]
Depression is not necessarily pathological. It often foreshadows a renewal of the personality or a burst of creative activity. There are moments in human life when a new page is turned. New interests and tendencies appear which have hitherto received no attention, or there is a sudden change of personality (a so-called mutation of character). During the incubation period of such a change we can often observe a loss of conscious energy: the new development has drawn off the energy it needs from consciousness. This lowering of energy can be seen most clearly before the onset of certain psychoses and also in the empty stillness which precedes creative work.["The Psychology of the Transference," CW 16, par. 373.]
- The separation of parts from a whole, necessary for conscious access to the psychological functions.
So long as a function is still so fused with one or more other functions-thinking with feeling, feeling with sensation, etc.-that it is unable to operate on its own, it is in an archaic condition, i.e., not differentiated, not separated from the whole as a special part and existing by itself. Undifferentiated thinking is incapable of thinking apart from other functions; it is continually mixed up with sensations, feelings, intuitions, just as undifferentiated feeling is mixed up with sensations and fantasies.["Definitions," CW 6, par. 705.]
An undifferentiated function is characterized by ambivalence (every position entails its own negative), which leads to characteristic inhibitions in its use.
Differentiation consists in the separation of the function from other functions, and in the separation of its individual parts from each other. Without differentiation direction is impossible, since the direction of a function towards a goal depends on the elimination of anything irrelevant. Fusion with the irrelevant precludes direction; only a differentiated function is capable of being directed.[ Ibid., par. 705.]
- The splitting of a personality into its component parts or complexes, characteristic of neurosis.
A dissociation is not healed by being split off, but by more complete disintegration. All the powers that strive for unity, all healthy desire for selfhood, will resist the disintegration, and in this way he will become conscious of the possibility of an inner integration, which before he had always sought outside himself. He will then find his reward in an undivided self.["Marriage as a Psychological Relationship," CW 17, pars. 334f.]
In the analysis of neurotic breakdowns, the aim is to make the conscious ego aware of autonomous complexes. This can be done both through reductive analysis and by objectifying them in the process of active imagination.
Every form of communication with the split-off part of the psyche is therapeutically effective. This effect is also brought about by the real or merely supposed discovery of the causes. Even when the discovery is no more than an assumption or a fantasy, it has a healing effect at least by suggestion if the analyst himself believes in it and makes a serious attempt to understand.["The Philosophical Tree," CW 13, par. 465.]
- Independent, spontaneous manifestations of the unconscious; fragments of involuntary psychic activity just conscious enough to be reproducible in the waking state.
Dreams are neither deliberate nor arbitrary fabrications; they are natural phenomena which are nothing other than what they pretend to be. They do not deceive, they do not lie, they do not distort or disguise. . . . They are invariably seeking to express something that the ego does not know and does not understand.["Analytical Psychology and Education," CW 17, par. 189.]
In symbolic form, dreams picture the current situation in the psyche from the point of view of the unconscious.
Since the meaning of most dreams is not in accord with the tendencies of the conscious mind but shows peculiar deviations, we must assume that the unconscious, the matrix of dreams, has an independent function. This is what I call the autonomy of the unconscious. The dream not only fails to obey our will but very often stands in flagrant opposition to our conscious intentions["On the Nature of Dreams," CW 8, par. 545.]
Jung acknowledged that in some cases dreams have a wish-fulfilling and sleep-preserving function (Freud) or reveal an infantile striving for power (Adler), but he focused on their symbolic content and their compensatory role in the self-regulation of the psyche: they reveal aspects of oneself that are not normally conscious, they disclose unconscious motivations operating in relationships and present new points of view in conflict situations.
In this regard there are three possibilities. If the conscious attitude to the life situation is in large degree one-sided, then the dream takes the opposite side. If the conscious has a position fairly near the "middle," the dream is satisfied with variations. If the conscious attitude is "correct" (adequate), then the dream coincides with and emphasizes this tendency, though without forfeiting its peculiar autonomy.[ Ibid., par. 546.]
In Jung’s view, a dream is an interior drama.
The whole dream-work is essentially subjective, and a dream is a theatre in which the dreamer is himself the scene, the player, the prompter, the producer, the author, the public, and the critic.["General Aspects of Dream Psychology," ibid., par. 509.]
This conception gives rise to the interpretation of dreams on the subjective level, where the images in them are seen as symbolic representations of elements in the dreamer’s own personality. Interpretation on the objective level refers the images to people and situations in the outside world.
Many dreams have a classic dramatic structure. There is an exposition (place, time and characters), which shows the initial situation of the dreamer. In the second phase there is a development in the plot (action takes place). The third phase brings the culmination or climax (a decisive event occurs). The final phase is the lysis, the result or solution (if any) of the action in the dream.