According to Carl Jung, dreams are unconscious aspects which have a direct link to our perceptions of reality. This psychic substance, whose ultimate nature is unknowable, interacts with our conscious brain like a divided personality, not in a pathological sense but as what Carl Jung considers to be the normal reality "that can be observed at any time and anywhere."
The two parts that make up our personality are consciousness and "the psyche". The psyche is a rather undefinable quality that is essentially akin to what we imagine to be the human soul.
Civilised achievement is like taming the fragile psyche, and Jung reminds us that according to anthropoligists, the commonest mental derangement amongst primitive people is "the loss of soul" -or the dissociation of consciousness.
The psyche fragments too easily under the onslought of unchecked emotions.
We maintain sanity through distraction, the capacity to focus and to concentrate on one thing at a time to the exclusion of everything else. This achievement of our civilisation is the consequence of suppressing a part of one's psyche. By the same token, we lose our psyche or our soul when distraction is imposed spontaneously, without knowledge, control, consent or intention and that is essentially insanity, unless of course we are merely talking about a pleasant surprise.
Civilised people respond to new ideas by erecting psychological barriers to protect against the shock of facing something new. Anthropologist call this existence in primitive people "misoneism," a deep and superstitious fear of novelty.
Dreams seek to balance the lopsided nature of our consciousness, frequently to no avail because consciousness tends to resist or to be unaware of the influence of unconsciousness.
Regardless, if we want to be stable, we need to stop resisting, because, according to Jung, "the unconscious is in a compensatory relationship with consciousness."
In other words, and I will continue to use his because they are better than mine: "For the sake of mental stability and even physiological health, the unconscious and the conscious must be integrally connected and thus move on parallel lines. If they are split apart or dissociated, psychological disturbance follows. In this respect, dream symbols are the essential message carriers from the instinctive to the rational parts of the human mind, and their interpretation enriches the poverty of consciousness so that it learns to understand again the forgotten language of the instincts."
(to be continued...)