Civilization and Its Discontents

Freud's Dream Symbols and Jung's Viewpoint

Actually - and I confess this to you with a struggle - I have a boundless admiration for you both as a man and a researcher, and I bear you no conscious grudge... My veneration for you has something of a "religious" crush.

--Carl Jung, in a letter to Freud, 28 October 1907

A transference on a religious basis would strike me as most disastrous; it could end only in apostasy, thanks to the universal human tendency to keep making new prints of the cliches we bear within us. I shall do my best to show you that I am unfit to be an object of worship.

--Freud to Jung, 15 November 1907

Sigmund Freud wrote copiously, though inconsistently, on the question of dream-symbolism. Picking his ideas apart will reveal their uncanny similarity to Jung's work on the collective unconscious in dreaming. In that context, how might we understand the two thinkers in relation to another? But first, Freud's use of the term symbol must be made clear.

The manifest content is the stand-in for the latent content of a dream. Interpretation consists merely in replacing any manifest image by its determiner. Free association is the primary means of accomplishing this feat. This necessarily implies that any given dream object acts as the...

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