Carl Jung was one of the foremost authorities on the subject of dream -- their interpretation, meaning, and symbolism. He was primarily an academic and most of the books he wrote were meant for the academic community -- it was never his intent to write for the public.
That all changed with the publication of "Man and His Symbols".
Jung was the focus of a documentary being aired in the UK. The filmmaker had spent a great deal of time with Jung and over the course of working with Jung, he became more and more aware of how valuable Jung's insights were. He was also aware that Jung's work was largely inaccessible. He asked Jung if he had ever considered or if he might be interested in writing a book that expressed his ideas in a way the public might readily understand. Jung considered the question and then said, "No."
Jung was not known for changing his mind and the filmmaker considered the issue closed. However, on a subsequent visit, the filmmaker learned that Jung was busy at work on a book designed with the general public in mind.
What had changed Jung's mind?
Immediately after the conversation with the filmmaker, Jung had a dream where he was delivering a paper to a crowd of blue-collar workers. When he awaken, he realized the dream was a directive to create such a book. The result was "Man and His Symbols."
"Man and His Symbols" is divided into four parts, each dealing with a different aspect of individuation--specifically the integration of the four major archetypes: the shadow, the anima, the animus, and the Self.
Jung himself wrote only the first section; the remaining sections are written by three other pre-eminent Jungian psychoanalysts: M.-L. von Franz, Joseph L. Henderson, Jolande Jacobi, and Aniela Jaffe.
While "Man and His Symbols" is directed toward the general public, this does not mean that it is "dumbed-down". It is intelligently written and explains the basic concepts of Jungian psychology in a straight-forward manner. It is an exceptional work and a great primer for Jungian dream analysis. The hardcover edition has photos and artwork accompanying the text.
If you are looking for a book that lays a solid foundation for helping you solve the meaning of your dreams and assisting with personal growth, this book is for you!
Until next time, sleep well and dream out loud!
*~Aisling Ireland~* is an ordained Spiritual Counselor providing dream interpretation and Tarot readings. To make an appointment check out her website at: web.mac.com/aisling.ireland