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“The importanceof such an impression should not be undervalued. We are taught by this
insight that there is an identity of elementary human conflicts existing independent of
time and place. That which affected the Greeks with horror still remains true, but it is
true for us only when we give up a vain illusion that we are different that is to say, moie
moral, than the ancient”

We of the present dayhave nearly succeeded in forgetting that an indissoluble common

bond binds us to the people of antiquity. With this truth a path is opened to the
understanding of the ancient mind; an understanding which so far has not existed, and,
on one side, leads to an inner sympathy, and, on the other side, to an intellectual

Through buried strata of the individual soul we come indirectly into possession of the
living mind of the ancient culture, and, just precisely through that, do we win that stable
point of view outside our own culture, from which, for the first time, an objective
understanding of their mechanisms would be possible. At least that is the hope which we
get from the rediscovery of the Oedipus problem.

The leading purpose of these works is the unlocking of

historical problems through the application, of
psychoanalytic knowledge ; that is to say, knowledge drawn
from the activity of the modern unconscious mind concerning
specific historical material.

Up to the present time the psychoanalytic investigator has

turned his interest chiefly to the analysis of the
individual psychologic problems. It seems to me, however,
that m the present state of aftairs there is a more or less
impel ative demand for the psychoanalyst to broaden the
analysis of the individual problems by a comparative
study of historical material relating to them, just as
Fieud has already done in a masterly manner m his book
on " Leonardo da Vinci"

For, just as the psychoanalytic conceptions promote

understanding of the historic psychologic creations, so
reversedly historical materials can shed new light upon
individual psychologic problems.

These and similar considerations have caused me to turn my

attention somewhat more to the historical, in the hope
that, out of this, new insight into the foundations of
individual psychology might be won.


IT is a well-known fact that one of the principles of

analytic psychology is that the dream images are to be
understood symbolically; that is to say, that they are not
to be taken literally just as they are presented in sleep,
but that behind them a hidden meaning has to be surmised.

When an idea is so old, and is so generally believed, it is

probably true in some way, and, indeed, as is mostly the
case, is not literally true, but is line psychologically In
this distinction lies the reason why the old fogies of
science have from time to time thrown away an inherited
piece of ancient truth; because it was not literal but
psychologic truth. For such discrimination this type of
person has at no time had any comprehension.

From our experience, it is hardly conceivable that a God

existing outside of ourselves causes dreams, or that the
dream, eo ipso, foresees the future prophetically.

As the old belief teaches, the Deity or the Demon

speaks in symbolic speech to the sleeper, and the dream
interpreter has the riddle to solve In modern speech we
say this means that the dream is a seties of images, "which
are apparently conti adictory and nonsensical, but anse in
reality from psychologic material which yields a clear

Why are di earns symbolic

1? Every"why
"in psychology
is divided into two separate questions first, for what
purpose are di earns symbolic? We will answer this
question only to abandon it at once ^Dreams are symbolic
in order that they can not be understood; in order that
the wish, which is the source of the dream, may remain
unknown. The question why this is so and not otherwise, leads us out into the far-reaching
experiences and trains
of thought of the Freudian psychology.
Here the second question interests us, viz., How is it
that dreams are symbolic? That is to say, from where
does this capacity for symbolic representation come, of
which we, in our conscious daily life, can discover apparently
no tiaces?
Let us examine this more closely. Can we really discover
nothing symbolic m our every-day thought?

The material with which we think is language and

a thing which has been used from time

speech concept,
immemorial as something external, a bridge for thought,
and which has a single purpose that of communication.
As long as we think directedly, we think for others and
speak to others 5

Thus language is orginally and essentially nothing but

a system of signs or symbols, which denote real occurrences,
or their echo in the human soul.

Any system of philosophy, no mattei how abstract,

represents in means and purpose nothing moie than an
extremely cleveily developed combination of original
.natuie sounds 8 Hence arises the desire of a Schopenhauer
or a Nietzsche foi recognition and undei standing,
and the despair and bitterness of their loneliness One
might expect, perhaps, that a man full of genius could
pasture in the greatness of his own thoughts, and renounce
the cheap approbation of the crowd which he
despises ; ^yet
he succumbs to the more powerful impulse
of the herd instinct His searching and his finding, his
call, belong to the herd.

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