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This Jungian Life

May 20, 2021

There is value in examining your values, the powerful emotional and cognitive attitudes that underlie large and small life choices. Although values are initially acquired through family and institutions, an essential task of adulthood is consciously embracing traditional or individual values.

Values are the wellspring of libido: they motivate action toward goals. Unless preferred values are in alignment with the underlying flow of energy, unconscious agendas may prevail. Our actions reveal our values, and dreams depict conflicts between conscious and unconsciously held values. The work of Shalom Schwartz, available in an online values assessment (see below), can help identify core values. When values are authentically aligned with goals, they allow libido to flow naturally toward action, and we feel at home with ourselves and right with the world.  

Here’s the Dream We Analyze:

“I am on my school oval, playing volleyball with my peers, though I am not a teenager anymore. I’m not very good at playing; I often miss the ball because the sun is in my eyes, or I unknowingly break a rule. Each time I fail, I expect everyone to criticize me (like they would have in the real world), but instead, they are quite friendly and understanding. Eventually, I get the hang of it and have fun. Suddenly I notice a huge cherry blossom tree that’s caught fire just behind the volleyball court. Despite the bark turning black like charcoal, the flowers remain vivid and beautiful and untarnished. I am struck with this beautiful sight against the cloudy white sky, and I reach for my phone to take a photo, but I cannot find it, so I simply sit and watch it with awe.”


Values assessment based on the work of Shalom Schwartz:

Schwartz, S.H. An Overview of the Schwartz Theory of Basic Values. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture, 2(1)1. 


Learn to Analyze your own Dreams: