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This Jungian Life

Jun 17, 2021

Jung’s earliest dream, at age three or four, preoccupied him all his life, “in an underground chamber, a giant phallus stood erect on a golden throne.” Majestic and luminous, it struck him with terror that intensified as his mother’s voice cried out in warning. Phallos, the central archetype of a man's psyche, was once worshipped as sacred. Its urgent, dynamic, and fertilizing power was split off with the rise of ascetic monotheism and banished to the unconscious. Misplaced and maligned, it surfaces as resentful passivity, fear of passion, confusion of values, and reluctance to take action. Phallos is neither reducible to physicality nor synonymous with the patriarchal structures that have alienated men from their vulnerabilities and locked entire cultures into rigid hierarchies. When properly understood, Phallos can revitalize a man’s spirit and set him in vigorous relationship to himself and others. When wounded, it palls his potential.

Here’s the dream we analyze:

“I’m in a taxi, on my way to an old friend’s wedding on the high street where I live. I had on a great suit which everybody loved, but I had forgotten my tie. I realized I didn’t have time to go back home, so I went into the back room of a thrift shop which only had a selection of boring ties. As I came out, the shop was filling up with wedding guests. Then I found myself in a different, very gloomy, very cluttered thrift shop with no windows or seemingly a door. In it was a blonde woman, who I asked about ties. She pointed to a corner, and I found a couple more boring ties. I picked them up and laid them on a circular, cluttered table to get a better look in the gloom. I then realized on the table was a larger pile of ties, and to my astonishment, they were ones I had once owned but must have given away to the shop years earlier, still lying there. I told the woman, but she just shrugged. I went through them and found my favorite, which was a dark background with white circles on it. It wasn’t perfect, but it would have to do.”


Learn to Analyze your own Dreams:


Memories, Dreams, and Reflections by C.G. Jung.

Iron John: A Book about Men by Robert Bly.

Under Saturn’s Shadow: The Wounding and Healing of Men by James Hollis.

Fear of the Feminine by Erich Neumann.

Phallos by Eugene Monick.

Castration and Male Rage by Eugene Monick.