A Dangerous Method

Well – we’ve all had enough time to see A Dangerous Method–if you haven’t seen it by now you’ll have to wait for the DVD release. So here’s what I thing Carl Jung would have got out of his horses dream had he had the opportunity to work on it with a Dreamreading practitioner 🙂 (this smiley face indicates that I have some modesty left).

The horse being raised up to a great height in a strap harness would be a depiction of Jung’s rapid rise to the great heights of fame and status during his first 7 years at the Burgholzli. A lofty position but very ungrounded and unsustainable, since both he and his wife were starting to hate it there (they actually lived in an apartment there) both socially and professionally.

The breaking of the straps and the fall would be a depiction of the social crisis that he suffered as he simultaneously realized a number of things–he did not need to work there since his wife was rich, he was not the primary provider (she was), and he was having strong urges to have an affair (or may have already started) with a patient no less.

The galloping horses would be a depiction of the frightening notion of the freedom he would now have. Emma’s wealth and support meant he could run in any direction he wanted. He could now have a private practice and do the work he wanted to do. He could also have affairs…or could he? would Emma tolerate it? Dangerous urges that could causes serious accidents…

So his dreammaker sent him a driving dream; but since this was the year 1906, it did not involve cars but horses, riders and carriages. The dream was essentially an ego check dream, telling him he had better learn how to slow down before he crashed. It showed him three ways of slowing down–the first one didn’t work, the second one worked slightly but not completely, and the third one worked well, allowing him to relax and feel that the danger was over.

So–what were these ways? The first one is to drag a log behind you. This I think would be a depiction of putting a burden of guilt on yourself that you have to drag around–this does work for some people but it didn’t work for him, in fact the dream said that it would only make the situation more dangerous.

The next one is better–a horse with a rider. This would mean that you are learning to communicate with your own horse nature, working with it and guiding it. An ego rider in tandem with strong unconscious urges. This started to work but the dreamer still felt he could get crashed into by the log-dragging horse.

But then, something even better, a horse pulling a carriage appears. I think this would mean that the the horses energy has now been put in service of not just the single ego, but a collective effort that is serving many people; ie: Jung starting to use his remarkable energy and talent to serve others–his patients, students and family. It is work, he is harnessed to a job, but he needs this to bring his new life situation back into control.

That’s what I think anyway…

As for Sigmund and his log is a penis theory– I would say to him: “Yes, of course there is a sexual urge in the dream but its in the stallion not the log”.

© Christopher Sowton

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