"Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?" 

With these words, Carl Jung opens The Red Book, quoting from chapter 53 of the prophet Isaiah. Isaiah describes this “who” as a tender plant that grows out of the dry ground, without beauty that would make us desire him.

Carl describes what is despised and rejected in us, as Christ was despised and rejected; then continues to quote Isaiah and then John, speaking of the birth of the child, the savior, the Word made flesh. He finishes this opening section with Isaiah’s celebration of the wilderness, the solitary place, the desert rejoicing with blossom and flowing water. 

In this nutshell, Carl has painted for us the arc of the journey he is about to take us on.

And so the journey begins. Carl has learned that not only is there a spirit of the times but also a spirit of the depths, a spirit he long resisted. The spirit of the depths forces him to speak what it has revealed to him of his own nature and the nature of the spirit of the times, which is the way he used to think, the way we all think that is rooted in the time in which we are living. The spirit of the depths compels him to write in a way that is contrary to what the spirit of the times would have him say, in contrast to what he has previously written. If he does not speak this, he is robbed of joy and life.

The spirit of the depths, which is from time immemorial, has greater power than the spirit of the times. It subjugates his pride, takes away his devotion to the ideals of the time, his belief in science and his pleasure in ordering and explaining things. It robs him of his knowledge and understanding, giving it to that which is only in service to the depths, the melting together of sense and nonsense to produce the supreme meaning which is "the path, the way and the bridge of what is to come."  

The spirit of the depths explains to Carl the supreme meaning: the supreme meaning being the God who is yet to come. It is "the beginning and the end, the bridge of going across and the fulfillment; an image and a force in one." It is the image of God and is real and casts a shadow, for what can be real and related to the body and not cast a shadow? The shadow of the supreme meaning is nonsense. The supreme meaning is as spacious as the starry heaven and as small as the cell of a living body. 

Carl understands that the arrogance of the spirit of the times wanted him to accept the greatness of the supreme meaning, but not its smallness, not what is unheroic, ridiculous and revolting. It tempted Carl, saying that the supreme meaning, the melting together of opposites, is just about him. The spirit of the depths tells Carl that he is an image of the unending world with the last mysteries of becoming and passing away living within him.

Carl battles between believing the spirit of the depths and believing the spirit of the times. His humanity, which lives in the spirit of the times, reproaches him, accusing the depths of demanding terrible sacrifice. The spirit of the depths speaks of monasteries and the thousands who have heeded the call to go into the desert. It redefines sacrifice as the foundation of what is to come, telling Carl that he should carry the monastery within himself, that the power of the call of the desert in him is so strong that it will break all of his attachments to the world.

"Truly, I prepare you for solitude," says the spirit of the depths.

These words silence Carl’s humanity and he experiences mercy. He is given enough belief, hope and daring to cease resisting the spirit of the depths. He asks for a visible sign that the spirit of the depths is not just within him but is also ruling the depths of world affairs. He is given visions and dreams that presage the coming of the First World War, and are also about his own internal war.

The first is a repeating vision he had in October of 1913 of a flood spreading from northern Europe to the Alps and Russia, countless dead, a sea of blood over the northern lands and a voice saying, "Look at it, it is completely real, and it will come to pass. You cannot doubt this." 

In a dream that recurred three times in June and July of 1914, Carl is in a foreign land and must return to his homeland quickly. When he gets there, it is midsummer, yet a terrible cold has fallen from space turning everything alive into ice. There stands a tree with no fruit, but with leaves that through the frost have turned into sweet grapes, filled with healing juice. He picks some of the grapes and gives them to the throng of people waiting.

All this came to pass. Carl was in Scotland when the great war broke out in Europe. He took the fastest boat home and encountered all that his dream had shown him. "I found my barren tree whose leaves the frost had transformed into remedy. And I plucked the ripe fruit and gave it to you…"

This book is the fruit Carl gives to us. It is not teaching or instruction. It is a chronicle of his journey, and his journey is not ours. Each of us has a unique path. Carl warns us not to live by example, saying that the only way is our own way, to live our own lives. We are our own fertile ground, and like a plant, also grow. He tells us the signposts have fallen and the trails ahead are not blazed. 

As this first chapter ends, Carl beseeches us to seek our own way, the way that leads to mutual love. He implores us to be patient with how crippled the world is and not to be overly impressed with its great beauty.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   * 

When I first started reading The Red Book and thinking about writing about Carl’s work, I did not understand the joke. I thought, I am going to be going against Carl – I cannot do that! This is supposed to be Carl and Me, not Me and Carl. What I came to understand is that this exploration of The Red Book is for my own learning.

Carl wants us to disagree with him. He plays on himself by being the fool, the fool that, indeed, we all are. But in disagreeing with him, we have to agree that we are the fools. We have to agree that we behave exactly the way he behaves in The Red Book in our own way when we presume to believe that we know everything. 

When Carl says, “The God is where you are not,” he means that everything we think we are, we are not. We believe that where we are is where God is, but this is where we are not. God is not where we are because where we are is not who we are. 

Perhaps Carl plays this in a humorous way because it is difficult for any of us to face. 

Carl’s writing is difficult to understand. There are many scholars who have not done inner work at this level and so do not understand what Carl is talking about. 

We begin with Primus, the first of the three books of The Red Book and which is really a roadmap of Carl’s journey in the other two books. His journey relates directly to the stages of Archetypal Dreamwork; we will explore the book in this context as well as in the context of my and others’ experiences of the depths as encountered in dreams. Bringing our experience in our own inner work, our own dream work, as a question to The Red Book is an important part of the process.

Primus is the primary understanding; Secondus, which is much longer, relates back to Primus. When we explore Secondus, we will see how Primus creates a context for the second book.


Carl starts challenging us right from the beginning. He says, 

If I speak in the spirit of this time, I must say: no one and nothing can justify what I must proclaim to you. (p. 229)

What is the spirit of the times? What is the spirit of the depths?

Throughout the book, Carl works with these two distinct realities. The spirit of the times is the life we are currently living, our current incarnational reality. It is our outer life – all of it. It includes our traumas, the ways we have lived and died and have been reborn again.

The other reality is the spirit of the depths, the Narnia of CS Lewis’ books about Narnia, such as The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

The journey requires us to encounter the spirit of the depths; it is a journey to find the girl, the sacred soul. In Western mythology, this is Persephone’s journey, her descent into Hades.

When we look through the eyes of the spirit of the times, we look at our lives in relationship to this incarnation only. All of the depths of our being that we do not consciously remember and feel end up landing in this life, in the spirit of the times, and they do not make sense to us. We just try to order what we do not understand into a life that makes no sense. Our society, our culture, our music, our art are all default circumstances that really have nothing to do with our souls. 

This is why Carl, in his book, plays the fool who believes he knows everything about himself. The truth is, we are all lost in our lives. But we have collective agreements: we agree that the Yankees are the best team or the worst team; we agree that wind power is good or bad. We all agree on things; then in twenty years, all that we agree on may be completely different. What we believe today is just another petty thing that changes to another petty thing. 

But the spirit of the depths is a knowingness that is really a hidden, gnostic knowledge. It is this knowledge that Carl unfurls for us. Not by telling us, however. We must go inside and find it ourselves. 

This is difficult because we always look for knowledge outside ourselves. This knowledge, this gnostic knowing, is inside each and every one of us, but only if we are willing to be where we are not; only if we are willing to look into the fool and look past what we think is true.

Otherwise, we all agree, and we are all wrong. 

This is why Carl says,

I have learned that in addition to the spirit of this time there is still another spirit at work. Namely that which rules the depths of everything contemporary. The spirit of this time would like to hear of use and value. I also thought this way and my humanity still thinks this way. (p. 299)

The spirit of the times, the spirit of this life individually and collectively, would like to use the aeonic reality of the spirit of the depths for our own purposes of this moment. But the spirit of the depths does not care about this moment – it does not care about the stock market going up or down, whether we lose our house or get a new job. It does not care about anything, because in the spirit of the depths is the one moment, the moment of aeonic time that we are traveling in. But we want to use it now, to make our lives better.

Why is this an important point for those on the journey? Because the moment of our demise in which something terrible happened, perhaps in a past life, actually becomes the most important moment in our lives. Maybe we lost a loved one, maybe we lost our own life in a violent way. Maybe we have a moment of great failure. Whatever that moment is, we will remember the worst moment as the moment. In reality, it is just a moment when something terrible happened. If we died, we are born again and we move forward. 

But we get stuck in the moment of what happened because it was the worst moment for us. The spirit of the times is part of the place where we believe the thing that happened was completely devastating. But in the larger view, perhaps in the view of the spirit of the depths, in which we have many lifetimes, it was just a bad time, a blip. But we remember the blip, the bad moment, because it is the moment we jump away from what we know. In that moment, pathology wins and we come back in our next life dumber than we were before. 

We are supposed to be evolving, but we are actually devolving if we do not come back from trauma, from the bad moment. We may be getting smarter – we have things like democracy and more civil rights that make things much better – but if we do not come back from what we knew, we actually get worse. Things do not fix themselves life after life. That is why we cannot use the spirit of the depths; we are not awake enough to use it.

For Carl, the spirit of the depths took away all that he believed in – science, explanations, order, ideals. The complete and utter devastation of what is called normal. It is normal to be a scientist, as Carl was a scientist. Science makes the world better: better cars, thicker insulation, better clothes, better food.  

But Carl reports that the spirit of the depths robs him of the “joy” of explanation and order. How many of us arrive at a place where we feel that everything that comes out of our mouths that is not of our souls makes us feel like we just pooped out of our mouths? We find that we cannot speak anymore, unless we are talking from our relationship with the Divine. We find we cannot listen to others who do not speak from those depths. Speaking with the “joy” of explaining and ordering is not speaking from the depths.

Carl begins by reporting that he has lost that “joy.” He has lost his devotion to the ideals of the times, too – which means not being devoted to being for the president or against the president, not being devoted to what is trendy to our times.

Instead, the spirit of the depths brings Carl to alchemy, the melting of sense and nonsense. The complete subservience of the conscious to the unconscious means that Carl will die and that we all will die – the dying of our ego to our souls. Dying to self.

On the very first page, Carl tells us about how he believed the archetypal divine male, the Animus, was the devil and that true joy was pathology – just as he writes about in more depth in Secondus. He is telling us the answer before we have even gone through it with him, before we have read it. 

Of course, most people are going to come to this first page and believe that Carl is psychotic. He really puts a spear in the ground here, staking the landscape. If we cannot get past these opening words, then we will not understand what he is talking about throughout the rest of the book. He is not leading up to something in this moment, not the way he leads up to it in Secondus. Here, he tells us point blank that we are all full of shit and that he gave it up through this process.

In his journey into the spirit of the depths, Carl lost his entire sense of spirit and of who he was – which was a lot to give up because he was well loved and respected by the spirit of his time. It is a lot to give up when everyone is telling you how great you are. When no one knows you, then giving it up is not as big a deal.

I did not have anything to give up because I was not special. I know people who are special – who are world-class artists and musicians – who do this work and have a lot to give up. Their public may not understand. 

Carl gave it up on one level, but he did hide the book. So, on one level he kept the illusion going. When he was an old man, he was asked about his work. His response was, “The unconscious is unconscious.” Compare this to what he says here in The Red Book, which he worked on his entire life.

If he had uttered what he wrote in The Red Book, people probably would have been very threatened. His students may have said, “I spent 20 years studying you, and now you tell me I have to give it up?!?”

But the supreme meaning is the path, the way and the bridge to what is to come. That is the God yet to come. It is not the coming God himself but his image that appears in the supreme meaning. God is an image and those who worship him must worship the image of the supreme meaning. The Supreme meaning is not a meaning and not an absurdity, it is image and force in one, magnificence and force together. (pp. 229-230)

What does he mean when he says that the supreme meaning is not meaning, but a path? He says this because our minds want to put meaning to meaning to have meaning. It is an intellectual thing. We want to say, “I understand because I can imagine what God is.”

Carl says no to this. It is magnificence and force. Force is feeling, nothing less than a feeling. It can be pain or fear, but in the end it is becomes love. This is how we learn the true experience of magnificence. We can behold whatever God is from a place that is not of meaning or ideas but of love. 

And the only part that can behold that love is the girl soul. Carl explores the girl in more depth in Secondus.

The supreme meaning is the beginning of the end. It is the bridge of going across and fulfillment.

The other Gods died of their temporality yet the supreme meaning never dies, it turns into meaning and then into absurdity, and out of the fire and blood of their collision, the supreme meaning rises up rejuvenated anew.

The image of God has a shadow. The supreme meaning is real and casts a shadow. For what can be actual and corporal and have no shadow? (p. 230)

Here, Carl is speaking of the treatise before he actually enters into the experience. The fire and blood, which he will talk about later, is the pain and the descent of this work. When we do the work, then the true meaning will rise up in us like kundalini. It is absurd because we have destroyed the supreme meaning with our minds. 

But why does Carl use shadow here? As soon as we observe supreme meaning, we are in the shadow because we are not there. We are outside of the supreme meaning, and shadow is created by being outside the feeling. The actual and corporeal is in the body, but what can be in the body and have no shadow? Really, the question is this – What can be in this life and not be separated from the spirit of the depths? It is not possible. 

Therefore, it is not possible. Everyone is born with shadow, and we are born to face into the demons of that shadow. Those who have descended in their dreams into the spirit of the depths have found, surprisingly, that facing this does bring us to past lives. It is that deep.

But then, Carl even attacks the word shadow:

The shadow is nonsense. It lacks force and has no continued existence through itself. But nonsense is the inseparable and underlying brother of supreme meaning. (p. 230)

Even though shadow, what I call pathology, is absurd, we still cannot separate it from supreme meaning, which is our human condition. This is why in Stage One dreaming, we are challenged about everything we believe ourselves to be. No matter how bad or even good we are, we are going to be challenged if who we are is in the way of the true self. 

The spirit of this time in me wanted to recognize the greatness and extent of the supreme meaning, but not its littleness. The spirit of the depths, however, conquered this arrogance, and I had to swallow the small as a means of healing the immortal in me. (p. 230)

This is a really hard piece. It is the paradox we see all the way through The Red Book. The spirit of the time in Carl, meaning his little ego, wanted him to recognize the greatness in all of us of the supreme meaning. Sounds like a great thing, but it is not. For the supreme meaning is also little.

Why must we understand the supreme meaning in its littleness? We must feel our own failings to feel the truth of the supreme meaning. This is why he calls it arrogance. 

For example, my wife Christa and I went to Chartres cathedral in France. It has wonderful stained glass windows, frescoes – esoteric meaning everywhere. When we looked at this and felt, “Oh, this is so great, so big…,” we were in the meaning of the spirit of the times. There are those who spend weeks there, pouring over all the things. Christa and I spent very little time in the cathedral because what we were looking for was not there. What we were looking for, we discovered was in the crypt of the church, underneath the main cathedral. The crypt was only open once a week and we happened to be there on the day it was open. It was there that we found the image of the girl, Mary Magdalene, the one loved by Jesus, in a side vault quickly passed by our guide. 

It is the ego that wants everything to be big. It says, Oh, let’s look at all of this wonderful iconic imagery, all this esoteric meaning. Let’s read up on all of this and enjoy. Then, let’s go home and be exactly who we were when we left. This is hard because we believe that if we identify the meaning of things, we will be better. We so identify with this. But I believe we do not get better – if we are lousy lovers before, then we will still be lousy lovers afterward. 

This is the arrogance of addressing meaning in a positive way – and how it is an anathema to this way of working with dreams. What we see is not what is really there. The Chartres trip, for me, was a perfect example of this. Here it is – a big monstrosity of a church on top of an image of the girl, imprisoned in the tomb, in darkness, hidden and ignored while everyone runs around upstairs, trilling over all of the wonderful images. Such hypocrisy.

It was incredibly painful – for that which really caries the truth of the supreme meaning is not here. Where is the crypt if not in our own hearts? We do not have to go to Chartres to find God. He is in each and every one of us, if we have the courage to find Him. 

Carl describes the supreme meaning not just as large, but as small, narrow, banal. This is how I would describe the crypt underneath Chartres: ignored, irrelevant. 

And yet, it carried the truth, just as our own egos do. The ego wants to pretend it can know God, when, really, the girl, the soul girl which can know God, actually exists in each of us. According to Carl and according to this work, we can become the divine soul that we are – not by looking at divine images, by praying to gods or goddesses, but by letting that part of us come forth. 

How do we even talk about this? Carl is trying to talk about something that is very difficult to imagine – that we all possess the end of the journey. We keep looking for it out there, but it is always inside. This is very difficult because all we are doing is projecting God. It is the projection of God that Carl calls great shadow, because God is not outside. It is in every one of us – you, me, everyone. We all carry that spark that is the soul girl. But we are so rocked with fear, pain, illusion, desires and feelings of traumas that most of us cannot even begin to imagine that we count.

But we can work through trauma. If we work through our trauma, even past life trauma, and face a violent death – if we do not separate from our soul in that moment, then we do not suffer trauma. When Jesus said, “Why have you forsaken me?” he was in trauma. But then, in the next sentence, he had a revelation, for he said, “Forgive them, they know not what they do.” In that moment, he was back in the love and he understood the context of his life as beyond his life, even beyond his love with Mary Magdalene.

The spirit of this time whispered to me: “This supreme meaning, this image of God, this melting together of the hot and the cold, that is you and only you.” (p. 230)

Carl was forced to recognize that the everyday belongs to the image of the Godhead. Our eternity has meaning through the revelation of our own conscious awareness. Waking up.

What the soul knows in that moment is everything it needs to know, everything it needs to understand its place in the universe. We might even already say that we know what it means that every day belongs to the image of the Godhead, but this is something that only the girl soul in us can know. 

We cannot know what Carl is saying here without our soul. We can wake up and recognize God, we can wake up and pray, we can wake up and meditate, but we are not going to get it.

Carl runs from this, to the cold and distant stars, but Carl is really running from himself. When we pray to God, we are actually running from ourselves. This is an anathema to many. No one is going to want to believe this – in terms of Christendom and religiosity since Jesus, this is heresy. Is Carl saying that we do not pray to God, that we do not believe the priests?

Carl is not really saying that. He is saying something else that would free us from the shackles of this world. The church does not want us free from the world. It wants us to part of the world. If this is all about us, then it is not about the church or the synagogue or the monastery. It is not about any of that. 

This is an intense point – that the ultimate spiritual reality is antithetical to all religion and all forms of ritual. 

I remember working with a client who is Jewish, like me. He had dreams in which the Animus came to him selling bacon. Of course, the client does not eat bacon, being Jewish. But the Animus insisted that he eat the bacon. When we worked with this dream, the client fought with me, saying that since I hated my father, I denied the Jews and I denied the Jew in me. He said, “Of course you are going to manipulate this dream to believe that it is against being Jewish because you do not like Jews.” 

In a way, he was right. I do not “like” Jews or Christians or anyone who believes in something outside of themselves, outside of what their dreams are showing them. For me, the dreams come first. If in our dreams, we are shown that we do find our spirituality in religion, then I follow the dream. In that particular session with my client, we did not get that far because I had offended his Jewishness. 

But, we are all going to be offended by something that the dream is going to say about what we have been that is not good for us. We may respond, But, what do you mean? You are telling me that the one thing that I think is worthy in my life is not good?

The dreams are not saying that the thing is not good, not exactly. The dreams say, Just do not make such a big deal out of it. We want to have things to tell God when we get to heaven – I did this and I did that. 

Carl says to drink the bitter drink. The bitter drink is all the things we hold sacred that are not really worth anything.

But the spirit of the depths spoke to me: “You are an image of an unending world all the last mysteries of becoming and passing away live in you. If you do not possess all this, how could you know?” (p. 230)

Who is the “you” here? You is you. It is me. It is all of us. It is all there inside of each of us. Is this arrogance? Is Carl insane to have people believe that we are the answer for the world? Not that Jesus is answer – but that Jesus shows what all of us, individually, can be. 

What a moment. We seek to know the thing we already potentially are. 

Therefore, if we think we could know, then we must really be the thing. But we really just want to know the thing. Many of us have dreams that show us that we run from being acknowledged or loved. If we accept the love and the acknowledgment, then we have to be a player and we can no longer blame anybody. 

If we accept the love, accept that we are the thing, then we must take responsibility. But what taking responsibility means is really beyond anything we feel we can do in the moment. 

We are so small in our understanding of what we are capable of.

But the spirit of the depths spoke to me and said: “To understand a thing is a bridge and possibility of returning to the path. But to explain a matter is arbitrary and sometimes even murder. Have you counted the murderers among the scholars? (p. 230)

What the spirit of the depths teaches Carl in this moment is very deep. It is a very hard thing, for the minute we talk about the understanding, we undo it. It is a conundrum. 

For me, I just wanted to do this work one-on-one because then it was in the sacred moment, feeding the one person who was having the experience. We could speak about it because the person was having an experience about it.

But when we talk about this work in the world where there is no immediate experience, it becomes all in the mind. It is a problem we work with, but it is a deep problem.

But the spirit of this time stepped up to me and laid before me huge volumes containing all my knowledge. Their pages were made of ore, and a steel stylus had engraved great inexorable words in them, and he pointed these inexorable words and spoke to me, and said, “What you speak, that is madness.”

After this, however, my humanity approached me and said, “What solitude, what coldness of desolation you lay upon me when you speak such! Reflect on the destruction of being and the streams of blood from the terrible sacrifice that the depth demands.

But the spirit of the depths said, “No one can or should halt sacrifice. (p.230)

The sacrifice is the demise of our ego. We want to make things good; we want to make people happy. 

The hardest thing for a new analyst of this work to do is to deliver the message of the dream, because the message is going to make the client unhappy. 

Everything in the world is really designed to teach us that dark things are dark and good things are good. When we speak about holy things, we are supposed to speak about only nice things.

Carl is saying no. Carl is telling us to speak the truth of the gore, of trauma, of what we have suffered, of our own pain. How many of us really want to go there? Most of us want to celebrate, not destroy. Destruction is bad, right? 

This work is antithetical to the world. The sacrifice Carl speaks of here is the sacrifice of the self. He speaks of this later, in the dying of the hero.

It is next that Carl introduces the desert. The spirit of the times tells him that he carries the desert within, wanting to prepare him for solitude.

In the over forty years I have done this work, the biggest complaint I get is this: Are you telling me there is no room for love, for relationship, for fun? I like fun, I like fun things. If I could afford it, I would buy the hottest car I could drive. 

No one is asking anyone to go into the desert. I made the mistake, when I was young, of trying to find the desert in the world. I hitchhiked all over the world, looking for God in the most remote places. I remember visiting the Golden Temple in India, with all of its scholars, all of its ancient and enormous books. A man there, a Sikh, a teacher and a scholar of the place, asked me why I was there. I responded, “I am looking for God.” He laughed! Then he said, “You come here for God?” There I was, in a temple made of gold, with incredible books and scholars and knowledge, and he just laughed.

It hit me in that moment that I had gone all that way for nothing. I did not understand that what I was looking for could be me. I had no idea. But I knew that I could not find it in the world. 

The spirit of the times says that the desert calls us and draws us back. Preparing for solitude does not mean we will be alone; it does not mean that we cannot have relationship. It means that we must go inside. 

Solo. But in the world of the Divine, we are not solo. There are many things inside of us. A whole army of support, in fact. But even when we know this, we may believe that if we go to the desert, to solitude, we will no longer care about the world. 

It is true, for maybe everything we have created is a lie. At some level, we may even know this. We may know that if we go to the desert, we are gambling everything we have created in ourselves. It is amazing what we really know, if we allow ourselves to know it, even though most of us will say we are not going. 

Those who say they are not going are right not to go. If we are not willing to gamble, not willing to give up what we will be asked to give up, then we should not even start the process. Once we get into it, once we begin the journey to the desert, it becomes hard not to keep going.

At this point, something in Carl breaks and he speaks about not having words, only images. 

So much of Carl’s book is about those images. So much of The Red Book is about Carl’s art. 

We love art in this work because when we try to explain our experiences, explanation cannot do it. But art can – visual art, music, writing of the dreams, of the experiences inside. They can cut right into the heart in a way that mere explanations cannot.

At this point, Carl tells of his famous visions before the war, and how he left his country. But then he says something very important; he says that the path he teaches is only his path, so he cannot teach us. He warns us not to live by his example.

The signposts have fallen, unblazed trails lie before us. Do not be greedy to gobble up the fruit of foreign fields. Do you not know that you yourselves are the fertile acre which bears everything that avails you?...

There is only one way and that is your way.

You seek the path? I warn you away from my own. It can also be a wrong way for you. (p. 231)

Carl says not to go to other lands to find God. We must look at our own work inside. We get discouraged with the religion of our place and time because we see the fallacy. Sometimes, we believe that it will be better somewhere else. Just like when I travelled to India to find something better. It was not there.

Carl says there is only one path, one way for each of us. What more specific path than our dreams, which are unique and crafted just for us?

Carl says there is only one path and that is our way, our one path. The one specific way of our selves is our dreams, for no one dreams our dreams. Just like snowflakes that Bentley saw, each unique, never two alike – it is the same with our dreams. Who can write something general for everyone? 

One person’s dream of an owl could be showing a demon, while in another person’s dream, the owl could be the savior. How do we know? 

There is no book that interprets dreams for everyone. There is no precedent for us. We can have observations, but we do not have definitive definitions. I have worked with dreams in this way for over forty years, so my experience can give context to the observations. But all of this is just a place to start. 

The only way is our way, as Carl says, and the only one that knows us in this way is our dreams. The challenge for every analyst working with dreams is to align with what the dream says, not about what the analyst may think he or she knows about the dream. The analyst must go beyond judgments about what is right and wrong, to have room for the variability of the soul’s journey. Even if it means taking someone through something that the analyst judges as terrible; something that was a violation in the analyst’s past does not make it a violation for the client. The analyst must not allow his or her fear or experiences to be a block for a client’s work.

We each have our unique ways in and back to our souls. We can stand with each other not because we agree on everything or even need to agree on everything, but because we have come through something that creates a common bond – the fact that we took the journey at all.



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With these words, Carl Jung opens The Red Book, citing from part 53 of the prophet Isaiah. Isaiah portrays this "who" as a delicate plant that becomes out of the dry ground, without excellence that would make us want him.

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For Carl, the soul of the profundities took away all that he put stock in – science, clarifications, arrange, standards. The total and articulate annihilation of what is called ordinary. It is ordinary to be a researcher, as Carl was a researcher. Science improves the world: better autos, thicker protection, better garments, better sustenance.

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It is valid, for possibly all that we have made is a lie. At some level, we may even know this. We may realize that on the off chance that we go to the abandon, we are betting all that we have made in ourselves. It is stunning what we truly know, whether we enable ourselves to know it, despite the fact that the greater part of us will state we are not going.

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Nobody is requesting that anybody go into the leave. I committed the error, when I was youthful, of attempting to discover the forsake on the planet. I caught a ride everywhere throughout the world, searching for God in the most remote spots. I went to the Golden Temple in India, with the greater part of its researchers, the greater part of its antiquated and tremendous books. A man there, a Sikh, an educator and a researcher of the place, asked me for what good reason I was there. I reacted, "I am searching for God." He snickered!

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