Psychology of a dream

Ernst Aeppli

(My note: This passage of the book is translated by me from the original Czech version, so there might be some mistakes. The page may not match the original either).

Big dreams, page 60

“In the rare case of big dreams, you may encounter psychic contents of extraordinary importance and highest impact. After such a short introductory part, which still follows up on the memories of the past day, almost everything that has a purely personal character gradually disappears from such dreams. The theme of the presence recedes into the background and the dream enters the world of the elementary experience of nature and spirit, reflected in a great dream experience.

The big dream speaks, as we have already pointed out, the language of human experience in general, expressed only in symbols: it takes place in timeless, powerful archetype images. There are only occasionally bridges and connections still appearing to the smaller elements close to consciousness, which relate to our personal, individual existence. Sometimes our selves participate in these great dreams. We then become participants in a great spectacle reminiscent of myths and fairy tales, and we have the impression that, apart from being present, it does not concern us in any way.

It’s an extraordinarily beautiful spectacle, resembling great works of art, but also scary, gloomy and chaotic. It takes place in the consuming glow of a huge sun, in a beautiful landscape, where we meet unknown people and creatures like people: but it can also take place in underworld spaces full of horrors. In these dreams we learn the forces that move human life. The animals speak in a human voice, the tree of life arches and blossoms into unprecedented beauty, unheard sea cruises are undertaken, the dangers of the arid desert are overcome – we do in them deeds that otherwise seem to us beyond our power.

We find ourselves in the turmoil of battle, in the lairs of crime, in the radiant spiritual worlds: death passes around us, and we recollect what has lasting value in life. Two examples can help those who don’t remember their own big dreams to get an idea of ​​them:

In one such dream, a man who had a dream came out of his dark house into a large vineyard:  On the bushes grew the most modern grapes, and he himself wore a robe from ancient times. A path led under the vineyard, and deep down lay the city. When the man wanted to go down the road, he saw a huge lion, the king of animals, standing on it. The man in the noble robe and this beautiful lion stared at each other for a very long time: they finally made a deal — such deals are in great dreams almost like God’s covenant — that the man would keep the vineyard for the time being, while the lion would keep the path on which he stands. – Let us note in brief that vineyards and wine symbolize spiritual fertility, while the lion symbolizes powerful instincts.”