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  • Dreaming About the Self as a House

    Carl Jung had the following dream when he was about to embark on a new path in his psychological work. The dream is of a type that is familiar to Jungian therapists, as it is a kind of dream that many people have, sometimes at key turning points in their lives.

    I’ll be interested to hear from people reading, to find out if any of them have had this kind of dream, and when it occurred in their lives.  Possibly you’ve had such a dream recently.

    “Before I discovered alchemy, I had a series of dreams which repeatedly dealt Dreaming About the Self as a Housewith the same theme.  Beside my house stood another, that is to say, another wing or annex, which was strange to me.  Each time I would wonder in my dream why I did not know this house, although it had apparently always been there.  

    “Finally, there came a dream in which I reached the other wing.  I discovered there a wonderful library, dating largely from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.  Large, fat folio volumes, bound in pigskin, stood along the walls.  Among them were a number of books embellished with copper engravings of a strange character, and illustrations containing curious symbols such as I had never seen before.  At the time I did not know to what they referred; only much later did I recognize them as alchemical symbols.  In the dream I was conscious only of the fascination exerted by them and by the entire library.  It was a collection of medieval incunabula and sixteenth-century prints.

    Dreaming About the Self as a House 2


    “The unknown wing of the house was a part of my personality, an aspect of myself; it represented something that belonged to me but of which I was not yet conscious….”


    “The Work” in Jung, C.G., Jaffe, Aniela, ed. and Winston, Richard & Clara., transs.,

    Memories, Dreams and Reflections (New York: Vintage Books, 1989), p. 202


    In a time of uncertainty and doubt in a life, perhaps a time of economic anxiety, such dreams frequently come to people.  Jung’s dream is a magnificent specimen and it illustrates how dreams can work to comment on, or as Jung says, to “compensate” the conscious position or attitude that we have in our lives at the time of the dream.
    Jung’s dream of a new wing on his house related to his discovery of alchemy, but the motif or theme of a new wing on our house, a door that suddenly appears and which leads into a new room — this is something that we find frequently in the dreams of people.
    I would like to ask everyone reading:
    What might be the “new wing in your house”, the unexplored part of your personality?
    Have you ever had a dream of a house, and a new wing or door suddenly appearing in your house?
    When did such a dream happen?  What was going on in your life at that time?  Was it at a time of major change in your life?
    I would welcome your input, comments and thoughts on these things.


    My very best wishes to each of you on your individual journeys to wholeness,

    Brian Collinson

    Website for Brian’s Oakville and Mississauga Practice: 


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    PHOTO CREDITS:  © Sorinus | ; © Jacus |


    © 2009 Brian Collinson 



    1. Georgette
      April 12, 2009 at 12:40 pm -


      My most recent dream on this theme was a week ago. From previous dreams over a lifetime, the passage to the rooms is secret. I try to tell people, such as my cousins, but they cannot see it. The passage extends from my paternal grandparent’s kitchen and there is an enormous building with many rooms and passages.

      Sad to say, the rooms are neglected and dusty. Sometimes they are under construction. In the most recent dream, the room had a bare concrete floor and a sawhorse, but a large window flooded the room with light.

      I am a middle-aged white woman exploring the usual issues of that transition.

      The very first time I had a dream on this theme, I was 8 or 9 years old. I’d visited the puppet museum in Rochester NY and went upstairs in a narrow, dusty passageway. I felt fear. When I got to the top, in front of me spread a majestic ballroom with ornate decorations in (I now know) the Art Deco Egyptian/Indian style. The ceiling was very high. I felt amazed.

      Thank you,

      PS: I very much enjoy your blog.

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