Part 4, "Building a Bridge of Dreams & Crossing it to the Other Side"
The "Other Side" is known by different names in different spiritual traditions such as "Sitra Achra" in Kabbalah and "Pleroma" in Gnosticism. But always it is the same uncommon state of being in which one experiences a direct relationship and (importantly) dialogue with the Others (Jung calls them "Archetypes") who inhabit the dark underside of mundane consciousness.
God is the inhabitants who stand upon that other shore, waiting for us to liberate them from their imprisonment there. And I use the plural "inhabitants" to describe the singular God not by mistake, but intentionally. Because "God," as the Old Testament repeatedly tells us, is not the only God, but the "God of gods." For example, in the Psalms, as elsewhere, we read:
That is: out of the pluralistic Elohim's encounter with human consciousness in the person of Moses, it realizes its own Singularity and is returned to wholeness. (This is the nature of Tikkun, of "Repairing the Face of God," which each of us, like Moses, is called to perform.)
Moses crossed to the "Other Side," where he encountered the Elohim and returned them to Wholeness, by going to "the far side of the wilderness" as the Bible calls it (Ex. 3:1), a metaphor for that plane of consciousness wherein the Numinousum dwell, a "place" called Atziluth in Kabbalah. There, he encounters God in the burning bush and acts as a "mirror" in the Elohim finally see that they are really ONE, and can proclaim in a single voice, "I Am."
Thus, out of their encounter on the "Other Side," both God and man prosper: God in the sense that He is returned to his pre-creational condition of wholeness, and man in the sense that he is given dominion and wisdom and the capacity for effecting divine healing and redemption: "I have seen the miserable state of my people," the Elohim-Become-Yahweh says to Moses, "I am well aware of their sufferings . . . I mean to deliver them [from their bondage to suffering] . . . and I send you to bring my people out of Egypt." (Ex. 3:7-12)
Jung, like Moses, also went to the "far side of the wilderness" where he was given the same commission. As Kirsch has said, "I knew the greatness of Jung when I first . . . realized that [he] 'had been there.' By that I mean he had entered the divine realm and had received uncommon knowledge from God, Himself." ("Reflections at Age Eighty-Four," Modern Jew in Search of a Soul, p. 151) Kirsch, too, as we have seen in another of these lectures, had a similar experience when, at the age of 13 (his Bar Mitzvah) he heard a voice clearly tell him, "You shall become like Abraham and Moses and found a new people" (ibid, p. 149). The "new people" Kirsch was called upon to "found" were the inheritors of the "uncommon knowledge" he received from Jung and transmitted to others in a direct line of succession from their Source. That Wisdom, in German, is called the "Ausenandersetzung."
"The self is a quantity that is supra ordinate to the conscious ego. It embraces not only the conscious but also the unconscious psyche, and is therefore, so to speak, a personality we also are." -- C. G. Jung ("Two Essays on Analytical Psychology," Collected Works, Volume 7, par. 274)
At the outset, it must be understood that by the "Self" Jung does not mean the personal ego, but the Transpersonal Archetype of God, the indwelling imago dei from which the Ego is "born" through a process of Psychic Mitosis in the womb. It is this prenatal birthing of the Ego from the Self to which the Biblical Prophet refers when he declares:
"Yahweh called me before I was born, from my mother's womb he pronounced my name" (Isaiah 49:1).
Consequently, Jung's concept of the "Self" is far closer to that of Eastern Religions, such as Hinduism, for example, than to that of modern psychology.
In several earlier essays I refer to the in-vitro process of Psychic Mitosis by which the Ego is "extruded," so to speak, from the Self.(For example, see "Evolution of the Ego", as well as the entire Donmeh series titled, "The Ego Lectures.") Our main point there is that the post-partum Ego separates from the Self in order to accommodate its interaction with, and to understand the nature of, the phenomenological world and its inhabitants. In the womb there is, to use Buber's term, an "I/Thou" relationship between Ego and Self which is replaced with an "I/That-Other" relationship in the tangible world. Hence, the postnatal Ego loses its connection to the Self, believing itself to be equal to, if not greater than, the intra psychic organ that gave it birth.
"God speaks in one way and then in another. But no one notices. He speaks by dreams and visions that come in the night." (Job 33:14-18)
Jung's "method" (if it can be called such) for re-establishing the connection between the Ego and the Self, like that of Kabbalah, is based, in large part at least, through its uncontaminated revelation in the dream. In the words of the Psalmist, "In the night my inmost Self instructs me" (Psalms 16:7). And the Zohar states:
"There are levels upon levels within the mystery of a dream, all within the mystery of Wisdom. Now come and see: Dream is one level, vision is one level, prophecy is one level. All are levels with-in levels, one above the other." (Zohar 1:183a-b)
And elsewhere, the Zohar again states:
"For the Lord God is unknowable. No one has ever been able to identify Him. How, then, can you say: 'Her husband is known at the gates'? (Song of Songs) Her husband is the Blessed Holy One! Indeed, He is known at the 'gates.' He is known and grasped to the degree that one opens the 'gates' of 'imagination'! The capacity to connect with the Spirit of Wisdom, to imagine in one's heart-mind -- that is how God becomes known." (Zohar 1:103a-b)
It is upon this Kabbalistic premise that my series of lectures, "Giving a Voice to God," is based. But the "imagination" of the conscious "heart-mind" is only an extension (and somewhat contaminated at that) of the unconscious dream. Thus, the "dream", according to Kabbalah (and Jung as well), is an authentic part of revelation and prophecy, of the on-going communication between the Self and its offspring, the Ego.
However, the popular notion of dreams is that they are a kind of psychic trash-bin for the events of the preceding day -- or, according to Freud, at best a movie screen on which to play out our repressed and unfulfilled wishes. On the other hand, Jung, as with the ancient Kabbalists, concluded:
"[The dream is] a little hidden door in the inner-most and most secret recesses of the psyche, opening into that cosmic night that was psyche long before there was any ego consciousness, and will remain psyche no matter how far our ego-consciousness may extend." ("Civilization in Transition," Collected Works Vol. 10, pars. 304f.)
While elsewhere, and even more to our point, he states, "The voice of God can still be heard [through dreams] if you are only humble enough [to listen]." In this regard, the Jungian theologian, Rev. John Sanford, made a study of the Old and New Testaments in which he found some seventy passages in total referring to dreams and visions such as:
"Although God turned away His face from Israel, yet He spoke in dreams to individuals." (Tr. Hag. 5b)
Many rabbis taught that nothing takes place on earth without it first being communicated to man in a dream, and in this regard, the Talmud describes a Ba'al HaChalom ("Master of the Dream") who is in charge of nightly visions. It was this Baal HaChalom whom they consulted to resolve disputes and even solve difficult legal problems (Talmud: Men. 67a). For example, Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg is said to have revealed in the dream of a student he had never met the correct meaning of a difficult Talmudic passage (Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, page 594); Rashi, also in a dream, disclosed to his grandson, Samuel, the correct pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton, YHVH (ibid); and a 13th century Jewish scholar, Jacob HaLevi of Marvege, composed a volume of rabbinic response that he claimed had been handed down to him in dreams (ibid, p. 594).
Consequently, it is not surprising that the Talmud is heavily given over to discussions of dream interpretation (see, for example, Tr. Berachoth), and the predictive nature of dreams was so widely accepted there that actual rules were devised for stimulating dream recall among people who had difficulty remembering their own in the morning. (Midrash Talpioth) I myself -- having been "spiritually fecundated" in the ways of the Ba'al HaChalom by my mentor, James Kirsch, who was "spiritually fecundated" by his mentor, C. G. Jung -- call Him my Chaver Kadosh ("Holy Friend") from whom I receive whatever little authority I have to teach, and of whom I can say, as did Jung to Kirsch and Kirsch to me and I to you: "I bless Yahweh who is my counselor, and in the night my inmost Self instructs me." (Psalms 16:7)