Author Topic: multitudes  (Read 5376 times)

Sealchan

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multitudes
« on: July 09, 2007, 04:13:59 PM »
multitudes

A dream with a large number of dream characters whether they are developed personalities or just seen or unseen masses suggest that the threshold of dream consciousness is such that the center of psychic power is dispersed and that no one character necessarily has the focus.  This reflects the "fact" that there is a multitude of personality centers within the psyche.

Maria

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Re: multitudes
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2007, 10:40:40 AM »
(Dear Sealchan,

And what happens (or why does it happen) when dreams with crowds have an emphasized "I versus the others" tone? Are you sure there is no difference between a dream-situation when the multitude is a sort of homogenic mass and when this multitude is further fragmented into smaller groups or individuals? And does it matter whether the dream-ego is a member of a crowd / group (whether or not as opposed to another crowd), or is a lonely hero?

Love,

Maria)
"Thou speak'st aright;
I am that merry wanderer of the night."

(Puck)

Sealchan

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Re: multitudes
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2007, 11:25:52 AM »
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And what happens (or why does it happen) when dreams with crowds have an emphasized "I versus the others" tone?

I guess I would consider that the dreamer is interacting with a psychic other that is somehow opposed to the dreamer.  But instead of it being a single shadow figure, for instance, it is a large group of less-specific individuals.  The unconscious or less conscious personalities are just as grown up out of a bed of multiple personality centers just as much as those inner personalities which are closer and more aligned to the conscious ego. 

At least this is the logic of the idea that I am defining here. 

I might need to clarify my meaning of multiple personality centers.  I will add something to that definition that I have thought of that might help here...

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Are you sure there is no difference between a dream-situation when the multitude is a sort of homogenic mass and when this multitude is further fragmented into smaller groups or individuals?

If the multitude is fragmented into different groups, I think my idea here could still apply but the layered order to the multitude would mean something about how those personality centers would be organized or constellated by the order of the entire psyche (the ego-Self axis perhaps).

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And does it matter whether the dream-ego is a member of a crowd / group (whether or not as opposed to another crowd), or is a lonely hero?

I'm not sure what would be indicated by one against many versus one of many.  It may suit the "dream weaver" that to express the relationship of ego to unconscious sometimes requires the consolidation of one side personality-wise and the diversification of the other side.  But I think that the ego is as much a coordination of many lesser personality centers as it is a unified, single personality.  That is the underlying assumption I make when I created this definition.

I also don't see any valuation of many versus one.  If one dreams that one is part of a group with a united cause then I might suggest that is a differentiated perspective of one's ego.  If one is alone against a horde from the unconscious I might suggest that that is a differentiated (multitude) view of the organization of some new, formerly unconscious content and that one has differentiated this by virtue of an integrated (single character) consciousness.  If one has a dream that one is joking with one's shadow and those are the only two characters in the dream, then perhaps this is an integrated relationship between these inner characters.

Certainly every difference makes a difference in a dream.  I think your questions or concerns about my definition suggest that the definition might seem restrictive in your experience.  If so, then it probably seems that way to others, so I appreciate the comments and questions.  I have responded to your questions with this in mind and have answered in a way that I hope makes my definition more palatable.

In writing a definition, I am risking the same mistake that I criticize dream dictionary writers of making...mistaking my subjective interpretation as an objective one.  And I probably am, at least at some level.  So any objections or concerns or questions are good here.  I don't want anyone thinking that these definitions are unarguable. 
« Last Edit: July 10, 2007, 11:49:19 AM by Sealchan »

Maria

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Re: multitudes
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2007, 06:26:38 AM »
(Dear Chris,

If I recall my dreams where there were crowds, I could divide them into certain themes, but most of these dreams have a strong emotional tone, that of catharsis or despair...

1, facing a hostile crowd:

(e.g.: a dream from my university years:
scene: a Greek amphitheatre
crowd: hostile, aggressive, wants to kill a woman
my group: the woman who killed my father, she is waiting for her judgement, and a vague male figure behind me.
situation: The crowd starts to shout and is becoming aggressive, they shout "kill her, kill her", and I think to myself "but this is madness". And then I say: "Get silent and sit down. Nobody is going to kill anybody here.". I am staring at the crowd, the crowd is staring back, it is a few minutes of great tension, but then they shut up and sit down. I feel heroic)

2, being outside a "grey" crowd - catharsis:

(another university dream:
scene: the street in front of my mother's house
crowd: classmates and folks from my highschool, gathering together to go to a reunion
my group: a former classmate (a guy), with a pram with a strange baby in it
situation:  I was getting ready to my highschool reunion. When I stepped out of our yard, I met one of my ex classmates, he was with a pram. my other classmates and other folks from my high school were at the other side of the road. I was not too interested in them. The guy grabbed my arm and said "could you please take care of her?". We were standing at the back of the pram, so all I could see from the child was the back of her head. and when I glanced at that head, I started to shiver, because somehow her head was deformed and way too big in comparison to her body. But when I went to to fore and looked in the eyes of this strange baby, I saw such empathy, wisdom and understanding in her eyes that took my breath away.)

3, being outside a "grey" crowd - despair:

(a dream a few weeks before I broke with my ex:
scene: a big shopping mall that is a swimming pool complex at the same time, all made of glass
crowd: the usual crowd to be seen at swimming pools, noisy, bathing
my group: T = my ex
situation: T's flat was at the back side of this swimming pool / shopping mall complex. There were many little pools in the flat, but there was no water in them, and everything was very dry, even the taps were not working. the apartment had big glass walls with a view on the bathing crowd. I was quite anxious and I wanted to bathe, but not with the crowd, but on my own, and then I wanted to drink some water at least. T did not understand why I need water, so I just walked down the stairs and out of the glass building into the snowfall, feeling very down.)
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I also don't see any valuation of many versus one.  If one dreams that one is part of a group with a united cause then I might suggest that is a differentiated perspective of one's ego.  If one is alone against a horde from the unconscious I might suggest that that is a differentiated (multitude) view of the organization of some new, formerly unconscious content and that one has differentiated this by virtue of an integrated (single character) consciousness.

It seems that in my personal experience, the presence or absence of an animus figure is quite decisive in the feeling tone of a dream in which I am confronted or just get in touch with a crowd. I wonder whether this is just a personal dynamics, or more...

Love,

Maria)
"Thou speak'st aright;
I am that merry wanderer of the night."

(Puck)

Kafiri

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Re: multitudes
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2007, 08:55:56 AM »
Quote from: Maria

(Dear Sealchan,

And what happens (or why does it happen) when dreams with crowds have an emphasized "I versus the others" tone?

Maria,
In a very important dream, I was going one direction, while the crowd exiting a huge arena of some sort was going in the opposite direction.  I was headed in, they were headed out. It is very clear to me that this "I/Me" versus the "crowd/multitude" was symbolic of my reltionship to the "collective," as Jung uses that term.  I had to go my own way, even if it meant "swimming upstream against the flow of the collective."  Hope this helps.
Cheers,
Kafiri
"We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves."
      -Eric Hoffer

Maria

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Re: multitudes
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2007, 06:13:30 PM »
(Dear Kafiri,
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It is very clear to me that this "I/Me" versus the "crowd/multitude" was symbolic of my reltionship to the "collective," as Jung uses that term.  I had to go my own way, even if it meant "swimming upstream against the flow of the collective."

I would add to this (tell me if you agree or not), that this collective is sometimes not an "outer" collective, more of an "inner" one. Something similar to what Freud called the Superego, with the exception that this superego (depending on the personality, perhaps), is only marginally shaped or in touch with the established standards of the society we are living in. For example, my current "outer" collective says live for the day, earn a lot of money, use your abilities and education for as practical and financially beneficial aims as possible, and be the center of your own world, consider only yourself and perhaps some of your friends and family. In the meanwhile, my inner collective wanted me to opt for continuing my philosophy studies (currently in Hungary, somebody with a PhD earns less than a car mechanic, so I am saving money to possibly live among worse living standards than my current one  :o).

So perhaps a crowd can symbolize any kind of imperative, standard or "given situation" that was not created by us, or at least we don't perceive it as such, and which we must sort of deal with?

Love,

Maria)
"Thou speak'st aright;
I am that merry wanderer of the night."

(Puck)

Sealchan

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Re: multitudes
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2008, 02:30:35 PM »
Here are some further observations on the multitudes:

I had a dream which featured a classroom (Buddhist monks) where there were at least a couple of dozen students and about three teachers with the head monk as well.  Additionally in the room was a large statue of the archetypal teacher (Buddha).  Myself and a shadow figure stood to one side and were approached directly by the head monk.

My interpretation of this scene and the types of characters present was as follows:

The students for whom direction was required were the multitudes of unspecified individuals representatives of the majority of "personality centers".  A much smaller number of unspecified (unnamed, undistinguished) teachers represent a hierarchically differentiated character type that acts as an orchestrating, organizing set of personality centers that guide the vast majority of other unspecified personality centers. 

To one side was the head monk, myself as ego and my brother as shadow.  We are "specified" characters with specific names and roles and in direct interaction with each other in the dream.  We are of the nature of the teachers in that we orchestrate and organize the activity of the masses of the unspecified personality centers. 

The iconic image of the "Great Teacher", in this case the Buddha, represents the archetypal one or Self that all of this organization falls under.  He is not a living person but a principle of organization yet he is associated with the image or symbol inclusive of the human personality.  He is also an historical figure from the dream's presumed past.

I thought this dream helped me to clarify the relationship of the multitudes, defined here as the majority set of unspecified characters who are organized by other inner characters, some specified and some not, to other human dream characters.

I have seen this kind of hierarchical organization of human characters in a more recent dream of my own.  I have yet to apply this to anyone else's dream however.