Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Dreams, and Surviving As An Empath

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, June 3, 2019

Bob Hayden is a fellow whom I met several years ago in Birmingham, AL at a Dreams Interpretation Workshop, which I attended as part of my own personal, spiritual growth and development.

Bob is a retired Episcopal priest who founded the institute which bears his name in Asheville, NC, which in the years since, has grown significantly in size, scope, and outreach, and now has a presence in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.

Carl Jung in his study.

It was after attending that workshop that I began to understand the significant genius that Swiss psychiatrist/psychologist Carl Jung (pronounced “young”) was (and remains, though he deceased in 1961) in the world of psychiatry, psychology and understanding of human nature.

You see, Jung drew from seemingly innumerable resources and traditions, including, but not limited to history, religions of myriad type (Hinduism, Tao, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, etc.), literature, dance, art, physics, anthropology, mysticism, and more.

While Jung was a few-years-younger contemporary of Sigmund Freud, and for a short while enjoyed collegial collaboration with him, eventually he departed Freud’s professional association and camaraderie, when it became apparent that Freud was intellectually ceasing his own professional growth, and stopped at what has today become (in my opinion) the solitary work for which remains most renown, and controversial – a type of psychoanalysis in which infantile sexuality is alleged to ultimately and significantly influence childhood, and by extension, adulthood.

It should be noted as well, that Jung’s association with Freud began when Jung’s doctoral advisor asked Jung to write an Op-Ed about Freud’s latest book entitled “The Interpretation of Dreams,” which was published in 1899.

Much of Freud’s theorizations about human behavior include elements of sexuality – though not all overtly – which some say emerged from his observations of, and interactions with patients whom had been sexually abused as children. And while one’s sexuality cannot be divorced from personality, per se, it can offer some understanding into behavior, but is by no means permanent, nor is it the exclusive determiner of one’s course of life.

In contrast, Jung perceived elements in life to be often symbolic in nature (which he called archetypes) and are obtained from the context of one’s upbringing (an often complex model), similarly as he established the basis for his model of dreams interpretation. That is, one’s perception of an event may be at the unconscious level, which in turn may motivate conscious action – yet that motivation may be unknown to the person – which is in turn influenced by the sociocultural milieu in which one as a child grew up in, and the one which, as an adult, one lives in. In a sense, Jung’s primary difference with Freud, was that Jung saw humans as elastic and capable of change, whereas Freud did not.

As Jung perceived it, dreams are a way our unconscious communicates with our conscious, and are largely symbolic, insofar as one thing stands for, or represents, another thing; and because they are a reflection of our waking lives, they can, to some extent, serve as a guide to our waking lives. And like our relationships with others, and our actions, and humans themselves – just like fingerprints, voices, and irises – are each one unique. Individuation is the foundation of many of Jung’s ideas, including the interpretations of dreams – because they are unique to the individual.

Nevertheless… after I began discovering the enormity and scope of Jung’s work, which touched upon so many areas of study, how he differentiated and separated faith and religion from spirituality, and saw humans as being flexible and capable of change, I was attracted to his ideas. Jung recognized that beliefs do not have to be true in order for one to hold fast to them. And perhaps most importantly, Jung was not dogmatic about his ideas, whereas Feud was.

Having written all that as an introduction, I wanted to share information about an email which I received from the Haden Institute about a physician, Judith Orloff, MD, an Empath who has written a couple books about Empaths, one, or both, which you all may enjoy reading. “Thriving as an Empath” is her latest work.

Here also is a link to the institute’s Resources page: https://www.HadenInstitute.com/resources

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