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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Carl Jung on the dreams of Ashmole




To C. H. Josten

Dear Mr. Josten, 3 May 1952

Your elucidating remarks about the Ashmolean Dreams have been most welcome.

I was quite particularly interested, of course, to hear that the dream of December 29th is not from Ashmole himself.!

(I hadn't understood the note in your report.)

That makes the case particularly interesting.

The dream itself is of an unusual clarity compared with Ashmole's own dreams.

His whole psychological situation then almost demanded the presence of the female, because usually these individuation processes are accompanied by the relationship with a soror mystica.

That is the reason why a number of alchemists are reported to have been related to what I call an anima figure; like Nicolas Flamel and Peronelle, Zosimos and Theosebeia, Mrs. Atwood and her father, John Pordage and Jane Lead, etc.

The royal nuptial in alchemy represents such a relationship.

As it is a common experience that couples have often remarkable coincidences of thought, so they have the same parallelism in dreams.

They can even exchange dreams.

One finds the same between parents and their children.

I have observed the case of a man who had no dreams, but his nine-year-old son had all his father's dreams which I could analyse for the benefit of the father.

In the course of this work the father began to dream and the son ceased to have such adult dreams.

This peculiar phenomenon is at the base of Rhine's famous ESP experiments, as you know.

Such facts point to the relativity of space in the unconscious.

I'm glad to know that my supposition of Lilly being a magician is borne out by the facts.

The obvious identification of Ashmole with Mercury, Mercury being the arch-personification of alchemy, makes it most probable that Mercury was a symbol of the self, with. which Ashmole tried to identify.

Such an attempt, as far as it succeeds, invariably causes an inflation of the ego.

I should assume therefore that Ashmole must have shown signs of a hypertrophied ego.

The allegorical use of Mercury is indeed a symptom of Ashmole's inflation.

Thank you for your explanation about the Negative Oath.

Unfortunately I don't possess a copy of Ashmole's Fasciculus Chemicus.

I only have the Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum.

Your proposition that I should write a paper about Ashmole's dreams is tempting.

I really shouldn't accept it, because I have to be very careful not to overwork and I have to take care of a great amount of mental work already.

But I will consider it, without giving you a formal promise, however, if you don't mind.

Travelling is a somewhat complicated matter for me, unfortunately, and it is not likely that I shall ever go to England again.

But if you should come to Switzerland I would be most interested to see your material.

Thank you again for all the useful information!

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 62-64.