Rabbi and Priest - or - Born Again Christian

Although this is not a dream sent to me via the internet, I would like to include it at the website because I believe it represents an important dream on a number of levels.

I am presenting a dream from Edward F. Edinger's "Ego and Archetype: Individuation and the Religious function of the Psyche" (p 117-118): "An old man who is both priest and rabbi was talking to me. As I listened to his words I was deeply moved and felt I was being healed. It seemed as though God spoke through him. I felt the eternal question which is always within me resolve itself. For a moment I knew why. As he talked he put me back in touch with something I had known a long time ago...before I was born."

Edingers' interpretation of the dream follows. The dream "brings into consciousness an awareness of the ego's origin and meaning and awakens the symbolic life. The figure of the old man, the rabbi-priest, is a representation of the archetype of the old wise man. He is a spiritual guide, a bringer of wisdom and healing."

Apart from archetypal psychology this dream could be interpreted in numerous other ways including psychoanalytic psychology specifically Heinz Kohut's theory of Narcissism and the "grandiose Self" as well as from an existential creature "Angst" perspective.

Yet... the most obvious meaning seems to have remained concealed from Edinger's interpretation, in that the hero of the dream narrative is both rabbi and priest. There is only one man who was truly both and that is Jesus Christ.

Maud Bodkin Archetypal Patterns in Poetry tests and applies Carl G. Jung's archetypal theory to literature and literary criticism. Jung believed that the emotional responses of readers, are caused by the activation of literary archetypes. Bodkin believes that great poetry communicates the universal archetypal forces at work in nature. Archetypal psychology reports that when the ego is alienated from its supernatural origins it falls victim to cosmic anxiety and meaninglessness. Archetypal dreams often attempt to heal the psychological injuries of our spiritual alienation. Reading the dream from an archetypal perspective, we can see that it is not so much about the archetype of the wise old man, but instead the poetic archetype of rebirth. Healing comes through the archetypal symbolism of a born again Christian (recalling the end of the dream; "As he talked he put me back in touch with something I had known a long time ago...before I was born.").

Also see Billy Graham's How to be Born Again (read google books) and Northrop Frye's The Great Code: The Bible and Literature (read google books)

Hope these thoughts are of help.
Mark H.

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