The Greatest Reward


I’ve conducted dreamwork with some exceptional people and am honored by their trust in me. Recently a woman long committed to Jungian dreamwork (I’ll call her Maia) shared a special dream. As the owner of her own business, she was encountering some  worriesome issues. Then one day she realized the problem did not lie with her clients or employees but with herself. She had believed her motivation was to serve their needs, but in truth, she had an unconscious need to impress them with her authority, creativity, and leadership skills. That very day she instigated some important new policies that placed the company’s mission above her personal needs.
That night she dreamed that a lovely woman she’s known for years, (I’ll call her Nan) married her own (Nan’s) husband!  Maia’s dream ego had no memory of attending the ceremony, but found herself with the new bride immediately afterwards. Nan was resting peacefully in the modest room of a country inn, still wearing her simple white gown. Maia had a sudden inspiration. Might Nan want to celebrate with champagne? Nan liked the idea and asked for cheese and crackers too. So with the help of her own husband and some obliging women who worked there, Maia arranged for food and champagne to be brought to Nan’s room. The dream ended as Maia was returning to Nan feeling grateful for the help she had received and pleased to have thought of a way to make this occasion more special for her friend.
I think this is a very significant dream. Can you see its connection to Maia’s waking life? As we talked it became clear the dream is about her insight from the previous day and her choice to honor a priority greater than glorifying her ego. Maia is not the bride in this dream. If she were, the dream would be saying her ego still sees itself as the star of her own show. But Maia’s dream ego is not being served. She is serving a bride with sincere enthusiasm because she is more interested in honoring an important relationship than being the center of attention.
What do the bride and groom symbolize? Maia told me she had often dreamed of this couple. She sees them as attractive, balanced, responsible, and successful. They each have work they love, they’ve raised well-adjusted children, made many contributions to their community, and enjoy loving relationships with their family and friends. In short, of all the people Maia knows, this pair most closely fits her image of the ideal couple. Maia and I think that for her they represent the Self, with Nan being the Self’s feminine half, and her husband the masculine. This dream is about the union of Maia’s inner opposites, the internal alchemy of the Sacred Marriage.
Other details corroborate this. For example, the two couples suggest the number four, which Jung associated with wholeness and the Self. Likewise, the bride is not interested in spending a lot of money (energy) on a fancy reception to impress her acquaintances, return favors, or receive expensive gifts. This dream is not about Maia’s social or material aspirations, but about her ego dying to the opinions of the world and acquiring the proper relationship to the Self.  It is a commentary on her growth in self-knowledge and consciousness.
Maia will never gain public acclaim for her progress with her magnum opus because it’s strictly a private affair. But her dream celebrates her growth, and this validation from her Sacred Center is the greatest reward she could ever want.
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0 Responses

  1. divine……always inspiring …..
    dreams works…..dreams are their to suggest a path on
    body to mind to soul and finally spirit level…..the final destination
    the journey within… journey outside…..
    driver or soul or feminine to be neutral inside…..
    and body or car
    or masculine natural outside….then life is journey
    and destination together……
    love all…

    1. Thanks, ram0singhal. Freud said, “Dreams are the royal road to the unconscious.” And I would add, “which is where you’ll meet the Queen and King!”

  2. jeanie,
    what a lovely dream–congrats to maia’s conscious work!
    your interpretation and work with her is truly brilliant…..
    it would have been so easy to miss the importance of this dream.

  3. William,
    Your sign-off made me laugh. This work is intoxicating, isn’t it? It can give you a real high! I suppose that’s why Dream Mother suggested champagne: to celebrate Spirit with spirits!
    In my experience, some of the most significant dreams can appear very innocuous on the surface. It’s only when you start digging that you unearth the gold.
    Here’s to treasure hunting!

  4. So sorry, Donna. The deeper you delve into the unconscious, the harder it is to put what you see into words. What I was trying to say here is that most of us want to help or serve others, but what we don’t realize is that our underlying motivation is usually to serve our egos in some way: to show everyone how kind, thoughtful or generous we are, to be admired for our skills or accomplishments, etc.
    In other words, we rarely realize that what we really want is the admiration and good opinion of others, of the world. Maia saw this truth about herself and realized this was the reason for her business problems. So she made a conscious choice to put her own needs for approval aside and serve in ways that are truly helpful to others whether anyone notices or not. Most people never get to this authentic way of serving because they can’t see or admit to their true motivations. But seeing this truth and changing your behavior because of it is a huge leap forward in consciousness, which is why Maia was given a dream with the ultimate symbol of celebration: a wedding. I hope this helps.
    Love, Jeanie

  5. Our inherent likes and dislikes govern our outer projection in the world. To make peace within is the first step towards reconciliation of our masculine/feminine desires. I think Maia was just able to do that !

    1. I totally agree with you, Amrita. I think this dream is a way of celebrating Maia’s commitment to enabling this reconciliation! I think she’s on the way to making peace with herself and her own personality and projections. Thank you for your observation!

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