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status of a guide to the inner world. She appears in this role, for example, in the initiation of shamans, as described by Mircea Eliade. This is the function of Beatrice in Dante’s Paradiso and also that of Isis as she revealed herself in a dream to Apuleius, the author of The Golden Ass, in order to initiate him into a higher spiritual way of life. The following dream of a forty-five-year-old psychotherapist may serve to illuminate this anima’s role as inner guide. As this man was going to sleep the evening before having the dream, he was feeling sorry for himself for being so alone in life, without the support of an organization or a “church.” He envied all those who were secure in the bosom of such an organization. Then he dreamed the following: I am in a large old, double-aisled church, crowded with people. With my wife and my mother, I am sitting at the back of the nave in makeshift seats. I am to celebrate the mass as a priest, and I have a thick missal in my hands—really more of a hymnal or an anthology of poetry. Since I am not familiar with the book, I have lost my place. This is very upsetting, because I am about to have to begin. On top of that, my mother and my wife are having a completely trivial conversation. Now the organ has already stopped, and everything is waiting for me. I resolutely stand up and ask a nun kneeling behind me kindly to give me her missal and show me where we are in the mass. She does this very willingly. Now she precedes me to the altar like an acolyte, which is back and to the left, as if we were approaching it from a side aisle. The missal is now a kind of pictorial frieze, like a thin, yard-long, foot-wide board, on which text and ancient pictures are arranged next to each other in columns. First it is the nun’s turn to do a part of the liturgy before me, and I still haven’t found my place. She did tell me, “Number 15,” but the numbers are blurred and I can’t find it. I resolutely turn to face the congregation. Although by now I have actually found panel number 15—it’s the next-to-last on the board—I still do not know if I am going to be able to decipher and read the text. In any case, I was going to try, but then I woke up. This dream represents a reaction to the thoughts of the evening before and says to the dreamer in symbolic form: “You yourself have to be the priest in your own inner ‘church,’ in the church of your psyche. The many people present—all component parts of his psyche—demand that he act as a priest and celebrate the mass, but here the actual mass cannot be what is meant, for

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Marie - Louise Von Franz - Archetypal Dimensions of the Psyche -  

Marie - Louise Von Franz - Archetypal Dimensions of the Psyche -  

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