Channeling Carl Jung for Dream Interpretation

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Many people know of Carl Jung as a famous Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology and interpreted dreams based on his idea of “archetypes”, which include the persona, the shadow, the anima/animus, the self, and the hero.

He was a prolific author, with an interest in UFOs, believing them to be at least partially psychological phenomena – an opinion he also held about spirituality.

I’ve long been interested in Jung’s work for its depth of insight, so upon waking up from a particularly disturbing dream, I decided to use the Claude AI to try to analyze it.  Having learned of this prompt technique a while back, I asked Claude:

“Please channel Carl Jung and interpret this dream:”

Then I described the dream which I had gotten up to notate at 7:30 am – and I am not a morning person…

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The Dream

I walk into a dark hall with a lot of people I know. It might be at my old summer camp.

There is a large screen at the front of the room.  My pic is projected on the screen, and I am in sunglasses and look a bit awkward.

A voice of authority asks me – “Were you high in this picture”?

I am startled but decide to be truthful.  Yes, I reply.  SHAMED.

Shaken a bit I am outside walking next to a woman who is a friend. She has a cart with posters on it and a few of them begin to fall off – and I reach over and grab them and put them back for her.

She smiles at me.

“I don’t think I can stop,” I say.  “There must be a lot of people smoking weed here at Camp Sloane”.

A man comes up behind us.  He’s one of the administrators – someone in Authority – and I sense he will make me stop or leave my position at the camp.

I wake up. Shaken and ashamed.

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Claude’s Response (as Carl Jung):

‘He’ clears his throat and speaks in a wise, solemn tone.

The dream you have described is indeed rich with symbolic meaning, my friend. Let us unravel the threads of the unconscious tapestry woven here.

The dark hall represents the obscured recesses of your own psyche, filled with those you know – aspects of your own self. The large screen projects an image of your persona, the mask you present to the world. But this persona appears awkward and concealed behind sunglasses, hinting at a disconnect from your true nature.

The voice of authority questions your state of consciousness, your perception of reality. You feel shamed for your honesty about being in an altered state. This shame springs from the conflict between your desire for expansion of consciousness and societal norms represented by the authority figure.

Outside, you are accompanied by the feminine figure of the woman – the anima, the feminine principle within your psyche. She carries posters representing ideas, beliefs, and elements of your personality that can be scattered and lost without care. You instinctively want to preserve these parts of yourself, as symbolized by catching the falling posters.

Your confession about not being able to stop hints at an addictive tendency, a compulsion that you suspect is widespread at this camp – a metaphor for the environment you find yourself in, perhaps your current life situation.

The administrator’s presence signals the risk of being cast out, of suffering consequences for violating the norms and being true to your authentic self and desires.

The feeling of being shaken and ashamed upon waking reveals the profound inner conflict you are experiencing. There is a call to integrate the disparate aspects of your psyche, to resolve the tension between individuation and conformity to collective expectations.

This dream is an invitation to explore the depths of your own being, to confront the shadows and unlock the potential for greater wholeness and self-actualization. The path will not be easy, but profound growth awaits those who have the courage to face their truth.

Note: Get a powerful dream and interpretation journal as part of the limited-time Natural Health bundle here.

Very Believable Analysis

Having had dreams interpreted and being familiar with Jung’s work to some degree, I was astonished at how “Jungian” Claude’s interpretation was – especially linguistically. 

He had the vocabulary and many of Jung’s concepts down in ways that sound eminently plausible – as one might expect from an AI “Language Model” that is programmed to try to come up with the most ‘appropriate’ next word, and then the next…

The program is not thinking, or experiencing the client or in this case the dreamer.

But certainly, it has mastered enough of our language and syntax to correctly identify my inner conflict and focus on the word I used as I wrote down the dream: shame.

Cannabis does still carry a stigma for me.  Part of me, the societal norms that live within me as conditioning, consider using weed as “cheating” – in terms of bypassing suffering and repressing emotions that hurt – like, of course, shame. And of course, it used to be illegal.

When I returned home during college from a trip to Europe I decided to test the waters, telling my parents I had just “tried” pot in Amsterdam where it was legal.  It did not go well.  It eased a bit later but going against my parents’ beliefs and wishes was never easy for me.


I have certainly identified shame for myself in some of the bodily sensing work I have done since my brain injury to deal with anxiety, fear and inner contractions.

The last paragraph nicely summarizes what I’ve been hoping to achieve – integration in some way.  So why do I still sometimes suffer?  Because after all I am human. And I can process more of my emotions as I have so much time to reflect.

So what I suspect the language model has shown us is how language structure and apparent meaning, which the AI uses exclusively to determine the next word to display, reflect a sort of programming language for our own minds.

Repetitive phrases like “you’re a slob” heard in childhood have deep resonance as conditioning occurs, creating grooves of negative reaction that we might refer to as shame and guilt.  These triggers will last a lifetime and initiate unconscious trauma contractions in the body.

I believe these triggers were made much worse after my concussion, but resting in recovery I found that not resisting their arising and letting them be deeply sensed eases suffering significantly.

But that is only if one can plumb the depths and locate these programs.  Otherwise, they are just free to wreak havoc in our bodies whenever a painful memory is triggered.

If you’re looking to dive deeper into dreams, lucid dreaming and interpretation, check out The Dream Journal, included in the 2024 Natural Health Bundle here.

(Tom Bunzel was a contributor to Collective Evolution and now writes for The Pulse.  His new book “Conversations with Nobody: Getting to Know ChatGPT” – a book written with AI, about AI and giving a taste of AI, is available on Amazon.)


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