Dreams as an Analogy for the Afterlife

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     In my first post, As Above, So Below, I speculated that the afterlife might be analogous to a dream. While nobody knows for sure what happens after we die, I find the theory that the afterlife might be a form of dream intriguing. Carl Jung realized that dreams are compensatory. Our dreams inform us of the ways that we are off balance. By interpreting our dreams we can learn how to regain balance in our lives. In this way, dreams can be seen as a form of corrective measure. Many religions teach that we are either rewarded or punished after we die based upon how we behaved during our lives. If dreams and the afterlife are related, then it seems likely that the afterlife is also compensatory.
     I remember a friend of mine, a chassidic rabbi, once told me that we judge ourselves after we die. Some part of ourselves, separate from our ego, evaluates our behavior in life and decrees some form of reward or punishment to correct the soul. This could be exactly what happens in a dream. Our Self formulates a dream experience to help correct our ego. I see no reason why the afterlife should be any different. When we reincarnate or “awaken” into our next life, we will hopefully have gained wisdom from the experience. Every subsequent incarnation offers an opportunity for the further growth of the individual and the species.

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Therapy for the World Soul

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     I have certain pseudo-spiritual beliefs concerning psychotherapy which have contributed to my desire to become a licensed counselor. I believe that being a therapist is one of the noblest things that a person can do with their life. My suspicion is that there is no more effective or longer lasting way to change the world than through psychotherapy. Many of the problems that plague mankind are psychological in origin and have the unfortunate ability to persist over the course of generations. One of the best ways to rectify these social ills is through psychotherapy. Individuals, families, and societies have been plagued by violence, inequality, addiction, and a host of other problems for millennia. Since the advent of modern psychotherapy, we have seen revolutionary changes in the psyche of mankind. I also believe that every individual is connected via the collective unconscious. If this is true, it might be argued that there is a single organism comprised of many bodies. By treating an individual, you can help that individual and the collective whole, as well. This is empirically true, even without taking the collective unconscious into account. However, I entertain the notion that there is some sort of unconscious psychological connection between each member of the human race. That is why I believe psychotherapy is of paramount importance for the future of mankind. I look forward to seeing the continued psychological evolution of mankind and helping in my small way to guide that evolution, as a therapist.

     My own personal belief system is what I hold on to and what I hope will guide me through the difficulties I am sure to face counseling clients. I am hopeful that these beliefs will help me deal with any counter-transference that may arise when dealing with clients and fuel my desire to help others. I believe that everyone lives according to one or more myths, whether they consciously realize it or not. Myths provide order, meaning, and direction to the cultures and individuals who live by them. I believe that the psychological healing of individuals is inextricably linked to the rectification of the universe. This is my myth. I hope it will both sustain me, and help me facilitate positive change for my clients, throughout what I hope will be a long career as a psychotherapist.