Fishing in the Waters of the Unconscious
The fish is a symbol which frequently appears within dreams where it often represents that which is formed yet still unconscious. To catch a fish equates to pulling content from the deep waters of the unconscious and bringing it onto the dry land of the conscious mind. The fish and fishing can also represent the dreaming experience or dream analysis.
Most indigenous cultures believe that dreams are sent by the Great Spirit and serve to offer advice and instruction. This belief was prevalent in many ancient cultures as well. In the early 20th century the value of the dream was revived by two great psychologists, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. For Freud the dream revealed what the dreamer preferred to remain hidden. Through dream analysis the patient was brought face to face with what was suppressed and rejected within himself.
Jung on the other hand believed that the dream acted as a mirror for the ego – reflecting what was missing from the consciousness of the dreamer. For Jung the dream acted as a teacher and guide on the path toward integration of the self which he referred to as ‘individuation.’ Thanks largely to the work of both Jung and Freud the dream in the modern world has regained its status as a source of wisdom and healing which it lost in the Age of Reason.
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