I have already mentioned the fact that the Self is symbolized with special frequency in the form of a stone, precious or otherwise.
The Self is also often symbolized as an animal, representing our instinctive nature and its connectedness with one’s surroundings. (That is why there are so many helpful animals in myths and fairy tales.)
Dreams are not wish-fulfillments (as Freud taught) but rather, as Jung assumed, “self-representations of the unconscious,”
But it is a fact that, in addition to memories from a long-distant conscious past, completely new thoughts and creative ideas can also present themselves from the unconscious—thoughts and ideas that have never been conscious before. They grow up from the dark depths of the mind like a lotus and form a most important part of the subliminal psyche. We find this in everyday life, where dilemmas are sometimes solved by the most surprising new propositions; many artists, philosophers, and even scientists owe some of their best ideas to inspirations that appear suddenly from the unconscious.
Man positively needs general ideas and convictions that will give a meaning to his life and enable him to find a place for himself in the universe. He can stand the most incredible hardships when he is convinced that they make sense; he is crushed when, on top of all his misfortunes, he has to admit that he is taking part in a “tale told by an idiot.”
Many dreams present images and associations that are analogous to primitive ideas, myths, and rites. These dream images were called “archaic remnants” by Freud; the phrase suggests that they are psychic elements surviving in the human mind from ages long ago.
But what we consciously fail to see is frequently perceived by our unconscious, which can pass the information on through dreams.
The recurring dream is a noteworthy phenomenon. There are cases in which people have dreamed the same dream from childhood into the later years of adult life. A dream of this kind is usually an attempt to compensate for a particular defect in the dreamer’s attitude to life; or it may date from a traumatic moment that has left behind some specific prejudice. It may also sometimes anticipate a future event of importance.
Freud himself, for instance, interpreted the introverted type as an individual morbidly concerned with himself. But introspection and self-knowledge can just as well be of the greatest value and importance.