In Man and His Symbols, Dr. Marie-Louise von Franz describes how the first approach of the unconscious takes place in a child's earliest dreams. Childhood dreams do not necessarily become one's fate, but they do play a major role in determining how an individual will view the world and her/himself. These early dreams may also elucidate some of the challenges that an individual will face and provide early insights and wisdom.
"For most people the years of youth are characterized by a state of gradual awakening in which the individual slowly becomes aware of the world and of himself. Childhood is a period of great emotional intensity, and a child's earliest dreams often manifest in symbolic form the basic structure of the psyche, indicating how it will later shape the destiny of the individual concerned" (168).
The vast majority of my childhood dreams, as well as my early adulthood dreams, were nightmares. I remember being worried that I was cursed and had a fixed fate that seemed ominous and depressing. However, the more I became open to letting go of my own ego and being willing to expand and change, the more I discovered that my dreams were beneficent teachers meant to help me purge old confining ways of thinking.
What are your earliest childhood dreams? Do you remember having questions about life or yourself because of an early dream? Did you feel that your earliest dreams corresponded with your waking life at the time? I am interested in hearing stories from anyone who feels open to sharing. May your early dreams still guide you!
von Franz, M.-L. “The Process of Individuation.” Man and His Symbols. Ed. Carl G. Jung. New York: Dell, 1964. 157-254. Print.