Dreams & The Unconscious God

Viktor Frankl, the founder of the Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy (Logotherapy & Existential Analysis), had remarkable insight into the relationship between dreams and what he termed ‘The Unconscious God’. His understanding, developed through empirical investigation, was that we all have a hidden relationship with a hidden God, and that dreams are one way in which we can make that dynamic conscious.

In his book, ‘The Unconscious God; Psychotherapy and Theology’, Frankl makes the following observations:

‘Genuine religiousness, for the sake of its own genuineness, hides from the public. That is why religious patients often do not want to deliver their intimate experiences (dreams) into the hands of people who would perhaps lack understanding and thus misinterpret them. Such patients may be afraid that a psychiatrist will try to ‘unmask’ their religiousness as ‘nothing but’ the manifestations of unconscious psychodynamics, of conflicts or complexes’.

gray dream freestanding letters
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Frankl goes on to point out that occasionally, ‘flagrantly religious motifs’ appear ‘in dreams of people who are manifestly irreligious. because we have seen that there is not only repressed and unconscious libido (bodily needs, or Freud’s id), but also repressed and unconscious religio (spiritual needs).

So, our dreams are important, and in Franklian psychology they provide insight into our spiritual and religious lives, and when they are made conscious, can assist us in finding meaning in our lives and in any given set of circumstances.

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