4. Bajke, mitovi i psihologija

Tekst “Psihologija bajki i mitova” je četvrti je od deset tekstova obavezne literature za sudionike edukacije “Analitička psihologija – teorija i praksa”.

Tekstove mogu pročitati i oni koji ne planiraju započeti edukaciju i u njima saznati što je analitička psihologija, koja su područja njenog istraživanja i kako se primjenjuje u psihoterapiji.

Bajke, mitovi i psihologija

Uvod

Možemo reći kako se arhetipski sadržaj aktivira u slučajevima kreativne inspiracije, potrebe za adaptacijom ili kod velikih psiholoških razvojnih skokova (djetinjstvo i rađanje ega, pubertet, novi posao, vjenčanje, rođenje djeteta, teška bolest, smrt bliske osobe i osobna smrt sl.). Paralelu motivima koji se javljaju u takvim situacijama, možemo pronaći u etnologiji, mitologiji, religiji, alkemiji i bajkama. Jedan od primjera iz etnologije su inicijacijske ceremonije čija je svrha priprema osobe koja pristupa inicijaciji, kako bi lakše asimilirala arhetipske, razvojne tendencije koje su konstelirane za vrijeme važnih životnih promjena. Jedan od važnijih aspekata takvih inicijacija je pričanje priča. Kako izgleda, priče su iznimno važne za lakšu adaptaciju na životne situacije na koje nismo navikli. Od tuda dolazi i važnost koju pričanje bajki i priča ima za djecu i psihološki razvoj. U tom kontekstu, bajke, legende, mitovi, religija, književnost, poezija i umjetnost uopće imaju iznimnu važnost, za jednu kulturu, kako bi pripadnicima te kulture olakšali asimilaciju arhetipskog sadržaja koji se javlja u njihovim snovima i fantazijama za vrijeme važnih životnih prekretnica sa ciljem lakše i kvalitetnije adaptacije na novonastale uvjete.

Kako nastaju bajke?

Jedna od ideja je da bajke proizlaze iz osobnog iskustva arhetipske psihe kroz san ili halucinaciju. Sigurno se sjećate jednog od svojih snova koji su imali lijepo razrađenu priču sa mitološkim motivima, životinjama koje nam pomažu, sa herojem ili heroinom, kraljem i princezom, sa zmajem ili zmijom i dr. Takva iskustva se uvijek prepričavaju u plemenima i zajednicama kakve su prije postojale i obogaćuju se sa postojećim folklorom i razvijaju i u jednom trenutku mogu postati dio religioznog sistema. Zapravo kada pogledamo priče iz kršćanstva, hinduizma ili budizma, dobijemo dojam da su po pdređenim motivima jako slične bajkama. S druge strane veliki mitovi s vremenom se mogu raspasti i postati bajke. Kao primjer možemo navesti neke grčke bajke koje u sebi sadrže motive iz velikih mitova o Odiseju i Ilijadi.

Nadalje, ukoliko promatramo bajke kroz povijest, vidjeti ćemo da postoje bajke koje su zapravo nepromijenjene tisućama godina (Psiha & Eros, modernije doba Ljepotica i Zvijer, motiv kada ženska osoba spašava svoju začaranu ljubav).

Za razliku od bajki, kod mitova se arhetipski materijal nalazi iza sloja kulturnog materijala. Mitovi su nešto što je nacionalno i izražavaju karakter određene nacije. Imaju lijepu formu jer su ih svećenici godinama obrađivali i uljepšavali za razne ceremonije. Umjetnici su te motive obrađivali i izražavali kroz slike, kipove. Možemo reći kako je svijest svećenika i umjetnika, koja je odjelomično određena i duhom vremena u kojem su živjeli, imala veliki utjecaj na te motive. Dakle mitovi uz samu arhetipsku bazu imaju i plašt kulturnog materijala. Kada bi arhetipske predaje usporedili sa tijelom, mitovi bi bili meso, a bajke kostur.

Ponekad heroj iz bajke ima solarne kvalitete koje možemo prepoznati u njegovoj zlatnoj kosi iako se ne spominje specifični bog sunca. Kod mitova, arhetipski sadržaj je ukalupljen u formalni izričaj. Na primjer, govori se izričito o Apolonu ili Heliosu, a ne samo o zlatnoj kosi. Apolon i Helios su dobro poznati bogovi o kojima je svaki mali antički grk zna jako puno. Te informacije su povezane sa kolektivnom svijesti antičke Grčke i puno su bliže svijesti nego bajka koja govori o zlatokosom junaku. U psihologiji jez bog toga puno lakše odrediti smisao motiva iz mita nego bajke. U tom kontekstu, interpretacija mitova je puno laganija nego interpretacija bajki i mitove iz mitova često možemo koristiti kao amplifikacijski materijal kod interpretacije bajki. Npr. ako pročitate „Iz nježnog korijena procvao je prekrasan cvijet.“, da li vam to što govori? Ne puno, ali ukoliko ste upoznati sa sličnom metaforom koja govori o bezgrješnoj djevici Mariji i Kristu, tada stvari postaju jasnije budući da je ona nježni korijen, a Krist je prekrasan cvijet.

Interpretacija snova se često nalazi negdje između. Npr. u snovima možemo prepoznati motiv kružnog kretanja, u tom slučaju kružno kretanje označava arhetip mandale koji ne možemo prepoznati ako nismo svjesni etnoloških ili religijskih paralela. Ali, s druge strane samo kružno kretanje ima određeno značenje sa stajališta osobne psihologije osobe koja sanja. Tako da u tom slučaju možemo koristiti i osobne i kolektivne „asocijacije“ da pronađemo smisao sna.

Ako promatramo heroje u legendama i mitovima, rada oni imaju više ili manje ljudski karakter, pokazuju emocije i kroz njihov opis možemo dobiti ideju da imaju unutarnji psihički život. U sagama i legendama heroj pokazuje strah, osjeća zaljubljenost, nesigurnost i sl. i zapravo ima ljudske reakcije, kao da obično ljudsko biće prolazi kroz nesvakidašnje iskustvo. Ali u bajkama, heroj nema takvih osjećaja, kada vidi zmaja, samo ga ubije ili mu netko pomogne da ga ubije, mi ne saznamo kako se on osjeća u takvoj situaciji. U bajkama heroj je apstraktna i stereotipna figura i kao takva dovoljno je općenita da utjelovi arhetipsku ideju ili motiv.

Možemo se pitati kakva je uloga bajki u psihoterapiji. Ukoliko radimo sa ljudima iz drugih krajeva svijeta, njihove bajke nam mogu puno pomoći. Misionari kažu kako su bajke najlakši način da se povežu sa lokalnim ljudima. M. L. von Franz govori o slučaju klijenta kojega nije mogla potpuno razumjeti. U jednom snu je sanjao motiv koji ju je podsjetio na motiv iz mitologije srednjeameričkih civilizacija. Kroz razgovor je otkrila kako je taj klijent porijeklom iz Meksika i von Franz govori kako joj je poznavanje njihovih bajki puno pomoglo u njegovom razumijevanju.

I ja ponekad pitam klijente koja im je najdraža bajka iz djetinjstva. Ako to znate, tada možete dobiti ideju i o psiho-dinamici osobe s kojom radite, budući da je bajka, koja izazove određenu emocionalnu reakciju, često povezana i sa nesvjesnom dinamikom koja određuje psihologiju osobe u pitanju. Npr. ako klijentica kaže kako joj je najdraža bajka Trnoružica, tada se možemo pitati kakvu ulogu ženstvenost i muškost imaju u životu te osobe i pokušavamo vidjeti da li postoje kakve paralele između psihologije klijenta i bajke. Usporedbom sa realnim životom klijentice pokušavamo otkriti predstavlja li uspavana ljepotica uspavanu ženstvenost, a princ na bijelom konju potrebu za emancipacijom.

Što su bajke?

Za bajke možemo reći kako predstavljaju najjednostavniji izražaj nesvjesnih arhetipskih procesa i najprikladnije su za znanstveno proučavanje takvih procesa. Zašto je za nas bitno da znamo nešto o tim procesima? Kao što smo rekli, nesvjesno na nas utječe, kroz projekciju koja se događa kada nismo svjesni određenog sadržaja ili kroz inflaciju kada smo identični sa određenim nesvjesnim procesom. Takva događanja dovode do ograničenja naše volje i nemogućnosti da djelujemo i razmišljamo drugačije i u skladu sa okolnostima.

Kako bajke predstavljaju arhetipove u njihovom najjednostavnijem i najsažetijem obliku, psiholog, umjetnik, pedagog i sl. može pomoću njih zaviriti u procese koji se kontinuirano dešavaju u našoj arhetipskoj psihi, a s time i dobiti mogućnost da se na njih adaptira, da ih uzme u obzir u svom radu i sl. Bajke možemo zamisliti kao MR slike psihe koja nam otkriva arhetipove, njihovu međusobnu dinamiku i njihovo međudjelovanje sa svijesti. Biti svjestan takvih procesa direktno utječe na našu mogućnost da ih prepoznamo kod klijenta i nas samih i promjenimo, ukoliko je potrebno. Tada nismo rob nesvjesnoj dinamici već imamo mogućnost da djelujemo drugačije.

Arhetip, sam po sebi, je nesvjesni psihički faktor i nema načina da ga prevedemo u svjesni jezik a da ne izgubimo na njegovom bogatstvu. Najviše što možemo učiniti je da mu prilazimo na osnovu našeg osobnog psihološkog iskustva i iz ugla komparativnih studija na način da rasvijetlimo cijelu mrežu asocijacija u kojoj su umrežene arhetipske slike koje se u bajkama pojavljuju. Možemo reći kako je bajka zatvoreni sistem koji se sastoji od osnovnog psihološkog značenja ili smisla koje je umotano u simboličke slike i događaje koje bajka opisuje i kroz koje se to osnovno psihološko značenje može otkriti. Proučavanje bajki je jako važno jer nam daju uvid u osnovnu bazu (kostur) ljudske psihologije, bez „mesa“ tj. osobnog materijala kroz koji se taj sadržaj (npr. u snovima) izražava.

Možemo reći kako bajke izražavaju djelovanje, manifestacije i iskustvo Self-a, arhetipa psihičke cjelovitosti i regulatornog centra psihe. Različite bajke daju drugačiji pogled na različite faze tog iskustva. Neke daju uvid u sam početak tog iskustva i rad na sjenci i samo daju naznaku što će se dešavati dalje, neke govore o iskustvu anime i animusa ili oca i majke koji iza njih stoje, neke govore o blagu kojega je teško pronaći. Svaki arhetip u bajkama je jednako važan, a razlog za to je kako je svaki arhetip samo jedna strana kolektivnog nesvjesnog i centralnog arhetipa koji nazivamo Self-om.

Možemo se pitati kakva je veza bajki i kolektivne svijesti (sve one općepriznate ideje i vrijednosti kojima se određena civilizacija vodi). Ako promatramo bajke srednjeg vijeka, vidimo kako one sve prikazuju određeni proces iskupljenja i spašavanja psihološke ženstvenosti, budući da je ona bila potisnuta za vrijeme srednjeg vijeka, možda više nego ikada prije i poslije. S jedne strane da nije bilo kršćanstva, danas ne bi imali demokracije (svaki čovjek ima dušu i jednak je pred bogom, ona svaki čovjek ima jednako pravo da bira kralja ili predsjednika), medicine i sl. Žrtva koju smo trebali učiniti kako bi se ta jednakost ostvarila je određena represija instinkta, a s njime i ženstvenosti. U tom kontekstu srednjovjekovne bajke imaju svrhu da na određeni način kompenziraju takvu jednostranost i njihovo slušanje omogućuje lakšu asimilaciju konsteliranog arhetipa tj. ženstvenosti.

Svako doba ima svoje bajke, danas imamo filmove. U kontekstu motiva koji se u određeno povijesno razdoblje pojavljuju u bajkama, meni je posebno interesantno kako danas ima sve više filmova gdje je junak negativac, Dexter, Kuća od karata, Noćne Kronike (sociopat), Breaking Bad, što je bilo nezamislivo prije 30ak godina. Što mislite zašto je to tako? Kao i snove, i filmove možemo pokušati razumjeti na subjektivnoj i objektivnoj razini. Subjektivna razina podrazumijeva kako svi likovi u snu predstavljaju aspekte osobnosti osobe koja san sanja. U tom kontekstu, čini mi se kako je naglasak takvih filmova na ideji, kako svi mi u sebi imamo negativca i kako je posebno bitno da budemo svjesni naše sjene.

Pristup interpretaciji

San i bajka izražavaju na najbolji mogući način određenu arhetipsku istinu ili tendenciju. Ako sanjamo određeni sna i ne radimo na njemu, možda ćemo s vremenom i doći do određene ideje o njegovom značenju ali često, najvažnija poruka ostaje sakrivena. Interpretacija nam pomaže da dođemo do te poruke, koliko god ona bila samo blijeda kopija pravog značenja sna ili bajke.

Kada tražimo smisao sna ili bajke, tada smo ograničeni svojim svjesnim stavom u pronalasku njenog smisla. Intelektualni tip neće obraćati pažnju na emocionalnu poruku ili ako smo depresivni, obratiti ćemo pažnju samo na depresivni aspekt sna ili bajke. Zbog toga je često potrebno da o snu razgovaramo sa nekim kada pokušavamo odgonetnuti njegov smisao. Jung je ponekad pričao snove svom vrtlaru, koji nije imao ideju o snovima i nakon što je kazao što misli, Jung bi odgovorio da to nije to ali sada zna što jest. Neki dan sam sanjao ljudski mozak i sitne kosti koje mu daju strukturu. San mi nije bio jasan i kada sam ga ispričao sinu (10) dao mi je genijalan odgovor. Rekao je kako sam vidio mozak zbog toga jer su mi oči gledale unutra. I u tom trenutku sam nekako dobio ideju o značenju tog sna.

Proces interpretacije bajki je jako sličan procesu interpretacije snova. Prvo što trebamo učiniti je zapamtiti emocionalnu reakciju i pokušati je kasnije uklopiti u značenje. U psihologiji ne možemo zapostaviti emocionalnu reakciju jer je ona njen sastavni dio (primjer transfera i kontra-transfera u farmakoterapiji). S druge strane bajke ne možemo razumjeti samo sa jednom funkcijom. Misaoni tip će se orijentirati na strukturu bajke i na način kako su motivi povezani. Osjećajni tip će se orijentirati na vrijednosti motiva i njihovu hijerarhiju. Taktilni tipovi će se orijentirati na simbole i njihovu amplifikaciju, a intuitivna osoba će vidjeti cijelu bajku kao jedno značenje, a motive samo kao stajališta sa kojih ga možemo tražiti. Što više smo razvili naše funkcije to ćemo lakše doći do ideje o značenju bajke.

Nadalje, snove ili bajku podijelimo na četiri dijela. Prvi dio su informacije o mjestu i vremenu radnje i likovima u radnji. Drugi dio je ekspozicija iz koje možemo dobiti dojam o čemu se u bajci radi. Najčešće to saznamo iz prve rečenice, koja je možda najvažnija rečenica kada pokušavamo pronaći smisao bajke. Npr. na ispitu sam dobio bajku koja je počinjala sa „U vremenu kada je bilo dovoljno zaželjeti.“. Što mislite koje je to vrijeme? I današnja bajka ima vrlo značajnu prvu rečenicu, pazite na nju. Slijedi definicija i opis problema. Npr. kralj koji je bolestan. Bajke uvijek počinjući sa problemom, bez problema nema priče.

Mjesto, vrijeme i likovi (spol, broj likova i sl.).

Ekspozicija – prva rečenica i definicija problema.

Peripeteia – tok priče sa usponima i padovima, jedan ili više njih.

Lysis – Rasplet, završetak priče i stanje na kraju.

Nakon toga uzimamo prvi simbol. I amplificiramo ga. Da li znate što je amplifikacija? Amplifikacija je postupak kojim tražimo paralelne motive u drugim bajkama, mitovima, religiji, etnologiji i sl. Promatramo kakvo je značenje motiva u drugim pričama i uzmemo sredinu,. Tek smo tada na sigurnijoj bazi. Npr. na početku bajke kažu kako bijela golubica predstavlja vješticu. Ako uzmemo druga bajke vidimo da bijela golubica obično predstavlja Eros ili, u kršćanskoj tradiciji, Svetog Duha. Onda se pitamo zašto je u ovoj bajci nešto pozitivno kao Eros ili Sv. Duh prikazano u negativnom smislu. Što mislite zašto je to tako? Amplifikacija je u neku ruku obogaćenje kroz uzimanje u obzir paralelnih simbola.

Kontekst – neke amplifikacije odgovaraju a neke ne. Prvo uzmemo one koje odgovaraju i pratimo kroz priči da li se pojavljuju simboli koji su slični onima koji ne odgovaraju.

Interpretacija – prijevod priče u psihološki jezik. Npr. psihološki gledano, rečenica „Strašni zmaj kojeg pobjedi heroj.“ znači „Inercija nesvjesnosti koja je prevladana višom razinom svijesti.“ U praksi to može izgledati ovako. Kada student prihvati odgovornost i redovito uči umjesto da igra igrice cijeli dan, pogotovo ako ima pomalo ovisnički odnos prema igricama, tada taj pothvat predstavlja herojsku pobjedu nad nesvjesnosti. To je interpretacija. Zapravo student doista može sanjati heroja koji pobjedi zmaja u kontekstu problema studija i igranja igrica.

Možemo reći kako prevodimo jedan mit u drugi. I istina je kako za 2000 godina netko može reći da smo to doista i radili, kako je naša psihologija, znanost i sl. samo jedan od mitova (koliko god to nama nevjerojatno zvučalo) i oni će imati drugačiju interpretaciju, a naša će biti prevladana. Ali kako stvari stoje interpretacija kakvu sada radimo daje plodove i ako je tako onda ju trebamo i koristiti, dok daje plodove. Kao u priči iz biblije u kojoj Isus govori po čemu se poznaje drvo? Drvo se poznaje po plodovima i to je jedino što je važno. Zapravo sve interpretacije su relativne, ali ako nakon interpretacije sna ili bajke imamo osjećaj kako naš život ima više smisla, to je dovoljno. Npr. Muškarac je sanjao kako je dugačke kose i neobrijan. San smo povezali sa nebrigom za društvene i prijateljske odnose na kojima mora više raditi što je jako dobro sjelo. Možemo reći kako je kod interpretacije posebno važna tzv. „Aha!“ reakcija.

Slijedi primjer interpretacije hrvatske bajke. Ona je dio eseja koji sam napisao na temu Psihološka interpretacija bajki, na C. G. Jung Institutu. Kopija eseja dolazi na engleskom jeziku. Plan je da ga prevedem na hrvatski, ali trenutačno je taj projekt na čekanju.

Interpretation of a fairy tale

Dragon’s Seven Sons

Little poor boy has lost his father, so the mother had to sell the sheep, and he poor boy has lost his flock. He liked very much to be the shepherd. So he left to serve the rich man, and to take care of his sheep on his estate.

But, the wolf came from the woods and takes away one of his sheep. The second night, he took the second sheep. The third night he took the third. On the fourth night he tried to stop the wolf and to take the sheep from his mouth, but he had not enough strength and he went to the master: „Sir, help me and chase away the wolf from the flock! “

„What kind of shepherd are you so you can’t protect your sheep from the wolf?! “The Master was angry, but it could be seen that he is afraid. So the poor boy decides to look for the master who is the strongest one and he won’t be afraid of the wolf. He goes everywhere and asks: „Who is the strongest man? “

And he finds some Count. Everybody is afraid of him. He had no sheep, but little boy could serve him as road cleaner. He had to clean the road where the king and queen had to pass. And he asks: „Count, is the king stronger than you, since you are bowing to him? “

„Of course! Our king-emperor in this country is the strongest and the greatest. He does not have to be afraid of anyone! “

Poor boy goes to serve the strongest one. And the king accepts him as servant, but king had no sheep. And the boy loved the most to be a shepherd. And he decided to ask the king to get him a flock of sheep that he could take care of, but suddenly in the city there was a commotion and they closed all the gates. „Hide, hide, the great plague is coming! We are being attacked by the dragon’s seven sons! “

So the king and queen hid their whole army also. Only the shepherd does not hide, and he goes to look for dragon’s seven sons.

„I thought that there is nobody stronger than our king „ thinks the boy „but I see that that dragon’s seven sons are stronger than him. “And he asks everywhere: „Haven’t you seen dragon’s seven sons? “

Nobody saw them. And he finds some people that he has not seen before. They are riding horses on ploughed country. They had some kinds of tails. One with the tail approaches him yelling on the poor boy: „What are you doing here? “

„I am looking for dragon’s seven sons! “

„That is who we are! “

„I would like to serve you, because you are the strongest in the world! “

„Good! “

„I was a shepherd, so I would like to look for the sheep. “

„Well boy, we have no sheep. But close to the woods is the river. We are crossing it every night and we are as wet as the roosters. If you carry us across, every time you will get a golden coin. “

The shepherd agrees, thinking to buy himself a flock of sheep for the golden coins. And so every night and every morning he carried dragon’s sons and in the river they didn’t even wet their tails. He was very satisfied and he was saying:
„Aoj, dragon’s sons, you won’t even wet tip of your tail. You are not greater than a man, but you are heavier than mud. But every golden coin is one sheep more in my flock!! “

So he earned a lot of golden coins, but one night he heard screams of dragon’s sons, but they do not call for him to carry them across the river, but they are running away from their house.

„Ou, I see who is stronger even from the dragon’s seven sons?! “

The shepherd comes closer and sees that house in which dragon’s seven sons lived was on fire, and they are fleeing from it, even furs of some of them were on fire, so they are jumping into water.

„So “thinks the boy „the fire is stronger even from dragon’s seven sons. The fire is the strongest. Even the wolf is afraid of the fire! “

And he goes home, buys a flock of sheep with the golden coins he earned. And every evening he ignites big fire. The sheep fall asleep near the fire. The wolves just roam around. Roam but not dare to go near. They are afraid of the fire.

And so little shepherd became what he always wanted to be, he was shepherd of his flock and he wasn’t afraid of the wolves.

A method of psychological interpretation could go like this. First we divide the fairy tale into stages of classical drama.

Time, place and dramatis personae; we do not know the time of the fairy tale, place is somewhere in the country and the hero of the fairy tale is a little boy who wants to be a shepherd.

Exposition: Father has died and left mother and son alone.

Peripeteia: Mother sells the sheep and son tries to become a shepherd, but the wolf stands in his way.

Lysis: The boy finds out that the fire is strongest so he learns to control it and becomes a shepherd.

If we look at the exposition, we can conclude that the psychological meaning of fairy tale is connected with premature absence of the father image. From peripetheiai we will be able to see what kind of psychodynamics that kind of event can cause. In lysis we see that the fairy tale has a happy end. The boy become a shepherd, he grew up and probably managed to cope with the problem of a missing father.

Now we should start with amplifications of fairy tale material and parallel with that I will try to give some psychological meaning to fairy tale images. We take note of subjective and objective interpretation.

Father

The father died at the beginning of the story. A father is very important for a child to develop good ego structure. The father is the one that makes possible male child’s adaptation to society; he makes boundaries; he mobilizes his libido, directs it in a collectively acceptable ways and makes possible for ego to use it. He is the role model the son wants to be when he grows up. So the little boy to be a shepherd would need his father to teach him, ego needs father figure to develop and individuation needs fatherly attitude so it can happen.

Shepherd

In history, each family would have a family member to shepherd its flock, often a child, youth or an elderly who couldn’t help much with a harder work.

Also shepherds would live in small cabins, often shared with their sheep and would buy food from local communities.

God is the shepherd of Israel.

Shepherd symbolizes awareness…he is awake and sees,… he gives to his flock safety that is connected with knowledge… he understand noises and knows when the wolf is approaching and when the sheep is lost.

The shepherd image was commonly used to designate gods and kings; and as a title for kings this use is attested from practically every period.

In Egypt the imagery was used for gods, kings, and other leading figures.

Image of the shepherd could, on the one hand, represent immature or weak personality and on the other hand leading figure whose authority comes from the God. In psychological language, shepherd is the image that could represent ego.

But at the same time, shepherd enables us to protect sheep, and sheep represents aspect of our psychology, but which one?

Sheep (Bhrem)

More than on any other domesticated animal, on sheep can be seen how much slavery degenerates. Domesticated sheep is just the shadow of a wild one. Sheep in the service of a man becomes just a slave without will. All agility, speed, dexterity and flexibility, ability to climb, wise recognition, avoidance and defense from danger that is shown by wild sheep is completely lost in domesticated sheep. Domesticated sheep are in fact just the opposite of its wild cousins… The strongest ram cowardly retreats before the smallest dog…. A mass of sheep blindly follows the leader no matter did she choose he or she accidentally stumbled upon him and she follows him even into obvious danger and jumps with him in a swollen river… No animal can be easier looked upon and managed than domesticated sheep. It seems that the sheep is happy when some other creature carries for her concern for her life and health. We shouldn’t be surprised that creatures like that are warmhearted, gentle, peaceable and innocent. Their most known attribute is stupidity so the little lamb is chosen as symbol for meek people.

This wonderful paragraph form Brehm’s Life of Animals says it all. Psychologically, sheep would represent mass man, collective man with no personal opinion and no inner authority. Sheep also represents naïve attitude toward life. So selling of the sheep by the mother is a positive, therapeutic act by which naive expectations cease to exist. Poor man whose survival depends on his own abilities and capabilities can’t allow himself to be collective and naïve he has to be resourceful, and sheep attitude isn’t resourceful. Selling of the sheep is act by which the seller earns some money; psychologically money is libido, so by renouncing collective and naïve attitude one earns some libido i.e. ego has more possibilities to do something. So we have a situation in which progression of libido ceases (the father is dead and there is no sheep) and libido is turned inwards, so we can expect that something will come up, and what comes up is a big bad wolf.

But before we continue with symbolism of wolf, we should note that sheep, except the negative aspect of its psychological meaning, also has a positive aspect and that is collective adaptation, which suffers if the father is missing. In a real life of a child, one can expect wolf like characteristics to develop, when the father is missing. What would wolf represent psychologically?

Wolf

Wolf likes dense and dark woods…he is very mobile…The damage that wolf makes with his hunt could be tolerated if wolf wouldn’t allow to be carried away by his unbridled passion and blood thirst, so he kills more that he needs for food…. In hunt he is cunning like the fox… He comes close to his prey very carefully, and he takes care about all the rules of the hunt…It is hardly understandable that hatred between so close cousins can be so strong… Wolf has all abilities that dog has; the same strength, endurance, as good senses and the same intelligence…His cowardice, cunningness and skill is mostly shown in his attacks. And by attacking he is extremely careful so he doesn’t put his life or freedom at stake… But when he is very hungry, he acts differently. Because of hunger he forgets his carefulness and cunningness, hunger gives him courage. Hungry wolf is crazy courageous and he is not afraid of nothing, he can’t be scared away…. Female wolf takes care of her younglings with the same tenderness as the dog mother…But even in lands where are many wolves, humans aren’t in great danger as we think. Powerless child, woman who in wrong time goes out from the village could be really in danger, but grown up men is in danger very rarely, even if he is armed only with a stick…

So the wolf is what came up because of regression after the death of the father. The wolf eats sheep. What does it mean psychologically? If we adopt collective images of a father, of a man, of a masculine and identify with them, and use them and act in some way just because everyone does, we are as sheep, collective with no connection to our own identity. It seems that life doesn’t like that, because we get reaction from the unconscious. It isn’t life promoting to act in that way and the wolf tries to heal that. If we look at the whole story, the wolf has kind of intelligence because he makes the boy to go further in developing his masculinity. In this tale the wolf would represent devouring and overwhelming aspect of the unconscious, specific kind. And he represents an attempt at compensation, on the part of the unconscious for the inadequate adaptation of ego.

So the wolf is also aspect of primordial masculinity. In a way, the wolf has a goal, his prey, and he does everything to have it, the wolf is the symbol for directed libido. We see wolf as intelligent animal, so he thinks, and that is an aspect of developed ego is. The boy takes him now as the ultimate role model, to what he compares all men. He is looking for the men that are stronger then the wolf, who is more masculine, more penetrating than the wolf. Psychologically, the wolf in this story would also represent bold, unscrupulous determination to succeed that overwhelms ego, or unbridled desire and passion. But at the same time, wolf makes collective adaptation (sheep) impossible. With its penetrating libido, he just takes what he hungers for. The relation between people that have problems with collective norms, like law, and absence of the father in their life is pictured in this fairy tale in image of wolf eating the sheep.

Strongest man

Strongest man the boy is looking for could be the image of a strongest masculine figure he could look upon. The first one is the rich man.

Rich man

Rich man is a person with some authority in the village, someone a little boy can look up to someone who has money, libido at his disposal. And as such he is suitable to be the carrier of little boy’s father image. So he tries to be shepherd for the rich man, to do his job like an adult, but he is not strong enough yet. Psychologically it would represent a not yet fully developed ego, because of the absence of the father’s influence, trying to develop by substituting father with collective authority figure. The unconscious masculinity pictured as wolf is still too strong. In real life, this would amount to an emotion that determines the functioning of person and his inability to fight it. And it doesn’t work because the wolf comes and eats his sheep. The rich man is also afraid of the wolf.

Count

Count “would, therefore, represent not so much the central dominant conscious attitude of a group, but rather the model of style of general good behavior.”
The boy now wants to serve the count. The ego in this time of development identifies with the collective attitude for what a man should be.

King and Queen

“The theme of emergence of the institution of kingship in human history is very significant psychologically; it definitely signifies a major step in the evolution of the collective psyche. It amounts to the emergence of an image of a central authority around which a whole nation can be ordered, and it corresponds to the emergence of the ego in the individual. The king is a sort of collective ego of the emerging nation.”

“…conscious attitude that renounces its ego-bound intentions – not in imagination only, but in truth – and submits to the suprapersonal decrees of faith can claim to be serving a king.”

“King represents a dominant content of collective consciousness and underlines all the political and religious doctrines of a social group.”

The moment boy wanted to ask king to get him a flock to care for; the dragon’s seven sons come into the story. Flock is for shepherd what is consciousness to ego. Image of boy wanting to ask king to give him flock to care for, would correspond to undeveloped ego of immature men trying to develop by relating to contents of collective consciousness. But ego has also unconscious base and as soon as the contents of collective unconscious that give impulse to the ego appears, the king hides and the importance of dominant of collective consciousness for developing ego is lessened. Only developed ego can relate to collective consciousness. Collective consciousness is product of relatively developed ego complexes of many men and woman, collective consciousness is not the base for ego consciousness.

Before we continue, we should say something about the image of road cleaning.

Cleaning roads

Roads are collective patterns that make going from one point to other a lot easier. Roads represent a pattern of doing things, of change, of solving problems, but not in individual way, but in collective way, the way things are done in certain societies. Cleaning roads make one conscious of that. The way things are done is something a father teaches his son. But the boy hasn’t had a chance, so he has to do it collective in way, the way everybody does it.

Dragon’s seven sons

The moment the boy wanted to ask the king to take care of his sheep, the Dragon’s seven sons come into picture. By deciding to serve the king, ego renounces its ego demands, and by that becomes open to the influence of the unconscious. If we are identified with the king, with ego bound by the collective consciousness, we exclude all expressions of life that are not in the contrast with collective consciousness, and as compensation, not a wolf appears, but something in between, Dragon’s seven sons.

In tales from Podunavlje (Danube valley), dragon is not feminine symbol, but dragons are like usual neighbors, they are not loved too much, they were thought as problematic persons, they were not too big, lived in houses like every other man but they were known by their strength and they were a little wiser than ordinary folk…
There are seven of them and the boy is the eighth, like seven planets and the sun. Ancient idea says that for the soul to be born, it has to descent trough seven planetary spheres and to pick up qualities from each of seven planets. So the seven planets would correspond to complete personality traits, with all of its aspects. Seven Dragon’s sons and the boy would correspond to complete personality. They are riding horses, they have fur and tails. So they are kind of half animal half human. Boy needs to become men, so dragon’s seven sons could be complete masculinity of the boy that incorporates its animal nature. The boy starts serving them by carrying them over the water, as every night they are wet as roosters.

Rooster

“Wish to mate changes in rooster into madness so it changes him and at least temporarily represses every other feeling… rooster that feels a wish to mate knows only one goal: one, few or many chickens!”

“No other bird fights with its opponent with such fury, and there is few that fight with such persistence that never ceases.”

The rooster is solar symbol because his voice announces the raising of the sun.

He is connected with Apolon, Artemis, Leto and Zeus; solar gods and lunar goddesses.

Pythagoras in Golden Verses says: “Feed the rooster and do not sacrifice him because he is sacred to sun and moon.”

He is also connected with god Asclepius.

In Nordic legends, rooster is a symbol of warrior’s watchfulness.

Rooster is then connected with sexual libido, determination to win, sun, impregnating masculinity, but also with moon, and healing. So rooster would represent penetrating, creative masculinity. So if dragon’s seven sons are as wet as roosters, they are wet roosters. And wet rooster is almost castrated rooster with no libido. The creative unconscious impulse needs active ego to keep them conscious.

Dragon’s seven sons would correspond to unconscious, instinctual masculinity. This is important, this is what the ego has to work with and this is what has to be kept in consciousness. By keeping them conscious i.e. by working tirelessly the boy is becoming a man and developing his relationship to masculinity and this is by what he will earn the golden coins.

Golden coin

Coins are money, so psychologically they would be libido. They are made of gold, sun’s metal. Psychologically they would correspond to conscious, masculine libido as it is conscious it is at disposal of ego.

River

The boy is carrying them across the river. He is doing some hard work, carrying them across water, keeping them dry. Ego of a man has to have some will power to be a man, to keep his manhood conscious. It is tiring. Dragon’s seven sons are no taller than a man and heavier than mud. Mud is wet earth, a little unconscious earth, a little unconscious reality. And that seems to be very hard for not developed ego of a man. But by carrying them across the river, making effort to keep his masculinity conscious and his animal nature in check, he earns the conscious masculine libido, masculinity that he can use in life (golden coins).

Fire

“Speech and fire-making represent primitive man’s victory over his brutish unconsciousness and subsequently became powerful magical devices for overcoming the ever-present “daemonic” forces lurking in the unconscious. Both these applications require attention, concentration, and inner discipline, thereby facilitating a further development of consciousness.”

When the boy had gathered a lot of coins, he heard a noise of dragon’s seven sons running out of their house which was on fire. Carrying dragon’s seven sons across the river is like igniting fire, work that needs devotion and attention, work that keeps and feeds consciousness. When the consciousness is strong enough it brightens up the dark, like house on fire. The boy now knows how to make fire. The ego knows how to keep his consciousness. And that is by „attention, concentration and inner discipline.“

Every evening, when night comes, the boy ignites a fire. So whenever unconscious gets stronger; the ego with will power and determination is able keep his collective adaptation. That is a boy becomes a man by working and earning his living, every day.

Conclusion

So the little boy become what he always wanted to be, he was a shepherd of his flock and he wasn’t afraid of the wolves. The development of male ego, needed for usual collective life is finished and the orphaned boy is able to be usual man, doing his job and being able to be part of his community. But also the balance is kept. The sheep are alive and the wolf isn’t dead. He is waiting in the dark to come out when the fire is gone, for ill’ or for good.

Bibliografija

Marie Louise von Franz
Animus and Anima in Fairy Tale
Archetypal Patterns in Fairy Tales
Feminine in Fairy Tales
Individuation in Fairy Tales
Psychological Meaning of Redemption Motif in Fairytales
The Cat: A Tale of Feminine Redemption
The Interpretation of Fairy Tales
The Shadow and Evil in Fairy Tales

C.G. Jung
Symbols of Transformation

Ami Ronnberg (urednica)
The Book of Symbols

A.E. Brehm
Život životinja

J. Chevalier and A. Gheerbrant
Riječnik Simbola

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