No Stairs

I’ve had a number of dreams in which there are no stairs. There’s a place I need to get to, and I climb a very difficult climb but make it.

Here’s part of a recent dream: 

“I go to [a fellow teacher]’s house. [I’ve never been to her house.] … It’s a big place. Spacious. She has no stairs to the second floor so I have to climb up. It’s hard. I do it twice. The second time, I end up in the neighbor’s upper floor. A family is there, cooking and doing other things. The teacher comes up there, too. I ask if she plans to build a stairway. I suggest 6 or 7 stairways that twist at different angles forming seating areas. She says “oh god no. no one could see each other.” There’s a man, maybe a couple of men, at her place. One is dressed in a coverall but changes out if it, saying he’s actually part of the scene there.”

I searched for Jungian interpretations of dreams with no stairs. I found references to stairs, but none about no stairs. Mostly I found thoughts about the levels of the house.

Jung wrote about a dream he had which influenced his theories on the importance of the house as a mirror of the psyche. It’s in his Memories, Dreams and Reflections (p. 58) and starts, “I was in a house I did not know, which had two storeys.” In the dream, he went from room to room and level to level, finding ancient artifacts in the lowest cellar. Jung, over time, developed a theory about the house in dreams, that the home “provides both a map of our collective evolution and a description of the individual psyche.” He considered the upper story the face one presents to the world. The lower level is the ideas we inherit from ancestors and culture. The basement holds our unconscious urges, dreams and desires, the “raw emotions of which we have little awareness and even less control.” 

My dream had two stories. Does the stairlessness mean somewhere I can’t reach easily in my own psyche? I, at times, don’t feel connected with how the world sees me. I think it’s particularly hard to hold onto positive ideas about myself, even when people have complimented something about me. Maybe I’m not alone in this.

Jung had his main house in the city in Switzerland but built a retreat on a lake. “Jung built much of this place by hand, using local stone and tools from the middle ages.” I find that a fabulous thing. This primitive home became very important in his life. It had no heating or electricity, no easy comforts of modern life. He did much of his deepest work there.  It reminds me of my project, building a medieval world in my fantasy series. I may not have built it litrally stone by stone but I lived that world as I created the scenes. I think Jung wanted to live that past time like his ancestors in order to strip away some of the layers that keep us from a sense of our true nature.

Has anyone reading this had a similar dream motif?

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