Both Freud and Jung were keenly attuned to the nexus between dreams, madness, and hallucinations. For his part, Freud considered the dream on a par with psychosis insofar within the parameters of the dream we concoct an unreal world that we regard as real and the line between truth and untruth is blurred—indeed, the dream image is true to the extent that it is untrue and untrue to the extent that it is true. Jung, too, was mindful of the fact that the sensuousdistinctness associated with the oneiric rises to the level of hallucinatingclearness. That clarity is linked to hallucination bespeaks the fact that a mindset judged by societal mores as anomalous may actually divulge a greater degree of perceptual acuity and hence what is conventionally considered to be lucidity is, in truth, obfuscation—the opposite, I might add, of what we typically find in political discourse. In this lecture, I will explore the far-reaching cultural and psychological implications of the psychoanalytic juxtaposition of dreams and delirium. In particular, I will illumine Jung’s assertion that a dream is a form of normal insanity from mystical sources. Dreams, I will argue, provide us with a mechanism to restore the possibility of reason’s dialogue with unreason. Finally, I will use the dream phenomenon to illustrate the depersonalization of personhood, that is, the idea of self without a self, the self that appears by not appearing since the identity of the dreamer both constitutes and is constituted by the dream. In that respect, paraphrasing Laruelle, we can speak of the dream without dreaming.
Please also join us on Saturday, April 14th for a One-Day Introduction to Pacifica’s graduate degree programs in Depth Psychology and Mythological Studies. The event offers prospective graduate students a comprehensive introduction and orientation to the distinctive educational features of the Institute.
This Introduction provides an excellent opportunity to:
Experience Pacifica’s unique interdisciplinary graduate degree programs through faculty-led, program-specific information sessions and presentations.
Hear from Pacifica students and alumni about their experiences and career outcomes.
Explore the grounds of Pacifica’s two campuses—the Lambert Road Campus and the Ladera Lane Campus.
Learn more about the admissions process & financial aid.
Elliot Wolfson Ph.D., received bachelor and master of Arts degrees from Queens College of the City University of New York, where he pursued the study of philosophy, focusing especially on phenomenology, hermeneutics, and existentialism. He received master of arts and doctor of philosophy degrees from Brandeis University, where he specialized in the study of the Kabbalistic texts and traditions that have remained central to his scholarly work. He was the Abraham Lieberman Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University, where he taught between 1987 and early 2014. His publications include the award-winning Through a Speculum That Shines: Vision and Imagination in Medieval Jewish Mysticism (Princeton University Press), Language, Eros, Being: Kabbalistic Hermeneutics and Poetic Imagination (Fordham University Press), A Dream Interpreted Within a Dream: Oneiropoiesis and the Prism of Imagination (Zone Books), and most recently, his forthcoming The Duplicity of Philosophy’s Shadow: Heidegger, Nazism, and the Jewish Other(Columbia University Press).
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