Niamh Clune

Environment, poetry, comment, children's books,

DreamWeaver’s Corner: Imagine the Psyche is like a House.

Imagine the Psyche is like a house…  

Photo By Petit Tiago ©

Photo By Petit Tiago ©


The upper story is modern, bright. This is home to our consciousness and day-to-day reality. But wait! There is more. Descend the stairs with me to the ground floor to an older, darker floor. Imagine it furnished in medieval style. In these rooms, the personal unconscious is connected to cultural, mythic images that still influence today’s thinking and social mores. For example, the medieval Grail myth inspires the Hero’s journey, the personal quest – a recurrent theme classically expounded in much of our religion, film, art, and music.

Imagine a heavy door in the far wall, ornately carved with symbolism. Open it to discover a hidden room with walls that are made of stone. These are roman walls, dating back to when the house was originally constructed. Examining them, we discover how our collective memory is rooted in an even more ancient, ancestral, mythical, cultural past.

Our unconscious is merging into the collective.

Just then, we notice a ring-pull handle in the stone floor. We pull it. A slab lifts to reveal a hidden staircase that descends still further. We realise, there is much more to this house than will ever be visible. The ring, symbol of wholeness, signifies how deeper levels of the house still need to be explored. Unless we visit every part of the house, the profound deep of the Unconscious filled with hidden, buried treasure, remains unplumbed – its message to the future never known. Wholeness and integration will never be ours.

A stairway descends into the depths. Climbing down, we enter a low cave cut into rock. In the dust of millions of years, scattered bones, broken crockery – remnants of civilisations too ancient to remember begin their disintegration, begin to make compost. This is the bedrock of the Psyche – the primal, instinctual stuff of survival, the stuff that feeds the collective spirit.

And so it is when we dream. Dreams are the language of the Psyche and can speak to us of many different levels of the unconscious mind as well as many different levels of our archaic, mystical past.

©Niamh Clune 2013
Photo © Petit Tiago

About Dr Niamh

When I was a little girl (a very, very long time ago), I used to love learning new, really big words like ‘discombobulate’. As I grew, my love of words grew too, until I loved them so much, I could not stop writing them down. One day, as I was scribbling a particular word, a very peculiar thing happened. The word shouted at me, “Stop! Don’t put me there!” As you can imagine, I was shocked and nearly fell off my chair. When I recovered somewhat, I said to the word, “Could you stop shouting, please? I am not used to it.” Can you guess what happened next? No! I thought not. The word said, “I might be small, but I will misbehave if you do not use me properly. I will not tell the story you would like me to tell. I will say something entirely different!” I dropped my pen. I hoped that by dropping my pen, the word would stop talking. Alas! It did not. It carried on chitterchobbling, even after the ink had dried. I was in a pickle. I could not allow my words to run away with my story, now could I? I don’t know about you, but when this sort of thing happens, there is only one thing left to do if you prefer not to spend your time arguing. “Very well,” said I. “I will do as you ask if you will just be quiet and allow me to concentrate.” Since that day, I have been paying special attention to every word I invite into my stories. After all, a story should say exactly what it means to say and not be led astray. With love from Dr. Niamh, Ph.D in Learning Through The Imagination and Founder of Dr Niamh Children's Books.

7 comments on “DreamWeaver’s Corner: Imagine the Psyche is like a House.

  1. Uncle Tree
    April 22, 2013

    As usual, good stuff, Niamh! 🙂
    Here be my most archaic dream,
    at least, as far as I can remember.


    • ontheplumtree
      April 22, 2013

      Yes this is an archaic dream, merging into the collective…has much to relay to you in it’s symbolism.


  2. Patricia Tilton
    April 22, 2013

    Love the symbolism of the house. Full of meaning.


  3. the secret keeper
    April 22, 2013

    What is hiding in the cavern of dusty decaying remnants of the unconscious? We join with the collective which must have been around since the beginning of time. So the wisdom that is contained within the darkness must be infinite also. Our life must have added to the collective, bringing in a freshness to mix amongst the remnants of the infinite. All our lives are connected to this place in the farthest reaches of this ancient enclosure. Is it where the dark feeds and re-energizes? And when nightmares frighten us. They resurrect from this darkness and feed our sleeping minds with their collective pieces of memory or symbols.

    This may seem like a strange question. The collective is the unconscious and is joined as one unconscious. Then theoretically my nightmares or life experiences that are stored away in my unconscious join the collective unconscious. Blending all unconsciousness into the one, the collective. So when I dream, my soul is drawing on the symbols accumulated form everyone’s unconscious. Does this mean the collective unconscious assimilates all perceptions? That they are converted into symbols so that all can draw from the collective unconscious contributed to by all in the conscious world? All experience is eventually converted and stored in the unconscious and filtered back into the collective unconscious.

    So, I conclude this dialectic that we are all connected through the collective unconscious. All experience that is stored away eventually ends up as symbols of the collective unconscious. The symbols in our dreams which our souls bring forth to the conscious mind which we can choose to analyze, will enable us to communicate with the soul. By doing this it enables us to communicate with the collective unconscious. Is this too convoluted or have I understood how this tentatively works?

    If I have gone too far or seem too out there just say so. My mind gets way too analytical. The point is to connect to the collective unconscious and the symbols stored there in order that we may communicate with the soul and, also, to release the darkness that haunts us. Lastly, to be able to release the mess that has accumulated and is preventing us from releasing our emotions through feelings. When this is done we will be freeing our self to experience life more fully and actually feel life.

    I do not expect you to answer this but i think I wrote my way through understanding some of what you have been writing in your DreamWeaver’s Corner.

    Thank you for such a profound way of describing how one should see the layers that lead to the collective unconscious. Absolutely Brilliant Niamh. I think I am getting it. Now I just need to allow my soul to bring to me the symbols. I feel she is beginning to do that. I want understand and be able to release my emotions through my feeling them. It would be such a freedom to be able to express them freely again, the way I did as a child before those around me shut me down along with my emotions.

    That was a catharsis of sorts, more mental than emotional but a little of that also. Once again, TY Niamh. Mine blowing material. 🙂 jk


  4. the secret keeper
    April 22, 2013

    Reblogged this on the secret keeper and commented:
    Absolutely brilliant material. Learning so much from reading your DreamWeaver’s Corner. I am reblogging. Going to take my mini dissertation with me. Thank you for your insight and for sharing it with all of us. Love this post especially. The House is kind of scary but it is worth the journey into the collective unconscious. Very Cool. jk the secret keeper


  5. patientdreamer
    April 24, 2013

    Very Interesting. Love this, you have my attention.


    • ontheplumtree
      April 24, 2013

      Many thanks, Diane. (Patient Dreamer). Lovely to have you drop by.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: