The Sacred Union
Union with the Inner Beloved

In the narrative description of The Storm, the dream ego as hero sacrifices his life to save the ship of his consciousness, surrendering himself to the sea of the unconscious. The intensity of what he has done wakes the subject up, in a state of high anxiety and isolation. The second dream, of The Sacred Marriage Within, is inherently a part of the first, but the extreme emotions experienced by the dreamer have interrupted the sequence. Perhaps is was necessary for the hero to experience the full impact of what he had done in a state of consciousness.

When the hero returns to dreamtime, he now feels alone in the dark of his apparent death. Having instinctually surrendered to his fate, perhaps he feels that he might awake in the world of the afterlife. He has indeed entered an afterlife, not the prison of unchanging death but the strange and wonderful beginning of a life which he could have never imagined. What happens next comes as a complete and unnerving surprise.

The dream ego immediately recognizes the voice of the imaginary woman he had abused in his pre-sleep fantasies. Somehow she has taken on a life of her own and has emerged in his dreams. He instinctually indentifies her as his Creative Self. He feels strong pangs of guilt and shame, but although she questions the Analytical Self and gives some advice, she does not judge him. In fact she wants to help him, to embrace, unite with and heal him. This has become quite an incredible dream, and even more strangely, its healing effects and her voice continues even into consciousness.

In a short time, the dreamer has gone from the despair of an isolated and apparently senseless death to an unbelievable state of heightened consciousness, an consciousness in which a new voice, apparently independent from his own, is co-existent.

The voice of the unconscious is typically first experienced in the opposite gender to that of the subject. Jung termed this contra-gender personification the anima in man, and the animus in woman, which are the female and male forms of the Latin word for soul.1 Later theorists have suggested that the characteristics of both anima and animus are present in the unconscious of both genders.

Since the unconscious is actually much larger and more complex than I at first realized, and in later experiences different components have been expressed in different genders, I have come to prefer the term Inner Beloved, to describe the personification whom I first met and united with in the dream of The Sacred Marriage Within.

1. Man and His Symbols, ed. Carl G. Jung et al (New York: Dell, 1964), pp. 186-207.
The Inner Beloved ©2004 David J. Wilson
Updated December 3, 2004
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