The cryptomnesic origins of Jung's dream of the multi-storeyed house

J Anal Psychol. 2009 Sep;54(4):513-31. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-5922.2009.01800.x.


Jung first recounted his dream of the multi-storeyed house in the 1925 seminars to illustrate the concept of the collective unconscious and explain the influence of phylogeny on his split with Freud. However, his telling the story of the dream belies a cryptomnesic influence of the early writings of psychoanalysis because Josef Breuer used a similar image to illustrate the structure of the psyche which Edouard Claparède associated with a phylogenetic inheritance. When telling the story of the dream, Jung misrepresented Freud's position, creating the impression of there being a bigger difference between their theories than was actually the case, and giving the dream a fictional significance for the breakdown of their relationship. In fact, Jung followed Freud into the fields of mythology and phylogenetics, and their split was due primarily to their different attitudes towards sexuality rather than phylogeny. The dream image has therefore led to a misunderstanding of Freudian theory when viewed from within a Jungian perspective. Freud believed there was a phylogenetic layer in the psyche, though he held a different view to Jung on its nature and importance.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Dreams / psychology*
  • Freudian Theory / history*
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Jungian Theory / history*
  • Phylogeny*
  • Psychoanalysis / history*
  • Psychoanalytic Interpretation*
  • Switzerland
  • Unconscious, Psychology*

Personal name as subject

  • Carl Gustav Jung