The Impulse to Identity
One of Sigmund Freud’s most well-known theories is wish fulfillment, proposing that dreams may satisfy unconscious desires which cannot be acted upon in waking life due to societal or personal restrictions.
The dream represents a compromise between conscious and latent inclinations, allowing the individual to assuage their dormant compulsions in a disguised and symbolic manner.
At the end of his published work detailing the theory’s derivation, Freud makes this penetrating perception: “The interpretation of dreams is the via regia (Royal Road) to a knowledge of the unconscious element of the mind.”
The Royal Road to understanding repressed rapacity.
While Freud predated A Course in Miracles by a few decades, he intuited its elucidation of the prototypical wish: a desire for selfhood.
The impulse to identity, a distinct sense of self, representing something so antithetical to infinite oneness that its accomplishment must be sublimated into a more acceptable form. The dream.
But not just any dream. A graphically depictive dream of perpetual separation, projected into a delusion of cosmically immense proportions. Its contents so seemingly real that each entity knows not whence it came.
And so we find ourselves in a world surrounded by drama with various forces impinging on our sense of well-being. Each experience attesting to its certain reality.
Without ever realizing it’s all a dream whose purpose is to indulge an idle wish. As we read in A Course in Miracles:
The world can give you only what you gave it, for being nothing but your own projection, it has no meaning apart from what you found in it and placed your faith in. (T-13.IX.3)
You who believe that [the world is real] made but one substitution. It has taken many forms, because it was the substitution of illusion for truth; of fragmentation for wholeness. It has become so splintered and subdivided and divided again, over and over, that it is now almost impossible to perceive it once was one, and still is what it was. That one error, which brought truth to illusion, infinity to time, and life to death, was all you ever made. Your whole world rests upon it. (T-18.I.4)
Yet there is a path to perfect peace; no dream required. We need but simply look upon the illusory nature of nothingness. This is the Royal Road that leads to the “dawning on our mind of what is already in it.” Wishes completely fulfilled.
Awakening into idyllic serenity awaits our choice.
Join me in Thursday’s class where we’ll explore the nature of dreams, their purposive nature of imprisonment, and the key to liberating freedom. I look forward to seeing you then.