Von Franz, Marie-Louise
Von Franz, Marie-Louise(dreams)
Marie-Louise von Franz (1915–1998) was a student of Carl Jung, the great Swiss psychotherapist. Not long before he passed away, Jung was asked if he believed in life after death. Asserting that he did, Jung proffered as evidence the fact that the dreams of individuals approaching death seem to disregard their own approaching mortality, as if it was a relatively insignificant transition.
Von Franz expands upon this point in On Dreams and Death, which was translated and published in English in 1987. She argues that dreams about a continuity beyond death cannot simply be wish-fulfillment, partially because dreamers on the edge of death dream about the death of the body in quite stark and realistic terms. If dreams were playing into the dreamer’s need to deny death, then such scenes would be conspicuously absent from dreams. Of particular interest is her observation that the dreams of the dying often contain symbols of transformation, particularly death/rebirth motifs that make death appear as a kind of initiation.