Spiritual values or dogmatic religious authority, depending on your associations. A father figure; code of behaviour arising from religious beliefs; God. See: spiritual life in dreams.

There is a tragedy connected with this figure because it abdicates responsibility and allows other human beings to manipulate, through becoming powerful symbols, for ones own power and insight. Thus we have popes, kings, dictators and presidents.

Many individuals barely recognise their own instinctive drives. Yet these drives are powerful enough when manipulated to gather huge armies of people who then march to their death. They are behind enormous hostility between neighbours and nations. Although irrational, and not in our best interest to be influenced by, millions of us are moved by them as if we had little will of our own. The feelings behind them, although seldom acknowledged directly by our conscious self, are often raised to religious status. The procreative drive, the election of leaders, the parental and child raising urges, are all to be seen in the Christian religion as the bones behind the robes and rituals. Why does Catholicism ban the condom and divorce; make a giant figure out of the Pope; worship a woman with a baby in her arms – if it is not based on these mighty urges and biological drives?

The power of the king or ruler has developed out of thousands of years of social interaction between rulers and subjects throughout the world. To explain this social side of the power I include the following description of how identity of a group and of individuals, is deeply connected with a leader figure such as king, queen or Pope.

The attitudes toward leader figures and royalty seen in modern individuals appear to have developed out of the way humans originally related to each other in small groups. This was added to and refined when people began to live in larger social gatherings. In both circumstances virtually all early human groups looked to leader figures for guidance and protection.

One of the greatest factors influencing this relationship between a group, the individuals in it and a leader is that of identity, both for the individual, and for the group. In a small group, such as the hunter gatherer groups which preceded the larger tribal or national groups, we see that the identity of the individual was largely formed out of the relationships with members of the group, and from their collective beliefs and customs. This was and is very evident with tribal peoples – the history of tribal Africa and the Jewish people gives graphic illustrations of this. Thus the ‘identity’ of the Jewish people is still very much alive today, forming obvious links with people otherwise separated by nationality and national culture. The religious beliefs and customs of such a group form a major part of this personal and group identity.

There are obviously negative and positive sides to such identification. See Individuation


Useful Questions and Hints:

What personal feelings do I have about the pope?

What was the pope doing in the dream?

Did you interact with the pope in any way?

See People from our pastTechniques for Exploring your DreamsQuestions

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