Carl Jung Resources > Dream Interpretation

The Meaning of Lost
or Stolen Cars in Dreams

man machine
The car in dreams is the symbol of our personal way of living and interact with others

In general, personal cars are symbols of our personal lifestyle, of our own way of being and interacting socially.

A comparison will help us better understand what is personal vs. collective.

In religious life, the collective is the mass participation in the liturgy and the following of the tradition and general rules admitted by the Church.

As for the personal, it is the individual way of experiencing the divine, which does not necessarily involve attending church or conforming to the rules generally accepted by the church (fasting, praying to our Father, cultivating love of fellow human beings, etc.).

If we dream that we have forgotten where we parked the car or that it was stolen, it means, therefore, that we have practically ceased, for one reason or another, to be ourselves, that we have become strangers to ourselves. It is an alienation of self.

Self-alienation causes anxiety and ultimately depression. Also, there is a certain clumsiness in relationships with others, oscillation between extremes and, individually, the diffuse feeling that something essential is missing from our lives.

This "essential" is our specific personality trait (our individual characteristic), our unique way of being, behaving and asserting ourselves. It is the foundation of our personality that others recognize as something that belongs only to us.

It often happens that we are warned by those close to us that we are no longer how we used to be, that we have lost this or that specific feature. The very skill that characterized us.

This lack can make our lives impossible and often leads to a psychic dissociation through which incompatible parts of the personality express themselves alternately, often without being aware of this alternation.

I would like to point out that not all people have a special, distinct personality. Most are "ordinary people," that is, people who don't stand out for anything special. For them, losing the car or stealing it is a symbol of material damage that can bring with it other troubles.

Ordinary people are also the ones who make the car (and wealth) symbols of achievement The upstart is a man who has become someone very important, no matter who, worthy of envy, obviously above the others, a special person.

For them, the loss of the car or its theft means a decline, a serious deficiency at the level of these coveted landmarks of social positioning.


  • Check out our site section dealing with dream interpretation here.
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Paper by J Jones
(psychoanalysis researcher and writter)


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