Although the term is now applied to both men and women, at first it only referred to the male version of the complex. In women, the Electra complex was said to exist. In the myth of Electra, she masterminded the murder of her mother to avenge her father’s death. According to Freud, the Oedipus and Electra complexes are universal phenomena, being responsible for much unconscious guilt and for dreams that focus on the death of a parent or lover.
Jung saw the world of dreams and relationships quite differently.
He rejected Freud’s heavy emphasis on sexuality and the Oedipus and Electra complexes as a key to interpretation. For Jung, dreams were not just a way of helping us to understand conflicts and anxieties, but also a way to encourage the creative unfolding and development of a person’s whole potential. Jung developed a theory called the ’soul image’, in relation to the human need to create a sense of wholeness. The soul image tends to be an archetypal image. The symbols that represent the soul image often appear in dreams that involve intimacy with the opposite sex, but they can also be represented in countless other ways. For example, the sea is feminine in dreams as it is associated with waters of the womb and the earth is also feminine.
Symbols of masculinity can appear in dreams as bulls or lions or any other phallic symbol, such as a tall building. Jung felt that dreams can be used to discover and explore soul images to help us become a fuller and more balanced person.