Mindfunda Talked with Bill Domhoff about the Cognitive Dream Theory. In the Mindfunda Online Course Dreaming about the Brain, this is one of the three models discussed. The other two are the psychodynamic model of Mark Solms and the Activation-Input-Modulation of Allan Hobson. The latter being the most widely accepted theory of dreaming by scientists.
This blog is about the Mindfunda interview on the book "She Who Dreams". Wanda Burch -dream sister of Robert Moss- saved her own life by dreaming. In it, Wanda talks about how she followed her intuition, how she listened to her dreams and how she used mental imagery to assist her body in the healing process.
Cancer is a name used for several types of diseases. It is characterised by cells growing fast. Usually, when a cell is growing too fast the immune system triggers something called apoptosis: cell death. But in cancer, this system is blocked. Breast cancer is a very common form of cancer. As many as one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women.
Tip to prevent cancer #1: listen to your dreams
In the foreword of “She who dreams” Robert Moss* writes: “I learned that the Mohawk word for a healer or shaman is atetshents, meaning “one who dreams”.
Wanda tells in her interview that she always had this premonition that she was going to die young; her dance hall dreams. The dreams started in the 1960s. In those dreams she was in a dance hall and the only way out was through a door that would lead her through the other side. Her advice to anyone who wants to prevent any kind of illness or accidents is to listen to your dreams. “Our dreams are real. We must look at them as another room in our life where we can share and learn lessons for living, playing, communicating, healing, and even dying. We not only see the future in our dreams, but dreams about the future give us the ability to make choices and shape the future for the better.
Tip to prevent cancer #2: use visualization
Wanda tells about who her dreams gave her imagery she used to restore her body. “Dream healing is an active creative process which uses mind pictures to effect body wellness”. She shares in her book a very powerful image of the healing pool. “I had not realized, until that moment, how vitally useful and important a dream image can be in ones healing process. In this dream I was standing over a bowl of water, holding a sponge shaped like a wide, flat cone like a breast. I held the breast shaped coin under the water. I turned the coin over and squeezed the water from it again. This time a small cylinder filled with dark material flushed into the water, leaving the cone clear”.
Wanda her book is filled with healing meditations. Powerful images you can easily use yourself in any situation were you need physical or mental improvement. The mental imagery she presents is powerful, appealing and easy to use.
Tip to prevent cancer #3: bring the dream in the world
One of the hardest parts for people in dream groups I lead is to act on their dreams. Sometimes, all the conditions are ready, like for the artist in my dream group who dreamed about a painting. Another member of this dream group was organizing an exhibition. So I suggested that this dreamer would apply her art into this exhibition. But she decided not to.
Wanda also emphasizes that acting on dream images: bring the dream into the waking world, is a good thing. Acting upon a dream gives your dreaming mind a messages that you listen. That you are ready for its guidance. It is like you fall in love and enter into a new relationship. Any relationship needs devotion. Real-ness. To bring your dream into the world is like wearing the wedding ring to tell everybody that you are in a serious relationship.
Wanda Burch inspired my book “A Dreamers’ guide through the land of the Deceased”. In this book I look at over a hundred of dreams I collected worldwide as a universal story. The story our dreaming minds tell us about the path the soul will travel after death. I started to analyse the dream content using the dream content method developed by Hall and van de Castle. But I had this nagging feeling that by tearing the dream apart in components I lost the magic of the story. Wanda Burch her book reminded me that dreams tell a story. A story that is valid. So they idea of creating a voyage of the soul, after death was very exciting. Combining more than 100 dreams into a greater story was such an intellectual treat for me. I am still thankful to Wanda for her inspiration. (She did contribute a story for this book, a very moving story about her deceased father).
Cancer and dreams: Larry Burk
In 2013, when I was at the IASD conference in Virginia, I met Larry Burk. He told me that he was interested in dreams that could predict breast cancer. He got supported by the people of Dreamscloud. Wanda asks you in the interview to sent your dreams about breast cancer to Larry Burk, using his website Let the magic happen. Together we can save lives by showing people the healing properties of dreaming.
*: here you can read my review of Robert Moss’ latest book Sidewalk oracles
Register now for holy night dream incubations
Mindfunda invites you for a Christmas celebration you will remember. For just 10 dollars you get exclusive access to a restricted private area on Mindfunda during the Holy Nights. Each night between December 24 and January 6 I will share a dream incubation. We will talk about and reflect on our dreams. Ancient believe says that during these nights the veil between the worlds is thin. Register now as Mindfunda More Member, to experience the depth of your dreams.
"We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep" William Shakespeare
In a time not too long ago, dreams were regarded as messages from God. Now society has become much more rational dreams are regarded as random neurological chatter of the brain. ‘Dreams and Spirituality’ a handbook for ministry, spiritual direction and counseling is a skeleton for anybody working with dreams. In the first place it is aimed at ministers and spiritual counsellors. But it is also a very useful guidebook for anyone who has encountered a dream about spirituality. Mindfunda talked with the three editors: Kate Adams, Bart Koet and Barbara Koning.
Dr. Kate Adams is Reader at Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln, Lincolnshire.
Dr. Bart Koet is Ordinary Professor of New Testament and Extraordinary Professor of Early Christian Literature at the University of Tilburg.
Dr. Barbara Koning is a clinical psychologist of religion and spiritual director in the Netherlands. Her website is dreampilgrims.com.
“Explain all that” said Mock the Turtle. “No, no! The adventures first” said the Gryphon in an impatient tone: “explanation take such a dreadful time“.
Lewis Caroll, Alice in Wonderland
This book is an outstanding attempt to analyse and categorize spirituality in dreams. But everyone who has ever had a Big Dream, a confrontation with his own spirituality, knows that the most important thing in such dreams is the adventure. To drift away in another realm of being, to reach beyond the limits of what you thought was possible. My own spiritual dreams, especially the lucid ones where I was researching God, or my concept of God are of such intensity that I am afraid of writing about them. Afraid because I can not find the right words to paint you the picture. So the best way to read this excellent book is to interpret it as an invitation into your own realm of spirituality.
The book is divided into three parts, with dream narratives used as an interlude . In that way, the book reads like a poem, or a symphony. Part one gives an outline of the multi-disciplinary points of departure. Part two dives into empirical data. Part three serves as a more practical guideline for pastoral workers.
Each part consists of a number of chapters written by authors like Bob Haden of the Haden Institute, Robert Hoss, the man who put colors in dreams back on the map, anthropologist Charles Laughlin, Rev. Geoff Nelson. it is an impressive set of names. This structure takes care that every aspect of spirituality is covered. In this Mindfunda I will jump through the book, cherry picking the best quotes.
Dreams and Spirituality – part one:
In the first part of the book: Multi-disciplinary points of departure Bart Koet is one of the contributors. He outlines the view on dreams in the bible. Religious ministers are often inclined to neglect the dreams of their flock. In the western world, since Freud published his ideas, the interpretation of dreams has been considered to belong to the psychological realm and maybe to the adherents of New Age movements. However, Bart Koet shows that in Biblical traditions dreams and visions can be signposts. They stimulate people to look for new roads. . Biblical stories of dreams are also being used to wake the reader. At that moment the reader knows: ‘Be alert, wake up and listen carefully to this dream’. This approach does not stop with the Bible for there have always been people who have experienced some of their dreams as divine revelations, such as a lady like Perpetua in the third century, Saint Francis and also, for example, Don Bosco.
Charles Laughlin, author of ‘Communing with the Gods’ shares a chapter about the different cultural outlooks on dreams. “Human experience seems to be distributed across a range of states, from those concerned primarily with adaptions to extramental reality to those oriented towards internal relations within the being”
Charles distinguishes between the Western Monophasic culture were dreams are disregarded and the eastern Polyphasic cultures where dreams are perceived as a form of reality.
When one does a cross cultural study, like Vincenza Tiberia did in 1981, there is across cultures the same distinction between common dreams and big dreams. Tiberia used the data from roughly 300 societies and collected 62 archetypical dreams from 43 different cultures. She found six archetypes: ‘the Archetypical Feminine’, (anima, Great Mother), ‘the Self’, ‘the Marriage’, ‘the Ancestor Archetype’, and ‘Loosing teeth’. In “The spirit of Psychology” Jung refers to archetypes as “the holy”.
The interview with Bart Koet makes clear that his work in prisons, probably the least spiritual environment possible, can bring about very deep spiritual experiences and dreams. Being in a situation of despair can help people to face and accept dark parts about themselves. Like the man who murdered his “brother”:
Dreams and Spirituality – part two
In the second part of this book: Dreams and religion: empirical data, theory and reflection Barbara Koning writes about varieties of religious dreaming. This chapter is a way for counsellors and pastors to categorize the content of dreams shared with them. The Hall and van de Castle system of content analysis is mentioned.
“I am sitting in a circle of people around my minister who is leading a celebration. Suddenly he is giving me a kind of musical instrument: I understand I will have to accompany the worship. The instrument is broken and it does not work properly. I can’t fulfill the task given to me and I feel embarrassed about that”.
Such beautiful dreams we can all recognize are shared in the book. Barbara uses them to illustrate how pastoral workers can give a dream shared with them more depth and perspective.
The religion you believe in also influences the content of your dream. It is a pity that neither science nor atheism is considered a religion by the editors because that would have given the book an extra boost for me. Maybe the editors can consider it for the second edition of this book.
In the interview Barbara shares her vision on how science and spirituality can be united while working with spiritual dreams:
Dreams and Spirituality – part three:
In the third and final part of this book: Dreams and the practice of pastoral care Kate Adams and Peter Green share their chapter about the spirituality of children: “Out of the mouths of babes”.
“Neither Christian pastors nor teachers are trained to respond to children’s dream narratives“. Being the mother of two teenage boys I can confirm that my children would be terrified if they would have to share dreams at school. They could consider it humiliating, even though they share their dreams at home. Charles Laughlin pointed out in part one that we live in a monophasic culture. And it is a shame because children dream often.
Both Peter and Kate stress the importance of listening to and accepting the dreams without interpreting them. Spirituality in dreams is an innate quality of dreaming:
“I was on a cloud and God was there. I was crying and God told me not to be upset. When I woke up I felt better”.
This dream was told by a nine-year old from a secular background. He only told his cat because “my cat always listens and never talks back to me”.
In the interview Kate shares her vision on the importance of spirituality and children. So many times the subject of children’s dreams are disregarded in literature:
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Please sign up for my YouTube channel to enjoy all the beautiful Mindfunda interviews with inspiring people. People like Jean Benedict Raffa, Anne Baring, Connie Kaplan, Ralph Metzner, Stanley Krippner and P.M.H. Atwater, Catherine Wikholm about her book the Buddha Pill and Justina Lasley about her book Wake Up to Your Dreams: Transform Your Relationships, Career, and Health While You Sleep , Evan Thompson about his book ‘Waking Sleeping Being‘. and Barbara Koning, Bart Koet and Kate Adams editors of ‘Dreams and Spirituality‘.
An interview with Wanda Burch about her book She who dreams will be published in November, so sign up and don’t miss out on some interesting new interviews.
Susanne van Doorn from Mindfunda interviewed philosopher Evan Thompson about his book ‘Waking, Dreaming, Being’. Evan Thompson builds a bridge between Western science: neurology and the oldest map of consciousness, Upanishad.
A big thanks to Christian Gerike for alerting me to this book, and to Christoph Grassmann, for sharing his presentation about the self in dreaming with me so I could prepare questions for this interview.
Evan Thompson talks to Mindfunda about:
- How his father William Irwin Thompson founder of Lindisfarne Association, as well as his wife, neurologist Rebecca Todd, influenced the ideas he proposes in this book.
- The waking state as a stream of consciousness with gaps in-between.
- The dreaming state and especially lucid dreaming is a special kind of awareness.
- Dreaming as more than random neurological chatter of the brain.
- A state of pure awareness.
- And finally Evan Thompson tells us why he picked up the pen to write Waking, Dreaming, Being.
I got aware of ‘Dreaming, Waking, Being’ because of a quote colleague Christian Gerike put on Facebook. It was this quote:
“The first quarter is the waking state. Here consciousness turns outward and experiences the physical body as the self. Waking consciousness takes enjoyment in the ‘gross’ objects of sense perception, yet no object holds its interest for long, because attention, motivated by desire, constantly flits from one thing to another. Consciousness in the waking state is restless, dissatisfied, and constantly on the move.”
~ Evan Thompson. ‘Waking, Dreaming, Being: Self and consciousness in neuroscience, meditation, and philosophy.’ 2015, p. 9. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.
Needless to say I was fascinated. I got myself a copy of the book and enjoyed the book very much. Being diabetic, and having experienced a coma when I was a young child I always have had a fascination about consciousness. What had happened to “me” in that coma? I was not there but I still had flashes of memory.
I considered the voice in my head as my I, my concept of self. That little voice that whispers to me when my blood sugar is low: “Susanne you are not seeing well, it is time to measure your blood sugar level”.
Reading ‘Waking, Sleeping, Being’ and talking to Evan Thompson gave me a new framework for my concept of self. Evan suggests that there are four states of awareness: the waking state, the dreaming state, dreamless sleep and a state of pure awareness.
William James was one of the first psychologists and he coined the term “stream of consciousness”. The latest neurological research indicates that this stream is not continuous. it is filled with gaps. Evan talks about what could happen during such a gap and why understanding this is an important step towards understanding consciousness.
The waking state is a creator of the concept of self. Phenomenologists call them the “self-as-object”: a third person perspective, and the “self-as-subject”: me being aware of myself. This I and Me perspective carry over to dreaming.
Christoph Grassmann wrote a very interesting presentation about this for one of the psiberconferences organized by the IASD. Christoph was so kind to give me his presentation to prepare for this interview and that is why I asked Evan Thompson the question how his own sense of self had evolved during the process of writing the book. Evan told me that he had become more experienced in lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming had made him able to change his perspective on his sense of self because he was able to change processes and experiment in lucid dreams. In fact, a lucid dream inspired him to dive into the poems of the Upanishad and compare them with the latest scientific research about consciousness. He had that dream in Dharmsala, where he was invited to speak for a Mind and Life Institute conference with the Dalai Lama and Western neuroscientists on how experience can change the brain.
“I’ve always wanted, since I was a kid, to catch the exact moment when sleep arrives and notice when I begin to dream. With the rising and falling of my breath, colored shapes start to float on the inside of my eyelids. They hover just beyond my gaze, turning into cows and shacks and mules, like the ones I saw this morning on the bus ride up the mountain. As I watch these images, trying not to tamper with them so they don’t fall apart, I find myself thinking of how Jean Paul Sartre explains pre sleep in his book The Imaginary, which we read in my philosophy class a week before I left for India. When we are conscious of drifting of to sleep, Sartre says, we delay the process and create a peculiar state of consciousness, and from them we fashion images -but these shift with each eye movement and refuse to settle into dreams.
The next thing I know, I’m flying over a large, tree-filled valley. I must be dreaming, I tell myself. From the memory of trying to watch myself fall asleep – still fresh in the dream- and the lack of memory for what came after, I realize I must have lost awareness during my drowsy reverie and reawakened in the dream. I’m having a lucid dream -the kind of dream where you know that you are dreaming. Indian and Tibetan traditions say that meditating in the lucid dream state can make it easier to see the consciousness beneath waking and dreaming, so I try to sit cross-legged and meditate. But my intention to sit this way won’t translate into action and I wind up kneeling instead. Then I lose the intention entirely and I am flying again, still aware that I am dreaming…”
Evan Thompson – ‘Waking Dreaming Being’ p 108
DReaming as more than neurological chatter
After all his research Evan Thompson is convinced that dreaming is more than random neurological firing from the brain. ‘Waking, Dreaming, Being’ gives us a framework to sharpen our mind. The framework that is handed to you as reader provokes your mind to think and rethink about your concept of self, your dreaming self and your memories. Any book that can do that is worth reading.
The science combined with the magic we all crave, magic that seems to be lost in our rational worlds is just what the doctor ordered.
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Please sign up for my YouTube channel to enjoy all the beautiful Mindfunda interviews with inspiring people. People like Jean Benedict Raffa, Anne Baring, Connie Kaplan, Ralph Metzner, Stanley Krippner and P.M.H. Atwater, Catherine Wikholm about her book the Buddha Pill and Justina Lasley about her book Wake Up to Your Dreams: Transform Your Relationships, Career, and Health While You Sleep! Evan Thompson about his book Waking Sleeping Being.
Soon I will be interviewing Kate Adams and Bart Koet about their book Dreams and Spirituality.
Reading 'The Buddha Pill' written by Miguel Farias and Catherine Wikholm gave me some insights into meditation I want to share with you. The book was so good that I decided to mail to Catherine and invited her for a Mindfunda interview about 'The Buddha Pill'. The audio is sometimes a bit tardily because my provider was hacked at the time of the recording.
Can you change or are you born a certain way?
When I was educated as a psychologist I had to think about this ‘nature – nurture debate‘.
The nature side of this debate says we are born with a fixed set of genes. William Bernet has researched so-called ‘criminal genes‘. Being born with those genes, even though you are brought up in a loving environment will unleash the criminal in you. But don’t you like to assume that a good family, love laughter and acceptance can make even bad criminal genes flourish into happiness? Maybe so…
On the nurture side there is a compelling story in ‘The Buddha Pill’ about Nick.
A born criminal, a drug dealer. Being in prison just taught him how to be a more effective criminal. It gave him new connections, new methods. But one time he made a decision to stop. He focussed his energy on meditation and yoga and he has become a succesful meditation teacher.
Is meditation the Buddha pill?
I remember when I was young a lot of people, including my parents were engaged in transcendental meditation. Pictures of serene people floating above the air… Catherine Wikholm also saw these pictures in her childhood. And came to the same conclusion: there most be something magical about meditation that makes you a better person. When she was asked by Miguel Farias to research the effect of meditation on prisoners she did not hesitate one second.
The book originated from a meeting with Sandy Chubb of the Phoenix trust. She uses meditation to improve the inner sense of well-being of prisoners. Being two experienced meditators with a scientific background, Miguel Farias and Ctaherina Wikholm decided that they would do a scientific experiment to see if meditation is indeed the Buddha pill.
Researching the scientific literature, Catherine and Miguel found out that there is not a lot of solid scientific research available into the merits of meditation and mindfulness. Nowadays, mindfulness has gained acceptance as THE panacea for inner peace for restless people (and aren’t we all restless?). But there is not a lot of research done about meditation that could meet the scientific standards of having a control group and a clear defined variable that is manipulated to see the difference between the two groups.
The results of the experiment are in ‘The Buddha Pill’. But the writers have added some very useful sidenotes for meditation. First of all: sitting alone reciting a mantra does not make you a better person. Change needs to be incorporated in the body. Yoga does just that. It is no wonder that their experiment involved Yoga practices.
The second sidenote was picked up by the media. Catherine explaines in the interview that she did not always like that. She and Miguel really belief in meditation as a good thing. The dark side of meditation got a lot of attention from the media. But I think it is a very important chapter. Meditation and Mindfulness are not for everybody. That is important to know. However, this book is not an attack on meditation or mindfulness. The Buddha Pill wants to unite the two contradictions that still hunt society today: magic versus reason. Often these two are seen as incompatible
So, after you have seen the interview, what do you think? Can people change for the better?
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Have you ever had that feeling that you are just going through the motions? You say what you need to say to keep your mother/father/wife/husband/child/friend (fill in what applies to you) happy. Wouldn’t you like to create a life build around your authentic personality? Without pissing everybody off? Because being your authentic self isn’t about bluntly saying what you feel is right. Being authentic is about expressing the things you know in your soul to be true in a way that is genuine and respectful to the other human beings you share your life with.
Justina Lasley (www.DreamSynergy.com) did just that. She created a new life for herself. By listeing to her dreams she became authentic. And discovered that being true to yourself does not mean that people do not like you anymore. Her book is called Wake up to your dreams.
Mindfunda had the pleasure of talking with Justina Lasley about her book. In this interview she shares her techniques. She talks about how she transformed her career. She tells a moving story about how she met the right guy at the right time. And she talks about the way she got a proper diagnose for an illness that had been a turmoil for quite some time. Be sure to have a written dream by your side when you are watching the Mindfunda interview. Justina applied her Dream Synergy method to a dream of mine. By giving your own answers to her questions you will gain a quick insight into possible interpretations of your dreams.
Create the life you want step #1
Listen to your dreams. You have your own private counsel each night. To advice you on where you want to go. Justina gives you tips and exercises to improve your dream memory. One very good method she talks about in the Mindfunda interview: treat your waking life as a dream. An old wisdom based upon dream yoga. But in a modern jacket. Watch the complete interview for more information.
Once you have increased your ability to remember your dreams (it is really like you have a ‘dream muscle’, you have to use it regularly so it grows) you are ready for step two.
Create the life you want step #2
Be wise in interpreting your dreams. Like the Talmud says: ‘a dream which is not interpreted is like a letter which is not read’. But the Talmud also explains how an interpreted dream has the tendency to fulfill itself. Justina knows this like no other. By using the Dream Synergy method you have the tool box of the wise man (to use an archetype) to create your own inner miracles. The Dream Synergy method consists of three key components: emotions, characters and belief combined with three levels of dreamwork: recap, relationship and recognition.
By analyzing your dream in such a thorough way you will become so much more gentle with yourself. You will understand more about your emotions. There is a very useful table of emotions in the book that is worth mentioning. Just like in the film Inside out, Justina divides emotions into 4 main categories: Mad, Sad, Glad and Afraid. (Click here to read more about the Pixar film Inside Out).
The dream characters are considered to be parts of yourself. You interpret them in that way. This will enhance your sense of self because you will most certain discover neglected talents.
Beliefs are often shimmering beneath conscious awareness. The Dream synergy method will help you to become more aware of them. And by understanding yourself more you will look back at mistakes of your past with more compassion.
Create the life you want step #3
Last but certainly not least: take action! Do something with the insights that are given to you in DreamTime. Justina turned her whole life, her world upside down for the better. Don’t be afraid to rock the boat. If you are going to change you will surely rub some feathers the wrong way. But, as Justina says at the end of the interview: ‘If one advances confidently in the directions of his dreams, and endeavors to the life which he has imagined, he will meet a success unexpected in common hours’ (Henry David Thoreau).
On 25 – 26 October Justina Lasley and Robert Waggoner will give an online workshop. To read more about it click here. Here is a link to my Mindfunda interview with Robert Waggoner we mentioned in the interview.
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I was so glad that I could escape from my body that was aching all over, I felt like a fool that I had stayed in it so long. It was a conscious decision to fly away and leave my body and its misery behind. The pain had been too much for me to bear. It was a happy event, I was very interested in the adventure to come...
When I wrote about my own Near Death Experience (NDE), a friend of mine alerted me to the groundbreaking work that P.M.H. Atwater has done in this field.
P.M.H. told me about her extraordinary life in this (click here) Mindfunda Interview.
When she was a child, the policeman who raised made sure she became the perfect observant. He used to ask her about all the things she saw in life, making sure she did not miss a detail. This became very important in her career as scientific researcher.
In 1977, (not my best year, she jokingly says in the interview), she had three NDE’s. That triggered a lifelong research into the subject of NDE.
These three profound experiences shaped her life. Put her on a different path. P.M.H, being dyslexic saw books she was going to write. And she did. She is the author of fourteen books so far, and working on a new book.
Her new research is about children who have a nde at a very early age. This is how she describes it at her own website (use this link to visit her website):
NEW CHILDREN’S RESEARCH PROJECT – VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
Dr. Atwater is looking for anyone who may have been deeply impacted while still in the womb (perhaps the mother faced issues during pregnancy), with birth/birth trauma, being a preemie, while a baby or toddler, and/or up to the age of five. Because of this, the individual grew up different or odd or somehow never quite “fit in” afterward. Whether remembered or not, aftereffects cannot be denied.
Children’s near-death experiences were covered in-depth in Dr. Atwater’s book The New Children and Near-Death Experiences. The age range covered in this book was from birth to the age of 15. Children’s near-death experiences are different from adult’s – because of how they respond to the aftereffects. Tiny ones, from womb issues to the age of five, are even more different. The smallest of the small are in a class by themselves. Why?
On her website you can find a link to download the questions P.M.H. Atwater is interested in, so you can sent it to her. It will be a very interesting research.
Having talked with this bright, smart lady, I am convinced that she has uncovered some of the hidden meaning of the spiritual experience of dying.
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Today I celebrate the #100th blog post of Mindfunda.
The number 100 is a special number. All ratios can be brought back to 100 using a percentage. 100 was considered to be the desired age for a human being in the bible. 100 represents eternity. (Don’t worry, I don’t plan on writing for Mindfunda that long).
Behind the scenes of Mindfunda the blog
Mindfunda started in February with a first blog post about Valentines day and a scientific method of making somebody fall in love with you. That was what I want for Mindfunda: fun articles with a different edge. To make you think. To make you stop. To make you wonder. To encourage you to reconsider your own beliefs. I usually want some scientific data to back up my story. That means research. And research. And research. Jotting things down on paper, usually my notes look like this:
I call Mindfunda the walking website. Because after I have done all this work I usually walk. Nothing can bring notes and thoughts more into perspective then a walk, while thinking about what I want to say. I think about how I am going to say it, why I am going to say it and why my readers would want to read it. I think my Ray Kurzweil post is one of my favorites. I put so much effort in researching Kurzweil (I really got to like him), his life, his determination, his brilliant mind that I had to contemplate how to convince you of his brilliance without coming across as a love-sick puppy.
My post about a dream that alerted the dreamer to a heart condition is one of the most visited posts, according to statistics. We live in a time that many people suffer from heart conditions.
Behind the scenes of Mindfunda YouTube
After two months of blogging I wanted to publish an interview. Being a book addict I wanted to let writers tell about their books. I wanted people to engage with them, like them, see them, hear about their struggles, their solutions, their happiness but also about their failures. Because failing is not a problem. Failing is a side road to success. I created a YouTube channel for Mindfunda.
One of the books that had intrigued me the most was Dream of the Cosmos written by Jungian author Anne Baring.
In April 2015 I taped the first Skype interview with non other than Anne Baring. She, in my eyes, is a star. Having read her “Mythology of the Goddess” I was severely impressed with the intellectual depth of this lady. She has read so many old books about Kabbalah, about Sacred Geometry, she traveled the world: she is like an intellectual rock star to me. After emailing her she agreed to an interview on Skype. I was jumping tables, filled with joy. Unfortunately she had to cancel the interview. Twice. That is not good for your self-confidence. At an earlier age in my life, when I was about eight year old I really wanted to be a journalist. And interviewing people comes close. So having interviews cancelled for any reason is not good for your self-esteem. And she mailed me she did not like my questions. So I decided to jump in at the deep end and skip the questions but to ask her to tell about subjects. She agreed to that (and now you know the reason why I do not talk very much in that interview). But she was indeed my intellectual superstar. She gave such an inspiring talk that I was glowing with enthusiasm after I hang up the phone on Skype.
I usually give the authors my questions at least a week before the interview, so they can prepare. I like to start with a personal question about a dream, or a life changing experience. Most viewers don’t look long at interviews so you have to catch them early on to capture them. So that personal question, where the interviewees show a vulnerable, likable side of him or herself is very important.
When the introduction is done, my job as interviewer gets a bit harder. I have to listen, I have to scan the answers to see if the people watching have gotten an answer, and I have to prepare the next question in my mind. I can tell you that is a lot of work. I am not very good at multitasking…
The interview that surprised me the most was that with Ralph Metzner. He was in a good mood during our Skype conversation. We had a time mix up being 10 hours apart, I called him too late or he called me too early. But he gave an in-depth analysis of Western culture. He talked about Russia, with its Bear totem animal. He talked about ancestry, about Odin. And when I closed the interview after 50 minutes he said surprised: “Are we done already?”
Robert Waggoner was a delight to interview. I just admit to you that I am no good at multitasking and Robert thought along with me. He recommended research, he gave reading tips, he summarized.
I called him in his early morning and he was sharp. He is an early bird.
I did not have my headphone working while I did the interview with him, that is the reason I edited myself out of the video. And besides, Robert is far more interesting when it comes to lucid dreaming. I only have about 3-5 lucid dreams a month so I do not consider myself to be an expert on the subject.
I was so glad when I saw one of my friends on Facebook was a friend of Connie Kaplan. Her ‘Woman’s book of Dreams’ influenced me very much. We could have talked for hours. But keeping my interviews around 50 minutes is my aim. Preferably shorter, twenty minutes would be my favorite length. Experts say an ideal interview just lasts about three minutes. Connie talked with ease and felt really comfortable. She displays so much joy and wisdom in her film that you have got to fall in love with her.
I was really afraid that Jean Raffa would be far too busy to be interviewed by me. I heard such good things about her books especially ‘Dream theatres of the Soul’ and the ‘Healing the Sacred Divide’. But she was delightful, down to earth, but jet very spiritual. But she was happy to do the interview, even at a time when she was occupied with her keynote speech for the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) annual conference where she was invited to be the keynote speaker.
I usually engage in a talk before I do the interview (I edit this part out) and we discovered we had mutual Facebook friends and that we both had this longing for a spiritual depth that we could not fulfill using the traditional spiritual methods. So I ended up telling her everything about my “Reading the Red Book project” something I am working on now. I use the Red Book as a tool to incubate dreams to guide my own inner experience of religion.
The last interview I uploaded (I have not uploaded my interview with PMH Atwater yet) is that of Stanley Krippner. Stanley is a highly intelligent man who always impresses me with his knowledge of books and research. There is no subject to be discussed with him, or he can give you a good book written about it, or some excellent research for you to read. The only thing he is not able to give you is the ISBN number of the book. The interview went very well even though he was very hungry (It was his one-o-clock that I interviewed him). During this interview he showed a magnificent shamanic drum he once got, I was very impressed by it.
Now I am busy editing PMH Atwater’s interview and preparing questions for Catherine Wikholm who is one of the authors of the Buddha pill.
PMH Atwater is a writer and dyslexic, a combination that is very impressive. During our interview she was very direct, very scientific and very down to earth. The thing I had to get used to is that she likes to be called PMH. She considers that to be her first name. It was easy to get used too, because I became quite charmed with her energy. She has been researching near death experiences for a long time. Like Jean Raffa, she is has re-defined her personal religion. Now she is searching for people who had a near death experience at an early age and she does an appeal to you to connect with her and tell her your story if indeed you had one at an early age.
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Mindfunda had the honor of interviewing Stanley Krippner, professor in psychology on Saybrook University about his life. You can watch it on my YouTube channel. Don’t forget to sign up because I will be uploading lots of interesting interviews.
Stanley Krippner is a featured speaker on the conference of the International Study for the Association of dreams (IASD) where he will be talking about his work on ptsd – post traumatic stress disorder -. *)
It was a dream of mine that triggered me to sent him an invitation for an interview. I dreamed that I was performing a ritual with my hands. I had to move my hands in synch with Stanley Krippner in my dream. I knew exactly what to do, intuitively and I woke up very happy. With a new sense of trusting my inner self.
If you purchase this book using this link, you will support the good work of Mindfunda
In this book Stanley Krippner, a life of dreams myths & visions, a picture is painted of a psychology professor who combines a very analytical skill with tact and diplomacy. A rare combination. A lot of well-known scholars contributed a chapter to this book: Allan Leslie Combs, Jurgen Werner. Michael Winkerman, Charles Laughlin, Jean Millay & Suzanne Engelman, Deidre Barret, Daniel Deslaudiers, Faribah Bogzahran, David Feinstein and Deidre Barrett to name a few. This book is filled with wisdom.
Stanley Krippner has explored the field of psychology in all possible realms. He has a special interest in dreams. He has kept a dream journal from a relative young age. His article about how the magnetism of the earth influences dream content is just one of the ways he shows his love for the earth. Growing up in a farmer’s family he was involved in ecological agriculture at an early age. Slug the Bug! was his first ecological product that he sold himself at the local market. He always is very aware of his connection to the earth. His advice to students of psychology is: to stay grounded
This connection to the earth must get nurtured by a believe in magic. In the Mindfunda interview Stanley Krippner talks about how his good friend Rolling Thunder surprised him with some magic. One day a bird was brought to Rolling Thunder, a Cherokee medicine man. His wing was broken. Rolling thunder just took the bird in his hands and it flew away, healed.
If you buy this book using this link you will support the good work of Mindfunda
In the Mindfunda interview you will hear Stanley Krippner talking about that event. The picture on the cover of the book was taken shortly after.
The interview with Stanley Krippner made perfectly clear that psychology needs grounded people who base their conclusions on observable facts. But that only observable facts are not enough. You have to be open-minded for the magic to do its work. Otherwise the earthly facts would be too dry to consume.
His knowledge about magic (he used to study and perform magic tricks) came into good use when he investigated several paranormal events. A haunted house got analyzed by Stanley who deducted that every time something happened the grandson of the couple that lived in this haunted house was present. It turned out that the grandson wanted a place of his own and creating a story about the house being haunted made people crazy enough to experience weird things.
Magic also played a role when he conducted his experiments with Montague Ullman and Alan Vaughan concerning dream telepathy. The laboratory where he investigated dreaming persons using electrodes to measure their brainwaves was checked by magicians. It are those kind of details that make this man stand out.
I know Stanley Krippner not only from the books he has written but also because I invited him to perform a workshop Personal Mythology in the Netherlands. In the Mindfunda interview Stanley says that finding out your Personal mythology is important. Getting to know yourself better is vital for liking yourself. Liking yourself creates inner peace. inner peace creates the ability to give back to the world. If you want to join the Facebook group Personal Mythology I initiated click here. In this group we talk about mythology, mythological themes that penetrate our lives, we talk about dreams and how we have evolved from old personal mythologies into new mythologies.
There is one thing I have not mentioned yet. Shamanism. Deidre Barrett, in her contribution to the book “Every Tribe’s Wise man” talks about how a supervisee, Amaro Laria found shamans in remote places who all asked him once they heard he was from America: “Do you know Stanley Krippner?”
Stanley talks in the Mindfunda interview about how he used Carlos Casteneda’s hand method to aquire the art of lucid dreaming (for more info about lucid dreaming see my interview with Robert Waggoner).
Like Ralph Metzner he researched and experienced natural means of expanding consciousness and has written several articles about it.
Stanley Krippner gives psychology a new two-sided face. On the one hand he is about facts: analyzing data, reading the latest research. On the other hand he always keeps an eye open for magic. “The one thing I wish that students would do is gather facts about precognitive dreams” he stated in one of the interviews I saw while preparing my Mindfunda interview. Facts, sprinkled with a little touch of magic.
*) purchase this book about PTSD, and support the good work of Mindfunda
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"The message is unmistakable our own healing proceeds from that overlap of what we call good and evil, light and dark. It is not that the light element alone does the healing, the place where light and dark begin to touch is where miracles arise. This middle place is the mandorla" Robert A. Johnson
I had the pleasure of interviewing author Jean Benedict Raffa about her book “Healing the sacred Divide”. You can watch it on the Mindfunda YouTube-channel. Jean is a keynote speaker at the annual conference of the International Association of Dreams (IASD). Healing the sacred divide got the Wilbur Award, recognizing excellence in the communication of religious issues.
Jean and I talked about how in this day and age we seem to be addicted to war. Inner disagreements and outer arguments where we seek and emphasize the differences between ourselves and “the other”.
In a previous interview I had with Ralph Metzner, I discussed how Europe was taken over by warrior tribes and how this inheritance changed mythology. Jean Raffa describes how our religion is based on those old warrior mythologies. Masculine, with a God image outside of us. Her book Healing the sacred divide is divided in two parts, just like a mandorla.
If you purchase the book using this link, you will support the good work of Mindfunda
Mandorla consciousness #1
The first part tells about the eight mistakes in our current concept of God. This part analysis how culture has emphasized one part of the continuum: creating a masculine God, that is outside of us and that really lacks a female touch. With female I mean the qualities our culture has marked feminine like empathy, intuition, acting based on an inner knowing instead of facts. Qualities that both male and female posses and express. It is a clear statement how we need both sides: we need to combine facts with intuitive insights.
Mandorla consciousness #2
The second part tells about the nine wisdom gifts of integrating the divided God image. She builds up the second mandala of consciousness fout of nine stones of wisdom. A nine folded lapis lazuli. Holistic consciousness, transforming light, acceptance of the shadow, emotional integrity, partnership, balance, sovereignty, meaning and the mandorla consciousness.
Mandorla consciousness #3
In the interview Jean Raffa shares a dream about her shadow that she has never shared before. It is a clear example of how valuable working with dreams can be. To out value on your dream images is a sure step towards more inner peace and acceptance. Like Robert Waggoner explained to us in his interview with me about Lucid dreaming plain and simple: dreams can provide key insights towards integrating your own shadow. those parts of yourself you are used to project on somebody else.
Mandorla consciousness #4
In the interview Jean Raffa told me that the key to a happy live is the ability to unite opposites. Her book holds valuable keys to make that work much easier. I wish I read this book years earlier. It would have saved me a lot of pain and mistakes. But then again, I might have missed out on a lot of wisdom…
Other Books from Jean Benedict Raffa:
Dream Theaters of the soul (clck the image for the kindle version)
What are your dreams telling you? Dr. Raffa believes that “dreams show us who we are and what we can become.” In this fascinating book of how to analyze dreams, explore the feminine aspects, and use dreams to grow emotionally and spiritually, Raffa combines the metaphor of a theatre with the practicality of a handbook to provide a practical guide to understanding your dreams.
Bridge to Wholeness, ” describes an inner feminine way where one makes peace with dragons instead of fighting them. This moving account of a mythic journey from humility to strength, through darkness to light, carries a powerful message of unity and balance for seekers everywhere.”
If you purchase the book using this link, you will support the good work of Mindfunda
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Mindfunda had the honor of interviewing Robert Waggoner about a new book he has written together with Caroline McCready: “Lucid dreaming plain and simple”.
You can watch it on the Mindfunda YouTube-channel.
Robert Waggoner is past President of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) . For the past ten years, he has been the co-editor of the online magazine, The Lucid Dreaming Experience, the only ongoing publication devoted specifically to lucid dreaming. A lucid dreamer since 1975, he has logged more than 1,000 lucid dreams. He is also author of Lucid dreaming, gateway to the inner self, read all about that book here.
Caroline McCready is an author, teacher, artist, a graduate of the University of Warwick, with a BA honours degree in History of Art and also has a postgraduate SQC in Psychology from Oxford Brookes University. Caroline spent a year at the Julian Ashton Fine Art School in Sydney, Australia before going on to study Sculpture in Chelsea, London.
They both met at the presentation and courses Robert gives in Lucid dreaming and decided to write a book suitable for beginners as well as more experienced Lucid dreamers.
For the sake of the interview I decided to divide the book into four parts:
#1: Basic techniques for lucid dreaming
The first part of the book (chapter 1-4) gives information about the history, science and basic techniques of lucid dreaming. There are some nice stories about dreams in the book. For instance how Google founder Larry Page woke up with the idea “What if we could download the whole web and just keep the links?”
We all know how big Google has become.
Basic lucid induction techniques like finding your hands, mental suggestions, Mild (Mneminic Inductions of Lucid Dreams), the Critical reflection Technique of Paul Tholey and Wild (Wake Initiated Lucid Dreams), Cram (Constant Repetition and Affirmation Method), Wbtb (Wake back to bed) are discussed. It makes the book a valuable resource for all lucid dreamers around.
The methods of stabilizing your lucid dreams : Meme: Modulate your emotions, Enhance your awareness, Maintain focus, Establish your intent or goal, ways to prolong lucid dreams, waking from lucid dreams and how to recognize a false awakening you can find all of this in the first 4 chapters of this book.
#2: Fine tuning the basic techniques
The second part of the book (chapter 5 – 9) revolves around fine tuning the core techniques of lucid dreaming. Robert touches on interacting with other dream figures in a lucid state to resolve, balancing your inner energy, explore different materials in a lucid dream, intent and the power of surrender, for some dreamers the hardest part of all in lucid dreaming: the power of surrender. This book is not plain and simple. It initiates you to approach lucid dreaming in a respectful way that will increase the knowledge of yourself.
#3: Lucid dreaming and healing
The third part of the book chapter 10 – 13, around dreaming and healing: healing emotionally and physically. finding inner balance by integrating the shadow (the book has a recognizable and enjoyable Jungian flavor), how to heal in a lucid dream and one of my favorite suggestions is meditating in a lucid dream (I never meditated in a lucid dream before I read this book. Meditating while being lucid gives you a healing sense of connection with the universe. In the interview Robert gives credit for this idea to experienced lucid dreamer Clare Johnson.
#4: Lucid Living
The final part of the book is Lucid living. Robert Waggoner is an expert on this. Listen to the interview to hear what he has to tell you about Lucid Living.
(If you decide to buy the book using the link in this blog you will support Mindfunda. Thank you for that!)
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The Moon has an effect on dreams. We have known that for a long time, even though we might not realize it consciously. I spoke with Connie Kaplan about the effect the moon has on dreaming. Watch the complete interview on Mindfunda’s YouTube channel so you can enjoy it too (don’t forget to subscribe).
Connie is a woman who “dreamed herself awake”. During a time she was burned out, she dreamed and she kept on dreaming. She shares that valuable information with you in her books and in the interview.
Connie’s book “The Woman’s book of dreams” is divided into five parts. The first part is about astrology. Connie broke down in 1986 and rebuilt herself using dreams, spiritual guidance and the power of the moon. If you listen to the interview you can enjoy her energy and her wisdom.
The Moon is affecting dreams
In the first part she talks about how the moon affects dreaming. This made her distinguish several types of dreaming that might shed a new light on the dreams in your dream journal. She talks with us about the 13 types of dreaming she recognizes and how they can help you.
If you have a dream circle, or think about starting one, you should really take a look at the interview. Connie Kaplan describes a very powerful method (buy The woman’s book of Dreams if you want to know all about it). It has been the method that I use myself. The power of silence can really intensify the messages a dreamer comprehends about a dream in a dream circle, Not speaking when you have nothing to say is a spiritual act.
A thing almost all of us do while working with dreams, is projecting our problems of the past on them. Connie Kaplan talks about re-dreaming the past in a powerful way. She discusses the myth of Persephone, queen of the real of the death with us because that is a recurrent myth for women everywhere. Taken into the dark Persephone takes charge and becomes queen.
The dreaming of the future is a thing we all know. But often we do not talk about it. We ignore it or reason it away. Connie talks about an extraordinary coincidence that happened in her dream group. A mutual insight her dream group had into an important future catastrophy.
And the last subject is about giving the gift. It is Connie’s calling to help you embrace your contract of life. The most important clause in your contract giving your gift. Embracing yourself and enjoying life.
This and nore is discussed in my recent interview with Conny Kaplan. I hope you enjoy watching the complete interview!
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“I must learn that the dregs of my thoughts, my dreams, are the speech of my soul. I must carry them in my heart, and go back and forth over them in my mind, like the words of the person dearest to me” Carl Jung Red Book
Anne Baring Dream of the Cosmos: Question #1
If the Cosmos is a living unity, what would it be dreaming about?
Anne Baring, author of Dream of the Cosmos, starts the Mindfunda interview by telling us the dream that started it all. She had a very profound dream about Shekinah (I wrote about Shekinah in this earlier post). This dream made Anne aware that everything in the universe is connected.
ANNE BARING DREAM OF THE COSMOS: QUESTION #2
What is femininity?
In my interview as well as in Dream of the Cosmos Anne redefines femininity. It is not about seductiveness and fertility. It is about the connection with the soul. An inner connection to honour your awareness of soul.
ANNE BARING DREAM OF THE COSMOS: QUESTION #3
How do I connect with the soul?
Anne touches upon Buddha and Jesus as people being in touch with the Soul. They wanted to convince people of the inter-connectedness we all share. The Kabbalah is a tradition that plays an important role in the Dream of the Cosmos. Its ancient wisdom reveals so much about our universe and its hidden laws.
ANNE BARING DREAM OF THE COSMOS: QUESTION #4
How do we feel this connectedness, when we are in pain?
In a mythological perspective Dream of the Cosmos talks about the pain the myth of the fall has caused. How it encouraged misogyny, the hatred for women. It was a false perception that has been haunting the world since the Neolithic time.
Anne talks about how quantum science confirms the insights she reveals in Dream of the Cosmos. About how she feels about the tragedy of Germanwings. About sin being a trauma inflicted in childhood. About how we need the dark side of our personality because dark matter is the biggest creative force in the universe.
ANNE BARING DREAM OF THE COSMOS: Questions For You
Watch my 4-chapter video interview with author Anne Baring about ‘Dream of the Cosmos’ to find out how this book will change your life for the better.
Anne Baring, author and Jungian analyst, wrote her magnum opus: ‘Dream of the Cosmos’ in 2013. Click on the picture to buy it:
I have an excellent Mythology Course you can follow online: Mindfunda Mythology
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