Who thinks Dreams have a Place in History? A Review in 4 Questions

If you think back at your history lessons at school: they where all about facts. But what if history is studied as a combination of historical facts combined with dreams, spirit possession rituals and dancing performances?

Question #1: How does history change if you look at dreams, and contemporary rituals?

This is a book review of Dreaming and Historical Consciousness in Island Greece
by Professor Charles Steward PhD
University of Chicago Press; Reprint edition (March 31, 2017) ISBN-10: 0983532222 ISBN-13: 978-0983532224, Kindle $16.88, Hardcover $27.08, Paperback $22.50
Reviewed by Susanne van Doorn

 

To investigate this question, Charles Stewart, Professor of Anthropology at University College London, interprets history as a social relationship.

history
Cartoon: Bill Watterson.

It is one of the books I recommended for you to read in this blog about interesting books to be published the first quarter of 2017. But this is actually a digitalized version of the first print in 2012. And I am so glad we get a chance to re-read and appreciate this book!

 

history
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History: A Case Study

The book is a case study about the Greek village Kóronos. A village on the island of Naxos, dedicated to pilgrimage.

“During 1930, the dreams of Katerina Levaki, Nikiphoros Legacies, Evdoka, Marina and other oneirevamenoi (Susanne: this is a complicated word for people who explore dream worlds) shaped a myth. The myth validated dreaming as a conduit for receiving true messages from the beyond and the reality of the saints who actively communicated with individuals. Application of the term myths draws attention to the power of the narrative to shape and guide aspirations in Kóronos” (page 112).

history
The Narrative of a Lot of Cats

 

The story, as told in this book starts in 1830 and ends in 1990, when a church is build in dedication of the Panagia, the All Holy or Virgin Mary

 

History: Let’s get Personal

While reading this book, I was thinking about the power of narratives.

Question #2: What is the story I tell myself?  And how does this shape my dreams?

How do my dreams shape my narrative, my comprehension of the world and the social relationships I am dealing with?

In Kóronos, the Panagia came to visit in dreams of three shepherds…(that alone reminds you of the story of Christ), telling that there where icons buried. Those icons depicting her that had to be traced. This happened in the 1830’s, during the war of Greek Independence.

history
Panagia

 

If you are living in a land that is struggling to regain independence, you need a mother. A benevolent mother that is there to protect and guide you .

Question 3: Have you ever had dreams that reflect the political situation in your land? 

When reading this book, I remembered a dream I once had about an extreme right politician, Pim Fortuyn, in his grave… Mud was pouring all around him. In waking life he had been assassinated.

History: Mutual Dreaming

The second part of history examined in this case study is the period around 1930. In this time of economic depression, a number of people in the town of Kóronos started to receive dream messages again.

Marina and other dreamers dreamed about an icon of St. Anna, the mother of Mary. It was buried in a mountain and finding it would bring prosperity. In the 1930’s there was a great economic depression that affected a lot of people in a very negative way.

And at this time there is number of dedicated dreamers who tries to “tune into” finding this icon. Because we all need divine intervention.

history
Contemporary Mutual Connections
Cartoon: Tim Whyatt

 

The dreamers would gather the villagers to come and listen to them, as they prophesied and tried to connect with the holy spirit.

This part of the book inspired me to ask question #4:

Is dreaming a social process?  Let me know your answers in the comments.

History: Building the Church

In the mid ’90’s of last century the dreams in the city of Kóronos led to the building of the church of Argokoli

history
Church of Argokoili
Photo Nayta Kuinka

 

 

This book shows you how perceptions of temporality and caution went from prophetic in the years round 1830, to apocalyptic in the period round 1930, to rational and historicist in 1990.

CONCLUSION

PRO

  • This book suggests that dreams are a mode to discover novel information about the past;
  • Charles Stewart has done thorough research;
  • Especially interesting is his study of the 1930 dream diaries;
  • If you are, like me, interested in dreams, this book will be a wealth of information;
  • This book makes you aware that there is a recursive relationship between events and structures, that is reflected in dreams.

CON

  • Sometimes Charles says the same thing in different words. Eloquent words, nonetheless, but the point has already come across.

Mindfunda verdict:
8/10

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I like nothing better than to give away valuable information to make your life better. Here are two books to choose from: 10 tips to remember more dreams and a report on Mutual Dreaming 

NEW COURSE: START OF SPRING: NORSE MYTHOLOGY:

In this four lesson course, that starts this spring, you will get access to:

  • An opportunity to learn about Norse Mythology;
  • You will get 4 dream incubations;
  • You will get access to a Facebook group where you can learn from others and add value yourself about the things you have learned during this course;
  • You will get 4 weeks of intensive training in how Norse Mythology plays a part in your life and your dreams;
  • A lesson about Freya as Goddess of Spring;
  • A lesson about Odin and the Life Tree;
  • A lesson about Loki, the eternal Trickster;
  • A lesson about the Dreaming Goddess, Creator of the Universe.
ARE YOU READY TO JOIN ON MARCH 20?
 

THIS CONTENT IS CREATED BY SUSANNE VAN DOORN, AUTHOR AND OWNER OF MINDFUNDA; MAKING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PSYCHOLOGY, MYTHOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY EASY TO USE IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE!

What is Mindfunda about?

My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independant site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.

This posting is categorised as Dreamfunda:  
Everything you need to know about dreams. Practical How to’s, the latest scientific research, the most commonly used ways to attach meaning to dreams. This and more is given to you for your everyday use in this part of Mindfunda

Read more about Mindfunda here, or visit our Courses Page.


Ready for more free Mindfunda content on ‘#DREAMS‘?

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New Course: Start of Spring: Norse Mythology:

 

In this four lesson course, that starts this spring, you will get access to:

  • An opportunity to learn about Norse Mythology;
  • You will get 4 dream incubations;
  • You will get access to a Facebook group where you can learn from others and add value yourself about the things you have learned during this course;
  • You will get 4 weeks of intensive training in how Norse Mythology plays a part in your life and your dreams;
  • A lesson about Freya as Goddess of Spring;
  • A lesson about Odin and the Life Tree;
  • A lesson about Loki, the eternal Trickster;
  • A lesson about the Dreaming Goddess, Creator of the Universe.
ARE YOU READY TO JOIN ON MARCH 20?

 

Five books to Read on Dreams in the first Three months of 2017

What do I advise you to read on the topic of dreams in the first three months of 2017? I love to read and educate myself. I spent the last couple of days exploring the websites of publishers looking for pearls* that I might review for you. *Pearls are books that have a special edge: they talk about dreams from other perspectives. We all know the “tell me the first thing that comes into your mind” association method when it comes to dreams. I want to go further than that. I want to explore different ways: scientific, neurologic, artistic. Books filled with information that can turn your current world view upside down. From all the books I have previewed here is the list of books I want to read. And I think you will agree with me. The list below is arranged by date of publication, not by preference.

Read tip 1: Aging & Becoming: A Reflective Enquiry

Aging and Becoming. A reflective Journey  by Susan Scott and Susan Schwartz PhD.  January 2017

read
Click the link to buy the product and support Mindfunda

In our society youth is idolized. Wrinkles are botoxed away and grey hairs are dyed in any other more youthful colour.
But aging has its merits too. You gain more self-confidence, you have fallen and gotten back up again. “The value of myths, dreams and tales are also referenced as these indicate the enduring trials and tribulations in our contemporary lives.  The authors challenge the view that the older woman has little to offer” (copy-pasted from Amazon site).
I love the way mythology and dreams are intertwined (I have written an excellent course on this subject). And as a woman, I have seen my value increase while growing older. Because I have so much more knowledge, I am able to support others in much more profound ways than I used to be able to when I was young. So I will be very glad to review this book for you on Mindfunda.

This is the review about Aging and becoming, a Reflective Enquiry.

Read tip #2: text as dream

Text as Dream, Instinctual Life in Literature by Rani Drew, $47.99 to be published February 15th, 2017

 

read
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Writer Rani Drew  compares Freud’s breakdown of a dream with the process of creating art. I am really fascinated when a dream is compared to a work of art, or a text. I think I am going to learn a lot reading this book, even though I am not a Freudian. I do admire the intuitive nature of the Freudian model of the psyche, where the human mind is conceived to be an iceberg, with treasures hidden beneath the surface.

Read tip #3: Dreams, Neuroscience, and Psychoanalysis

Dreams, Neuroscience, and Psychoanalysis. Mind, Body and the Question of Time, by Keramat Movallali, $52.95 to be published February 2017

read
Click the link to buy the product and support Mindfunda

Time in dreams. This is one of the things that fascinates me most of all. I have had dreams that featured time-traveling.  And this book has such a juicy promise: “Dreams, Neuroscience, and Psychoanalysis sets out to give a scientific consistency to the question of time and find out how time determines brain functioning” (copy/pasted from the Amazon site). I just could not resist, I need to know more.

Read Tip #4:The Brain

The Brain: What Everyone Needs To Know® by Gary L. Wenk, to be published February 2017 on kindle for 12.99 Hardcopy March 2017 for 74.00

read

This book is written in the form of questions: How am I going to live longer? When am I going to die? AND: a whole chapter on dreams! Yes, we love it. “What happens when I am dreaming? What is a lucid dream? A lot of interesting questions.

Read Tip #5: Dreaming and Historical Consciousness in Island Greece

 Dreaming and Historical Consciousness in Island Greece by Charles Steward, to be published March 2017 (a republication)

read
Click the link to buy the product and support Mindfunda

A book, written by an Anthropologist of whom the Times Literary Supplement  said when it was published in 2012:  “In his extraordinary Dreaming and Historical Consciousness in Island Greece, Charles Stewart offers a new way of thinking about dreams in their social contexts . . . and Stewart has a gripping story to tell.”
That sounds like an intriguing promise to me. I hope I will be able to get a review copy so I can share my thoughts about this book with you.

If you have any other books about dreams and mythology that are going to be published in 2017, let me know in the comments.

 

Check out Mindfunda Courses: Add more value to your life exploring your own Mythology

 

Get a Free ebook: 10 easy ways to instantly improve your dream memory

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Your thoughts or suggestions are welcome:

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