The Dream Interpretation Dictionary

The Dream Interpretation Dictionary. Symbols, Signs and Meanings.
by J.M. DeBord
Visible Ink, 2017, $16.50 paperback ISBN-13: 978-1578596379; kindle $16.09 ISBN-10: 1578596378
reviewed by Drs. Susanne van Doorn

 

 

dream interpretation dictionary
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Dream Interpretation Dictionary: Reddit

When you remember a dream and it was emotional, you want to know what it means. It is a natural thing.

Jason DeBord is a dream expert who is also known as RadOwl on Reddit Dreams. Reddit is an online platform where people wo are a member can post their dreams and ask questions about them.

dream interpretation dictionary
Logo of Reddit Dreams

Another cool thing to know about Reddit Dreams is that it organizes “AMA” or Ask Me Anything” hours where a dream expert is invited and members are allowed to.. yes you have guessed right, to ask that expert anything.

Dream Interpretation Dictionary: Yes or NO?

In the field of “professional dream workers”, using a dream dictionary is a no-go. You need to dive into your own associations, and build up your own dream dictionary.

dream interpretation dictionary
Cartoon: awsome-tattoo-pics-edward.blogspot.com

It has to do with the way psychiatrists operated in the past. They where the “all knowing entities” and their interpretation of a dream was the only right one.

In the seventies of the last century, psychiatrists where pushed from their throne when it comes to dreaming.

Jason DeBord writes about this in his book: “Back than (in the mid-1990s), all I had to refer to were books written by psychiatrists such as Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud. I’d wake up with a head full of dream memories and hunt around for anything to help me understand them.”

dream interpretation dictionary
Cartoon: Singer

 

“My approach is that dreams are stories told through symbolism and can by analyzed the same basic way you would analyse a novel or a movie. And your feelings can tell you more than anything else about your dreams… You are the best interpreter of your dreams; you just need to know how” (page xi).

dream interpretation dictionary
Cartoon: Bizarro.com

 

I always see dream as a sort of Rorsach test: whatever you see in it, tells you something about your own psyche. And a dictionary can give you a completely different vision on your original interpretation. I love that. I celebrate that. Or as my colleagues in the dream world say: a dream is multi-layered. And a good dream dictionary offers suggestions you can explore.

Dream Interpretation Dictionary: 2 Criteria

When I was preparing this blog I thought about how I could best show you, my reader, if and how this book could be useful for you.

There are already many dream dictionaries. Good ones like Ariadne’s Clue by Anthony Stevens but there are many, many more available.

What makes a dream dictionary stand out? For me there are two things. Let me know in the comments if you have other selection criteria, because I would love to hear them.

dream interpretation dictionary
Cartoon: Scott Hibuen

The first one is: does this dream dictionary tell me something I did not know already. You need to forgive my arrogance, but after interpreting dreams so long, most of the meanings of symbols are quite clear to me.

The second one is: does the dream dictionary invite me to explore my own emotions and associations? And unfortunately, most dream dictionaries lack in that department.

Dream Interpretation Dictionary: Example

I decided to use one of my own dreams to see if The Dream Interpretation Dictionary could live up to my standards. I choose a dream that falls into the category of often dreamed symbolism. It is a very simple dream. It features one of the most common dream symbols: back to school.

I am back at school and I need to put my bike away. Because the lesson is starting soon I don’t have time to put it away in the proper place, so I put it on the school square that in the middle of the building. This square is not used often, it can only be opened by teachers, who only do so on special occasions. But in my dream this square was accessible. I parked my bike and walked away with the intention of meeting the people I had an appointment with and I worried that my bike would be safe at this place.

The most important thing, as J.M. DeBord emphasizes, is my own interpretation. For me, school is about learning how to adjust to life. I get there on my own strength, using my bike. But somehow, now is the time to put my own way of moving forward aside and learn from other people. Another interesting feature in my dream is the square form where I park my bike with two wheels like round mandala shapes. Like there are two aspects of my psychology that help me adjust to the square, man-made world.

This interpretation is very general. Let’s get out the Dream Interpretation Dictionary and explore how this book can deepen my understanding of this dream. Does it offer me a new perspective?

Dream Interpretation Dictionary: School

Here is the list of symbols I have looked up in the book: School, Bicycle, Square.

School: “A school setting in a dream has a wide variety of possibilities for symbolism. The most obvious are related to learning and knowledge, but school symbolism extends much further to include topics such as authority, success and failure, social life, and preparation for adult life and career”* (page 347).

Bingo! That is why I sometimes use dream dictionaries: to get that different angel you had not thought off yourself. The last time I was at this square was at a high school reunion in the beginning of the century. I was at that square, standing next to the principle (a different principle as the one who was in charge when I studied there) and we were talking like equals.

dream interpretation dictionary
Cartoon: Bizarro.com

“A familiar school is more likely to represent something about that time of your life or what you experienced there*”.

There is no easy way to put into words what I learned in that period of my life (aged 12-18)… But if I have to relate it to this dream, I would say that, just like my bike has two wheels, my personality manifested in tow different ways.

As a junior I was self conscious about not being smart, and not beautiful enough to feel comfortable. I tried to adjust to girls in my class, who were only interested in boys, while I was interested in the nature of human consciousness. So I always was the odd one out.

In the second period of high school I found my own clan and dressed in a particular way, listened to “dark” music like the Cure, U2 and dressed in black. I still feels comfortable in black.

So what a wonderful way that this dream tells me that life is about balancing between those energies!

Dream Interpretation Dictionary: Bicycle

On page 50 J.M. DeBord writes about the symbol bicycle: “Since balance is required to ride a bike,, dreaming about riding a bike can relate to personal balance, such as balancing the psyche, balancing logic and feeling, and balancing work and play*”.

dream interpretation dictionary
Cartoon found on bike2power.com

“Bikes have strong associations with independence and free spirit. They are one-passenger vehicles powered by individual effort” (page 51).

Ai, yes that is true. I am a very complicated person to work together with. I usually have my own vision. My heart rejuvenated when I watched Steve Jobs tell a story about how he and his neighbour collected stones, put them in a machine and how the next morning they need up being perfectly polished.

Great work and great things are accomplished like that. You work together with other talented persons and ether is friction. But the end result is a much stronger product.

Dream Interpretation Dictionary: Square

“As a shape with balanced sides, the square is a symbol of strength and solidarity. Square shapes are closely associated with our material world, and in dreams they can connect with being grounded or materially secure” (page 365).

I had not thought about how a (material) bicycle is different from a car or any other form of transportation but this fragment triggered me to do that.

Cartoon Wand found on Gocomics
The Ultimate Square

 

I need to put away my bike, my way of moving forward in life on my own force. And I have no other option than to put it in a square, in a symbol of strength and solidarity. So in my eyes this dream tells me to unite with people. Search for, and connect with my tribe.

And I did so! Last year I became board member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams.

Dream Interpretation Dictionary Conclusion

I can definitely say that this book meets the two criteria I defined in an earlier paragraph. The dream I used as an example has given me another vision, while I thought the dream was a walk in the park when it comes to interpretation. So yes, this dream dictionary tells me things I did not know before.

Now for the second criteria: does this book invite me to explore my own emotions and associations? Yes it does. And I think that is the Unique Selling Point (USP) of this book.

For example, this is what J.M. DeBord writes describing the concept of School: “Think expansively about what you learn. You can learn about yourself, another person, your limits, lessons in life and new skills. Life is a continual process of taking in new information and experiences and learning” (page 347).

PRO

  • This book offers a lot of suggestions to explore with each symbol that is mentioned;
  • You get invited to explore a particular symbol using your own experiences;
  • Some symbols are described at length. For example Shadow is described on three pages;
  • You can’t help but feel a lot of admiration for Jason who has so much knowledge about dreams and its symbolism.

CON

  • A dream dictionary is a dream dictionary. Nothing compares to hiring the expertise of a dream expert, like Jason or Susanne van Doorn. A dream expert can provide depth to the meaning of your dream you have not experienced before because he/she can tune into certain memories with the view of an objective observant.

* the definition in the book is more elaborate, these are just fragments I selected from the descriptions of the symbols

Mindfunda verdict:

8/10

Click here to buy The Dream Interpretation Dictionary and support Mindfunda.

 

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 

Four Smart Questions and Answers About Dreams You had not Thought of Yourself

This dream is part of a series of four blogs. 
How to Use A Dream as a Tool For Self Development;
How to Analyse a Dream with an Archetype in 4 Easy Steps;
Q & A: 7 Questions and Answers about Dreaming, and Mythology;
Four Smart Questions and Answers About Dreams You had not Thought of Yourself

Most people want to know what their dream means. They assume a psychologist or a dream dictionary will give them instant access to deeper meaning. They even assume a dream might give them a prediction about their future. Mindfunda sets the record straight. It is up to you. Here are  4 smart questions and answers that will instantly help you make much more sense of your own dreams.

Smart Questions and Answers #1

One of the most powerful question is not to seek the answer a dream is giving you. It is to seek the question a dream is asking you. A dream wants to set you in motion. Dreams do not like the status quo, They challenge you.
Look at the small and simple dream discussed in the first blog.

I am standing with my parents and brother in the street, and all of a sudden, a man comes running towards them and stabs my brother down“.

What question does this dream ask the dreamer? I can think of a number of questions. What in this moment of your life threatens you? Why are you watching while your brother gets stabbed? Is it time to move on now?

questions and answers

 

Any time you remember a dream and want to know more about its possible meaning, play with these kind of questions. In my eyes this dream-play is even more valuable than the answers you get.

 

SMART QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS #2

A very smart question to ask yourself if you want to know what a (repeating) dream means, is if you should want to hire a dream expert. As a dream expert, of course I would like you to do that. But there are some things you need to consider before you put your valuable money down to pay their consultation fee.

smart questions and answers

  • Can you trust this person? Even if someone has a certification like I do, people who advice other people about their dreams can put a label on a dreamer. I once attended a dream group in which a Jungian therapist called a dreamer “neurotic”. Needless to say this dreamer disengaged from the group. If something like that happens to you, make sure you get out and don’t pay. No self-respecting dream therapist would ever put a label on a dreamer.
  • Is my dream important enough to have clues that will help me improve my general sense of well-being? This is an intuitive feeling. It has to do with the fire that is enlightened in your soul after you wake up.
  • After you pay your money, what do you get? An email? A Skype Talk? A written report with action points to undertake? Is there a follow-up where the dream worker checks to see if you have honoured the dream? I always have a Skype talk and writ out a report for the dreamer. I follow-up after the dream consultation by sending an email a week after the consultation.

 

SMART QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS #3

What about dream dictionaries? Is it alright to use one to attach meaning to your dream?
This is such a complex question, but an important one to address. Online Dream dictionaries are huge. Lots of visitors. Among the majority of people who professionally work with dreams there is a shared contempt for dream dictionaries.

smart questions and answers

I am stuck in the middle with you. I see al lot of people getting stuck into the complexes they think they have. They mentally re-write everything to fit this basic assumption. I estimate about 99.995 percent of people, including myself, fall into this category. So if people interpret their own dreams, those dreams will revolve around those same paradigms. And you want a dream to show you some new information, a dream dictionary might be able to give you that. But just like a professional dream worker, a dream dictionary isn’t always right. So use any interpretation you find online in the most creative way. Let it suggest new layers of meaning to you, not definite answers. A dream can have a different meaning 10 years from now!

SMART QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS #4

What is the theme of my dream? In my eyes dream symbols are nice, but dream themes are gold. Don’t get stuck on dream symbols, look at the big picture. In my eyes there are nine themes in every person’s life.

Who are we?

Carl Gustav Jung was one of the guys who made a living out of exploring every inch of the Self and he created a model of the psyche that isn’t scientifically validated but is still extremely popular. But you don’t need Jung to answer this question. As long as you experience your life as a journey in which you can surprise yourself, you will discover amazing things about you.

Reality

A dream is a place to test boundaries of reality. A place to explore new forms of being, new worlds, new phases of life, new genders.

Culture

Usually in a dream an archetype reflects the values of the culture you are living in. We are social creatures and I am convinced that we are able to “pick” things up and pre-dream the future, even though this is not the commonly excepted Western vision about dreams. You can test it yourself very easily: try to dream for someone else. You will find out that when the emotional connection is high: it is a person that belongs to your “tribe” you will definitely pick up something.

Behaviour

What does you dream say about your behaviour? Does it give you a direction to change your ways?

Bias

Wat kind of bias does the dream indulge in? One of the hardest things to discover yourself. Usually you would have to take a step back and tell yourself the story of your life as if you are the hero.

Perception

Whose perception is told in the dream? Let’s look at the dreams I have discussed in the two case studies in this blog-episodes. The first small dream from the blog How to Use A Dream as a Tool For Self Development:

I am standing with my parents and brother in the street, and all of a sudden, a man comes running towards them and stabs my brother down“ talks about a first person perspective. In general this could be a clear indication that the theme of the dream is the Self of the dreamer. But the dreamer is not a participant she is an observer. Whose view is she observing? Who is the hidden dream maker?

The second dream is from the blog  How to Analyse a Dream with an Archetype in 4 Easy Steps:

In the first part of this dream which I vague recall, I am in a boat on a large lake – as if I arrived on a boat… I have arrived with Catherine who is in early pregnancy. I am bringing her to a woman who is refusing to see her because Catherine intends to terminate the pregnancy. I look out at the lake, its distant coastline, and the small boat that I will be returning in. The lake is calm and peaceful and smooth like a mirror. I think to myself, “I can do that.”
Now from a position of standing in the water [although I don’t feel the water] observing Catherine on the shore. I see a black bear above her in a tree. I call out to her, “Catherine, there’s a bear!” She doesn’t seem to hear me. Then I see four bears in the tree shaking it wildly. “Catherine! Catherine!” She moves to the other side of the tree I think she sees the bears and is ok.
Here the first person perspective is used but there is a moment in the dream where the dreamer looks back and sees the bears in the tree. To me this si a key point in the dream worth exploring further. If I was to professionally work with this dream, I would focus my attention on this aspect. Because right after the dreamer looks back while standing in the water, the tree of life with the four bears appears. All very strong archetypical symbols.

 

Where do we come from?

 

This theme is associated with the first theme of the Self. We belong to a tribe, we are the product of our ancestors. It is a melting pot that alchemically shapes our sense of Self.

 

Emotions

 

For many people emotions are at the core of every dream. I would never reduce someone to an emotion however… Emotions are a key to decipher what a dream might mean to you dreamer. But one of means keys, I hope that I have given you several others in this blog that you can use right away!

 

Consciousness

 

The big mystery. For years and  years I have educated myself in neurology, hungry to discover the origin of consciousness. It is still a mystery. It is an accumulation of neuronal activity, that exceeds a certain threshold.
In the second dream consciousness is gradually introduced, there has been a vague beginning of the dream. I would definitely see that as a suggestion towards a new found consciousness about life and death.
smart questions and answers

 

I hope I have helped you to see your dream in ways that enlighten your life. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you need help with a dream.

 

Did I forget any smart questions you usually ask yourself when you remember a dream?  Let me know in the comments or send me your feedback!
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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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How To Use A Dream as a Tool for Self Development: A Case study

 

This dream is part of a series of four blogs. 
How to Use A Dream as a Tool For Self Development
How to Analyse a Dream with an Archetype in 4 Easy Steps
Q & A: 7 Questions and Answers about Dreaming and Mythology
Four Smart Questions and Answers About Dreams You had not Thought of Yourself

 

Self development is on top of the Maslow pyramid, and I always wondered why.

self development
Image: Simply Psychology

Because I have always had that innate need to understand myself better. I had no clue about this world and why people did the things they did. But I knew intuitively that if I was able to understand myself, my life would become so much easier. Because as Nietzsche said: “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how“.

Psychologist Maslow created a hierarchy of needs in 1942. I was right, his theory was never empirically confirmed. But it is a very useful tool to give someone insight into his own life. Today I will show you how a dream can give insight into the path of your own life. Six easy to follow steps. Let me know in the comments what you think about this case study. Do you have suggestions? I would love to hear them.

Self Development Through a Dream Step 1

The first thing you are going to need is a dream. If you have trouble remembering dreams here are ten useful tips.

self development

Can it be any dream? Well, I prefer dreams that evoke emotion. Because when emotions come into play in a dream, you are certain that it contains an important message. That is why nightmares and negative dreams are relevant clues for self-development.

Let’s analyse a dream of one of my clients. It is a short dream about a murder. A dream with an assassination is a clue that the Self is changing.

I am standing with my parents and brother in the street, and all of a sudden, a man comes running towards them and stabs my brother down“.

The dream is short, but had a big emotional impact on the dreamer. That is why she contacted me.

SELF DEVELOPMENT THROUGH A DREAM STEP 2

Now you want to get more information about the emotional background of the dreamer. This step is not always easy when you analyse your own dreams. Having an independent, knowledgable vision can add so much value to your dreams. But here is how I do it. I ask the dreamer to tell me the story of his (or her) life. So if you want to analyse your own dreams, sit down and tell the story of yourself, to yourself. You might be surprised about what you hear yourself say.

self-development

Here are the questions I use:

  • Who are your parents? Many times in dreams patterns from childhood re-occur. This question will enable you to search for these patterns.
  • What were the challenges of your parents? While growing up, children become more aware that their parents are not almighty. Some people have the tendency to “inherit” their parents’ challenges, sometimes as an unconscious way to remain loyal to them.
  • Do you have brothers and sisters? 
  • If yes: how do you relate to them? Sibling rivalry is a core element of self-identification. This question let’s you determine if that is the case with your client.
  • What is the word that describes you best? Usefully people have great difficulty answering this question. Motivate them not to give a perfect answer, but the first one that pops into their mind. This first answer usually gives a vital direction for possible meanings of a dream.

This step can be very healing for clients. For most people it is a blessed relief that they are finally able to tell the story of their life to someone who actually listens. As an objective observant, you can add value by putting the story of their life in a bigger, mythological perspective.

SELF DEVELOPMENT THROUGH A DREAM STEP 3

Once you have the background information, it is time to focus on the dream.

I am standing with my parents and brother in the street, and all of a sudden, a man comes running towards them and stabs my brother down“.

This is dream narrated in the third perspective. The dreamer is an observer. the man comes out of nowhere and acts violently. Because the dreamer is of the female gender, the animus immediately comes to mind. How has the dreamer integrated the innate male principle, represented by the animus, in her daily life and actions? I decided to ask the dreamer to re-tell the dream story from the perspective of the murderer. In this way, she would be able to become more aware of this energy.

“I see four people standing in the street, and I want to show them my power. I need to be acknowledged. If I hurt the most vulnerable member, I will be acknowledged”.

Now your first question is going to be: why is your brother vulnerable? (That is why you always ask about siblings in the intake). The dreamer had told me that her brother needed extra care. The dreamer felt it was her responsibility to protect her brother, but in doing so, her own strength was diminished. That is why she was the outsider in the dream story. The next step is to let the dreamer re-tell the story from the perspective of the brother.

SELF DEVELOPMENT THROUGH A DREAM STEP 4

“I am standing in the street, protected on one side by my father, on the other side by my mother. My sister is standing on the side, she usually is a bit further away emotionally in our family. Even though I am protected I am being stabbed down by a mad man”.

You can see how the dream, told by the perspective of the brother, already reveals a great dependency upon the parents. For a woman, setting the power of the anima free, usually means stepping away from her parent (and that is why you ask about the relationship of the parents in step 1). The urge for self-development in this dream is apparent. Finding your own path. What does this dream advice the dreamer? The answer to these kind of questions are found in mythology.

SELF DEVELOPMENT THROUGH A DREAM STEP 5

At first sight, there does not seem to be any mythology in this dream. But there is one symbol is charged with mythology: the knife. Knives have a place in religion and magical ceremonies so this is an invitation for you as a dream consultant, to explore mythological options.

self-development

In my eyes, (a dream belongs to the dreamer, always make sure that the dreamer knows this is your suggestion), the sword resembles the magical sword of Joan of Arc. Joan listened to her inner voices, and followed her own path. She embraced the strength of her animus. There are even suggestions that Joan actually was a man.

SELF DEVELOPMENT THROUGH A DREAM STEP 6

The last step is to take action. Self development requires action. Formulate an action point together with the dreamer. It is vital that the dreamer suggests an action point. You want the motivation to act on a dream to come from within. My client decided to sit down and write a conversation with her animus. Writing is good for the brain.

self-development

 

A week after the consultation, I mailed my client to ask her about her action. The dreamer had gained insights into her relationship with her boyfriend and with her parents. She told me she had become more independent and felt more powerful.

I would like to know what your ways of working with dreams are. Do you agree with my steps? Or do you follow another process? I would love to hear from you.

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 How To

Brainfunda: articles and relevant information about the brain about how you can use this in your everyday life. Neurology, the brain all the fascinating things we find out in current research.

– Mythofunda: “Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths” Joseph Campbell used to say. This part of Mindfunda shows you how your personal mythology can create peace in your life.

– Spirifunda: psychology for everyday with a spiritual layer of meaning, searching for the soul. Our brains are wired for believe in magic. In a world filled with rationality, you sometimes need a little magic, a little “I wonder why”. Synchronicity, the insights of Carl Jung, the mythology used by Freud, the archetypical layers in the Tarot, the wisdom of the I Tjing, Shamanism, the oldest religion of humanity, all that information gets published in the Spirifunda section of Mindfunda.

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


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Is a Dream A Story? Philosophy, Dreaming and Literary Imagination

 

People are storytellers. Since ancient times, humans have sat around a campfire while listening to stories. Stories that expand the mind and capture the imagination. In this day and age we sit around our television set and watch story after story.  In the night we follow the stories of our dreaming mind.

The deep connection between stories and dreams opens up a tremendous opportunity for a book that explores the intersection of dreaming and literary imagination. A book that draws together neurocognitive, empirical, philosophical and literary sources. Michaela Schrage Früh, expert on literature and dreams, at the University of Limerick is the one who seized the opportunity and wrote it.

Philosophy, Dreaming and the Literary Imagination;
written by Michaela Schrage Früh;
published by Palgrave Macmillan;
Hardcopy ISBN 9783319407234 $109.00 Ebook ISBN 9783319407241
Review by Susanne van Doorn MSc

story
Support Mindfunda and buy the book using this link
Story and Imagination

We like stories so much because “Both dreaming and the human delight in waking fictions help survival-enhancing capacities such as connection making and theory of mind” (page 17).

Boundaries between imagination and perception are not clear-cut. For example, what you imagine to be true and what you perceive to be true can overlap, such as when athletes use visualization techniques to improve athletic performance. What they imagine to be true translates into reality as better performance. And indeed, sometimes a dream is so powerful, that you are still in its trance for quite a while after waking up.

story

And in this wild land between dreaming and waking, the boundaries of one’s personality play a big role. Daydreamers have thin boundaries. They happily imagine a world of their own making and immerse in it. Rigid personalities, on the other hand, have thick boundaries. To them, imagination is at best fanciful and avoided and at worst, dangerous.

Story, dreaming and writing

Michaela goes on to argue that dreaming and writing a story are similar in many ways. While reading, you co-create a story by visualizing it in the mind and filling in missing details. But there are also differences. In dreaming, there is no guiding voice, like there is in a book, that tells you what to expect, or what motivations certain dream characters have. Reading, like dreaming, is seemingly passive, but “even the most ordinary act of perception depends on the active, purposeful, attentive seeking out of environmental information” (page 95).

story

“If my suggestion that the dreamer is simultaneously creator and recipient of his dream is accepted, then reader response theory is bound to provide crucial further insights into the similarities between dreaming and reading” (page 95).

Reading can indeed put you under a spell and take you away to imaginary times and places. Reading, dreaming and daydreaming are three sides of the same phenomenon. Michaela leans towards the insights of Bill Domhoff, who suggests that dreaming and daydreaming are similar processes and she adds a few philosophers to spice up her story.

literature and Dreaming

Dreaming erodes any clear cut boundaries between imagination and perception. While reading, you can imagine certain scenes, but while dreaming, you are in those scenes. Dreams typically have spatiotemporal immersion. Each dreamer experiences a three-dimensional world. Knowing that, it makes sense that dream-researcher Foulkes discovered that people who have more spatial insight, have a better dream recall. The three-dimensional perception separates dreaming from reading. Because of this perception there is a deep sense of immersion in a dream.

Immersion in the story, known in storytelling as “suspension of disbelief. The story is created by using metaphors from your own dreaming mind. Jennifer Windt  argues that this sense of immersion defines the heterogeneous phenomenon of dreaming.

That is why Sartre says that “dream immersion is inevitably deeper than readerly immersion” (page 117).  Reading is a joint experience between writer and reader. “As Schwenger aptly puts it, ‘when we put down the story, we are in the position of someone who has dreamed and whose waking is disconcertingly incomplete; a fictive reality has seeped into our real body and altered its psychological metabolism’ (page 130). Dreaming is a joint experience between you and the metaphors in your dreaming mind.

CONCLUSION

Pros

  • Easy to read: philosophical concepts that are explained so easily and readable;
  • It is a very ambitious book: it wants to “lay the groundwork for an aesthetics of dreaming, based on the empirically informed assumption that our dreaming and waking imagination are two sides of the same coin” (page 9) and it succeeds in this ambition. You will understand so much more about dreams and dreaming after reading this.
  • The chapter about the differences and resemblances between dreaming and writing is a must read for anyone working with dreams (Chapter 4: Dream Fictions, Writing Dreams).

Cons

  • The Western scientific assumption is, people only dream about themselves, and this book follows that line of thinking. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that the scope of dreaming can expand to include dreaming directly about other people, especially about loved ones. Such as when you dream that a relative is being rushed to the hospital and wake up to find out it really happened. Hundreds of such cases have been documented in the work of Sally Rhine Feather and other researchers. This book could benefit by expanding its scope to include such dreams, because reality is like a story or dream we create together.
  • The book will be very expensive for some people: it is 109 dollars.

Mindfunda verdict:
9/10

Here is an link to buy on Amazon if you enjoyed this review,
and like to support our work. We appreciate your help!

A special thanks to Jason DeBord, editor of this blog.

 


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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‘?

The Fiction of Dreams, A Book Review

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Dreams that Guide You on Your Life Path

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Midsummer Night Dreaming

The Lunatic, the Lover, and the Poet Are of Imagination all compact...  Shakespeare, "A Midsummer Night's Dream”  Midsummer Night is ...
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Healing and Breakthroughs with Archetypes, Art, & Poetry

Several years ago I had a chance to get a tarot reading from Sherry Puricelli. It gave the dream that I discussed with her so much more meaning. It was a dream that bothered me a bit because in my dream I could not get forward. And after Sherry had guided me by asking questions and consulting the tarot I really felt that the message of the dream was something that I needed to hear at that time in my life. Besides being a very good dream coach Sherry also writes moving poems. I am so glad she decided to bring all the goodness she has to offer in this guest blog for Mindfunda.
healing
Sherry Puricelli
Sherry Puricelli, MHA, M.Div. is a Dream Coach and owner of AwakeNDream, LLC. in Madison, Connecticut. She specializes in empowering individuals to recognize and activate archetypal themes to aid in personal healing and breakthroughs. She facilitates specialized retreats, workshops, group and individual sessions. Sherry is the IASD Regional Representative for Connecticut.

 

 

Healing: recognizing archetypes

I’ve heard it said that life can break us or we can break through. Well, I’ve found a tool that helps me break through. Being a dreamer, noticing archetypal themes has always come naturally to me. Over time, I began to perceive repetition and overlap between my dreams, my waking life, and my meditations  / contemplations. I observed that archetypal themes seem to weave in and out of my life or I weave in and out of the archetypal themes or perhaps it’s both. At any rate, I can’t imagine my life without the enrichment, healing, and breakthroughs I’ve experienced by recognizing and living deeply profound themes.

Archetypal themes have even more power when I express them artistically. The creative process forces me to slow down so I don’t just skim the surface. Instead, I plunge right in, living and breathing the archetypes. I’ve noticed that each archetypal theme has an inherent challenge, so I attempt to stay with it until I’ve gotten through that challenge, all the way through it, so I can reflect and absorb the insights and lessons learned. I appreciate that each archetypal theme has gifts, lessons, and new awareness.

Healing and poems

As I participate in the creative process, I’m taken to a whole new level. The theme becomes multi-sensory, visceral, and I feel it in my bones. When I create the digital art, I attempt to include at least one photo of an image present when I was experiencing the archetypal theme. I imagine that the energy is real, it’s tangible, living and breathing. If this hypothesis is true, the digital image carries that actual energy, so the person seeing it has the opportunity to experience the energy of the breakthrough and to hold that breakthrough energy in his/her hands.

And what if there’s more? I love poetry. I write poetry for each of the archetypal themes as I’m experiencing it. The magic of poetry is that it helps me deeply feel the emotional content of the archetypal theme. When I write the poetry I attempt to embody each of the predominant emotions I felt as I was experiencing the archetypal theme in my dreams and waking life synchronicities. I ascertain that poetry carries the energy blueprint of the emotional breakthrough.

Used together, with art and poetry, imagine the possibilities. If we’re in need of healing, we hold healing energy in our hands, we work with it, we sleep with it, we dream with it, and we meditate with it as needed until our energy has shifted.

In the meantime, our senses are heightened, we experience life more fully, and we see the many connections and patterns in our lives. This mindset opens us up to choice. We are not victims of circumstance when we recognize and utilize our choices. We’re empowered to boldly engage in the life we make for ourselves. We hold the power to heal. We hold the power to break through.

Enjoy the Healing power of “Mother

healing
copyright Sherry Puricelli

Mother of cycles, 
you are eternal Home to me; 
sisters, aunts, mothers, grandmothers,
you’re there for me, always – no matter how far away I fly;
Mother Mary, Mother Earth, Mother of Galaxies, 
Mother in my dreams,
you continually cycle back to me…
bringing me home, dancing me home, singing me home, 
with empathy, painted – with colorful drops of Mother.

When I can’t keep up,
or cannot make the climb, you are the charger of my soul;
when I fall,
you bleed, and reveal your scar so I can learn self-healing;
when I lay broken,
you show me flowers that broke open too,
erupting into gardens of inner beauty;
whenever I call,
Mother in my dreams,
you continually cycle back to me…
bringing me home, dancing me home, singing me home,
with empathy, painted – with colorful drops of Gaia.

When my heart is heavy,
you carry my sorrows and you become my rock;
when I’m missing you,
I hear your lullaby in the mourning doves’ cry;
when I am lost,
your evening star twinkles my inspiration trail;
when I lack faith,
you are my monument, my altar, my prayer,
so I can rediscover my inner temple.
Mother in my dreams,
you continually cycle back to me..
bringing me home, dancing me home, singing me home,
with empathy, painted – with colorful drops of Mary.

Mother of cycles,
you are eternal Home to me;
in the theatre of our mutual dream,
I have buried your key;
we’re dancing rainbows
in timeless time,
spaceless space,
and deathless death;
you’ve been with me always,
since before my first lullaby,
and after my last step.

I am Mother in my dreams,
continually cycling back …
bringing me home, dancing me home, singing me home,
with empathy, painted – with colorful drops of Me.

Do you like this post? Feel free to share!

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! Soon I will be interviewing Evan Thompson about his book Waking Sleeping Being

GRAB YOURSELF A FREE E-BOOK AND LEARN ALL ABOUT MUTUAL DREAMING USING THIS LINK
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Twitter @susannevandoorn

Persephone or how mythology is still relevant

Kore, later known as Persephone, loved flowers. One beautiful day she saw and extraordinary flower. So much beauty she had not seen before in any living being on earth. She reached out her hand... Little did she know that this would change her life forever. Such a little gesture, the picking of a flower changed the whole universe. Do you want to uncover the mythologic themes in your own life? I offer an online Mythology course that helps you explore six different subjects. The Mythology of creation, the Amazing Animal, Mythology of Women, Mythology of Men and the Mythology of the Grail.

Little gestures can have big consequences as in the story of Persephone. Doing nothing can have big repercussions as in the story of ‘Les jeux sont faits‘ written by Sartre. By not being together the couple that thought they where soul mates did not get a second chance of happiness.
We live in a society that hold you responsible for the life you lead. Even though, just as Persephone, you almost never foresee the consequences of our actions. So let’s take a closer look at the myth of Persephone and Hades.
It tells us a lot about our ways of dealing with crises. It tells us a lot about our way of dealing with love. It tells us a lot about our way of dealing with mother – daughter tension.

persephone-iii-jpg
Photo: glogster.com

Persephone and crises

Like Persephone you will be in a crises someday. The one you thought was your soul mate does not love you back, you are rejected for the job of your dreams, you lose a child, you loose a loved one.
The pain is physical. It is like a part of your body is cut off without any form of sedation. You walk around in shock: this is not true. This is not happening. In a moment I am going to wake up…

Going down into the underworld. The underworld smelling of death. Down into the dark earth. It is usually a place off numb despair. The last day my mother was living I visited her… She was in hospital and everything was examined. in my presence a doctor examined her stomach. It was big, like she was in her second trimester of pregnancy. That is when I knew she was running out of time. I was afraid that when I told her she would be so afraid.. I decided that ignorance is bliss. My mother was not dumb. I think she knew her chances of waking up again where very small. I think she just kept on hoping. But both of us did not communicate that. So I went home. I received an email of one of my sisters that my mother was going to be operated. I phoned the hospital to  tell them that my mother would probably not have the strength to survive an operation. The hospital told me that it had to be done. I hung up the phone crying. Feeling powerless. I was in the underworld, in Hades’ realm. It is a place of numbness. I was feeling so sad, so angry, so helpless. I had gone down into the underworld. Involuntarily like Persephone. But it made me connect with my helplessness, with my anger, with my feelings for my mother.

Persephone and love

When I invited Stanley Krippner to give a Personal Mythology workshop in the Netherlands he talked about Persephone. “Nobody ever asks what Persephone thought about all of this” he said. And indeed, the myth of Demeter and her daughter Persephone is told from the perspective of the mother. Demeter who is so heart-broken that her daughter is gone. Taken away by Hades who had fallen desperately in love with her. He was so love struck that he created a flower, the narcissus, for her. The narcissus is a symbol of new beginnings.

266px-Narcissus_flowers

 

Seeing such an extraordinary flower, so different from other flowers, Persephone just had to pick it. Not only stepping into a new beginning, Persephone was drawn into it by Hades. The black earth opened up and Hades pulled her upon his carriage with black horses. So earth longs for spring in a fertile way…

 

The change in perspective Stanley Krippner suggested in his workshop Personal Mythology is a vital one. You get into the habit of thinking the same thing. About yourself. About your life story. Change perspective. You can pluck the narcissus by retelling your own life story from a new perspective. Step into the perspective of your mother/father/brother/best friend and retell your story through their eyes. See how things change. See how your understanding grows.

Persephone and the mother daughter crises

We all know them don’t we? Daughters who must fulfill their mothers desires. Who must become the film star/writer/photo model etc mother never had the change to be. But even if it is on a more subconscious level there is an innate tendency between mother and daughter. Likewise there is a tendency between father and son that is displayed in the Oedipus myth.

rs_634x879-150509201317-634-cindy-crawford-kaia-gerber-mini-me-tomorrowland-disney-premiere-050915
Cindy Crawford and daughter Kaia Gerber

In every women her life she has to take a moment to reflect upon her relationship with her mother. The way your mother dealt with nurturing you and your other siblings. The way your mother dealt with love and sexuality. Is it your way? So mentally or physically, you have to step back and look at what it is that she has taught you. And how you use that knowledge in your life. Is it fruitful for you? Or is it time to focus on your life as lover and queen like Persephone did? It is not necessary to break of your relationship with your mother while you are doing this. It takes a while to contemplate about the unspoken lessons about life. In what way are you still being the daughter, the princess?

Now look at this lady going into Hades realm like a girl, daughter of mother Earth named Kore, and becoming the Queen named Persephone. I can imagine why she ate the pomegranate. In the live of almost every woman she has to break up with her mother. Not forever. But she must let go of the advice and approval of her mother. This is a temporary break up. Each mother and daughter have their moments of separation. Wanted or unwanted. Planned or as a result of actions beyond our control. This enables you to become woman. To search for your own approval. To become the person you would like to spend an evening with.

Do you like this post? Feel free to share!

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!

GRAB YOURSELF A FREE E-BOOK AND LEARN ALL ABOUT MUTUAL DREAMING USING THIS LINK
Join me on Facebook
Twitter @susannevandoorn

 


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 Spirifunda:
psychology for everyday with a spiritual layer of meaning, searching for the soul. Our brains are wired for believe in magic. In a world filled with rationality, you sometimes need a little magic, a little “I wonder why”. Synchronicity, the insights of Carl Jung, the mythology used by Freud, the archetypical layers in the Tarot, the wisdom of the I Tjing, Shamanism, the oldest religion of humanity, all that information gets published in the Spirifunda section of Mindfunda.

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


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