Book Review: 11 titles on Mindfunda 2016

Welcome to this years’ list of book review’s that I put on Mindfunda.
At its core, Mindfunda is here to distribute useful information to you. Information that will make your life more fun. In three ways: we offer online courses, we offer book reviews and we offer blogs with information about dreaming, spirituality and mythology.

Do you miss a book? Had you read or written a wonderful book about mythology, spirituality or dreams you want me to review ? Let me know below!

This is the 2016 book review list, that only contains books that were published this year. It starts with the most recent Mindfunda blog post and ends with the oldest post. If you want to buy a book, be so kind to use the affiliate link from Mindfunda. In that way you will support our good work.

book review
art found on CCHunterbooks.com
Book review 2016

Call Of the Cats, What I Learned about Life and Love from a Feral Colony by Andrew Bloomfield. Cats have an uncanny bond with humans. Just as I was offered this for a book review by the publisher, a friend of mine shared a presentation about how her cats had influence her dreaming.

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So you can understand that I had to say yes to this request. The book reads like a psychological novel. If you like cats, be sure to buy this book, you will not be sorry.

A Day in the Life of the Brain by Susan Greenfield. Susan Greenfield describes a day of a normal guy and paints a picture of what happens in his brain.

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Easy to read, with fascinating chapters on dreaming, and on consciousness in animals.

Sleep Monsters and Superheroes edited by Jean Campbell and Clare Johnson, who both contributed chapters to this book.

Children and dreams… With this book every parent, every teacher, niece, nephew, uncle or aunt has a chance to introduce their children to the magic of dreaming.

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When I gave dream workshops for pregnant ladies in the beginning of this century, I was visited by so many parents and grandparents asking me how to handle the nightmares of their children. I prepared for the workshop by reading the information that was available on the website of Patricia Garfield. Patricia  Garfield also contributed to this book.  A wealth of information, you can add to your mother-toolkit.

Mythology of the Soul by H.G. Baynes.

A book that combines two things I love: mythology and art. Over 900 pages of information about dreams and Jungian psychology by one of the best Jungian analysts in England.

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If you like dreams, art and Jungian psychology, this is the book for you.

The Power of Ritual by Robbie Davis-Floyd and Charles Laughlin.

Human beings are sensitive to rituals. This book is written in a way that makes you understand the psychological, spiritual and psychical side of ritual.

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This book researches ritual in every aspect, leaving no stone unturned. It will be so much easier for you to create your own positive rituals after you have read this book.

Translating Myth edited by Ben PestellPietra Palazzolo and Leon Burnett.

Mythology is a cultural concept. Each culture, each century, has its own mythologies. This book has the ambitious quest to offer a translation: from century to century, from continent to continent.

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I really loved all the wisdom and stories packed in this book. It has become the theoretical backbone of my Mindfunda Movies course.

The Goddess and the Shaman by J.A. Kent.

The doors to the realm of the Elphame open through dreams. If you like shamanism as proposed by Micheal Warner, this is the book for you.

 

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It is not a work book however. If you are looking for ways to connect with the inner Goddess you might want to consider the online Mindfunda Mythology Course .

Big Dreams by Kelley Bulkeley.

This book is a plea to look at special dreams and research their characteristics. Lucid dreams, visitation dreams, mutual dreams.

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Only if we look at those special dreams can we come to an understanding of the phenomenon of dreaming, according to Bulkeley. What I like most about this book is the way that Bulkeley effortlessly writes about sophisticated neurological research in an understandable way.

What is Relativity by Jeffrey Bennet.

In the past I had so many time-travel dreams that I had this inner craving to understand more about its possibilities.

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This was a very interesting book review. I discovered so much reading this. Not all fun though, because time travel is not possible (my time travel dreams did cease soon thereafter). But if you are crazy about astronomy, if you are a star-gazer, or just Einstein crazy, this is the book for you.

Strange Gods by Susan Jacoby. A book not only about the cruel middle ages. It is still happening, conversions. Religion is intertwined with power and privilege.

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And last but certainly not least: Mythic Worlds, Modern Words by Joseph Campbell, edited by Edmund Epstein.

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Using James Joyce his oeuvre as a guide to the mythological aspects of your challenges.

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Children Dream about Sleep Monsters and Superheroes

Sleep Monsters and Superheroes: Empowering Children through Creative Dreamplay
Clare R. Johnson and Jean M. Campbell, Editors
ABC-CLIO, LLC 2016, $48.00 paper ISBN-13: 9781440842665,
$47.85 ebook: ISBN-10: 1440842663
Reviewed by Drs. Susanne van Doorn
Edited by Christian Gerike M.A.

 

children dream
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Children Dream, parents panic

Children dream. In their dreams they are creative, they are scared, they cope with the challenges the world imposes on them. Usually when children wake up crying, in terror, parents panic. With all the information in this book, that will never happen to you again.

Dr. Clare Johnson, author, Lucid Dreaming expert, board member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) and Jean Campbell M.A. author, former IASD president and founder of the online group Worldpeacebridge, got together to create a book about children’s dreams. And magic started to happen.

children dream

 

Jean Campbell, at the 2016 Psiber Dreaming Conference (a conference about the “psi” element in dreaming), tells how this book came about:

“We talked about how nice it would be to have a book that talked about working with children with their dreams. Clare and I said to each other, “why not see if we can find a publisher for such a book?” And the most amazing thing happened. When we wrote to the acquisitions editor at Praeger, the immediate reply (within five minutes of the request) was “YES!!) Now, I have worked on and off in the publishing industry for years, and I know very well that no publisher does that.”.

 

Children dream: history of dream books

When I heard about a new children- dream book being written, I thought: it is about time! The first really good book about the dreams of children I ever read was a Dutch translation of Jung’s Kindertraume: Children’s Dreams: Notes from the Seminar Given in 1936-1940. In 2012, Kelly Bulkeley and Patricia Bulkley, both contributors to this book, wrote Children’s Dreams: Understanding the Most Memorable Dreams and Nightmares of Childhood. The Jungian approach is still valid after more than seventy years.

The focus of Sleep Monsters and Super Heroes is on dream play: “Led into dreamplay by a supportive adult, children can become “superheroes” in their dreams, and this empowerment carries over into their waking lives” (page 9). Each of the 17 contributors shares a vision. The book is filled with an interesting array of visions from artists, scientists, lucid dreamers, parents, teachers. They all share methods, insights they have acquired, and techniques you can apply.


Sleep Monsters and Super Heroes, Empowering your Children through Creative Dreamplay, is divided into four parts:

  1. Creativity and Healing;
  2. Inner and Outer Worlds;
  3. Extreme Dreams;
  4. Extraordinary Dreams.

    children dream

    Even though I would like to quote every author that contributed to this book, the blog would become too long. I did some cherry picking, even though it was very hard, and only picked one chapter per part.

Creativity and Healing.

Patricia Garfield, in her chapter “Superkid and Other Joyful Dreams: Creative Dreaming with Young Children”says: “Researchers tell us that people who have a sense of accomplishment in life are those who set goals just a little beyond the level they are sure to attain”.

children dreamArt found bright accountancy.com

As parents, we can assist our children in setting realistic goals; we can glimpse these inner goals through the window of our children’s dreams” (page 11). So dreams do not only give parents a glimpse of the soul of their children, but are also a useful tool in setting goals.

Inner and Outer Worlds

In the chapter “The Impact of Digital Technology on Children’s Dreams” Jayne Gackenbach explains how dreams have changed due to our increasing dependence on technology and games. And dreams do not always change for the worse. Young people that game supposedly have more access towards obtaining the ability to engage in lucid dreams. At the 2016 Conference of the IASD, one of the keynote speeches: Playing the Dream by Frank Bosman was about this subject.

children dream

 

“Gamers are more likely to consider the “nightmare” as fun and perceive it like playing a combat-centric game. Gamers see a drastic change in their threat perception and reaction, and events or experiences that may paralyze others in dreams are instead an empowering challenge to overcome. In other words, heavy gamers experience dream events that bolster their confidence rather than create negative emotions” (page 122).

So gaming isn’t all bad for your children/boyfriend/spouse/fiancee. Negative emotions will probably be handled better, because the gamer is working with it all day and night.

Extreme dreams

In the chapter “Weirdness in the Night: Terrors and Disorders in Children’s Sleep” Ryan Hurd gives more information about parasomnias: sleepwalking, sleep paralysis and sleep terrors.

“Sleepwalking erupts out of deep sleep, when delta waves predominate the sleeping brain in the first half of the night. Sleep walking and other arousal disorders usually surface within an hour or two after the child goes to sleep. The sleepwalker rouses and moves about for a few minutes with open but distant eyes. Children can perform complex behavior as well, although their movements may be clumsy and not well defined. When confronted, a sleepwalker may simply navigate around the obstacle without acknowledgement or respond foggily at best”.

children dream

Any parent who has experienced his child sleepwalking knows it can be a very strange experience to see your child aware, but in another state of being. Ryan not only gives expert advice backed up by research, he is been through all of this himself when he was a child.

Extraordinary Dreams

In the chapter “Dream Magicians: Empower Children through Lucid Dreaming” Clare Johnson reminds us of how common lucid dreams are for children.
“One 2006 study by Qinmei, Qinggong, and Jie shows that most four-to-six-year-olds believe that there may be a way of controlling the action in their dreams, while knowing that this is a dream” (page 289).

 

 

children dream
Art cartoon wizard: joyreactor.com

 

“Being a dream magician can be as simple as thinking a clear, guiding thought in a lucid dream, or it can involve more complex actions such as reciting mantras and spells, creating new dream scenes, or using magical props such as an invisibility cloak or a wishing ring” (page 290).

Conclusion

To buy or not to buy, that is the question. Here are some pro’s and cons.

Pro

  • This book provides you with a wealth of information and techniques about helping children to dive into the world of dreams.
  • There are contributions from researchers, teachers, and parents.
  • The book is easy to read.
  • Not every author focused on dreamplay, but this could also be added to the con’s of this book.

Con

  • 48 dollars is rather expensive, even though it is value for money: more than 350 pages of information about dreams from different angles.
  • Not every author focused on dreamplay, but this could also be added to the pro’s of this book.

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Cognitive Dream Theory: Bill Domhoff

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Bill Domhoff
Photo global.usb.edu

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.

Continue reading Cognitive Dream Theory: Bill Domhoff

9/11 in precognitive dreams

9/11 2001 the unthinkable thing happened. All consists of energy, all energy is connected. Dreams are vehicles for energy. Can we protect ourselves using the power of dreams?

9/11

9/11 will be marked in the mind of everybody of my generation as the day that the unthinkable thing happened. The outrage you feel when innocent people are the victim of political forces. It could have been you, or me. We could have gotten up early and gone to work in the greatest symbol of America’s capitalism: the twin towers. Gotten our morning coffee, looked out of the window, and …

9/11 powerless

The powerlessness we all feel when political forces beyond our control immediately threaten our life. It makes us want to re-shape, re-think, re-invent methods that will provide security when something like this happens again. Because in the political arena, not much has changed. The energies are still the same. The ‘Big’ countries haven’t grown together in a peaceful way even though we all hoped and prayed they would. So what are the alternative ways that we simple, modest human beings like you and me, can protect ourselves? Would dreaming be a way to safety?

9/11 dreams

There were a lot of people with pre-cognitive dreams about 9/11. I will share some impressive ones with you.

Al Davison; a predictive dream-comic. Two days before 9/11: I dream I’m a child at ground zero, mourning the devastation–and witnessing rebirth.

Maria Cernuto, dreamer, and co-worker of DreamsCloud:
My own dreams have provided knowledge of future events as well. In keeping dream journals for many years I have been able to recognize when my dreams are revealing waking life emergency situations. During a dream, if I say, “call 911” or “get an ambulance,” a waking life emergency with similar elements to my dream occurs. This pattern began to emerge several months prior to the attack on New York City’s World Trade Center. One dream in particular, February 13, 2001, really depicted the attack, but not literally; in it I dreamt, “I am watching from an overview – 2 young males are left in a white convertible car with the key still in the ignition and the car running. They are ‘juvenile delinquents,’ and their case worker goes inside to plea bargain on their behalf. They drove a stolen car into the support column of a ‘government building’—I am now inside running and these Middle Eastern males are chasing me – the place was on fire some people were injured, others killed. I run past desks, and then through a floor that looks like a bank. I am yelling ‘call 911!’ It is very rare, even since this event that I dream of Middle Eastern people.[…]
A man who calls himself ‘The Dream Detective’, Christopher Robinson had some very literal dreams about the attack. The website Starpod shows the pictures in his dream journal that depict an airplane near a high building, intending to crash into it, as early as August 2000.
Almost all precognitive dreams are very literal. Dreams tend to be literal when trauma is big. Symbolic dreaming occors when the psyche has dealt with the trauma. So if you wonder how to ‘catch’ theese kind of dreams: try interpreting your dreams in a literal way, as one of the possible layers of meaning.

Dreamers unite after 9/11

There is a group of dreamers (I am proud to say I am one of them even though my contributions are largely from other very skilled dreamers) called the Peace Bridge. It was founded by Jean Campbell, writer of Group Dreaming, dreams to the tenth power. She unites the energy of the dreamers who dream together on certain nights to help bring more peace into the world.
9/11
Group Dreaming

 

Post 9/11 dreaming

Even though it has been a long time since 2001 we all felt the threat imposed upon us. So I wanted to share a dream of Brenda Ferrimani that reflects the shock and horror we all went through. Because you and me, we know we could have been the ones sitting there. Brenda asks us, as she asks herself: Is the healing of the world possible from an individual perspective? Start with looking at your own dreams and be aware of all the potential in a dream, even if it is a very scary one. You can read the full dream here. I will share some things about the dream and Brenda’s perspective on it that resonate with me today, 14 years after.

 I am in my bed at night. I hear coyotes in the distance. There’s a window at the foot of the bed and a light in the sky, shinning in. I sense there’s something out there. I move toward the window and as I do I am sucked out! I begin falling into endless darkness!

I am falling down, down into the deep darkness. I feel like screaming, but then I remind myself I am dreaming. At this point I become lucid.

I can see and feel everything slow, and I stop falling. I ask, “What is for me here?” I demand, “SHOW ME, SHOW ME!” Then, I begin to move upward. I see the stars as I am traveling up to the heavens. Then huge metal discs with alien writing start moving up around me. I yell once more, “SHOW ME!” — I even say this out loud in waking reality and I wake myself up.”

Brenda considers this dream an invitation to look -with love and warmth- at your own fears. And we share fears. Loosing our health, loosing our jobs, loosing our loved ones and finally loosing our lives. 9/11 showed us how fragile we are.

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