Useful Link: 7 Dream Blogs That Inspire Me

I have been blogging about dream related subjects for almost two years now. My first blog was published in February 2015. Today you read blog post number 235 and I wanted to give you an oversight for blogs about dreams that I often read. The order of the links is at random, and 7 is my favourite number. Do you miss a link? Let me know in the comments…

 

Link #1: Jean Raffa’s Matrignosis

I know Jean because of the invitation she got to be a keynote speaker of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) annual conference. I read her book Healing the Sacred Divide and asked her to do an interview with me.

link
Healing the Sacred Divide
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Her blog is called Matrignosis, A blog about Inner Wisdom. Matrignosis means the knowing of the Mother: the creating principle. Jean wrote a guest blog for Mindfunda: Inanna: Myth of Descent. Inanna the Sumerian Queen of Heaven, who was trapped in hell, a paradox that every woman has experienced in her life,

Jean her perspective on dreams and dreaming is wise and I always learn from her. If you like dreams you will certainly love her films about dreams. What I like so much about her blog is that Jean continues to put every day life experiences in a greater perspective. If you are a fan of the Goddess, like I am, this is a blog that is worth reading.

 

Link 2: Elaine Manfield: Grief is a sacred Journey

Elaine has such an expansive knowledge about dreaming that you can spent hours reading her blog. I was deeply honoured when both she and Jean wrote a guest blog for Mindfunda, about their joint presentation on the decent of Inanna: The Redeeming Dark.

Just like Jean Raffa, she is a skilled author, who wrote Leaning into Love. She did an inspiring Ted Talk about Grief.

link
Leaning into Love
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What I like so much about Elaine, apart from the fact that she is a very skilled writer, is that she is not afraid. She faces death, grief and how live continues without the persons we held so dear. In her vulnerability you can see how strong she is. She is a model for how I want to encounter life with all its ups, downs and dreams.

Link #3: Delia Puiatti: Dreamgazer

Delia is an awesome dreamer. But what makes her special is that she interprets her dreams not in the ordinary way. The ordinary way being: “What is your first association with … (name dream symbol)”.

Delia looks for patterns. Literally. Delia is an artist, and that has its reflection on the way she looks at dreams. Reading her blog will inspire your own dream life and you will soon detect new perspectives. Looking at geometrical patterns in dreams for example, and not only at symbols. I like to be challenged by that way of thinking about and working with dreams.

 

link

 

Link #4: Kirsten Backstrom: Compass Dreamwork

Trained by Jeremy Tailor, Kirsten has got such a clever way of looking for that one special angle in dreams that you yourself would have never thought of. I met her a number of times at the annual dream conference of the International Association of the Study of Dreams, IASD, and she stood out because of her intelligent questions. Each time, I thought to myself: “what a brilliant thought”.

 

Link #5: Ryan Hurd: Dream Studies

I have the secret wish that Ryan Hurd will become my mentor.  I admire what he has achieved!  I always want to learn from the best. I remember one day participating in one of his lucid dreaming challenges: we dreamers had to go to the Roman times and participate in a gladiator fight: “let yourself be surprised by who your opponent is”.

If he is not busy lucid dreaming, he is doing research about dreams (for example his latest research about galantamine and dreaming), writing about dreams, blogging about dreams and changes a diaper in the process (of his newborn baby of course).

link

 

Link #6: Robert Moss: Way of the Dreamer

Robert Moss has a way with the word. He has written many books. The last couple of decades, his emphasis has been on dreams. They are all a joy to read. His blog is well-known, but I share it with you here because this guy is so original. Each time I am pleasantly surprised by his vision on things. He has the capacity to elevate common subjects into mythological struggles and carefully analysis the way the shamanic energies interact with each other. Never a dull moment when you are reading Robert Moss.

 

Link #7: Tony Crisp: DreamHawk

A Hawk is a messenger from the spirit world. On this blog you can find a wealth of information. If I am ever in doubt about a specific meaning of a symbol, or an archetype, I usually end up here. Tony, I have never met you but i hope you and your blog will be around for a long time.

 

#8: …. and some shameless self promotion at end; Mindfunda.com

 

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Me, blogging for Mindfunda

 

I would love it if you would follow my blog op WordPress.com.

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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 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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The Power of Ritual: Informative and Intriguing

The Power of Ritual
by Robbie Davis Floyd and Charles Laughlin
Daily Grail Publishing, 2016, $26.95 paper, ISBN 978-0-9874224-9-1
Reviewed by Drs. Susanne van Doorn

 

ritual
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the power of ritual: introduction

Do you remember the eighties when Joseph Campbell talked to us about “The Power of Myth”? It was magic on television. His engaging way of telling a story combined with the way he glued it to the challenges of that time, it made us all feel that mythology was very much alive.

Three decades later, authors anthropologist Robbie Davis Floyd Ph.D., and neuroanthropologist Charles Laughlin explore the Power of Ritual.
In the foreword Betty Sue Flowers, editor of “the Power of Myth” says:
“In The Power of Ritual, Robbie Davis-Floyd and Charles D. Laughlin have done for ritual what Campbell did for myth-tell stories, personalize the study of ritual, and relate ritual to the concerns of everyday life”.

 

ritual
Joseph Campbell in the Power of Myth

 

Even though it is not written as a textbook, it has an academic thoroughness about it. It explores all the facets of ritual: the brain of the Homo sapiens, mythology, the “hardware” of ritual: the drivers, the techniques and the place, the “software of ritual: the emotions and the transformations it can sustain in a certain society.

Where myths are the stories that make us come to terms with the world, rituals are a sword with two edges. Ritual helps you make sense of the culture you live in and it can help you change that culture.

the power of ritual: giving structure

They give a list of 9 core characteristics that constitute the anatomy of ritual, based on Ronald. L. Grimes’ The Craft of Ritual Studies. (Grimes put Ritual Studies on the academic map). This list is the guideline that is used throughout the book.

“Ritual is one of the oldest human activities-often considered as important as eating, sex, and shelter. Why has it persisted so long? Why does every attempt to suppress it result in creating it anew? What makes ritual seems at once so foundational that even animals do it so superfluous that Protestants once imagined they could dispense it altogether?”

Ronald Grimes, Introduction to Reading in Ritual Studies

 

ritual
Art: The Biosphere by designed by Buckminster Fuller, photo by Dennis Bathory-Kisz

 

In eleven chapters there is a diligent search for the power of ritual. In every corner, every room, every symbol, every core symbol is interpreted as a part of a ritual. A ritual can be positive as well as negative. A ritual is dualistic: it has to sustain a culture and its rulers, but it must also be a vehicle for social change.
Not an easy subject.
But it is clear that a ritual gives structure, and it needs a certain place, a certain time, with people acting in certain ways, dressed in certain clothes. Even if a ritual has no effect, people usually blame this on something they themselves have done wrong.

the power of ritual: Personal stories

What sets this book apart from other books are the very personal stories the authors use to illustrate the values that are part of any ritual. The authors take the daring step to share some very personal stories to illustrate the 9 principles of ritual and in doing so they dare to break boundaries. The only thing that was unclear to me as reader, is who is telling the story.

Almost every personal story is told in the third person perspective. To me this was a little confusing at times. There are two authors: has one author told the story, and has the other written it down?
In the final chapter, Robbie Davis finally dares to write in the first person perspective, as she tells the story of the celebration of her deceased daughter.

Her daughter died in a car crash, one of the most heartbreaking experiences any human being can ever experience. And telling it from the first person perspective makes it strong. I was there too, celebrating the life of this vibrant young girl. Being a mother myself, I feel the loss, the desperation and the celebration about the short, but beautiful life she had lived.

“When I was called to attend the lightning of the candles on the birthday cake, I told the caterers to STOP and hold it for a little while, and then I took my sweet time to walk around the beautiful gardens to note how friends and relatives had clustered to eat and talk about Peyton-forever engraved in my memory are the shining candles and my equally shining family and friends. I had learned not to simply ride the ritual train, but to stop it for a little while. so I could simply bask in the moment to drink in from the ritual every single thing it could give me.”

Conclusion

What is the verdict: to buy or not to buy?
pro:

  • The book gives a very good analysis of ritual, and frequently surprises you with new data and insights. For example: have you ever conceived giving birth in a hospital as a ritual? Have you ever realized that a ritual is like an unstoppable train? Have you ever realized that there must be a combination of internal as well as external drivers to change consciousness when performing a ritual? This book gives so much information and so much examples that you will feel more knowledgeable once you have read it.
  • I really like and admire the fact that the writers share personal stories. Having the guts to step outside the scientific anthropological point of view, they practice what they preach. You can not study a phenomenon without having experienced it yourself.
  • There are many models and theories discussed in this book. Nine aspects of ritual, states of consciousness, a cognitive matrix, the cycle of meaning, four stages of cognition… A multitude of ways to analyse ritual.
  • The book is quite easy to read.
  • There is a lot of attention for mythology and dreams in this book. Charles Laughlin is an accomplished practitioner of Tibetan yoga and talks about dreams and dream incubation with ease, and he even shows the box he created to sleep in.
  • There is much attention to the birth process of human beings. Lots of Western women (like me) never get proper educated about it because our grandmothers, mothers and sisters are too traumatized to discuss the process.
    “An electronic fetal monitoring machine, which Robbie has interpreted as the primary symbol of hospital birth (Davis-Floyd 2004), also speaks with many voices, promising to provide full information on the strength of the laboring mother’s contractions and the contraction of the fetal heart rate, representing the vast corporation that created it and the technical know-how that went into making it, and giving women a sense of psychological and emotional trust in the information it provides” (page 57).But this machine also sucks up the attention: the mother is no longer the centre of attention: the machine is. Having given birth twice in the hospital (I was obliged to do that being diabetic) I know from experience that when the heart rate of my second baby dropped significantly, this became the center of my attention for several agonizing hours.

con

  • All the models and theories can become quite confusing. I had some trouble of allocating some concepts into the picture the authors are trying to describe. There are nine major characteristics of a ritual, there are four stages of cognition, there are the twin axes of instantiation, there is the cycle of meaning, there is the technocratic, humanistic and holistic paradigms of medicine there is a cognitive matrix… It can be a bit confusing to get the big picture the authors are trying to paint for you as reader.
  • Unfortunately, there is no e-book available (yet).

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Mindfunda Mythology

 

 

 

Arthur

Do you want to understand more about yourself, your dreams and the struggles of your life? Join our online course Mindfunda Mythology now.

This is the last of a six part blog about Mindfunda Mythology, an online course that will make your life easier:

The Creation myth: Genesis and The Big Bang
The Amazing Animal: The Animal in Mythology
Mythology of Men 
Mythology of Women
Mythology of the Trickster
Mythology of the Grail, Pulling Out the Sword
Arthur in Mythology

Mythology seems to be lost in society. “Mythology consists of stories about half-naked Greek Gods running round doing crazy stuff and getting away with it”.
I used to think so… Untill I had a dream that showed me that stories are not always just stories…

Arthur in dreams

Sometimes, mythology just comes knocking on your door in a dream. For me, that happened several years ago. In a dream, I heard a voice over say: “You belong to the court of King Arthur”. I said back: “No that is only a story”. I was wrong about that. Mythology is about solving life’s problems. Mythology is about learning to live with life’s problems.

Arthur
Round Table

In the Mindfunda Mythology Course, I created a lesson about Arthur. It is called: Mythology of the Grail, Pulling Out the Sword. This is a quote:

The Grail in the Arthur myth is about a spiritual kind of love, felt deep in the soul, where it touches upon the waters of life. Whenever you experience “a dry spell” in your life, a depression, you know you have to find the grail again. And according to the Arthur myth, you need to ask the right question on the right moment to find the grail and heal the fisher King“.

But sometimes mythology is hidden in themes that play a role in your life that is obvious for an outsider, but not for you. That is why each lesson has open-ended questions so you can re-interpret your stories, as well as your dreams. I will give you another example from the course:

“If you look at dreams you had about your mother and reinterpret them as dreams about mother earth, does their message change? How is mother earth talking  to you? Is she protecting you? Is she urging you to change your life? To change your nutrition?”

Arthur lessons

The Arthur lesson is the last one of six. Together they make a perfect line up of the trouble that one comes across while living life. The first lesson: “Creation Myth: Genesis and Big Bang” re-writes modern society as a contemporary myth. It’s exercises will give you clues into re-interpreting your dreams with new mythological meaning. The second lesson “The Amazing Animal: The Animal in Mythology” will help you connect with and accept the animal part in your own personality. The third lesson “Mythology of Men” will help you understand men more. Whether you are born in a men’s body or in a woman’s body. The same is true for lesson number four: “Mythology of Women”. In lesson number five I invite you to a private party.  I invite you to a private party. “Trusting the Trickster: Hanging  With Loki and His Friends“. The focus of this lesson is to recognize and embrace the Trickster in yourself. We have already discussed the last lesson: “Mythology of the Grail: Pulling Out the Sword” in more depth in this post.

Each lesson consist of 26-30 pages A4 filled with text, exercises and a literature list filled with good inspiring books.

All Excited? Mindfunda Mythology is designed to make the journey of your life easier. You will get:

  • Knowledge about the Sefiroth, the Cabalistic Tree of Life;
  • You will be introduced to the two main categories of myth so you can (re)connect with the strength of your inner animal;
  • You will have access to al the 24 possible ways of behaviour of male and female archetypes;
  • You will be able to tap into the power of the Trickster whenever you feel reluctant to follow the call of your own path;
  • All these methods and techniques will enable you to enlighten your inner fire, your personal Grail;
  • You will get 44 exercises during the course, an average 6 – 10 exercises per lesson to help you master the knowledge.

 

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Nightmare and Dreams: a presentation for Rivas

Six percent of the population regularly suffers from a nightmare. But a nightmare is a blessing in disguise. No other dream gives a dreamer such a strong impulse to act upon a dream. It is like a dream urges you to change your ways. Literally, or symbolically.

nightmares

I was invited by the Dutch Rivas Organisation to give a presentation and a workshop about dreams and nightmares. An invitation I gladly accepted. I spent an evening listening to Professor Kerkhof, who was the main speaker for the evening. His expertise is Sleep and he works for the University of Amsterdam and the Sleep centre of The Hague. After his presentation, people gathered to visit several workshops. Here is a brief summary of my presentation that evening. Continue reading Nightmare and Dreams: a presentation for Rivas

Living the dream

Mindfunda's Susanne van Doorn was invited by the Societas Studiosorum Reformatorum Eindhoviensis or SSRE in Eindhoven to give a presentation to celebrate their 58th anniversary. The motto of their anniversary was Living the dream, so they reached out to me to talk about dreams. This Mindfunda is a transcript of the 'Living the Dream' presentation of September 14, 2015.

Living the dream, a cultural perspective

When I went away to University in the eighties, I had the Western idea of Living the Dream in mind. I was going to live on a beach somewhere, with lots of sun and lots of swimming. I would find myself a nice hunk to spend my life with and I would find a challenging job that payed well. It looked a bit like this:

Brad Pitt
living the dream

 

living the dream
The Best Job in the World

I know a lot of you share that view on ‘Living the dream’ with me. It is a cultural phenomena. A Western cultural ideal. How can we use something as individual as a dream to help us reach that goal? Let’s define dreaming using physical and psychological elements. I will give two techniques that will help you direct your dreams in a certain direction. They will help you reach your goals. Finally I will give you some great examples that will convince you that dreams can help you with Living the dream.

Let’s get philosophical

Are you dreaming right now? Do you ever wonder during the day if you are dreaming? Patricia Garfield did some research into common dream themes. Getting educated (by reading this blog) is one of the most common dream themes. So are you quite sure that you are not dreaming right now?

You could perform a reality check: count the fingers of your hands. Carlos Casteneda wrote about it in the seventies and lots of people learned to lucid dream by looking to their hands before falling asleep. Hands are always with you. Looking at your hands before you fall asleep and telling yourself to look at your hands during your dream to remember yourself that you are dreaming seems to be a sure technique to reaching lucidity in your dreams. Robert Waggoner used this technique to acquire the basic principles of lucid dreaming.

living the dream
Descartes

 

The question ‘are we dreaming right now?’ is the inheritance of Descartes. Descartes thought us to question everything. Yourself, your body, reality. we get taught to think that way in our universities and high schools. Descartes claimed that he existed because he was a thinking person: cogito ergo sum, I think therefore I am. But that caused us to make a distinction between our mind and our body. And that is how I am going to define a dream. I will define three elements of physical dreaming and three elements of psychological dreaming. After doing that we can go back to “living the dream” and see how we can dream ourselves a way into this Western ideal.

Living the dream: technique #1

So how do you know if you are dreaming at this moment? There is a technique, introduced by Carlos Casteneda in the seventies. Looking at your hands and counting your fingers. When this becomes a habit you start to do this in your dreams. In your dreams your fingers look different.  And you always have your hands with you. Before you go to sleep: relax your body, look at your hands and say to yourself: I will look at my hands in my sleep and realize that I am dreaming.
There are more reality checks: looking a watch or a clock two times. The second time the clock hand will point at a different number.
Turn on the light: in your dream this is not possible.
Go back in time: wonder what you did before this event. In a dream you will not be able to remember a natural sequal of events.

So with this technique in mind, let’s define dreaming. I will cut up the dreaming process in physical and psychological elements.

Three Physical elements of dreaming

living the dream
suprachiasmatic nucleus

#1: The supraciasmatic nucleus takes care of our day – night rhythm. It regulates your body clock. Light reaches into your eye, and regulates this nuclei. It is one of the reasons why you better not wear sun glasses in the summer. And why you should dim the lights at night. When people can not fall asleep, I often give them the advice to talks a walk in the dark. Movement and darkness are ways of resetting the supraciasmatic nuclei. Darkness is the sign for the tryptophan in your body to be transferred to melatonin, which make you fall asleep. So don’t buy melatonin in the supermarket. Turn out the lights on time and go out for a walk in the dark!

#2: Brainwaves are a certain indicator of your state of awareness. Especially the Delta and Theta waves are present during sleep. REM sleep occurs during Theta waves.

living the dream
Brain waves

During Delta waves there is Deep Sleep. Sleep with no awareness. the total darkness. I will be interviewing Evan Thompson for Mindfunda soon. in his book Waking Dreaming Being, he devotes a whole chapter on this kind of sleeping. Where is the Self, The I, the awareness during this state? Is it a kind of ‘death’? or is there a sense of awareness?

The Rapid Eye Movement (REM sleep we got to know and love during the fifties appears in the Theta sleep. It was during REM that Stanley Krippner woke up his dreamers in his telepathy projects. He wanted to research of dreamers could be influenced by an outsider. In his experiments he got art, he got a dreamer and he got a sender in his dream lab. An artwork was randomly selected, the sender started concentrating and the dreamer started dreaming. Whenever the dreamer reached REM sleep he was woken up and a dream report was written down. This report was judged by an independent jury and scored on various points. Krippner published some amazing results, dreamers did manage to report dreams that showed fragments of paintings in a very accurate manner.

#3Inhibition of the spinal motor neurons. We do not move in our dreams from the neck down. We can turn around in our bed, but we do not get up and act out our dreams, because of this inhibition. Here you can see a dreaming cat who is acting out its dreams. Now you can see why this inhibition has been an evolutionary advantage.

So now we have defined the physical elements of dreaming. We are buckled up, let’s go ahead and explore the psychological elements of dreaming.

Psychological elements of dreaming

#1: First of all, you dream in images. In 2012 Japanese researchers could provide us with images we are dreaming, as you can see in this film. Impressive huh? What a work that must have been. The decoding of the human brain will leap us into new mysteries to be explored. Did you notice the beginning of this film is a scene from Inception? Leonardo di Caprio is a lucid dreamer, not only on-screen but also in real life…

#2: The second psychological element of dreaming is: you dream in symbols. this little film I found tells you more about it.
I only have three remarks about it. Being chased is not necessarily a bad thing. It can lead to lucidity. A very well-known lucid dreamer had nightmares when he was a kid, He was being chased by a monster. He was so frightened he did not dare to go to bed at night. But his nother said to him: why don’t you just turn around when you see that monster again and ask him what he wants from you? So the dreamer did just that and found out that the monster was not meaning any harm. The monster said: “I want to tell you something, but you always run away”
Falling in your dream does not have to symbolise failing. It is also a reflection of the energy level of your body decreasing. Just let yourself fall down and start to fly. Enjoy the process.
I know that it is a common assumption that all characters in a dream are reflections of you. But not always… I did some research (you can download it here). I had several dreams about meeting people who had dreamed the same. So one day i decided to do an experiment. I got 15 couples. Every couple of dreamers were supposed to meet each other in a dream. One had a gift, the other was the receiver. After the night of dreaming I collected all the dream reports. And… Several couples indeed had met each other and reported the right gift in their dream reports.

The third psychological element of dreaming are emotions. A lot of people see emotions as the key to giving meaning to a dream. Te film Inside Out gives such a good representation of our basic emotions. Fear, Anger, Disgust, Sadness and Joy. When you look at the world we live in, only a few of these emotions are tolerated. Joy is accepted as a public emotion. Anger is tolerated when it comes out as dominance or sarcasm. But you must never be to angry, too sarcastic, too sad or too fearsome. Showing disgust makes you an arrogant person. So most of us have gotten used to hiding our emotions. Dreaming is reconnecting with your emotions. To get to know yourself better. To accept that those emotions are just part of life.

Now we have defined the elements of a dream, it is time to tell you about the second tecnhique you can use to dream your way into a better future.

Living the dream technique #2 Incubation

Dream incubation is an old technique. It was used in ancient Greece in the dream temples of Asclepius. You concentrate on what you want to dream about. You write down your problem. preferably before going to bed. And you end with writing down one positive formulated sentence. A sentence that reflects your dream question in a positive way. “What is the best for me right now?” or “What do I need to know about …?” And while you are in bed dozing off, mumble that sentence. Do not forget to tell yourself that you will remember and understand your dream each time after mentally stating your dream request.
You might not remember a dream your first night. And maybe even the second night. But you will remember a dream if you keep doing this. The more you practice this technique the better you will become.

Living the dream by using your dreams

There is one technique, besides lucid dreaming that I have not talked about. It is called incubation. The ancient Greeks used it in their dream temples when they wanted guidance for their health. And so can you. Here is what you do.

You write down a specific wish/problem/subject you want to dream about. during the day and again before sleep. You write down what you what to dream about and you finish with one clear positive sentence that states your request. ‘Tonight I will dream about … in a way that I will remember an understand’. Mumble those words as you doze off to sleep.

Living the dream consists of three things that go well in your life: love, your career and your health.  I will tell you stories about dreams that have changed the lives of people in those three areas that are so important. All three areas are a reflection on who you are or on who you want to be in this life that you are given. These dreams will make you see that by dreaming, you can turn your world around for the better.

Living the dream: love

Justina Lasley found the man of her dreams by remembering a dream. In her book Wake up she tells us:
My dreams and intuition were instrumental and informative as I met and married Chad Minifie, the man of my dreams. One day I had tearfully shared my previous night’s dreams with my very intuitive friend Cathy. The dreams were brimming with sadness about not having met the man with whom I would share my future. She stopped me, saying she sensed from my dreams that I already had a connection to the man I would marry. As strange as it still seems to me, she was right. I followed her suggestion: I closed my eyes and tried to connect with the love I yearned for. I quickly felt a connection to both New England and England, which seemed very bizarre. I didn’t know many people in New England and had never spent time there…
The feeling of that experience stayed with me for several weeks. After a month or so, on e-Harmony (how can it be?) I met a man who lived on Hilton Island and decided to meet him for dinner in Charleston. Soon after being seated I asked, “Where are you from originally?” I am still in awe of his answer: “Well, I have spent most of my life in New England, but my family comes from England”

Dreaming and intuition are twin sisters. If you want to hear Justina tell more powerful stories about changing your life for the better using dreams as a guide you can watch the Mindfunda interview with her.

 

Living the dream: Career

living the dream
Einstein

It was a dream that guided Einstein towards his theory of relativity. When he was 16, his grades in school were bad. His father said: “Son, I am giving up on you. Why don’t you become a plumber!”. Einstein was  very upset because he felt he was smart. That night he had a dream that would nurture him into his fertile future. The dream that had all the ingredients of his discoveries.

‘In my 
dream I am on the top of a hill, covered with snow. My friends are with me and we all have sledges. We start to glide down and we all laugh and have fun. But my sledge is going down real hard and soon I go with the speed of light. I leave my friends behind me. When I look up to the sky I see the light fall apart into a spectrum.’

Einstein told this dream at the end of his life. This dream had been a secret inspiration for him. He told the interviewer that whenever he felt down or uninspired, he remembered the feeling of this dream.

Living the dream: Health

A dream can save you life. If you listen to the podcast of my dreams and health panel for the IASD conference in 2013 you can hear impressive examples.
But the story of Rita Dwyer and her colleage Ed Butler is one of the most impressive stories around. Ed had several dreams about saving Rita from a fire. He opened the door (we all know that you should not open a door when the door handle is hot or smoke comes out of the doorway. The flames will burst out because of the oxygen coming in). He got into her burning laboratory and got her out alive. Against all odds.

When they were in hospital Rita asked him: “Why did you open the door, and put your life in danger? You know it is against all formal regulations?” And he told her he had saved her in recurring dreams. “I knew I was going to survive this. I knew what I had to do, I had done it before in my dreams”. And that is one other good thing about dreams: they rehearse possible futures. You are able to dream the future. Perhaps it is better to say: dreams will rehearse several possible futures for you.

I want to thank SSRE for inviting me, and my colleague Hans van Nuland for his contribution to my ‘Living the Dream’ presentation.

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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!

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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

Fiction and dreams are closely related. "The dream's essence lies in its storytelling capacity. Dreams are autobiographical fictions that tell ...
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Dreams that Guide You on Your Life Path

Finding your life path. It can be quite a journey... To my great enjoyment I saw that the International Association ...
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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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Birthday dreams: an example

Celebrating the 10th birthday of my youngest son made me think about birthday dreams. Not the dreams you have about the presents you want to get but dreams that can shed a light on the year that lays ahead.

Birthday dreams and literature

The thirst time I heard about birthday dreams was when I read The Woman’s book of dreams written by Connie Kaplan (click the link to read about my interview with her).

 

Birthday dreams: be alert

Every year, about a week before your birthday the moon is in the same sign, at the same position as when you were born. That dream would have a predictive quality for the year you are about to experience. So each year my dreaming mind remembers dreams in april.

Here is my dream from April 03 2015, when the moon was in Virgo, like my birth moon.

First dream:
I am standing at the dock of the bay talking to a guy about his problems.

Second dream:
I am in the kitchen. My dreaming friend K is sitting at the kitchen table talking with a friend. I am trying to make cookies. I chop down luncheon meat from the Ardennes into little pieces and add some onions. The dough is too dry so I add a can of beans. Now all the beans are on top of the dough and my emotions are very sad: I failed. I try to pour the juice of the beans into the sink and ask for a glass of water. When I look at the kitchen table I see that my glass of water is already standing there ready for me to take a sip.

About dreaming with the moon in Virgo, Connie Kaplan says: ‘Virgo, the virgin is always appropriate. She is pure, polished, focused, discriminating and perfectionistOne might have One may have dreams about breaking down and assimilating food and/or information’.

When I look at this dream as a guidance for creating Mindfunda, my cookie filled with soul food I am most fascinated by the contradiction. Cookies are sweet while I am busy mixing up savoury ingredients. The water from the dock in the first dream returns at the end: it is already on the table. Water gives live.

Birthday dreams interpretations

The thing that struck me is the fact that I am preparing am afternoon snack, a cookie, using ham and beans. So I decided to become the beans in my dream (This is a fairly common method of dream interpretation: you use your creative imagination, re-enter the dream and pretend, well, in this case, the beans floating on top of the cookie. This is what the beans had to tell me:

'I don't know what I am doing here, so I drift to the top. If you want to get rid of me, you can easily do so. I get spilled too often. I am packed with nutrition but you used to get sick with us'.

Now that was true. When my diabetes was undiagnosed and my mother used to cook beans I got sick. I was not able any more to digest beans. But this was such a good clue for my work. I now knew that it was good to write about the things I could not ‘digest’ (click here to read an example).

The luncheon meat from the Ardennes was another enigma. Using the same technique I mentioned above I ‘became’ the luncheon meat from the Ardennes:

'I have to be chopped up to give some substance. I am easy, cheep and everybody is able to digest me. You don't want too much of my because my substance (pork meat) is not really healthy.'

And indeed I have gotten used to chop up ‘easy’ pieces of Mindfunda to give substance to the mixture that you are glad yo read. For en example click here to read my Mindfunda about Inside oud a very good Pixar film.

The kitchen table is a familiar dream symbol for me. At my kitchen table I have met many dream friends including Travis Wernet who was a guest blogger for Mindfunda. Click here to read his blog about dreams and music. The lady in this dream at my kitchen table with her friend seems to be a symbol for the triple goddess. For friendship. She is very aware of food and has lots of food dreams. So dreaming about food for the soul in her presence is a very good thing. I am trying to impress her. And frankly, I am trying to impress with Mindfunda. I will be blunt about it. I want Mindfunda to be the best. I want people who want to know more about the best books, the best methods to read Mindfunda. That is ambitious I know. But that is the way I am.

birthday
Mindfunda

 

The animus in my first dream is like Otis Redding ‘sitting on the dock of the bay’. The water only found as a solution in the last part of the second dream (it was there all along) is here in abundance. The ships of life come here to take a rest, to refill and sail on. That is exactly my aim with Mindfunda. To be a haven for the various ships of life.

In the second part I am trying my best to be innovative. Creating an afternoon snack that is not sweet. But it has to be juiced up a bit. With the water of life. I hope I have added enough to please you, reader.

Did you have birthday dreams yourself? Did they have guidance for you? Advice that you needed? I would love to hear about it.

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. I will be doing an interview with Catherine Wikholm about her book the Buddha Pill very soon so be sure to sign up and with Justina Lasley about her book Wake Up to Your Dreams: Transform Your Relationships, Career, and Health While You Sleep!

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Lucid dreaming plain and simple

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
Robert Waggoner

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.

lucid dreaming
Lucid dreaming Plain and simple

 

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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World War 2: Wodan’s Wind blew

bird-of-peace-424

In my dream
Women flew
Larger than any
Birds I had seen

They flew high
They flew together
Over trees
And dry, dusty land.

They came back, some
After years, with water
Careful in their beaks
For those who had
Forgotten how to fly.

Manju Kapur

Today we remember World War 2.  In May 1940, when the Germans came marching into his hometown my father was only 14. He lived in a city near the German border. He was soon recruited to work as a volunteer in the hospital. This made him grow up fast. He never told us about his work, but I could tell that he saw some things not meant for a boys’ eyes.

My mother was 12 when World War 2 started. Her father worked as an instructor in Morse Code at the post office. In that capacity he was able to forge identity papers from his students to keep them from being drafted. My mother told me that it scared the hell out of him. Every time he did it, he called in sick to work and got into bed. Waiting for the Germans to come and ship him off. luckily, he always got away.

They where no hero’s but they did the best they could to survive. My grandfather even got knighted for his actions during World war 2. He was very proud of that.
Looking back at the family history I wonder what I inherited from those experiences. Could it be that my dreams that refer to Wotan are a reminder of what my parents have been through? Carl Jung wrote an essay on Wotan referring to the First World War, but I think it is applicable to World war 2 as well.

“What is more than curious – indeed, piquant to a degree – is that the ancient god of storm and frenzy, the long quiescent Wotan, should awake, like an extinct volcano, to new in a civilized country that supposed to have outgrown the Middle Ages…. Wotan is a restless wanderer who creates unrest and stirs up life, now here, now there, and works magic”.

I remember meeting the wanderer Wotan in my dreams. I remember being called by him in another dream where the storm was blowing. I think my parents, growing up in an environment taken over by Wotan picked up on this archetypical force and it changed their Dna like epigenetic reasearch has shown in the last decade.

Sharon Moalm wrote an intriguing book about it: Inheritance. I really recomment that you read it. You will understand more about yourself and your family tree.

World War 2
Sharon Moalem Inheritance

We live in an age that makes us aware that what the things we eat, think and experience changes our brain, and even gets imprinted in our dan. Traumatic experiences get encrypted in our Dna and change the future of your offspring.

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Moon tribute: Connie Kaplan about ‘The woman’s Book of Dreams’

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.

moon
The woman’s book of dreams Connie Kaplan

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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Anne Baring Dream of the Cosmos: 4 Intriguing Questions

“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?

anne baring dream of the cosmos
Photo: Evan Kirby

 

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.

Ann Baring

Anne Baring, author and Jungian analyst, wrote her magnum opus: ‘Dream of the Cosmos’ in 2013. Click on the picture to buy it:

Dream of the Cosmos - Anne Baring
‘Dream of the Cosmos – a quest for the soul ‘ by Anne Baring

 

 

I have an excellent Mythology Course you can follow online: Mindfunda Mythology

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 

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10 Dream books you should read

I have been working with dreams for several years now, and I read a lot of dream books. But sometimes there is that one book that really has a special edge. A way you have not looked at dreams before. Here is my list of 10 dream books you should read i.e. I can recommend all of you to buy and read. Please let me know if you agree with my choices. If one of your personal favorite dream books is absent, let me know by using the comment section below the blog.

  • Dream books tip #1: ‘Creative Dreaming’ by Patricia Garfield:
    Years ago, in the eighties, I read this book, in one night. It was the first book ever that discussed dreams as creative material. I fell asleep and had my first lucid dream (a dream you have while being aware that you are dreaming). This is not only about lucid dreams however. It is about getting the most out of a dream to make your life better. Patricia was criticized for not being scientific and for not having visited the Senoi people she wrote about. But that does not change the fact that this book gives you a method you can use that will change your dream-life. Patricia was on the panel I organized on the conference of the International Organisation of the Study of Dreams (IASD) in 2014 click here
Mindfunda.com: dream books tip #1
Dream books tip #1: Creative dreaming – Patricia Garfield

 

  • Dream books tip #2: ‘Extraordinary dreams and how to work with them’ written by Stanley Krippner, Fariba Bogzaran and Andre Percia de Carvalho. This book gives you such a good insight in all the different types of dreams: creative dreams, Lucid dreams, Out of body dreams, healing dreams, mutual dreams… It is carefully organized and there are a lot of references to very good research about dreams. There is even a paragraph about “Working with dreams within dreams”.  I have only come across this phenomena in books about dreams in Frederik van Eede’s Dromenboek  (A Dutch lucid dreamer and writer who was in the same circle as Carl Gustav Jung).
    This book will give you so much information about dreams, your head may spin. read it one chapter at a time so you will digest all the information in it. After all these years it is still a source of reference for me.
Mindfunda.com: dream books tip #2
Dream books tip #2: Extraordinary dreams and how to work with them

  • Dream books tip #3: ‘a Branch of the Lightning Tree’ Stanley Krippner came over in 2013 to do a workshop Personal Mythology in Utrecht. Identifying mythological themes in your life and your dreams can give you so much more understanding. About yourself, about the situation you are in and about the steps you can take. Reading  a Branch of the lightning tree written by Martin Shaw has taught me a lot about distilling mythological information out of stories. Dreams are stories told by the night. So even though this book is not about dreams, it will help you understand them better.

 

Mindfunda.com: dream books tip #3
Dream books tip #3: A branch from the lightning tree

 

  • Dream books tip #4: ‘Active Dreaming’ – Robert Moss is an excellent writer. He knows how to tell a story. When he came to Utrecht to give a workshop Active dreaming, people were glued to his lips. His books are filled with useful well researched information. Robert has written a lot of books and they are all good. I have chosen Active dreaming because I like the exercises in them. There are coincidence games in it, the mapping of your energy path, a low maintenance plan for your health… It is just a very good book. A dream is something to act upon and Robert gives you the keys to unlock the secrets in them.
Mindfunda.com: dream books tip #4
Dream books tip #4: Robert Moss Active Dreaming


  • Dream books tip #5: Another book that changed my way of looking at dreams is the ‘Woman’s book of dreams’. The knowledge Connie Kaplan shared about the moon and dreaming is something I have never read before in any other book.  She connects dreaming with astrology. It made me grab my dream notes and look at what sign the moon was in while I had these dreams. In that way I made discoveries about myself, my dreams and their content that I would not have been able to make without reading this book. She also discusses a way of working with dream groups that I have used several times. One time, before doing a workshop with pregnant women and their dreams I took this book out of my closet in a dream. It made me change my workshop in the “Connie Kaplan” way and it was a good decision. In the workshop some very profound discoveries were made and people were able to engage with each other on a deeper level because of the method I used.
Mindfunda.com: dream books tip #5
Dream books tip #5: The woman’s book of dreams Connie Kaplan

 

  • Dream books tip #6: ‘Lucid Dreaming’ – Robert Waggoner is a very experienced lucid dreamer. But what is so intriguing about this book is that he helps you to shift perspective. He asks you who the writer of your dream story is (you can read more about this perspective here). A lot of people who are involved in dreaming are against lucid dreaming. A dream should take its natural course. Don’t mess with it because that would be messing with the natural psychological process that dreams are made off. But Robert simply asked “Does the sailor control the sea?” and shows us that no lucid dreamer ever fully controls the content of the dream. And he has some other thought-provoking suggestions and experiences to share.

 

Mindfunda.com: dream books tip #6
Dream books tip #6: Lucid Dreaming Robert Waggoner

 

I have not read his newest book ‘Lucid dreaming plain and simple’ yet.
He wrote it together with Caroline McCready. But it is on my list. I plan to do an interview with him and put it on this blog, so stay tuned!

Mindfunda.com: dream books runner-up
Dream books runner-up: Lucid dreaming plain and simple Robert Waggoner and Caroline McCready

 

  • Dream books tip #7: Robert Gongloffs’ book ‘Dream Exploration’ changed my way of working with dreams because he taught me to take a step back. In this book you will find a matrix that enables you to look at the theme of a dream. Not focus so much on the meaning of a single symbol but look at the greater picture.
Mindfunda.com: dream books tip #7
Dream books tip #7: Dream Exploration Robert Gongloff

 

  • Dream books tip #8: I used to think alchemy was mighty interesting but beyond my understanding. So many old manuscripts, very hard to read and even more difficult to understand. Then a friend of mine gave me a copy of Monika Wikmans’ ‘Pregnant Darkness‘. She leads you through the alchemical process using dreams and symbols. Reading this book gave me so much more understanding of the path of transformation we all have to travel in live. It is well written and the examples she shares with us make us reconsider our own dream material.
Mindfunda.com: dream books tip #8
Dream books tip #8: Pregnant Darkness Monika Wikman

 

  • Dream books tip #9: Communing with the Gods’ is a well documented anthropological exploration into dreams. Charles Laughlin takes the reader on a journey to explore his neuroanthropology of dreaming. An attempt for a cross-fertilization between neurology, psychology, sociology and anthropology. Ambitious yes, but very interesting. I wrote about this book before you can read it here. The way Charles Laughlin builds the evidence for his Neuroanthropology of dreaming will give you a new way of looking at dreams.
Mindfunda.com: dream books tip #9
Dream books tip #9: Communing with the gods Charlie Laughlin
  • Dream books tip #10: Last but not least, my translation of Vasily Kasatkins’ classic ‘A theory about Dreams’. You can hear my presentation about it in this link. The reason why this book will change your vision on dreams is that it makes the relationship between the body and the dream content crystal clear. Even a hard-core scientist as psychiatrist Vasily Kasatkin was convinced that dreams are the early indicators of physical illness. A dream can safe your life.
Mindfunda.com: dream books tip #10
Dream books tip #10: ‘a Theory about Dreams’ – Vasatli Kasatkin translated by Susanne van Doorn

Did you enjoy this list of Dream books? Please use the comments box below to share your thought!

 

10 remarkable things about the human brain

Unexpected Fact #1:
There are no right-brained versus left brained people!
Unexpected Fact #2:
Awareness can not be traced back to a specific point in the brain!

I found out about these -and at least 10 more- remarkable facts by reading ‘The Human Brain Book’ By Rita Carter, a highly recommended read if you are interested in all aspects the human brain.

The Human Brain - Rita Carter ( on Amazon)
The Human Brain Rita Carter

 

10 remarkable things about the human brain:

 

  • Did you know that no human brain is the same? Human brains are built according to the construction plan of the genes, but each set of genes is unique.

 

  • The corpus callosum, the part that unites the two human brain halfs is bigger in women. This might be the cause of the ability of most women to be more emotionally aware.

 

  • Dyslexia is more common with left-handed people.

 

  • Einsteins’ brain missed a groove in the parietal lobe. The area underneath is involved in mathematical thinking. This could be the reason why Einstein had this capacity for capturing the universe in mathematical equations.

 

  • The basic structure of the human brain is finished when a child is three years old. Some parts, like the prefrontal cortex are still offline.

 

  • The prefrontal cortex is fully developed when your 30 years old. The emotional brain is fully developed now. The prefrontal cortex is activated by emotions and leads to more thoughtful perceptions.

 

  • Gamma-aminoacid (GABA), produced by the hypothalamus decreases wakefulness,
    and helps you fall asleep.

 

  • There is a circuit in the small brain that measures time. This circuit transmits the data to the motor cortex so muscles can move.

 

  • That is why, when you want to fall asleep, you should walk when it is dark. The darkness increases the fabrication of melatonin.

 

  • To cure phantom pain, people with dissected limbs like arms or legs, look into a mirror that projects those limbs moving. this illusion can alleviate phantom pain.

 

Mindfunda Verdict:

‘The Human Brain Book’ by Rita Carter is an easy to read book, filled with remarkable facts about the human brain and it will give you so much information about our most important organ.
(yes my dear male readers, the human brain is the most important organ of our body).

 

If you want to flaunt your most sexy organ, feel free to order this great shirt to support Mindfunda anD all our good work:
"My brain is the most beautiful part of my body" - Shakira quote about the human brain
My brain is the most beautiful part of my body” – Shakira quote about the human brain.

 

Are you afraid of death? she asked me…

I am standing outside. A car comes along the street, a long black car, with an official “limousine” – like appearance.
She steps out of the car. I reach for her hands to help her. She is so cold that I feel frozen too. I look into her slender face, and she looks so old and tired…

“Were you supposed to leave the hospital?” I ask. She does not answer.
She sighs, steps back just a tiny bit as if she expects rejection. “Are you afraid of death?” A question so direct and so profound.. I was shaken to the core…

Should I answer that I am afraid of death? Should I answer that sometimes I just long for things to end? Would that give her the relief she so desperately seeks? I do not know what to do but to give her the warmth I feel inside my living and relatively healthy body.  I put my arms around her to give her the warmth of life and I say “Everything must come to an end.”

Everything must come to an end. Life can be as simple as that. This dream about my mother made me think back about the last time I visited my mother in hospital. I knew that she was going to die, but I was afraid to share that information. I am sure I did the right thing by not telling her.

Dreaming about the death
A dreamers guide through the land of the deceased

I did some research about dreaming of the lost loved ones and I wrote a book about it: “A dreamers guide into the land of the deceased”. I gathered more than 100 dreams worldwide and took them seriously. I literally read the dreams as  tales about life on the other side. A glimpse in the realm of Hades.

Like my own dream about death, many of the dreams I analyzed involved a social gathering. A meeting, a shared meal, a discussion between several people. I found in every dream a clue that enabled people to act in the world. Cause dreams are useless until you act upon them.

So now, you clever reader of Mindfunda are going to ask me: “What did you do with this dream of yours Susanne van Doorn?”. Well, it was more of a spiritual act I engaged upon after dreaming this dream. I acknowledged that my mother and I are so much alike. That might seem a small thing but in waking life I never felt really close to her. I had a feeling that it was mutual. The feeling of the coldness of her hands took me back to the day of her passing. How shocked I was sitting by her bed caressing her cold hands as she passed away.  Silently and calm she drifted into another awareness. I needed this dream to give me healing. Everything must come to an end. My memory of the coldness of my mother as well. It is time for me to embrace her memory with all the warmth of my relatively healthy living body. I hope my book can help you interpret dreams about your loved ones more easily.

Was this blog useful for you? Please share and subscribe to the blog using the subscribe button on the left side of this page. You can support Mindfunda by buying one of the Marvelous Mindfunda T-shirts: My brain is the most beautiful part of my body in sparkling red for the ladies or the tasteful blue Carl Jung quote: Dreams tell the myths forgotten by the day.

Tarot Garden by Niki de Saint Phalle – Tuscany, Italy

Niki de Saint Phalle, a French artist has created ‘Giardino dei Tarocchi’, a tarot garden in Tuscany. It took her up to fifteen years to design and build it. And while she was working and living in this garden she really added some significant interpretations to the symbols. The pictures  illustrating this blog (courtesy Juvani photo) were taken when we visited the tarot garden in Garavicchio.

tarot - strenght: nikki de st phalle - dragon - juvaniphoto
tarot: strength

 

Let’s have a look at the first example of the stunning art work in the tarot garden.
One of the many handcrafted sculptures tiled with tiny mosaics of glas, porcelain and shattered mirror.

It is card 8, Strength.

The young girl finally dares to look her dragon in the eyes. He is mesmerized by her acknowledgment. He lets her lead he way. We all know this feeling. Tired of running away, let’s face our dragons. It is the only way to gently lead them.Each piece of art is carefully placed in the hilly tarot garden, surrounded by olive trees and other nature.

Tarot garden’s interpretation of  Card 15: The Devil

Another example is Niki’s Devil, who has two people that long for each other but are not able to come close. One is red, the other purple. Two opposites of the spectrum, longing but unable to unite.

the devil - tarot garden nikki de st phalle - juvani photo
tarot: the devil

 

They are not chained, there is no need for that. The devil has their feet. One red feet, the other purple. It is the longing for something we think we can never have that urges us to develop those qualities in ourselves.

If you look at tarot cards as a way of guiding your life’s journey you gain another perspective on hem. They are often used to predict the future and perhaps if you are on a certain journey the outcome can be accurately predicted by using the cards. But I am more in favor of using the cards as guideline for your life-journey.

Visiting the tarot garden is a great excursion when you are in Italy, and when you  have some basic knowledge of the tarot itself.

want to Learn more before you visit the tarot garden? You can sign up now for the Mindfunda tarot workbook.

This book tells you about the cards of the Major Arcana and their symbols. It contains exercises to experience the archetypical energy the cards represents and recognize them in your own life. Dreams are a good vehicle for those archetypical energies and using this book will give you a new understanding of your dreams. At the end of the course you will have a book containing the Major Arcana, an in depth understanding of the symbols and a new way of looking at your dreams.

Mythology: 5 mythological themes in modern films

When I was a kid, my father used to tell me stories from Greek mythology. He would tell about Zeus, who was always chasing after beautiful girls, about Hera who was the mother Goddess and about Aphrodite being born from the foam of  the sea. I was always fascinated, amused but it had nothing to do with me. I bet that is what you think too.

Well over the years I have discovered that there is a lot of value in mythological stories and we often fail to recognize them. Re-reading the myths in the beautiful “Complete world of Greek mythology” brought me back in time. I love to read it, so if you would like to know more about greek mythology, or would like to refresh your memory: Richard Buxton’s book is one of the best. Being a lot older, it was easier to see how mythology writes about the human vices and gives advice.

For more information: this book of Richard Buxton is one of the best I have ever read

But mytholgy in the Western culture seems to have taken a backseat. Except in films and television series… Here is a list of 5 films that have a mythological theme. If you know more, I would like to hear from you.

1. The mythology of King Midas

On one of the best known stories of Greek mythology. King Midas of Phrygia is a great and wealthy king with a daughter. Midas loves gold. He loves counting his money.
One day Silenos, teacher of Dionysos, took a nap in the rose garden of King Midas.  The King, walking around, saw him, recognized him and invited him to stay for a few days. Then he brought him back to Dionysos. The god of celebration offered Midas to satisfy a wish….

In modern day life we know the story of “Jerry Mcguire”: show me te money. This 1996 film shows how easily one gets stuck on the dollar. The gold in this film does not mortify the loved one like in the myth but the message is clear: work hard for what you love, money will be a nice by-product.

2. The mythology of Narcissus

Echo falls in love with Narcissus, one of the most gorgeous guys on the planet . She lost her voice because she talked too much , and now she can only echo the last thing said to her. Unable to get into a meaningfull conversation because she can only echo the lasts words he speakes, he is not very interested in her affection. Broken hearted she fled into the woods, fading slowly untill nothing was left but her voice.
Narcissus was punished by the Goddess of love Aphrodite, She let him fall in love with someone who would not ever love him back: his own reflection.

In “House of Cards, Francis Underwood is looking out for Francis Underwood. Not only is he very pleased with his own actions, he adores himself. He can not stop looking at his own reflection, projecting his own heartlessness on the people who care about him. He thinks he is so important that it would be unjust to love anybody back. Like he is a god himself, people bow for him and his plans.

3. The mythology of Orpheus and Eurydice

Orpheus lost his wife and loved her so much that he dared to enter the realm of death to search for her. Penelope felt toched by so much love and he was to walk outside and not look back. Once in the human world he was able to look back- and if Eurydice had followed him they where able to live together again.

In “What dreams may come” Chris Nielsen and his wife Annie face the tragic loss of their children. Then Chris looses his life to. He gets comfortable in the afterlife, but one day finds out his wife has commited suicide. Now she is not able to join him in heaven. Chris decides to take action.

4. The Mythology of Apollo and Cassandra

Apollo falls in love with Cassandra, daughter king Priamos of Troy. He gives her the gift of prophecy. But when she rejects the love of Apollo the punishment is that nobody will believe what she says…  It will be the downfall of Troy.

In the series “Lie to me” Tim Roth is an expert in seeing detailed expressions, micro expressions that tell the truth. He has a remarkable accuracy in predications but is often not believed. Like Cassandra, he is very unhandy in his love affairs.

5.  The mythology of Pan

This Greek God of sensuality, guides girls and boys into connection with their bodies. The god of the shepherds, guiding the animals that give us food and shelter he is depicted with two horns. Later on he got known as the devil.

In the film “Pan’s Labyrinth” a little girl growing up during war time struggles with the changes in her body. Her mother is occupied in a new love affair with the cruel captain Vidal. The mother is pregnant with a child and does not have time to guide her daughter (still a modern day problem). The new husband of the mother is very unbalanced. Finally, his animus-outbursts shake the labyrinth down to its core.

Pan’s labyrinth

Want to explore Mythological themes in Film yourself? Check out Mindfunda Movies.

Are you able to dream about the health of another person?

This is the first Mindfunda Podcast: a panel about Dreaming and Health that I presented together with Patricia Garfield, Paul Overman and Sandy Sederberg Ginsberg. Patricia Garfield was one of the founders of The International Association for the Study of dreams (IASD) . Each year the IASD organizes a conference about dreams. This panel was part of the IASD Conference in Berkeley.

It turned out to be a fascinating discussion with the audience attending. A lot of questions where raised and we tried to answer them as best as we could.
An intriguing question was: “Am I able to dream about the health of another person“. I think you can.  Parents have an innate ability to have precognitive warnings about the health of their children.
Click here to listen to the Dream and Health panel:

 

My presentation was about the book: A theory about dreams written by Vasily Kasatkin. You can look at my prezi while you listen to the presentation. The connection between dreams and health is an acient one. In the ’60s there was the cold war which divided East and West. In the West, Bob van de Castle did research about dreams and health and in the East Vasily Kasatkin was writing about a long term scientific research about dreams and health:

Dreaming and health
Theory about dreams. A book about dreaming and health

 

Patricia Garfield was the next presenter. She told the audience how dreams help her on all important fronts of her life, and also regarding health. Once when she was mis-diagnosed after hurting her arm she had to be in the hospital and that gave her enough inspiration to write “The Healing Power of dreams”. She talked about how her dreams still give her insights and clues how to keep her body in the best condition possible.

Paul Overman, the dream listener, gave the Shamanic perspective of dreaming and health. Shamans have always been healers with knowledge about worlds that are hard to encounter for ordinary people. you can see his presentation over here.

Sandy Ginsberg had een empowering story to tell about how dreams guided her through a process of being ill. She makes art, and drawing her dream images gave her a lot of insight into the severity of her condition. Using a Gestalt technique she made the decision to have a surgery. After the surgery the doctor told her it was just in time.

 

Three steps to a good night sleep

3 Steps from good food to a good night sleep (which are actually four steps)

Our brain has this magical natural recipe for a good night sleep, you just have to add the right ingredients! In our food there are some important proteins. One of them is called Tryptophan, and I am going to tell you about it today. Tryptophan is like the Hypnos under the proteins, it acts like the god of sleep. How do we get this sleep god to work?

images

Here are 3 simple steps to get a good night sleep:

Step #1: from good food to Tryptophan:

The first thing you got to do for a good night sleep is start eating good healthy food, the food that actually flew, walked or swam when it was alive, and vegetables that kissed the ground of mother earth. That is how you get Tryptophan. From good food. Especially rich in Tryptophan are seeds, tuna fish, eggs and bananas.

Step #2: from Tryptophan to Serotonin

Tryptophan is only the first building block of Melatonin, the hormone that gets us to sleep and dream (The Morpheus under the proteins). You need to have enough vitamin B, vitamin C, Zinc, Magnesium and a good gut to build 5 http from Tryptophan. Why a good gut you ask? Well we are on our way to build Serotonin. Yes, the feel-good hormone Serotonin is constructed out of Tryptophan in your gut. So one of the things you need to do is restore your gut when you want have a good Serotonin level.

But even more important: recent research by Nils Paumann, Diego Walther, and colleagues show that serotonin plays a key role in controlling insulin secretion and that its absence leads to diabetes. So Tryptophan which the body turns into Serotonin regulates your blood sugar level and your cravings as well.

Step #3: from Serotonin to Melatonin

In the last step, under the influence of diminishing daylight and your night time rituals your serotonin level gets transformed into melatonin. So make sure you don’t get extra light at night by watching tv too late, or working on your iPad or iPod, create a ritual before you go into a good night sleep, go easy on the melatonin you can buy at your local drugstore cause it sets back your biological clock and that may not be the problem. In fact, most doctors would advice you to stop taking artificial melatonin.

Bonus-step (that makes #4): 

But let your final step please be to take up healthy food habits. So let’s first quit sugar! Sugar gives you a high. You feel happy when you eat a lot of sugar. Every time you are on a sugar high the receptor cells for insulin in your body get less sensitive to insulin.

Say what??? Well it is your body’s way to protect your brain. Your brain is your number one organ and too much insulin gives you low blood sugar levels. And if you have a low blood sugar level your brain does not have gas anymore, so the engine drops down. And your brain does not want that to happen!

One of the best ways to get a good night sleep started is with “The 21 Day Sugar Detox” program by best-selling author Dian Sanflippo.

Feel free to comment below, and be sure to share it with your friends

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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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Valentines day Mindfunda Thought: your brain is in love on Valentine’s Day

Valentines Day Mindfunda Thought:  You’re in love, that means your brain is in love.

What does love in the brain look like? Let’s explore:  Valentines day, your brain in love. On February 14th, Valentine’s day,  a lot of couples will celebrate their commitment, children will write a card full of compliments for their parents and you might just want to send a nice card to that one good single girlfriend just to let her know she is appreciated.
But what is that love-thing? Neurological? How does Valentines day look inside your brain?

During al the decades of research, love still remains a mystery. It is an ancient, complex intertwining of the neurological system, the hormones, and the mind. You do not fall in love with everyone you see. Most of the time, there is only one person that makes your heart beat faster.

In the brain in MRI scans there is an increased activity in the Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA) of the brain. The award system runs overtime, dopamine crushes your brain: you are addicted.

A psychologist called Arthur Aron, professor psychology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook has experimented with ways to fall in love. He wrote a book about it: Love and the expansion of Self. Here is how you do it:

  • find a complete stranger.
  • talk to that person for at least half an hour about intimate details of each others lives: what are your goals, what do you love most, what would constitute a perfect day for you, tell your life story and ask the other person to do the same .
  • the last four minutes, without talking, stare into each others’ eyes.
Love and the expansion of Self, Arthur Aron, Elaine Aron
Love and the expansion of Self, Arthur Aron, Elaine Aron

Well if that doesn’t woo your stranger, don’t worry. In recent years Dr. Helen Fisher did research about why we fall in love with certain people and not with others. According to her insights there are three motivators for love. The Sex drive, driven by testosterone. Romantic Attraction driven by dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin and Attraction driven by oxytocin and vasopressin. The activity in the nucleus accumbent suggests that love is highly addictive. We crave, we become obsessed, we become anxious when we fall in love.

But why do we fall in love with a certain person rather then with any person walking around, being single and available? Here is where the brilliance of Helen Fisher comes in. She discovered 4 types of people. 

  • Curious energetic types driven by dopamine. The people who like to travel and discover new things. Optimistic, unreflective, sensation seekers. Those people like people who are like them.
  • Cautious/norm compliant people driven by serotonin. These are the people who can organize, who are structured and rule driven. Those people like people who are like themselves.
  • Analytical/tough minded people driven by testosterone. Decisive, bold and direct, they like to get to the point. Those people like the Prosocial/empathic people.
  • Prosocial/Empathic people driven by estrogen and oxytocin. They see the big picture, linguistically skilled, trusting, seek harmony, diplomatic. These people are drown to the Analytical/tough minded people.
Why him? Why her? Helen Fisher Ph.D

Most of all just enjoy Valentines day. Treat yourself to something nice, a sunset, a good lunch, laughing with friends, a good book about the brain and most of all the company of the people you love.
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Our dreaming mind by Robert van de Castle

What I like about “Our Dreaming Mind” by Robert Van de Castle

It was many years ago that I first took a copy of “Our Dreaming Mind” home from the library. I can see in my later bought copy at home it is from 1994.
It would be years before I did actually meet Dr. Robert van de Castle and his lovely wife.

The reason for my interest in dreams was because I studied psychology. In my daytime dreams I could see myself treating patients with the “dangerous method” of talking to them.
My view on dreams was a romantic one: dreams where the playground of the Gods, the unraveled mysteries of our shadow kingdom, the voice of the dark side of our personality.

Robert van de Castle was a psychologist, a parapsychologist who helped in a number of very important experiments about telepathy and dreaming. After his death, Stanly Krippner wrote a little note stating that Robert showed up on their doorstep eager to be a test-person, because he knew how important their study would be.

In “Our Dreaming Mind” you will find a carefully listed summation of important scientific research, but also a heartwarming and enchanting personal tale of Robert van de Castle about his life, and his dreams. It is like an invitation to you: to get real about dreams and to scientifically straighten out your thoughts about all the revenues he reveals for you.

Chapter 1 and 2 are called the treasure chest and discuss dreams as portals between inner and outer worlds and the dreams that have changed the world. Ingmar Bergman, William Butler Yeats, Mary Shelly and lots of other famous persons’ dreamstories are told.

Part two of “Our Dreaming Mind” consists of a historical review of the early thinking about dreams. We are taken back to Artemidoris who wrote the first dream-translation list, taken into the Romantic era. The ideas about dreams being messages from God are still relevant today for some people.

Part three of “Our Dreaming Mind” catapults us into the twentieth century: Freud, Jung and others. In parts 4 Robert is at his best: he introduces research into dreams.

Part five of “Our Dreaming Mind” is a blessing for the eyes where Robert can dive into the content analysis, the method that made him famous in certain circles and that has brought forth so many good research about dreams.

Part six is the icing on the cake. Robert always did the dream telepathy contest at the IASD: the International Association of the Study of Dreams, and this chapter is about the dreams with that extra tiny bit of magic.

Our Dreaming Mind
Our Dreaming Mind

“Our Dreaming Mind” is definitely a book to read if you are interested in dreams, it has become a classic. You cannot buy a new print, but you may find “Our Dreaming Mind” as used copy over here:


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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