Title: Electric Dreams Volume 2 Number 2.1
File: Electric Dreams 1(2.1)
Electric Dreams back issues are available to the public and
For an index of Articles and dreams on Electric Dreams,
See the IIDCC Research Tools area.
Volume 2 Issue #2.1
06 February 1995
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CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE:
Editor's Notes & Day Residue
Questions and Answers - by Matthew
Focus Article: Henry Reed - Transforming Research into
Socially Responsible, Collaborative Personal Education
Article: Lets Sleep On It: Dream Answers via the
Incubation Approach. By Richard Catlett Wilkerson & Jill Gregory
Commentary: on Corydon's "An Exquisite Marble" by Cathy
Commentary: on Jay's "Dogs" by Bob
Reflections: by Jay on Comments on Jay's "Dogs"
Dream: "Slashed Smile" by Buffalo
Commentary: on Buffalo's "Slashed Smile" by Bob
Commentary: on Buffalo's "Slashed Smile" by Richard
Dream: "Vampire Conversion" by Richard
Commentary: on Richard's "Vampire Conversion" by Bob
Commentary: on Richard's "Vampire Conversion" by Jay
Reflections: "Reflections of a Vampire" by Richard
on comments by Bob & Jay
Dream: "The Door, The Limo and The TV" by Viking
Dream: "The Blue Potent" by Cathy
Commentary: on Cathy's "Blue Potion" by Jay
with notes by Cathy
Commentary: on Cathy's "Blue Potion Dream" by Bob
Commentary: on Richard's "Roman Ruins in the Cyclades"
Reflections: on Cathy's commentary.
Tagesreste - Day Residue
Hello to our new guests from America On Line! We a have
a great issue this week for your pleasure. Do dreams have
solutions and answers? We are hoping to develop a wide
response to this, and this week we are focusing on Dream
Incubation, with history, how-to summaries and a focus
article on one of the major contemporary contributors and
researchers, Henry Reed. Please feel free to send your
own approaches and comments. And finally, one of the most
delightful and richly textured issues of dreams and
comments I've had the pleasure of reading, I hope you do
Questions and Answer
-Send your Questions and answers to Matthew
<firstname.lastname@example.org> Please include a copy of
thequestion when you send in a reply.
I'd like to reprint here part of a set of questions Jay
asks below on getting answers from dreams in hope we might
have some multiple and varied responses:
"One of my interests in dreams is the hope that they
might offer solutions to problems of mine. Mostly though,
it seems to me, my dreams offer statements of my problems,
but not a lot in the way of solutions."
Answer by Richard: Is this the issue for you or what? I
think the question of how to get answers from dreams is one
that needs to have multiple approaches. For me it brings up
a central issue in
dreamwork, which is by what authority do we interpret, and
who is the final authority? The popular phrase, "You are!"
is, I think, the result of a long historical tradition
moving toward empowering the individual. However, I feel
this shift to the ego simply displaces the issue or
question to the mysterious "self" which is itself now in
question as an essential concept and perhaps better seen as
a constructed cultural experiment. In other words, if it's
up to the individual to decide for him/herself, does that
mean that anything goes or that the individual must answer
every important question with a unique answer? And what
tools do we use to get an answer and then to know it's the
correct answer? I'm a perspectivist, meaning I think we get
answers and solutions by choosing to approach the dream
from the perspective of questions and answers. Generally
in dreaming this is called "dream incubation" and I've
included in this issue an article on the history and some
steps for practice. However, the question of whether the
dream answers we get this way are the right ones (for You,
for the State, for the
Cosmos?) remains open. So I want to suggest here that all
answers, to be a pleasing as possible, need to be bounced
back and forth between the seeker and his/her components
and filters. I like and use the four part Jungian types
as a hermeneutic circle and Gendlin's_ Focusing_ technique
as a model. I ask myself the following four sets of
questions and then listen quietly for a moment for some
bodily/emotional/physical response. I give the response a
name or handle (blue, pissed, defeated, bagged) and then
ask again if this fits and listen again. If it fits there
is some slight to
strong feeling of acceptance and often a movement or what
Gendlin calls a Shift.
The Questions: First, does the answer feel right, do I like
it, does it seem valuable? (Feeling). Does the answer have
some internal rational, is it a meaningful and just answer?
Is this a workable, grounded solution that can be
And does the solution leave room for spirit and creativity,
for exploration of the unknown? (Intuition).
And so I want to end this with a question instead of an
answer, What techniques do others use to find solutions via
dreams and test the authority of these solutions? Does
anyone have some examples we can see?
*Question: Hey, I missed the O.J. Simpson dream issues.
What was it about, what kinds of thoughts on dreams were
presented? My mom said that she didn't understand Van der
Castle's statements. What did he say? - Richard
SPECIAL FOCUS ON DREAMWORKERS:
The work of Henry Reed
Transforming Research into Socially Responsible, Collaborative
From the very beginning of his career, Henry Reed
has demonstrated innovative approaches in the field of
psychology, integrating personal transformation, research
and classroom learning into a new paradigm of socially
As a case in point, when he began his post as
Assistant Professor of Psychology at Princeton University
in 1970, his first project was a new approach to the
problem of amnesia for dreams, a topic for which there had
been no applied research up to that time. His class for
undergraduate students was on the psychology of dreams. As
a class project, students kept dream journals, developed
and used a quantitative records of their attempts to
remember dreams, and devised a novel procedure for
revealing what, exactly, was "learned" when a person
"learned to remember dreams." Students learned the skill of
dream retrieval in the
morning and transformed their attitude about memory for
dreams from that of being a victim of circumstances ("the
alarm chased the dream away") to feeling empowered in the
use of their skills ("by lying still in the morning I am
able to bring back memories of my dreams.") The methodology
used in that class, and the results of the students'
experiment, was published in the Journal of Humanistic
Psychology (1973, 13, Pp. 33-48) as "Learning to remember
While at Princeton University, Henry innovated in
other areas. He taught the first for-credit course offered
in the United States on the topic, "Humanistic Psychology."
Laboratory work in this class involved student exploration
and reporting in areas such as meditation, imagery,
communications, etc. One of the first students in this
class, Mary Watkins, wrote for her senior thesis, Waking
Dreams, which was later published and has become a classic
in the field of imagery.
Henry offered the first for credit course devoted
entirely to the subject of Carl Jung's psychology. Students
read Jung's autobiography and kept dream journals. Using
art and drama, they explored Jung's practice of active
imagination and linking dreams to myth. When he took his
students into New York City on a field trip to the Jung
Institute, the Director of Training initially expressed
skepticism, as was the custom at that time, that anyone
could learn anything meaningful about Jungian psychology
without being a patient in Jungian analysis. After
interviewing the students and hearing about the personal
insights they had made and how they could relate them to
Jung's theory, he admitted that perhaps there was a place
for Jung within an educational framework. The Jung
Institute then published Henry's next article, "The art of
remembering dreams" in Quadrant (1976, 9, Pp. 48-60).
During the early 1970's, dream research was in its
infancy, and was just beginning to expand into the
humanistic domain, where dreams would be seen as an asset
to the dreamer him or herself and not just a diagnostic or
therapeutic aid to the attending psychiatrist. Henry wanted
his students to see if they could, as he had done, use
dreams for self-transformation. He realized that the "dream
incubation" procedure, inherited from ancient Greece, could
potentially be dormant within the human psyche, but that
new methods would be required to realize their current
As a result of his continuing investigations into
creating a new paradigm for research provided
transformative and educational experiences for its
participants as well as significant new information for
society, Henry decided that the sterile laboratory, with
its antiseptic procedures, was not the best atmosphere to
encourage people to test the outer limits of dreams. He
decided upon the use of psychodrama to create symbolic
rituals as preparation for "big" dreaming or "breakthrough"
dreams. The psychology department at Princeton University
frowned on this approach, declaring it was "void of
scientific value." At this time, the A.R.E. invited Henry
to conduct research with its membership. At the
residential, rural setting of A.R.E. camp, Henry conducted
his first experiments in dream incubation. His paper was
immediately accepted for publication by the Journal of
Humanistic Psychology, (1976, 16, 53-70) as "Dream
incubation: A reconstruction of a ritual in contemporary
form." It has since been reprinted in many sources.
That study, showing that the transpersonal
dimension of dreaming is indeed available to individuals
today, provided their motivation is sincere and the
preparations are expressive of that motivation, was a
landmark study, with implications for psychology, religion,
anthropology and related fields. It showed that symbolic
ritual, expressed through psychodrama, made available to
people working on real concerns, who have a vested personal
interest in the outcome of their involvement, was the
perfect context for creating structured, repeatable
experiments that yielded the type of meaningful,
transformative experiences that heretofore had been only
seen in "spontaneous" or uncontrolled cases outside the
A.R.E. commissioned Henry to continue his style of
research with its at-home membership. In what became a
paradigm-creating project, Henry showed that people at
home, working on themselves in structured projects, keeping
track of their experiences with simple record keeping,
could indeed make significant progress in personal growth
and at the same time contribute to science. His study,
"Improved dream recall associated with meditation."
Journal of Clinical Psychology (1978, 34, Pp. 150-156)
showed that when people meditate, they are more likely to
remember dreams. It was but the first of many experiments,
the later ones conducted by other researchers such as Mark
Thurston and Richard Kohr, using the "home study" approach.
Henry later published a workbook based upon that first
experiment. It is now in its sixth edition, Dream
Solutions, (published by New World Library).
Henry's style of research was excellent at
encouraging serendipity as all the laboratory subjects,
rather than being passive little rat-people obligingly
going through the motions required by the experimenter,
were instead motivated observers. During the study on
meditation and dreams, some of the participants had dreams
about the research itself. Those dreams were synchronistic
with Henry's dreams and the result was the creation of the
experimental publication, Sundance Community Dream Journal.
This journal, sponsored by Atlantic University, had
as its premise, nothing other than the counter-cultural
hypothesis that, instead of segregating scientists away
from the population, that people themselves, as a
cooperating circle of responsible people, could become a
research entity, making significant discoveries in dreams.
The motto was, "Every dreamer is a researcher and every
dream is an experiment in consciousness." The journal
accepted articles from dream explorers and sponsored
projects for subscribers to attempt. The journal was
published for three years then stopped for lack of funding.
But its reputation didn't die. The journal received high
praise and began to spawn imitators. A few years later, The
Dream Network Bulletin sprang up as a private enterprise,
citing Sundance as its inspiration. As professional dream
researchers saw the potential of harnessing people's
interest in dreams and directing it toward research, the
organization, The Association for the Study of Dreams was
founded, allowing laypeople equal participation with the
degreed professionals. All this as a outgrowth of Henry's
Gradually Henry's work expanded beyond dreams into
parapsychology proper. This evolution came about through
dreams, as told in his book, Getting Help from Your Dreams.
Most significantly, as we researched dreams in a community
setting, he found that people could cooperate with their
dreams as well as they could cooperate on projects during
the day. That led to the innovative dream telepathy
procedure, "The Dream Helper Ceremony," whereby a group
attempts to dream about the undisclosed problem of a
stranger in distress. This ritual demonstrated that it is
possible to obtain telepathic dreams, repeatably, when
there is a good purpose for dreaming telepathically. The
Dream Helper ceremony, published in Theta as "The Dream
Helper Ceremony: Small Group Paradigm for Transcendent ESP"
(1990), has been also written up in Omni magazine and in
Jean Campbells' book, Dreams beyond Dreaming.
The ritual was also used to generate dreams for America
("The Dream American Project", Sundance, 1976), reviving
the visionary politics of the Native American. Henry's
interest in the civic aspect of transpersonal psychology
led him into the community, reaching into the mainstream.
For several years he worked as a social work supervisor
with the Department of Social Services in Virginia Beach.
Bringing his same approach to collaborative personal
learning as a research tool, he transformed the way the
Crisis unit responded to city emergencies. His approach,
published by as "Burnout and self-reliance." Public
Welfare, Summer, 1982, 29-36 also earned him an award of
merit from the city of Virginia Beach. After leaving
employment by the city, he continued as a volunteer,
training other supervisors in his methods, and was
nominated to a Governor's award for Volunteering Excellence
In a recent book, Night and Day, by Jack Maguire,
in a passage describing Henry's work on dream incubation
and Sundance, there is this summation, "By common
agreement, Henry Reed is the father of the modern dreamwork
movement." In a recent evaluation of the significance of
Henry's work for parapsychology, Rhea White, past president
of the Parapsychology Association and editor of the Journal
of Parapsychology, said that Henry's work was the "dark
star" of parapsychology, currently unseen, but inevitably
drawing everything into its wake as it pointed to where the
future had to go.
(Article received from H.R. on February 3, 1995. For notes
to Henry Reed or information on contacting him, please send
requests to Richard <RCWilk@aol.com>)
Lets Sleep On It: Dream Answers via the Incubation
By Richard Catlett Wilkerson & Jill Gregory
Approaching dreams to find answers emerged in
written records in the earliest Babylonian cuneiform
writing. We can only assume that answers were sought from
dreams long before these ancient records. Anthropological
samplings of non-technological cultures support this
assumption. Note the Ojibwa of Ottawa and the Mohave Shaman
dreams for example (Radin, 1936 & Devereux,
1957). In our own tradition, the ancient Greeks are the
best know for their use of dreams to find answers and it
is from them we receive the tradition of sleeping on a
problem for an answer, or incubation (enkoimesis: sleeping
in the sanctuary). Carl Alfred Meier, a Jungian
researcher, studied the ancient methods for decades, and
notes that the polyseminal nature of the dream led to a
different path of interpretation than fixed methods:
"...in ancient Greece dreams were thought of as real
oracles. But when the many existing techniques for
receiving answers to problems (auguries, haruspicy and the
like) had fixed systems of reference and only a relatively
limited number of possible answers, the dream lacks these
points of reference altogether. It is so polymorphous that
its proper interpretation either takes a great deal more
skill and knowledge or leads to quackery, as in fact it
mostly did" (Meier, 1966 p. 203)
The most wide spread and famous places to
incubate dreams were the Asklepion dream sanctuaries where
little interpretation was needed. The appearance of the
healer Asklepios or one of his family or minions
(including snakes & dogs) in the dream was usually enough
to effect the cure. The "right" dream was the one that
healed. However, these were sanctuaries were more focused
on sicknesses of body and spirit than problem solving.
Though dream interpretation and incubation was suppressed
by the Orthodox Christian Church (an interesting
subject in itself), the practice continued among the
common people, shifting from the temple to the chapel.
Meier says that it is still practiced today. It may also
be seen in use by poets, writers, alchemists and
esotericists throughout the centuries. But for the
mainstream, the practice was pretty much lost until
psychotherapeutic techniques merged with new secular
dreamwork movements to produce the experimental climate of
the 1960's and 70's.
Two of the major researchers in this area are Gayle
Delaney and Henry Reed. (See the focus article in this
issue on Henry Reed). Both have studied and researched
this area for many years and I have included some of their
works in the following bibliography, which I recommend
reading. I noted at the end of an excellent article by
Henry Reed (1976) on incubation the following original
reprint message: "Enclose one dollar or dreamy barter" (p.
70). Others, such as Morton Saltzman (1987), have
attempted to incubate dreams to solve puzzles and some
like Mark Blagrove (1992), have questioned the assumptions
regarding problem solving in dreams. But, if Deirdre
Barrett's study (1993) is to be believed, dreamers are for
the most part quite satisfied with the answers from dreams
when the issues are of a more personal nature.
Consequently, we are offering Jill Gregory's technique list
that appears to me as a useful synthesis of the techniques
available and her own research and experimentation.
For any of the following procedures, you should
check first with your doctor if you have any kind of sleep
disorder or are using any kinds of prescription or
Tips for incubating a dream from Jill Gregory
Dreams can be incubated when you're awake or when
you're dreaming. When you move into your desired dream
directly and immediately this type of incubation is known
as psi dreaming. It is possible to make more than one
incubation request and get responses in one or more dreams
1. Remind yourself that incubation is something that you
frequently do already in your life, as, for example, when
you tell yourself to remember something at a future time.
You are already incubating your dreams and your waking
life without your conscious awareness.
2. In a quiet, relaxed condition, let your mind wander
about the possible dream topics, images or types of dream
that you wish to incubate.
3. Review your possible choices for incubation. Narrow
it down to a couple of options. Ask yourself, "Why do I
want to incubate this?" If you don't know why, its okay.
If you do, it will strengthen your incubation.
4. Choose your incubation. Every once in a while, remind
yourself that you want to incubate that particular dream.
5. Amplify your request for that dream. For example, if you
want to dream of horses, use your imagination to "see"
horses. Or you can write, draw or say your incubation.
6. When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself that
when you wake up tomorrow morning, you *will remember* a
dream on your incubation topic. Just before falling
asleep, remind yourself again. You may want to start your
dreaming mind on the incubation by thinking, feeling,
sensing or imagining it as you are moving into sleep.
7. Always write down your dream for that morning! For the
next two days, if you think that you haven't gotten your
incubation dream, write those dreams also. Through
dreamwork you may discover that you did receive it after
all. Sometimes our dreaming mind has something more urgent
than that and will not give the desired dream the first or
even second night.
8. If, after three nights, you do not feel that you were
successful in you incubation, do one or more of the
a) Ask yourself if there's any reason that you
do *not* wish to dream about your topic.
b) Ask your imagination, "Who can help me do this?" Add
that helper figure to your incubation topic.
c) Tell your dreaming mind that if it gave you your chosen
dream, you didn't realize it. Request that this time the
dream be obvious, easier to connect to your incubation.
9. Try again. If you do not receive the dream, put it to
the back of your mind and give it just enough energy that
if it does come, you will remember that you were
incubation it. Add new incubations to your "dream shopping
Barrett, Deirdre (1993). The "Committee of Sleep": A study
of dream incubation for problem solving. _Dreaming, 3_(2),
Blagrove, Mark (1992). Dreams as the reflection of our
waking concerns and abilities: A critique of the
problem-solving paradigm in dream research. _Dreaming 2_(4),
Delaney, Gayle M. V.(1988). _Living Your Dreams: Using
Sleep to Solve Problems and Enrich Your Life_. Revised Ed. San
Francisco: Harper and Row.
--------. (1979). _Living Your Dreams._ San Francisco: Harper &
--------. (1976). A proposed dream experiment: Phase-focusing
dream incubation. _Sundance: Community Dream Journal,
Devereux, George (1957). Dream learning and individual
ritual differences in Mohave shamanism. _American
Anthropologist, 59_, 1036-1045.
Gregory, Jill. (1988). _Dream Tips_. Novato, Ca: Novato
Center for Dreams.
Meier, Carl Alfred (1966/1962). The dream in ancient Greece
and its use in temple cures (incubation). In Von Gruenebaum,
G. E.& Caillois, R. (Eds). (1966). _The Dream and Human
Societies_ (Chapter 17, pp. 303-319). Berkeley: University
of California Press. Originally a paper read to the
"International Colloquium on 'Le reve et les societes
humaines'" in Royaumont, France, 1962.
--------. (1967/1949). _Ancient Incubation and Modern
Psychotherapy_. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.
(Original German, 1949).
Radin, Paul (1936). Ojibwa and Ottawa puberty dreams.
In R. H. Lowie (Ed.),_Essays in Anthropology_ (pp. 233-264).
Berkeley, CA: University of Cal Press.
Reed, Henry (1991). _Dream Solutions: Using your Dreams to
Change your Life_. San Rafael, CA: New World Library.
PO Box 1541, Virginia Beach, VA 23451.
--------. (1985). _Getting Help From Your Dreams._ Virginia
Beach, VA: Inner Vision Publishers.
--------. (1976a.). Dream incubation: A reconstruction of a
ritual in contemporary form. _Journal of Humanistic Psychology,
Schatzman, Morton (1987). The meaning of dreaming. _New
Scientist_, December 25, 36-39.
--------. (1983a). Solve your problems in your sleep. _New
Scientist, 98_(1360) June, 692-693.
--------. (1983b). Sleeping on problems really can solve
them. _New Scientist,_ August 11, 416-417.
DREAMS AND COMMENTS
======Commentary on Corydon's "An Exquisite Marble" by
Cathy (vol. 2, issue 1)======
This dream seems to be about the beautiful memories
you have of your grandmother and the fear of losing them.
The memories must be uncovered--the drawer opened, the box
opened. By even when uncovered, the memories are
fragile--they quickly become sand, something that is
difficult to examine grain by grain. That some of the
memories are represented by the beautiful "Apache Tears"
suggests the bittersweet nature of the memories. They are
both sad and beautiful.
======Commentary on Jay's "Dogs" by Bob (vol. 2, issue
When the dream begins the dreamer is not being "up
front" about something; i.e., he is wandering around
several back yards. Although the "small metal tube in the
bushes" may or may not be able to fire a bullet (no way to
tell because it's not loaded), the issue is a moot point.
A "principled person" (i.e., the school principal) informs
the dreamer that the tube is a "supporting rod" from a
previous structure (relationship?).
The dreamer next starts to climb over a chain link
fence (indicating he isn't welcome beyond the fence) and a
blind man is there with his seeing-eye dog. This may
indicate that someone involved in whatever conflict is
being symbolized by the dream does not have first hand
knowledge of the dreamer's trespass (i.e. he can't "see"
the dreamer) but there ways he can be informed by pets (or
people?) around him.
In any event, the dreamer starts being "dogged" by
another dog, who is wounded in the attempt to chase him.
The dreamer is at first reluctant to help the dog, but
then, because it doesn't cost you anything to help, (the
blind man is either paying or providing a convincing
rationale for the dreamer to pay) the dreamer takes the dog
who chased him to a vet for "only $600." The doctor tells
the dreamer that the dog belongs to someone in "Washington
state" (governmental/ male power) but the dog itself came
from "West Virginia" (a virgin or unspoiled area?
Innocent/ young/naive person?) and is with dreamer in
another Washington; i.e. "Washington, D.C."
Again, Washington, D.C. may be a reference to where
the dreamer is located in a career sense, i.e. working for
the government. The dream conflict, therefore, may have
something to do with people in the dreamer's work
environment or about how he feels about a particular
career-related issue. Washington D.C. is also a city
that is a bastion of mostly male power. The dreamer states
Washington D.C. is "where we (i.e. the dreamer and the
blind man) are." Could the dream mind be using Washington
D.C. as a simile for a psychological state?
The next dream symbol is an "old beat up...4 by 4
post with this strange door knob and latch in it. Whatever
the "old beat up post represent" it is clear that even if
the knob and latch still functioned they're useless,
because the post is not attached to a door.
The last dream symbol is the tiny 5 inch dog
skeleton which is alive (the dead past which still has the
power to quickly bite off whatever small shreds of cover
that are left on the dead past?
Possibly, the underlying conflict of the dream
might revolve around a repressed desire for a covert
affair. The dreamer has the means (the empty tube) but
it's not loaded (he hasn't done anything about his desire
yet). The symbol of the school principal may be the dream
mind telling the dreamer that principled people use sex as
a means of supporting or nurturing a relationship, not as
an end in itself. Climbing a fence meant to keep him out
may be a symbol that he will be trespassing on someone
else's place or space. Even if that someone else is blind
to his trespass, he could still be found out. Being found
out could lead to the dreamer being dogged or hounded, and
it could lead to something (a relationship?) being hurt or
wounded. The dream mind brings to the dreamer's attention
that the bill for mending whatever is injured could be
expensive. Perhaps the blind man will pay, perhaps the
dreamer, or perhaps both.
The beat up old post may have something to do with
a relationship. It doesn't matter if the old hardware
works, if there is no attachment.
Lastly, the dog skeleton indicates anxiety about
the past; i.e., that either something the dreamer does will
come back to hurt him, or that there is something in his
past that a present situation is unconsciously stirring up
and making the dreamer feel emotionally vulnerable.
As always, if the dreamer disagree with the above
interpretation, then it is wrong. Only the dreamer knows.
======Reflections by Jay on Comments on Jay's "Dogs" (Jay's
dream and Richard's comments on it are in vol.2, issue
Thanks to Richard and Bob for their comments on my
dogs dream. In reflecting on this dream and Richard's and
Bob's comments, it seems to me that the dream likely has to
do with my feelings toward my wife and my 18 year-old
daughter, as well as, other issues.
My relationship with my wife is currently less
satisfactory than it has been in past years. Whereas it
used to be closer and more mutually supportive, we are
currently more seperate, less supportive, and feeling more
angry with each other. I have already been conscious of
this and of the fact that while I often have a good bit of
friction and distance between myself and my daughter,
nonetheless, we see some things more similarly than I and
my wife do. There is a certain attraction there, as there
often is between a father and daughter. This I have also
been conscious of, and detected in other dreams, and always
wished to acknowledge to myself but not act on, other than
in appropriate ways.
The backyards, climbing of fences, and the tube,
which can be taken as a phallic symbol, could relate to my
attraction to my daughter and the youth she represents.
The backyards and fence-climbing also remind me however of
another aspect of my personality: my tendency to try to
live vicariously off of the lives and events that are going
on around me, rather than accept the danger of
participating first hand. The rod without a bullet also
reminds me of my feelings of anger toward my wife, which
have replaced, to some degree, the former feelings of
The absence of the bullet, the presence of the
principal and the seeing-eye dog seem to represent my
efforts to keep these feelings in check. Both of the dogs
strike me as good, friendly, sympathetic, helpful, soulful
and spiritual symbols. I feel like they represent the
goodness of my feelings or 'soul'. One of them is wounded
quite badly. This may represent one or more of the
following hurts. The hurt I expose myself to when I let my
feelings out; the hurt I feel when I keep my feelings
bottled up; or the hurt our relationship or my wife (the
dog may also represent my faithful wife) is currently
experiencing or could experience if things get more out of
hand. I am slow, at best, to do anything about these
injuries, though they are eventually healed somehow.
The post with latch seems to represent to me the
locking up by me of my feelings, despite the fact, as Bob
points out, that the post is not attached to anything
anymore. Puzzling. Perhaps this is pointing out to me the
uselessness of this outdated, perhaps, behavior.
After this locking up, my feelings or 'soul' are
reduced to a mere 5-inch skeleton of their/its former self,
scavenging hungerly on the scraps still available to it.
As I read over my dream and these reflections, the
primary message seems to me to be, the hurt that arises
from locking up my emotions. Yet, I don't see how to let
them out without hurting myself or others. currently, it
seems, my predominant feeling is anger. It is one feeling
which I am not sure how to deal with productively.
One of my interests in dreams is the hope that they
might offer solutions to problems of mine. Mostly though,
it seems to me, my dreams offer statements of my problems,
but not a lot in the way of solutions. Do others see
solutions offered that I am missing or ignoring? Any other
further comments by others on this dream, its meaning to
them or any of the comments so far?
======"Slashed Smile" by Buffalo======
As she drove me in a car, I could see her husband
following on a bicycle. He had a rifle and a large hunting
knife. At some point, as happens in dream time, the husband
cornered me and slashed at my face. I thought for sure my
face had gashes in the cheeks, but as I inspected the face
in the mirror, I could not find the lacerations I was so
assured of receiving. What was wrong? My smile had been cut
======Comments by Bob on Buffalo's "Slashed Smile"======
It's not clear if Buffalo is a man or a woman, but
the husband is obviously unhappy that his wife and Buffalo
are in the car together. The nature of the attack
indicates that although there are no visible scars on
Buffalo's face, he has lost the ability to smile, or
express happiness. This may be Buffalo's dream mind
warning him/her that whatever the nature of the
relationship he/she is pursuing, it could result in
======"Vampire Conversion" by Richard======
After despairing about having to go through the
process of buying a new car, my wife Tess turns on a
Vampire film on the television. It's near the end. The film
is about an old vampire family. A man who lives with them,
may be one of them, has some elaborate plot to save the
family from extinction. It's very risky to him. He is
risking being "converted," or trapped by Ghostbuster-like
machines which his enemies have. The machine will turn him
into some kind of ghost on an eternal torture course.
A glimpse of this appears: a large mining shaft
going down forever, rotting wooden and rusted structures
all around. A track goes down the large shaft, and one can
see dozens of already "converted" creatures strapped to
racks on wheels going down. The creatures are ghostly but
with more substance, something between Gieger/Alien and
John Carpenter/Thing creatures. One can tell they were once
vampires, but now are converted ghosts in eternal agony on
an endless track to nowhere in the bowels of the dark
Tess is bored and wants to turn off the movie and
go to sleep.
Now the scene is an old warehouse. The men with the
converter machines are getting ready to fly off to the
Philippines. One guy coaxes a red dog that is around the
warehouse into going with them. The red dog is a vampire
and morphs or begins to change. The men turn on the
converter and the vampire/dog is converted into a ghost
thing, is strapped on the wooden train/rack and sent down
with the other captured vampires. Maybe a car is placed on
top of the
======Bob's Comments on Richard's "Vampire Conversion"
There may be a link between Tess despairing of
buying a new car, and the extinction of the old vampire
family. Possibly a present relationship in the dreamer's
life is a "horror show," and Tess (or whoever she
represents) is reluctantly thinking of ending it. The
dreamer (via an anoymous man in the horror movie) believes
he might save the relationship, but only at great risk to
himself; i.e. he may get the "shaft" (his best efforts will
be unrewarded and if that happens, he fears he will be
emotionally tormented for life).
Tess is not supportive of the dreamer's feelings or
efforts. She wants to turn the horror show off and go to
sleep. She is obviously not concerned with whether the man
in the horror show can save the family from extinction.
At the end of the dream, the symbolism indicates
the dreamer is not optimistic about the future. A red dog
is turned into a ghost and and "sent down with the other
captured vampires. Maybe a (train) car is placed on top of
the converted vampire." Possibly the "red dog" may be a
symbol for how the dreamer is feeling about himself (he's
being treated in the relationship like a dog), and the
train car may represent the "new car" that Tess is
despairing of buying (but may anyway?)
As always, if the dreamer disagrees with the above
interpretation then it is wrong. Only the dreamer knows.
======Comments on Richard's "Vampire Conversion" by
It sounds to me as though the man in the dream
represents yourself. It also seems as though the dream has
to do with some situation of yours having to do with your
wife, Tess. At first I assumed the vampires were bad guys,
but as I read and reread the dream, it seems as though the
vampires are a friendly faction. The converter men seem to
be the bad guys. What do the vampires, converter guys and
ghost people represent for you? Tess seems uninterested in
this conflict; she goes to sleep. What does the
'Philippines' bring to
mind for you?
Then we have the red dog. Isn't that interesting?
Right on the heels of your commentary on dogs. Why is he
red? He also seems to me to represent yourself. The same
fate which threatens you befalls him also.
==== "Reflections of a Vampire" by Richard ====
Reflections on comments by Bob & Jay
Yes, thanks to Bob and Jay on the vampire dream
comments. I originally took the vampire family to be an
inner unconscious narcissistic complex. Can't tolerate the
sun (unconscious) and unable to see themselves in a
mirror(self-image wound). Generally I don't like vampires
and often call people vampires who have no
life/blood/generosity of their own but act superior and
criticize other people's lives. You know, blood suckers.
But this family is, at times, noble, heroic and self
sacrificing. The converters, as Jay mentioned, are the bad
guys. Its the vampires, as Bob says, that get the shaft.
I've been looking around for where that manifests in my
life, where things that threaten to break out into monsters
are being giving the shaft and imprisoned and suppressed.
I wish there were one area of my life this were so and not
the many that have been coming up.
I miss- wrote the beginning. Tess is not depressed
and despairing about the car, I am. A slip. But either
way, the vehicle despair leads to the vampire fantasy
being projected. I don't think Tess is not interested in
my horror show, I just don't think she can access that
place. My feeling is that she served as a safe place, a
reality check, so that I might enter this horror and
explore the nightmare. (If it gets too scary, well, its
just a show and Tess is right here). Bob, I do fear being
emotionally tormented by those I care about and I think
that is an interesting insight I would like to develop
further. I've noticed that I can reduce this anxiety by
becoming less caring, but what a rotten trade off. This I
think is my Tess-on-the-bed, no anxiety, but no life. One
last note. Just after I had this dream I was talking with
an old friend, doing a kind of mid-life summit, and he
mentioned the idea of vampires expressing the drive to
creativity a la Anne Rice. Anyone read Interview and know
about this metaphor?
======"The Door, The Limo and The TV" by Viking======
I was in my house and heard voices outside so I
peeked out the blinds. In the driveway was a white limo
with people inside making lots of noise. I figured they
were just turning around so I went (I think) to take a
shower. I came out and was talking to my daughter, when I
realized I heard more noise. As I went by another
bathroom(not one that exists in my house, but I still felt
like I was in my house), there was a strange guy in the
bathroom. (This bathroom was not the one I had showered
in.) I asked what he was doing, and he sort of laughed at
me and said he was just going to the bathroom. I asked him
to leave, and he wouldn't so I sort of threw him out. As I
pushed him out the door I realized Olive had wandered out
and was now standing on the front bumper of the limo, so I
ran out, grabbed her and ran back in the house.
As I came back in I realize that the TV set had
been stolen by the people, and it seemed other things were
missing also. I ran out to stop the limo but it was too
far down the street, and I couldn't see the plate #. I
came back in and kept thinking how Vesta was going to kill
me for leaving the front door open. Then I thought maybe
this is just a dream , but I woke up (in my dream) and
realized it was not a dream and how stupid it was to leave
the door open so the TV could get stolen. Then I finally
really woke up.
======"The Blue Potent" by Cathy======
I was being driven by my parents on
a long drive with a friend with me, male or female I didn't
know. I was annoyed to find we were going to a movie
theater that was so far from home. I said irritably, "I
was there last week with my friend Natan." [Natan is an
email friend whom I have meet in person once. We are both
married and are friends because we work on the same
research topic]. Then I noticed the beautiful mountains in
the distance and was surprized to recognize them as
California mountains, as my parents live in Pennsylvania.
We arrived at the building and got out. It
was an inn of sorts. I was helping unpack baggage. A
younger female friend drank from a small crystal bottle
that she had pulled from her baggage. The fluid in it was
the blue color that swimming pool linings are. The young
woman went into the building and came out with a long
pink-mauve evening gown on a hanger. It was polyester with
some sequins, and I thought it looked like matronly and
would be worn with a turban. The young woman swooned in a
faint and seemed to be waiting for a lover. I had a sense
of his standing dressed in a black suit, with a silver
vest, and black cowboy hat behind me to my right. I pitied
the collapsed woman and felt the potion was dangerous.
Another beautiful, rich young woman came up
the driveway. I moved away from the building to listen to
her. She talked to me as if happy to see me after many
years. She was dressed messily in a plaid flannel shirt
and had some small little boys with her. She seemed to
assume I should remember her from our earliest school days
together when she had been the most popular girl. I tried
to recall if she and I had been to school together in grade
school or high school and could not.
I then grew suspicious that she was so eager
to see me. I demanded to know where the blue potion was.
She opened her black leather bag, which was on the tarmac.
It was either a large purse or some sort of shoulder bag.
I pulled out the blue potion and another bottle of perfume.
I forcefully took the bottles and then sprayed the perfume
on the woman's neck roughly as she kneeled before me. I
told her "This probably isn't an antidote, but at least
you'll smell good."
======Commentary by Jay on Cathy's "Blue Potion"
Dream [with notes by Cathy]======
My overall impression is that this dream is another
one of those repressed feelings of attraction dreams. In
this case, it involves your feelings of attraction to
Natan. The friend in the car sounds like a comfortable
sort of friend. Like Natan maybe? Notice the locale seems
to be California, where you know Natan. [Cathy's note--I
really don't think so, since I had no sense of Natan being
"in" the dream or any conscious sense of attraction to him.
We are both very happily married and just talk about work.
Natan incidently lives in Pennsylvania.]
The two younger women seem like they might be other
aspects of yourself. The first one seems more sensual, and
the second one seems more married. How do you dress, gowns
or shirts, or at different times, either? [Cathy's note--I
do were both, but I had no feeling of liking the dress or
the shirt in the dream. In fact, I felt rather that both
were bad clothes--more a snobby sense of being a better
dresser and superior to the two women than that they were
parts of myself].
The potion, which seems dangerous to you and in
need of an antidote, seems to have to do with the
attraction to men. The perfume seems to be the opposite,
an antidote or cover up, for the potion. [Cathy's note--an
interesting idea I'll have to think a about!]
What comes to mind when you think of the first woman and
her gown? [intense curiosity, interest in her situation but
with a sense of superior detachment] The second woman and
her shirts and kids? [pity--if she was so popular, pretty,
and rich, why look like a slob and have to drag dirty
annoying little boys around?] The potion? [no idea] The
perfume? [a useless substance]
After playing out what happens when the first woman drinks
the potion, you decide to spray the perfume on the second
woman. [But why so cruely, as if I wanted to hurt her? am I
unconsciously a big jerk and it comes out in my dream?]
I hope this is helpful to you.
======Bob's Comments on Cathy's Blue Potion Dream======
A great deal seems to be going on in the dream
regarding identity. First, the dreamer is on a long
journey to a theater with her parents and a friend, the
latter having no definite gender; "male or female I didn't
know." Then the dreamer remembers that she and another
male friend, Naton, went to the same theater last week. A
theater is a place where actors pretend to be people other
than who they are.
When the dreamer arrives at her destination, it is
not a theater but rather an inn, or a place where one stays
temporarily. As the dreamer unpacks her baggage (emotional
conflicts from the past she is trying to get rid of?) "a
younger female friend drank (a blue potion) from a small
crystal bottle that she had pulled from her baggage." The
young woman goes into the place of temporary accommodation
and returns appearing matronly, or older, in a mauve dress.
The dreamer thinks the dress should be worn with a turban,
which is a covering for the head, and possibly by
derivation, the ego. The young woman swoons while waiting
for a lover, who doesn't appear to be represent anything
positive, since he is a cowboy (a drifter? someone who is
reckless?) and is dressed in black (a symbol of death, loss
or evil). In any event he stands
behind the dreamer and doesn't rush to the woman who
Another beautiful rich young woman from the
dreamer's past shows up in the dream, dressed in "messy"
garb, which might also be considered casual garb (a plaid
shirt) and is happy to see the dreamer. The dreamer can't
remember how far back they met, only that it was in some
level of school (i.e. they met in a learning situation).
The dreamer grows suspicious about her friend's
eagerness at seeing her,and demands to know where the blue
potion is. There is something vaguely sexual about what
happens next. The friend opens a black leather bag or
purse, and there are two bottles in it; the blue potion
and perfume. The dreamer removes both bottles, and sprays
the female friend on her knees before her with perfume
(which is a feminine scent) saying, "This probably isn't an
antidote, but at least you'll smell good." (Does this mean
she'll smell like an attractive woman? And what is the
injurious substance that the perume is the antidote for?
It would appear that the dream concerns some type
of conflict regarding the interaction of pretense or acting
(denial?), feminine attractiveness and aging. If the
dreamer disagrees with the above interpretation, then it is
wrong. Only the dreamer knows.
======Comments on Richard's "Roman Ruins in the Cyclades"
by Cathy (vol. 2, issue 1)======
The series of locks, each one higher than the next,
could represent some project that you are involved in that
is getting more and more profound or "deep." Perhaps this
involves your work with dream interpretations. The
uncovered ruins could symbolize the uncovered meanings of
dreams and dreamers' feelings. Both your worry about
challenging others' opinions and your sense of vindication
because you have the correct interpretation of the ruins
may reflect concern over a current patient or dream
interpretation on which you are working. Others get
distracted by "tourist issues" or what is easily
marketable. You instead leave and forget these things, and
"go off on your own." The dream seems to be about a new
direction your work is taking you, a innovative one and a
scary one, since there are no authorities.
==== Reflections on Cathy's Commentary by Richard====
What a delightful interpretation. It is a reading
that allows the dreamer (or anyone entering the image) to
explore his desires and test unknown waters while at the
same time providing a boat or frame to return to when
things get anxious. Thanks.
Internet at ASD Twelve!
"Dan Cummings (aka email@example.com), who has
developed a World Wide Web dreamsharing site called
"worldDreaming/dreamMosaic" will be presenting at the next ASD
(Association for the Study of Dreams) conference in New York this
summer. The title of the presentation is "The Dream of Cyberspace-
Mosaic- Based Dream Interface to the Internet." The presentation is all
about the WWWeb site and the activity there.
Specifically, Cummings will focus on the expansion of the
dream through the Internet using multimedia hyperlinks. You
can find a simple example of this at:
l It's a dream called "The Meeting at the Reservoir" and
features a basic dream expansion and hyperlinking. I
haven't tried this one, but I tried another one about
crocodiles that gave me a vision of dreams on the net I
will remember for a while.
To contact ASD for information about the conference :
The twelfth annual conference of the Association for the
Study of Dreams will be held in New York City June 20-2,
1995. For information write to: Jane White Lewis at 29
Broad St., Guilford, CT 06437-2613 or Don Kuiken at
University of Alberta Department of Psychology, P-200
Biological Sciences Bldg., Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2E9,
Also, if you are interested in information on how to join
ASD and receive a quarterly journal _Dreaming_ , the
quarterly newsletter _ASD Newsletter_ and some cuts on
conference rates, just send your request snail mail to:
ASD P.O. Box 1600 Vienna, VA 22183
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