About This Survey

Main goal of the survey

This survey was designed to find some clues on how to promote dreaming. I know why I find my dreams important and why some other dreamworkers find dreams important, but I wasn't sure if I had the complete picture. So I decided to ask a large group of experienced dreamers.

Main question of the survey

The main question of the survey to the respondents was: what made you become and remain actively involved with your dreams? To find an answer to that question, questions were asked about three periods or moments in life:
  1. Childhood
  2. The moment interest in dreams became more serious
  3. Now
Childhood is given special attention, because many children experience dreams much stronger than grown-ups. It makes sense to expect that this period of life is essential in becoming a longtime dreamer. Particularly the attitude of parents towards dreams was expected to be important. Even though childhood was given special attention because that seemed a good systematic approach, I did not expect it would lead to interesting insights, as I expected that most if not all parents are not interested in dreams at all. Before the survey, it made more sense to me that most longtime dreamers became more interested in dreaming somewhere after childhood.

Regardless of the period of life somebody gets first interested in dreams, the path from non-dreamer to experienced dreamer was assumed to consist of the following stages:

  1. Certain expectations about the benefits of dreaming.
  2. Learning how to work with dreams.
  3. Evaluation whether working with dreams is worth the effort.
(In hindsight, now knowing that many dreamers do develop their interest at a young age, these three stages seem a bit overly methodical.)

The survey questions focused strongly on the first point and as the respondents are all longtime dreamers, clearly the evaluation concerning the value of dreams was positive. The in-between phase of learning to work with dreams was left out of this particular survey. I did not want to burden respondents with too many questions. Besides, I belief that a detailed look into the learning curve deserves a research project on its own. Some respondents did tell something about learning to work with dreams, and this will be commented on in the Development part of this report.

Feature creep

Originally, I had planned to make this a short and simple report with only listing the main conclusions. I found the many received interviews so impressive, that bit by bit I decided to make the report more comprehensive. The use of many quotes is one of the things I hadn't planned to do at first. But on second thoughts, I didn't want to have 104 interviews laying around with nobody reading them. By quoting, at least parts of the interviews are made easier accessible for others.

Two particular topics that were not originally planned for this report are lucid dreaming and dream telepathy. These topics were often mentioned by the respondents, and it seemed a shame to ignore them. The Benefits part of this report therefore has a chapter about lucid dreaming and dream telepathy.

By the way, the title feature creep refers to a situation known from technical disciplines like software development. It refers to projects getting delayed as a result of doing more than originally planned.

The six parts of this report

This report is organized into six parts. You're now reading part one, the introduction. As much as I personally prefer reports and books that can be read in any way you feel like, I have to say that the second part General Impressions introduces a few key findings and some definitions that were used to structure the rest of the report. So, it would probably help to read this part as one of the first things.

One of the main conclusions of the report can be seen in the titles of part three. Part three is called Motivations For First Interest and yes, the large majority of motivations appear to come from dreams themselves.

The fourth part Development, takes a closer look at the development of interest, but will automatically shed some additional light on the motivation question. The fifth part Benefits sums up all the benefits from different angles. The sixth and last part contains the conclusions.

Email Harry Bosma for any comments or questions.

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