5-8-00 11:08:01 -0400 (EDT)
I can still remember a couple of dreams from fairly early childhood that impressed me -- one of flying, one of being pursued by a whale. I can't recall anyone around me expressing an interest in dreams. Attention was paid if/when nightmares woke us, but all in the nature of reassurances.
The experience of raising children has given me insight I didn't have before, especially concerning bedtime and children's avoidance of it. I understand now that children feel vulnerable at the prospect of going to sleep. Sleep means dreaming and who knows what scary things might befall you! For young children, waking life is already unpredictable and uncontrollable, and dream experience can be even worse.
When my children were old enough for me to start writing regularly, I began a journal. Sometimes, cruising for things to write about, I'd recount a dream. I also began writing poetry, and was amazed and surprised to find that I would wake up in the middle of the night with just the right phrasing or image that I needed. I started to keep paper by the bed so I could record these gems.
Around the same time, I read Ann Faraday's "Dream Power," and started making it a practice to record my dreams on a regular basis. Soon I discovered surprising coincidences I couldn't explain-- e.g., a dream of my high school history teacher, and a letter from her the next day-- that sent me on a research mission. I discovered Jung and synchronicity; the I Ching; and, on a nearby shelf, "The Nature of Personal Reality" by Jane Roberts. Her Seth books altered and expanded my view of reality, including my appreciation for dreams.
My fascination began with curiosity about art and inspiration-- how did my dreams know how to compose poetry? Since then, of course, all of the above have ensued.
I may be an extreme example-- dreams are a focal point of my life and work, and I have come to think of myself as a dream evangelist. I belong to the Association for the Study of Dreams and regularly give papers at its annual conferences. I've taught dream awareness courses and now conduct a regular workshop. I've conducted public experiments with precognitive dreaming on and off the Internet, designed a database for journal records, and started a website devoted to dream journal keeping (http://www.dreamjournalist.com). Finally, my next book is on the subject of dreams.
I now have many, many dream records-- 22 years worth. So, my ability to review past dreams has necessarily changed. But whenever I take time to review past dreams, I see that much which has come to pass was "previewed." So I am still, as before, intrigued, impressed and mystified by dreams.
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