31 FLAVORS OF DREAMS

Some personal dreamwork techniques, by Chris Wayan

RECALLING DREAMS

I won't spend much time here. If you're exploring this site, you probably recall your dreams pretty well already. But if not...

BIOLOGY: Dreambooks often spend pages describing the sleep stages, explaining REM, and emphasizing the 90-minute sleep cycle. Frankly, cycles vary so much by individual and stress level, you might as well ignore them. What is universal: animals of ANY species curtail their dreaming or stop completely, if they're physically stressed, seriously injured, sleep-deprived, or simply not safe in their sleeping place. REM paralyzes the long muscles, so you won't go sleepwalking--and if you think that's risky for a human, think about a sleepwalking deer or cliff-swallow! So dreaming requires paralysis, and the mind will dream freely only if it's in a safe nest. Before seeking psychological explanations for your failure to remember dreams, consider the possibility you're sick, exhausted, sleep-short, or just worried you'll need to wake instantly.

ALARMS: Alarm clocks don't help much. No, really. Many books recommend them since they wake you up quickly--presumably, often from REM sleep, so your recall should be fresh. But I find my recall's no better, and often worse. By definition, an alarm's waking you up before you'd wake on your own--a sleep depriver. In fact, my best dreams often happen on long nights of extra sleep. Waking gradually doesn't mean you have to lose your memories. That's largely a question of focus and practice--remembering to keep track of your thoughts while you're half-asleep, and not get distracted. If it matters to you to recall a dream, you can. Or am I generalizing from the dreamers I know? Naturally, they tend to be good recallers. Maybe there are people whose waking-up mechanisms disrupt dream-traces, irretrievably, unless they're shocked awake. If your recall stinks, it could be biochemical, genetic... untrainable. Then the alarm makes sense. But improving memory is hard work for everyone! Why jump to conclusions? First try without an alarm.

MEMORY TRICKS: Now and then, a waking image or phrase resurrects a lost dream. So I suspect our memories of dreams are no weaker than our memories of waking experiences--it's our indexing that's weak. After all, we recall by association, and if your dreamlife is unconnected to your waking life, how can you find a path to it? This theory has implications for people who recall no dreams at all. Your dream-contents may be so distant from your waking life (not necessarily threatening, just alien) that there's simply no associative link; so if attention drifts for a moment, as the dreamer wakes, there's no way back. This suggests that beginning dreamers who can't recall a thing could try picturing a lot of random images--better yet, places and people and things you never see. It's quite a mental challenge on its own--try thinking things and thoughts you don't think! But beyond a mere mental workout, there may be a prize: you may stumble on a link to a dream, and discover you remember your dreams just fine--you just can't recall them. Your friends are real, you have a phone--you just lost the number. I've done this. It takes patience, but it does work.

NUTRITION is ignored in most dream guides, but three groups of nutrients help me:

  1. Nutrients that promote sound sleep, like calcium and magnesium, can aid dream recall. I haven't worked with melatonin--anyone care to review it?
  2. Nutrients that aid memory and boost neurotransmission, like lecithin. You can buy granular lecithin in bulk or by the pound at many health food stores. It tastes fine. I don't buy capsules: the effective dose is several grams, not milligrams. (If it makes you nervous or jumpy, enrich your diet with more calcium/magnesium. Lecithin raises your phosphorus levels, and phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium all need to stay roughly balanced.)
  3. Foods raising serotonin levels, like bananas, turkey, beans and peanuts, many dairy products, indeed most high-protein foods. These all contain high levels of tryptophan. Oh, you didn't know tryptophan is a serotonin precursor? Yep, the same effect as Prozac, only safer and cheaper. Funny how the drug companies don't publicize that. Tryptophan is the only amino acid you can't buy as a supplement in the US, due to one poisoned batch from Japan some years ago (an episode never explained). Poison in your Tylenol? Hey, we can't ban THAT! But an unpatentable nutrient that competes with Prozac, that reduces drug company profits? Now THAT's dangerous! Let's not accuse any drug companies of poisoning their competitor's products to discredit them. Why, that'd be... bananas.
WRITING DREAMS

You have to make a physical record--write or draw or dictate them! Not just because dream memories are so often ephemeral. There's another reason. Dreams often tell you something you don't know, need to know, and would like to ignore. You, or parts of you, have motives to forget or distort major dreams--if not erase them, at least shift their emphasis, overlook key parts. Cumulative distortions can pile on till your dream-memories contradict the original dream! You must record them. Then your selective distortions become data too--very useful data!

On waking, first I outline the whole dream--just a word or two per scene, trying to recall the MAXIMUM number of scenes, ignoring order, logic, and transitions. When I've tried to write it all out first, I get one clear scene--whatever I started on first--and I may be able to move on to scenes that follow logically or chronologically from the first. But other scenes without obvious connections to the first, often get driven from my mind by the task of writing. So delay that step till you've got a reminder of every scene and image you can.

THEN write it all down, in detail. Or draw it, whatever. Your medium matters less than your priorities. Rough in events first--then return to details. If the sequence of scenes is confusing, don't worry about it yet. Be a thorough reporter--get the details.

NOW go back and consider any consistency or chronology problems--gaps in the sequence of scenes, scenes that don't fit anywhere, forks where an event has two contradictory consequences, or two events both lead to the same scene, or loops where A precedes B which MUST precede C which definitely precedes A...

These conundrums are fascinating and may have multiple explanations. Yes, our memories play tricks--fill in sequences and try to make plots out of nonsense. But also... dream time really can loop and fork! What's to stop a dreaming, bicameral brain from splitting and following out two alternative consequences at once? I suspect it's quite common--though the mind usually compares choices and goes with the best, which you recall as "real". Darwinian competition of time-streams! If dreams rehearse behavior and suggest solutions, it makes sense to follow several at once, and compare, and choose a winner for your dream-plot. But what if there's no clear winner, when several solutions look useful, or all choices have a cost? Then you may recall two alternate scenarios. Or more; I once had a five-forked dream!

So don't get too worried about making linear sense, or doubt what you recall. Your dream may not have been linear. The idea time's a line is just our prejudice.

UNDERSTANDING DREAMS

So. Right after writing the dream itself, what do I do?

{If I know the what the dream is telling me right away, I write it in braces like this}

[If I can't see the message, I put down the meanings of the symbols I know, in square brackets] Symbols aren't just associations to waking events: symbols recur, with meanings you and your dreams have agreed on. You can CREATE dream symbols just by deciding "clams mean income tax" (or vice versa)--your dreams may well accomodate you, unless the meanings you pick are downright insulting.

(If I can't even figure out what the elements mean, I seek associations to day events and put them in parentheses like this) Rack your brain mercilessly--it's often so trivial you won't have noticed it. A toaster in the dream, a toaster in a scene on TV. Remember books, ads, TV, films--the waking world isn't just your own life, but all you heard and saw. This is the hard part--there's brainwashing to overcome. Brainwashing that says your life, and its little details, are trivial. Not worth building a dream on. Not worth hanging a spiritual lesson on! But it is, and it happens all the time.

Now! Armed with links between dream elements and waking experiences, I try to turn those elements into symbols. Next, armed with those symbols (or maybe only with a suspicion or two), I go back and try again to interpret the dream--as a call to some action.

I write down that advice... and then... I try to go DO it! If you act on dream advice, you get better dreams. But then, you get better waking life, too.

Oh--and try analyzing a few of your days by the same criteria you use on dreams. Assume your life's a dream, and your everyday dramas are really deep, symbolic scenarios set up by the gods to teach you how to change. It's good practice, and hey--what if they are?


A DREAM CHART

For years when I started out, I kept a chart like a dieter's, measuring the length of my dreams each night. Time is horizontal, an inch or two a month; height is the length, in words or pages. This chart pulses like a cardiograph. Multiple nights of dream-amnesia are visible as ugly pits--motivating me to remember! Nights of good recall tend to cluster too, appearing as mountain ranges. So the chart encourages me to record more details. My dream reports lengthen. But the dreams also get more complex and vivid--responding to the extra attention and respect, as anyone would. As I take details more seriously I find they reward me with keys to formerly cryptic dreams.

I record not just the total material recalled in a night, but the longest single dream in a night, the longest coherent narrative. Interestingly, nights of many dreamlets don't produce the most material; the best nights are those with one or at most a few coherent, detailed, intense, fully lived adventures. It's as if we swim outward from the beach of day into a foamy surf zone of shattered images--and this is what most people think of as dreams. But deeper, beyond the surf, is another zone, as coherent and solid as the waking world. And it is reachable.

I also name each dream, write the name by the dot on the chart. It gives me a way to find them, if nothing else. You have over 1000 dreams a year. You may start recalling a significant percentage of them. You can get buried "like the sand envelopes the Sphinx" said Jung, or was that Freud? Any creative person needs a little organization. Name your dreams! It forces me to see what the heart of each one is. The art of naming, like the art of headline-writing, is harsh, but trains you for poetry and patience. Stalking the right word.

Besides, having months of dreams laid out on a single page, like a map, reveals links and themes you'd never catch in a notebook or tucked away on a hard disk. Dreams many months apart may form one story. Such a chart can be a powerful visual tool. If you're database-literate, build your graph there. If not, use paper. But build one.

A chart plotting dream-recall, full of red spikes and dips, and the black names of dreams.
REFERENCE TOOLS

My favorite how-to book is Ann Faraday's THE DREAM GAME. She encourages taking things at face value and not getting trapped in any system of interpretation, and points up the highly personal and ad hoc nature of dreams. Lots on puns, wordplay, and lucid dreams. Plus she proposes the best model I've seen, to explain the maddeningly inconsistent nature of psychic dreams.

My favorite reference work is probably Robert Van de Castle's OUR DREAMING MIND. Footnoted with studies on every conceivable topic, from cultural differences in dream-creatures to the risks of lucidity training. The best online ref tool I know of is the website of the Association for the Study of Dreams, ASD. For more, see the dream bibliography.


THE 31 FLAVORS OF DREAMS

To my dream-accounts, I also add codes for various dream themes. Hardly original--Calvin Hall was doing this 75 years ago. The codes make you look for patterns--not take things for granted. Here's a list of things I watch for. I've made codes mnemonic where I could.

  1. AV = Advice! I get plain advice all the time, despite the theories of Freudians and neurochemists. The real question is, do you ACT on the advice? If not, why expect dreams to talk to you? Though if you rely on dreams blindly, they may solemnly give you silly advice--just to get you thinking critically!
    Oh--it's AV, not just A or AD, so that when I search for this code on my hard disk (I type my dreams) I won't get a million false hits from the words "a" or "ad".
  2. B = Birth: giving birth or being born are both themes Euro culture devalues--so pay special note to them.
  3. BR = Bravery: I'm not a courageous person, so I note it when I am. Makes me braver.
  4. C = Characters who aren't ordinary people: gods, aliens, shapeshifters and animal people, robots/androids, elves, spirits, ghosts, voices of natural forces, etc. I meet a lot of these. They often have important messages. Besides, they're fun.
  5. CRE = creative dreams. Dreams suggesting art, writing, invention. Not just the raw material for creativity, either: dreams needn't be the raw material, and your waking mind needn't be the editor. You really can ask dreams to build on, critique, or edit waking work too.
  6. CRIR = career dreams. Dreams in which you have a truly different job. Take these seriously; don't assume they're just compensation for a dull or demeaning life. I mean, this form of compensation gives you no compensation! Acting out pays better. Especially if the dreams repeat, and you loved it... why not try living it? If you did it while dreaming, you probably can do it awake! Isn't that the theory, that the waking state is so damn clever? I mean, if you could perform brain surgery while drunk you could probably manage it sober... (Kids, don't try this at home! But you see my point...)
  7. D = Death. You die in the dream, or death's the theme, or you have dinner with Death...
  8. E = Emotional dreams. Dreams with the same mood will often explain each other, just as dreams with the same symbol will.
  9. Since love and sex are thorny issues for me, I look closely at them:
    E0 = Erotic: if dream's about sex or love, whether symbolic, or direct advice.
    E1 = I meet someone I'm attracted to in a dream.
    E2 = I witness sex, or something very sexy, but I'm not involved. Or, someone comes on to me, but I don't respond--either I'm shy, or just not attracted, or the circumstances feel wrong.
    E3 = I flirt with someone attractive, or touch, maybe kiss: show desire in publically acceptable (safe) ways. Details obviously depend on your society. The point is, your dream's saying the desire is mutual, though you're not breaking any taboos over it.
    E4 = Erotic dreams that go for it. Everything from heavy petting thru having an orgy--whatever would shock your mom, or a cop if your mom's unflappable, or a fundamentalist if your mom's a cop. Splitting 3 and 4 encourages following your desire and ignoring respectability.
    E5 = Simple: I come in the dream. I have lots of "E4" dreams, lovemaking that's emotionally fulfilling but over-focused on pleasing my partner(s). Scoring my own orgasms makes me check if I got or just gave. If you've gotten the feedback that you're more selfish, then maybe you'll want to look for the opposite, scoring dreams an E5 only when you gave as good as you got.
  10. F = Flying! I cultivate flight--it seems linked to lucid, sexy, and transcendent dreams. Besides, flying is fun. And it tells you how you feel about doing the impossible. Was it lots of work? Or was it an effortless blessing? Or was it..?
  11. G = Gifts, and folks offering help or friendship. Such overtures may be a chance to (re)gain lost or forbidden parts and powers.
  12. H = Humor in the dream. Puns. Some whole dreams are deadpan jokes that you only get when you wake...
  13. II = Images worth drawing or painting; a vividly visual dream. Compare with T, MUS. Why not just use "I"? If I run a computer search for this code, I want to distinguish it from the word "I".
  14. INCU = Incubation, an old term for suggestions or questions you give your dreams before sleep, from "I want to fly" or "become lucid" to "explain that last dream" or "show me my soulmate" or "how do I cure my pimples?". My dreams respond to questions much more quickly than to orders or demands.
  15. J = Justified defense: you face a challenge in a way that retains your self-respect. You stand up for yourself and your principles. You don't have to win--that's nice, but not the point. Opposite: K
  16. K = Kollapse: you suffer coercion or abuse or social pressure without protest, or you just whine, or fight half-heartedly. In my dreams it kould just as well be kalled the Konformity kode. Opposite: J
  17. L = Lucid dream: you realize you're dreaming! I don't use LaBerge's "Catch the dream-reality in a discrepancy" method much, just tell myself I'll have a lucid dream. It seem to work about as well. Be patient; it takes me a couple of weeks to get lucid dreams consistently. Flying, sex and false-waking are often precursors of lucidity. When you become lucid, don't just abolish situations or people who bother you. Oppressing the natives is not cool. James Schmitz has a term for this: a "vatch" is someone misbehaving because it's "just a dream." Yet the places we visit in dreams may be just as real as our birthplace. Indeed, we too may be visited by vatches, convinced they alone are real and we are all dreams. Politicians and serial killers come to mind. Not the best role models...
  18. M = Magic, surrealism, differences from the world we know. Those discrepancies can trigger lucidity.
  19. MUS = music in dreams. Try to remember it--it may be original! Also, some dreams practically beg to be made songs: narrative, but short and deeply emotional, with vivid images.
  20. N = Nightmares: dreams so bad you wake to escape. Need not be fear--whatever you can't face. Shame, disgust... even envy. Just remember, despite surface appearances, nightmares themselves are friendly. Do you wake up relieved it's not true? Are you ready to fix those brakes, now? Or... Edgar Cayce was convinced some nightmares are glandular aerobics--fear, like a muscle, needs exercise. Still, if the dread persists, awake, or the nightmare recurs, you're being warned. Quakes and burglars may symbolize quakes and burglars, NOT an inner conflict.
    Nightmares demand action. Guess! Experiment! See what stops them. Read Ann Faraday's nightmare chapter in "The Dream Game."
  21. NT = Night terrors--If you often feel abrupt jolts waking you in terror, but can't recall anything scary, these are not true nightmares, but a common neurochemical quirk called night terrors. Seems to be a test of the emergency waking system. As far as anyone knows, they're harmless--not warning signs, as recurring nightmares can be.
  22. NU = Numinous dreams (Jung's term): dreams or figures with a compelling, meaningful aura about them. Usually important. Also note if you've been having a lot of blah dreams (Wayan's term): dreams or figures with a boring, meaningless aura about them. Usually important! Watch for things that seem bland and obvious as well as exotic. I bike a lot, so dreams about biking to me were neutral, they just meant transportation--until I had dreams of flying around looking for my bicycle so I could go somewhere! Even then I had to compare a lot of bike dreams to see what biking meant--BOTH IN DREAM AND WAKING LIFE. It turned out to mean doing things alone, my way, even if it took more effort--sometimes wise, sometimes not. Dreams of brushing your teeth, or swimming, or commuting, may contain messages as urgent as elephant-wizards or time travel.
  23. O = Opportunity offered by a dream, and you go for it! In so many dreams, the unconscious prompts you, but the conscious is the passive one. Such a waste! (See Q)
  24. P = Psychic dream: apparently telepathic or clairvoyant or precognitive etc. For what it's worth, I find these tend to cluster. Precognition is easy to test if you write day and dream in the same diary. Telepathy is harder to test, since you have to have to find out what others were thinking or dreaming, and the idea of shared dreams makes a lot of people nervous. Violates their privacy. Still, it doesn't violate most people's notions of reality. We haven't been brainwashed against it. But English speakers are deeply grounded in linear time, and they fear that predicting the future takes away free will. Dunne's famous "An Experiment with Time" describes his blindness to evidence of predictive dreams. I've felt the same denial. Practice fades it some. But expect to be disbelieved--and put down. Psychic research is not respectable for mostly cultural reasons. It bothers people. Fun, though! Okay, you've been warned. Moving on...
  25. PN: Pain! "Pinch yourself and you'll wake up--you can't feel pain in a dream!" Wrong. I've felt severe pain in dreams--not often, but it's quite possible. And it often means something.
  26. POL : social or political dreams, beyond personal concerns. Jung and Freud almost deny dreams are capable of social comment, of being civic-minded. How rude to say your dream is too dumb or narcissistic to look beyond its own nose.
  27. Q = Opportunity knocked and you just sat there quietly. Once, okay, you had a headache. But has it been every night? Problem! Opposite: O.
  28. R = Relationship: marriage or ongoing relationship with dream figure. Euro tradition fits dream-lovers into its madonna/whore pattern: anima/animus, or incubus/succubus. Yet many shamans have a wide spectrum of spirit relationships, loving, grudging, friendly, jealous, generous. I also use R for dreams of mentors and twins and guardian angels as well as life partners and our children.
  29. S = Spiritual/Shamanic: dream has gods, religious or moral issues, etc; astral, out-of-body, or spirit planes; shamanic initiation themes (like dismemberment and regeneration, or burial and rebirth); or you do shaman's work, mediating disputes, healing, dealing with spiritual or natural forces: taking responsibility for health of community. Sounds broad, but quite handy in practice: these things really do form a whole.
  30. SM = Not sadomasochism. Smelly dreams! Or tasty dreams. Many researchers studying the sleeping brain think dreams shouldn't taste or smell. Well, they can; it's interesting to watch for them (visual metaphor, notice? Are we sure it isn't our linguistic bias, minimizing the importance of taste and smell so much that we just omit them from dream-scripts as frills? When I've had dreams whose plots hinged on smell or taste, it certainly came through. Researchers, run a taste test! Do chefs and oenologists and perfumiers dream more of taste and smell?)
  31. T = Tales: dreams telling stories, or begging to be stories. Well, the standouts--I think any vivid dream with a point will make a good story, but then I'm a fan. Then there are folks who think all dreams are pointless, can't BE stories--just raw material at best. But they're a bunch of dreamnesiacs, so what do they know?
  32. TY = time-travel, time machines, dreams set in other times, whether past, future, or alternate presents.
  33. U = Underhanded lucidity. I used to have many dreams where, in a tight situation, I became lucid, but I wouldn't change the dream; or I'd change it just enough to keep me alive, no more, and then forget I was dreaming, carefully un-luciding; or I used it to wake up and escape. Felt guilty, CHEATING, to use lucidity and stay in the dream! You probably never do this--I just mention the category to be thorough, and so you can see the need for your own unique categories. Probably half the people on the planet have some odd kind of dream no one else does. And most of them never know. So--use U for something else. Unknowable dreams--dreams so indescribable you, uh... Or maybe Uglification dreams, where you carefully uglify your lovely self. Undressing-in-public-again dreams? Underwear-eating dreams (I did it once. Never again.)
  34. V = Violence; I include emotional abuse as well as physical violence. Depends on how mean your dreams are, and that usually depends on how mean your family and neighbors are.
  35. W = Worlds: other planets, other planes, nonmaterial or material. I include changed Earths (surfing in Idaho) and normally inaccessible environments--inside a volcano, on the abyssal plain.
  36. X = Exotic selves! Do you have a different personality? Name? Family? Age? Race? Sex? Species? If such dreams form a consistent picture, they may be proposals, past life memories, psychic spillage from the neighbors, doppelgangers in parallel worlds... You don't have to accept such ideas; just be aware that shamanic and other non-Euro dreamlore has a wide range of dream-models you can use if you find your identity threatened by dreamlives that get too real.
    X-G = gender-bent dreams. See how the other half lives! Though I wonder if gender is the real division. You know, about half the people I've asked often dream of sex changes; the other half, never. Androgynes versus the deeply gendered--is that deeper than male and female?
    X-AGE = age-bent dreams. You're you, but at a different age. Not always in the past, either.
    X-S = species-bent dreams! You're not entirely human. Maybe not human at all.
    X-PLAT = dreams of different platforms. You're not even what most folks would call organic life! A robot, a spirit, a silicon life-form, a thought...
  37. Y = Ynitiative! You strike off in some direction not even hinted at by the dream. You don't have to be lucid to do this--it's an attitude thang.
  38. Z = Z is the Library of Congress classification for "books about books". I use it for dreams about dreams, or dream interpretations, or dream research. It's fun to see how dreams characterize those who characterize them. Useful too--clears a lot of nonsense out. You can ASK for commentary, you know.
  39. $ = Money dreams, especially advice about money. Many psychologists who should know better push the idea the conscious is a he-man breadwinner, handling money and math, while the unconscious doesn't bother her pretty little head about that stuff. Patronizing! Dreams can have strong financial opinions and advice, especially if your conscious neglects money (as mine does), or lacks confidence dealing with finances.
Oops. More than 31. Oh well, dreamworkers can't count, right?

NAMING DREAM FIGURES

Naming recurrent dream-characters and assuming they're parts of you is useful in tracking the players if you have chaotic or sneaky dreams with new characters and settings every night but suspicious parallels beneath. But I'm slow to pin names on them or assume they're mine; what if I freeze a figure into one form when it wants to evolve? And they may have their own names. Ask. They may not be parts of you at all. Ask that, too.

THREE DREAM-CRITICS

In modern cultures, dreams usually get used three ways: 1) As research data, not necessarily having any unity, meaning, or intentionality; 2) As entertainment or creative raw material; 3) As an oracle for psychological or spiritual growth.

In my stories, I'm trying to break out of those boxes. Dreams can be all three at once, and more: alternate realities. What we encounter in dreams may not be illusions or simulations. If so, stories about dreams are essentially travel tales. And the folks back home always like to scoff at what's over the ridge!

I've run into three flavors of scoffing, kvetching and complaint:

SCIENTIFIC FRIENDS
The visionary and psychic sides of dreams get dismissed as wishful thinking, of course, but even the notion that dreams mean ANYTHING is controversial these days--dreamworkers mistake the random noise in our brains for reality! My particular 'random noise' mocked such theories, in "Suspicious Boys": mainstream scientists were a bunch of small boys jealously guarding their treehouse. No mushy girls' stuff up in their club! Such theories are like Newtonian physics--plausible enough for ordinary dreamstates, but inadequate for extraordinary ones. When something alleged to be mere brain-static manages to whip up sarcastic critiques of the brain-static theory, that theory is in trouble. "I mock, therefore I am."
Some dreams are incoherent mishmashes; but that proves nothing about all dreams. Dreaming varies as much as other mentation. You might as well dismiss perfect pitch as a fraud because you can't do it.
I also find it suspicious that such theories reduce dreamworkers, depth psychologists, mystics and many artists to fools and charlatans, rather than people with skills in an area where hard scientists may be weak. Such theories devalue all mentation but conscious, scientific reasoning--their working mode. Amazing coincidence, or simple ethnocentrism?
THE FICTION WRITERS
Tale-tellers hate my scientific insistence on sticking to facts: not clean stories, but events that include dreams that work as stories. "You slow the action. More glass eaters and lizard sex--that's the stuff!" Life should be shaped like stories! They also complain that showing and explaining the symbols erodes the story's reality. "How can your readers possibly care about it, if it's all a dream?" Yes, exactly--how will they learn that? Buddha wrestled with that one a lot too, I hear.
MYSTICS AND PSYCHOLOGISTS
Don't like all the story-details I put in. They're entertaining, no doubt, but writing out my dreams as detailed stories, as if these worlds were solid and real... Well! It just hides the bones--the message, the moral. That's what psychologically obsessed people want. Life on the other side shouldn't be like... well, life! Tsk. Poor mystics. Swamped by details details details. Reality is such a distraction! But what if dreams are a reality?
Scientist wanting facts, artist wanting form, mystic wanting message--of course, I'm all three people at once, or I wouldn't care so much. But watch for these attitudes yourself, as they tug and snipe at each other, and at you. They'll use different lines, of course, depending on your culture, but you almost certainly do have some traditionalists in your head, eager to explain your dream life to you, or exploit it, or dismiss it.

Dismiss them, instead. For that's what dreamwork largely is: shoveling smelly heaps of experts out of your head.

DREAM WELL!

wdreamb@yahoo.com

as a last resort: snailmail!

Chris Wayan,
242 Prentiss,
San Francisco, CA
USA 94110
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