World Dream Bank
add a dream -
art gallery -
World Dream Bank:
Using these Dreamlists
1: WHAT THIS SITE IS
2: ADD YOUR DREAM!
3: HOW TO READ BLURBS
4: CAUTIONS: SEX, PROFANITY, ETC.
5: COPYRIGHT AND REPOSTING
7: SPCD NOTE
1: WHAT THIS SITE IS
The World Dream Bank is a library of vivid dreams. It's an attempt to fill a gap in the Net. Most dreamsites are:
The World Dream Bank challenges that sea of bad writing. To start, I went through 30 years of dream-journals and chose my own favorite dreams and dream-art. My biases: clear, coherent dreams full of humor, magic, color, sex, talking animals, sex with talking animals, flying, mystical revelations, wild politics (Green, feminist, queer-friendly) and general weirdness. I posted over 1000 such dreams as a seed. That seed grew.
- how-to pages of tips on dreamwork. Earnest and dull.
- blogs written for the dreamer alone, ranging from crudely written to cryptic. A second kind of dull.
- huge, unedited, unreadable dream repositories. A third kind of dull!
I'm a librarian. I like to find stuff. So, while there is a bloggish timeline, I've organized the World Dream Bank mostly by CONTENT and TYPE. Content's obvious--you can find:
That last example, "initiative", verges on a dream TYPE--characteristics deeper than their surface content. Dreams of unusual intent, function, or structure:
- Moods and themes, like
- Sexy dreams,
funny dreams, weird
being someone else
- Physical things like
- Scenes and settings like
- school dreams,
courts and trials,
- Dreams of universal subjects like
- Symbolic dream figures and events, like
- Jungian shadows,
animas and guides,
twins and doubles,
- Dreams wrestling with emotions like
- Dreams of issues, ideas and abstract themes like
beauty and ugliness,
More? See the full SUBJECT INDEX
- Dreams with external elements
- Subliminal dreams picking up waking sensations and unnoticed subtleties
- Apparent telepathic and shared dreams
- Apparent predictive dreams
- Clairvoyant and other kinds of apparent ESP dreams
- Out-of-body dreams and experiences
- Dreams leaving apparent physical traces
- Altered states within a dream, such as
- Lucidity (knowing you're dreaming)
- False waking, or dreams within dreams (you wake into another dream--these can be many layers deep!)
- Trance and hypnosis inside a dream, and its effects
- Meditation inside a dream, and its effects
- Hypnogogic dreams and visions (dreams when falling asleep or waking)--short, kinetic, visual, vivid but disjointed images, very unlike classic REM dreams
- Hallucinations, visions and daydreams: dreamlike waking experiences.
- Trance and hypnosis yielding dreamlike experiences.
- Intentionally communicative dreams, like
- Incubated dreams (dreams answering a question or topic you posed)
- Advice dreams (dream figures offer explicit, unsolicited advice)
- Diagnostic and prescriptive dreams (warning of illness, suggesting cures)
- Dreams offering gifts, or prompting you with opportunities
- Creative dreams: dreams with inventions, stories, art, music, or dreams on the creative process
- Nightmares and warning dreams
- Self-referential dreams:
- Dreams about dreaming, dreamwork, or dream research
- Recurring dreams
- Dreams that interpret or discuss themselves
- Dreams for others:
- Shamanic dreams (dreams for one's whole community)
- Cledonic dreams (dreams with private messages for others)
- Dreams of political and social issues (especially ones with policy suggestions)
- Dreams that alter your sense of identity (sometimes permanently)
- Your career has changed
- Your tribe has changed--your race, friends, language, nationality
- Your body or body image has changed
- Your sex and/or orientation has changed (now don't panic!)
- Your species has changed
- Your platform has changed (you're silicon-based life, or artificial intelligence, or a spirit, or pure energy...)
- Your values, memories, or ability to reason, visualize, or focus has changed...
- Transcendental dreams, like:
- Dreams presenting life-paths and spiritual missions
- Dreams of soul-mates
- Shamanic dreams (forcing you into new states of awareness)
- Mystical ecstasy (still under construction--but aren't we all?)
Once I finished this library of dream types, the next step was to make the site expandable, welcoming other people's peak dreams! As I write (February 2012) the site has about 3600 pages: 2300 dreams, 4400 illustrations, 540 topic-lists, plus 1000 other pages on dreams, shamanism and dreamwork, creativity, genius, art, surrealism, fantasy and imagination. About 5/8 of the dreams are mine; others have now contributed 3/8 and rising. Help make me a minority! Just...
2: ADD YOUR DREAM!
Send me your favorite dream! Email it to email@example.com!
What I need to turn your raw dream-entry into a webpage:
HOW TO SEND IT
- VITAL: a unique, alphabetizable title. "Lizard Tea" passes. "My Dream" and "#%}?9$!" both flunk.
- VITAL: dreamer's name or pen name--preferably one NOT already on the authors list!
- VITAL: the date you dreamed it. Your best guess, if you're not sure. This lets me place your dream on the Timeline.
- VITAL: Clear writing. Doesn't have to be an email attachment or formatted in any special way. Clarity matters, though! You need to explain your raw dream record so strangers will get what these people and places mean to you. Spell out abbreviations and Web slang. Readers are diverse, and jargon limits your audience, IMHO. Oops! Either type out "in my humble opinion" or leave it out--some readers won't know your abbreviations or emoticons. Check spelling, grammar, logic, style, mood and structure. If it's unclear, I get to email you and ask for clarifications and rewrites, AAGHH!
- OPTIONAL: images. Any format, any size. Need not be flawless--I can color-correct if you tell me what's wrong. If you want a certain layout, attach the pictures to your email and write [fox image here] or [image 2 here] in your dream-text. I'll lay them in. (Webgeeks can send HTML texts studded with images, as long as the code is VERY simple--no style sheets, frames, scripts, no callouts to other sites! I need to paste in Dream Bank code...
- OPTIONAL: your email address or your website. If you ask, I'll disguise it from spambots like this: "pixypoop at gmail dot com".
- USEFUL: notes on any daytime events that provoked or inspired the dream.
- USEFUL: Explanations of symbols you often dream of. You know what they mean, but we need to be told.
- USEFUL: Your interpretation of the dream. Duh!
- USEFUL: Anything else you deem relevant. And I do mean ANYTHING.
- USEFUL: list key themes in the dream. Even a few words help. I use them two ways: 1) below your dream, I'll add links to similar dreams, and 2) your themes tell me what lists to post your dream on. See the implication? Listing your dream's themes steers your work to the right readership! I do try to spot themes and put dreams on appropriate lists, but help me out! (Though the bare mention of a sheep doesn't make a dream about sheep. Don't cheat the sheep fans! Ba-a-a-a-d karma.
- VERY USEFUL: You get one line to summarize your dream. Write with care! This is your ad. Rope us in, yet tell the truth! Not easy. Writing haiku and headlines is an art.
- IF IT'S CREEPY: Some readers want to avoid nudity, sex, drugs, political or religious extremism, violence, swearing, blood, vomit... So write "CAUTION: SWEARING, DRUNK LIONS, VAMPIRE BARF..." Wit is good--just be honest too.
Email your dream to firstname.lastname@example.org. I planned to add a form to allow automated entry of dream text & images, but I end up emailing most of you anyway with questions on illustrations, notes, typos, clarifications... So just email me.
Put "Dream" in the subject line. Avoid subject words like "enlarge, penis, Viagra, Nigeria, Ghana, bank, lottery"... I answer all emails, so if I don't respond, it got lost. Try re-sending from an email account at school, work, or a friend's; spam filters totally block mail from some servers (because of one spammer among thousands of users. There is no justice!) If I still don't get it, try snailmail and... just... wait...
Chris Wayan, 242 Prentiss St, San Francisco CA USA 94110
Sorry. Postal addresses just won't click. But it's a last recourse.
When picking my own dreams, I avoided two types:
Non-dream submissions? I've posted some. Quality pieces on topics like altered states, shamanism, ESP, genius, autism, animal intelligence, even terraforming... probably. Further off topic? Well, I'm a sucker for good writing (hint hint).
- Boring's self-explanatory.
- Mean: sadism, kidnapping, enslaving, molestation, murder or serial killing, especially from the perpetrator's viewpoint. If the dream has a lesson that's useful to readers, or if you're asking for help/feedback in figuring out a dream, then yeah, go for it. But if not, why spread bad vibes? We already have Hollywood and the news doin' that big-time. I won't censor mean dreams--but look for a positive angle, OK? Give people a reason to read it.
Raw dream text is often hard for others to read. Please polish! Read it aloud to friends (you have friends, right? Uh-oh!) and note what they didn't get and rewrite so we'll get it.
My suggestion: write like you talk. Forget all you learned in school, on the job, online. Psychobabble, academese and business writing all emphasize polysyllabic Orwellian circumlocutions to maximize deniability, wallpapering your posterior. But dreams are out to BARE your ass (soul optional!)
It's true that the Dreambank has blank verse, dreamworld pop lyrics, medieval Buddhist monks' journals, Victorian and pseudo-Victorian narratives, dreams like lost pages of Finnegans Wake, and poetry slams by grammarless dogs. All fine, if you can pull it off!
Think quality, not quantity. Editing eats time--I simply can't prepare more than a few dreams a day. Spend some time on 'em (so I don't have to).
It's hard to delete, move, or retitle fully catalogued items. Once they're integrated in the system, it's a nightmare to rip out links all over the site! So don't submit work you'll be ashamed of later. Well, if you do have a shyness fit, ask me to change your name to a pseudonym--that's easier than erasing it all. Revising or expanding a dream-text or illustration is also easy. Adding a picture later is a bit more work, so send text and (even rough) images together, if you can. But changing titles and total removal are torture! Don't torture the nice editor!
ILLUSTRATE EXISTING TEXTS!
Yes, you can illustrate other people's dreams. Why not? Illustrate MY dreams! You have to be a better artist than I am. Send images! Be sure to add your name and the date you drew it so I can add a credit. You still own the copyright of course.
What if I think an illustration needs big changes to work? If so, you still get the credit and we both have free use of the hybrid, while you keep all rights to your original version. Fair enuff?
I did say email dreams to me at email@example.com, didn't I?
2: HOW TO READ BLURBS
This is a blurb.
||ABOVE THE WHITE TOWER: by Wayan; 1990/1/14, a flying sex-change dream of love
Flying in a wild wind, I mate mid-air with an alien, get pregnant, change sex, fight the inlaws...
CAUTION: DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME
- A THUMBNAIL IMAGE means a dream is illustrated. Click the thumbnail to go to the dream. Some dreams have many illustrations, so the thumbnails aren't a complete Art Gallery.
- THE TITLE is always a link to the page with the dream.
- AUTHOR may be a pseudonym; contributors posting deeply personal material really don't need their bosses reading it.
- DATE is when a dream happened, not when it was written or submitted. Dreams with uncertain dates, or a range ("summer 2013", "1991-94") show up in the Timeline at the start of their range.
- TYPE: a brief descriptive note: "an epic dream", "an unfunny dream-comic", "a predictive vision", "a nightmare poem", "a dream-figure portrait"
Two formats have special meanings:
- ILLUSTRATED here means webtext studded with images like flowers on a bush. They load faster than comics, but the layout you see depends on your browser & window size. If a page looks funny, resize the window--most such pages are meant for windows 800-1200 pixels wide. Or the layout may look weird because, uh, people are weird.
- COMICS load more slowly, and the words (if any) are part of the picture, not sharp Web text. But the layout is the author's. Personally, I draw a lot of dream-comics, but they're curvy, flowing, high-resolution, vertical bookpages hard to display as low-res, horizontal Webpages. So most of my dream-comics appear here as text with spot illustrations, though now that high-res screens and broadband are more common I'm adding true comics as alternate pages. Again, a big window is best.
- A one-line SUMMARY of the dream, article, or picture. These are human-written! More helpful and accurate than mere samples of text, as in Google's search results.
- Some pages have a final line: a CAUTION...
4: RATINGS AND CAUTIONS
Entries whose content may trouble some readers have cautions:
CAUTION: GANG VIOLENCE
CAUTION: DON'T EAT SKUNKS AT HOME
CAUTION: LAWYERS, GORILLA MARRIAGE, BREAST THEFT
The World Dream Bank contains:
If you find pieces with truly upsetting material I failed to flag, EMAIL ME!
- RELIGIOUS themes to offend almost everyone--I've tried to flag pages that EXPLICITLY flame various churches and/or gods, but so many of my dreams are pagan I've probably overlooked stuff offensive to some Christians, Muslims and Jews (who my dreams seem to think are all conservative, patriarchal, and essentially interchangeable--unfair, I know).
- A fair amount of SEX ranging from sublime to ridiculous. It's not a porn site, but it is uncensored, so many dreams contain sex, often strange sex--aliens, animals, kids, demons, weird sex organs, orgies. Not many contain rape, sexual violence, sadism, or bondage (consensual or not). I don't censor such themes, it's just that not many have been submitted.
- Quite a lot of NUDITY, not always sexual--it often seems to mean honesty, directness, vulnerability or naturalness, at least in my dreams.
- Some VIOLENCE, but not much graphic GORE. I've noticed it helps me to write violent or scary dreams, but violent images make me feel worse. I don't know why--it isn't true of weird sex dreams, which are often fun to draw. But I've left my own violent dreams mostly in text form and stuck warnings on for the squeamish.
- An amazing amount of POLITICS for a bunch of dreams! But that's what I got--I wasn't hunting for 'em. WARNING! Americans may resent the anti-capitalist, anti-business tone of many dreams. Traditionalists around the world, particularly men, may find the feminist and anti-hierarchical dreams offensive. But then, we find y'all offensive too.
- Occasional PROFANITY, mostly in dialogue.
- Very little overt RACISM or HATE SPEECH. But dreams often stereotype all sorts of people. Don't take that too literally--dreams use such stereotypes as symbols for various qualities or even abstract ideas; and your unconscious knows very well it's just symbolism. It's our CONSCIOUS minds that take symbols so literally that we start fights over race, gender and religion...
I do edit blurbs if readers complain. Still, remember these ARE dreams; weird content may trigger phobias or flashbacks for you even if the dream itself's not really so terrible. Try to distinguish between ones with truly gruesome content and ones that merely pushed some personal button! If I flag every item, the flags turn useless.
2015 NOTE: these flags are not a recent response to the fuss about "microaggressions" and "trigger warnings". I built them in at the start in 2000; I wanted the site uncensored and this seemed the best way to ensure it. Still does.
5: COPYRIGHT AND REPOSTING RULES
Copyright law varies around the world, but it's the policy of the World Dream Bank that all artists and writers on this site own the copyright to their work, whether or not a copyright statement matches your local notions or standards. The site as a whole and pages without a stated copyright or byline are copyright Chris Wayan. ASK if you want to reuse or alter something, unless it says otherwise on the work itself. Personally, I'll nearly always say yes, but I reserve the right to say no. If you exploit my work commercially, I will sue, and I suspect the same is true for most of us on the site.
Traditional exceptions apply--you can download copies for personal use, for educational use (research, class handouts and reference, etc), and to quote for site reviews. Please use common sense. Legality aside, dreams are uniquely personal. Theft or misuse of such intimate material will hurt people--and provoke sharp legal responses.
6: HOW TO DOWNLOAD
Individual pictures are savable in the usual ways. If you want a group of images, go to the Art Gallery--everything but the smallest spot illustrations are listed, and can be saved easily.
Copying illustrated stories, or indexes with thumbnails, means you have to duplicate the site's structure on your home system so the text can find the pictures and display them in the right places. The site is alphabetical. First save the text file, say, DUMDREAM.HTM, in a folder named "D" for dumb, then save the illustrations one by one, and (assuming they're called DUMDREAM1.JPG, or DUMDREAM3.GIF, imaginative names like that) stick them next to the text file. Yeah, if you copy a second story, STUPIDRM.HTM, you'll have to create a directory called S for it and its pictures. Sorry. You can put all these alphabet-folders in one big folder called WAYAN IS A FOOL. But they still need alphabetical folders to sort themselves out. I'm an ex-librarian, what can I say? I left it all in one folder for the first thousand pages, but eventually I had to do SOMETHING.
If you want the whole site, a CD-ROM will save you hours of labor and run faster too. Takes about 600 Mb of space. I price CDs on a sliding scale, so you CAN afford it, even if you're broke or living in Tombouktou. See catalog. Let's pretend I just put an insufferably cute smiley-face here, and get back to something interesting, OK?
7: SPCD NOTE
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Dreams has certified that no dreams were injured in building this site.
World Dream Bank homepage - Art gallery - New stuff - Introductory sampler, best dreams, best art - On dreamwork - Books
Indexes: Subject - Author - Date - Names - Places - Art media/styles
Titles: A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - IJ - KL - M - NO - PQ - R - Sa-Sh - Si-Sz - T - UV - WXYZ
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org - Catalog of art, books, CDs - Behind the Curtain: FAQs, bio, site map - Kindred sites