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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An investigation into the meaning of breakthrough dream experiences Biela, Pamela Mary 1985

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AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE MEANING OF BREAKTHROUGH DREAM EXPERIENCES by PAMELA MARY BIELA B.A., U n i v e r s i t y o f C a l i f o r n i a , . B e r k e l e y , 1968 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES . C o u n s e l l i n g P s y c h o l o g y We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s a s c o n f o r m i n g t o t h e r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA November, 1985 © Pamela Mary B i e l a , 1985 7§ In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree a t the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and study. I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by h i s or her r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s understood t h a t copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be allowed without my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department of ( 2 0 uvss^All ^ " * V c ^ o ^ o < ^ The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date fftactk DE-6 n/R 'n i i A b s t r a c t The purpose of t h i s study was to i n v e s t i g a t e the meaning of a breakthrough dream e x p e r i e n c e . Using an e x i s t e n t i a l -phenomenological approach, the study d e s c r i b e d the meaning of the e x p e r i e n c e f o r s i x a d u l t c o - r e s e a r c h e r s who had a breakthrough dream and were a b l e to d i s c u s s t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e with the r e s e a r c h e r . The c o - r e s e a r c h e r s were asked to d e s c r i b e the p e r i o d b e f o r e , d u r i n g , and a f t e r the dream. There were two i n t e r v i e w s which were t a p e - r e c o r d e d and t r a n s c r i b e d . The t r a n s c r i p t s were a n a l y z e d a c c o r d i n g to the method d e s c r i b e d by C o l a i z z i (1978). T h i r t y themes were form u l a t e d from these t r a n s c r i p t s and woven i n t o an e x h a u s t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n of a breakthrough dream e x p e r i e n c e . The e x h a u s t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n was condensed to form an e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e of the e x p e r i e n c e . The themes, e x h a u s t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n , and e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e were g i v e n t o the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s f o r v a l i d a t i o n . T h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of a breakthrough dream e x p e r i e n c e i s more complete than any ot h e r found i n the l i t e r a t u r e and l a y s a f o u n d a t i o n f o r f u r t h e r r e s e a r c h . i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract i i Acknowledgements v CHAPTER I: Introduction 1 Two Traditions 1 Dreams as unclear s c r i p t s 2 Dreams as breakthroughs 4 Significance of the Study 8 Approach to the question 11 Defi n i t i o n s .12 CHAPTER II: Review of the Literature 15 Healing Dreams 16 Creative Breakthrough Dreams 26 Induced Dreams ...36 Transformative Dreams in Therapy ...44 Summary 59 CHAPTER III: Method 66 Method 66 Co-Researchers 68 Selection of Co-Researchers 69 Demographic Information 70 Phenomenological Interview 71 Procedure for Analysis and Interpretation 72 CHAPTER IV: Results 75 Formulation of Themes 75 i v Themes 78 C l u s t e r s of Themes 94 Three Phases of a Breakthrough Dream Experience 95 Context f o r Viewing the Exhaustive D e s c r i p t i o n 96 Context f o r Viewing the E s s e n t i a l S t r u c t u r e 96 Exhaustive D e s c r i p t i o n 97 E s s e n t i a l S t r u c t u r e 115 Case S: A Comparison 122 CHAPTER V: D i s c u s s i o n 127 L i m i t a t i o n s of the Study 127 T h e o r e t i c a l I m p l i c a t i o n s 128 I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r C o u n s e l l i n g 140 I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r Future Research 147 SUMMARY 150 References 153 APPENDIX A: P r o t o c o l s 160 APPENDIX B: L e t t e r 274 APPENDIX C: Consent Form 276 V Acknowledgements I w i s h t o acknowledge the members of my committee, D r s . Amundson, Borgen and Cochran. My thanks go t o Norm Amundson f o r ' h i s humour and a b i l i t y t o put e v e r y t h i n g i n t o p e r s p e c t i v e , t o B i l l Borgen f o r h i s s u p p o r t and u n d e r s t a n d i n g , and t o L a r r y Cochran f o r h i s c o n s t r u c t i v e s u g g e s t i o n s throughout the l o n g p r o c e s s of w r i t i n g t h i s t h e s i s and f o r h i s encouragement from the v e r y b e g i n n i n g t o do t h e r e s e a r c h t h a t I l o v e . I a l s o w i s h t o e x p r e s s my deep a p p r e c i a t i o n t o my c o - r e s e a r c h e r s , who a l l o w e d me t o r e - e x p e r i e n c e w i t h them a s p e c i a l time i n t h e i r l i v e s . I am a l s o g r a t e f u l t o my dear f r i e n d s who were always t h e r e t o l i s t e n . I am e s p e c i a l l y i n d e b t e d t o E m i l y C l a s p e l l , my f r i e n d and c o l l e a g u e , whose d o c t o r a l d i s s e r t a t i o n i n s p i r e d me t o do p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l r e s e a r c h , and t o S h e i l a C a m p b e l l , whose t h e s i s was an i n s p i r a t i o n . Thanks a l s o go t o C l a i r e Winstone, who t y p e d t h i s t h e s i s and whose own work encouraged me t o complete mine on s c h e d u l e , and t o K a t i n a N i c o p o u l o s , who l o v e d and c a r e d f o r my c h i l d r e n w h i l e I was i n s c h o o l . F i n a l l y , I w i s h t o thank my f a m i l y , who u n d e r s t o o d my s e a r c h and l i v e d w i t h o u t me and our d i n i n g room t a b l e d u r i n g the l o n g p r o c e s s of r e s e a r c h i n g and w r i t i n g t h i s t h e s i s . 1 CHAPTER I: I n t r o d u c t i o n Throughout history there have been two major types of dreams. There are dreams that weave a complex story needing to be unraveled through insight gained from interpretation, and there are others that carry a solution or breakthrough within the dream i t s e l f . In the second type of dream, the i n d i v i d u a l , without the aid of interpretation, experiences a f e l t sense immediately upon awakening that an answer to a personal issue has been found. The aim of t h i s study is to investigate the meaning of the dream experience that d i r e c t l y provides a solution or breakthrough to a problem. Two Traditions For centuries, various cultures believed that dreams are purposeful and are an integral part of human experience. Dreams were thought to be related to the. d a i l y preoccupations and concerns of the individual and were no less important than waking l i f e . Modern research has demonstrated that dreams complement waking experience by focusing on issues that are emotionally relevant to the person (Cartwright, 1979; Kramer, 1982). Feelings that have been denied or repressed during the day are recaptured and played out during the night. 2 Dreams can r e v e a l i n f o r m a t i o n as u n c l e a r s c r i p t s or d i r e c t breakthroughs. Ancient c i v i l i z a t i o n s were aware of t h i s f a c t , and two d i s t i n c t approaches have evolved that r e f l e c t t h i s d i f f e r e n c e . Dreams as u n c l e a r s c r i p t s The Chinese, Hindu, and Near E a s t e r n c i v i l i z a t i o n s a l l had e l a b o r a t e systems of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Two separate systems, were used to decipher the meaning of the dream. One method took the dream as a whole and then r e l a t e d i t to the context of waking l i f e . T h i s approach was used i n the B i b l e f o r dreams needing i n t e r p r e t a t i o n (Kelsey, 1968). The other method, u s i n g dream d i c t i o n a r i e s , i n t e r p r e t e d each image s e p a r a t e l y (Ullman & Zimmerman, 1979). C u l t u r e s v a r i e d on the meaning of the symbols, but a l l were i n s i s t e n t that an i n t e r p r e t e r was necessary. Artemidorus, a Roman i n the second century, compiled the most e x t e n s i v e review of dreams p r i o r to Freud. He p r e f e r r e d the system that decoded each symbol s e p a r a t e l y . F i x e d meanings were used while t a k i n g i n t o account the person's age, s t a t u s , and h e a l t h (Artemidorus, 1975). Because of the C h r i s t i a n Church's ban on dream i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i n the f o u r t h c entury, Artemidorus' f i v e volumes became the main source of i n f o r m a t i o n on dreams (Ullman & Zimmerman, 1979). The dream, 3 no l o n g e r t a k e n as a whole, became a t o o l f o r c h a r l a t a n s u s i n g dream d i c t i o n a r i e s . F r e u d , i n The Interpretation of Dreams (1913), t r i e d t o d i s p e l the b e l i e f t h a t dreams were mere s u p e r s t i t i o n by showing t h a t they were p u r p o s e f u l t o the i n d i v i d u a l . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , F r e u d , b u i l d i n g on t h e t r a d i t i o n of A r t e m i d o r u s , a p p l i e d f i x e d meanings t o dream symbols, r a t h e r than i n t e r p r e t i n g the dream as a whole. He c o n s i d e r e d t h e s e images d i s g u i s e d w i s h e s , s e x u a l i n n a t u r e , c o n n e c t e d t o u n c o n s c i o u s c o n f l i c t s from c h i l d h o o d . The dream's f u n c t i o n was t o p r o t e c t the dreamer from t h e s e r e p r e s s e d i m p u l s e s . The l a t e n t or h i d d e n message was more i m p o r t a n t than the dream as remembered or m a n i f e s t c o n t e n t . Jung (1933), A d l e r (1936), Horney (1950), Fromm (1951), P e r l s (1969), and o t h e r s espoused a broader s t a n c e towards dreams, c r i t i c i z i n g F r e u d and h i s f o l l o w e r s f o r e m p h a s i z i n g e r o t i c c o n f l i c t s a t the expense of e x p l o r i n g the whole p e r s o n . They d i d not see symbols as p r o t e c t o r s of r e p r e s s e d i m p u l s e s , but as f e e l i n g s e x p r e s s e d m e t a p h o r i c a l l y . The dream was viewed as a s y m b o l i c s t o r y of t h e p a s t , p r e s e n t , and i n some c a s e s , the f u t u r e . . I n d i v i d u a l elements were d e c i p h e r e d , as w e l l as t h e whole dream. The e x i s t e n t i a l i s t s d e s e r v e p a r t i c u l a r mention because of t h e i r b e l i e f t h a t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n abuses the dream by imposing an e x t e r n a l s t r u c t u r e on the e x p e r i e n c e (Boss, 1958). U n l i k e 4 Freud and other t h e o r i s t s , they do not assume that dreams have a purpose. For the e x i s t e n t i a l i s t s , dreams are another way of being i n the world. T h i s approach i s g a i n i n g wide acceptance with t h e r a p i s t s such as James Hillman (1978) and others who are moving f u r t h e r away from i n t e r p r e t a t i o n towards seeing the dream as another way of e x p e r i e n c i n g . There are many other methods of dream i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , but most are v a r i a t i o n s of e i t h e r the Freudian t r a d i t i o n or the approaches of Jung (1933), Adler (1936), Horney (1950), Fromm (1951), P e r l s (1969), and Boss (1958). A l l the v a r i o u s dream t h e o r i e s of the t w e n t i e t h century emphasize dreams which need i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Jung (1960) and Horney (1950) mentioned the e x i s t e n c e of c r e a t i v e breakthrough dreams, but spent l i t t l e time d i s c u s s i n g these e x p e r i e n c e s . Most t h e o r i s t s ignored the breakthrough experience which r e v e a l s a s o l u t i o n w i t h i n the dream i t s e l f without the a i d of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Dreams as breakthroughs The f i r s t recorded accounts of breakthrough or h e a l i n g dreams came from the Egyptians who valued these dreams above a l l o t h e rs (Oppenheim, 1966). The Greeks, i n h e r i t i n g the dream t r a d i t i o n s of e a r l i e r c u l t u r e s , a t f i r s t i n c l u d e d both the i n t e r p r e t i v e and the 5 h e a l i n g dream. However, because of t h e i r i n t e r e s t i n the p h y s i c a l body, they l a t e r c o n c e n t r a t e d e x c l u s i v e l y on the h e a l i n g p r o p e r t i e s of dreams (Ullman & Zimmerman, 1979). The p r a c t i c e of i n d u c i n g h e a l i n g dreams f l o u r i s h e d from the f o u r t h century B.C. onward with the c u l t of A s k l e p i u s (Meir, 1967). The i n d i v i d u a l seeking a cure would go through a p u r i f i c a t i o n r i t u a l and then s l e e p i n a sacred temple. The god A s k l e p i u s would appear i n the dream and e i t h e r cure the person of the a f f l i c t i o n or p r e s c r i b e remedies which would r e s u l t i n a cure i f taken when awake (Reed, 1976). The a f f l i c t i o n c o u l d be e i t h e r a p h y s i c a l or a p s y c h o l o g i c a l problem. The dream message or cure was d i r e c t . No i n t e r p r e t a t i o n was necessary. C h r i s t i a n i t y , i n h e r i t i n g the t r a d i t i o n of h e a l i n g dreams from the Greeks, allowed i n c u b a t i o n to continue d e s p i t e o f f i c i a l condemnation of dreams in the f o u r t h century. S a n c t u a r i e s d e d i c a t e d to C h r i s t i a n s a i n t s r e p l a c e d the temples of A s k l e p i u s (de Becker, 1968). The two t r a d i t i o n s of i n t e r p r e t i v e and h e a l i n g dreams c o e x i s t e d u n t i l the f i f t e e n t h century when the p r i n t i n g press made the dream books of Artemidorus a v a i l a b l e to the common people (Ullman & Zimmerman, 1979). Dream d i c t i o n a r i e s became popular, r e p l a c i n g the t r a d i t i o n of h e a l i n g or breakthrough dreams. In 1900, h e a l i n g dreams were f u r t h e r pushed i n t o the background when Freud (1913) s t a t e d i n The Interpretation of 6 Dreams t h a t o n l y c h i l d r e n c o u l d have c l e a r , d i r e c t dreams, because t h e i r psyche was undeveloped. O u t s i d e the f i e l d s of p s y c h o l o g y and p s y c h i a t r y , many a c c o u n t s of c r e a t i v e dream b r e a k t h r o u g h s have been found i n s c i e n c e and l i t e r a t u r e ( K r i p p n e r , 1981). Where h e a l i n g dreams have c o n c e n t r a t e d on problems of a p s y c h o l o g i c a l or p h y s i c a l n a t u r e , s t u d i e s of c r e a t i v e dream b r e a k t h r o u g h s have f o c u s e d on i n t e l l e c t u a l , m u s i c a l , and a r t i s t i c p roblems. Some s o l u t i o n s i n c r e a t i v e dream b r e a k t h r o u g h s have been g i v e n s y m b o l i c a l l y and need i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . O t h e r s have been g i v e n d i r e c t l y . I n c o n t r a s t , h e a l i n g dreams t r a d i t i o n a l l y have not needed i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . D u r i n g the 1960s, developments i n p s y c h o l o g y and m e d i c a l r e s e a r c h c r e a t e d an environment t h a t was no l o n g e r c l o s e d t o h e a l i n g and c r e a t i v e dream b r e a k t h r o u g h s . C a r l M e i e r ' s (1967) w r i t i n g s on the temple h e a l i n g s of a n c i e n t Greece r e v i v e d an i n t e r e s t i n h e a l i n g dreams i n p s y c h o l o g y and ps y c h o s o m a t i c m e d i c i n e ( S a b i n i , 1981). L a b o r a t o r y r e s e a r c h e r s were b e g i n n i n g t o st u d y the e f f e c t s of dreaming on problem s o l v i n g which encouraged a r e v i e w of a n e c d o t a l a c c o u n t s of c r e a t i v e b r e a k t h r o u g h dreams i n s c i e n c e and l i t e r a t u r e ( C a r t w r i g h t , 1979). R e s e a r c h e r s , i n v e s t i g a t i n g the f u n c t i o n of the b r a i n , were d i s c o v e r i n g the r o l e of the r i g h t hemisphere i n c r e a t i v i t y and dreams ( O r s t e i n , 1972; Stone, 1977). However, modern r e s e a r c h e r s have not made a d i s t i n c t i o n between the 7 symbolic problem-solving experience and clear d i r e c t breakthroughs which need no interpretation. The ancients made th i s d i s t i n c t i o n (Meier, 1967). Combining information from ancient temple healings, creative dream breakthroughs, and modern laboratory experiments on problem solving in dreams, some researchers have begun inducing dreams which reveal solutions to problems (Delaney, 1979; G a r f i e l d , 1974; Reed, 1976). These researchers use the terms "healing", "creative dream breakthrough", and "problem-solving dreams" interchangeably, assuming that a similar process occurs in each experience. Unfortunately, they also have not c l e a r l y d i f f e r e n t i a t e d between dreams which need interpretation and those in which insight occurs within the dream i t s e l f without the aid of interp r e t a t i o n . Dreams which reveal solutions to problems are an unexplored area, and more research on these dreams can hopefully illuminate the creative potential of the human psyche (Reed, 1976). The capacity of dreams to connect pieces of experience into new patterns of o r i g i n a l thought make them an excellent vehicle for c r e a t i v i t y (Ullman, 1975). 8 S i g n i f i c a n c e of the Study Few r e s e a r c h e r s and c l i n i c i a n s are aware that some dreams can r e v e a l s o l u t i o n s to problems w i t h i n the dream i t s e l f without the a i d of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . T h i s n e g l e c t i s p a r t i a l l y due to the way a l l dreams have been s t u d i e d . L i t e r a t u r e on dreams before 1953 p r i m a r i l y came from c l i n i c a l r e p o r t s of i n d i v i d u a l s i n therapy. Because of the v a r i o u s t h e o r i e s i n p s y c h i a t r y and psychology competing f o r a t t e n t i o n , these accounts were u s u a l l y c o l o u r e d by t h e o r e t i c a l b i a s e s . S c i e n t i f i c r e s e a r c h e r s ignored these r e p o r t s and d i s m i s s e d the whole area of dreams and fa n t a s y as being unworthy of s c i e n t i f i c i n v e s t i g a t i o n . Psychology had become b e h a v i o u r i s t i c and had moved away from the study of i n t e r i o r l i f e ( K l i n g e r , 1971; S i n g e r , 1966; Stone, 1977). Dreams and f a n t a s i e s were n e g l e c t e d , because they c o u l d not be d i r e c t l y observed, measured, and c o n t r o l l e d ( R y c r o f t , 1979). The imaginal was looked upon with s u s p i c i o n or as a means to i n v e s t i g a t e other phenomena (Watkins, 1976). In 1953, s c i e n t i s t s ended t h e i r moratorium on the study of dreams when two p h y s i o l o g i s t s , A s e r i n s k y and Kleitman, d i s c o v e r e d that r a p i d eye movement (REM) o c c u r r e d d u r i n g dreaming. The e l u s i v e phenomenon of dreaming c o u l d now be i n v e s t i g a t e d i n the l a b o r a t o r y with no lapse i n time from the dream experience to the r e p o r t . 9 Because of the emphasis on what i s measurable, th e s e s t u d i e s c o n c e n t r a t e d on the p h y s i o l o g i c a l c o r r e l a t e s of dreaming and a n a l y s i s of dream c o n t e n t . They d i s c o v e r e d t h a t everyone dreams f o u r t o f i v e dreams per n i g h t w i t h each dream f o c u s i n g on d i f f e r e n t a s p e c t s of the same r e c e n t waking e x p e r i e n c e (Dement & K l e i t m a n , 1957; Dement & W o l p e r t , 1958). R e s e a r c h e r s a l s o found t h a t t h e r e i s a need t o dream. T h i s was shown i n s t u d i e s where s u b j e c t s were p r e v e n t e d from dreaming. These i n d i v i d u a l s would make up f o r l o s t REM s l e e p by dreaming more the f o l l o w i n g n i g h t (Luce, 1974). The l a s t t h r e e decades of l a b o r a t o r y r e s e a r c h have demonstrated t h a t dreaming i s a b i o l o g i c a l n e c e s s i t y and a s u b j e c t worthy of i n v e s t i g a t i o n , but many q u e s t i o n s remain unanswered. By f o c u s i n g on what i s measurable, s c i e n t i s t s have f a i l e d t o u n d e r s t a n d the meaning of the dream f o r the i n d i v i d u a l ( C a r t w r i g h t , 1979; F o u l k e s & V o g e l , 1974;• L a b r u z z a , 1978; O ' N e l l , 1976). P r i v a t e meanings have not been s t u d i e d , p a r t l y because of the r e l u c t a n c e of r e s e a r c h e r s t o become i n v o l v e d i n s u b j e c t i v e d a t a ( F o u l k e s & V o g e l , 1974). The s c i e n t i f i c c r e d o which d i s t a n c e s the r e s e a r c h e r from the s u b j e c t b e i n g s t u d i e d p r e v e n t s the study of meaning (W a t k i n s , 1976). The impasse f e l t by many i n the f i e l d of dream r e s e a r c h has f o r c e d many r e s e a r c h e r s t o s t u d y dreams o u t s i d e the l a b o r a t o r y ( U l l m a n , 1981). There i s s t i l l a h e s i t a t i o n t o 10 d i s c a r d the s c i e n t i f i c method c o m p l e t e l y . R e s e a r c h e r s a r e caught between the narrow f o c u s of the s c i e n t i f i c method and the u n r e l i a b i l i t y of a n e c d o t a l r e p o r t s . There i s a need t o know moire about dreams and f a n t a s y and t h e i r p o t e n t i a l f o r h e l p i n g . Dreams and f a n t a s y have been used i n p e r s o n a l t h e r a p y s i n c e the time of F r e u d and more r e c e n t l y i n c a r e e r c o u n s e l l i n g (Morgan & S k o v h o l t , 1977). I n s t e a d of v i e w i n g imagery as r e p r e s s e d w i s h e s , modern r e s e a r c h e r s have begun t o see t h e i r p o s i t i v e , c r e a t i v e , and s t r e s s - r e d u c i n g q u a l i t i e s ( K l i n g e r , 1971; S i n g e r , 1966). By r e v e a l i n g emotions and t h o u g h t s t h a t may have gone u n n o t i c e d , dreams and f a n t a s y h e l p t o i n t e g r a t e the p e r s o n a l i t y and a n t i c i p a t e the f u t u r e (Jung, 1933). Because of the i n c r e a s e d awareness t h a t imagery i s a r i c h s o u r c e of i n f o r m a t i o n f o r the i n d i v i d u a l , i t s use has r i s e n c o n s i d e r a b l y i n the l a s t decade. R e s e a r c h has shown t h a t i n t e n s e f o c u s i n g on an e m o t i o n a l l y r e l e v a n t i s s u e can produce dreams which r e v e a l s o l u t i o n s t o problems (Evans, 1983; K r i p p n e r , 1981; May, 1975). However, the emphasis p l a c e d on dreams n e e d i n g i n t e r p r e t a t i o n has o b s c u r e d the e x i s t e n c e of d i r e c t b r e a k t h r o u g h s and h e a l i n g i n p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams. Therapy, which by i t s v e r y n a t u r e i s growth e n h a n c i n g , c o u l d c r e a t e t h e p o t e n t i a l f o r b r e a k t h r o u g h dreams t o o c c u r . R e seachers have begun i n d u c i n g s y m b o l i c and non-symbolic p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams w i t h o u t u n d e r s t a n d i n g the phenomenon 11 and i t s meaning f o r the i n d i v i d u a l . The experience i s , t h e r e f o r e , only known through manipulation and c o n t r o l ( C o l a i z z i , 1978). A c l e a r d i s t i n c t i o n has not been made between pr o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams needing i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and those where the s o l u t i o n i s found w i t h i n the dream d i r e c t l y . The a n c i e n t Greeks made t h i s s e p a r a t i o n . The c l e a r , d i r e c t breakthrough dream may be experienced d i f f e r e n t l y by the i n d i v i d u a l . A complete d e s c r i p t i o n of t h i s experience b e f o r e , d u r i n g , and a f t e r the dream has never been f u l l y i n v e s t i g a t e d . Approach to the q u e s t i o n Dream r e s e a r c h i n the l a b o r a t o r y has f o l l o w e d the procedures used i n n e u r o p h y s i o l o g i c a l s t u d i e s of s l e e p . These methods s t r e s s m a n i p u l a t i o n and c o n t r o l , r a t h e r than d e s c r i p t i o n of the phenomenon as i t i s l i v e d . D espite the l i m i t a t i o n s of s c i e n t i f i c methodology, there has been a r e l u c t a n c e to embrace q u a l i t a t i v e methods because of t h e i r l a c k of measurement and c o n t r o l s . A paradox i s c r e a t e d i n which only q u a n t i f i a b l e m a t e r i a l i s v a l i d , and experience i s excluded from s t u d i e s i n psychology ( C o l a i z z i , 1978). Foulkes and Vogel (1974), i n t h e i r review of the s t a t u s of l a b o r a t o r y r e s e a r c h , understood the dilemma f a c i n g r e s e a r c h e r s , but s t a t e d t h at t h i s concern should not i n t e r f e r e with a system of a n a l y s i s which a s s i s t s i n the understanding of dreams. 1 2 A v a r i e t y o f q u a l i t a t i v e a p p r o a c h e s may have t h e r i g o u r ' n e c e s s a r y f o r r e s e a r c h on dreams, but one t h a t i s d i r e c t l y r e l e v a n t t o t h e s t u d y of meaning i s t h e e x i s t e n t i a l -p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l method. By a s k i n g what t h e e x p e r i e n c e means t o t h e p e r s o n , t h e r e s e a r c h e r d i s c o v e r s s i m i l a r themes a c r o s s i n d i v i d u a l s . From t h e s e themes, an e x h a u s t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n i s f o r m u l a t e d w h i c h r e v e a l s an e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e o f t h e e x p e r i e n c e . The phenomenon i s n o t m a n i p u l a t e d o r p r e d i c t e d , b ut i s d e s c r i b e d as i t i s . U s i n g t h e e x i s t e n t i a l - p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l method, t h i s s t u d y w i l l a t t e m p t t o d e s c r i b e t h e b r e a k t h r o u g h dream e x p e r i e n c e and t h e meaning i t has f o r t h e i n d i v i d u a l s who have l i v e d i t . D e f i n i t i o n s 1. Symbol: An image i n a dream u s u a l l y w i t h more t h a n one meaning. 2. Dreams n e e d i n g i n t e r p r e t a t i o n ( sometimes c a l l e d s y m b o l i c d r e a m s ) : dreams w h i c h have u n c l e a r symbols and s t o r y l i n e and need t o be i n t e r p r e t e d t o u n d e r s t a n d t h e i r m e aning. 3. D i r e c t dreams (sometimes c a l l e d n o n - s y m b o l i c d r e a m s ) : Dreams w h i c h have c l e a r s y m b o l s and s t o r y l i n e and need no i n t e r p r e t a t i o n t o u n d e r s t a n d t h e i r m e aning. The dreamer i m m e d i a t e l y knows what t h e dream means. 4 . P r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams: Dreams w h i c h r e v e a l s o l u t i o n s t o 13 problems the i n d i v i d u a l has been s t r u g g l i n g with. The answers may be given s y m b o l i c a l l y or d i r e c t l y . Symbolic dreams need i n t e r p r e t a t i o n to gain i n s i g h t . D i r e c t dreams do not. 5. Breakthrough dreams (sometimes c a l l e d t r a n s f o r m a t i v e dreams): Problem-solving dreams which r e v e a l the s o l u t i o n d i r e c t l y . The person awakens f e e l i n g completion and i n s i g h t without the a i d of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Because of the l a c k of i n f o r m a t i o n on these dreams, i t i s unclear whether a l l d i r e c t p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams are breakthroughs, or i f there i s a d d i t i o n a l c r i t e r i a such as inten s e emotions and r e l e a s e . 6. H e a l i n g dreams (Another term sometimes used f o r breakthrough dreams): A n c i e n t c u l t u r e s o r i g i n a l l y used t h i s l a b e l f o r dreams i n which a p h y s i c a l or p s y c h o l o g i c a l cure o c c u r r e d w i t h i n the dream i t s e l f . L a t e r , the term was a l s o used f o r dreams which r e v e a l e d a message or p r e s c r i p t i o n about the a i l m e n t . Whether a message or a cure, these dreams were always d i r e c t and needed no i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . However, because of the l a c k of r e s e a r c h on h e a l i n g and breakthrough dreams, some re s e a r c h e r s are u s i n g the term " h e a l i n g " f o r non-symbolic as w e l l as symbolic p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams (Delaney, 1979; G a r f i e l d , 1974). 7. C r e a t i v e breakthrough dreams: Problem-solving dreams which r e v e a l s o l u t i o n s t o problems of an i n t e l l e c t u a l , a r t i s t i c , or m u s i c a l n a t u r e . These s o l u t i o n s a r e r e v e a l e d s y m b o l i c a l l y or d i r e c t l y . 8. Induced dreams: P r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams brought about t h r o u g h v a r i o u s t e c h n i q u e s such as s e l f - s u g g e s t i o n and h y p n o s i s . Most of the r e s u l t i n g dreams a r e s y m b o l i c , r a t h e r than d i r e c t . 9. Dream c o n t r o l ( s i m i l a r t o dream i n d u c t i o n ) : D e l i b e r a t e l y i n f l u e n c i n g the c o n t e n t of the dream b e f o r e s l e e p by u s i n g t e c h n i q u e s such as s e l f - s u g g e s t i o n and h y p n o s i s . Content i n f l u e n c e d by dream c o n t r o l can range from s i n g l e e lements or images t o complete dream t o p i c s . 10. L u c i d dreams: Dreams i n which i n d i v i d u a l s a r e aware t h a t they a r e dreaming. 11. R a p i d eye movement (REM): R a p i d movement of the eyes,both h o r i z o n t a l l y and v e r t i c a l l y , t h a t o c c u r s d u r i n g dreaming e v e r y 90 minutes t h r o u g h o u t the n i g h t . 15 CHAPTER I I : Review o f t h e L i t e r a t u r e The f o l l o w i n g l i t e r a t u r e r e v i e w f o c u s e s on dreams t h a t r e v e a l s o l u t i o n s t o p r o b l e m s . B e c a use of t h e d e a r t h o f m a t e r i a l on b r e a k t h r o u g h dream e x p e r i e n c e s , t h i s r e v i e w w i l l i n c l u d e b o t h s y m b o l i c and n o n - s y m b o l i c p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams. I n f o r m a t i o n on p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams i s s c a t t e r e d t h r o u g h o u t v a r i o u s d i s c i p l i n e s s u c h as m e d i c i n e , r e l i g i o n , a n t h r o p o l o g y , p s y c h o l o g y , s c i e n c e , l i t e r a t u r e , and m u s i c . The s e a r c h f o r m a t e r i a l i s c o m p l i c a t e d by t h e f a c t t h a t few d e s c r i p t i o n s d i f f e r e n t i a t e c l e a r l y between s y m b o l i c and n o n - s y m b o l i c e x p e r i e n c e s , and d i f f e r e n t names a r e u s e d f o r t h e s e dreams. F o r example, r e l i g i o n , a n t h r o p o l o g y , and m e d i c i n e u s u a l l y use t h e t e r m " h e a l i n g dream," whereas p s y c h o l o g y , s c i e n c e , m u s i c and l i t e r a t u r e u s u a l l y use t h e t e r m " c r e a t i v e dream b r e a k t h r o u g h s . " The l i t e r a t u r e i n c l i n i c a l p s y c h o l o g y f r e q u e n t l y u s e s t h e term " t r a n s f o r m a t i v e " and r e s e r v e s t h i s l a b e l f o r dreams w h i c h a r e n o n - s y m b o l i c and r e s o l v e t h e p r o b l e m w i t h i n t h e dream i t s e l f w i t h o u t t h e a i d of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . I t r e m a i n s u n c l e a r whether t h e s t u d i e s i n t h e s e v a r i o u s d i s c i p l i n e s a r e a l l i n v e s t i g a t i n g t h e same phenomenon. The r e v i e w i s o r g a n i z e d i n t o f o u r s e c t i o n s . The f i r s t s e c t i o n d i s c u s s e s t h e l i t e r a t u r e on h e a l i n g dreams w h i c h d a t e f r o m t h e w r i t i n g s of a n c i e n t c i v i l i z a t i o n s t o t h e r e c e n t 1 6 s t u d i e s i n psychosomatic medicine. The second s e c t i o n looks at c r e a t i v e dream breakthroughs in s c i e n c e , l i t e r a t u r e , and music and how t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n has encouraged r e s e a r c h e r s i n psychology to study problem s o l v i n g i n the l a b o r a t o r y . The t h i r d s e c t i o n reviews the work of r e s e a r c h e r s who have begun ind u c i n g these dreams. The f o u r t h s e c t i o n d i s c u s s e s the i n f o r m a t i o n i n the c l i n i c a l l i t e r a t u r e . The chapter concludes with a summary of these four s e c t i o n s , f o l l o w e d by a short i n t r o d u c t i o n of the e x i s t e n t i a l - p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l method. He a l i n g Dreams I c r i e d unto the Lord and He hearkened unto me. He has cured the s u f f e r i n g from my h e a r t . I l a i d me down, I s l e p t , I dreamt and h e l p was Granted me. The above Apocryphal S y r i a c psalm a t t e s t s to the value and f a i t h the a n c i e n t world p l a c e d on h e a l i n g dreams (de Becker, 1968, p. 145). Dreams and v i s i o n s were ways the gods communicated d i r e c t l y to g i v e guidance and cure d i s e a s e . Because of t h i s a t t i t u d e , s a n c t u a r i e s were developed to c r e a t e an environment conducive towards p r e p a r i n g i n d i v i d u a l s f o r these e x p e r i e n c e s . H i s t o r i c a l r e c o rds of r i t u a l i z e d dream h e a l i n g s are found i n I n d i a , China, Japan, Greece, the Middle E a s t , North A f r i c a , 1 7 and Europe (de Becker, 1968). A l l the s e r e p o r t s a r e s u r p r i s i n g l y s i m i l a r . In most c a s e s a person was c a l l e d i n a dream t o go t o a h e a l i n g s a n c t u a r y . At the s a n c t u a r y , the i n d i v i d u a l would p r e p a r e f o r the dream by f i r s t t a k i n g a r i t u a l b a t h t o p u r i f y body and s o u l ( M e i e r , 1967). A f t e r the c l e a n s i n g , a ceremony was performed which c r e a t e d a p r o p e r frame of mind f o r the . h e a l i n g e x p e r i e n c e . The i n d i v i d u a l would then be a l l o w e d t o s l e e p i n a s p e c i a l chamber. D u r i n g the n i g h t , h e a l i n g would o c c u r i f the i n c u b a n t had a dream of the h e a l i n g god or s a i n t . In some c a s e s , the god would p r e s c r i b e p a r t i c u l a r remedies t o be ta k e n t o e f f e c t a c u r e . No i n t e r p r e t a t i o n was n e c e s s a r y . The dream i t s e l f p r o v i d e d the c u r e or message. In e a r l i e r c e n t u r i e s , a dream c o u l d o n l y be c a l l e d a h e a l i n g dream i f the c u r e was e x p e r i e n c e d i n the dream i t s e l f . L a t e r c e n t u r i e s a l l o w e d f o r dreams i n which a remedy or p r e s c r i p t i o n was g i v e n t o the dreamer ( M e i e r , 1967). A l t h o u g h t h e s e r i t u a l s were p r a c t i s e d i n v a r i o u s p a r t s of the w o r l d , t h e c u l t of A s c l e p i u s i n Greece was the most e x t e n s i v e . At i t s h e i g h t , from the s i x t h c e n t u r y B.C. t o the f o u r t h c e n t u r y A.D., t h e r e were 420 temples d e d i c a t e d t o A s c l e p i u s , the god of h e a l i n g . I n f o r m a t i o n r e g a r d i n g t h e s e c u r e s came from Greek l i t e r a t u r e and i n s c r i p t i o n s of s t e l a e found o u t s i d e t h e s e s a n c t u a r i e s where t h e dreams were o r i g i n a l l y r e c o r d e d . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , the s t e l a e d i d not go 18 i n t o d e t a i l , r e c o r d i n g only the person's name and the cure t h a t r e s u l t e d from the dream. More d e t a i l i s found i n l i t e r a t u r e and the w r i t i n g s of Pausanias who wrote of these experiences d u r i n g h i s t r a v e l s i n Greece i n 165 A.D. (Meier, 1967). Meier (1967) reminded modern readers that although the records at' A s c l e p i u s spoke of p h y s i c a l cures, the Greeks d i d not see a s p l i t between body and s o u l . During these experiences, the i n d i v i d u a l d i d not merely witness a cure, but experienced i t d u r i n g the dream i t s e l f . Meier e x p l a i n e d that the p a t i e n t , i l l n e s s , and doctor or god underwent a t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of meaning which made h e a l i n g a p o s s i b i l i t y . Ancient c u l t u r e s b e l i e v e d that i l l n e s s appeared, because the person l a c k e d something. The dream made the person whole ag a i n . The German phrase f o r "what i s your i l l n e s s ? " r e f l e c t s t h i s b e l i e f . T r a n s l a t e d d i r e c t l y , "was f e h l t Ihnen?" means "what do you l a c k ? " There have been v a r i o u s e x p l a n a t i o n s as to why these temple h e a l i n g s were e f f e c t i v e . Seventeenth century w r i t e r s b e l i e v e d demons, not gods, were the agents, whereas n i n e t e e n t h century w r i t e r s a t t r i b u t e d these h e a l i n g s to s p i r i t s or magnetism (Stam & Spanos, 1982). Some modern w r i t e r s speak of the atmosphere at the temples as s t i m u l a t i n g the n a t u r a l h e a l i n g a b i l i t i e s of the i n d i v i d u a l (Achterberg, 1985). Others c l a i m that hypnotism was used d u r i n g the ceremonies 1 9 (MacHovec, 1979; Pulos, 1980). Stam and Spanos (1982) argued that the c l a i m s f o r hypnosis are unfounded and that the atmosphere at the temples was not as e l a b o r a t e as most s t u d i e s have i n d i c a t e d . Researchers, arguing on the side of hypnosis, u s u a l l y emphasize the p e a c e f u l l o c a t i o n of the temples, saying they were l o c a t e d on mountain tops or i n other areas f a r from the c i t i e s . They imply that the p e a c e f u l l o c a t i o n s and the b u i l d up of e x p e c t a t i o n s d u r i n g the lengthy journeys made the i n d i v i d u a l more s u s c e p t i b l e to hypnosis. However, excavations of these temples have shown that many of the l o c a t i o n s were i n the c i t i e s , not on mountain tops or i n other secluded areas. I n d i v i d u a l s would not have to t r a v e l great d i s t a n c e s . The i m p l i c a t i o n t h at the atmosphere c r e a t e d the necessary c o n d i t i o n s f o r h e a l i n g i s a l s o not a v a l i d argument, because many of the h e a l i n g s o c c u r r e d o u t s i d e these temples i n people's homes and elsewhere. Some sources s t a t e t h a t i n d i v i d u a l s were screened before they were admitted, whereas others mention that anyone was allowed to p a r t i c i p a t e , but only the mo r a l l y prepared were healed (Stam & Spanos, 1982). There has a l s o been as assumption that the c l e a n s i n g r i t u a l s and the p a r t i c i p a t i o n of incubants i n hymn s i n g i n g and ch a n t i n g produced a hypnotic s t a t e . Stam and Spanos (1982) mentioned that b a t h i n g was a common occurrence i n a l l Greek 20 c u l t s w i t h no s p e c i a l q u a l i t i e s a t t r i b u t e d t o the water a t the s e t e m p l e s . Hymn s i n g i n g and c h a n t i n g were performed by members of the A s c l e p i a n c u l t , not the i n c u b a n t s . I n c u b a n t s were a l s o not r e q u i r e d t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n ce r e m o n i e s , wear s p e c i a l c l o t h e s , or f a s t from fo o d or a l c o h o l . P r i e s t s d i d not guide i n d i v i d u a l s t h r o u g h t r a n c e s t a t e s and g i v e h y p n o t i c s u g g e s t i o n s . They were t h e r e t o c a r r y out the t r e a t m e n t s p r e s c r i b e d i n the dreams. Stam and Spanos (1982) viewed the h e a l i n g s i n a c u l t u r a l c o n t e x t . I n a n c i e n t Greece and o t h e r c u l t u r e s , t h e s e dream h e a l i n g s were r a r e l y q u e s t i o n e d . The s o c i e t y r e i n f o r c e d the b e l i e f s of the i n d i v i d u a l , and h e a l i n g was c o n s i d e r e d a common o c c u r r e n c e . The c u l t u r e c r e a t e d the atmosphere of e x p e c t a t i o n t h a t made the dreams a p o s s i b i l i t y . R e l a t e d t o i n c u b a t i o n and h e a l i n g a r e the i n i t i a t i o n dreams of v a r i o u s c u l t u r e s . E l i a d e (1966) spoke of the i n i t i a t i o n r i t e s of the S i b e r i a n shamans where the i n d i v i d u a l remains i n an u n c o n s c i o u s s t a t e f o r days. D u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d , the i n i t i a t e has a dream where t h e body i s dismembered and then renewed a g a i n by s p i r i t h e a l e r s . T h i s theme of t r a n s f o r m a t i o n and r e b i r t h i s r e p e a t e d i n most shamanic c u l t u r e s . The Ojibwa c u l t u r e a l s o used dreams f o r i n i t i a t i o n i n t o a d u l t h o o d ( H a l l o w e l l , 1966). Boys between the ages of t e n and f i f t e e n y e a r s f a s t f o r s i x t o seven days. T h i s p e r i o d would 21 prepare them for dreams and visions of s p i r i t guides that would give them personal power. These experiences were seen as essential in giving the individual d i r e c t contact with the s p i r i t world. The theme of power i s found throughout various cultures. Achterberg (1985) pointed out that, in our western culture, i l l n e s s i s thought to come from outside the body, and the healer's role i s to remove, destroy, or protect the body from the invader. To the shamanic cultures, the focus is not on the external invader, but on strengthening the personal power of the patient. It i s believed that the weakened power of the person allowed the i l l n e s s to occur. The aim i s to restore balance and become whole again. As in the incubation ceremonies, i l l n e s s i s seen as the lack of something and the return to health as restoration of wholeness. Achterberg (1985) also stated that there are two ways images can heal. In the f i r s t instance, the person's imagination communicates d i r e c t l y with the tissues of the body. She c a l l e d t h i s preverbal imagery, because i t uses d i f f e r e n t neural pathways than language. The second way uses transpersonal communication from one person to another. Science has not yet discovered the manner of i t s transmission. The controversy continues over whether i t i s the expectations of the individual that cause the images to heal or the a b i l i t y of the human mind to tap into other lev e l s of existence. 22 Accounts of h e a l i n g dreams that have not been induced are r a r e . Marjasch (1966) gave an example that i s unique because of the d e s c r i p t i o n of f e e l i n g s b e f o r e , d u r i n g , and a f t e r the dream. Therese of L i s i e u x , a C a r m e l i t e S i s t e r i n the nin e t e e n t h c e n t u r y , was e x p e r i e n c i n g i n t e n s e t u r m o i l r egarding her d e s i r e t o a d j u s t to the c l o i s t e r e d l i f e of the Ca r m e l i t e Order and her equal d e s i r e to be a p r i e s t , m i s s i o n a r y , or martyr. She wanted to do something great with her l i f e and f e l t that she was not doing enough. She wished f o r a "great" dream to calm her s o u l , but f e l t she was too unimportant to r e c e i v e one. The evening before the dream, she was e x p e r i e n c i n g an "inn e r storm that rocked her to s l e e p " (p. 158). In the dream, she found h e r s e l f i n a g a l l e r y f i l l e d with people. Standing near her were three v e i l e d C a r m e l i t e S i s t e r s whom she immediately knew were from heaven. She longed to see the face of one of these s i s t e r s . She then walked over to the s i s t e r and l i f t e d the v e i l over h e r s e l f and t h i s other person. I n s t a n t l y , she recog n i z e d her as the founder of the Carm e l i t e Order i n France. She f e l t s u r p r i s e at seeing her, because she never thought about t h i s woman i n her waking l i f e . The s i s t e r s miled and k i s s e d Therese with a face f i l l e d with r a d i a n t l i g h t . She then t o l d Therese that God w i l l c a l l f o r her soon. Therese asked her whether God wanted her to do more with her l i f e . The s i s t e r answered with an even more r a d i a n t face and 23 embraced her. She then s a i d that God asks no more of you. The s i s t e r withdrew and Therese f e l t c e r t a i n and calm that there was an a f t e r l i f e . She a l s o f e l t l o v e d and cared f o r . When she awoke, she f e l t an immediate sense of r e l i e f and a sense t h a t a great weight had been l i f t e d from her s o u l . The touch of the s i s t e r was f e l t f o r days a f t e r w a r d s . Her intense t u r m o i l was completely gone, and she f e l t a c e r t a i n t y about her l i f e that she had never known b e f o r e . Marjasch (1966) c a l l e d Ther6se*s experience a p e r s o n a l I-thou r e l a t i o n s h i p with her God which transformed doubt i n t o c e r t a i n t y . Although these dreams seem to come suddenly without warning, there i s a long p e r i o d before the experience that c r e a t e s a readiness to r e c e i v e . She urged r e s e a r c h e r s and t h e r a p i s t s to be aware of these dreams and to be c a u t i o u s about imposing hasty e x p l a n a t i o n s as to t h e i r cause. L i t t l e i s known at present about t h e i r nature and f u r t h e r r e s e a r c h i s necessary. Jung (1961) spoke about an experience he had while l e c t u r i n g on hypnosis. He brought i n a p a t i e n t whose l e g had been p a r a l y z e d f o r seventeen y e a r s . She began to r e l a t e a l l the d e t a i l s of her i l l n e s s . Jung i n t e r r u p t e d s aying that he would begin to hypnotize her. H i s sentence was b a r e l y completed when she immediately f e l l i n t o a t r a n c e . Jung was shocked, because he had not begun the hypnosis. She t a l k e d without s t o p p i n g f o r t h i r t y minutes about her dreams which 24 Jung c a l l e d remarkable experiences. He t r i e d to awaken her, but she did not wake up for another 10 minutes. When she f i n a l l y awoke, she was giddy and confused. She then ye l l e d out that she was cured and began walking without her crutches. He t o l d the students that hypnosis had cured her, but mentioned la t e r that he did not know what had occurred. He was sure that the i l l n e s s would return, but t h i s never happened. Like Marjasch (1966), he asked researchers to free themselves from th e o r e t i c a l bias and be aware that i l l n e s s and suffering can transcend to a universal l e v e l where cure i s possible (Jung, 1933). Thomas (1978) interviewed 40 adults who had experienced a dream which d i r e c t l y related to and preceded a personal l i f e change. This study i s the only one found in the l i t e r a t u r e which investigated naturally occurring healing or problem-solving dreams by interviewing individuals not in therapy. However, most of these people had dreams which needed interpretation. Only one of Thomas' subjects had what Corriere and Hart (1977) c a l l e d a breakthrough dream experience which has intense emotions, clear story l i n e s , d i r e c t action of the dreamer, and clear symbols. Unfortunately, t h i s study did not give transcripts of the dreams to compare the differences. Sixty percent of his subjects reported that their changes were the most important changes of their l i v e s . Eighty-seven 25 percent of the individuals f e l t the most important aspect of the experience was the change in values, attitudes, and psychological functioning, with forty-seven percent mentioning changes in s p i r i t u a l attitude as paramount. The people with more profound changes had d i f f i c u l t y finding words to describe what had happened to them. F i f t y percent of these individuals f e l t stress and intense desire to find an answer before the dream occurred. Thomas stated that two of his subjects deliberately induced their dreams, and twenty-three may have unconsciously induced their experiences by continuously brooding over their problem. Thomas also added that there may be l i t t l e difference between consciously and unconsciously inducing dreams that reveal solutions to a problem. However, thi s statement may hold true for the symbolic problem-solving dream and not the breakthrough experience with i t s release and completion of the problem within the dream i t s e l f . Further research i s needed to investigate the difference between naturally occurring and induced dreams. Psychosomatic medicine i s beginning to investigate the healing t r a d i t i o n s of Asclepius and i s asking about the relevance of dreams in determining diagnosis, prognosis, and attitude towards healing. Sabini (1981) studied 60 anecdotal dream reports that either revealed symptoms pr i o r to i l l n e s s or gave evidence of recovery before i t was consciously known. Unlike other studies in psychosomatic dream research, which 26 analyzed psychodynamic p a t t e r n s i n s e r i e s of dreams, t h i s study emphasized s i n g l e dreams which d i r e c t l y gave i n f o r m a t i o n about the i l l n e s s . However, the dreams i n t h i s r e p o r t gave messages of i l l n e s s or recovery, r a t h e r than h e a l i n g or pr o b l e m - s o l v i n g w i t h i n the dream i t s e l f . S a b i n i (1981) concluded t h a t dreams are an important source of i n f o r m a t i o n f o r the p a t i e n t and doctor that has gone untapped f o r c e n t u r i e s . She suggested that medical c e n t r e s use dreams i n t h e i r r e g u l a r intake procedures t o promote more awareness of these dreams. Research on h e a l i n g i n dreams i s an unexplored area and more s t u d i e s are needed to understand the meaning these dreams have f o r i n d i v i d u a l s . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , d e s c r i p t i o n s of h e a l i n g w i t h i n the dream are r a r e , and r e s e a r c h e r s have not made a c l e a r d i s t i n c t i o n between the experiences that need i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and those that do not. C r e a t i v e Breakthrough Dreams C r e a t i v e dream breakthroughs have r e c e i v e d more a t t e n t i o n than h e a l i n g i n dreams. Evidence of these experiences comes from the r e p o r t s of well-known s c i e n t i s t s , w r i t e r s , musicians, and a r t i s t s . These breakthroughs have t r a d i t i o n a l l y been l i n k e d with the study of c r e a t i v i t y and the process that i n d i v i d u a l s undergo when s t r u g g l i n g to f i n d a s o l u t i o n t o a 27 problem. Very l i t t l e is known, however, about the creative breakthrough dreams of the average person and whether the creative process can be compared with the experience of psychological and physical healing in dreams. When examining the reports of creative breakthroughs, i t becomes clear that certain patterns exist which set these experiences apart from other dreams (Dreistadt, 1971; Harman & Rheingold, 1984; Krippner, 1981). These patterns are similar to the stages of the creative process as described by Wallas (1926). The f i r s t stage is a preparation period where the person works intensely on a problem, usually for a lengthy period of time. Individuals have described a strong desire and a determination to examine a l l possible solutions. The amount of time working on the problem varies, but the intensity i s always present. May (1975) added that the creative act is always an encounter. This encounter may be with an idea or v i s i o n , and the involvement may be voluntary or involuntary, but i t i s always "the degree of absorption" or intensity that i s most important (p. 40). The insights "come only in those areas in which we are intensely committed and on which we concentrate in our waking conscious experience" (p. 104). May also stated that the individual may be continuously working on the problem or have periods where the mind i s not consciously focusing. 28 U n c o n s c i o u s l y , the person may s t i l l be w r e s t l i n g with the i s s u e . The second stage i s an i n c u b a t i o n p e r i o d where the person stops working on a s o l u t i o n and becomes i n v o l v e d i n other a c t i v i t i e s such as p l a y , f a n t a s y , or dreaming. In the case of breakthroughs o c c u r r i n g i n dreams, dreaming i s the i n c u b a t i o n p e r i o d . People are u s u a l l y working on the problem r i g h t up to the time of the dream experience. D r e i s t a d t (1971) c a l l e d the end of the p r e p a r a t i o n p e r i o d a time of massive f a t i g u e which f o r c e s the body to r e s t . May (1975) cautioned t h a t the i n d i v i d u a l i n t h i s stage i s not p a s s i v e , but r e c e p t i v e . I t i s a time where a c t i v e l i s t e n i n g f o r an answer i s p o s s i b l e . The t h i r d stage i s the i l l u m i n a t i o n phase where i n s i g h t o c c u r s . In dreams, the i n s i g h t can occur i n the dream i t s e l f or afterwards while awake. Ideas seem to come with ease as i f i n s p i r e d by a f o r c e o u t s i d e the s e l f . T h i s f e e l i n g of being f l o o d e d with new ideas l e d a n c i e n t c i v i l i z a t i o n s t o b e l i e v e that these breakthroughs came from a d i v i n e source. Some have d e s c r i b e d these moments as l i g h t n i n g b o l t s where new ideas f l a s h through the mind. Recently some r e s e a r c h e r s have had success with i n d u c i n g these breakthroughs (Delaney, 1979; G a r f i e l d , 1974; Reed, 1976). More s t u d i e s are needed to see i f these induced cases are the same as n a t u r a l l y o c c u r r i n g breakthroughs. 29 The f o u r t h stage i s the v e r i f i c a t i o n or e v a l u a t i o n phase where i n s i g h t s are t e s t e d or c a r r i e d out. T h i s i s the p e r i o d where the conscious mind works with the dream m a t e r i a l as a part n e r i n the proc e s s . Some ideas are completely d i s c a r d e d where others are kept i n pa r t or i n t o t a l . There are numerous examples of c r e a t i v e breakthroughs i n dreams which i l l u s t r a t e the p r o c e s s . Jung (1960) gave an example of an accountant s t r u g g l i n g to sol v e a f r a u d u l e n t bankruptcy. Answers would not s u r f a c e u n t i l one evening when he r e c e i v e d i n s i g h t i n a dream. Jung s t a t e d that a l l the t h i n k i n g which t r a n s p i r e s c o n s c i o u s l y can a l s o occur u n c o n s c i o u s l y to solve a problem. S o l u t i o n s can be given s y m b o l i c a l l y or d i r e c t l y . N i e l s Bohr's dream which r e v e a l e d the s t r u c t u r e of the atom i s an example of a symbolic breakthrough (Krippner & Hughes, 1970). He had been s t r u g g l i n g to d i s c o v e r the s t r u c t u r e of the atom when a dream occu r r e d that p r o v i d e d the answer. Bohr found himself on a sun made of burning gas. The p l a n e t s were r a c i n g by him r e v o l v i n g around the sun. They were a t t a c h e d to the sun by t h i n threads. The gases suddenly began to c o o l and then harden. When he awoke, he knew that the sun was the c e n t r e of the atom, and the p l a n e t s were the e l e c t r o n s . E l i a s Howe's dream, which help e d him invent the sewing machine, i s another example of a symbolic breakthrough (Krippner, 1981). For s e v e r a l y e a r s , Howe had been t r y i n g to 30 invent a lock s t i t c h sewing machine. He was f r u s t r a t e d , because he d i d not know where t o p l a c e the hole i n the needle. One evening he dreamt that he was captured by a t r i b e of n a t i v e s who took him to t h e i r k i n g . The king y e l l e d at him to f i n i s h the machine, or he would be k i l l e d . F r i g h t e n e d by t h i s t h r e a t , he i n t e n s e l y t r i e d to f i n d the answer. He,began to break out i n a c o l d sweat, and h i s hands and l e g s were q u i v e r i n g . No matter how hard he t r i e d , the answer would not come. The n a t i v e s then took him to be executed. He n o t i c e d that near the top of t h e i r spears were eye-shaped h o l e s . He suddenly r e a l i z e d that t h i s was the answer he had been se a r c h i n g f o r . He awoke and immediately f i n i s h e d h i s model of the sewing machine. Otto Loewi's dream that proved nervous impulses do not c o n t r o l the heartbeat d i r e c t l y i s an example of a d i r e c t breakthrough (Harman & Rheingold, 1984). Seventeen years e a r l i e r he had the hunch while t a l k i n g with a c o l l e a g u e , but he d i d n ' t know how he c o u l d prove h i s theory. The idea l a y dormant u n t i l years l a t e r when a dream r e v e a l e d an experimental d e s i g n . He awoke i n the middle of the ni g h t and s c r i b b l e d down some notes. When he awoke again i n the morning, he cou l d n ' t read h i s w r i t i n g . The next n i g h t the i n s i g h t came a g a i n , and he immediately went to h i s l a b o r a t o r y to perform the experiment. His d i s c o v e r y won him the Nobel P r i z e f o r p r o v i n g that chemicals t r a n s m i t the nerve impulses. 31 Another example of a d i r e c t breakthrough i s Mendeleev's dream which r e v e a l e d the P e r i o d i c Table of the Elements (Krippner, 1981). He had been t r y i n g to c a t e g o r i z e the elements and was exhausted when he went to bed one evening. In the dream, he saw a l l the elements in t h e i r p l a c e s . Awakening immediately, he wrote down what he had seen. E v e r y t h i n g was complete, except f o r one element. In the above symbolic and d i r e c t breakthroughs, the complete s o l u t i o n was r e v e a l e d . In some dreams only a p a r t i a l answer i s g i v e n . The i n d i v i d u a l must f i n i s h the problem while awake. U s u a l l y the breakthroughs of w r i t e r s and musicians are completed w i t h i n the dreams. Beethoven, Wagner, Brahms, Blake, S h e l l e y , and Stevenson a l l spoke about copying down, while awake, the i n s p i r a t i o n s given i n f u l l i n dreams and daydreams (Harman & Rheingold, 1984). In each of the above cases and many o t h e r s , the i n d i v i d u a l has an obsession with s o l v i n g the problem. Many people may wish and do have unusual experiences i n dreams, but are not i n t e n s e l y motivated to f i n d an answer to an i s s u e . I t i s the i n t e n s e d e s i r e along with long hours of s t r u g g l i n g with p o s s i b l e s o l u t i o n s that c r e a t e the pressure needed to induce these dreams ( D r e i s t a d t , 1971). I t i s not known why some dreams present the m a t e r i a l s y m b o l i c a l l y and others d i r e c t l y . D r e i s t a d t (1971) suggested that i n the symbolic cases the person may not have the 32 s p e c i f i c memory d e t a i l s to p r o v i d e a d i r e c t answer. C e r t a i n symbols are c r e a t e d at the r i g h t moment to give these b u r s t s of i n s i g h t . Jung (1960) c a l l e d these symbols of t r a n s f o r m a t i o n which are there to r e v e a l , not c o n c e a l , the i n f o r m a t i o n . Perhaps i n the d i r e c t dreams a d i f f e r e n t process i s working i n the psyche. Whether the i n f o r m a t i o n i s r e v e a l e d s y m b o l i c a l l y or d i r e c t l y , the e x i s t e n c e of c r e a t i v e breakthrough dreams i s c h a l l e n g i n g the b e l i e f of Freud (1913) and h i s f o l l o w e r s that i n d i v i d u a l s always regress to a c h i l d i s h , i l l o g i c a l mode of t h i n k i n g while dreaming (Simon, 1977). T h e i r assumption devalues n o n - l i n e a r t h i n k i n g and does not allow f o r the p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t l o g i c a l thought i s present i n dreams. Both l o g i c a l and n o n - l i n e a r ways of t h i n k i n g are o p e r a t i n g when i n s i g h t occurs w i t h i n the dream i t s e l f . Problem s o l v i n g while awake or a s l e e p u t i l i z e s both modes of thought (Stone, 1977). Stone mentioned that i n d i v i d u a l s who r e l y too h e a v i l y on e i t h e r mode are handicapped. Awareness of anecdotal r e p o r t s of breakthroughs and r e s e a r c h on the f u n c t i o n s of the r i g h t and l e f t b r a i n has s t i m u l a t e d the study of problem s o l v i n g i n the l a b o r a t o r y . Dream r e s e a r c h has shown that dreaming i s an a c t i v e , r a t h e r than p a s s i v e p e r i o d , with dream content a r e f l e c t i o n of p r e - s l e e p emotional m a t e r i a l (Breger, Hunter & Lane, 1971). Learning i s b e t t e r a f t e r REM s l e e p i f the m a t e r i a l i s 33 e m o t i o n a l l y r e l e v a n t and meaningful to the i n d i v i d u a l ( C a r t w r i g h t , 1979). I t i s not known whether some i n d i v i d u a l s are more prone to having breakthrough dreams than o t h e r s . Research on dream r e c a l l has demonstrated that convergers who are more a n a l y t i c a l i n t h e i r t h i n k i n g are poorer r e c a l l e r s than d i v e r g e r s who are more open-ended i n t h e i r reasoning (Evans, 1983). A study of a r t s , s c i e n c e , and e n g i n e e r i n g students has shown the a r t s students to be b e t t e r r e c a l l e r s (Schechter, Schmeidler & S t a a l , 1965). In t h i s same study, the students were given c r e a t i v i t y t e s t s , and there was a s t a t i s t i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e between the r e s u l t s of the t e s t and dream im a g i n a t i o n . C u l t u r a l awareness of dreams a l s o i n f l u e n c e s dream r e c a l l and may be r e l a t e d to the a b i l i t y to problem-solve i n dreams as has been shown by the Senoi c u l t u r e i n M a l a y s i a who have more dream r e c a l l than North Americans ( F i s s , 1979). The Senoi have a t r a d i t i o n of dream c o n t r o l which i s r e g u l a r l y used i n the f a m i l y . S t u d i e s i n the l a b o r a t o r y have not d i r e c t l y s t u d i e d c r e a t i v e breakthroughs, but have looked at p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g i n dreams. Dement (1974) gave 500 students 15 minutes to s o l v e a problem before s l e e p . The dreams were recorded the next morning and the students allowed to work on the problem f o r an a d d i t i o n a l 15 minutes. There were 1148 attempts at p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g , and o n l y 87 attempts were r e l a t e d to the 34 dream. Of these 87, 53 related d i r e c t l y and 34 i n d i r e c t l y . Only nine students found the correct answer. Cartwright (1974) hypothesized that the discouraging results of Dement's (1974) study could be attributed to the type of problem used. Looking at the anecdotal reports of creative breakthroughs, i t becomes evident that emotionally relevant material i s extremely important for problem-solving. To test t h i s idea, Cartwright gave subjects crossword puzzles, word-association tests, and story completions. The subjects were given 10 minutes to solve each of these problems and then were allowed to go about their regular a c t i v i t i e s for 3 1/2 hours. After t h i s period, they were given the problems again. At another session these same students were given another set of equally d i f f i c u l t problems with a 3 1/2 hour sleep period afterwards. The sleep period was early in the morning which gave the students more REM time than other periods of the night. After they slept, the problems were worked on again. The r e s u l t s showed no difference between the two groups in the word-association test and crossword puzzles. Dreaming did not increase the number of correct answers. The story completion answers, however, were s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t . After 3 1/2 hours of waking time, more subjects gave happy endings and solved the dilemmas in a way that gave them g r a t i f i c a t i o n . In some cases, t h i s g r a t i f i c a t i o n was at the expense of others. After sleep time, the s t o r i e s were less 35 s u c c e s s f u l with the events not working out f o r the i n d i v i d u a l . C a r t w r i g h t (1979) ca u t i o n e d r e s e a r c h e r s not to view these r e s u l t s i n a negative manner. The f i n d i n g s do show that the mind d i s c a r d s e m o t i o n a l l y i r r e l e v a n t m a t e r i a l d u r i n g s l e e p and r e t a i n s m a t e r i a l important to the person. The l e s s s u c c e s s f u l endings on the s t o r y completions c o u l d be i n t e r p r e t e d as the i n d i v i d u a l seeing a l l the p o s s i b i l i t i e s , no matter how negative, a f t e r p e r i o d s of dreaming. Cartw r i g h t (1979) and Evans (1983) both d i s c u s s e d the problems with l a b o r a t o r y r e s e a r c h . M o t i v a t i o n of the s u b j e c t s has not been taken i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n . The s u b j e c t s d i d not have an i n t e n s e d e s i r e to s o l v e the problems, because the i s s u e s were not e m o t i o n a l l y r e l e v a n t . The time f a c t o r was a l s o not taken i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n with the s u b j e c t s u s u a l l y allowed 10 to 15 minutes to f i n d a s o l u t i o n . C a r t w r i g h t and Evans suggested making the problems more r e l e v a n t and observing dreams f o r more than one s e s s i o n . Evans (1983) s p e c u l a t e d that breakthrough dreams are a c o n t i n u a t i o n of o b s e s s i v e daytime t h i n k i n g . Laboratory r e s e a r c h e r s have not c r e a t e d the necessary c o n d i t i o n s . When a l l the v a r i o u s components are i n p l a c e , the breakthrough dream i s comprehensible, v i v i d , and h i g h l y emotional. The c l e a r n e s s and r e l e v a n c y a l l o w s the i n d i v i d u a l to c l i c k i n t o the c o r r e c t s o l u t i o n . The q u e s t i o n i s whether the proper c o n d i t i o n s can be produced i n the l a b o r a t o r y . I t has a l r e a d y 36 been shown that l a b o r a t o r y dreams are l e s s emotional, l e s s v i v i d , and have content that i s more mundane than home dreams (Domhoff, 1969; H a l l , 1966). Researchers may have to move o u t s i d e the l a b o r a t o r y to study these dreams i n a more n a t u r a l environment i n order to understand the e x p e r i e n c e . Induced Dreams The l i t e r a t u r e on dream i n c u b a t i o n and c r e a t i v e breakthroughs has s t i m u l a t e d d i s c u s s i o n of the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of i n f l u e n c i n g dream c o n t e n t . There i s an assumption i n these d i s c u s s i o n s that the success c f a n c i e n t i n c u b a t i o n was due to the e x p e c t a t i o n s of the p a r t i c i p a n t s . The e l a b o r a t e ceremonies and the c e n t r a l b e l i e f of the c u l t u r e t h at gods c o u l d i n t e r f e r e i n people's l i v e s c r e a t e d an atmosphere charged with a n t i c i p a t i o n . I t i s h y p o t h e s i z e d that i f these c o n d i t i o n s c o u l d be r e p l i c a t e d , then the d e s i r e d dream would appear. Labo r a t o r y r e s e a r c h e r s , using p o s t h y p n o t i c s u g g e s t i o n , have shown that i t i s p o s s i b l e to t r a i n s u b j e c t s to i n c o r p o r a t e p a r t i c u l a r elements i n t o t h e i r dreams (Stoyva, 1965). Stoyva found that hypnosis worked b e t t e r than e x p l i c i t waking s u g g e s t i o n s . T a r t (1969) concluded i n h i s review of the l i t e r a t u r e on dream c o n t r o l that d e s p i t e some problems with the methodology, po s t h y p n o t i c suggestion i s the best 37 method f o r manip u l a t i n g dream content. Researchers o u t s i d e the l a b o r a t o r y argue that hypnosis i s not necessary t o i n f l u e n c e dream content (Delaney, 1979; G a r f i e l d , 1974). I f the m o t i v a t i o n of the i n d i v i d u a l and the emotional re l e v a n c y of the t o p i c i s taken i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n , then s e l f - s u g g e s t i o n can be used. Where r e s e a r c h e r s i n the l a b o r a t o r y have i n c o r p o r a t e d n e u t r a l elements i n t o dreams, r e s e a r c h e r s o u t s i d e the l a b o r a t o r y have induced dream t o p i c s . Because these t o p i c s are p e r s o n a l l y r e l e v a n t and emotional, the i n d i v i d u a l i s motivated to produce dreams t h a t p r o v i d e a s s i s t a n c e . The common procedure i n a l l these s t u d i e s i s to have the dreamers a n t i c i p a t e that they w i l l have the d e s i r e d dream and to then c l e a r l y formulate i n t h e i r minds what they want to dream about. Because i n t e r e s t i n dream i n d u c t i o n i s a recent phenomenon i n psychology, there are only a few r e s e a r c h e r s who have attempted to i n f l u e n c e dreams o u t s i d e the l a b o r a t o r y . Wollmering (1978) i n v e s t i g a t e d whether s u b j e c t s c o u l d be t r a i n e d to c o n t r o l t h e i r dreams and experience change i n a t a r g e t e d behaviour. Subje c t s were i n s t r u c t e d on dream c o n t r o l and asked to choose a behaviour they wanted to change. T h i r t y - e i g h t percent of the s u b j e c t s d i d l e a r n to c o n t r o l the content of more than one dream i n a s i x week p e r i o d , but behaviour change was not s i g n i f i c a n t . Wollmering suggested, 38 f o r f u r t h e r r e s e a r c h , that more i n s t r u c t i o n s be given over a longer p e r i o d of time. He a l s o d i d not take i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n the i n t e r e s t and m o t i v a t i o n of the s u b j e c t s which seems to be an important f a c t o r i n i n d u c i n g p a r t i c u l a r t o p i c s . Wollmering's (1978) study i s a c o n t r o l l e d study u s i n g s t a t i s t i c a l procedures. Reed (1976) questioned the use of the c a u s a l paradigm with i t s emphasis on m a n i p u l a t i o n and c o n t r o l of v a r i a b l e s f o r the i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the i n c u b a t i o n e x p e r i e n c e . Other dream r e s e a r c h e r s have a l s o encouraged suspending judgement and d i s c a r d i n g any model that i n f r i n g e s on the phenomena being s t u d i e d (Watson & Watson-Franke, 1977). Reed (1976) hypothesized that i f the experience of a n c i e n t i n c u b a t i o n i s to be understoood, r e s e a r c h e r s must do more than i n f l u e n c e dream content by s e l f - s u g g e s t i o n and hypnosis. They must r e c r e a t e the i n c u b a t i o n s i t u a t i o n which Reed d e f i n e d as a p r o j e c t i o n of the h e a l i n g or t r a n s f o r m a t i o n process o c c u r r i n g i n t e r n a l l y . T h i s r i t u a l i n c l u d e s s e l e c t i o n , p r e p a r a t i o n procedures, and a p r e - s l e e p ceremony. Because r e a d i n e s s i s an important f a c t o r , Reed (1976) chose v o l u n t e e r s by t h e i r d e s i r e to f i n d a s o l u t i o n to t h e i r problem. A f t e r they were chosen, they c o n c e n t r a t e d on the purpose and meaning of the i n c u b a t i o n f o r three days. They were asked to e v a l u a t e t h e i r w i l l i n g n e s s to l e t go and to be humble about t h e i r l i m i t a t i o n s i n s o l v i n g the problem. Reed 39 assumed that h u m i l i t y was c r u c i a l f o r s u r r e n d e r i n g themselves to the proc e s s . People were a l s o asked to choose t h e i r p e r s o n a l symbols f o r a sacred p l a c e and a d i v i n e b e n e f a c t o r . These symbols r e c r e a t e d the reverence that surrounded the h e a l i n g temples i n a n c i e n t Greece. A f t e r the three day p e r i o d and a few hours before s l e e p , Reed (1976) l i s t e n e d and d i a l o g u e d with the p a r t i c i p a n t s about t h e i r f e e l i n g s . They were encouraged to d i s c u s s the meaning of the experience and the r o l e of the d i v i n e b e n e f a c t o r . T h i s phase of the process c r e a t e d a safe and nurturant environment f o r them to l e t go. When the incubants were ready f o r s l e e p , s o f t music was pr o v i d e d to h e l p them r e l a x and r e l i n q u i s h c o n t r o l of any thoughts around t h e i r problem. Reed (1976) d i f f e r e d from other r e s e a r c h e r s on t h i s step (Delaney, 1979; Wollmering, 1978). Where they emphasized f o r m u l a t i n g a c o n c i s e , c l e a r phrase of the problem and r e p e a t i n g i t , Reed i n s i s t e d that l e t t i n g go and s u r r e n d e r i n g to the process i s c r u c i a l . He suggested that these procedures do not induce or program a d e s i r e d dream, but allow people to get i n touch with t h e i r autonomous processes which know the answers to t h e i r problem. The next morning Reed (1974) l i s t e n e d to the dreams and asked about t h e i r meaning. He emphasized the importance of the experience and not i t s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Many of the p a r t i c i p a n t s experienced a c a t h a r s i s where they awoke c r y i n g , 40 yet r e l i e v e d and renewed immediately upon awakening. Others had l e s s i n t e n s e experiences which gave meaning and d i r e c t i o n , but not immediate r e s o l u t i o n . One p a r t i c i p a n t had a v i s i o n that the tent i n which she had been s l e e p i n g had blown away. A small woman appeared and t o l d her to pay a t t e n t i o n and prepare f o r her death. The woman gave her a t a b l e t d e s c r i b i n g her past and f u t u r e l i v e s . The p a r t i c i p a n t was extremely shaken by the v i s i o n . Reed (1976) made a d e c i s i o n a f t e r t h i s experience to d i s c o n t i n u e the r e s e a r c h u n t i l he had e v a l u a t e d the i m p l i c a t i o n s . The incubants r e p o r t e d that they have had gradual changes i n t h e i r l i v e s a f t e r these e x p e r i e n c e s . Reed (1976) concluded that the r i t u a l helped these i n d i v i d u a l s r e l y on t h e i r inner s e l v e s f o r h e l p . G a r f i e l d (1974) and Delaney (1979) a l s o induced dreams, but d i d not s t r e s s the importance of e l a b o r a t e r i t u a l s i n the p r e p a r a t i o n phase. T h e i r system combines the i n f o r m a t i o n on an c i e n t i n c u b a t i o n and c r e a t i v e dream breakthroughs with the dream c o n t r o l techniques of the Senoi c u l t u r e of M a l a y s i a . The Senoi, a group of people l i v i n g i n the c e n t r a l mountain range of the Malay P e n i n s u l a , are taught from a young age to c o n f r o n t and defeat f e a r f u l dream f i g u r e s (Stewart, 1969). For example, i f a t i g e r i s chasing a c h i l d i n the dream, the parent w i l l suggest the next morning that the c h i l d face the t i g e r i n the next dream. I f the c h i l d has t r o u b l e 41 f i g h t i n g the t i g e r , dream f r i e n d s can be c a l l e d to h e l p . People are a l s o encouraged to enjoy t h e i r dreams and to change negative experiences i n t o p o s i t i v e outcomes. The Senoi and r e s e a r c h e r s using dream c o n t r o l assume that change o c c u r r i n g i n dreams can b r i n g about a change i n awareness and behaviour i n waking l i f e ( G a r f i e l d , 1974). G a r f i e l d mentioned that change i s gradual i n the „Senoi system and cautioned people t h a t dream c o n t r o l takes time and p r a c t i c e . Western c u l t u r e does not promote i n t e r e s t i n dreams or dream c o n t r o l which can make these techniques seem f o r e i g n to most i n d i v i d u a l s . However, G a r f i e l d has seen success i n her dream groups, because her method does not focus on changing p a r t i c u l a r dream a c t i o n s . She c o n c e n t r a t e d on p a t t e r n s of behaviour. For example, the person i s taught to c o n f r o n t and conquer any danger i n a dream, ra t h e r than a s p e c i f i c a c t . In G a r f i e l d ' s (1974) method, the f i r s t s tep i s to b e l i e v e that dreams are meaningful and can be i n f l u e n c e d . T h i s a t t i t u d e i s e s s e n t i a l f o r c r e a t i n g an atmosphere of openness towards the p r o c e s s . S e l f - s u g g e s t i o n i s used, r a t h e r than hypnosis, because i t g i v e s the person the c o n t r o l and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r f o r m u l a t i n g a request that i s p e r s o n a l l y r e l e v a n t . Hypnosis, G a r f i e l d b e l i e v e d , i s not as potent, because i t comes from o u t s i d e the i n d i v i d u a l . 42 In the next step, people are asked to c o n c e n t r a t e on the d e s i r e d t o p i c and engage in a c t i v i t i e s r e l a t e d to the s u b j e c t . T h i s step borrows from the experiences of c r e a t i v e breakthrough dreams where i n d i v i d u a l s have been working on t h e i r problems i n t e n s e l y before these dreams occur. G a r f i e l d (1974) a l s o suggested withdrawing to a p e a c e f u l s e t t i n g which helps with c o n c e n t r a t i o n . People are then asked to formulate a short phrase which s p e c i f i c a l l y s t a t e s what they wish to dream about. They are t o l d to repeat the phrase throughout the day. Before they go to s l e e p , they are urged to repeat the phrase again while i n deep r e l a x a t i o n . G a r f i e l d (1974) c o n s i d e r e d t h i s step o p t i o n a l , because most systems of dream c o n t r o l do not r e q u i r e a c o n c i s e phrase before s l e e p . G a r f i e l d (1974) mentioned that people i n her dream groups have had success with these techniques. She a l s o concluded that more awareness and p r a c t i c e d u r i n g waking p e r i o d s w i l l l e a d to dreams where i n d i v i d u a l s are conscious of dreaming ( l u c i d dreams). The goal i s to a t t a i n more consciousness d u r i n g dreaming and as a consequence, more c o n t r o l . Although l u c i d i t y i s not important i n most systems of dream c o n t r o l or i n c u b a t i o n , G a r f i e l d b e l i e v e d t h i s o v e r s i g h t i s t h e i r l i m i t a t i o n . By c o n t r o l l i n g dream events and a c h i e v i n g more awareness i n dreams, i n d i v i d u a l s can enter i n t o unexplored areas of t h e i r minds. 43 Delaney (1979) used many of the same steps that G a r f i e l d suggested and a l s o sees dream c o n t r o l as a p r e p a r a t i o n f o r l u c i d dreams. She a l s o agreed with G a r f i e l d (1974) that Reed's (1976) r i t u a l i s too cumbersome and unnecessary. Delaney (1979) d i f f e r e d from G a r f i e l d (1974) d u r i n g the step r e q u i r i n g c o n c e n t r a t i o n on the i s s u e . In t h i s phase, Delaney g i v e s e x p l i c i t i n s t r u c t i o n s on how to d i s c u s s the i s s u e . For example, people are urged to ask themselves about the p o s s i b l e causes of the problem, a l t e r n a t i v e s o l u t i o n s and why they haven't t r i e d these, t h e i r f e e l i n g s as they w r i t e down t h i s d i s c u s s i o n , and what they gain by not s o l v i n g the problem. She emphasized that t h i s i s the most important s t e p . T h i s phase r e p l i c a t e s the p r e p a r a t i o n p e r i o d of the c r e a t i v e process where i n d i v i d u a l s have exhausted a l l p o s s i b i l i t i e s . Delaney (1979) t e s t e d t h i s procedure with f i f t e e n i n d i v i d u a l s f o r f i f t e e n months. Her r e s u l t s showed that the average dreamer was s u c c e s s f u l i n o b t a i n i n g a r e l e v a n t and h e l p f u l dream e i g h t out of ten times. Both Delaney (1979) and G a r f i e l d (1974) emphasized dream c o n t r o l , r a t h e r than how to s p e c i f i c a l l y induce breakthrough dreams. T h e i r procedures range from i n d u c i n g dream elements, to r e c e i v i n g messages, to c r e a t i v e breakthroughs. They claimed t h a t , with p r a c t i c e , dream i n d u c t i o n can produce the d e s i r e d dream. U n f o r t u n a t e l y , few of t h e i r examples are breakthroughs. Most of these induced experiences are symbolic 44 p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams which need i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Delaney (1979), p r e f e r r i n g the term " i n s p i r a t i o n a l " f o r breakthrough dreams, mentioned that i t i s d i f f i c u l t to n o t i c e these experiences by the d e s c r i p t i o n of the dream p l o t a l o n e . The person's f e e l i n g s and the meaning att a c h e d to the dream need to be taken i n t o account. Delaney's dream group p a r t i c i p a n t s d e s c r i b e d these dreams as having v i v i d imagery and sounds. The experience gave them d i r e c t knowing and profound i n s i g h t . She mentioned that many of these experiences have a "marked t r a n s f o r m a t i v e e f f e c t upon the dreamer," but she d i d not d e s c r i b e i n depth the experiences before, d u r i n g , and a f t e r the dream (p. 139). Both Delaney (1979) and G a r f i e l d (1974) do not give enough d e t a i l i n t h e i r d e s c r i p t i o n s of symbolic and non-symbolic dreams. Without complete d e s c r i p t i o n s , i t i s d i f f i c u l t to compare the d i f f e r e n c e between dreams that need i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and those t h a t do not and the meaning these experiences have f o r the i n d i v i d u a l . T r a n s f o r m a t i v e Dreams i n Therapy The term " t r a n s f o r m a t i o n " i s used, r a t h e r than "breakthrough" i n the c l i n i c a l l i t e r a t u r e . The meaning of both terms i s i d e n t i c a l . A t r a n s f o r m a t i v e or breakthrough dream occurs a f t e r an i n d i v i d u a l has s t r u g g l e d with a problem 4 5 and searched for solutions for a period of time. The time spent struggling i s less important than the i n t e n s i t y . When the intensity has b u i l t up to an extreme height, a transformation can occur. Rossi (1972a) c a l l e d these moments sudden s h i f t s in awareness, where the conventional or usual ways of behaving, f e e l i n g , and thinking are severed. These experiences happen at p a r t i c u l a r points in the growth process, and the individual leaps forward into a new awareness of the self and the environment. These s h i f t s can occur in dreams or while awake, but because of the emphasis in the West on l o g i c a l linear modes of thinking, most of these experiences occur in dreams. Kelman (1969) preferred the term "Kairos," which comes from the Greek meaning an opportunity or psychological moment of c l a r i t y and widened dimension. Speaking with people who have experienced "Kairos" while awake and in dreams, Kelman noticed that people describe a feeling of surrender that precedes the f l a s h of insight. With th i s surrender, people are then ready to experience what Kelman c a l l e d a s h i f t in the meaning of existence where there i s the p o s s i b i l i t y of resolution and release. Ehrenwald (1969), commenting on Kelman's description of Kairos, added that these moments vary in intensity from being barely perceptible to being f e l t as a profound shock to the individual's view of the s e l f . A therapist must, therefore, 46 be aware of the e x i s t e n c e of these moments as t u r n i n g p o i n t s i n therapy. D e s c r i p t i o n s of t r a n s f o r m a t i v e dreams i n the c l i n i c a l l i t e r a t u r e come from case s t u d i e s of i n d i v i d u a l s who have been in therapy over a p e r i o d of time. These dreams are seen as part of the growth process i n therapy where the i n d i v i d u a l has been s t r u g g l i n g with an o l d h a b i t u a l view of the s e l f and the new s e l f t h a t i s emerging ( C o r r i e r e & Hart, 1977; Jung, 1933; Horney, 1950; Maher, 1971; R o s s i , 1972a; Weiss, 1964). The s t r u g g l e i s p a r t of the p u l l towards s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n , and i t i s the task of the t h e r a p i s t to h e l p i n d i v i d u a l s a c t u a l i z e t h e i r p o t e n t i a l . T r a n s f o r m a t i v e dreams occur as p a r t of a p r o c e s s , s i m i l a r to the c r e a t i v e process d e s c r i b e d e a r l i e r i n t h i s chapter ( R o s s i , 1972a). There i s a p e r i o d where the person i s a c t i v e l y working on a problem and f e e l s intense d e s i r e to f i n d a s o l u t i o n . Then comes a p e r i o d of i n c u b a t i o n where the i n d i v i d u a l may f e e l desperate and depressed. The i n d i v i d u a l f e e l s blocked and has exhausted the a v a i l a b l e p o s s i b i l i t i e s . At t h i s p o i n t the person g i v e s up and l e t s go of the c o n f l i c t . I t i s d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d that i l l u m i n a t i o n occurs i f the d e s i r e f o r a s o l u t i o n has been i n t e n s e and p r e s s u r e d . Because dreams i n t e g r a t e thoughts and f e e l i n g s from pas t , present, and f u t u r e , they are the most frequent p l a c e where new i n s i g h t s can occur. A f t e r the i l l u m i n a t i o n phase, the i n d i v i d u a l t e s t s 8 47 and v e r i f i e s the new awareness and i n t e g r a t e s i t i n t o d a i l y l i f e . Jung (1960) d i d not emphasize d i r e c t , non-symbolic dreams i n h i s therapy and w r i t i n g s , but he d i d s t a t e that most dreams have "low e n e r g y - t e n s i o n " and are t h e r e f o r e fragmented, c o n f u s i n g , and i l l o g i c a l . However, there are dreams which have an " i n c r e a s e of e n e r g y - t e n s i o n " and are c l e a r , d i r e c t , and make sense (p. 77). To understand the term "energy-tension" one must look at Jung's p r i n c i p l e of o p p o s i t e s . Jung (1960) equated l i f e with energy, and there cannot be energy without the s t r u g g l e of opposing f o r c e s . Where there i s o p p o s i t i o n , there i s t e n s i o n . "The g r e a t e r the t e n s i o n between the p a i r s of o p p o s i t e s , the g r e a t e r w i l l be the energy that comes from them" (p. 26). Out of t h i s t e n s i o n or s t r u g g l e , new ideas are formed, and the s t a b i l i t y of these new ideas i s d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d to the i n t e n s i t y of the c o n f l i c t . A c c o r d i n g to Jung's (1960) theory, i n t e n s e s t r u g g l e or c o n f l i c t may c r e a t e breakthroughs. There may be a r e l a t i o n between the degree of t e n s i o n and the kind of dreams t h a t occur. Breakthrough or t r a n s f o r m a t i v e dreams may have more energy. Future r e s e a r c h i s needed to i n v e s t i g a t e t h i s h y p o t h e s i s . Although some t h e r a p i s t s have e i t h e r d e s c r i b e d t r a n s f o r m a t i v e dreams or have accepted t h e i r e x i s t e n c e , few 48 have devoted t h e i r w r i t i n g s to the understanding and d e s c r i p t i o n of the experience. Rossi (1972a) i s one t h e r a p i s t t h at has attempted to d e s c r i b e the r o l e t r a n s f o r m a t i v e dreams pl a y i n the growth process and how the process i s r e f l e c t e d i n the images and a c t i o n s of dreams. He c a u t i o n e d that h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of the process i s only a beginning and an o u t l i n e , because i n d i v i d u a l s vary in the s t y l e , speed, and sequence of t h e i r development. Rossi (1972a) mentioned that the growth process i s not a smooth one, because people are a f r a i d of the new d e v e l o p i n g from w i t h i n . Any change i n the view of the s e l f and the environment i s f e l t as a l o s s of s e c u r i t y . F r e q u e n t l y , the i n d i v i d u a l goes i n t o a d e p r e s s i o n and experiences a "Weltschmerz" where the f a m i l i a r or usual ways of viewing the world begin to c o l l a p s e . T h i s p e r i o d c r e a t e s a c o n f l i c t that remains u n t i l the i n d i v i d u a l can break through the o l d world view. The task i s to r e p l a c e the o l d world view with a new way of s e e i n g . A major problem f o r i n d i v i d u a l s i s t h e i r l a c k of awareness of the e x i s t e n c e of the growth p r o c e s s . They do not understand what i s happening to them and f i g h t the change. Another block to development i s the negative a t t i t u d e towards change which keeps people r i g i d l y f i x e d to o l d p a t t e r n s . These two o b s t a c l e s e i t h e r c o n t a i n the i n d i v i d u a l i n a blocked or stuck p l a c e i n t h e i r development or pressure the person 49 i n t o changing. If the pr e s s u r e i s intense enough, the i n d i v i d u a l experiences what Rossi (1972a) c a l l e d an o r i g i n a l p s y c h o l o g i c a l e x p e r i e n c e . These are moments where there i s a breakthrough i n the h a b i t u a l p a t t e r n s of awareness. At these times there i s an o p p o r t u n i t y f o r "pure e x p e r i e n c i n g " (p. 156). These o r i g i n a l e x periences are "b a s i c u n i t s of o r i g i n a l thought and i n s i g h t as w e l l as p e r s o n a l i t y change" (p. 159). Maslow (1962) c a l l e d these moments peak experiences where persons f e e l s overwhelming emotions of j o y , renewal, and e x h i l a r a t i o n . T h e i r view of the world i s - e n l a r g e d and there i s a connection with others i n the environment. L a s k i (1961), p r e f e r r i n g the term " e c s t a s y , " mentioned that these experiences can happen i n dreams when an i n d i v i d u a l f e e l s an intense d e s i r e f o r a s o l u t i o n to a problem. Everyone has the p o t e n t i a l f o r these breakthroughs, but an i n d i v i d u a l must be r e c e p t i v e and open to the experience. Rossi (1972a) s t a t e d that people are not aware when the op p o r t u n i t y a r r i v e s , because they have been taught to "value the consensual p o i n t of view r a t h e r than the new that i s deve l o p i n g from w i t h i n " (p. 159). Dreams are a s t a t e where the i n d i v i d u a l can f e e l secure and f r e e to experience the unusual modes of being. I t i s i n dreams where people can observe the process that leads up to a t r a n s f o r m a t i v e experience. People can t r y new ways of being t h a t can be 50 a p p l i e d to s i t u a t i o n s i n waking l i f e . Rossi (1972a) d e s c r i b e d the changes i n dream images that are s i g n s of the growth p r o c e s s . He e x p l a i n e d that images f u n c t i o n as c o n t a i n e r s of emotions that express t r a n s f o r m a t i o n . These intense emotions produce v i v i d dreams. To understand the p r o g r e s s i o n of images, dreams must be observed i n a s e r i e s . Rossi (1972b) d e s c r i b e d dreams on a continuum of s e l f - r e f l e c t i o n . On one s i d e of the continuum are dreams i n which there are no people i n the p l o t . Next there are dreams th a t c o n t a i n people, but without the involvement of the dreamer. In these dreams, the dreamer merely observes without p l a y i n g a p a r t i n the drama, and without s e l f - r e f l e c t i o n . In the next type of dream, the i n d i v i d u a l p l a y s a p a r t i n the drama, but does not s e l f - r e f l e c t u n t i l awakened. Rossi c a l l e d these e x p e r i e n t i a l dreams, as opposed to observer dreams. In the next l e v e l , the dreamer observes and s e l f - r e f l e c t s w i t h i n the dream, but does not take an a c t i v e p a r t . The next l e v e l i s where the dreamer has a d i a l o g u e with another person. There i s s e l f - r e f l e c t i o n and e x p e r i e n c i n g . The two h i g h e s t forms of dreaming are where the person experiences changing i n t o m u l t i p l e l e v e l s of being. For example, i n d i v i d u a l s c o u l d begin the dream as themselves i n human form and then change i n t o a b i r d . The person i s aware d u r i n g the changes that these l e v e l s are p a r t s of the s e l f . These dream experiences 51 then progress to m u l t i p l e l e v e l s of awareness i n the same dream. Rossi (1972a) s t a t e d that t r a n s f o r m a t i o n can only occur at these l a s t three l e v e l s of dreaming where the i n d i v i d u a l e xperiences and observes. In order to i n t e g r a t e the new awareness, the i n d i v i d u a l must experience and be s e l f - r e f l e c t i v e s i m u l t a n e o u s l y . I t i s du r i n g these dreams that problems can be r e s o l v e d and h e a l i n g can occur. The person r e - e x p e r i e n c e s and r e s o l v e s e a r l i e r experiences i n a way that i s a p p r o p r i a t e to the new l e v e l of development. There i s a change i n the f e e l i n g s and thoughts around the i s s u e . Sometimes the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n i s experienced as a breakthrough i n one dream. In most cases, however, many dreams p l a y out the problem i n many d i f f e r e n t ways u n t i l the dreamer g r a d u a l l y changes p e r s p e c t i v e . Rossi (1972a) i l l u s t r a t e d the growth process i n a s e r i e s of dreams of one of h i s c l i e n t s . The c l i e n t e x p e r i e n c e d a t r a n s f o r m a t i v e dream and r e s o l v e d her problem. She d e s c r i b e d h e r s e l f as f e e l i n g r e f r e s h e d , calm, and p r o t e c t e d . She a l s o f e l t awe and a renewed sense of energy. Rossi mentioned that these dreams are s i m i l a r to m y s t i c a l e x p e r i e n c e s . R o s s i (1972a) gave another example of a t r a n s f o r m a t i v e dream. In t h i s case, a man, who had s u f f e r e d from e p i l e p t i c s e i z u r e s f o r y e a r s , was suddenly cured. In the dream, the man came home from work and saw many c h i l d r e n on the porch with 52 h i s grandfather whom he d e a r l y l o v e d as a c h i l d . The grandfather had d i e d many years before the dream. They were s u r p r i s e d s e e i n g one another and embraced. The dreamer f e l t l i k e he was i n e c s t a s y . He then f e l t an e p i l e p t i c f i t come' over him i n the dream, but i t passed and changed. I t turned m i l d and f e l t harmonious, not s c a r y . The man has not experienced an e p i l e p t i c f i t f o r ten years s i n c e the dream. Rossi (1972a) s t a t e d that v a l i d a t i o n i s apparent when p h y s i c a l h e a l i n g takes p l a c e i n dreams, but i n the case of p s y c h o l o g i c a l h e a l i n g , the p e r s o n a l r e p o r t of the dreamer i s v e r i f i c a t i o n of the experience. Rossi (1972a) urged r e s e a r c h e r s to study more experiences of t h i s nature and to look towards other c u l t u r e s and p e r i o d s of h i s t o r y to f i n d c l u e s that p r o v i d e a f u r t h e r understanding of the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of these dreams. Get s i n g e r (1978) i s another t h e r a p i s t who spoke about t r a n s f o r m a t i v e dreams being p a r t of the growth p r o c e s s . He d i s c u s s e d the f u n c t i o n of dreams i n the process of s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n and the c r e a t i v e moment when the dreamer experiences a breakthrough. He d e s c r i b e d a dream that was experienced by a man who was a m i l i t a r y i n s t r u c t o r of r e c r u i t s headed f o r Vietnam. Before the dream, he was beginning to questi o n being i n the m i l i t a r y as a black man f i g h t i n g a white man's war. In the dream, he found h i m s e l f i n a church. He was watching a s t a t u e of Jesus which came a l i v e and moved 53 towards him. The s t a t u e was surrounded with white l i g h t and changed from white to b l a c k . I t became a black Jesus. The s t a t u e then touched him. The dreamer's gloves f e l l away, and he saw h i s black hands. He then f e l t a power over h i s whole body and l e f t the church. Before the dream, he had only been i n a church once i n h i s l i f e and f e l t that God was f o r white people. A f t e r the dream, he f e l t that he had had a p e r s o n a l experience of God. The dream c o n f r o n t e d him with h i s own inner t e n s i o n s towards the m i l i t a r y which then l e d to c o n f u s i o n and a n x i e t y . Getsinger met the man i n the h o s p i t a l when he came f o r therapy. The dream experience made him face the f a c t that he was where he d i d not want to be. He l e f t the m i l i t a r y and became employed s u c c e s s f u l l y i n another o c c u p a t i o n . Getsinger (1978) saw t h i s dream as a h e a l i n g experience and a c a l l to g r e a t e r wholeness and autonomy. He urged t h e r a p i s t s t o be c a u t i o u s about a p p l y i n g t h e i r own p a r t i c u l a r t h e o r i e s to these dreams. Many c l i n i c i a n s would see these dreams as a wish f o r h e a l i n g and not a h e a l i n g experience w i t h i n the dream i t s e l f . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , G e t s i n g e r (1978) d i d not p r o v i d e enough d e s c r i p t i o n of the experience before and a f t e r the dream. More i n f o r m a t i o n i s needed to h e l p t h e r a p i s t s and r e s e a r c h e r s a p p r e c i a t e the dream's impact on an i n d i v i d u a l . 54 C o r r i e r e and Hart (1977) are two t h e r a p i s t s who have developed a theory of t r a n s f o r m a t i v e or breakthrough dreams and were the f i r s t to use the term "breakthrough" s p e c i f i c a l l y to d e s c r i b e non-symbolic dreams which have completion and intense emotion w i t h i n the dream i t s e l f . T h e i r theory has evolved from o b s e r v a t i o n s of t h e i r own dreams and those of t h e i r c l i e n t s . They began to n o t i c e that when they f u l l y expressed t h e i r f e e l i n g s i n waking l i f e , t h e i r dreams became more i n t e n s e , d i r e c t , and e x p r e s s i v e . Instead of having fragmented, symbolic dreams needing i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , t h e i r dreams completed the f e e l i n g and c o n t a i n e d c l e a r , d i r e c t messages. They hypothesized from these o b s e r v a t i o n s t h a t there are two types of dreams: (a) normal dreams which are low i n f e e l i n g and need i n t e r p r e t a t i o n to understand the symbols and a c t i o n s , and (b) breakthrough or t r a n s f o r m a t i v e dreams with h i g h l e v e l of f e e l i n g and c l e a r , d i r e c t messages which do not need i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . C o r r i e r e and Hart (1977) a s s e r t e d that symbolic u n c l e a r dreams are d y s f u n c t i o n a l . C h i l d r e n dream d i r e c t dreams, but a d u l t s have been t r a i n e d to r e p r e s s t h e i r emotions and not act d i r e c t l y i n t h e i r waking l i v e s . The purpose of dreaming i s to complete f e e l i n g s not f u l l y expressed d u r i n g the day. Some dreams f u n c t i o n w e l l completing the f e e l i n g s and others do not. T r a n s f o r m a t i v e or breakthrough dreams are dreams that 55 are f u n c t i o n i n g f u l l y . L i k e Rossi (1972a), C o r r i e r e and Hart (1977) a l s o saw the growth process i n dreams as movement from p a s s i v e observing to a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a t i o n with intense l e v e l s of f e e l i n g . They a l s o saw s i g n s of t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o c c u r r i n g i n dreams preceding the t r a n s f o r m a t i v e dream i t s e l f . Where Rossi emphasized that t r a n s f o r m a t i v e dreams have a balance between the dreamer's o b s e r v a t i o n of s e l f and f u l l y e x p e r i e n c i n g , C o r r i e r e and Hart went a step f u r t h e r . They s t a t e d that these dreams must have a balance of a c t i o n , f e e l i n g , e x p r e s s i o n , and c l a r i t y . Another dimension, c a l l e d "contact with another person" was added l a t e r ( C o r r i e r e , K a r l e , Woldenberg, & Hart, 1980). In breakthrough or t r a n s f o r m a t i v e dreams, a l l f i v e dimensions must be i n t e n s e with the dreamer f u l l y aware and e x p e r i e n c i n g . Because the focus i s on p r o c e s s , there i s no attempt i n t h e i r system to understand symbols. How a person a c t s , f e e l s , expresses, and understands the drama i s important, not what content i s i n the dream. C o r r i e r e and Hart (1977) hy p o t h e s i z e d that dreaming p a r a l l e l s waking l i f e . I f t h i s assumption i s t r u e , then how i n d i v i d u a l s a c t , f e e l , express, and understand i n dreams i s the same as how they a c t , f e e l , express, and understand i n t h e i r d a i l y l i v e s while awake. They a l s o h ypothesized that i f i n d i v i d u a l s become aware of these dimensions i n dreams and how they p a r a l l e l waking 56 l i f e , then t h e i r dreams w i l l change too. U n l i k e Delaney (1979) and G a r f i e l d (1974), they do not b e l i e v e i n s e l f - s u g g e s t i o n before s l e e p to c r e a t e the d e s i r e d dream. C o r r i e r e and Hart suggested l o o k i n g at the dream dimensions a f t e r waking i n the morning and then making the necessary changes i n waking l i f e . For example, i f i n d i v i d u a l s n o t i c e that they are a c t i n g p a s s i v e l y i n t h e i r dreams, they should begin l o o k i n g at day time s i t u a t i o n s where they act p a s s i v e l y and begin to take small steps towards becoming more a c t i v e . Every morning each dimension i s e v a l u a t e d . When these dimensions are e q u a l l y balanced and strong i n waking l i f e , then t r a n s f o r m a t i v e dreams w i l l occur. In t h e i r techniques, they teach people step by step procedures on how to become aware of the dimensions and how to begin changing these i n waking l i f e . People are taught to r a t e how w e l l they a c t , f e e l , express, and understand i n t h e i r dreams on a r a t i n g s c a l e developed by C o r r i e r e (1974). As a person moves towards a higher r a t i n g and. a l l these dimensions are i n balance, the i n d i v i d u a l w i l l then begin having t r a n s f o r m a t i v e dreams. Ro s s i (1972a) and C o r r i e r e and Hart (1977) d i f f e r i n that Rossi b e l i e v e d that dreams can foreshadow growth i n people's waking l i v e s , whereas C o r r i e r e and Hart b e l i e v e d dreams p a r a l l e l growth. Rossi saw a p e r i o d of s t r u g g l e which precedes these dreams and urged i n d i v i d u a l s to be aware of 57 a c t i o n s and symbols i n dreams that s i g n a l the beginnings of t r a n s f o r m a t i o n . The awareness and experimentation of new ways of being i n dreams w i l l encourage people to t r y new ways of l i v i n g i n t h e i r waking l i v e s . Therapy can a s s i s t people with i n t e g r a t i n g v a r i o u s p a r t s of t h e i r l i v e s and move people forward towards s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n . In the i d e a l case, the process w i l l have l e d the i n d i v i d u a l to a t r a n s f o r m a t i v e experience which w i l l c r e a t e a s h i f t i n awareness. C o r r i e r e and Hart (1977) asked people to ignore symbols and n o t i c e how they f u n c t i o n i n t h e i r dreams. T h i s awareness of dream behaviour and f e e l i n g s w i l l allow them to make the necessary changes i n waking l i f e . They d i d not agree with dream c o n t r o l and s e l f - s u g g e s t i o n which they c a l l e d m a n ipulation of a n a t u r a l p r o c e s s . Changing waking behaviour w i l l l e a d towards t r a n s f o r m a t i v e experiences i n dreams. C o r r i e r e and Hart's (1977) hy p o t h e s i s t h a t t r a n s f o r m a t i o n can only occur when a l l f i v e dimensions are i n t e n s e and completed i n waking l i f e c o n t r a d i c t s t h e i r statement that the purpose of dreaming i s to complete f e e l i n g s not f u l l y expressed while awake. T h e i r h y p o t h e s i s a l s o c o n t r a d i c t s many of t h e i r examples of dream e x p e r i e n c e s . They mentioned t h a t d u r i n g these dreams there i s a " s h i f t i n awareness" (p. 37) and "a snapping w i t h i n the mind" (p. 18). For one i n d i v i d u a l , the p e r i o d before the dream f e l t " l i k e a war was going on i n s i d e h i s head" (p. 2 6 ) . Numerous other examples i n t h e i r 58 study a l s o do not support t h e i r h y p o t h e s i s . Before these breakthroughs, i n d i v i d u a l s were e x p e r i e n c i n g i n t e n s e s t r u g g l e which compares with R o s s i ' s (1972a) d e s c r i p t i o n s and the d e s c r i p t i o n s i n the c r e a t i v e dream breakthrough l i t e r a t u r e ( D r e i s t a d t , 1971). Most people, however, i n C o r r i e r e and Hart's study were not s t r u g g l i n g with s p e c i f i c i s s u e s . Rather, they were e x p e r i e n c i n g heightened t e n s i o n and awareness that something i n t h e i r l i f e was about to break through. When the dreams d i d occur, they f e l t a complete r e l e a s e of t e n s i o n with an a l t e r e d view of the world. C o r r i e r e and Hart d e s c r i b e d these experiences as having such f o r c e that the i n d i v i d u a l cannot r e v e r t back to the o l d way of p e r c e i v i n g . The r e l e a s e , completion, and s h i f t i n awareness f e l t w i t h i n the dream i t s e l f and immediately upon awakening r e v e a l a phenomenon that seems q u a l i t a t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t from the symbolic p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dream. T h e i r examples show that the c l e a r , d i r e c t message i s only one aspect of the e x p e r i e n c e . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , Rossi (1972a) and C o r r i e r e and Hart (1977) d i d not g i v e complete d e s c r i p t i o n s of the experience b e f o r e , d u r i n g , and a f t e r the dream. More thorough d e s c r i p t i o n s are needed to understand the meaning of the experience f o r the i n d i v i d u a l . 59 Summary The p r e v i o u s four s e c t i o n s have summarized the l i t e r a t u r e on dreams that provide s o l u t i o n s to problems. There are few d e s c r i p t i o n s i n the l i t e r a t u r e of these experiences before, d u r i n g , and a f t e r the dream. U s u a l l y the dream i t s e l f i s , re p o r t e d with l i t t l e d i s c u s s i o n of the experience before and a f t e r . W r i t e r s seem to agree that some p e r i o d of p r e p a r a t i o n i s necessary f o r the " r i g h t " dream to occur. The " r i g h t " dream r e v e a l s an answer to the problem or dilemma the person i s w r e s t l i n g with. These dreams, i f they can a l l be grouped to g e t h e r , range from symbolic messages which need u n r a v e l l i n g to d i r e c t , c l e a r breakthroughs. Some have i n t e n s e f e e l i n g s and others do not. There i s l i t t l e agreement on what a breakthrough dream i s and whether a d i r e c t breakthrough i s experienced d i f f e r e n t l y from a symbolic, u n c l e a r message. Is a d i r e c t breakthrough with i n t e n s e emotions and immediate r e l e a s e w i t h i n the dream i t s e l f experienced d i f f e r e n t l y from dreams which r e v e a l answers s y m b o l i c a l l y ? Without complete d e s c r i p t i o n s of both symbolic and non-symbolic p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams t h i s q u e s t i o n i s d i f f i c u l t to answer. Modern r e s e a r c h e r s have u s u a l l y focused on what causes p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams, r a t h e r than on the experience i t s e l f and the meaning i t has f o r the i n d i v i d u a l . They a l s o have 60 emphasized the symbolic experience which needs i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Some have hypothesized that the e x p e c t a t i o n s of the c u l t u r e and the i n d i v i d u a l c r e a t e the necessary c o n d i t i o n s f o r h e a l i n g and breakthroughs to occur (Stam & Spanos, 1982). Others b e l i e v e hypnosis or s e l f - s u g g e s t i o n b r i n g about t h e i r occurrence (Delaney, 1977; G a r f i e l d , 1974; MacHovec, 1979). In both these arguments i t i s not the dream i t s e l f which h e a l s , but the e x p e c t a t i o n s of the person. The i n d i v i d u a l i s programmed i n t o b e l i e v i n g a s o l u t i o n i s p o s s i b l e . Both assumptions do not take i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n the n a t u r a l l y o c c u r r i n g p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dream where e x p e c t a t i o n s and hypnosis cannot be c o n s i d e r e d a p r e d i s p o s i n g f a c t o r . The c r e a t i v e breakthrough l i t e r a t u r e has focused on the phases of the c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s , dream content, and the c r e a t i v e product, r a t h e r than the meaning of the experience f o r the i n d i v i d u a l . The p r e c e d i n g p e r i o d before the dream i s emphasized as an important p a r t of the pr o c e s s . These r e s e a r c h e r s hypothesized that when enough pressure i s b u i l t up w i t h i n the person, the necessary p i e c e s of i n f o r m a t i o n w i l l s u r f a c e i n dreams or f a n t a s i e s ( D r e i s t a d t , 1971; Harman & Rheingold, 1984). E x p e c t a t i o n s and s e l f - s u g g e s t i o n do not pla y a r o l e i n these cases u n l e s s the i n d i v i d u a l has had other experiences of t h i s kind i n the p a s t . Previous success with n a t u r a l l y o c c u r r i n g p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams has encouraged some i n d i v i d u a l s to induce these dreams (Harman & Rheingold, 1984). 61 U n f o r t u n a t e l y , not enough d e s c r i p t i o n i s given of these experiences to understand the d i f f e r e n c e between the symbolic and non-symbolic dreams f o r the i n d i v i d u a l . Laboratory r e s e a r c h e r s have ignored the importance of the p r e p a r a t i o n p e r i o d and have t h e r e f o r e shown d i s c o u r a g i n g r e s u l t s with i n d u c i n g problem-solving dreams (Evans, 1983). R e s u l t s are poor when people are not e m o t i o n a l l y a t t a c h e d to the problem and do not have the m o t i v a t i o n to f i n d an answer. Emotions seem to p l a y a key r o l e i n the preceding p e r i o d before these dreams. Researchers who have begun i n d u c i n g p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams o u t s i d e the l a b o r a t o r y have taken i n t o account the importance of emotions and intense f o c u s i n g on a problem (Delaney, 1979; G a r f i e l d , 1974; Reed, 1976). Delaney and G a r f i e l d assumed that e x p e c t a t i o n s and s e l f - s u g g e s t i o n c r e a t e the proper c o n d i t i o n s preceding these dreams. Reed, however, added that r e s e a r c h e r s must do more than encourage s e l f - s u g g e s t i o n . He emphasized r e c r e a t i o n of the Greek r i t u a l s and a r e a d i n e s s to surrender as c r u c i a l a spects of i n d u c i n g procedures. Rather than w i l l i n g a d e s i r e d dream, these aspects a l l o w i n d i v i d u a l s to get i n touch with t h e i r own autonomous p r o c e s s e s . Reed's r e c r e a t i o n of the Greek r i t u a l s i s e l a b o r a t e , but many of h i s dream experiences were breakthroughs with the r e l e a s e and completion w i t h i n the dream. In c o n t r a s t , most of Delaney and G a r f i e l d ' s dreams 62 were symbolic. More r e s e a r c h i s needed on inducement techniques and the dreams they produce. However, without complete d e s c r i p t i o n s of the experience i t i s d i f f i c u l t to understand what these dreams mean to the i n d i v i d u a l . D e s c r i p t i o n of n a t u r a l l y o c c u r r i n g symbolic and breakthrough p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams i s needed before m a n i p u l a t i o n and c o n t r o l . The c l i n i c a l l i t e r a t u r e g i v e s a thorough account of the symbols and process i n dreams pr e c e d i n g t r a n s f o r m a t i v e or breakthrough e x p e r i e n c e s . U n l i k e the r e s e a r c h e r s i n the other three s e c t i o n s of the l i t e r a t u r e , R o ssi (1972a) and C o r r i e r e and Hart (1977) emphasized experiences which are d i r e c t , c l e a r breakthroughs, r a t h e r than symbolic p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams. However, Rossi and C o r r i e r e and Hart d i s a g r e e d on the p e r i o d which lea d s up to the breakthrough or t r a n s f o r m a t i v e dream. R o s s i ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of t h i s p e r i o d i s s i m i l a r t o the d e s c r i p t i o n s found i n the c r e a t i v e dream breakthrough l i t e r a t u r e ( D r e i s t a d t , 1971). In c o n t r a s t , C o r r i e r e and Hart s t r e s s e d the completion of f e e l i n g s , a c t i o n , e x p r e s s i o n , c l a r i t y , and c o n t a c t which must occur before these dreams appear. However, C o r r i e r e and Hart's examples of i n d i v i d u a l e x p e r i e n c e s c o n t r a d i c t e d t h e i r own h y p o t h e s i s and agreed with R o s s i ' s d e s c r i p t i o n . T h e i r assumption that waking l i f e p a r a l l e l s dream l i f e may have clouded t h e i r o b s e r v a t i o n s . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , Rossi and C o r r i e r e and Hart d i d not give enough 63 d e s c r i p t i o n of the experience before and a f t e r the dream. Part of the c o n f u s i o n surrounding breakthrough and non-symbolic p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams stems from the way these experiences have been s t u d i e d . With the e x c e p t i o n of Thomas (1978) and the r e s e a r c h e r s who have begun i n d u c i n g p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams, most r e s e a r c h e r s have r e l i e d on c l i e n t s i n therapy, anecdotal r e p o r t s , or h i s t o r i c a l accounts. Dream r e s e a r c h i n g e n e r a l has u s u a l l y used q u a n t i t a t i v e methods which seek to e x p l a i n , p r e d i c t , or c o n t r o l . C o r r i e r e and Hart (1977), the only r e s e a r c h e r s to focus e x c l u s i v e l y on dream breakthroughs, used a r a t i n g s c a l e which imposed an o u t s i d e s t r u c t u r e on the phenomenon. T h e i r purpose was to t e s t t h e i r assumptions, r a t h e r than observe the experience i t s e l f . These q u a n t i t a t i v e approaches have t r e a t e d the dream as an o b j e c t separate from the i n d i v i d u a l . P h y s i o l o g y , content, and process have been s t r e s s e d over experience. Romanyshyn (1978) c i t e d Haber and Runyon's (1974) d i s c u s s i o n of a nightmare i n t h e i r t e x t , Fundamentals of Psychology, as an example of psychology's emphasis on p h y s i o l o g y . Haber and Runyon d e f i n e d a nightmare as a " d i s t u r b a n c e " which happens when people are almost awake. They d e s c r i b e d the i n c r e a s e i n h e a r t - r a t e , eye and b r a i n a c t i v i t y , and the amount of time spent i n the e x p e r i e n c e . They have answered the q u e s t i o n "what i s a nightmare?" by g i v i n g the p h y s i o l o g i c a l aspects of the e x p e r i e n c e . These 64 f a c t s give i n f o r m a t i o n about part of the experience, but not a l l . Haber and Runyon s t a t e d that the experience i s t e r r i f y i n g , but there i s no d i s c u s s i o n of what t h i s means to the i n d i v i d u a l . Romanyshyn added that "physiology of a nightmare, then, i s not the psychology of a nightmare" (p. 41). P h y s i o l o g i c a l f a c t s can mislead r e s e a r c h e r s i n t o t h i n k i n g they know what the experience i s . The l i t e r a t u r e r e v e a l s a c o n f u s i o n around the q u e s t i o n "what i s a breakthrough dream experience?" As s t a t e d before, p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams range from symbolic, u n c l e a r messages which need i n t e r p r e t i n g to c l e a r , d i r e c t breakthroughs. T h i s study w i l l l i m i t i t s i n v e s t i g a t i o n to d i r e c t breakthrough dreams which provide immediate emotional r e l e a s e from a problem an i n d i v i d u a l has been s t r u g g l i n g with. To answer the q u e s t i o n "what does i t mean to have a breakthrough dream experience?," a q u a l i t a t i v e approach which s t r e s s e s meaning, r a t h e r than e x p l a n a t i o n , p r e d i c t i o n , or c o n t r o l , seems a p p r o p r i a t e . Existential-phenomenology was chosen f o r t h i s study because of i t s r i g o u r and i t s emphasis on the meaning of an experience f o r the i n d i v i d u a l who has l i v e d i t . Through d i a l o g u i n g with i n d i v i d u a l s , i t i s p o s s i b l e with t h i s approach to form an e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e or meaning of the exper ience. 65 Existential-phenomenology r e j e c t s the d u a l i s t i c concept of the s c i e n t i f i c method which separates the i n d i v i d u a l from the e x p e r i e n c e . Rather, i t takes the stance that the i n d i v i d u a l and h i s or her world are i n t e r r e l a t e d . With t h i s method, r e s e a r c h e r s work with i n d i v i d u a l s as c o - r e s e a r c h e r s to formulate the meaning of the phenomenon. E x p l o r i n g what i t means to have a breakthrough dream experience i n t h i s manner can l e a d to a c l e a r e r understanding of the experience and can c r e a t e a s o l i d foundation f o r f u r t h e r r e s e a r c h i n t h i s a r e a. The method w i l l be d e s c r i b e d i n more d e t a i l i n Chapter I I I . 66 CHAPTER III: Method Method Existential-phenomenology i s a combination of two d i s c i p l i n e s : (a) e x i s t e n t i a l i s m , a philosophy which "seeks to understand the human c o n d i t i o n as i t man i f e s t s i t s e l f i n our co n c r e t e , l i v e d s i t u a t i o n s , " and (b) phenomenology, a "method which a l l o w s us to c o n t a c t phenomena as we a c t u a l l y l i v e them out and experience them" ( V a l l e & King, 1978, pp. 6-7). Existential-phenomenology attempts to understand the essence or s t r u c t u r e of human experience using d e s c r i p t i v e techniques ( V a l l e & King, 1978). The s t r u c t u r e i s the common p a t t e r n found i n many v a r i a t i o n s of the experience and can be compared to a melody which can be recog n i z e d d e s p i t e a change i n instruments or t r a n s p o s i t i o n i n t o another key. The r e l a t i o n s h i p of the notes to the whole i s s t i l l the same ( V a l l e & King, 1978). The task of the r e s e a r c h e r i s to r e v e a l the s t r u c t u r e of the phenomenon through d i a l o g u e s with i n d i v i d u a l s who have l i v e d the ex p e r i e n c e . The re s e a r c h e r seeks an understanding by a s k i n g what the experience means to the i n d i v i d u a l , r a t h e r than e x p l a i n i n g , c o n t r o l l i n g , or p r e d i c t i n g i t . For example, a s k i n g the q u e s t i o n , "What does i t mean to have a breakthrough dream ex p e r i e n c e ? , " the r e s e a r c h e r looks f o r a common p a t t e r n 67 i n the experiences of people who have had the dream. Through t h i s p a t t e r n , the meaning of the experience i s r e v e a l e d . In existential-phenomenology, i n d i v i d u a l s are not viewed as separate from t h e i r world, but are u n i t e d with i t . The world and person have no e x i s t e n c e without each o t h e r . They each " c o - c o n s t i t u t e " one another ( V a l l e & King, 1978, p. 7). E x i s t e n c e f o r e x i s t e n t i a l - p h e n o m e n o l o g i s t s i s always "b e i n g - i n - t h e - w o r l d " ( V a l l e & King, p. 8). People are not merely o b j e c t s s u b j e c t to laws of cause and e f f e c t . They are not t o t a l l y determined, nor are they t o t a l l y f r e e . Rather, they have c h o i c e s w i t h i n p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n s ( V a l l e & King, 1978). The union of i n d i v i d u a l s and t h e i r world i s c a l l e d t h e i r " l i f e - w o r l d " or "lebenswelt" which i s the everyday experience as l i v e d by i n d i v i d u a l s . T h i s l i f e - w o r l d i s the beginning p o i n t f o r r e s e a r c h e r s and i s the foundation of a l l knowledge ( G i o r g i , 1970; V a l l e & King, 1978). D i r e c t , immediate experience of the i n d i v i d u a l i s the source of i n f o r m a t i o n f o r the e x i s t e n t i a l - p h e n o m e n o l o g i s t . The r e s e a r c h e r attempts to d e s c r i b e t h i s d i r e c t experience c l e a r l y with few pre-conceived ideas of the phenomenon. Being aware of one's own preconceptions c o n t i n u e s throughout the r e s e a r c h p r o c e s s . In t h i s approach, r e s e a r c h e r and s u b j e c t s co-operate as equals "without d i v i s i v e n e s s of s o c i a l or p r o f e s s i o n a l s t r a t i f i c a t i o n s " ( C o l a i z z i , 1978, p. 69). S u b j e c t s are c a l l e d 68 c o - r e s e a r c h e r s , who p a r t i c i p a t e i n a di a l o g u e with the researc h e r to exp l o r e the meaning of the exp e r i e n c e . The di a l o g u e occurs i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p b u i l t on t r u s t which al l o w s the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s the o p p o r t u n i t y to e l a b o r a t e f r e e l y on t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e . The purpose of t h i s study i s to understand the meaning of a breakthrough dream experience from the p e r s p e c t i v e of my seven c o - r e s e a r c h e r s , using an e x i s t e n t i a l - p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l approach as d e s c r i b e d by C o l a i z z i (1978). The d e t a i l s of t h i s method w i l l be d e s c r i b e d i n the f o l l o w i n g s e c t i o n s of t h i s c h a p ter. Co-Researchers I spoke with seven i n d i v i d u a l s . One of the seven was not i n c l u d e d i n the themes and exhaustive d e s c r i p t i o n , because her experience d u r i n g the dream and a f t e r was not s i m i l a r to the experiences of the other s i x c o - r e s e a r c h e r s . A b r i e f d i s c u s s i o n of her experience i s i n c l u d e d i n Chapter IV and the t r a n s c r i p t s of our two i n t e r v i e w s are i n Appendix A. In each s e s s i o n , each c o - r e s e a r c h e r and myself d i a l o g u e d together i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p based on e q u a l i t y and t r u s t . As r e s e a r c h e r , my r o l e was to c r e a t e an environment of t r u s t where each c o - r e s e a r c h e r c o u l d f r e e l y e l a b o r a t e on h i s or her expe r i e n c e . I a l s o recorded and t r a n s c r i b e d the i n t e r v i e w s . 69 Afterwards, I analyzed the t r a n s c r i p t s or p r o t o c o l s f o r common themes and wrote an exhaustive d e s c r i p t i o n from these themes. I then went back to the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s f o r v e r i f i c a t i o n of the themes and the exhaustive d e s c r i p t i o n . Any changes they recommended were i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o the r e s u l t s . S e l e c t i o n of Co-Researchers C o l a i z z i (1978, p. 58) s t a t e s t h a t s e l e c t i o n of c o - r e s e a r c h e r s i s based on experience with the phenomenon and the a b i l i t y to a r t i c u l a t e . I, t h e r e f o r e , looked f o r i n d i v i d u a l s who had experienced a breakthrough dream and c o u l d d e s c r i b e t h e i r experience i n E n g l i s h . The breakthrough dream experience was i d e n t i f i e d as a dream which a f f e c t e d them g r e a t l y and l e f t them with a f e l t sense of change immediately upon awakening. Another c r i t e r i o n was d i s t a n c e from the expe r i e n c e . I n d i v i d u a l s had to have at l e a s t four months' d i s t a n c e from the dream at the f i r s t i n t e r v i e w . D i s t a n c e was important to allow f o r a complete d e s c r i p t i o n of the experience b e f o r e , d u r i n g , and a f t e r the dream. Distanc e from the dream ranged from four months to s i x years s i n c e the dream expe r i e n c e . Six of the seven dreams o c c u r r e d more than one year before the f i r s t i n t e r v i e w . I s e l e c t e d my c o - r e s e a r c h e r s by t a l k i n g with f r i e n d s and acquaintances about my i n t e r e s t i n breakthrough dreams. I 70 knew of the experience of one of my c o - r e s e a r c h e r s before I had the idea f o r the study and subsequently had a breakthrough dream myself. Remembering a book I had read s i x years p r e v i o u s l y on these dreams, I combed the bookstores and l i b r a r i e s f o r i n f o r m a t i o n . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , without a t i t l e or an author, my search was to no a v a i l . No other sources d i s c u s s e d these dreams. Six months l a t e r I met a person who knew of the book and had the t i t l e and author's name: The Dream Makers: Discovering your Breakthrough Dreams by R i c h a r d C o r r i e r e and Joseph Hart (1977). T h i s book and the experience of one of my c o - r e s e a r c h e r s gave me the impetus to do t h i s study. Demographic Information The s e l e c t i o n of c o - r e s e a r c h e r s was not based on demographic i n f o r m a t i o n . In f a c t , the i n f o r m a t i o n presented here was not e l i c i t e d from the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s u n t i l a f t e r the i n t e r v i e w s were completed. The ages of the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s at the time of the i n t e r v i e w s were 27, 35, 36, 37, 40, 42, and 56. F i v e were Canadians and two were Americans. T h e i r e t h n i c backgrounds i n c l u d e d S c o t t i s h , E n g l i s h , German, Jewish, Russian, and Korean. T h e i r occupations were p s y c h o l o g i s t , p r o f e s s o r , homemaker, food s e r v i c e worker, r e a l t o r , nurse, and stock a n a l y s t . F i v e of the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s were female and two 71 were male. F i v e c o - r e s e a r c h e r s d e s c r i b e d t h e i r socio-economic l e v e l as "middle c l a s s " ; the others as "upper middle" and " p r o f e s s i o n a l . " Phenomenological Interview There were two i n t e r v i e w s with each of the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s . A l l of these i n t e r v i e w s were completed w i t h i n a ten month p e r i o d . The average time f o r the f i r s t i n t e r v i e w was one hour, with the second i n t e r v i e w averaging the same. The i n t e r v i e w s were u n s t r u c t u r e d with a few open-ended quest i o n s that would allow the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s the freedom to d e s c r i b e t h e i r experience f u l l y . I began the i n t e r v i e w s s t a t i n g the purpose of the study and by a s k i n g the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s to r e c a l l a dream that a f f e c t e d them g r e a t l y and l e f t them with a f e l t sense of change immediately upon awakening. They were then asked to d e s c r i b e what they experienced b e f o r e , d u r i n g , and a f t e r the dream. I a l s o asked a d d i t i o n a l q u e s t i o n s i n the f i r s t i n t e r v i e w i f these q u e s t i o n s were not answered i n t h e i r d e s c r i p t i o n . These q u e s t i o n s are as f o l l o w s : 1. What was i t about the dream that made you f e e l c e r t a i n that there was such an e f f e c t on you? 2. Is there any one p a r t of the experience that stands out fo r you? 72 3. How was t h i s dream d i f f e r e n t from other dreams you have had? 4. Has the change l a s t e d ? 5. How do you view t h i s experience now? 6. Has the dream experience a l t e r e d the way you view your l i f e ? During the i n t e r v i e w , i t was important f o r me to be f u l l y p r e s e n t . I responded using t h e i r own words as much as p o s s i b l e to r e f l e c t and s t i m u l a t e d i a l o g u e . In many i n s t a n c e s , I asked f o r e l a b o r a t i o n s on t h e i r d e s c r i p t i o n s using q u e s t i o n s such as "What does that mean f o r you?" "Can you t e l l me more about t h a t ? " "In what way?" The i n t e r v i e w s were taped and t r a n s c r i b e d . Each co - r e s e a r c h e r was given a copy of h i s or her own t r a n s c r i p t fo r v e r i f i c a t i o n . Copies of a l l the i n t e r v i e w s are presented i n Appendix A. In these t r a n s c r i p t s , names and l o c a t i o n s are i d e n t i f i e d by f i r s t l e t t e r s f o r c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y . Procedure f o r A n a l y s i s and I n t e r p r e t a t i o n A n a l y s i s of the p r o t o c o l s or t r a n s c r i p t s f o l l o w e d the method d e s c r i b e d by C o l a i z z i (1978, pp. 59-62). F i r s t , each t r a n s c r i p t was read and re - r e a d to gain a sense of the experience. Next, key statements which d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d to the experience were e x t r a c t e d from the t r a n s c r i p t s . Any 73 r e p e t i t i o n s were d i s c a r d e d . Each statement was then w r i t t e n on an index c a r d with the i n i t i a l of the c o - r e s e a r c h e r . From each statement, the meaning was formulated u s i n g " c r e a t i v e i n s i g h t " to move beyond e x p l i c i t statements to t h e i r i m p l i e d meanings ( C o l a i z z i , 1978, p. 59). In some statements the meaning was e x p l i c i t , which allowed me to use the words of the c o - r e s e a r c h e r . For example, E mentioned that she was f e e l i n g "a l o t of emotional p a i n and f e e l i n g a l o t of burdens." She was d e s c r i b i n g f e e l i n g burdened and used the word e x p l i c i t l y . T d i d not use the word "burdened" d i r e c t l y , but used a metaphor to d e s c r i b e h i s f e e l i n g : "I c o u l d say a thousand times, 'I f o r g i v e you,' but I s t i l l hadn't f o r g i v e n him i n my h e a r t . I j u s t c o u l d n ' t . I t was l i k e a wound b l e e d i n g that wouldn't h e a l . " On top of each car d , I wrote the meaning or theme. I then p l a c e d cards with s i m i l a r meanings to g e t h e r . Themes were c l u s t e r e d a c c o r d i n g to whether they o c c u r r e d b e f o r e , d u r i n g , or a f t e r the dream. Next, I compared the c a r d s with the t r a n s c r i p t s to make sure I had not d e v i a t e d from the experience or had l e f t out themes. A f t e r t h i s step, I made a l i s t of the themes with d e s c r i p t i o n s . T h i s l i s t with a t r a n s c r i p t of the f i r s t i n t e r v i e w was given to each c o - r e s e a r c h e r f o r v a l i d a t i o n . During the second i n t e r v i e w , I asked them to v e r i f y the themes and suggest any changes. I a l s o asked f o r c l a r i f i c a t i o n on any of t h e i r statements from 74 the f i r s t i n t e r v i e w that seemed u n c l e a r . For example, W, i n the f i r s t i n t e r v i e w mentioned that he had f e l t awe and profoundness. I asked him i n the second i n t e r v i e w to e l a b o r a t e more on what awe and profoundness meant f o r him. Any changes i n the themes were i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o the o r i g i n a l themes. A f t e r the second i n t e r v i e w s , I wove the themes i n t o an exhaustive d e s c r i p t i o n of the breakthrough dream exp e r i e n c e . From t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n , I summarized the experience i n t o a condensed form c a l l e d the e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e . In the e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e , the experience i s r e l a t e d as c o n c i s e l y as p o s s i b l e . I then took the exhaustive d e s c r i p t i o n and the e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e to the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s f o r v e r i f i c a t i o n . The d e s c r i p t i o n and e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e were v e r i f i e d by a l l the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s . However, E suggested that the word " r e l a t i o n s h i p " i n the second paragraph be changed to " r e l a t i o n s h i p s , " because her dream r e s o l v e d an i s s u e she had with more than one s i g n i f i c a n t person. 75 CHAPTER IV: Results Formulation of Themes A f t e r comparing the t r a n s c r i p t s of the seven c o - r e s e a r c h e r s , 30 themes were found. Each theme i s one aspect of the breakthrough dream experience. I n d i v i d u a l v a r i a t i o n s are i n c l u d e d i n the d e s c r i p t i o n s of the themes. I t became evident a f t e r the f i r s t i n t e r v i e w that the experience of one of the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s , S, was d r a m a t i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t from the o t h e r s . There were few s i m i l a r i t i e s i n her experience d u r i n g and a f t e r the dream. I deci d e d to i n t e r v i e w her a second time to v e r i f y the d i f f e r e n c e . The d i s c u s s i o n with S was i l l u m i n a t i n g . She v e r i f i e d a l l the themes which occu r r e d before the dream, but only three themes d u r i n g and none a f t e r the dream. Because of t h i s d i f f e r e n c e , S's experience c o u l d not be i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o the themes and the exhaustive d e s c r i p t i o n . A d i s c u s s i o n of her experience i s i n c l u d e d at the end of t h i s chapter, and the t r a n s c r i p t s of her two i n t e r v i e w s are i n the Appendix. The themes were formulated u s i n g the words of the • c o - r e s e a r c h e r s whenever p o s s i b l e . T h i s task was e a s i e r f o r some groups of statements than f o r o t h e r s . For example, Theme 9, V i v i d n e s s and c l a r i t y , was not a d i f f i c u l t theme to express. Most people e x p l i c i t l y used these words to d e s c r i b e 76 t h e i r e x perience. For T, " I t was such a dream, such a v i v i d dream." L a t e r i n h i s second i n t e r v i e w he added, "There was no s w i t c h i n g of scenes or s l i d i n g i n t o a d i f f e r e n t environment l i k e many dreams do . . . . I t was so c l e a r i n my mind . . . . I t was a very v i s u a l dream." Theme 12, In t i m a c y / c l o s e n e s s , was more c o m p l i c a t e d . At f i r s t , I c a l l e d t h i s theme Intimacy and understanding, because the m a j o r i t y of the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s experienced such complete understanding between themselves and the other person i n t h e i r dream. However, f o r A and T, understanding d i d not f i t . T h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p to the other person i n t h e i r dreams was not one of mutual understanding. A and T before t h e i r dreams were both s t r u g g l i n g to break f r e e of a r e l a t i o n s h i p . The dream helped them break the t i e . They d i d f e e l i ntimacy and agreed that the theme, as i t i s s t a t e d i n t h i s c hapter, f i t s t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e . With each theme completed, I went back to check the t r a n s c r i p t s to ensure that the themes f i t with everyone's e x p e r i e n c e . T h i s process took about four weeks. When I f e l t c o n f i d e n t t hat the themes captured the experience, I went to the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s f o r v a l i d a t i o n . At t h i s second i n t e r v i e w , I presented 38 themes. A l l of them were v a l i d a t e d by the s i x c o - r e s e a r c h e r s . During these i n t e r v i e w s , I began to r e a l i z e t h a t some of the themes were r e s t a t i n g each o t h e r . For example, I combined the theme 77 Focused a t t e n t i o n and a l e r t n e s s with the theme Intense involvement. C o n c e n t r a t i n g i n t e n t l y and being completely aware of t h e i r environment i s p a r t of the theme Intense involvement. These are now both under theme 7. Completion and R e s o l u t i o n of the dilemma were a l s o two themes that were combined under one theme c a l l e d R e s o l u t i o n of the dilemma. T h i s i s another example where one theme, Completion, was a l r e a d y i n c l u d e d i n the d e s c r i p t i o n of another theme. To f e e l completion.around the i s s u e i s to f e e l a r e s o l u t i o n . The two words are s t a t i n g the same i d e a . One theme, Readiness to r e c e i v e , I was f o r c e d to d e l e t e even though my c o - r e s e a r c h e r s v a l i d a t e d the theme. T h i s theme d e s c r i b e s an emotional preparedness which allowed the dreamers to be r e c e p t i v e and open to r e c e i v e . I had to d e l e t e t h i s one, because people were not c o n s c i o u s l y aware of a r e a d i n e s s . They were s e a r c h i n g , s t r u g g l i n g and f e l t stuck, but no one e x p l i c i t l y s t a t e d that they f e l t ready. The p e r i o d before the dream c o u l d have made them s u s c e p t i b l e , but we can not be sure of t h i s . The 30 themes are l i s t e d s e q u e n t i a l l y . Themes o c c u r r i n g before, d u r i n g , and a f t e r the dream are p l a c e d t o g e t h e r . The way they are p o s i t i o n e d g i v e s the impression that each theme followed another i n a l i n e a r f a s h i o n . While i t i s true that themes u s u a l l y d i d f a l l w i t h i n the t h r e e phases of the experience, t h e i r order w i t h i n each phase i s not i n v a r i a b l e . 78 Some themes were experienced s i m u l t a n e o u s l y , and other were experienced i n d i f f e r e n t o r d e r s . Language i s l i n e a r and l i m i t s the way the themes can be d e s c r i b e d . I t must be remembered that a l l the themes are a p a r t of the whole and i n t e r r e l a t e with each o t h e r . They are " t e m p o r a r i l y suspended" here i n order to " s i n g l e out and f o c u s " on t h e i r meaning ( C l a s p e l l , 1984, p. 88). The exhaustive s t r u c t u r e l a t e r i n t h i s chapter weaves the themes together i n t o a n a r r a t i v e to give a c l e a r e r p i c t u r e of the exper i e n c e . Themes Before the Dream 1. Incompleteness; People f e e l t h a t something i s u n f i n i s h e d or l a c k i n g . There i s a r e s t l e s s n e s s that prevents them from f e e l i n g complete. A p i e c e i s m i s s i n g from t h e i r l i v e s that needs to be there i n order to f e e l whole. W d i d not have a chance to speak with h i s f a t h e r before he d i e d and f e l t a v o i d and a sense of incompleteness. For y e a r s , V f e l t r e g r e t and g u i l t , because she d i d not stay with her mother while she was d y i n g . T f e l t h a t r e d f o r 25 years towards a teacher and c o u l d not break f r e e of h i s anger to f o r g i v e him. Burdened: People f e e l a heaviness and a weariness around t h e i r dilemma. The problem f e e l s l i k e a weight which c o l o u r s the way they view t h e i r world. E was f e e l i n g "a l o t of emotional p a i n and f e e l i n g a l o t of burdens" i n her l i f e , and she d i d not know whom she c o u l d t a l k with to ease her f e e l i n g s . A f e l t pain f o r a r e l a t i o n s h i p that she c o u l d n ' t end: "I had j u s t gone through a breaking up of an engagement, and i t was extremely p a i n f u l . I was m i s e r a b l e f o r s e v e r a l months before t h i s p a r t i c u l a r dream." Search and a l o n g i n g f o r answers: People search f o r ways out of t h e i r dilemma. There i s a quest and a l o n g i n g f o r s o l u t i o n s . The demands of d a i l y l i f e may vary the i n t e n s i t y of the search, but the d e s i r e i s always there and c a s t s a shadow over the person. F e e l i n g the l a c k of love s i n c e c h i l d h o o d , V longed f o r s e c u r i t y and a p l a c e to c a l l her own: "I had a hunger f o r i t , even f o r j u s t myself, and I wanted i t so badly that I t h i n k I c o u l d t a s t e i t . I was almost desperate." S t r u g g l e w i t h i n one's s e l f : When thoughts and f e e l i n g s about the i s s u e become too i n t e n s e , people t r y c o n t r o l l i n g or pushing down t h e i r emotions. T h i s e f f o r t c r e a t e s a s t r u g g l e between the pressure to c o n t a i n the f e e l i n g s and the d e s i r e to f i n d a s o l u t i o n . For some, 80 the s t r u g g l e i s i n t e n s e and always in the f o r e f r o n t of t h e i r awareness. For o t h e r s , the s t r u g g l e i s more l i k e a smoldering f i r e t h a t can't be e x t i n g u i s h e d . M t r i e d r a t i o n a l i z i n g with h e r s e l f to c o n t a i n her emotions: "Okay, I have a degree, and I'm not s t a r v i n g l i k e i n A f r i c a . I can p r e t t y w e l l do what I want and buy and got a roof over my head and people who love me, but I d i d n ' t f e e l f u l f i l l e d . " V t r i e d keeping busy: "I d i d n ' t know what I was going to do, and I was depressed. I was t r y i n g to do t h i n g s . " 5 . Stuck/blocked: A s t r o n g d e s i r e and a l o n g i n g f o r a s o l u t i o n without c l e a r d i r e c t i o n on how to end the s t r u g g l e c r e a t e s a f e e l i n g of being trapped. People can't p e r c e i v e of a way out and f e e l b locked from moving forward. For some, the emotions begin to reach a heightened p i t c h before the dream which makes the dilemma unbearable. They no longer are a b l e to c o n t a i n t h e i r emotions and are overwhelmed with the d e s i r e to f i n d r e l i e f . Day to day l i f e begins to f e e l l i k e a maze from which they cannot escape. For o t h e r s , there i s a deep, slow brooding t h a t has remained c o n s t a n t . The emotions do not r i s e to a fever p i t c h before the dream. T f e l t f r u s t r a t e d and prayed to God: " L i s t e n , maybe I should f o r g i v e him. I have to f o r g i v e him. These were j u s t 81 r e l i g i o u s and pious t r i c k s . They d i d n ' t work. Nothing worked." During the Dream Encounter with a s i g n i f i c a n t person: In the dream, people encounter a s i g n i f i c a n t person i n t h e i r l i v e s . The encounter has a st r o n g f e e l i n g of r e a l i t y to i t which leaves the impression that there has been a v i s i t . The i n t e r a c t i o n between the two people i s the f o c a l p o i n t of the dream. W met h i s f a t h e r whom he had wanted to speak with before he d i e d , and V met her mother who had d i e d many years b e f o r e . T met h i s teacher, and A was able to meet with her b o y f r i e n d and f i n a l l y break away. E encountered a f r i e n d who helped her see more c l e a r l y . M was seeking God and b e l i e v e d she c o n t a c t e d Him i n her dream. Intense involvement: People experience a heightened a l e r t n e s s where they are completely aware of themselves and t h e i r surroundings. They are t o t a l l y immersed i n the moment and every word, a c t i o n and f e e l i n g completely c a p t i v a t e s the a t t e n t i o n . The awareness i s not merely i n t e l l e c t u a l , but i s a l s o s ensual with the senses f l o o d e d and overwhelmed. T d e s c r i b e s the i n t e n s i t y : " I t ' s s o r t of o r g a n i c . You are what you a r e . You do what you do, 82 and maybe t h a t ' s what t o t a l i t y and f u l l n e s s of l i f e i s a l l about . . . . and sometimes i n dreams you reach that p i n n a c l e of e x i s t e n c e where you can do that j u s t f o r a moment." 8. A c t i v e r o l e of the dreamer: U n l i k e many dreams where i n d i v i d u a l s p a s s i v e l y observe, i n these experiences people a c t i v e l y p a r t i c i p a t e and respond. T h e i r a c t i o n s d i r e c t l y a f f e c t the outcome of the s t o r y . W was able to i n t e r a c t with h i s f a t h e r e q u a l l y . A was a b l e to take a c t i o n and leave her b o y f r i e n d . E f u l l y p a r t i c i p a t e d with her f r i e n d to make the f i n g e r p r i n t s . She was not merely shown the p r i n t s . 9. V i v i d n e s s and c l a r i t y : Images are c l e a r and d e t a i l e d , not dreamlike and unfocused. The c o l o u r s enhance the mood of the drama. The s t o r y i s coherent with each a c t i o n and f e e l i n g making sense to the dreamer. For A, the lack of c o l o u r was s i g n i f i c a n t and a c c u r a t e l y p o r t r a y e d her r e l a t i o n s h i p : "The sense t h a t I had was d e s o l a t i o n , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the f i r s t p a r t of the dream where he and I are sta n d i n g a c r o s s t h i s great chasm, t h i s abyss. I c o u l d see q u i t e a b i t of d e t a i l i n the rock formation." 10. D i r e c t c l e a r symbols: Each symbol i s c l e a r , obvious, and f r e e of d i s t o r t i o n . I n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s not necessary. The symbols enhance, r a t h e r than d e t r a c t from the understanding. When E looked a t the p i c t u r e s of the 83 moaning f a c e s , she knew immediately what they meant: "Now I understand, and I don't f e e l the pain any more, because my pain i s your p a i n . " 11. D i r e c t communication: I n t e r a c t i o n s between the dreamer and the other person are c l e a r and d i r e c t . There i s no d i s t o r t i o n or h o l d i n g back which c o u l d prevent communication. T was able to t e l l h i s teacher e x a c t l y how he f e l t : "There were no s o c i a l c o n v entions. There were no holds b a r r e d . I t was a l l or nothing on my p a r t . That's what I f e l t . I r e a c t e d the way I f e l t . I t o l d him, 'How dare you touch me!'" 12. I n t i m a c y / c l o s e n e s s : With c l e a r , d i r e c t communication comes intimacy and c l o s e n e s s . The honesty has c r e a t e d an i n t e r a c t i o n where l i t t l e i s hidden from each o t h e r . For some, t h i s intimacy i s accompanied with a sense that they are completely understood by the other person. I t i s as i f the two are u n i t e d as one without the separateness f e l t i n waking l i f e . For W, the understanding he f e l t between h i m s e l f and h i s f a t h e r was the h i g h l i g h t of the dream. For E, understanding was an important aspect of her e x p e r i e n c e , because she was not understood by the people she was seeking out i n waking l i f e . Her f r i e n d i n the dream understood her p a i n . For o t h e r s , there i s a c l o s e n e s s without understanding. In these experiences people have been 8.4 t r y i n g to break f r e e of a r e l a t i o n s h i p . A and T were both s t r u g g l i n g to f i n i s h r e l a t i o n s h i p s before t h e i r dreams. Understanding was not pa r t of t h e i r e x perience. 13. M a g n i f i c a t i o n of f e e l i n g s : People experience i n t e n s e emotions and allow them f u l l e x p r e s s i o n . The images, a c t i o n s , and words s t i m u l a t e deep emotions that l i n g e r on a f t e r awakening. T f e l t i ntense nausea when h i s teacher touched him. When A broke away from her f r i e n d , she f e l t as i f "somebody was s u r g i c a l l y removing my guts." 14. Realness: Because the images and f e e l i n g s are c r y s t a l c l e a r and the other person keenly sensed, i t does not occur to people that they are dreaming. There i s a r e l u c t a n c e to c a l l the experience a dream. T f e l t the touch of h i s tea c h e r ' s hand on h i s cheek f o r days a f t e r w a r d s : "I f e l t h i s touch f o r days. I found that s i g n i f i c a n t , and I thin k that i t was perhaps the most important p a r t of my dream, because I knew i t was r e a l . I t wasn't j u s t another dream." 15. Relevance: Part of the impact of the dream i s the p e r t i n e n c y of the message. The dream d i r e c t l y r e l a t e s to the s t r u g g l e people are w r e s t l i n g with. I t responds to t h e i r inner l o n g i n g t o f i n d answers. M wanted answers from God, and she r e c e i v e d what she was seeking. E was abl e to get the h e l p she needed from a f r i e n d , and V was abl e to r e c e i v e love from her mother. 85 A f t e r t h e Dream 1 6 • Awaken i m m e d i a t e l y a f t e r c o m p l e t i o n o f f e e l i n g i n t h e dream: A f t e r f e e l i n g s , t h o u g h t s , and a c t i o n s have moved t o w a r d s f u l l a w a r e n e s s and u n d e r s t a n d i n g , p e o p l e awaken. The e n d i n g i s a b r u p t , y e t t h e dream f e e l s f i n i s h e d . When M had r e c e i v e d t h e i n f o r m a t i o n she was s e e k i n g , she was s e n t b a c k : "When I r e a c h e d t h e p e r i o d o f awe and h u m b l e n e s s , i t s e n t me b a c k . " When T's na u s e a l e f t him, he awoke: "With t h e na u s e a my h a t r e d d r a i n e d away. I t h e n woke up i m m e d i a t e l y . " 17. F e l t s e n s e i m m e d i a t e l y upon a w a k e n i n g t h a t s o m e t h i n g i m p o r t a n t h as happened: P e o p l e a r e shaken and s t r u c k w i t h t h e r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t s o m e t h i n g s i g n i f i c a n t has happened. The c o n t r a s t between t h e f e e l i n g s b e f o r e t h e dream and a f t e r a l s o e n h a n c e s t h e i m p a c t . T h e r e i s s u r p r i s e t h a t an i s s u e t h e y have s t r u g g l e d w i t h has d i s s o l v e d away i n a dream. When E woke up, she f e l t " l i k e a r e a l l y p r o f o u n d e x p e r i e n c e had happened, and I f e l t e m o t i o n a l l y d i f f e r e n t , b e c a u s e I remember b e f o r e t h e dream I was r e a l l y f e e l i n g d e p r e s s e d . " W f e l t s u r p r i s e d t h a t t h e e x p e r i e n c e c o u l d happen t o him: "I d i d n ' t a n t i c i p a t e w h a t e v e r happened, and 1^  d i d n ' t a n t i c i p a t e t h a t i t would e v e r happen w i t h t h e d e g r e e o f c l a r i t y a nd c o m p l e t e n e s s t h a t i t d i d . I n f a c t , I- had 86 assumed that s o r t of t h i n g c o u l d n ' t happen." T d e s c r i b e d how t h i s dream was d i f f e r e n t from other dreams he has had: "I b e l i e v e the f a c t t h at I woke up r i g h t away i s important. I t ' s l i k e such a shock, such an event, that one wakes up. I t can't be helped, and then one has to r e f l e c t upon i t and say, 'Wait a minute. What happened to me?' One knows. I knew i t was important." 18. D i r e c t message without i n t e r p r e t a t i o n : People experienced the f u l l meaning of the dream without imposing an i n t e l l e c t u a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . When M t o l d a f r i e n d about her dream, he attempted to analyze i t f o r her. She d i d n ' t f e e l t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n was necessary: "That doesn't have any meaning f o r me. The r e a l meaning was i n that other world, what t r a n s p i r e d t h e r e . " 19. R e s o l u t i o n of the dilemma: People d i s c o v e r that the s t r u g g l e has now ended, and an answer has been found. There i s a completeness around the i s s u e , where before there was a p i e c e m i s s i n g . A f t e r A ended her r e l a t i o n s h i p i n the dream, her pain ended: "The pain and anguish has never returned, and I had that dream almost s i x years ago." 20. R e l i e f : There i s a f e e l i n g of r e l i e f a f t e r the e x p e r i e n c e . People f e e l as i f a weight has been l i f t e d . The body f e e l s soothed and f r e e of t e n s i o n . T d e s c r i b e d h i s r e l i e f from h a t r e d : " I t suddenly d r a i n e d l i k e you 87 p u l l t h e p l u g i n a b a t h t u b . " F o r W, r e l i e f was one of t h e f i r s t f e e l i n g s he e x p e r i e n c e d when he awoke: " R e l i e f , b e c a u s e I had a c h i e v e d s o m e t h i n g t h a t I had a l w a y s wanted t o do and t h a t was t o see him a g a i n and communicate w i t h him, and i t h a p p e n e d . . . . t h e r e l i e f , t h e s e n s e o f j u s t l a c k of t e n s i o n and w e l l - b e i n g I e x p e r i e n c e d p h y s i c a l l y , y e s , as w e l l a s m e n t a l l y . " 21. R e l e a s e / f r e e d o m : P e o p l e f e e l as i f t h e y a r e f l o a t i n g on a i r . I t i s p h y s i c a l , e m o t i o n a l , and m e n t a l f e e l i n g o f l i b e r a t i o n and f r e e d o m . R e l e a s e c o n t r a s t s w i t h t h e h e a v i n e s s t h e y f e l t b e f o r e t h e dream. E f e l t t h e f r e e d o m as a c o n t r a s t : " I t wasn't l i k e I was c a r r y i n g a r o u n d a b u r d e n . I f e l t a l o t f r e e r . " T d e s c r i b e d f e e l i n g t h e f r e e d o m i m m e d i a t e l y : "I f e l t t h a t f r e e d o m i m m e d i a t e l y , j u s t l i k e , 'Oh my God, i t ' s gone.' Gone, i t ' s t h e w e i r d e s t t h i n g . I c a n ' t e x p l a i n i t . I mean, I'm l o o k i n g f o r words." 22. Awe a n d wonder: The d r e a m e r s f e e l awe and r e v e r e n c e t o w a r d s t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e . They a r e s h a k e n by an e n c o u n t e r w i t h s o m e t h i n g g r e a t e r t h a n t h e y had i m a g i n e d and f e e l wonder a b o u t t h e n a t u r e o f t h e e x p e r i e n c e and why i t happened t o them. F e e l i n g s o f h u m i l i t y accompany wonder. The h u m i l i t y i s b o r n o u t o f an a b s e n c e o f p r i d e , r a t h e r t h a n s u b m i s s i o n o r weakness. F o r W, awe was one 88 of the f i r s t emotions experienced when he awoke: "Tremendous f e e l i n g of r e l i e f and a f e e l i n g of awe that something had happened, and I f e l t q u i t e d i f f e r e n t a f t e r t h a t . I t was almost, i t was a f e e l i n g of profoundness. That was the f i r s t t h i n g I f e l t when I woke up i n the morning." He l a t e r speaks of the importance of the experience f o r him: "I think i t was probably the best, most powerful experience that I've had. Looking back, i t s t i l l i s . I t looms very powerful." I n s i g h t and understanding: The experience p r o v i d e s i n s i g h t and understanding of the i s s u e s people have been s t r u g g l i n g with. The i n s i g h t allows them to see f u r t h e r and deeper i n t o t h e i r own e x i s t e n c e . T h e i r view of the world i s expanded from seeing t h i n g s from a narrow, l i m i t e d p e r s p e c t i v e to a broader view. They stand back and look at l i f e , yet at the same time are a pa r t of i t . T h e i r a t t e n t i o n i s widened which allows them to view the world i n a l e s s e g o c e n t r i c way. For A, the experience helped her to be more o b j e c t i v e towards r e l a t i o n s h i p s : "As a r e s u l t of t h i s dream detaching me and r e s o l v i n g the p a i n , I was then a b l e to look back on the experience, the engagement and the whole r e l a t i o n s h i p , and see i t more o b j e c t i v e l y and c l e a r l y . " For E, the experience gave her an understanding beyond the s i t u a t i o n she was s t r u g g l i n g with: " I t ' s l i k e 89 suddenly your eyes are open, and you become e n l i g h t e n e d . I t ' s almost l i k e every q u e s t i o n that you've had i s answered. I t ' s maybe not l i k e i n words that i t has been answered, but i t ' s l i k e the impression you have or the sense of the dream and a l l the t h i n g s that are going on i n s i d e you are a l l addressed at once." For M, the experience was l i k e viewing the world from a mountain top: " I t ' s l i k e going up to the mountain top and seeing a panoramic view. You're j u s t overwhelmed. Your senses are j u s t f l o o d e d . You've seen a d i f f e r e n t glimpse of r e a l i t y , and you have to t r y and comprehend i t . " 24. E x c i t e m e n t / e l a t i o n : People f e e l e x c i t e d about the experience and the i n s i g h t they have r e c e i v e d . Knowing something s p e c i a l has happened to them, they stay e x h i l a r a t e d f o r days a f t e r w a r d s . W remembered h i s f e e l i n g s a f t e r the dream, but found i t d i f f i c u l t to remember the events: "That day I f e l t very h i g h a l l day long and f o r days a f t e r , e m o t i o n a l l y very h i g h , but I don't remember the events." 25. G r a t e f u l : The dream i s seen as a g i f t . People are t h a n k f u l f o r the good f o r t u n e that has been bestowed upon them. An experience of t h i s k i nd has never happened to them b e f o r e . For E, the dream was given to her: " I t was l i k e I was given a g i f t , and t h i n g s seemed to r e a l l y 90 become r e s o l v e d that moment. I never had that with other dreams." 26. Reassurance: Because people have a sense a f t e r the dream that they are connected to something l a r g e r than themselves, they f e e l r e assured and comforted. W f e l t r eassured knowing that h i s f a t h e r was s t i l l with him and knowing of the e x i s t e n c e of h i s own s p i r i t u a l i t y : "Reassured i n two ways: (1) which we d i s c u s s e d , that a break had been reconnected and something had been opened, and (2) that the s p i r i t u a l i t y of us as people i s unquestionable." For E, the experience reassured what she had been going through before her dream, but a l s o gave her reassurance of her s p i r i t u a l i t y : "When I woke up, i t seemed l i k e what I was going through was reassured, but i t seemed so t r i v i a l almost i n comparison to a l l the other t h i n g s that I l e a r n e d about myself i n the dream, about l i f e . That's what I mean when i t touched the s p i r i t u a l r a t h e r than the everyday waking e x i s t e n c e . " 27. S p i r i t u a l i t y : People b e l i e v e the experience has touched an inner core of t h e i r being where they f e e l more connected t o the world. They d e s c r i b e these f e e l i n g s as s p i r i t u a l , where boundaries and f i n i t e n e s s are r e p l a c e d with belongingness and oneness. E t r i e d to d e s c r i b e her f e e l i n g s : " I t was l i k e the core of l i f e , i f I c o u l d use a 91 metaphor, i t was l i k e the core where a l l l i f e emanates from. I t was l i k e a sense that I was ab l e to touch that core f o r j u s t a moment i n the dream. R e a l i t y i s very, very d i f f e r e n t . " V b e l i e v e d "the l i t t l e wind" was God speaking through her mother: "I j u s t f e l t as i f i t was God t h i s whole time c a r i n g f o r me, and then when i t r e v e a l e d i t s e l f as my mother, I s t i l l f e l t that i t was God, perhaps speaking through my mother . . . . I t has made me f e e l much c l o s e r to God, much c l o s e r to the f a c t that there i s some unseen f o r c e l o o k i n g out f o r us." When asked about the c l o s e n e s s , V responded, "To nature, I guess, to the u n i v e r s e , to the whole u n i v e r s e . " I n e f f a b i l i t y : There i s d i f f i c u l t y e x p r e s s i n g to others what has happened to them. People can d e s c r i b e the events i n the dream, but f i n d i t hard to f i n d the words to d e s c r i b e t h e i r f e e l i n g s and the meaning of the ex p e r i e n c e . Language which i s l o g i c a l l y s t r u c t u r e d with one idea f o l l o w i n g another seems inadequate to capture an experience where many concepts are f e l t at the same time. E d e s c r i b e d the l i m i t a t i o n s of language: " A l l I knew i s that t h e r e was a r e a l d i f f e r e n c e i n terms of my own understanding of what happened. I t was almost beyond words l i k e t h a t sense of profoundness that there was a depth of understanding which wasn't there b e f o r e . Even 92 when I say t h a t , yes, my pain i s shared now, I'm not c a p t u r i n g the e x p e r i e n c e . " Because the dream was an emotional experience. V found i t d i f f i c u l t to f i n d the words: "I f i n d i t hard to f i n d words to express . . . . I t was kind of a f e e l i n g t h i n g . I t was a b e a u t i f u l f e e l i n g , but I f i n d i t very d i f f i c u l t to r e a l l y d e s c r i b e . " Growth: There i s a sense that one has grown from the experience. The knowledge and understanding gained expands t h e i r awareness to allow them to move forward and grow. The person f e e l s s t r e t c h e d and p u l l e d towards becoming more a c t u a l i z e d and more open to e x p e r i e n c e . For A, breaking away from her r e l a t i o n s h i p has f r e e d her to go on her own journey: "I've been on my own journey ever s i n c e . As p a i n f u l and as d e s p a i r i n g as i t gets sometimes, I am s t i l l on my own journey . . . . Yes, I'm l e s s prone to j u s t r e a c t i n g to s i t u a t i o n s and seeing myself as a v i c t i m . Now r a t h e r , okay, i f something i s not going r i g h t , then i t ' s up to me to do as much as I can about i t . " For E, the experience has helped her change the way she r e l a t e s to o t h e r s : " I t was more than j u s t the a c t i v i t y of seeking out h e l p . I t was the depth of understanding, the change that wasn't there b e f o r e . I d o n L t know what to even c a l l i t , whether i t ' s a s p i r i t u a l 93 understanding or an i n t u i t i v e understanding. I t doesn't even f i t i n terms of emotions or t h i n k i n g . I t ' s l i k e a way of being that has changed, i n the way I r e l a t e to o t h e r s . " Rejuvenation and hope: The world i s viewed a f r e s h as i f i t were being seen f o r the f i r s t time. I t i s a d i s c o v e r y which g i v e s promise of new beginnings. There i s hope f o r the f u t u r e , but at the same time a r e v i t a l i z a t i o n to experience the present. M sees a way out of her s i t u a t i o n , where before she f e l t stuck: "I've come to the c o n c l u s i o n that as the w r i t i n g s say, 'God helps those who hel p themselves.' I can change my circumstances p r e t t y much. I f I don't l i k e commuting, I can get an apartment in the c i t y . . . . I t made me stronger i n my b e l i e f that I'm on the r i g h t t r a c k . " For W, the b e l i e f t h a t there i s a l i f e a f t e r death has given him hope: "In f a c t I think that t h i s dream convinced me of the e x i s t e n c e of l i f e a f t e r death, that i n f a c t i t i s there, and t h a t ' s a very n i c e f e e l i n g to know that we w i l l get together a g a i n . " 94 C l u s t e r s of Themes I o r g a n i z e d the 30 themes i n t o three s e c t i o n s . Those themes o c c u r r i n g before, d u r i n g , and a f t e r the dream are pl a c e d t o g e t h e r . Within each s e c t i o n , I' attempted to order the themes i n the sequence i n which they were experienced by most of the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s . The order, however, i s not i n v a r i a n t , with many themes o c c u r r i n g simultaneously and i n d i f f e r e n t o r d e r s f o r many c o - r e s e a r c h e r s . For example, f o r almost a l l the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s the themes w i t h i n the dream occur r e d s i m u l t a n e o u s l y . The same can be s a i d f o r the themes o c c u r r i n g a f t e r the dream. A person can f e e l awe, e x c i t e d , r e l i e f , and r e l e a s e at the same time. I t i s the l i m i t a t i o n s of language that d i v i d e s the experience s e q u e n t i a l l y . 95 Three Phases of a Breakthrough Dream Experience Before the dream 1. Incompleteness 2. Burdened 3. Search and a l o n g i n g f o r answers 4. S t r u g g l e w i t h i n one's s e l f 5. Stuck/blocked During the dream 6. Encounter with a s i g n i f i c a n t person 7. Intense involvement 8. A c t i v e r o l e of the dreamer 9. V i v i d n e s s and c l a r i t y 10. D i r e c t c l e a r symbols 11. D i r e c t communication 12. Intimacy/closeness 13. M a g n i f i c a t i o n of f e e l i n g s 14. Realness 15. Relevance A f t e r the dream 16. Awaken immediately a f t e r completion of f e e l i n g i n the dream 17. F e l t sense immediately upon awakening that something important has happened 18. D i r e c t message without i n t e r p r e t a t i o n 19. R e s o l u t i o n of the dilemma 20. R e l i e f 21. Release/freedom 22. Awe and wonder 23. I n s i g h t and understanding 24. E x c i t e m e n t / e l a t i o n 25. G r a t e f u l 26. Reassurance 27. S p i r i t u a l i t y • 28. I n e f f a b i l i t y 29. Growth 30. Rejuvenation and hope 96 Context f o r Viewing the Exhaustive D e s c r i p t i o n The exhaustive d e s c r i p t i o n r e v e a l s the s t r u c t u r e or p a t t e r n of the breakthrough dream exp e r i e n c e . I t i s a w r i t t e n n a r r a t i v e of the theme d e s c r i p t i o n s with a beginning, middle, and an end. The p a t t e r n addresses the meaning of the experience without proposing a model or theory. I t i s a d e s c r i p t i o n of the experience as i t i s l i v e d i n the context of people's l i v e s . As s t a t e d before, language i s l i m i t e d , and the w r i t t e n n a r r a t i v e g i v e s the impression that the experience i s a l i n e a r phenomenon. C e r t a i n themes d i d occur b e f o r e , d u r i n g , and a f t e r the dream, yet w i t h i n the three phases the order of the themes v a r i e d with some o c c u r r i n g s i m u l t a n e o u s l y . The themes are dimensions of the experience and are not stages f i x e d i n time. The s t r u c t u r e , t h e r e f o r e , i s a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of a m u l t i - d i m e n s i o n a l experience w r i t t e n i n n a r r a t i v e form. Context f o r Viewing the E s s e n t i a l S t r u c t u r e The e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e which f o l l o w s the exhaustive d e s c r i p t i o n i s a shortened d e s c r i p t i o n of the breakthrough dream e x p e r i e n c e . I t c o n s o l i d a t e s the e s s e n t i a l elements of the exhaustive d e s c r i p t i o n to form a s t r u c t u r e or p a t t e r n which i s the heart or core of the exp e r i e n c e . I t s purpose i s 97 to d e s c r i b e the meaning of the experience as c o n c i s e l y as p o s s i b l e . Exhaustive D e s c r i p t i o n Before the tr a n s f o r m i n g dream, people are faced with a potent and enduring dilemma. For M, the inhumanity of the world and the l a c k of meaning i n her l i f e c a l l e d i n t o q u e s t i o n the e x i s t e n c e of God. For W, h i s f a t h e r d i e d before W c o u l d say what he had meant to him. For T, h i s h a t r e d of a man who had destroyed h i s confidence burned w i t h i n him f o r 25 years, and he c o u l d not r i d h i m s e l f of i t . In each case, the dilemma i s experienced as an enduring warp on t h e i r e x i s t e n c e . T f e l t , f o r i n s t a n c e , that he c o u l d not love u n t i l h i s hatred d i m i n i s h e d . A f e l t "devoured and swallowed up by t h i s person's being," yet c o u l d not f r e e h e r s e l f from her r e l a t i o n s h i p . The dilemma g i v e s r i s e to and seems to be a b a s i s of problems. I t i n v o l v e s a r e l a t i o n s h p or r e l a t i o n s h i p s t h a t was s i g n i f i c a n t , yet somehow u n f i n i s h e d . People f e e l incomplete, as though a p a r t of t h e i r l i f e or p o t e n t i a l to l i v e i s m i s s i n g . For some, t h i s incompleteness assumes the potency of a v o i d . For W, "something f e l t u n f i n i s h e d , something f e l t incomplete, that he and I hadn't had a chance to t a l k the way I had wanted t o , and i t always f e l t l i k e a v o i d . " 98 For o t h e r s , i t i s more l i k e a p i e c e m i s s i n g which h i n d e r s a sense of wholeness and the p o s s i b i l i t y of f u l f i l l m e n t . V f e l t r e g r e t that she wasn't there when her mother d i e d : "I couldn't stay i n the house. I j u s t c o u l d n ' t watch her d i e . I couldn't face i t , so I went to town . . . . Then I had a message from home and I knew that my mother d i e d . I went home, and i t was almost as i f I was r e l i e v e d i n a way, but I f e l t so g u i l t y a l l these years knowing that I ran away and d i d n ' t stay home and h o l d her and be with her while she was dyi n g . " The dilemma i s a burden. There i s a sense of heaviness i n people's l i v e s as i f a dark c l o u d i s hovering over t h e i r e x i s t e n c e . T t r i e d to f o r g i v e h i s teacher, but c o u l d n ' t . I t c o l o u r e d the way he viewed l i f e : "I c o u l d say a thousand times, 'I f o r g i v e you,' but I s t i l l hadn't f o r g i v e n him i n my he a r t . I j u s t c o u l d n ' t . I t was l i k e a wound b l e e d i n g that wouldn't h e a l . " Unloved s i n c e c h i l d h o o d , V f e l t i n s e c u r e . Her parents d i d n ' t show her l o v e , which made her f e e l unworthy and i n f e r i o r : "The f e e l i n g s f e l t l i k e an i n f e r i o r i t y complex. I t f e l t l i k e I wasn't good enough t o have l o v e . " People begin s e a r c h i n g f o r ways out of the dilemma. There i s a quest and a l o n g i n g f o r s o l u t i o n s . The i n t e n s i t y of the search can vary with the demands of d a i l y l i f e , but the d e s i r e f o r answers i s always p r e s e n t . M was f e e l i n g 99 u n f u l f i l l e d commuting one-and-a-half hours to a job she found s t i f l i n g and unrewarding. Her l i f e l a cked purpose and d i r e c t i o n . F r u s t r a t e d at the f u t i l i t y of her l i f e and the i n j u s t i c e s of the world, she began q u e s t i o n i n g God: " I get very angry at God. I don't s u b s c r i b e to any r e l i g i o n , but I do b e l i e v e there i s a God, and maybe He hears our c r i e s . I don't know." T t r i e d p r a y i n g to r i d h i m s e l f of h i s h a t r e d : " T h i s h a t r e d and these nightmares a f f e c t e d me so much that I t r i e d to get r i d of them any way I c o u l d . Since I was brought up very r e l i g i o u s l y , I prayed about i t . " E i n her d e p r e s s i o n t r i e d r e a c h i n g out to f r i e n d s f o r h e l p : " I u s u a l l y keep i t i n and t r y to get along on my own. T h i s was a time when I was r e a l l y f e e l i n g down, and i t got so bad that I would s t a r t seeking people out." When the s e a r c h i n g does not r e s u l t i n answers, people t r y c o n t r o l l i n g or pushing down t h e i r emotions. T h i s e f f o r t c r e a t e s a s t r u g g l e between the pre s s u r e to c o n t a i n the f e e l i n g s and the d e s i r e to f i n d a s o l u t i o n . For some, the s t r u g g l e i s in t e n s e and always i n the f o r e f r o n t of t h e i r awareness. For o t h e r s , the s t r u g g l e i s more l i k e a smoldering f i r e than can't be e x t i n g u i s h e d . In order to cope and get some r e l i e f from her p a i n , A t r i e d to d i s t r a c t h e r s e l f by keeping busy: "I t h i n k the way I was handl i n g the i s s u e before the dream was on the one hand kind of avoidance. In other 100 words, I would t r y to do t h i n g s to keep busy, to keep my mind o f f of i t , but on the other hand, there were times when I would j u s t t r y and c o n f r o n t the g r i e f that I was f e e l i n g . " T spoke of h i s s t r u g g l e as a war i n s i d e him: "Well the pain was a f e e l i n g of inadequacy mainly, f e e l i n g i n f i n i t e l y h u r t , f e e l i n g i n f i n i t e l y inadequate. I was aware of my s t a t e . I knew that I f e l t inadequate, and there was t h i s war going on i n s i d e me." B a t t l i n g with h i s f e e l i n g s , T began pushing down the emotions: "Well, how does one f o r g i v e someone? You can t r y f o r g e t t i n g about i t , I guess, but i t came back. Even i f I pushed i t down in my waking l i f e where you have some d e c i s i o n over your thoughts, i t came back at n i g h t . " A s t r o n g d e s i r e and a l o n g i n g f o r a s o l u t i o n without c l e a r d i r e c t i o n on how to end the s t r u g g l e c r e a t e s a f e e l i n g of being trapped. People can't p e r c e i v e a way put and f e e l blocked from moving forward. A came to a p o i n t i n her s u f f e r i n g where she f e l t that she c o u l d not endure any more: " I t was l i k e a cancer that was e a t i n g away at me." She was t r y i n g to cope with her p a i n , but became desperate when she saw no hope of recovery: " I t was j u s t a t e r r i b l e p a i n and a sense of f e e l i n g imprisoned e m o t i o n a l l y that I was walking around with f o r I t h i n k at l e a s t s i x months. When I was going through t h i s , I d i d n ' t t h i n k I would ever get out of i t . " E f e l t f r u s t r a t e d when her attempts to speak with people about her t u r m o i l r e s u l t e d i n h a l f - l i s t e n i n g c o n v e r s a t i o n s : "I 101 almost f e l t hopeless, and that was d i f f i c u l t to j u s t be hopeless. I remember that day f e e l i n g so down, and that was r e a l l y on my mind. I j u s t thought how can I continue f e e l i n g so hopeless, f e e l i n g so very, very sad." For M, the f u t u r e looked bleak with l i t t l e hope of l e a v i n g the monotony of her l i f e : "You get home, and you're t i r e d , and I'm not i n t o T.V., and you go to bed. Before you know i t , you s t a r t the process over a g a i n . " For some, the emotions begin to reach a heightened p i t c h which makes the dilemma unbearable. They no longer are able to c o n t a i n t h e i r emotions and are overwhelmed with the d e s i r e to f i n d r e l i e f . Day to day l i f e begins to f e e l l i k e a maze from which they cannot escape. For o t h e r s , there i s a deep, slow brooding that has remained c o n s t a n t . The emotions do not r i s e to a fever p i t c h before the dream exp e r i e n c e . A found i t impossible to bear her anguish any l o n g e r . She wanted to break f r e e of her r e l a t i o n s h i p , but c o u l d not conceive of h e r s e l f having the courage to l e t go: "I phoned t h i s f r i e n d of mine and t o l d her I was j u s t about at wit's end. I can't take t h i s agony and pain any more." E was drowning i n her f e e l i n g s of hopelessness with no one c a r i n g to l i s t e n . She c o u l d n ' t f i n d a way out of her dilemma on her own: " I t was a c t u a l l y that very n i g h t when i t got to the p o i n t where i t was too overwhelming. That day I was so angry, and I was h o l d i n g i n t e a r s a l l day." 1 02 For W, the r e g r e t and g u i l t of not speaking to h i s f a t h e r b e f o r e he d i e d had remained c o n s t a n t . His emotions were not at a fever p i t c h before the dream, but the l o n g i n g to make co n t a c t had become stronger a f t e r the b i r t h of h i s c h i l d r e n : "I f e l t the incompleteness before the b i r t h of my c h i l d r e n . I f e l t i t maybe more a f t e r . I t was almost l i k e a pressure cooker, I guess. Maybe the b i r t h of a l l of the k i d s t r i g g e r e d something i n me to make t h i s c o n t a c t with my f a t h e r . " The dream occurs a f t e r a p e r i o d of p r e p a r a t i o n . In the dream people have an encounter with a s i g n i f i c a n t person or persons i n t h e i r l i v e s . They d e s c r i b e the encounter as more l i k e a v i s i t than a dream. V d e s c r i b e s the experience of meeting her mother: "Oh, I f e l t good. I almost f e l t l i k e I had a v i s i t from my mother. I f e l t she was up there s t i l l c a r i n g about me." For W, t h e r e was no doubt that he had had a v i s i t from h i s f a t h e r : "The i n t e n s i t y of f e e l i n g s and a s e n s a t i o n that I had been i n p e r s o n a l c o n t a c t with him, not that I had j u s t had a dream about him, and t h a t ' s what I want to make very c l e a r . I knew I had-spoken to him." T b e l i e v e d that h i s teacher came to a p o l o g i z e : "The experience was so r e a l that I surmise that t h i s man was e i t h e r on h i s death bed or was very s i c k . " People i n these encounters f i n d themselves having a heightened c o n c e n t r a t i o n where they are completely aware of 103 themselves and t h e i r surroundings. There i s not the dreamlike q u a l i t y that i s u s u a l l y found i n t h e i r dreams. T h e i r a l e r t n e s s a l l o w s them to act f r e e l y from w i t h i n . M, f o r in s t a n c e , d e s c r i b e d her experience as d i f f e r e n t from her normal dreams: "I had t h i s tremendous t h i n k i n g process going on. I j u s t wasn't observing t h i n g s . I t was a d i f f e r e n t type of dream, m u l l i n g i n my head as I was dreaming." W was aware of the importance of the experience d u r i n g the dream: "I t h i n k that I was aware that t h i s i s a very s p e c i a l e x t r a t e r r e s t r i a l event . . . . I thin k I know that because of the way I stayed i n i t and d i d n ' t move u n t i l i t was a l l over, d i d n ' t p a n i c , and remained a b s o l u t e l y calm, and I t r u s t e d i t . " With the heightened a l e r t n e s s i s inte n s e involvement. People are t o t a l l y immersed i n the moment. Every word, a c t i o n , and f e e l i n g completely c a p t i v a t e s the a t t e n t i o n . The awareness i s s e n s u a l , as w e l l as i n t e l l e c t u a l . The senses f e e l l i k e they are f l o o d e d and overwhelmed. W d e s c r i b e d h i s involvement i n the c o n v e r s a t i o n : "My a t t e n t i o n was r i v e t e d on him." M was a c t i v e l y t h i n k i n g and sensing i n her dream: "I was working. My emotions were working with the dream at the moment, t r y i n g t o analyze i t as i t was going on." U n l i k e many dreams where i n d i v i d u a l s p a s s i v e l y observe, i n these e x p e r i e n c e s people a c t i v e l y p a r t i c i p a t e and respond. 104 T h e i r a c t i o n s d i r e c t l y a f f e c t the outcome of the drama. A, f o r i n s t a n c e , was able to take a c t i o n i n the dream and p u l l away from her r e l a t i o n s h i p . She c o u l d not conceive of h e r s e l f a c t i n g i n t h i s manner i n waking l i f e : "I s t a r t e d to p u l l away, and I d i d . I d i s e n t a n g l e d myself, and I s a i d out loud, 'This i s enough, enough.' I then got out of the car and c l o s e d the door and walked away." T a c t i v e l y responded when h i s teacher came to a p o l o g i z e : "He touched me and walked away. I took a c t i o n then, and s a i d , 'How dare you touch me.' That was an a c t i v e p a r t on my p a r t . The f i r s t time I had ever taken the i n i t i a t i v e by showing him what I r e a l l y f e l t about him and what he had done." The dream i s v i v i d and the images sharp and d e t a i l e d . The s t o r y i s coherent with each a c t i o n and f e e l i n g making sense to the dreamer. The symbols are a l s o c l e a r , obvious, and f r e e of d i s t o r t i o n , making i n t e r p r e t a t i o n d u r i n g and a f t e r the dream unnecessary. The symbols enhance, r a t h e r than d e t r a c t from understanding the dream. E spoke about the v i v i d n e s s of her f r i e n d and the p r i n t s that were shown to her: "I p i c t u r e d her so c l e a r l y . I a l s o remember the sheets of white paper, snowy, snowy white, a l s o the blackness a g a i n s t the white." The symbol of nausea v i v i d l y d e p i c t e d T's h a t r e d : "When the nausea d r a i n e d , my h a t r e d d r a i n e d . I t ' s a p r e t t y good metaphor to show hat r e d as nausea, because i t made me s i c k 105 over the years, s o r t of a s p i r i t u a l , mental nausea." The i n t e r a c t i o n s between the dreamer and the other person are a l s o c l e a r and d i r e c t . Nothing i s h e l d back that would prevent complete communication. W found that he c o u l d t e l l h i s f a t h e r a l l he had wnated to say f o r so many years, and h i s f a t h e r heard and understood: "I f e l t t o t a l l y c l e a r with him that I t o l d him what I had, I t h i n k I t o l d him a l l the t h i n g s that I had wanted to say to him, and he understood . . . . And I f e l t completely u n i n h i b i t e d about saying what I s a i d . " E's f r u s t r a t i o n at not f i n d i n g someone who would understand and l i s t e n i n waking l i f e was a c o n t r a s t to what she experienced i n the dream: " I t was so easy to t a l k with her. I c o u l d approach her d i r e c t l y and say that I was i n p a i n , and I c o u l d n ' t do anything about i t . " With c l e a r , d i r e c t communication comes a c l o s e n e s s and an i n t e n s i t y . The honesty c r e a t e s an i n t e r a c t i o n where l i t t l e i s hidden from each o t h e r . For some, there i s a f e e l i n g of intimacy and a sense that they are completely understood by the other person. I t i s as i f the two are u n i t e d as one without the separateness f e l t i n waking l i f e . V d e s c r i b e d the c l o s e n e s s she f e l t with "the l i t t l e wind" who was her mother: "I f e l t very c l o s e to her at the time, very c l o s e . I f e l t l i k e I want to c r y r i g h t now." For W, the intimacy and understanding were the most important a s p e c t s -of the dream: "The words weren't as 1 06 important. What was important was the sense of a deep understanding around whatever we were saying was being a c h i e v e d . " He compared t h i s understanding with the r e l a t i o n s h i p s t hat he has i n h i s waking l i f e : " I t seemed that he understood my i n t e n t i o n s , my a c t i o n s , and my behaviour. They a l l made sense to him t o t a l l y . That doesn't u s u a l l y happen when I communicate with people. There's some pa r t they won't understand." For o t h e r s , there i s c l o s e n e s s without understanding. In these experiences people have been t r y i n g to break f r e e of a r e l a t i o n s h i p . A was s t r u g g l i n g to l e t go of a romantic involvement, and T was t r y i n g to f o r g i v e h i s teacher. F e e l i n g s are ma g n i f i e d i n these dreams. People experience intense emotions and allow them f u l l e x p r e s s i o n . The emotions are r e v e a l e d and not hidden from the other person. The images, a c t i o n s , and words s t i m u l a t e deep f e e l i n g s which l i n g e r on a f t e r awakening. When T's teacher touched him he f e l t extreme nausea: "Immediately I f e l t s i c k to my stomach, a f e e l i n g of nausea l i k e I have never had i n a l l my l i f e . I thought I was going to vomit, but i t was beyond v o m i t i n g . I t was j u s t a t o t a l f e e l i n g of nausea." A d e s c r i b e d the f e e l i n g s she experienced when she p u l l e d away: " I t was as though somebody was s u r g i c a l l y removing my guts. I t was j u s t t e r r i b l y p a i n f u l , very d i f f i c u l t . " 1 07 M was swept away with her emotions when she met the f o r c e she c a l l e d God: "Swept up with my emotions, completely bounded by my emotions, overcome by emotions l i k e a person overcome by g r i e f where you can thin k of nothing e l s e . " Because the images and f e e l i n g s are c r y s t a l c l e a r , and the other person keenly sensed, i t does not occur to people that they are dreaming. There i s a r e l u c t a n c e to c a l l the experience a dream. W f e l t that i t was beyond a dream: "No, i t wasn't a dream, beyond a dream, but f o r a l l i n t e n s i v e purposes i t ' s c a t e g o r i z e d as a dream." For V, her mother's c l o s e n e s s f e l t r e a l t o her: "In the dream she f e l t very c l o s e , l i k e I was r e a l l y i n touch with her." Part of the impact of the dream i s the p e r s o n a l relevance of the message. The dream d i r e c t l y r e l a t e s t o the s t r u g g l e people are w r e s t l i n g with. I t responds to t h e i r inner l o n g i n g to f i n d a s o l u t i o n . E d e s c r i b e d the relevance as d i f f e r e n t from her normal dreams: "I l e a r n e d so much from i t i n that one s i n g l e i n s t a n c e that i t was r e a l l y incomparable to anything e l s e that I had ever dreamed before, the re l e v a n c y , the d i r e c t n e s s , the v i v i d n e s s . " For M, the dream p r o v i d e d i n f o r m a t i o n about the e x i s t e n c e of God, and she f e l t f o r t u n a t e to have her q u e s t i o n s answered: "Sometimes you t r y something, and i t doesn't work out, and you never get i t . I was luc k y that I sought something and d i d 108 come upon i t . " When thoughts, f e e l i n g s , and a c t i o n s have moved towards f u l l awareness and understanding, the dream f e e l s complete, and people wake up. The ending i s abrupt, yet the dream f e e l s f i n i s h e d . W d e s c r i b e d the ending of h i s dream: "I r e c a l l him h e a r i n g me. Then, j u s t as q u i c k l y as i t began, i t ended, and I don't r e c a l l , I never d i d r e c a l l , who ended i t . I t j u s t seemed r i g h t t o be over, and I l e f t the b u i l d i n g . " For A, the dream ended when she f e l t the r e l e a s e : "But i t was l i k e , j u s t seconds before awakening. I t was l i k e that c l o s e . " People are shaken and st r u c k with the r e a l i z a t i o n that something s i g n i f i c a n t has happened to them. The c o n t r a s t between the f e e l i n g s before the dream and a f t e r a l s o enhances the impact. They know immediately what the dream means. The f u l l meaning of the dream i s experienced without i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . E d e s c r i b e d the c l a r i t y of the meaning: "The c l a r i t y of t h i s dream was so st r o n g t h a t I d i d n ' t have to analyze i t . I knew r i g h t away that t h i s was something s p e c i a l and unique. I d i d n ' t q u e s t i o n i t . " A compared her dream with other dreams she has had: "I cannot t h i n k of any other dream where I have awakened with an immediate emotional r e l e a s e without t h i n k i n g about i t . " There i s the i n s t a n t d i s c o v e r y t h a t the s t r u g g l e has now ended and a s o l u t i o n found. The r e s o l u t i o n has come w i t h i n 109 the dream. People f e e l a completeness and a wholeness around the i s s u e , where before they f e l t a p i e c e had been m i s s i n g . I t i s l i k e a s h i f t i n p e r c e p t i o n . T checked h i m s e l f to see i f h i s h a t r e d was s t i l l t h e r e : "I t r i e d to get angry at him and t r i e d to r e c a l l what he had done to me j u s t to t e s t my f e e l i n g s . I c o u l d n ' t . I j u s t c o u l d n ' t . I was now t o t a l l y d i s i n t e r e s t e d i n t h i s man, l i k e I c o u l d have cared l e s s . I t was f i n i s h e d . " For W, the incompleteness he f e l t about h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p with h i s f a t h e r was transformed i n t o a sense of wholeness: "Completion, a sense of tremendous completion." He l a t e r says, " I t was l i k e something that had been l e f t open or broken f o r many years had been c l o s e d and r e p a i r e d . " A f t e r the i n i t i a l shock of awaking from a powerful experience, there i s s u r p r i s e that an i s s u e they had s t r u g g l e d with f o r so long has d i s s o l v e d away i n a dream. People f e e l as i f a weight has been l i f t e d o f f of them. They f e e l soothed and f r e e of t e n s i o n . There i s a r e l i e f t h a t the search has ended. T was s u r p r i s e d that the change c o u l d happen so suddenly: " I t was a change that happened i n a s p l i t second. I t came as a s u r p r i s e to me. I d i d n ' t know t h i s was going to happen." E d e s c r i b e d the r e l i e f she f e l t : "I was r e a l l y q u i t e angry about that and t h i n k i n g t h a t I have a l l of t h i s pain and f e e l i n g so overwhelmed. But a f t e r that dream, I f e l t as i f a 1 10 whole load had been l i f t e d , and I f e l t r e a l l y okay about everyone t o o . " With the r e l i e f comes a sense of freedom. People f e e l as i f they are f l o a t i n g on a i r . I t i s not merely a mental f e e l i n g of l i b e r a t i o n , but a p h y s i c a l and emotional one as w e l l . T h i s s e n s a t i o n c o n t r a s t s with the heaviness they f e l t before the dream. A d e s c r i b e d the f e e l i n g : "The moment I woke up I f e l t an i n c r e d i b l e r e l e a s e . There was a b s o l u t e l y no pa i n , e m o t i o n a l l y where I had been f e e l i n g i t r i g h t i n my ch e s t . I t was almost l i k e a p h y s i c a l t h i n g p r i o r to the dream that I had been f e e l i n g a l l those months. A l l the anguish was gone, and i n i t s pl a c e was t h i s kind of a i r y l i g h t freedom." The dreamers f e e l awe and reverence towards t h e i r e x p erience. They are shaken by an encounter with something g r e a t e r than they had imagined and f e e l wonder about the nature of the experience and why i t happened. F e e l i n g s of h u m i l i t y accompany the awe and wonder. The h u m i l i t y i s born out of an absence of p r i d e , r a t h e r than submission or weakness. People do not make a d e c i s i o n t o be humble, but become i t as p a r t of the reverence and awe they f e e l f o r something g r e a t e r than the s e l f , yet p a r t of the s e l f . M attempted to f i n d the r i g h t words to d e s c r i b e her ex p e r i e n c e : "I can't d e s c r i b e any other words b e t t e r than awe and h u m i l i t y . I t ' s very emotional, very i n t e n s e . I t encompassed my whole b e i n g . I never ever f e l t that s t a t e i n my l i f e , to 111 be swept away with such awe." Completion around the i s s u e b r i n g s with i t a f e e l i n g of understanding and i n s i g h t . The experience not only p r o v i d e s answers to the i s s u e s people are s t r u g g l i n g with, but a l l o w s them to see f u r t h e r and deeper i n t o t h e i r own e x i s t e n c e . There i s a r e a l i z a t i o n of p o s s i b i l i t i e s that were not c o n c e i v a b l e before the dream. For W, i t was a knowingness that h i s f a t h e r s t i l l e x i s t s : "I know t h a t , and i t ' s q u i t e r e a s s u r i n g . Yes, the s t r o n g e s t impression i s that h i s e x i s t e n c e i s s t i l l here." T h i s i n s i g h t opened up new p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r W that h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p "would now be reconnected and continued. Since h i s death, i t had been broken and stopped." With i n s i g h t and understanding people are able to transcend the s i t u a t i o n and see the whole. There i s a f e e l i n g that they have r i s e n above the s i t u a t i o n where they can experience and s e l f - o b s e r v e s i m u l t a n e o u s l y g i v i n g f u l l awareness to the moment. For E, transcendence was the a b i l i t y to put matters i n p e r s p e c t i v e : " L i f e and death matters that seen from t h a t p a r t i c u l a r view as i f you are somewhere l i k e up in heaven. You c o u l d j u s t see e v e r y t h i n g . " She e x p l a i n e d f u r t h e r : "You are a p a r t of i t too, so i t ' s not l i k e you are detached. But i t i s so broad t h a t you begin to see so much more than y o u r s e l f that i t ' s l i k e s eeing the t r u t h f o r the f i r s t time, what r e a l l y matters and i s meaningful." 1 1 2 Knowing that something s p e c i a l has happened to them, people f e e l e x h i l a r a t e d f o r days and weeks a f t e r w a r d s . With the excitement comes g r a t i t u d e . The dream i s seen as a g i f t , and i n d i v i d u a l s f e e l b l e s s e d at t h e i r good f o r t u n e . The experience adds meaning to t h e i r l i v e s , and they f e e l r e assured and comforted. M was t h a n k f u l f o r her e x p e r i e n c e : "Oh, i t was marvelous . . . .I'm r e a l l y g r a t e f u l to have had i t . I t has e n r i c h e d me, and I t h i n k that I am a b e t t e r person because of i t . " For V, the r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t she i s now l o v e d by her mother makes her f e e l secure and p r o t e c t e d : " I t was j u s t t h i s b e a u t i f u l f e e l i n g that I had when I was with t h i s l i t t l e wind. I f e l t the s e c u r i t y . I t was j u s t t h i s l o v e . I f e l t t h i s love and s e c u r i t y . I f e l t so completely taken care o f . " People b e l i e v e the experience has touched an inner core of t h e i r being where they f e e l more connected to the world. They d e s c r i b e these f e e l i n g s as s p i r i t u a l . Boundaries and f i n i t e n e s s are r e p l a c e d with belongingness and oneness. A d e s c r i b e d her courage to break away from her r e l a t i o n s h i p as coming from her higher s e l f : "I have a sense with t h i s higher s e l f of being connected to a u n i v e r s a l energy, f o r a lack of a b e t t e r term that I would c a l l God." She d e s c r i b e d f u r t h e r : "The sense that I had was that there was d e f i n i t e l y the hand of a higher being i n t h i s . I t was as i f some f o r c e , God, had j u s t l i f t e d t h i s burden o f f of me." 1 13 For W, i t confirmed the e x i s t e n c e of God: " I t ' s almost an e t e r n a l c o n n e c t i o n , yes . . . . To me i t a f f i r m s the e x i s t e n c e of God, to mean a l l our s p i r i t s are m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of God on the e a r t h . " There i s d i f f i c u l t y e x p l a i n i n g to others what has happened. People can d e s c r i b e the events i n the dream, but f i n d i t hard to express i n words t h e i r f e e l i n g s and the meaning of the experience. Language which i s l o g i c a l l y s t r u c t u r e d with one idea f o l l o w i n g another seems inadequate to capture an experience where many concepts are f e l t at the same time. T d e s c r i b e d the l i m i t a t i o n s of language: "How can I e x p l a i n t h i s , maybe a movie, but not even t h a t . How can you p a i n t or d e s c r i b e emotions . . . . These are mental p i c t u r e s . A movie or p i c t u r e would be o u t s i d e y o u r s e l f . . . . but the dream happened i n s i d e . I mean, c e r t a i n t h i n g s happened o u t s i d e myself. He came, the p a r t y , d r i n k i n g , touched, he went. That's the s e t t i n g , but how do you d e s c r i b e nausea?" The knowledge and understanding gained from the experience expands awareness which allows people to move forward and grow. They f e e l s t r e t c h e d and p u l l e d towards becoming more a c t u a l i z e d and more open to e x p e r i e n c e . W spoke about h i s growth: "From a moral p o i n t of view, I t h i n k i t helps me f e e l , i n r e f e r e n c e to people that I t h i n k a great d e a l o f , my r e l a t i o n s h i p s with them w i l l be guided with a kind of moral posture that I w i l l f e e l good about f o r e v e r . " He 1 1 4 l a t e r adds: "Moral as i n I ' l l guide my behaviour i n ways that are, towards those people, by honesty and c o n s i d e r a t i o n . I t ' s q u i t e r e a s s u r i n g to know that we w i l l c o n t i n u e . I t makes me more r e s p e c t f u l of them, i n the way that I t r e a t them." New d i s c o v e r i e s and a p p r e c i a t i o n f o r the experience g i v e s people hope. For T, being r e l i e v e d of h i s anger a l l o w s him to see the f u t u r e : "Now I have turned away from shadow boxing and look forward to the f u t u r e which i n c l u d e s b u i l d i n g up my s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e a g a i n . " For V, the experience of being l o v e d has helped her to worry l e s s : "I worried about the f u t u r e . What i f I can't look a f t e r myself i n the f u t u r e ? Who i s going to look a f t e r me? The dream gave me the message not to worry. I w i l l be f i n e . I w i l l be a l l r i g h t . " The experience i s a d i s c o v e r y which g i v e s promise of new beginnings. There i s hope f o r the f u t u r e , but at the same time a r e v i t a l i z a t i o n to experience the p r e s e n t . New doors are opened, and people look forward to a world now viewed a f r e s h . 1 15 E s s e n t i a l S t r u c t u r e Before the t r a n s f o r m i n g dream, people are faced with a potent and enduring dilemma. In each case, the dilemma i s experienced as an enduring warp on t h e i r e x i s t e n c e . The dilemma g i v e s r i s e to and seem to be a b a s i s of problems. I t i n v o l v e s a r e l a t i o n s h i p or r e l a t i o n s h i p s , t h a t was s i g n i f i c a n t , yet somehow u n f i n i s h e d . People f e e l incomplete, as though a p a r t of t h e i r l i f e or p o t e n t i a l to l i v e i s m i s s i n g . For some, t h i s incompleteness assumes the potency of a v o i d . For o t h e r s , i t i s more l i k e a p i e c e m i s s i n g which h i n d e r s a sense of wholeness and the p o s s i b i l i t y of f u l f i l l m e n t . The dilemma i s a burden. There i s a sense of heaviness in people's l i v e s as i f a dark c l o u d i s hovering over t h e i r e x i s t e n c e . People begin s e a r c h i n g f o r ways out of the dilemma. There i s a quest and a l o n g i n g f o r s o l u t i o n s . The i n t e n s i t y of the search can vary with the demands of d a i l y l i f e , but the d e s i r e f o r answers i s always p r e s e n t . When the s e a r c h i n g does not r e s u l t i n answers, people t r y c o n t r o l l i n g or pushing down t h e i r emotions. T h i s e f f o r t c r e a t e s a s t r u g g l e between the pressure to c o n t a i n the f e e l i n g s and the d e s i r e to f i n d a s o l u t i o n . For some, the s t r u g g l e i s i n t e n s e and always i n the f o r e f r o n t of t h e i r 1 16 awareness. For o t h e r s , the s t r u g g l e i s more l i k e a smoldering f i r e that can't be e x t i n g u i s h e d . A strong d e s i r e and a l o n g i n g f o r a s o l u t i o n without c l e a r d i r e c t i o n on how to end the s t r u g g l e c r e a t e s a f e e l i n g of being trapped. People can't p e r c e i v e of a way out and f e e l b locked from moving forward. For some, the emotions begin to reach a heightened p i t c h which makes the dilemma unbearable. They no longer are a b l e to c o n t a i n t h e i r emotions and are overwhelmed with d e s i r e to f i n d r e l i e f . Day to day l i f e begins to f e e l l i k e a maze from which they cannot escape. For o t h e r s , there i s a deep, slow brooding that has remained c o n s t a n t . The emotions do not r i s e to a fever p i t c h before the dream. The dream occurs a f t e r the p e r i o d of p r e p a r a t i o n . The dream i s an encounter with a s i g n i f i c a n t person or persons i n t h e i r l i v e s . They d e s c r i b e the encounter as more l i k e a v i s i t than a dream. They f i n d themselves i n these encounters having a heightened sense of c o n c e n t r a t i o n where they are completely aware of themselves and t h e i r surroundings. There i s not the dreamlike q u a l i t y t h at i s u s u a l l y found i n t h e i r dreams. T h e i r a l e r t n e s s a l l o w s them to f r e e l y act from w i t h i n . With the heightened a l e r t n e s s i s i n t e n s e involvement. They are t o t a l l y immersed i n the moment. Every word, a c t i o n , and f e e l i n g completely c a p t i v a t e s the a t t e n t i o n . The awareness i s sensual as w e l l as i n t e l l e c t u a l . The senses f e e l 1 17 l i k e they are f l o o d e d and overwhelmed. U n l i k e many dreams where dreamers p a s s i v e l y observe, i n these experiences i n d i v i d u a l s are a c t i v e l y i n v o l v e d and r e s p o n s i v e . T h e i r a c t i o n s d i r e c t l y a f f e c t the outcome of the s t o r y . The dream i s v i v i d and the images sharp and d e t a i l e d . The s t o r y i s coherent with each a c t i o n and f e e l i n g making sense to the dreamer. The symbols are a l s o c l e a r , obvious, and f r e e of d i s t o r t i o n , making i n t e r p r e t a t i o n d u r i n g and a f t e r the dream unnecessary. The symbols enhance, r a t h e r than d e t r a c t from understanding the dream. The i n t e r a c t i o n s between the dreamer and the other person i s a l s o c l e a r and d i r e c t . Nothing i s h e l d back that would prevent complete communication. With c l e a r , d i r e c t communication comes a c l o s e n e s s and an i n t e n s i t y . The honesty c r e a t e s an i n t e r a c t i o n where l i t t l e i s hidden from each o t h e r . For some, there i s a f e e l i n g of intimacy and a sense t h a t they are completely understood by the other person. I t i s as i f the two are u n i t e d as one without the separateness f e l t i n waking l i f e . For o t h e r s , there i s c l o s e n e s s without understanding. In these experiences people have been t r y i n g to break f r e e of a r e l a t i o n s h i p . F e e l i n g s are m a g n i f i e d i n these dreams. People experience i n t e n s e emotions and allow them f u l l e x p r e s s i o n . The emotions are r e v e a l e d and not hidden from the other 1 18 person. The images, a c t i o n s , and words s t i m u l a t e deep f e e l i n g s t hat l i n g e r on a f t e r awakening. Because the images and f e e l i n g s are c r y s t a l c l e a r , and the other person keenly sensed, i t does not occur to people that they are dreaming. There i s a r e l u c t a n c e to c a l l the experience a dream. Part of the impact of the dream i s the p e r s o n a l relevance of the message. The dream d i r e c t l y r e l a t e s t o the s t r u g g l e people are w r e s t l i n g with. I t responds to t h e i r inner l o n g i n g to f i n d a s o l u t i o n . When thoughts, f e e l i n g s , and a c t i o n s have moved towards f u l l awareness and understanding, the dream f e e l s complete and people awaken. The ending i s abrupt, yet the dream f e e l s f i n i s h e d . People are shaken and s t r u c k with the r e a l i z a t i o n that something s i g n i f i c a n t has happened to them. The c o n t r a s t between the f e e l i n g s before the dream and a f t e r a l s o enhances the impact. They know immediately what the dream means and do not have to analyze the symbols, f e e l i n g s , or a c t i o n s . The f u l l meaning of the dream i s experienced without i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . There i s the i n s t a n t d i s c o v e r y that the s t r u g g l e has now ended and a s o l u t i o n found. The r e s o l u t i o n has come w i t h i n the dream. I n d i v i d u a l s f e e l a completeness and a wholeness around the i s s u e where before they f e l t a p i e c e had been m i s s i n g . I t i s l i k e a s h i r t i n p e r c e p t i o n . 119 A f t e r the i n i t i a l shock of awaking from a powerful e x p e r i e n c e , there i s s u r p r i s e that an i s s u e they had s t r u g g l e d with f o r so long has d i s s o l v e d away i n a dream. People f e e l as i f a weight has been l i f t e d o f f of them. They f e e l soothed and f r e e of t e n s i o n . There i s a r e l i e f that the search has ended. With the r e l i e f comes a sense of freedom. There i s a f e e l i n g of f l o a t i n g on a i r . I t i s not merely a mental f e e l i n g of l i b e r a t i o n , but a p h y s i c a l and emotional one as w e l l . T h i s s e n s a t i o n c o n t r a s t s with the heaviness they f e l t before the dream. People f e e l awe and reverence towards t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e . They are shaken by an encounter with something g r e a t e r than they had imagined and f e e l wonder about the nature of the experience and why i t happened. F e e l i n g s of h u m i l i t y accompany awe and wonder. The h u m i l i t y i s born out of an absence of p r i d e , r a t h e r than submission or weakness. The dreamers do not make a d e c i s i o n t o be humble, but become i t as p a r t of the reverence and awe they f e e l f o r something g r e a t e r than the s e l f , yet part of the s e l f . Completion around the i s s u e b r i n g s with i t a f e e l i n g of understanding and i n s i g h t . The experience not o n l y p r o v i d e s answers to the i s s u e s people are s t r u g g l i n g with, but a l l o w s them to see f u r t h e r and deeper i n t o t h e i r own e x i s t e n c e . There i s a r e a l i z a t i o n of p o s s i b i l i t i e s that were not 120 c o n c e i v a b l e before the dream. With i n s i g h t and understanding, people are a b l e to transcend the s i t u a t i o n and see the whole. There i s a f e e l i n g t h a t they have r i s e n above the s i t u a t i o n where they can experience and s e l f - o b s e r v e s i m u l t a n e o u s l y g i v i n g f u l l awareness to the moment. Knowing t h a t something s p e c i a l has happened to them, people f e e l e x h i l a r a t e d f o r days and weeks a f t e r w a r d s . With the excitement comes g r a t i t u d e . The dream i s seen as a g i f t , and i n d i v i d u a l s f e e l b l e s s e d at t h e i r good f o r t u n e . The experience adds meaning to t h e i r l i v e s and they f e e l reassured and comforted. People b e l i e v e the experience has touched an inner core of t h e i r being where thy f e e l more connected to the world. They d e s c r i b e these f e e l i n g s as s p i r i t u a l where boundaries and f i n i t e n e s s are now r e p l a c e d with belongingness and oneness. There i s d i f f i c u l t y e x p l a i n i n g to others what has happened. They can d e s c r i b e the events of the dream, but f i n d i t hard to express i n words t h e i r f e e l i n g s and the meaning of the e x p e r i e n c e . Language which i s l o g i c a l l y s t r u c t u r e d with one idea f o l l o w i n g another seems inadequate to capture an experience where many concepts are f e l t at the same time. The knowledge and understanding gained from the experience expands awareness which a l l o w s people t o move forward and grow. They f e e l s t r e t c h e d and p u l l e d towards 121 becoming more a c t u a l i z e d and more open to exp e r i e n c e . There i s hope f o r the f u t u r e , but at the same time a r e v i t a l i z a t i o n of the pr e s e n t . The experience i s a d i s c o v e r y which g i v e s promise of new beginnings. New doors are opened and people look forward to a world now viewed a f r e s h . 122 Case S: A Comparison S had been t r y i n g f o r three years to become pregnant. She d e s c r i b e d h e r s e l f as f e e l i n g " i n t e n s e t u r m o i l " and having "a l o t of c r y i n g f i t s " once a month. Before the dream occurred, she found out that four women she knew had become pregnant. She became s e v e r e l y depressed: " I t was always on my mind, and i t was always d e p r e s s i n g . . . . Every pregnancy became l i k e a k n i f e c u t t i n g i n t o me . . . . I ' d j u s t crack up." During t h i s time, she was reading f e r t i l i t y books to t r y and understand why nothing was happening f o r her: "I was l o o k i n g f o r every shred on why I wasn't becoming pregnant, so I was spending a l o t of energy, emotional energy, i n t e l l e c t u a l energy, my whole day. I was becoming a f e r t i l i t y expert and not g e t t i n g anywhere." She a l s o d e s c r i b e d l a t e r i n the t r a n s c r i p t : "I had gotten myself i n t o such a box . . . . I couldn't move." Every month she would go through a g r i e v i n g process and read the pages "hundreds of times." She doesn't remember any p a r t i c u l a r events that o c c u r r e d the day of the dream, but she does remember f e e l i n g tense and " r o t t e n " about her i n f e r t i l i t y . During the dream, she f i n d s h e r s e l f buying a g i f t f o r a baby. There i s an o l d e r woman behind a counter. She f e e l s "a 1 2 3 l o t of c o n f u s i o n choosing the g i f t . " The o b j e c t s f e e l d i s t a n t u n t i l she p i c k s up baby shoes t i e d together with a c l o c k i n the c e n t r e . These f e e l r i g h t , l i k e they are a p a r t of her. She then walks a c r o s s an open area of the room t o an open window. She hears music and looks down to see a parade of women and c h i l d r e n . The parade seems l i k e a joyous r i t u a l . She then throws the o b j e c t s towards the crowd through the c l o s e d window. The window i s both open and c l o s e d at the same time. As the o b j e c t s f a l l , she t h i n k s she f e e l s b e t t e r . I t f e e l s l i k e a r e l e a s e of anger. She i s doing something r a t h e r than r e a c t i n g . When she awoke, she f e l t p u z z l e d and began p i e c i n g together the elements of the dream. F i n a l l y , a few days l a t e r i n a s t a t e of f r e n z y , she burned her books. She took the whole stack of f e r t i l i t y books and threw them i n t o a b o n f i r e . The event was a c a t h a r s i s and S f e l t t h a t "a weight had been l i f t e d . I was f r e e . I got myself back, and i t was r i g h t , and i t was enough. A s o l u t i o n had been found to the problem." A f t e r the burning of the books, she had more energy and d i d n ' t dwell on pregnancy. She accepted her i n f e r t i l i t y and began f i n d i n g c r e a t i v e o u t l e t s f o r h e r s e l f . Before the dream, she and her husband had papers i n f o r adoption, but S d i d n ' t f e e l ready. Now, a f t e r t h i s e xperience, she c o u l d accept a c h i l d . S ix months a f t e r the dream, they r e c e i v e d a baby g i r l . 124 When I began f o r m u l a t i n g the themes and reading over the t r a n s c r i p t s , S's experience stood out. I t d i d not f i t with the other s i x c o - r e s e a r c h e r s . Her experience before the dream was s i m i l a r , but durin g and a f t e r seemed d i f f e r e n t . I decided to i n c l u d e her t r a n s c r i p t s i n the study as a comparison. I t i s an example of a dream that p r o v i d e s a s o l u t i o n to a dilemma a f t e r the dream i s i n t e r p r e t e d . I n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s needed to r e v e a l i n s i g h t and understanding of the problem. The dreams of the other c o - r e s e a r c h e r s d i d not need i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . They awoke knowing they had r e s o l v e d the dilemma. I had the second i n t e r v i e w with S a f t e r a l l the other c o - r e s e a r c h e r s had v a l i d a t e d the themes. During t h i s i n t e r v i e w , we spoke about her experience again and went over each of the themes. A l l the themes before the dream were v a l i d f o r S. She f e l t incomplete and burdened. She was search i n g f o r answers when she was t a k i n g v a r i o u s medications and readi n g the f e r t i l i t y books. Her constant s t r u g g l e to push down her f e e l i n g s was becoming unbearable, and she had come to a p o i n t where she c o u l d not move. During her dream, she d i d not have an encounter with a person. The o l d e r woman behind the counter S c o u l d vaguely remember. Because she d i d not have d i r e c t c o n t a c t with anyone i n the dream, she d i d not have d i r e c t communication (Theme 11), i n t e n s e involvement (Theme 7), or intimacy (Theme 12). 125 Her f e e l i n g s were not magnified (Theme 13), and she knew the experience was a dream. The dream d i d not f e e l r e a l (Theme 14). The symbols were unclear (Theme 10), and she needed a few days to i n t e r p r e t t h e i r meaning. S d i d v a l i d a t e three out of the ten themes that o c c u r r e d d u r i n g the dream. Her dream had v i v i d c o l o u r s and c l e a r images (Theme 9). She a l s o remembers the c l a r i t y of the sequency of a c t i o n s i n the dream. She a l s o took a c t i o n in her dream when she threw the c l o c k and the shoes out the window (Theme 8 ) . The relevance of the message (Theme 15) was the most s i g n i f i c a n t aspect of the dream. When she awoke, she knew she had to f i g u r e out the dream, because i t had something important to say to her. A f t e r the dream, none of the themes f i t her experience u n t i l she burned the books. She d i d not f e e l the dream was completed when she awoke (Theme 16). She a l s o d i d n ' t know how important the dream was f o r her u n t i l she burned the books (Theme 17). Her f e e l i n g s had not changed from the night b e f o r e . S d i d not experience any of the 15 themes u n t i l three days l a t e r . A f t e r the burning of the books, she f e l t something important had o c c u r r e d f o r her (Theme 17). The i s s u e was now r e s o l v e d (Theme 19), and she f e l t r e l i e f (Theme 20), f r e e (Theme 21), understanding (Theme 23), excitement (Theme 24), and hope (Theme 30). She a l s o f e l t t h a t language c o u l d not 1 2 6 adequately d e s c r i b e her c a t h a r s i s d u r i n g the burning (Theme 28): "I was beyond language at that p o i n t . . I t was an e x p e r i e n t i a l , r a t h e r than an i n t e r p r e t i v e experience a f t e r the burning." She d i d not f e e l awe and wonder (Theme 22), g r a t e f u l (Theme 25), reassured (Theme 26), s p i r i t u a l i t y (Theme 27), or growth (Theme 29). U n l i k e the other c o - r e s e a r c h e r s who v a l i d a t e d a l l 30 themes, S v a l i d a t e d only e i g h t themes. A f t e r she burned her books, she experienced e i g h t more themes. 127 CHAPTER V: Discussion In my a n a l y s i s of the i n t e r v i e w s with s i x of my c o - r e s e a r c h e r s I found 30 themes of the breakthrough dream expe r i e n c e . Prom these themes, I wrote an exhaustive d e s c r i p t i o n of the experience. T h i s d e s c r i p t i o n was then reduced to an e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e . Each of my s i x c o - r e s e a r c h e r s has v a l i d a t e d the d e s c r i p t i o n and the 30 themes. L i m i t a t i o n s of the Study In the p r e v i o u s chapter I have d e s c r i b e d the p a t t e r n of a breakthrough dream experience. T h i s p a t t e r n was woven together from the i n d i v i d u a l themes found i n the experiences of my s i x c o - r e s e a r c h e r s . For these i n d i v i d u a l s , t h i s p a t t e r n forms the meaning of a breakthrough dream e x p e r i e n c e . I cannot d e c l a r e that these r e s u l t s would be the same f o r o t h e r s . The p a t t e r n i s not a d e f i n i t i o n of a breakthrough dream e x p e r i e n c e . I can only s t a t e that t h i s p a t t e r n i s the meaning of the experience f o r these s i x people. A l l of the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s l i v e i n North America. People i n other c u l t u r e s may or may not have these same e x p e r i e n c e s . However, as was s t a t e d p r e v i o u s l y i n Chapter I I , these dreams have been found a l l over the world (de Becker, 1968). 1 28 C r o s s - c u l t u r a l s t u d i e s are needed to compare the s i m i l a r i t i e s and d i f f e r e n c e s . I view the r e s u l t s of t h i s study as a b a s i s f o r f u r t h e r r e s e a r c h . H o p e f u l l y , t h i s study w i l l encourage others to i n v e s t i g a t e the breakthrough dream. More e x p l a n a t i o n i n t h i s area w i l l s t i m u l a t e d i s c u s s i o n among r e s e a r c h e r s which w i l l enhance our understanding of the experience. T h e o r e t i c a l I m p l i c a t i o n s The p a t t e r n or meaning of a breakthrough dream experience i s not intended to be a theory or a d e f i n i t i o n . I t i s a complete d e s c r i p t i o n of the e x p e r i e n c e , before, d u r i n g , and a f t e r the dream. T h i s d e s c r i p t i o n can be viewed as the f i r s t step towards d e v e l o p i n g a theory. No other s t u d i e s found i n the l i t e r a t u r e d e s c r i b e these dreams i n as much d e t a i l . Researchers have focused on d i f f e r e n t aspects of the experience without f u l l y understanding the phenomenon as a whole. As mentioned e a r l i e r i n Chapter I I , there i s c o n f u s i o n i n the l i t e r a t u r e as to what a breakthrough dream i s . Part of t h i s c o n f u s i o n stems from the f a c t t h a t dreams which r e v e a l s o l u t i o n s have a l l been grouped together without d i f f e r e n t i a t i n g the d i f f e r e n c e s among them. U s u a l l y , there i s a b r i e f mention that problems are e i t h e r s o l v e d d i r e c t l y or 1 29 s y m b o l i c a l l y . Another c o n f u s i o n i s the use of the term "breakthrough." Borrowed from the c r e a t i v e breakthrough l i t e r a t u r e , t h i s term has been used f o r any dream which p r o v i d e s s o l u t i o n s to problems. C o r r i e r e and Hart (1977) were the f i r s t r e s e a r c h e r s to use t h i s l a b e l e x c l u s i v e l y f o r non-symbolic dreams. The way dreams have been s t u d i e d has a l s o c r e a t e d c o n f u s i o n . L a b o r a t o r y s t u d i e s which r e l y on q u a n t i t a t i v e measures have r e v e a l e d the p h y s i o l o g i c a l c o r r e l a t e s of dreaming and dream content, but have not given i n f o r m a t i o n on the meaning of the experience f o r the i n d i v i d u a l . Research o u t s i d e the l a b o r a t o r y has been sparse. Most i n f o r m a t i o n on proble m - s o l v i n g dreams has come from r e p o r t s of a n c i e n t temple h e a l i n g s and anecd o t a l accounts of c r e a t i v e dream breakthroughs, These r e p o r t s have l i m i t a t i o n s . H i s t o r i c a l records of temple h e a l i n g s u s u a l l y gave only the name of the dreamer and the cur e . The cure c o u l d be a h e a l i n g w i t h i n the dream i t s e l f , or a message p r e s c r i b i n g a cure. Without complete d e s c r i p t i o n s of the experience, many re s e a r c h e r s have c o n c e n t r a t e d on e x p l a n a t i o n s f o r these occurrences such as hypnosis and the e x p e c t a t i o n s of the i n d i v i d u a l (Achterberg, 1985; Stam & Spanos, 1982). D e s c r i p t i o n s of c r e a t i v e dream breakthroughs of s c i e n t i s t s , w r i t e r s , and musicians have been more p l e n t i f u l . However, most r e s e a r c h e r s i n v e s t i g a t i n g these r e p o r t s have 1 30 focused on the phases of the c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s , dream content, and the c r e a t i v e product, r a t h e r than f o c u s i n g on the meaning of the experience f o r the i n d i v i d u a l . Researchers i n d u c i n g p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams have combined the i n f o r m a t i o n from a n c i e n t temple h e a l i n g s and c r e a t i v e dream breakthroughs (Delaney, 1979; G a r f i e l d , 1974; Reed, 1976). They have developed techniques based on the assumption that e x p e c t a t i o n s and s e l f - s u g g e s t i o n p l a y a key r o l e i n c r e a t i n g these dreams. They have a l s o assumed that induced dreams are s i m i l a r to n a t u r a l l y o c c u r r i n g p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams with l i t t l e d i s t i n c t i o n made between symbolic and non-symbolic dreams. Although most r e s e a r c h e r s have not d i f f e r e n t i a t e d between the symbolic and non-symbolic e x p e r i e n c e , some comparisons can be made with the f i n d i n g s i n t h i s study. The c r e a t i v e dream breakthrough l i t e r a t u r e , R o s s i (1972a), and Thomas (1978) a l l d e s c r i b e d a p e r i o d of p r e p a r a t i o n before the dream where the i n d i v i d u a l i s s t r u g g l i n g with a problem and f e e l s i n t e n s e d e s i r e to f i n d a s o l u t i o n . T h i s p e r i o d precedes both symbolic and non-symbolic dreams. A l l the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s i n t h i s study, i n c l u d i n g S, were s t r u g g l i n g with a dilemma and d e s i r e d t o f i n d a s o l u t i o n . Although S's dream needed i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , she a l s o agreed that the f i v e themes pr e c e d i n g the dream f i t with her expe r i e n c e . Her agreement on these f i v e themes c o n t r a s t e d with her 131 disagreement on most of the themes d u r i n g and a f t e r the dream. These r e s u l t s which d e s c r i b e the experience before the dream are s i m i l a r to the d e s c r i p t i o n s found i n the l i t e r a t u r e . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , d e t a i l e d comparisons cannot be made, because d e s c r i p t i o n s i n the l i t e r a t u r e are too g e n e r a l . There has been s p e c u l a t i o n about whether the i n d i v i d u a l must be c o n t i n u o u s l y t h i n k i n g about the problem up u n t i l the time of the dream. Evans (1983) s t a t e d that p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams are a c o n t i n u a t i o n of obses s i v e t h i n k i n g of a problem. May (1975), however, s t a t e d that breakthroughs have occu r r e d to i n d i v i d u a l s who have not been c o n s c i o u s l y t h i n k i n g about t h e i r problem. The important f a c t o r i s the intense d e s i r e to f i n d an answer. For example, Otto Loewi's hunch l a y dormant f o r seventeen years before a dream r e v e a l e d the s o l u t i o n (Harman & Rheingold, 1984). The r e s u l t s of t h i s study support May (1975). Some of the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s , A, E, and M, were c o n t i n u o u s l y t h i n k i n g about t h e i r dilemma. The ot h e r s , T, W, and V, were not. Perhaps i t i s the i n t e n s i t y of the attachment to the problem and the d e s i r e f o r a r e s o l u t i o n that i s more important. A f t e r the p r e p a r a t i o n p e r i o d , the l i t e r a t u r e d e s c r i b e s a p e r i o d of i n c u b a t i o n where the i n d i v i d u a l i s i n v o l v e d i n other a c t i v i t i e s such as p l a y , fantasy and dreaming. A f t e r having worked i n t e n s e l y on the problem, the person i s now ready or r e c e p t i v e (May, 1975; Reed, 1976). D r e i s t a d t (1971) c a l l e d i t 1 32 a time of massive f a t i g u e , and Kelman (1969) c a l l e d i t surrender. Readiness t o Receive was i n c l u d e d and v a l i d a t e d by the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s . However, t h i s theme was d e l e t e d because no one e x p l i c i t l y s t a t e d that they f e l t ready. In f a c t , T mentioned that he was ready f o r 25 ye a r s . In c o n t r a s t , E s t r u g g l e d with her problem f o r only f i v e months before her dream ex p e r i e n c e . At what p o i n t i s a person ready to l i s t e n ? The amount of time does not seem to be important. A p e r i o d of p r e p a r a t i o n can s e n s i t i z e a person to be ready to l i s t e n f o r answers, yet readiness can only be i n f e r r e d from these r e s u l t s . The f i n d i n g s of t h i s study do not show that e x p e c t a t i o n s were a p a r t of the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s ' experience. T h i s c o n t r a s t s with many r e s e a r c h e r s ' assumptions that e x p e c t a t i o n s and s e l f - s u g g e s t i o n play a key r o l e i n c r e a t i n g these dreams (Achterberg, 1985; Delaney, 1979, G a r f i e l d , 1974). These r e s e a r c h e r s have s t u d i e d induced dreams, r a t h e r than n a t u r a l l y o c c u r r i n g p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams. None of the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s were aware of the e x i s t e n c e of dream breakthroughs, and none of them were r e g u l a r l y paying c l o s e a t t e n t i o n to t h e i r dreams before t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e . They d i d not expect to have t h e i r dilemmas r e s o l v e d i n a dream. E x p e c t a t i o n i m p l i e s a w i l l or a suggestion t o dream, whereas r e a d i n e s s i m p l i e s an autonomous process o c c u r r i n g o u t s i d e conscious c o n t r o l . 1 33 Thomas (1978) mentioned that there may be no d i f f e r e n c e between induced and n a t u r a l l y o c c u r r i n g p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams. He s t a t e d that i n d i v i d u a l s who c o n t i n u o u s l y brood over t h e i r problem c o u l d be u n c o n s c i o u s l y i n d u c i n g these experiences. However, the m a j o r i t y of Thomas' s u b j e c t s had dreams which needed i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Only one of h i s s u b j e c t s had a breakthrough dream. According to these r e s u l t s and those of C o r r i e r e and Hart (1977), breakthrough dreams are d i f f e r e n t from dreams needing i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . F u r t h e r res e a r c h i s needed to compare induced breakthrough dreams with the n a t u r a l l y o c c u r r i n g breakthrough e x p e r i e n c e . C o r r i e r e and Hart (1977) were the only r e s e a r c h e r s found in the l i t e r a t u r e who s p e c i f i c a l l y focused on breakthrough dreams. Rossi (1972a) i n c l u d e d these dreams as p a r t of the growth process, but mentioned t h a t , f o r most i n d i v i d u a l s , t r a n s f o r m a t i o n occurs s l o w l y over a p e r i o d of time. The .themes d u r i n g the dreams i n t h i s study compare favourably with R o s s i ' s (1972a) examples and with C o r r i e r e and Hart's (1977) d e s c r i p t i o n of a breakthrough dream. C o r r i e r e and Hart d e f i n e d these dreams as non-symbolic experiences where the message i s not merely g i v e n , but i s experienced by the i n d i v i d u a l (Themes 10 and 14). The dreamer i s a c t i v e , f u l l y responding, and t a k i n g the i n i t i a t i v e (Theme 8 ) . The person f e e l s i n t e n s e l y and expresses emotions completely (Themes 7, 13, and 12). The dreamer a l l o w s him or h e r s e l f to 134 be a f f e c t e d or a f f e c t s o t hers (Themes 6 and 11). C o r r i e r e et a l . (1980) c a l l e d t h i s f u l l c o n t a c t . The s t o r y l i n e i s c l e a r and the images v i v i d (Theme 9). Theme 15, r e l e v a n c e , C o r r i e r e and Hart d i d not s p e c i f i c a l l y mention, but they d i d say that dream t o p i c s f o l l o w what the i n d i v i d u a l i s e x p e r i e n c i n g before the dream. However, f o r the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s , r e l e v a n c e means much more. The s o l u t i o n i n the dream d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d to the s t r u g g l e they were going through. I t i s d i f f i c u l t to compare the themes pr e c e d i n g the dream and a f t e r , because C o r r i e r e et a l . (1980) l i m i t e d t h e i r i n v e s t i g a t i o n to f i v e dimensions and assumed that dreams p a r a l l e l waking l i f e . Because of t h i s assumption, they hypothesized that breakthrough dreams can only occur when a c t i o n , f e e l i n g , e x p r e s s i o n , c l a r i t y , and c o n t a c t are complete i n waking experience. T h i s assumption c o n t r a s t s with the r e s u l t s i n t h i s study and the f i n d i n g s of others r e s e a r c h e r s who have d e s c r i b e d a p e r i o d of s t r u g g l e and i n t e n s e d e s i r e t o r e s o l v e a problem (Kelman, 1969; R o s s i , 1 972a; Thomas, 1978). C o r r i e r e and Hart's (1977) hypothesis a l s o c o n t r a d i c t s many of the examples of breakthrough dreams i n t h e i r study. Many of t h e i r dreamers d u r i n g t h e i r dreams and afterwards f e l t complete (Theme 19), r e l i e f (Theme 20), r e l e a s e (Theme 21), and excitement (Theme 24). Most woke up immediately a f t e r completion of f e e l i n g s i n the dream (Theme 16) and f e l t that -something important had happened to them (Theme 17). They 9 1 35 a l s o f e l t t h a t they had r e c e i v e d i n s i g h t (Theme 23), and some mentioned that they f e l t awe and wonder (Theme 22). Themes 25 to 30 are i m p l i e d i n some of these d e s c r i p t i o n s , but i t i s d i f f i c u l t to compare without complete t r a n s c r i p t s of t h e i r i n t e r v i e w s . C o r r i e r e and Hart (1977) d e s c r i b e d p a r t of the experience, but not the whole. The meaning of the experience was not e x p l o r e d i n depth. The impact of these dreams goes beyond measuring the l e v e l of f i v e dimensions. For the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s , the emotional impact of e x p e r i e n c i n g a complete r e l e a s e w i t h i n the dream and immediately upon awakening was an important aspect of these e x p e r i e n c e s . Other themes, such as awe and wonder, i n s i g h t , and s p i r i t u a l i t y , which were meaningful to the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s were a l s o g l o s s e d over by C o r r i e r e and Hart. The f i n d i n g s of t h i s study and examples from the l i t e r a t u r e show that breakthrough dreams are d i f f e r e n t from dreams needing i n t e r p r e t a t i o n ( C o r r i e r e and Hart, 1977; G e t s i n g e r , 1978; Kelman, 1969; Marjasch, 1966; R o s s i , 1972a). The d i f f e r e n c e i s more than symbolic vs. non-symbolic c o n t e n t . The a n c i e n t Greeks made a s e p a r a t i o n between dreams p r o v i d i n g a message and dreams where h e a l i n g o c c u r r e d w i t h i n the dream i t s e l f . As mentioned p r e v i o u s l y , modern r e s e a r c h e r s have not made t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n (Delaney, 1979; G a r f i e l d , 1974). 1 36 The r e s u l t s show that dreams are more than content. Laboratory r e s e a r c h e r s who have focused on content and p h y s i o l o g y have not i n v e s t i g a t e d the complete ex p e r i e n c e . Examining the content of the dreams of t h i s study without the meaning of these dreams f o r the' i n d i v i d u a l , would have r e v e a l e d l i t t l e about the impact of the experience. The content of these dreams does not look d r a m a t i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t from other dreams. Questions a s k i n g "what?" and "how many?" narrow the range of i n f o r m a t i o n . Content and p h y s i o l o g y are only part of the phenomenon. The e x i s t e n c e of breakthrough dreams l i m i t s a l l t h e o r i e s which s t r e s s i n s i g h t through i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Although Jung (1960) c o n c e n t r a t e d on symbolic dreams, he mentioned c r e a t i v e breakthroughs. The r e s u l t s of t h i s study support h i s theory that images have an energy and power of t h e i r own (Jung, 1960). Jung s t a t e d that there cannot be energy without the s t r u g g l e of opposing f o r c e s . The g r e a t e r the c o n f l i c t , the g r e a t e r the energy. Most dreams have "low e n e r g y - t e n s i o n " and are confused and fragmented. However, there are some dreams which have an " i n c r e a s e of e n e r g y - t e n s i o n " and are c l e a r , d i r e c t , and make sense (p. 77). Out of t h i s t e n s i o n new ideas are formed whose s t a b i l i t y are d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d to the i n t e n s i t y of the c o n f l i c t . Jung a l s o s t a t e d that the contents of the unconscious are always represented by symbols which are t r a n s f o r m e r s of energy. I f i t i s t r u e that the g r e a t e r the 1 37 c o n f l i c t , the g r e a t e r the r e s u l t i n g energy, then i t c o u l d f o l l o w that intense c o n f l i c t can produce dream images which have the energy or f o r c e to heal and completely transform the problem. More rese a r c h i s needed to i n v e s t i g a t e the p e r i o d which precedes breakthrough dreams. Kelman (1969), L a s k i (1961), and Rossi (1972a) compared breakthrough dreams with m y s t i c a l or peak experiences and claimed that the major d i f f e r e n c e between them i s the f a c t t h a t one experience happens while a s l e e p and the other while awake. In both experiences, the i n d i v i d u a l breaks out of a former way of p e r c e i v i n g . The term " m y s t i c a l experience" has t r a d i t i o n a l l y been equated with r e l i g i o u s p r a c t i c e s and i t s d e s c r i p t i o n by r e l i g i o u s m y s tics taken as the model. However, both L a s k i (1961) and Maslow (1976) found that many i n d i v i d u a l s o u t s i d e the r e l i g i o u s l i f e have these experiences which range i n i n t e n s i t y and q u a l i t y . Maslow, p r e f e r r i n g the term "peak e x p e r i e n c e s , " c a l l e d them "moments of r e v e l a t i o n , of i l l u m i n a t i o n , i n s i g h t , understanding, e c s t a s y " (Maslow, 1971, p. 171). Although Maslow (1971; 1976) and L a s k i d i d not d e s c r i b e the p e r i o d p r e c e d i n g the experience, they d i d speak about a r e a d i n e s s to l i s t e n . The themes i n t h i s study d u r i n g and a f t e r the dream are s u r p r i s i n g l y s i m i l a r to Maslow's (1976) d e s c r i p t i o n of peak exp e r i e n c e s . L a s k i added that these experiences are "the l a s t p i e c e i n the jigsaw" f o r 138 people seeking answers (p. 339). During m y s t i c a l and peak ex p e r i e n c e s , i n d i v i d u a l s experience i n t e n s e c o n c e n t r a t i o n (Theme 7) and emotions (Theme 13) and act f r e e l y from w i t h i n (Theme 8). They f e e l more a l i v e and the world seems more r e a l (Theme 14) and c l e a r (Theme 9) than at other times. They a l s o d e s c r i b e a knowingness and an understanding where they see the world from a wider p e r s p e c t i v e (Theme 23). The world i s seen as a u n i t y or a whole which c r e a t e s a f e e l i n g t h at they are connected to something l a r g e r than the s e l f , yet are a pa r t of i t (Theme 27). They use words l i k e "awe," "wonder," and "reverence" (Theme 22) to d e s c r i b e t h e i r f e e l i n g s . Maslow (1976) cau t i o n e d t h a t these words sound simple, but the i n d i v i d u a l i s grasping f o r words to d e s c r i b e an experience where words seem i n a p p r o p r i a t e (Theme 28). People a l s o d e s c r i b e f e e l i n g e l a t e d (Theme 24), g r a t e f u l (Theme 25), and reassured that l i f e has meaning (Theme 26). They sense the importance of the event (Theme 17) and do not have to analyze what has happened to them (Theme 18). From t h i s e x p e r i e n c e , they f e e l expanded and more a c t u a l i z e d (Theme 29) and see l i f e as worthwhile which g i v e s them hope f o r the f u t u r e (Theme 30). Maslow added that some i n d i v i d u a l s who have s u f f e r e d from p a r t i c u l a r problems or i s s u e s i n t h e i r l i v e s are "immediately and permanently cured" a f t e r these experiences (p. 59). T h i s d e s c r i p t i o n i s s i m i l a r to Themes 15 and 19 i n t h i s study. 1 39 The above comparison confirms the assumption of Kelman (1969), L a s k i (1961), and Rossi (1972a) that breakthrough dreams and peak experiences are s i m i l a r . Both experiences are .moments of widened dimension and c l a r i t y which c r e a t e a s h i f t i n awareness. T h i s s h i f t Maslow (1976) c a l l e d an a t t i t u d e change where people "value r e a l i t y i n a d i f f e r e n t way, seeing t h i n g s from a new p e r s p e c t i v e from a d i f f e r e n t c e n t e r i n g p o i n t " (p. 78). T h i s statement compares with the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s ' d e s c r i p t i o n of t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e s . However, i n these dreams the s h i f t i s r e l a t e d to the r e s o l u t i o n of a s p e c i f i c i s s u e , whereas i n peak experiences t h i s s h i f t i s not always a s s o c i a t e d with a problem. Because Maslow and L a s k i d i d not d e s c r i b e the preceding p e r i o d , i t i s impossible to t e l l whether t h i s d i f f e r e n c e i s v a l i d . A l l the dreams i n t h i s study a l s o i n v o l v e d another person or being. In peak and m y s t i c a l s t a t e s the experience i s u s u a l l y s o l i t a r y . F u r t h e r r e s e a r c h i s needed to e x p l o r e the s i m i l a r i t i e s and d i f f e r e n c e s i n d e t a i l . The r e s u l t s show that breakthrough dreams are more than non-symbolic answers to problems. The study of dream process and content alone do not adequately d e s c r i b e the phenomenon. Without an i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the meaning of the experience f o r the i n d i v i d u a l , s t u d i e s are l i m i t e d . T h i s study i s the only one at present which i n v e s t i g a t e d the meaning of a breakthrough dream experience and d e s c r i b e d 140 the complete experience, b e f o r e , d u r i n g , and a f t e r the dream. The phenomenological d e s c r i p t i o n i s a beginning which can a s s i s t f u t u r e r e s e a r c h e r s i n developing a theory of breakthrough dreams. I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r C o u n s e l l i n g The use of dreams has not t r a d i t i o n a l l y been a p a r t of c o u n s e l l i n g t r a i n i n g and p r a c t i c e ( M i l l e r , S t i n s o n & Soper, 1982). T h i s n e g l e c t has r e s u l t e d i n c o u n s e l l o r s f e e l i n g unprepared f o r the frequent requests of c l i e n t s to d i s c u s s t h e i r dreams. Dreams can a s s i s t c l i e n t s to open up to deeper i s s u e s and the f e e l i n g s surrounding them i n a non-threatening manner. Because dreams are v i s u a l metaphors f o r f e e l i n g s , they are p a r t i c u l a r l y v a l u a b l e f o r i n d i v i d u a l s who have a d i f f i c u l t time e x p r e s s i n g t h e i r emotions v e r b a l l y . S p e c i f i c a l l y , the meaning of a breakthrough dream experie n c e , as d e s c r i b e d i n t h i s study, has p r a c t i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r c o u n s e l l o r s . The awareness of t h i s p a t t e r n can s e n s i t i z e c o u n s e l l o r s to recognize these dreams when they occur. Because most books and a r t i c l e s on dreams s t r e s s i n s i g h t through i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , c o u n s e l l o r s may be r e l u c t a n t to b e l i e v e that t h e i r c l i e n t s ' i s s u e s have been r e s o l v e d w i t h i n the dream i t s e l f . There c o u l d be a temptation -to 141 i n t e r p r e t the dream f u r t h e r , which i s unnecessary and may even be d e t r i m e n t a l . E x p l o r a t i o n of the meaning of the experience f o r the i n d i v i d u a l , r a ther than i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , can p r o v i d e people with the o p p o r t u n i t y to f u l l y comprehend the impact. Although the complete d e s c r i p t i o n has 30 themes, the r e s u l t s of t h i s study and examples from the l i t e r a t u r e p o i n t out that breakthrough dreams can be i n s t a n t l y i d e n t i f i e d by two prominent f e a t u r e s : The i n d i v i d u a l experiences a complete r e s o l u t i o n of the problem and a f e e l i n g of p h y s i c a l and mental r e l e a s e immediately upon awakening. Without these two themes, a dream i s not a breakthrough dream ( C o r r i e r e & Hart, 1977; Marjasch, 1966; R o s s i , 1972a). Next, w i t h i n the dream i t s e l f , p a r t i c u l a r themes stand out. The experience i s extremely v i v i d and c l e a r , not dream-like. The emotions are heightened and f u l l y expressed. The i n d i v i d u a l i s i n t e n s e l y i n v o l v e d and a c t i v e . There i s communication with another person or being which i s c l e a r and d i r e c t . People a l s o express how r e a l and r e l e v a n t the experience was f o r them. Content of the dream may vary amongst i n d i v i d u a l s , but these f e a t u r e s are always p r e s e n t . With f u r t h e r e l a b o r a t i o n on the experience, other themes begin to emerge. S p e c i f i c a l l y , the c l i e n t may want to t a l k about t h e i r f e e l i n g s of completion and profoundness. They are shaken and t r y to understand the nature of the e x p e r i e n c e . People a l s o want to d e s c r i b e the i n s i g h t they have r e c e i v e d . 142 They speak with c e r t a i n t y about t h e i r understanding. As people continue to t a l k , c o u n s e l l o r s w i l l n o t i c e that the meaning of the experience i s more than the r e s o l u t i o n of a problem. People d e s c r i b e seeing f u r t h e r and deeper i n t o t h e i r own being. T h e i r view of the world i s expanded. They may speak about the experience as having touched an inner core where they f e e l more connected to the world, and may use words l i k e " s p i r i t u a l i t y " and "God" to d e s c r i b e what has happened to them. People a l s o speak about growth and renewal. They are e n e r g i z e d to experience the present and look forward to the f u t u r e . During the process of e x p l o r a t i o n , people may have d i f f i c u l t y d e s c r i b i n g what has happened to them. They w i l l be able to t a l k e a s i l y about dream content and sequence, but f i n d that language does not adequately capture the meaning of the experience. A r t and m e t a p h o r i c a l language can h e l p i n d i v i d u a l s to express t h e i r f e e l i n g s . The c o u n s e l l o r w i l l have to be p a r t i c u l a r l y s e n s i t i v e to the themes of awe and wonder, i n s i g h t and understanding, and s p i r i t u a l i t y . Kelman (1969), L a s k i (1961), and Rossi (1972a) compared these dreams to m y s t i c a l and peak experiences and the r e s u l t s of t h i s study confirmed t h e i r statements. Both L a s k i and Maslow (1976) found that people who were w e l l versed i n r e l i g i o u s m y s t i c a l t r a d i t i o n s c o u l d immediately f i n d words to d e s c r i b e t h e i r e xperience, whereas i n d i v i d u a l s o u t s i d e t h i s 143 t r a d i t i o n were groping f o r words. James (1961) c a l l e d the tendency to c o l o u r these experiences i n r e l i g i o u s terminology an o v e r - b e l i e f . None of the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s i n t h i s study were f a m i l i a r with m y s t i c a l t r a d i t i o n s . Consequently, they were at times s t r u g g l i n g to d e s c r i b e t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e . C o u n s e l l o r s w i l l need to be aware that the themes pre c e d i n g the dream are not e x c l u s i v e to breakthrough dreams. D r e i s t a d t (1971), Harman and Rheingold (1984), and Thomas (1978) d e s c r i b e d a s i m i l a r p e r i o d preceding symbolic p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams. T h i s study confirmed t h e i r f i n d i n g s . For example, c o - r e s e a r c h e r S had a symbolic p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dream, not a breakthrough e x p e r i e n c e , and agreed with the other c o - r e s e a r c h e r s that a l l f i v e themes pr e c e d i n g the dream f i t her e x p e r i e n c e . However, only three themes o c c u r r i n g d u r i n g the dream f i t , and none of the themes a f t e r w a r d s . C l e a r l y , her experience was d i f f e r e n t from the other c o - r e s e a r c h e r s ' . The theme of r e a d i n e s s i s d e s c r i b e d i n the l i t e r a t u r e ( D r e i s t a d t , 1971; Harman & Rheingold, 1984; Thomas, 1978). A f t e r s t r u g g l i n g with a s p e c i f i c problem, the person f e e l s weighed down e m o t i o n a l l y and l e t s go or s u r r e n d e r s . The person i s then r e c e p t i v e or open to the e x p e r i e n c e . The theme re a d i n e s s was i m p l i e d i n these r e s u l t s , however some of the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s d e s c r i b e d f e e l i n g "at the end of t h e i r rope" and o t h e r s d i d not. For some, the s t r u g g l e and l o n g i n g were 144 t h e r e , but as f a r as they can remember, they were not at wit's end before t h e i r dream. F u r t h e r r e s e a r c h i s needed to explore the circumstances which precede both breakthrough and symbolic p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams. The manner i n which the e x p l o r a t i o n i s conducted i s a l s o important. The c o u n s e l l o r i s a p a r t n e r i n the process, not an expert, and needs to be f u l l y p resent using techniques such as r e f l e c t i o n , c l a r i f i c a t i o n , open-ended q u e s t i o n s , and summarizing, without imposing p r e c o n c e i v e d t h e o r i e s and assumptions on the e x p e r i e n c e . C o u n s e l l o r s can use the t r a n s c r i p t s i n t h i s study as an example of t h i s type of i n t e r v i e w i n g s t y l e . The a t t i t u d e of the c o u n s e l l o r towards these experiences i s e s s e n t i a l f o r d e v e l o p i n g t r u s t . I n d i v i d u a l s may f e e l h e s i t a n t to d i s c l o s e what has happened to them f o r fear that they w i l l be misunderstood. C o u n s e l l o r s who value dreams and who know from t h e i r own experience and from o t h e r s that dreams can be a way of e x p r e s s i n g and r e c a p t u r i n g emotions that may have been disowned in waking l i f e w i l l be more open to h e a r i n g and r e c o g n i z i n g t h e i r c l i e n t ' s e x p e r i e n c e . Both Rossi (1972a) and Stone (1977) s t a t e d that Western s o c i e t y has overemphasized r a t i o n a l , l i n e a r modes of t h i n k i n g . People coming f o r c o u n s e l l i n g may not know how the c o u n s e l l o r w i l l respond to t h e i r e xperience. The c o u n s e l l o r ' s a t t i t u d e can c r e a t e an atmosphere where people f e e l f r e e to e x p l o r e the 1 45 meaning of t h e i r e xperience. Most of c o u n s e l l i n g focuses on c l i e n t ' s t a k i n g c o n t r o l of t h e i r l i v e s , however, t h i s study r e v e a l s an i n v o l u n t a r y aspect of our nature. Delaney (1979) and G a r f i e l d (1974) i n t h e i r i n v e s t i g a t i o n of induced p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams assumed that these experiences are c r e a t e d by e x p e c t a t i o n and s e l f - s u g g e s t i o n . T h e i r assumption was not confirmed by these r e s u l t s . The c o - r e s e a r c h e r s were not aware of the e x i s t e n c e of breakthrough dreams. T h e i r dreams were not expected. Delaney and G a r f i e l d were not st u d y i n g n a t u r a l l y o c c u r r i n g e x p e r i e n c e s , and the m a j o r i t y of t h e i r dreams were symbolic. Jung (1960) s t a t e d that there i s a f o r c e i n dream images beyond conscious c o n t r o l which i s generated by t e n s i o n or c o n f l i c t s i n the psyche. When t e n s i o n i n c r e a s e s , energy i n c r e a s e s . C l e a r , d i r e c t dreams have more energy than other dreams (Jung). The r e s u l t s of t h i s study compare favourably with Jung's theory, however f u r t h e r r e s e a r c h i s necessary f o r c o n f i r m a t i o n . Although we are unsure how breakthrough dreams can be induced, there i s some evidence that they may be c u l t i v a t e d . For example, G a r f i e l d (1974) spoke about i n d i v i d u a l s who were a b l e t o experience l u c i d dreams when they became aware of t h e i r e x i s t e n c e . Maslow (1976), who i n s i s t e d t h a t peak experiences cannot be w i l l e d i n t o e x i s t e n c e , found that people began having these experiences a f t e r h i s l e c t u r e s on the 146 t o p i c . "Mere words sometime seem to be abl e to remove the i n h i b i t i o n s , the b l o c k s , and the f e a r s , the r e j e c t i o n which had kept the peak experiences hidden and suppressed" (p. 89). Co-researcher A mentioned that she had another breakthrough dream s i x months a f t e r her second i n t e r v i e w . L i k e her f i r s t experience, she f e l t the immediate r e l e a s e and r e s o l u t i o n of her problem. Because of a d e b i l i t a t i n g i l l n e s s , she was i n c o u n s e l l i n g to work on her body image. Before t h i s second dream, she was e x p e r i e n c i n g p a i n and d e p r e s s i o n and f e l t "at w i t ' s end." She c r i e d out f o r h e l p and woke up f r e e of her p a i n . The f e e l i n g has l a s t e d , and i t i s now s i x months a f t e r that dream. She a t t r i b u t e s the occurrence of t h i s dream to the awareness that these experiences are p o s s i b l e . She mentioned t h a t her f i r s t dream "gave me tremendous t r u s t that there i s a p a r t of me that can hea l and i s connected to the u n i v e r s e . I was open to i t . I d i d not w i l l i t . I had my palms open i n surrender. I was not grabbing." C o u n s e l l o r s may be abl e to c u l t i v a t e these dreams by t e l l i n g the s t o r i e s of i n d i v i d u a l s who have had breakthrough ex p e r i e n c e s . O ' F l a h e r t y (1984) d i s c u s s e d the power of n a r r a t i v e t o r e l a t e new i n f o r m a t i o n and to allow people the o p p o r t u n i t y to r e l i v e an ex p e r i e n c e . Deikman (1982) a l s o espoused the use of s t o r i e s , f o r t h e i r c a p a c i t y t o nurture the i n t u i t i v e s i d e of o u r s e l v e s . They s l i p past the defences and are kept i n the memory u n t i l a s i t u a t i o n a r i s e s i n the l i f e of 1 47 the i n d i v i d u a l which i s s i m i l a r to the circumstances i n the s t o r y . During p e r i o d s when c l i e n t s are e x p e r i e n c i n g i n t e n s e l o n g i n g f o r answers, c o u n s e l l o r s can use s t o r i e s to h e l p i n d i v i d u a l s to t r u s t the h e a l e r i n themselves. C u l t i v a t i n g these dreams i s d i f f e r e n t from w i l l i n g them. To c u l t i v a t e i s to prepare, n u r t u r e , or f o s t e r growth. Maslow (1976) was concerned about people seeking peak e x p e r i e n c e s . For some, the "working through" d u r i n g the preceding p e r i o d i s pushed a s i d e and i n s t a n t "turn ons" and sudden i n s i g h t s are sought above a l l e l s e (p. x ) . "To seek to have an experience i s a l r e a d y to r i s k not having i t ; f o r the more we focus on i t as a g o a l , the more we are i n danger of removing i t i n t o o u r s e l v e s , of p s y c h o l o g i z i n g i t " (Friedman, 1976, p. 10). The c o - r e s e a r c h e r s i n t h i s study and i n d i v i d u a l s mentioned i n the l i t e r a t u r e had these dreams a f t e r a p e r i o d of s t r u g g l e and s e a r c h i n g . T h e i r dreams s u r f a c e d as part of the t o t a l process and were an i n t e g r a l p a r t of the search, but not the g o a l . I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r Future Research In t h i s study I have d e s c r i b e d the p a t t e r n of a breakthrough dream experience. T h i s p a t t e r n may be u n i v e r s a l , but I cannot c l a i m from these r e s u l t s that the experience would be -the same f o r other i n d i v i d u a l s . The d e s c r i p t i o n i s a a 148 beginning and l a y s the foundation f o r f u t u r e r e s e a r c h . The r e s u l t s have r a i s e d many qu e s t i o n s which r e v e a l f e r t i l e areas f o r f u t u r e e x p l o r a t i o n . Because there are few d e s c r i p t i o n s of breakthrough experiences i n the l i t e r a t u r e , i t would be v a l u a b l e to r e p l i c a t e t h i s study with more i n d i v i d u a l s . Researchers c o u l d i n v e s t i g a t e the experiences of North Americans and i n d i v i d u a l s from other c u l t u r e s . A comparison of t h e i r s i m i l a r i t i e s and d i f f e r e n c e s would a s s i s t r e s e a r c h e r s i n understanding more about these dreams. In p r e v i o u s r e s e a r c h , symbolic and non-symbolic p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams have not been c l e a r l y d i f f e r e n t i a t e d . The r e s u l t s of t h i s study p o i n t out s i m i l a r i t i e s and d i f f e r e n c e s between c o - r e s e a r c h e r S's symbolic experience and the experience of the other c o - r e s e a r c h e r s . Her experience was s i m i l a r before the dream, but d i f f e r e d g r e a t l y d u r i n g and a f t e r the dream. Future r e s e a r c h c o u l d compare more examples of symbolic p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams with dream breakthroughs. Another q u e s t i o n that s u r f a c e s from these r e s u l t s i s whether a l l non-symbolic p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams are breakthrough e x p e r i e n c e s . An important aspect of the experiences i n t h i s study was the r e l e a s e immediately upon awakening and the complete r e s o l u t i o n of the problem. How do these experiences compare with non-symbolic dreams that do not have f e e l i n g s of r e l e a s e and completion? Are breakthrough e x p e r i e n c e s always connected to r e s o l u t i o n s of s p e c i f i c 149 i s s u e s ? I f not, how does the non-problem-solving breakthrough compare with the p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g breakthrough? The n a t u r a l l y o c c u r r i n g breakthrough dreams c o u l d a l s o be compared with the induced experience. New programs w i l l have to be developed to induce breakthrough dream ex p e r i e n c e s , because the present techniques which emphasize e x p e c t a t i o n s and s e l f - s u g g e s t i o n have u s u a l l y produced symbolic p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams (Delaney, 1979; G a r f i e l d , 1974). Reed (1976), assuming more i s i n v o l v e d than s e l f - s u g g e s t i o n and e x p e c t a t i o n s , r e c r e a t e d the a n c i e n t Greek r i t u a l s to allow i n d i v i d u a l s the o p p o r t u n i t y to get i n touch with t h e i r own inner h e a l i n g p r o c e s s e s . H i s techniques d i d r e s u l t i n some dream breakthroughs; however, h i s method seems extremely e l a b o r a t e and cumbersome. Although e x p e c t a t i o n s were not a p a r t of the n a t u r a l l y o c c u r r i n g e xperiences of the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s i n t h i s study, perhaps a program combining e x p e c t a t i o n s and a p r e p a r a t i o n p e r i o d c o u l d induce breakthrough e x p e r i e n c e s . Maslow (1976) spoke of i n d i v i d u a l s having peak experiences a f t e r he l e c t u r e d on the t o p i c , and G a r f i e l d (1974) spoke of the i n f l u e n c e of c u l t u r a l e x p e c t a t i o n s i n producing v a r i o u s kinds of dreams. Co-researcher A's second breakthrough dream came a f t e r a p e r i o d of i n t e n s e s t r u g g l e with her body image. She b e l i e v e s that her s t r u g g l e p l u s the awareness that problems can be r e s o l v e d w i t h i n a dream allowed her to be open or r e c e p t i v e to 150 another breakthrough experience. W i l l i n g these dreams to occur through s e l f - s u g g e s t i o n may be d i f f e r e n t from opening one's s e l f up to the experience a f t e r a p e r i o d of s t r u g g l e . Research c o u l d compare programs which i n c l u d e e x p e c t a t i o n s , s e l f - s u g g e s t i o n , and a p e r i o d of p r e p a r a t i o n with programs which use only e x p e c t a t i o n s and a p e r i o d of p r e p a r a t i o n . Rossi (1976a) and Kelman (1969) compared breakthrough dreams with peak and m y s t i c a l e x p e r i e n c e s . The themes i n t h i s study are s i m i l a r to Maslow's (1976) d e s c r i p t i o n of peak expe r i e n c e s . Because Maslow d i d not d e s c r i b e the p e r i o d preceding peak experiences, a comparison of the complete experience c o u l d not be made. Maslow a l s o d i d not connect peak experiences with the s t r u g g l e to r e s o l v e s p e c i f i c i s s u e s . F u r t h e r r e s e a r c h c o u l d compare the s i m i l a r i t i e s and d i f f e r e n c e s of these experiences b e f o r e , d u r i n g , and a f t e r . H o p e f u l l y , the r e s u l t s of t h i s study and the above suggestions w i l l encourage other r e s e a r c h e r s to exp l o r e dream breakthroughs. More r e s e a r c h i n t h i s f i e l d w i l l s t i m u l a t e d i s c u s s i o n and f u r t h e r our understanding of these e x p e r i e n c e s . SUMMARY The purpose of t h i s study was to i n v e s t i g a t e the meaning of a breakthrough dream exp e r i e n c e . There has been c o n f u s i o n i n the l i t e r a t u r e as to what a breakthrough dream experience 151 i s , with most r e s e a r c h e r s grouping a l l p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g dreams together, whether they are symbolic or non-symbolic. However, some r e s e a r c h e r s have observed that there are dreams which r e v e a l s o l u t i o n s n o n - s y m b o l i c a l l y and pr o v i d e immediate r e l e a s e and completion w i t h i n the dream i t s e l f ( C o r r i e r e & Hart, 1977; Rossi (1972a). No i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s necessary f o r i n s i g h t to occur. These dreams have been c a l l e d " h e a l i n g , " "breakthroughs," or " t r a n s f o r m a t i v e e x p e r i e n c e s . " U n f o r t u n a t e l y , there are no d e s c r i p t i o n s i n the l i t e r a t u r e of the complete experience, before, d u r i n g , and a f t e r the dream. T h i s study i s the f i r s t to d e s c r i b e the complete experience and the meaning i t has f o r the i n d i v i d u a l . Using an e x i s t e n t i a l - p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l approach, t h i s study d e s c r i b e d the meaning of the experience f o r s i x a d u l t c o - r e s e a r c h e r s . A l l s i x c o - r e s e a r c h e r s had a breakthrough dream and were ab l e t o speak with the re s e a r c h e r about t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e . They were asked to d e s c r i b e the p e r i o d b e f o r e , d u r i n g , and a f t e r the dream and the meaning of the experience f o r them. There were two i n t e r v i e w s , and both were tape-recorded and t r a n s c r i b e d . The t r a n s c r i p t s were analyzed u s i n g C o l a i z z i ' s method (1978). S i g n i f i c a n t statements were pulled, from the t r a n s c r i p t s , with any r e p e t i t i o n s d i s c a r d e d . Themes were formulated f o r each statement and grouped together a c c o r d i n g to whether they o c c u r r e d b e f o r e , d u r i n g , or a f t e r the dream. These themes were then given to the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s 1 52 f o r v e r i f i c a t i o n d u r i n g the second i n t e r v i e w . Any changes were added to the o r i g i n a l themes. T h i r t y themes were woven i n t o an exhaustive d e s c r i p t i o n and e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e of the experience which were a l s o v e r i f i e d by the c o - r e s e a r c h e r s . T h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of the breakthrough dream experience i s more complete than any other found i n the l i t e r a t u r e and the only d e s c r i p t i o n that i s formulated from the meaning of the experience f o r the i n d i v i d u a l . The r e s u l t s r e v e a l an experience that i s more than a non-symbolic r e s o l u t i o n of a p a r t i c u l a r problem. T h e i r i n s i g h t expands f u r t h e r than the i s s u e they have been s t r u g g l i n g with. People are shaken by an encounter with an experience that f e e l s as i f i t i s a p a r t of the s e l f , yet a l s o a p a r t of something g r e a t e r than the s e l f . They use terms such as " s p i r i t u a l , " " r e j u v e n a t i o n " and "growth" to express t h e i r f e e l i n g s . However, words are inadequate to f u l l y d e s c r i b e what has happened to them. These experiences are s i m i l a r to peak and m y s t i c a l experiences as d e s c r i b e d i n the l i t e r a t u r e by Maslow (1976) and L a s k i (1961). The d e s c r i p t i o n i n t h i s study i s a beginning and a foundation f o r f u t u r e r e s e a r c h . H o p e f u l l y , these r e s u l t s w i l l encourage others to i n v e s t i g a t e the phenomenon of the breakthrough dream experience. 153 References Achterberg, J . (1985). Imagery in healing: Shamani sm and modern medicine. Boston: New Science L i b r a r y . A d l e r , A. (1936). On the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of dreams. Journal of Individual Psychology, 2, 3-16. Artemidorus, D. (1975). The interpretation of dreams (R. J . White, T r a n s . ) . Park Ridge, NJ: Noyes P r e s s . 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Dissertation Abstracts International, 39, 2766A-2767A. ( U n i v e r s i t y M i c r o f i l m s No. 78-20, 403). 160 APPENDIX A: P r o t o c o l s f 161 T r a n s c r i p t #1 (Case A) P: Could you please t r y and r e c a l l a dream that a f f e c t e d you g r e a t l y and l e f t you with a f e l t sense of change immediately upon awakening. A: I know the dream. P: Could you d e s c r i b e the experience i n as much d e t a i l as p o s s i b l e . For i n s t a n c e , what was happening to you before the dream oc c u r r e d , what l e d up to the dream, duri n g the dream and a f t e r w a r d s . A: So there are three p a r t s to t h i s . P: Yes, I ' l l h e l p you i f you don't remember. A: Okay, would you l i k e me t o begin? P: Yes, f i r s t t e l l me what l e d up to the dream. What was happening t o you? What you were t h i n k i n g , f e e l i n g and doing before the dream. A: W e l l , l e t me j u s t say t h a t at that time I had j u s t gone through a breaking up of an engagement and i t was extremely p a i n f u l . I was miserable f o r s e v e r a l months before t h i s p a r t i c u l a r dream that I'm t h i n k i n g of took p l a c e . I t was j u s t a t e r r i b l e p a i n and a sense of f e e l i n g imprisoned e m o t i o n a l l y that I was walking around with f o r , I t h i n k , at l e a s t 6 months. When I was going through t h i s , I d i d n ' t t h i n k I would ever get out of i t . I had a f r i e n d whom I had been c o n f i d i n g i n r a t h e r r e g u l a r l y and t h i s would be the n i g h t of the dream. Okay, i t would be about nine o'clock i n the evening before I went to bed. I phoned t h i s f r i e n d of mine and t o l d her t h a t I was j u s t about at w i t ' s end. I can't take t h i s agony and p a i n any more. You know, I keep lo n g i n g f o r t h i s man. I t j u s t doesn't seem to go away and I'm j u s t m i s erable and of course buckets of t e a r s . And t h i s f r i e n d of mine t o l d me, "You've got to face the f a c t t h a t i t ' s over, done, f i n i s h e d . " I l i s t e n e d to that and I was s a y i n g to myself, w e l l yes, but what about t h i s p ain I'm f e e l i n g i n here. So, I then went to bed, and I'd say I had the dream i n the wee hours of the morning. I can't e x a c t l y g i v e you a time on t h a t . Should I go ahead with i t ? P: Yes. 162 A: Okay, in the dream I was standing a c r o s s from t h i s man that I was engaged to and between us there was t h i s great g u l f , almost l i k e a great canyon or l i k e an abyss. I t d i d n ' t seem to have any bottom to i t . He wasn't even l o o k i n g at me, and I looked at him and s a i d to myself, yes i t r e a l l y i s over. And then suddenly the scene changed, and we were i n a c a r . He was d r i v i n g , and I was the passenger. And i n what I can o n l y d e s c r i b e as a very mechanical manner, he put h i s arms around me. Of course I wanted t h i s very much, and I f e l t l i k e I wanted to j u s t f a l l i n t o h i s arms, be submerged i n them and e v e r y t h i n g e l s e . But something i n me wouldn't q u i t e give i n to t h a t , and I s t a r t e d to p u l l away, and I d i d . I d i s e n t a n g l e d myself, and I s a i d out loud, "This i s enough, enough." I then got out of the car and c l o s e d the door very f o r c e f u l l y and walked away. And that was the end of the dream. The moment I woke up I f e l t an i n c r e d i b l e r e l e a s e . There was a b s o l u t e l y no pain e m o t i o n a l l y where I had been f e e l i n g i t r i g h t i n my c h e s t . I t was almost l i k e a p h y s i c a l t h i n g p r i o r to the dream that I had been f e e l i n g a l l those months. A l l the anguish was gone, and i n i t s p l a c e was t h i s kind of a i r y l i g h t freedom. I f e l t l i k e I was f l o a t i n g . The p a i n and anguish has never retur n e d , and I had t h a t dream almost s i x years ago. P: What was i t i n the dream that r e a l l y stood out f o r you? A: What stood out was my being able to p u l l away from t h i s man. P: You d i d n ' t have that b e f o r e . A: No, no, i t was l i k e I was t o t a l l y trapped i n t h i s p r i s o n of emotion that somehow I had b u i l t f o r myself. But I was a b l e , under my own v o l i t i o n and my own power, to p u l l away from t h i s man. The t h i n g t h a t , and t h i s would be g e t t i n g i n t o a n a l y s i s , and I gather you are not a f t e r t h a t , but I'm t a l k i n g about the f e e l i n g I had immediately upon awakening, and I remember when I was i n the dream that when he was d r i v i n g and I was the passenger, that I f e l t t o t a l l y h e l p l e s s . P: You remember f e e l i n g t h a t . A: That I was f e e l i n g that t o t a l h e l p l e s s n e s s i n the dream. P: When you went up, and he put h i s arms around you, and 1 63 then you r e l e a s e d y o u r s e l f , do you remember how you were f e e l i n g then? A: I t was as though somebody was s u r g i c a l l y removing my guts. I t was j u s t t e r r i b l y p a i n f u l , very d i f f i c u l t . P: For you to r e l e a s e y o u r s e l f . A: Yes, but once i t was done, once I had c l o s e d the door (long pause). P: Even i n the dream A: Even in the dream. But i t was l i k e , j u s t seconds before awakening. I t was l i k e t h a t c l o s e . I t was almost upon awakening. As I awakened, I f e l t the r e l e a s e . P: T h i s was the most important moment when A: When I was able to break away, yes. I t was l i k e I was performing major surgery. I t was l i k e , even p h y s i c a l l y as though t h i s whole p o r t i o n of my body here i n my chest was being t o r n . P: I t sounds l i k e t h i s i s q u i t e a d i f f e r e n t dream from the o t h e r s you have had? A: Oh, q u i t e , q u i t e d i f f e r e n t (pause). P: In what way was t h i s one d i f f e r e n t ? A: W e l l , I can't t h i n k of any other dream where I have awakened with an immediate emotional r e l e a s e without t h i n k i n g about i t , j u s t f e e l i n g , which i s a l s o very unusual f o r me, because I tend to be r a t h e r a n a l y t i c a l , p a r t i c u l a r l y about dreams. P: And you s a i d before that t h i s change has l a s t e d . A: Yes, and the t h i n g that i s i n t e r e s t i n g i s that even though i n the l a s t • s i x years I've had p a i n f u l e x p e r i e n c e s , I have never again f e l t imprisoned e m o t i o n a l l y the way I d i d before I had the dream. I've f e l t p a i n , d e s p a i r , and anguish, but not trapped. P: I t ' s r e a l l y l a s t e d a l l these y e a r s . A: Yes ( l o n g pause) P: How do you view t h i s experience now, today? 1 64 A: As one of the most important experiences i n my l i f e (pause). P: Could you e l a b o r a t e on that more. A: Well, I t h i n k what was important i n that dream was that I took a c t i o n . I was no longer r e a c t i n g to a s i t u a t i o n . I was changing i t and moving i t and molding i t . P: Within the dream. A: Yes, i n other words, there was something about t h a t being i n the car and being a passenger that produced a sense of powerlessness, and as soon as I turned around and took a c t i o n and got out of that c a r , i t meant I'm going on my own journey, not on somebody e l s e ' s journey, and I've been on my own journey ever s i n c e . You know, as p a i n f u l and as d e s p a i r i n g as i t gets sometimes, I am s t i l l on my own journey. P: I t sounds as i f i t has a l t e r e d your l i f e . A: Yes, I'm l e s s prone to j u s t r e a c t i n g to s i t u a t i o n s and seeing myself as a v i c t i m . Now r a t h e r , okay, i f something i s not going r i g h t , then i t ' s up to me to do as much as I can about i t . Sometimes i t takes a l o t of r e f l e c t i o n . Sometimes i t takes a l o t of c r y i n g and t h i n k i n g about t h i n g s and going through a l o t of anguish, but what comes out of i t i s there are steps that I can take. P: And you d i d n ' t have t h i s f e e l i n g about your l i f e b e f ore the dream. A: Not to the same degree, no. The t h i n g that impressed me so much about t h i s dream was the sense of a i r i n e s s a f t e r the dream when I woke up, and l i g h t n e s s . P: Can you t e l l me more about th a t ? A: W e l l , i t ' s i n t e r e s t i n g , because a f t e r s e v e r a l weeks a f t e r I had the dream, I was t a l k i n g with a f r i e n d of mine, a male f r i e n d , and was saying to him that I wanted marriage so much to the r i g h t person, but I'm a gypsy at h e a r t . I can't be trapped. Now how do I get those two elements t o g e t h e r . He s a i d , now I'm not quoting him, but i f I can remember he s a i d , "Nice work i f you can get i t . " P: That r e a l l y stuck with you, the f e e l i n g of being 165 trapped. A: Yes, and the f e e l i n g of t o t a l r e l e a s e , and i t was s u r p r i s i n g , because p r i o r to my even meeting t h i s man, I d e s p e r a t e l y wanted, anybody, any man who would th i n k me worthy enough to marry, anyone who would give me a f f e c t i o n , love me and a l l the kind of t h i n g s that go with a r e l a t i o n s h i p . I j u s t was desperate, a t o t a l f e e l i n g of wanting to merge my i d e n t i t y i n that other person. What has changed i s that I s t i l l want a p a r t n e r , but want the p a r t n e r . I have no i n t e r e s t i n merging my i d e n t i t y with somebody e l s e , but want to be myself and be with the c o r r e c t p a r t n e r where 'we can a s s i s t each other to be more o u r s e l v e s , our i n d i v i d u a l s e l v e s . I'm t h i n k i n g now, f o r i n s t a n c e , I was t a l k i n g t o somebody the other day about George E l i o t who had e s s e n t i a l l y a common law marriage with Lewis, and i t was a very remarkable r e l a t i o n s h i p , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n terms of the V i c t o r i a n times i n which i t e x i s t e d . George E l i o t had most of her output a f t e r that r e l a t i o n s h i p began. They both d e s c r i b e d i t i n l e t t e r s to f r i e n d s as a r e l a t i o n s h i p i n which they were both more themselves, who they t r u l y were. That's the kind of r e l a t i o n s h i p I r e a l i z e d I wanted, not one i n which I j u s t t o t a l l y l o s t myself i n the other person. That's p a r t of what I t h i n k that dream d i d . P: Sounds l i k e i t gave you a d i f f e r e n t understanding. A: Yes, of a love r e l a t i o n s h i p and a d i f f e r e n t understanding of myself, because I had never thought of myself i n my heart as a gypsy. I t had been p o i n t e d out to me by other people a number of times p r i o r to the dream, but then I f e l t i t . Then I knew, yes, I am. P: Before you would t h i n k about i t and a n a l y z e i t , but a f t e r the dream? A: I f e l t i t , yes (pause). P: That somehow was d i f f e r e n t f o r you to f e e l i t . A: Yes, because I tend to be, even though I am t e r r i b l y e motional, I tend to be r a t h e r a c e r e b r a l person, and my tendency i s to a n a l y z e . With t h i s dream, u n l i k e any other dream I've had before or s i n c e , there was a b s o l u t e l y no a n a l y z i n g necessary. P: Was i t very c l e a r f o r you, the dream? 1 66 A: Oh, yes. There was no, I mean, i t was symbolic, but the symbols were so obvious, and that was another d i f f e r e n c e , because many of my other dreams have very c o m p l i c a t e d symbols. T h i s was r i g h t up t h e r e . P: There was nothing obscure. A: No, extremely c l e a r . My f e e l i n g about the c o n v e r s a t i o n with my f r i e n d before I went to s l e e p i s that i t paved the way f o r that dream to happen. The f e e l i n g I had was that she was a kind of metaphysician handing me a s p i r i t u a l s c a l p e l and saying to me, "Here, do your surgery." So I took the s c a l p e l and d i d the surgery. P: When you say that she was a metaphysician handing you your s p i r i t u a l s c a l p e l , e x p l a i n what s p i r i t u a l means to you i n connec t i o n to t h i s dream. A: My unconscious, I t h i n k , but i n i t s h i g h e s t sense, i t s most a c t u a l i z e d s e l f - r e a l i z e d sense, that i t was my higher s e l f , the best i n me that was t a k i n g that s c a l p e l and s a y i n g , "Okay, look t h i s i s not working, and you're r e p l a y i n g some o l d d e s t r u c t i v e p a t t e r n s . " And now I'm a n a l y z i n g , okay, but i t ' s time t o , i t had to be cut out. I t was l i k e a cancer that was e a t i n g away at me. P: A f t e r you t a l k e d with her that n i g h t , do you remember what you were f e e l i n g ? A: Oh, u t t e r d e s p a i r , because I knew she was r i g h t , and yet I d i d n ' t see how I was going to get out of i t e m o t i o n a l l y , how I was going to get r i d of t h i s awful, awful d e s p a i r . P: You knew that you wanted to do i t , and you had to do i t , but you c o u l d n ' t . A: Yes! I d i d n ' t know how i n the world I was going to do i t . W e l l , c e r t a i n l y my con s c i o u s mind d i d n ' t know how i n the world I was going to do i t , but my inner higher s e l f c e r t a i n l y knew and was responding on some inner l e v e l to what she was saying to me, and i t knew and understood. P: That next day, a f t e r you had the dream you s a i d that you woke up with a sense of r e l e a s e , an a i r i n e s s , a l i g h t n e s s . Can you remember anything e l s e about that? A: About that day? W e l l , s i g n i f i c a n t , but that day I I don't know i f t h i s i s r e c e i v e d a package i n the 1 67 mail from a f r i e n d of mine that I hadn't heard from f o r three years and enclosed i n the package was a t i n y g l a s s u n i c o r n . I t was a b e l a t e d b i r t h d a y present, because my b i r t h d a y was a c t u a l l y a month before t h i s happened. For me unic o r n s are very s p e c i a l symbols. They represent p u r i t y and immortality and e t e r n i t y . When I saw the un i c o r n , I j u s t grinned from ear to ear. I thought how p e r f e c t that t h i s should happen r i g h t a f t e r t h at i n c r e d i b l e r e l e a s e , because, of course, unicorns i n legend and i n myth cannot be trapped. They cannot be caught. P: Sounds l i k e that dream had a s p i r i t u a l c o n n o t a t i o n . A: Yes, i t d i d , yes. I can't remember what happened the r e s t of th a t day, except t h a t the package came, and I j u s t f e l t wonderful that day. And, i n f a c t , that day I d i d n ' t r e a l l y analyze the dream at a l l . I think i t was only s e v e r a l days l a t e r t h a t I a c t u a l l y sat down and thought about what i t a l l meant. P: So you l i v e d i n that r e l e a s e and that a i r y f e e l i n g . A: Yes, yes, oh yes (long pause). P: When you were t a l k i n g about i t now, i t sounds l i k e you are r e a l l y sensing that dream aga i n . A: Yes, w e l l I can see i t very c l e a r l y . P: A f t e r a l l these years, i t ' s s t i l l r e a l l y c l e a r . A: Yes, i t was one of the most powerful experiences that I've ever had i n my l i f e . P: Is there anything e l s e t h a t you would l i k e to say about i t ? A: No, not un l e s s there i s anything e l s e you would l i k e to ask me. P: No, I th i n k f o r now t h i s i s f i n e . Thank you f o r t a l k i n g with me. A: Oh, you are welcome. 168 T r a n s c r i p t #2 (Case A) P: You have looked over the t r a n s c r i p t , and I would l i k e to know what your impression was of t h i s t r a n s c r i p t . A: W e l l , i t ' s q u i t e a c c u r a t e , but what s u r p r i s e d me was how much I had to say. That was my i n i t i a l r e a c t i o n . My remarks were d e t a i l e d which a l s o s u r p r i s e d me. P: Because you thought you wouldn't have that much to say about such a short experience? A: Righ t , yes, but o b v i o u s l y when something i s that meaningful, I mean, i t s e f f e c t on me was so profound that i t s o r t of reached i n t o a number of areas of my l i f e , so I guess t h a t ' s why I had a l o t to say. P: When you say i t was profound f o r you, what does that mean to you? A: W e l l , i t means that i t produced a permanent change i n my a t t i t u d e s and behaviour. P: When you say a permanent change i n your a t t i t u d e s and behaviour, how was that d i f f e r e n t a f t e r the dream? A: I t h i n k the way I was ha n d l i n g the i s s u e before the dream was on the one hand a kind of avoidance. In other words, I would t r y to do t h i n g s to keep busy, to keep my mind o f f of i t , but on the other hand, th e r e were times when I would j u s t t r y and c o n f r o n t the g r i e f that I was f e e l i n g and the pa i n that I was f e e l i n g . I don't t h i n k that I r e a l l y t r i e d to a v o i d that p a i n , but I would t r y to do t h i n g s t o , at l e a s t f o r some p a r t of the day, d i s t r a c t myself. But i f I heard a song, or I saw a p i c t u r e , or i f something happened that would remind me of t h i s man, I wouldn't t r y to a v o i d f e e l i n g p a i n . I f I thought I needed to c r y , I would c r y , that s o r t of t h i n g . I d i d n ' t t r y to a n e s t h e t i z e myself, but I d i d have c e r t a i n d i s t r a c t i o n mechanisms that I would use j u s t to get some r e l i e f d u r i n g a 24 hour p e r i o d . P: When you say your a t t i t u d e changed a f t e r w a r d s , i n what way? A: I t h i n k that p r i o r to the dream I had been l o o k i n g f o r a way to l o s e my i d e n t i t y i n another person. There was a kind of a f e e l i n g t h a t there was a p a r t of me that wasn't worthy of having i t s own i d e n t i t y . I don't know i f that makes sense, but there was a f e e l i n g of a l a c k of worth. 169 And I don't mean a l a c k of worth i n terms of achievements, but j u s t as a person, my beingness. A f t e r the dream, that completely changed. I had a sense of being worthwhile because of who I am, not because of what I've done. There was a beginning of that kind of c o n s c i o u s n e ss of being worth something because of who I am. P: How d i d the dream b r i n g that about f o r you? A: The dream broke the t i e with t h i s man, and the t i e was p a i n , u l t i m a t e l y . And i n the dream, I took a c t i o n , as I mentioned e a r l i e r , and that was, f o r me i t represented r e a l change. Afterwards, i n terms of my f e e l i n g more worthwhile, I r e a l i z e d that I c o u l d take a c t i o n , and I d i d n ' t j u s t have to r e a c t . To me, j u s t kind of s i t t i n g and p a s s i v e l y r e a c t i n g i s l i k e being a blob, and I d i d n ' t f e e l l i k e such a blob. P: You f e l t stronger afterwards? A: Yes, I came through, not o n l y the dream, but a l s o the experience with more s t r e n g t h . P: Because you took a c t i o n . A: Yes. P: D i d you not f e e l before the dream that you c o u l d take a c t i o n ? A: W e l l , I had an i n t e l l e c t u a l sense of being a b l e to take a c t i o n , but not e m o t i o n a l l y . P: E m o t i o n a l l y i n the dream A: I was a b l e to take a c t i o n , even though i t was p a i n f u l . I was a b l e to move. P: Before the dream you mentioned t h a t you were i n p a i n , and that sometimes you would allow y o u r s e l f to f e e l that p a i n , and other times you t r i e d to a v o i d i t . How was t h i s d i f f e r e n t a f t e r the dream? You s a i d that before the dream, you would hear music which would remind you of him, and you would s t a r t c r y i n g . A: The same th i n g s that would s t i m u l a t e the p a i n and g r i e f r e a c t i o n d i d n ' t a f t e r the dream. Even the reminding was gone. That a s s o c i a t i o n was gone. The same song t h a t would remind me of him before the dream 170 wouldn't a f t e r w a r d s . I was a b l e to d i s a s s o c i a t e myself, I guess. P: Would you say that you f e l t more detached from him a f t e r the dream? A: Oh, yes, and from the whole experience. I was more of an observer. I was able to observe myself and the experience from a d i s t a n c e . And, as a r e s u l t , I l e a r n e d a great d e a l about myself. As a r e s u l t of t h i s dream, detaching me and r e s o l v i n g the p a i n , I was then able to look back on the experience, the engagement, and the whole r e l a t i o n s h i p and see i t more o b j e c t i v e l y and c l e a r l y . That's when I l e a r n e d a great d e a l about how I f u n c t i o n and f u n c t i o n e d i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p with a man. P: Could you t e l l me more about t h a t , what you learned? A: I l e a r n e d that I had been f u n c t i o n i n g i n t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p as a very e m o t i o n a l l y dependent person, and as a, I r e a l l y do not know how to put t h i s , because I haven't put t h i s i n t o words b e f o r e . Okay, I had the sense that the man was the agent f o r change in my l i f e , r a t h e r than myself as the i n i t i a t o r . That somehow having a r e l a t i o n s h i p of t h i s kind was going to s o l v e most of my problems. There was t h i s sense of e x p e c t i n g i t to be l i k e a storybook, p e r f e c t i o n kind of s i t u a t i o n . I knew i n t e l l e c t u a l l y i t was r i d i c u l o u s to have those e x p e c t a t i o n s . But of course, what I was e x p e r i e n c i n g e m o t i o n a l l y , I mean, the two don't n e c e s s a r i l y connect, and that was another t h i n g t h a t I l e a r n e d . That what I knew i n t e l l e c t u a l l y was not n e c e s s a r i l y what my heart knew. I mean, at the time t h a t t h i s happened, I was 32 years o l d , and I remember t h i n k i n g to myself as I was going i n t o t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p , w e l l , I'm 32 years o l d , and I'm an a d u l t now. I'm not a school k i d . I'm r e a l i s t i c about t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p . I r e a l i z e t h a t not e v e r y t h i n g can be p e r f e c t , and we're going to have problems, but somehow w e ' l l work them out. W e l l , once my emotions were f u l l y engaged, a l l that i n t e l l e c t u a l i z i n g went out the window. P: You f e l t y o u r s e l f becoming very absorbed and your whole being connected with t h i s man? A: Yes, and not that that was bad, but the connection seemed, even i n the beginning, to be a negative t h i n g . I t was l i k e wanting to be devoured. I t sounds b e a s t l y . P: And "devoured" means what to you? 171 A: T o t a l l y swallowed up by t h i s person's being. P: How was t h i s d i f f e r e n t afterwards? A: I r e a l i z e d that that kind of response i n an i n t i m a t e r e l a t i o n s h i p i s u l t i m a t e l y not only damaging to me, but to the other person and to the r e l a t i o n s h i p , because I r e a l i z e d t h at the only way I can have a v i a b l e i n t i m a t e r e l a t i o n s h i p with a man i s f o r me to be whole i n myself. P: When you say whole i n y o u r s e l f , was that a beginning fo r you a f t e r the dream that you s t a r t e d A: Yes, as a matter of f a c t I can r e l a t e an i n c i d e n t . A f t e r I had t h i s dream, I was with two f r i e n d s of mine, a husband and a w i f e . I can remember that we were d r i v i n g in a c a r , and i t was Christmas time, because there were l i g h t s . I t was l i k e m agical, c o l o u r e d l i g h t s on the s t r e e t s . A l l of a sudden I had t h i s sense of being t o t a l l y myself. I was not t r y i n g to imagine myself as being someone e l s e which I always had done b e f o r e . I would t r y and imagine myself as maybe a famous person and having those q u a l i t i e s . I can remember saying to my f r i e n d , "I'm me!" I t suddenly h i t me, and i t was j u s t a few months a f t e r t h i s dream. The two of them laughed, because they both knew e x a c t l y what I meant. I remember M saying , "You mean you are completely y o u r s e l f . You r e a l l y are you." And I s a i d , "Yes! Wow!" I t was that kind of an experience, q u i t e sudden. P: And that began a f t e r you had the dream, you f e l t , because you separated y o u r s e l f from t h i s person. A: Yes, yes, but i t was a l s o a sense that I never had before i n my l i f e , because ever s i n c e I was a l i t t l e g i r l , I had wanted to be someone e l s e , not me. P: What does i t mean to be you? A: That's a tough q u e s t i o n . P: When you say more l i k e y o u r s e l f A: I no longer had an image i n my mind of the someone e l s e that I was t r y i n g to be. I had an image of me, my f a c e , my body and that not o n l y was that okay, but i t was g r e a t . I t ' s a very hard t h i n g to put i n t o words, but t h a t ' s about the most a r t i c u l a t e that I can be about i t . P: Your t h i n k i n g and f e e l i n g about y o u r s e l f changed. You 1 7 2 d i d n ' t want to be an image of someone e l s e any more. You became more y o u r s e l f . How d i d the behaviour f o l l o w from tha t ? A: W e l l , s h o r t l y a f t e r that dream, I decided to get i n t o more metaphysical s t u d i e s , r e a l l y g e t t i n g i n t o i t , doing i t p r o f e s s i o n a l l y . I had been studying f o r a number of years, but I had always had myself i n the image of being t h i s very r a t i o n a l , i n t e l l e c t u a l , l o g i c a l person who was pursuing a c a r e e r that was accepted i n the usual s o c i e t y i n terms of i t being s t a t u s . I've been a nurse and a teacher f o r many years, and I was p r i o r to that time t r y i n g to climb i n my c a r e e r , to go up the c a r e e r l a d d e r . I saw my l i f e before as being t h a t , and I saw that as being the image. I was f u n c t i o n i n g i n the shadow of t h a t . And I thin k that my d e c i s i o n to get more i n t o m e taphysical areas was t r u e r to my r e a l s e l f , to me. P: You s t a r t e d making d e c i s i o n s on who you a r e , not what somebody e l s e wanted you to become. A: Yes, that was the beginn i n g . I began to see. That was the beginning when I s t a r t e d to act out the r e a l me. P: A f t e r the dream, you found y o u r s e l f more complete? A: I t h i n k you c o u l d say t h a t . Yes, yes. I achieved a deeper understanding of how I re a c t e d i n an i n t i m a t e r e l a t i o n s h i p with a man. I a l s o had more of a sense of myself. I guess those are two p r e t t y b i g t h i n g s . P: So t h i s dream made a d i f f e r e n c e f o r you? A: Oh, a l o t . P: You would say you have grown from t h i s experience? A: Oh, yes, i n what ways? Again, i n the two areas that I mentioned: the understanding of love r e l a t i o n s h i p s , but a l s o I understand my f r i e n d s h i p s with women b e t t e r . I now understand that i t takes almost as much work to maintain an i n t i m a t e r e l a t i o n s h i p with a woman as i t does with a man to make them r e a l l y work. P: What do you do now to make them work that you d i d n ' t do before the dream? A: I am much more conscious of give and take. G i v i n g and t a k i n g on both ends. 173 P: What do you mean by that? A: Before then, I had c e r t a i n r e l a t i o n s h i p s which I was doing a l l the g i v i n g . More of my r e l a t i o n s h i p s I was doing the g i v i n g more than t a k i n g . But a l s o i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p s where I was doing more of the t a k i n g on the l e v e l of emotional support, I began to see that these were not balanced. In those r e l a t i o n s h i p s I was using up the e n e r g i e s of these people, and I r e a l i z e d t h a t that was no way to maintain a f r i e n d s h i p . P: You s a i d i n the t r a n s c r i p t t h a t you are now on your own journey. What do you mean by that? A: I t ' s a journey that has l e s s and l e s s to do with what s o c i e t y expects of me and more to do with who I r e a l l y am. And t h a t ' s been a process, but a process that I b e l i e v e began r i g h t a f t e r the dream. P: You s a i d t h a t i t was the best i n you or the higher s e l f that p u l l e d away from t h i s man i n the dream. What d i d you mean by that? A: To me i t ' s a, what we are d e a l i n g with here i s a metaphysical conception which f o r me i s very r e a l which I not only conceive of i n t e l l e c t u a l l y , but which I can f e e l . I t ' s the p a r t of me which i s immortal, that never d i e s , t h at i s e t e r n a l , that has no sense of time i n the way that we do on e a r t h . I t ' s that p a r t of me which has a sense of p a s t , present, and f u t u r e a l l happening at once, the e t e r n a l moment, that moment that has no beginning, no middle, and has no end. That to me i s my higher s e l f . I t ' s i m p e r i s h a b l e . T h i s higher s e l f has a p h y s i c a l e x p r e s s i o n which i s my body. I own t h i s body, but I am not my p h y s i c a l s e l f . My p h y s i c a l s e l f I use to express myself i n the p h y s i c a l environment, but the p h y s i c a l body changes. I t ages, and i t d i s s o l v e s at death. My higher s e l f i s t h a t s e l f which knows no death which can f u n c t i o n i n any dimension. P: You f e e l t h a t you touched t h i s i n the dream. A: Yes, oh yes. P: T h i s higher s e l f , d i d you f e e l a connectedness or a belonging with t h i s ? A: Yes, I have a sense with t h i s higher s e l f of being connected to a u n i v e r s a l energy, f o r a l a c k of a b e t t e r term, that I would c a l l God. 174 P: You mentioned i n the t r a n s c r i p t that the dream had a s p i r i t u a l dimension to i t . Could you e x p l a i n ? A: Yes, the dream i t s e l f I wouldn't d e s c r i b e as a s p i r i t u a l experience, but I would d e s c r i b e what happened to me immediately upon awakening as a s p i r i t u a l e x p erience. I t ' s l i k e a r e v e l a t i o n , and i t j u s t went to the very innermost p a r t of me which i s that higher s e l f . P: Could you t e l l me more about t h i s r e v e l a t i o n ? A: The r e v e l a t i o n was, "My God, I can be r e l i e v e d of t h i s k i n d of burden so q u i c k l y ! " I t happened so f a s t . P: That was i n c o n c e i v a b l e b e f o r e . A: Yes, yes, that was i n c o n c e i v a b l e beforehand, j u s t i n c o n c e i v a b l e . I r e a l i z e d i n a f l a s h t h at my whole consciousness had changed, not only about that i s s u e , but about e v e r y t h i n g . P: T e l l me more about t h a t . A: The sense that I had was that there was d e f i n i t e l y the hand of a higher being i n t h i s . I t was as i f some f o r c e , God, had j u s t l i f t e d t h i s burden o f f of me and that i t was p o s s i b l e f o r t h i s to happen. I t made me f e e l t h a t , w e l l , i n other areas of my l i f e i t ' s p o s s i b l e f o r t h i s to happen too. I t ' s p o s s i b l e f o r i t to happen again at some p o i n t . P: Are you saying that i t gave you hope? A: Yes, a l o t of hope. P: I t gave you hope. How has t h i s made a d i f f e r e n c e to your l i f e ? A: Since that dream, yes, I've had at c e r t a i n p e r i o d s anguish and pain over c e r t a i n i s s u e s , but I t h i n k what I've come to i s that I, how can I put t h i s , t h a t somehow that con n e c t i o n between me and that u n i v e r s a l energy c o u l d never be broken. And I f e l t that very s t r o n g l y . P: And you s t i l l do? A: Oh yes, even more so. P: How does t h i s f e e l to you? 1 75 A: Oh, very r i g h t , very c o m f o r t a b l e . I'm kind of at a l o s s of f u r t h e r words on t h a t . Yes, i t f e e l s very r e a l . I think t h a t a f t e r that dream I had more of a sense of God being r e a l . That i t wasn't j u s t a concept. That indeed there was t h i s i n t e l l i g e n t energy out there and w i t h i n me and that I am connected to that energy. I am par t of that energy. I t became very r e a l , because I experienced i t e m o t i o n a l l y , not j u s t i n t e l l e c t u a l l y . P: Your whole being sensed? A: Yes, yes. P: Did you f e e l i n awe? A: Oh yes, that t h i s c o u l d r e a l l y happen. Yes, I t h i n k what I've been saying i s t h a t sense of awe. P: You've t o l d me a l o t about t h i s dream and what i t meant to you. How was t h i s dream d i f f e r e n t from other dreams? A: In t h i s dream the symbols were very c l e a r , c o n c r e t e . I even h e s i t a t e to c a l l them symbols. I t ' s probably o v e r s t a t i n g . I t was l i k e an event, a happening, and I tend to have dreams which are symbolic. I understand them w e l l , because I am used to my own symbols now, but t h i s was probably the l e a s t symbolic dream I've ever had. I t was a very concrete event. P: In t h i s dream, you a l s o f e l t very i n t e n s e l y ? A: Oh, yes indeed. P: Was i t c o l o u r f u l ? A: There was no c o l o u r . I t was black and white. The sense t h a t I had was d e s o l a t i o n p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the f i r s t p a r t of the dream where he and I are s t a n d i n g a c r o s s t h i s great chasm, t h i s abyss. I c o u l d see q u i t e a b i t of d e t a i l i n the rock formation, but I sometimes dream i n great d e t a i l and I wouldn't d e s c r i b e them as breakthrough dreams. The images were very c l e a r . I t was l i k e I was l o o k i n g at a f i l m , only I was i n the f i l m . P: Did the absence of c o l o u r impress on you the d e s o l a t i o n ? A: Oh, I t h i n k so. I t was l i k e a r e f l e c t i o n of what I was f e e l i n g at the time i n s i d e , what the r e l a t i o n s h i p had 176 become. P: So the absence of c o l o u r was a l s o very meaningful? A: Yes, and the t h i n g i s you remember that I d e s c r i b e d the scene i n the car where the man put h i s arms around me very m e c h a n i c a l l y ? There was a sense of t h i n g s having no l i f e . I t was almost l i k e he had no l i f e . He was mechanical. E v e r y t h i n g i n there was dead. P: And you i n c o n t r a s t to t h i s ? A: I was very a l i v e . What I was g e t t i n g from him was deadness. What I got from the landscape was deadness, but I f e l t i n t e n s e l y a l i v e (pause). I t h i n k more a l i v e when I broke from h i s embrace and got out of the car and shut the door. I f e l t l i k e I was s c i n t i l l a t i n g a f t e r t h a t . P: Is there anything e l s e you'd l i k e to say? A: I j u s t want to mention that I was not aware that I was dreaming. I only was aware t h a t i t was a dream when I woke up. P: We began to t a l k of the t r a n s c r i p t i n the beginning today, and I f o r g o t to ask you what you thought of the themes. Do they f i t f o r you? A: Most of them do. The only one I questioned was " v o i d " under the beginning themes. I d i d n ' t t h i n k that i t f i t my e x p e r i e n c e . P: Can you t e l l me more about t h a t ? A: I d i d n ' t f e e l hollow or l o s t , because I was f i l l e d up with t h i s p a i n . I n s i d e I was nothing but p a i n . P: So i t wasn't a v o i d . I t was f i l l e d with something, the pain? A: Yes, yes, and i t f e l t l i k e a l e a d weight, p h y s i c a l l y i n s i d e of me. P: Anything e l s e ? A: No. P: Thank you. You're welcome. 178 T r a n s c r i p t #1 (Case E) P: I would l i k e you to t h i n k back to a time when you had a dream that made an impact or change on you a f t e r w a r d s . E: I was f e e l i n g a l o t of emotional pain and was f e e l i n g r e a l l y depressed. I a l s o was f e e l i n g a l o t of burdens. In the dream I saw a f r i e n d of mine, and I t o l d her that I was i n a l o t of pain and that I d i d n ' t know what to do about i t . I was f e e l i n g so depressed and so heavy, and there was nothing I c o u l d do about i t . She s a i d very r e a s s u r i n g l y , "I can h e l p you." I s a i d , "How can you h e l p me. I've r e a l l y t r i e d my best, and I can't h e l p myself. What can you do." She s a i d , "You don't have to worry. I can h e l p you with t h i s . What you have to do i s f i r s t l e t me take your f i n g e r p r i n t s . " I thought t h i s was r e a l l y weird. "Finger p r i n t s ? How can you h e l p me by t a k i n g my f i n g e r p r i n t s ? " She s a i d , " Y o u ' l l see. J u s t watch." So what she d i d then was take out t h i s ink pad and these white sheets of paper. She then took each of my f i n g e r s and dipped them i n t o the ink to take my f i n g e r p r i n t s . She a l s o took my hand p r i n t s . I saw them and s a i d , "What are you going to do with those?" She s a i d , " Y o u ' l l see, y o u ' l l see. She then turned around and d i d n ' t l e t me see what she was doing. She had her back towards me. Then she turned to me, and I s a i d , "What's t h a t ? " She s a i d , "These are my f i n g e r p r i n t s . " These were on the same pages as mine. There were now two s e t s of f i n g e r p r i n t s . I s a i d , "I don't know which ones are mine? Which ones are yours?" She goes, "That's r i g h t . " I s a i d , "Oh, I see now. I see." I then looked r e a l l y c l o s e l y at the p r i n t s , and the f i n g e r p a r t s s t a r t e d changing i n t o o l d men's f a c e s . Each f i n g e r had a face t h a t was i n l o t s of p a i n . They looked l i k e they were moaning. I s a i d , "Now I understand, and I don't f e e l so alone any more, because a l l my pa i n i s a l s o your p a i n . " I d i d n ' t f e e l as bad, and I f e l t l i k e a lo a d had been l i g h t e n e d , and I r e a l l y f e l t p o s i t i v e . I f e l t l i k e a whole burden had been r e l i e v e d , and I f e l t r e a l l y okay. P: D i d you f e e l t h a t r e l e a s e while you were having the dream? E: Yeah, yeah, d u r i n g the dream. I t was at the time when she showed me the two s e t s of f i n g e r p r i n t s , and I n o t i c e d that my f i n g e r p r i n t s and hers were both t h e r e . Then I s a i d , "Which ones, are mine? I can't t e l l . " Then she s a i d , "That's r i g h t . " At that p o i n t I r e a l i z e d t h at i t was t r u e that I wasn't alone and the pain seemed to d i s s i p a t e . 179 P: At that moment? E: Yes P: Do you remember what you f e l t l i k e when you woke up? E: Yes, when I woke up that day, I f e l t l i k e a r e a l l y profound experience had happened, and I f e l t e m o t i o n a l l y d i f f e r e n t , because I remember before the dream I was r e a l l y f e e l i n g very depressed. I f e l t l i k e no one was l i s t e n i n g . Even i f I would attempt t o t a l k to someone about i t , i t was l i k e they d i d n ' t have time. I was r e a l l y q u i t e angry about that and t h i n k i n g that I have a l l of t h i s p a i n and f e e l i n g so overwhelmed. But a f t e r t h a t dream, I f e l t as i f a whole l o a d had been l i f t e d , and I f e l t r e a l l y okay about everyone too. I wasn't angry any more at them, and I f e l t almost i n a sense r e a s s u r e d . I t was as i f somehow I was being reassured, and I f e l t r e a l l y good. P: You s a i d t h at you were f e e l i n g very depressed and i n a l o t of p a i n , and people were not l i s t e n i n g t o you. How long before t h i s dream had that been going on? E: W e l l , I would say i t had been going on f o r s e v e r a l months, and i t had been b u i l d i n g . I'm the type of person that doesn't seek people out when I am depressed. I don't say that I f e e l depressed and can we t a l k . I u s u a l l y keep i t i n and t r y to get along on my own. T h i s was a time when I was r e a l l y f e e l i n g down, and i t got so bad that I would s t a r t seeking people out, and I sought two people out i n the l i t t l e o f f i c e block that I am i n . I was met each time with e i t h e r a h a l f l i s t e n i n g c o n v e r s a t i o n or one that seemed t o i n v a l i d a t e me l i k e i t wasn't worth the time. That r e a l l y made me angry, because I f e l t t h a t I put out q u i t e a l o t f o r people and helped them, and I r e a l l y f e l t i t took a l o t of me to even ask. I t had been b u i l d i n g up to a head, and when that happened, I j u s t f e l t t o t a l l y overwhelmed. I thought "here I t r i e d , and now I can't even t a l k to people," so i t was r e a l l y bad. P: At t h i s time when i t was b u i l d i n g up, you had the dream. E: I t was a c t u a l l y t h at very n i g h t when i t got to the p o i n t where i t was too overwhelming. That day I was so angry, and I was h o l d i n g i n t e a r s a l l day. I was so depressed and so overwhelmed. 180 P: Can you d e s c r i b e i n more d e t a i l what i t was l i k e r i g h t a f t e r the dream? E: W e l l , r i g h t a f t e r wards, I f e l t a profound experience had happened, and I wasn't r e a l l y c l e a r about what i t was. A l l I knew i s that there was a r e a l d i f f e r e n c e i n terms of my own understanding of what happened. I t was almost beyond words'like that sense of profoundness that there was a depth of understanding which wasn't there b e f o r e . Even when I say that yes, my p a i n i s shared now, I'm not c a p t u r i n g the experience. The other t h i n g too i s that I r e a l l y do f e e l l i g h t e n e d . I s t i l l f e l t a sense of sadness, but i t wasn't t h i s heaviness any more. I t wasn't l i k e I was c a r r y i n g around a burden. I f e l t a l o t f r e e r , and I d i d n ' t f e e l so angry at the people. I r e a l l y began to make a d e f i n i t e t h i n g i n my own mind about these people that I had asked. Why d i d I ask them anyway? They aren't my f r i e n d s . I saw something there that wasn't there b e f o r e . These people were j u s t a v a i l a b l e , and I r e a l l y c o u l d n ' t blame them. I r e a l i z e d t h a t about them. I c o u l d see a whole l o t c l e a r e r . I c o u l d see the whole, the whole experience f o r what i t was a l o t more. That seemed to r e f l e c t back on that deep understanding that I gained from the dream. P: What was i t that r e a l l y made you f e e l c e r t a i n that the dream had such a st r o n g e f f e c t on you? E: There was that sense o f , "Oh, I see. Oh, yes." There was a r e a l acknowledgment of something happening. I t was a profound emotional experience, but i n a dream which i s odd, because i n a l o t of dreams I can experience something to some degree f e e l i n g - w i s e , but t h i s was so e n l i g h t e n i n g . I r e a l l y d i d f e e l e n l i g h t e n e d . For i n s t a n c e , when S s a i d , "That's r i g h t . " And I s a i d , "Oh, I see, yes." That made such a d i f f e r e n c e , and i t wasn't a temporary t h i n g e i t h e r . T h i s i s another t h i n g I wanted to p o i n t out. I t wasn't l i k e I woke up, and t h i n g s were d i f f e r e n t f o r a day or two. I t i s s t i l l l a s t i n g and i s c a r r y i n g me through. P: You s a i d that the dream had intense emotions. Was there a d i f f e r e n c e i n emotions from the beginning of the dream to the end? E: Yes, i n the beginning of the dream, I was s t i l l f e e l i n g the same sense of sadness that I had f e l t t h a t day. The f e e l i n g then changed to puzzlement, because I c o u l d n ' t f i g u r e out what was going on. I t f e l t c o n f u s i n g . I t was almost l i k e t h i n g s were being shown to 181 me, but they d i d n ' t make any sense. How weird! Then that sense of enlightenment happened. There was a r e a l , "Oh, I see." There was a sense of r e a l a p p r e c i a t i o n f o r myself and a r e a l a p p r e c i a t i o n f o r the people I r e a l l y care about. There was almost a very warm f e e l i n g towards the end. I t ' s hard to d e s c r i b e . P: Was the dream very v i v i d ? E: Yes, very, very c l e a r . I c o u l d see the f i n g e r p r i n t s very c l e a r l y , even the l i n e s of the f i n g e r s . I c o u l d make out the faces very c l e a r l y , the o l d men with shrunken l i t t l e f a c e s . P: I t ' s s t i l l very c l e a r to you? E: Yes, i t has stayed with me (pause). P: Did you d i s c u s s the dream with anyone? E: Oh yes. I d i s c u s s e d i t with the person i n the dream, and she l e n t me a l o t of i n s i g h t too about what i t was l i k e f o r her. That r e a l l y enhanced i t even more. P: Can you t e l l me something about t h a t ? E: Yes, because when I t o l d her that i n the dream, we both had s a i d , "That's r i g h t . " She was so moved. I t was l i k e she had that same sense of understanding . I d i d n ' t have to say anything e l s e about i t . She understood i t too. She then s a i d , "You and I do h o l d a l o t of the same pai n i n our hands, don't we?" Towards the end, I had a sense of the concept of, i t wasn't even an image, but the concept of a s p i r i t u a l h e a l i n g . I a s s o c i a t e d i t with her very much, and maybe i n some way she was a s p i r i t u a l h e a l e r to me. I t o l d her t h a t too. I t was funny, maybe not funny, but she s a i d , "That doesn't s u r p r i s e me." She t o l d me that i n a way she had always thought of h e r s e l f as a s p i r i t u a l h e a l e r . I was r e a l l y f e e l i n g neat about t h a t . But i t was i n t e r e s t i n g , because with her again, I r e a l l y d i d n ' t have to say very much. She seemed to know at almost a u n i v e r s a l l e v e l . I t was something very c l o s e to us, and that made i t even more s p e c i a l . I a l s o t a l k e d to you about i t , and that even helped more i n terms of j u s t the meaning of the s p i r i t u a l h e a l e r . You r e a l l y added a l o t of understanding. A f t e r t hat dream I was f e e l i n g q u i t e p o s i t i v e again about e v e r y t h i n g . I was making more connections day to day now that I was seeing myself more as a s p i r i t u a l h e a l e r . I a l s o r e a l i z e that at c e r t a i n times, r a t h e r than j u s t going to anyone to ask 182 f o r h e l p , that i t was important to seek out other s p i r i t u a l h e a l e r s i n my environment. I'm r e a l l y f i n d i n g out who these people a r e . I l e a r n e d that from the dream, as w e l l as other people's i n s i g h t s about the dream. P: You s t a r t e d changing i n your waking l i f e ? E: Yes, i t was r e a l l y important f o r me t h a t once I got that l e v e l of understanding, the change i n emotions, that I t a l k to others l i k e S. I had to t e l l S about the dream. In that sense I a c t e d very d i f f e r e n t l y i n sh a r i n g t h i s experience. I t was so profound, and she was i n v o l v e d i n i t with me. I r e a l i z e d t h i n g s about myself. I r e a l l y d i d s t a r t t a k i n g a r e a l look at my l i f e and see where I was hanging myself up, e s p e c i a l l y i n terms of being a s p i r i t u a l h e a l e r . A l s o , that I was t a k i n g on too much sometimes and not seeking out other s p i r i t u a l h e a l e r s to hea l me. P: You were t a k i n g on too much p a i n . E: Yes, yes, i t was becoming an o v e r l o a d , so I am doing that now. That has r e a l l y helped me. I do know now whom I can a p p r e c i a t e i n that same sense. I know whom I can speak with, and who w i l l o f f e r me that kind of f e e l i n g . P: Before you waited u n t i l t h i n g s became r e a l l y bad i n s i d e you. Now you are ab l e to t a l k to someone when you have that sense that t h i s person i s a h e a l e r . E: Yes, I've been doing t h a t , and i t has r e a l l y worked. I mean, r e a l l y worked f o r me. I t r e a l l y has been something I've needed, and I've found t h a t i t r e a l l y has not been that d i f f i c u l t once I f i n d or know the people that I can approach who are c a r i n g and n u r t u r i n g . P: What e l s e stands out f o r you i n t h i s dream? E: W e l l , what I r e a l l y t h i n k i s i n t e r e s t i n g about t h i s dream i s that the image, f e e l i n g s , e v e r y t h i n g has stayed with me. When you asked me to t h i n k about a dream where I experienced change, i t was very easy t o p i c k t h i s dream, because i t had such a l a s t i n g q u a l i t y about i t . I've had a l o t of weird dreams before and l o t s of i n t e r e s t i n g dreams, but somehow I've never r e a l l y q u i t e reached the depth of understanding that I've had with t h i s e x p e r i e n c e . Since then I've had a few dreams where I've had glimpses of that again, but i n t h i s dream I'm so impressed with the l a s t i n g q u a l i t y . 183 P: Could you p i c k out some of the images and a c t i o n s i n the dream that were important f o r you and what f e e l i n g s you were ex p e r i e n c i n g ? E: W e l l , one of the t h i n g s was j u s t the presence of S. She was very r e a s s u r i n g and n u r t u r i n g i n the way she responded. There'a a very matter of f a c t s i d e of S that people do not see very o f t e n . I r a r e l y see i t i n her myself. In the dream she was f o r t h r i g h t and had the answer. She was j u s t r i g h t there showing a s i d e of her p e r s o n a l i t y that i s not u s u a l l y dominant. That was r e a l l y i n t e r e s t i n g . The f i n g e r p r i n t i n g was r e a l l y c o n f u s i n g . I remember f e e l i n g confused, yet ,1 f e l t that the c o n f u s i o n had a r e a l purpose. That's an i n t e r e s t i n g paradox. I t ' s almost l i k e you r e a l l y have to be r e a l l y confused i n order to be e n l i g h t e n e d . That was something that r e a l l y stood out f o r me. The faces on the f i n g e r p r i n t s a l s o stood out. T h e i r grimaces and moans were almost l i k e a s t i l l photograph. That r e a l l y brought home to me the p a i n , the i n t e n s i t y of the p a i n . These were a c t u a l l y on my f i n g e r s with a face here, face t h e r e . P: When you looked at these f a c e s , you f e l t the intense p a i n . E: Yes, but the pain I was e x p e r i e n c i n g was a l s o the pain of the whole world, the u n i v e r s a l p a i n . P: You had these f e e l i n g s of pain and, as you s a i d b e f o r e , a l s o the r e l e a s e . E: I t h i n k i t was more than a r e l e a s e . I mean, I th i n k that was a p a r t of i t , but i t was the depth of understanding. I don't r e a l l y t h i n k that I went through a c a t h a r s i s or anything l i k e t h a t i n the dream. I t was j u s t more of a r e a l understanding, a r e a l change i n my awareness and l e v e l of meaning. What a l s o stood out f o r me was S. I wondered why her? But when I s t a r t e d t h i n k i n g , I was g l a d i t was her, so g l a d . I thought how i n t e r e s t i n g and was s u r p r i s e d . I t was so easy to t a l k with her. I c o u l d approach her d i r e c t l y and say that I was i n p a i n , and I c o u l d n ' t do anything about i t . I f e l t she had to h e l p me. I p i c t u r e d her so c l e a r l y . I a l s o remember the sheets of while paper, snowy, snowy white, a l s o the blackness a g a i n s t the white, the f i n g e r p r i n t s a g a i n s t the white. These were so v i v i d along with the f a c e s . The faces reminded me of people i n the c o n c e n t r a t i o n camps. They were so gaunt and the heads were shrunken i n . T h e i r e x p r e s s i o n s were very c l e a r . The c o l o u r s were so sharp and v i v i d . 184 P: Could you e l a b o r a t e more on what was going on f o r you before the dream, before you f e l t t h i s change in awareness. E: The s t r u g g l e I was going through was unresolved. I almost f e l t h opeless, and that was d i f f i c u l t to j u s t be h o p e l e s s . I remember that day f e e l i n g so down, and that was r e a l l y on my mind. I j u s t thought how can I continue l i v i n g f e e l i n g so hopeless, f e e l i n g so very, very sad. I guess I was f e e l i n g s o r r y f o r myself to a c e r t a i n e x t e n t . P: You mentioned the change i n your a b i l i t y to ask f o r help when you have the f e e l i n g s of hopelessness now. E: I t was more than j u s t the a c t i v i t y of seeking out h e l p . I t was the depth of understanding, the change that wasn't there b e f o r e . I don't know what to even c a l l i t , whether i t ' s a s p i r i t u a l understanding or an i n t u i t i v e understanding. I t doesn't even f i t i n terms of emotion or t h i n k i n g . I t ' s l i k e a way of being t h a t has changed, i n the way I r e l a t e to o t h e r s . W e l l , one of the t h i n g s I d i d have was t h a t before I thought I c o u l d handle i t a l l , l i k e the pain i s manageable. I t h i n k I was r e a l l y denying that p a r t of myself f o r a long time. I was becoming immersed i n so many people's p a i n s , t a k i n g i t on myself and having nowhere to go with i t . That's completely not there any more. I don't b e l i e v e a l l that any more. I t ' s funny, because, as I am t a l k i n g , I remember how s t r o n g l y I h e l d on to that b e l i e f that I d i d n ' t need to go to anyone (pause). P: Is there anything e l s e you'd l i k e to say? E: I can't t h i n k of anything more except that I wish I had more dreams l i k e t h a t . 185 T r a n s c r i p t #2 (Case E) P: You have l o o k e d o v e r t h e themes f r o m t h e f i r s t t r a n s c r i p t s and have r e a d y o u r t r a n s c r i p t . How do t h o s e themes f i t w i t h y o u r e x p e r i e n c e ? E : I t h i n k t h e y f i t r e a l l y w e l l . I c a n r e l a t e d t o a l l t h e s e themes. They a r e a l l p a r t o f t h e e x p e r i e n c e . I t was i n t e r e s t i n g when I s t a r t e d r e a d i n g t h e t r a n s c r i p t , what I had gone t h r o u g h , I s t a r t e d f e e l i n g a l l t h o s e f e e l i n g s a g a i n . I s t a r t e d g e t t i n g t i c k e d o f f and a n g r y a b o u t t h e s i t u a t i o n t h a t I was i n a t t h e t i m e . Somehow when y o u s t a r e a t t h e words, i t r e a l l y b r i n g s back a l o t of t h e k i n d of t h i n g s y o u were g o i n g t h r o u g h . I t was n i c e t o have t o p e r s p e c t i v e t o see what I had gone t h r o u g h and see how I have c h a n g e d . P: I w o u l d l i k e t o t a l k a b o u t y o u r e x p e r i e n c e o f c h a n g e , b e c a u s e y o u t a l k e d a l o t a b o u t t h a t . I w o u l d a l s o l i k e t o know i f you were aware t h a t y ou were d r e a m i n g i n t h e dream. E: No,, n o t a t a l l . I d i d n ' t know t h a t i t was a dream. When I woke up t h e f e e l i n g s and i m p r e s s i o n s were so v i v i d t h a t i t s u r p r i s e d me t h a t i t was a dream. I c o u l d n ' t make t h a t s e p a r a t i o n w h i l e I was d r e a m i n g . P: How was t h i s dream d i f f e r e n t f r o m o t h e r dreams you have had? E: T h i s dream seemed t o be e x t r e m e l y r e l e v a n t t o what I was g o i n g t h r o u g h a t t h e t i m e . I t had s u c h a c l e a r message f o r me, and i t had so much c o n t a i n e d w i t h i t . I l e a r n e d so much from i t i n t h a t one s i n g l e i n s t a n c e t h a t i t was r e a l l y i n c o m p a r a b l e t o a n y t h i n g e l s e t h a t I had e v e r dreamed b e f o r e . The r e l e v a n c y , t h e d i r e c t n e s s , t h e v i v i d n e s s , t h e d e p t h o f t h e t h i n g s t h a t I l e a r n e d f r o m i t was so d i f f e r e n t . I r e a l l y c a n ' t t h i n k o f a n o t h e r dream t h a t was l i k e t h a t . P: Can you g i v e an example o f a n o t h e r dream and how i t was d i f f e r e n t from t h i s one? E: W e l l o t h e r dreams, I've had dreams t h a t have been f a i r l y s t r o n g and made me f e e l c e r t a i n ways, b ut t h e y a r e j u s t i m p r e s s i o n s ,or images o f e x p e r i e n c e s t h a t I had d u r i n g t h e day, l i k e f a n t a s i e s . And when I wake up, t h e r e ' s t h a t f e e l i n g o f , w e l l , y e s , I had an i n t e r e s t i n g dream, and i t p a s s e s . I t d o e s n ' t make t h a t s t r o n g o f an i m p a c t o r a d i f f e r e n c e . T h e s e o t h e r dreams a r e i n a 186 d i f f e r e n t c l a s s . I don't wake up f e e l i n g t h a t I have le a r n e d a n y t h i n g . I mean t h a t dream may t e l l me something i f I r e a l l y a n a lyzed i t , but the c l a r i t y of t h i s other dream was so st r o n g that I d i d n ' t have to analyze i t . I knew r i g h t away that t h i s was something s p e c i a l and unique. I d i d n ' t ' q u e s t i o n i t . I t was l i k e I was given a g i f t , and t h i n g s seemed to r e a l l y become r e s o l v e d t h a t moment. I never had that with other dreams. P: You d i d not have to r e f l e c t when you woke up to get f e e l i n g from the dream. I t was t h e r e . E: I t was r i g h t t h e r e , and i t l a s t e d , and those other dreams do not have t h i s l a s t i n g q u a l i t y . They j u s t s o r t of fade. I f you asked me what I dreamed about l a s t n i g h t , I wouldn't be able t o t e l l you. P: When you s a i d i n your t r a n s c r i p t that you had a depth of understanding that you had never had i n another dream, what does that depth of understanding mean to you? E: I t ' s l i k e suddenly your eyes are open, and you become e n l i g h t e n e d . I t ' s almost l i k e every q u e s t i o n that you've had i s answered. I t ' s maybe not l i k e i n words that i t has been answered, but i t ' s l i k e the impression you have or the sense of the dream and a l l the t h i n g s that are going on i n s i d e you are a l l addressed at once. And so i t ' s l i k e you have the answer w i t h i n y o u r s e l f , and you see so much c l e a r e r . I t ' s t h a t e n l i g h t e n i n g f e e l i n g , t h a t a l l knowingness about y o u r s e l f , s i t u a t i o n s . E v e r y t h i n g seems to f i t or have a p l a c e . Whereas before, I had t h i s m i s s i n g p i e c e , and I couldn't f i g u r e out where i t went. Now the puzzle i s complete, and I c o u l d see the e n t i r e p i c t u r e , and I c o u l d a p p r e c i a t e that and f e e l p o s i t i v e . P: When you are saying t h a t you can see a c l e a r e r p i c t u r e , the e n t i r e p i c t u r e , and you can see the whole, were you bloc k e d before and co u l d n ' t see? There was a shaded area i n your l i f e , and now i t was open? E: Yes, i t ' s l i k e I had b l i n d e r s on, and no matter what I d i d I c o u l d n ' t see beyond those b l i n d e r s . Somehow those b l i n i d e r s were l i f t e d i n t h i s dream, and I began t o see the e n t i r e p i c t u r e . Yes, the shading completely d i s a p p e a r e d . I t ' s very c l e a r . And I t h i n k about t h a t . For i n s t a n c e , do I s t i l l have b l i n d e r s ? But I have t h i s knowingness that I can draw upon. I can't say f o r sure i f I have t h i s c l a r i t y of v i s i o n a l l the time, but f o r 187 that moment, t h i n g s seemed to be as they r e a l l y , r e a l l y are without q u e s t i o n i n g . P: What do you mean by t h a t , as they r e a l l y are? E: I t ' s l i k e sensing the t r u t h , r e a l l y s e nsing the t r u t h f o r the f i r s t time about y o u r s e l f and your p l a c e i n the uni v e r s e and what i s s i g n i f i c a n t and i n s i g n i f i c a n t . I t ' s l i k e a l l these q u e s t i o n s that I had about what I was going through seemed so important to me. I mean seemed l i k e l i f e and death matters that seen from that p a r t i c u l a r view as i f you are somewhere l i k e up i n heaven. You c o u l d j u s t see e v e r y t h i n g . P: As i f you were st a n d i n g back and l o o k i n g on? E: I t ' s more than t h a t , because you are a p a r t of i t too, so i t ' s not l i k e you are detached. But i t i s so broad that you begin to see so much more than y o u r s e l f that i t ' s l i k e s e e i n g the t r u t h f o r the f i r s t time, what r e a l l y matters and i s meaningful. I t ' s that kind of f e e l i n g , what i s r e a l l y r e a l . P: Are you saying t h a t i t was not j u s t the is s u e at hand that was c l e a r e r , t hat was answered, but that i t opened up more . . . . E: Yes, yes, that was i t . I thi n k the i s s u e t r i g g e r e d i t , and I d i d get the d i r e c t message about that s t r u g g l e that I was going through at the time, but when the b l i n d e r s were removed, I c o u l d see so much more. When I woke up, i t seemed l i k e what I was going through was reassured, but i t seemed so t r i v i a l almost i n comparison to a l l the other t h i n g s that I l e a r n e d about myself i n the dream, about l i f e . That's what I mean when i t touched the s p i r i t u a l , r a t h e r than the every day waking e x i s t e n c e . P: What do you mean by s p i r i t u a l ? E: To me i t embraces the whole, other r e a l i t i e s , but not r e a l l y other r e a l i t i e s . I thi n k i t embraces who we are or the p o t e n t i a l of whom we can be. I r e a l l y think we are e v o l v i n g more than j u s t as b i o l o g i c a l c r e a t u r e s on t h i s e a r t h , and a p a r t of o u r s e l v e s i s t h i s oneness with maybe God or some s o r t of high e r f o r c e and that we evolve with that One, that f o r c e . There are c e r t a i n p a r t s of our being that need to be nurtured as a pa r t of t h a t . I t ' s r e a l l y d i f f i c u l t . A l o t of t h i s t h at I am saying seems inadequate, my words to d e s c r i b e i t . I t ' s hard to 188 f i n d the words to d e s c r i b e i t . I don't a s s o c i a t e with any p a r t i c u l a r form of r e l i g i o u s view. P: You f e e l that you touched that i n the dream? E: Yes, yes. I t was l i k e the core of l i f e . I f I c o u l d use a metaphor, i t was l i k e the core where a l l l i f e emanates from. I t was l i k e a sense that I was abl e to touch that core f o r j u s t a moment i n that dream. R e a l i t y i s very, very d i f f e r e n t . P: How i s i t d i f f e r e n t ? E: I t ' s almost l i k e , i t ' s d i f f e r e n t , because i t goes beyond what we are used to i n our every day l i v e s , the boundaries that we have, the boundaries f o r a t t e n t i o n , what we can focus on and attune to at any given moment, using our sense and that kind of t h i n g . I t was a knowingness. I t wasn't something t a n g i b l e . I t went beyond boundaries as we know them. I thin k t h a t ' s as c l o s e as I can get to t h a t , because i t ' s r e a l l y hard t o e x p l a i n . P: When you s a i d that your way of being was changed and that a l s o changed how you r e l a t e d t o o t h e r s , how was that d i f f e r e n t a f t e r the dream? E: I t h i n k that f o r sure your r e a l i t y i s expanded, so I d i d n ' t see others i n q u i t e the same l i g h t . There was more of a bonding between who we are, and I c o u l d see p o t e n t i a l s that weren't tapped, yet knowing that they were on t h e i r own path or journey to e i t h e r h o p e f u l l y f i n d t h a t knowledge or t r u t h about themselves or not. But I d i d n ' t f e e l l i k e i t was my pl a c e or even i n my best i n t e r e s t to put the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y upon those other people to f a c i l i t a t e my own s p i r i t u a l growth. I guess that i s what I was doing. I was p u t t i n g a l o t of pressure on others to h e l p me a t c e r t a i n p o i n t s . I r e a l i z e d that people can be l i m i t e d , and then, a l s o , I became more attuned t o them, to see where they are at i n t h e i r own growth. I a l s o began to recognize the people who c o u l d h e l p me with my own growth and not to j u s t get angry at people, because they weren't ab l e t o , because I r e a l i z e d t h at they r e a l l y weren't ab l e to h e l p . And i t ' s that k i n d of a p p r e c i a t i o n f o r people and to know th a t you can hope that they can have an experience l i k e t h i s , but not t o f e e l that they f a i l e d me somehow. P: How i s that d i f f e r e n t now than before, because you s a i d when you read the t r a n s c r i p t , you c o u l d f e e l that 189 anger. E: Well I t h i n k the b l i n d e r s that I work i n are s t i l l on, and t h i s was a time when they were o f f , but I think I can r e l a t e back to a l l the f e e l i n g s that I had at the time, f e e l i n g very caught and that no one understood, because I can i d e n t i f y with that p e r i o d . But there i s t h i s knowingness now and r e a l i z a t i o n that i f I were to go through that time again, I would do i t much d i f f e r e n t l y . L i k e I wouldn't go with the e x p e c t a t i o n that t h i s person should h e l p me, because I was open to them at one time. In f a c t i t doesn't make much sense to me any more. The phi l o s o p h y I have now i s seeking out others who are compatible with my growth and being able to h e l p people who need a s s i s t a n c e . I r e a l l y do f e e l more a p p r e c i a t i v e of people now because of t h i s , and I am no longer so hard. That was n i c e t o see when reading the t r a n s c r i p t . I r e c o g n i z e d how d i f f e r e n t I was regarding these people and people i n g e n e r a l . P: When you mentioned that a f t e r the dream you were beginning to make connections day to day and beginning to be a s p i r i t u a l h e a l e r and seeking out other s p i r i t u a l h e a l e r s , what does s p i r i t u a l h e a l e r mean to you? E: For me i t ' s that whole other realm, not other realm, but f o r me, a person who i s a s p i r i t u a l h e a l e r i s someone who can r e a l l y f a c i l i t a t e your e v o l u t i o n as a person, a whole person. I t goes beyond what we can sense and the boundaries. I t h i n k there i s that p o t e n t i a l w i t h i n each of us t h a t only c e r t a i n people can seem to reach and have an understanding f o r . I am now ab l e to recognize people who are s e n s i t i v e to that p o t e n t i a l , and I can draw upon that person's own p o t e n t i a l to h e l p me at c e r t a i n times. I t h i n k t h a t ' s a l l p a r t of growth and and l e a r n i n g from each o t h e r . And r e a l l y not wasting my time t r y i n g to seek answers from someone whom I r e a l l y know deep down doesn't understand or doesn't have any idea of what I mean. I was hard on people before a s k i n g why I wasn't g e t t i n g any p e r c e p t i o n that people even care when I put myself out f o r them. That's what made me angry, but I wasn't s e e i n g . P: When you t a l k e d of seeing the u n i v e r s a l pain i n o t h e r s , what does that mean to you? E: I t h i n k i t goes beyond j u s t p h y s i c a l p a i n . I think t h a t i t does have to do with the s p i r i t u a l s u f f e r i n g and that many people s u f f e r f o r reasons they don't even know about. I t ' s that sense of being very s e n s i t i v e to one's 190 s e l f , one's l i f e , and posing q u e s t i o n s , and s t r u g g l i n g with meaning. A p a r t of that i s that you s u f f e r . The s u f f e r i n g i n i t s e l f i s n ' t bad. Sometimes i t ' s very important to experience that p a i n i n order to grow, but dur i n g the s u f f e r i n g , I t h i n k there can be some ways of h e l p i n g o t h e r s . I do f e e l t h a t we s u f f e r u n i v e r s a l l y i n v a r y i n g degrees i f we are open. P: You mentioned that you r e s o l v e d the i s s u e that you were s t r u g g l i n g with, but that you a l s o saw the whole, a l a r g e r p i c t u r e . Would you a l s o say that i n that dream you saw a glimpse of something, a peak a t something? E: Oh yes, d e f i n i t e l y I f e e l my glimpse was the whole. L i k e i f you c o u l d say you saw e v e r y t h i n g , I saw e v e r y t h i n g . When I say glimpse, i t ' s l i k e , yes a% glimpse, but there was so much i n that glimpse t h a t ' s incomparable to e v e r y t h i n g e l s e . That's what I mean when I saw the t r u t h , how t h i n g s r e a l l y were. P: Would you say that the symbols i n the dream were secondary to the d i r e c t understanding and message, and the communication that you had? E: Yes, because I d i d n ' t wonder i n the dream about the symbols, only when I r e f l e c t e d upon them. Aside from what I was f e e l i n g , I d i d n ' t wonder about what they mean. I wondered while i n the dream and thought "why f i n g e r p r i n t s ? " To me i t seemed to make sense on some l e v e l . I t was only a f t e r I q u i t dreaming that I thought, " t h a t ' s weird, f i n g e r p r i n t s ? " Yes, they were secondary, but they r e a l l y seemed p i v o t a l too, to h e l p me understand what was going on. I t was almost a sensing and a t o t a l understanding, too. P: Was i t a p h y s i c a l sense when you woke up? E: No, i t was beyond p h y s i c a l . That's r e a l l y hard to say, but I co u l d n ' t a s s o c i a t e i t with p h y s i c a l though. I t was a t o t a l s e n s i n g . And a l l I can say again i s the word "understanding." P: Is there anything e l s e you would l i k e to say? E: I r e a l l y can't t h i n k of anything e l s e r i g h t now. I t ' s i n t e r e s t i n g how you can expand on an experience by t a l k i n g about i t ag a i n . I get a sense of that f e e l i n g of what i t was l i k e to have that glimpse again as I t a l k . There's an excitement around t h a t . In the waking world we can only a t t e n d t o c e r t a i n t h i n g s , but I can f e e l i t 191 as I t a l k , of what i t was l i k e . 192 T r a n s c r i p t #1 (Case W) P: Could you d e s c r i b e i n as much d e t a i l as p o s s i b l e what was happening to you before, d u r i n g , and a f t e r your dream as i f you were t e l l i n g a s t o r y . W: Okay, I was l i v i n g i n M and t h i s was, l e t ' s see, about three years ago. I was working at my job. We a l r e a d y had one c h i l d and were about t o have another one, the second c h i l d . I t was at t h i s time that I had the dream. Now before my dream, what I was aware of was that f o r a number of years I had f e l t an incompleteness about my f a t h e r ' s death. My f a t h e r d i e d when I was seventeen. I t was incomplete i n the sense that we used to v i s i t the h o s p i t a l , but we would never acknowledge that he was going to d i e . And I never acknowledged i t , and he never d i d with me, although I had wanted t o , and he o b v i o u s l y had wanted t o , because when he d i e d , he had l e f t me, he had l e f t a note with my mother t h a t spoke to a l l of us, a l l of the c h i l d r e n and had something to say to each of us i n the note. So he had communicated l a s t to me, but I never communicated to him, and t h a t ' s s i g n i f i c a n t to me. I used t o t h i n k about that p e r i o d i c a l l y , probably once a month or so. Even though the years went by, something f e l t u n f i n i s h e d , something f e l t incomplete, that he and I hadn't had a chance to t a l k the way I had wanted t o , and i t always f e l t l i k e a v o i d . Now I mentioned the b i r t h of my son which came a f t e r I had the dream, and I've o f t e n thought that maybe I had the dream, because r i g h t then, I'm not sure, but i t was between c h i l d r e n . But what had been happening to me before was that I was aware of the v o i d or the incompleteness of c o n t a c t with my f a t h e r who had d i e d a number of years ago. So one night I had the dream, and t h a t ' s what was happening b e f o r e . P: Was anything i n p a r t i c u l a r happening, i f you can remember, the night that you had the dream? W: That I can't remember, no. P: Or any t h i n g , l e t ' s say the week before, anything that was going on i n your l i f e ? W: The onl y t h i n g I c o u l d t h i n k of that was happening before was that maybe we had come from a p r e n a t a l c l a s s , or someone may have drawn my a t t e n t i o n to the f a c t that we were having another baby, but I never connected the two b e f o r e . I was probably, i f anything, that week pre o c c u p i e d with the f a c t that we were going to have another baby. 193 P: What happened i n the dream? W: W e l l , the dream went l i k e t h i s . I am walking through the f o r e s t , through t r e e s i n which I can't see very f a r away. I can't r e a l l y see. I come upon a c l e a r i n g , and i n the c l e a r i n g I am very aware of the b r i g h t n e s s of the l i g h t i n t h i s dream. There's no wind, and i t ' s very s t i l l . And I come i n t o the c l e a r i n g i n the t r e e s , and i t ' s very open, and a very b i g area. Off to my l e f t , I see a b u i l d i n g t h a t ' s made of mortar. I t has huge windows, and i t ' s almost Greek s t y l e , but i t ' s an open a i r house. I t doesn't have g l a s s i n the windows, and you can see i n t o the house as you walk around, and I walk around the house. I can see through the house, and each way there are windows on a l l four s i d e s . As I s t a r t to walk around the house, I know that my f a t h e r i s i n the house w a i t i n g to meet me. I know I'm going to meet him th e r e , but yet I s t i l l walk around the house. And then I don't r e c a l l a door, but the next t h i n g I remember, I am i n s i d e the house s i t t i n g . He's s i t t i n g down, and what s t r u c k me was that he was s i t t i n g i n one of h i s work s h i r t s . He wasn't dressed up. I d i d n ' t have a sense of i t being formal. He was j u s t as i f he had expected me to come by. What stru c k me i s that he was wearing a s h i r t t h a t I remember when I was younger. As I s i t f a c i n g him i n t h i s house with a l l the windows, the b r i g h t windows, I look out j u s t before I s t a r t t a l k i n g to him and see a long lane going away from the house down to road way o f f i n the d i s t a n c e . And there i s my mother on a b i c y c l e r i d i n g away from the two of us down towards the road. Now what s t r i k e s me about that was that she was wearing one of those summer dresses which has no back on i t at a l l . I remember she looked r e a l l y tanned. She had on one of those huge f l o p p y summer hats, and she was r i d i n g away from the two of us towards the road. I am aware that she i s r i d i n g away, and the bike i s n ' t going q u i c k l y . I t ' s s o r t of moving s i d e to s i d e on the road, s o r t of meandering. Then the c o n v e r s a t i o n with my f a t h e r was never c l e a r to me, except I had a sense that what he was saying was a b s o l u t e l y c l e a r . I f e l t t o t a l l y c l e a r with him that I t o l d him what I had, I t h i n k I t o l d him a l l the t h i n g s that I had wanted to say to him, and he understood them completely. So I c h a r a c t e r i z e d the d i a l o g u e i n two ways: (1) was t o t a l understanding both ways, p a r t i c u l a r l y him with me, and (2) was completion, a sense of tremendous completion. I f e l t very f u l l d u r i n g the c o n v e r s a t i o n . We sat and t a l k e d , and I remember f e e l i n g mostly very comfortable with him, knowing t h a t he had been away, but not being sad or s u r p r i s e d t h at he was back. My a t t e n t i o n was r i v e t e d on him, because I was 1 94 aware of nothing e l s e , but the open windows and him. But I don't remember the t o p i c s . They were secondary, I'm sure. I t was a c o n v e r s a t i o n of tremendous understanding. T h i s i s what I f e l t . I r e c a l l him hearing me. Then, j u s t as q u i c k l y as i t began, i t ended, and I don't r e c a l l , I never d i d r e c a l l , who ended i t . I t j u s t seemed r i g h t to be over, and I l e f t the b u i l d i n g . I don't even have a sense of walking away. I j u s t knew that I was no longer t h e r e . The next t h i n g I remember was waking up. P: What i s the f i r s t t h i n g you can remember when you woke up? W: Tremendous f e e l i n g of r e l i e f and a f e e l i n g of awe that something had happened, and I f e l t q u i t e d i f f e r e n t a f t e r t h a t . I t was almost, i t was a f e e l i n g of profoundness. That was the f i r s t t h i n g I f e l t when I woke up i n the morning. Then I saw a s t r i k i n g image of the b u i l d i n g , the windows, my f a t h e r , and o f f i n the d i s t a n c e my mother r i d i n g away on the b i c y c l e . The dream j u s t f l a s h e d back again j u s t so c l e a r and the b r i g h t n e s s of the l i g h t a g a i n . But a l s o I had a sense that I had a v i s i t , a very important v i s i t . P: Do you remember what happened that day, something you were f e e l i n g or doing? W: That day I f e l t very h i g h a l l day long and f o r days a f t e r , e m o t i o n a l l y , very high, but I don't remember the events. P: What was i t about the dream that made you f e e l c e r t a i n that i t had such a s t r o n g e f f e c t on you? W: The f a c t t h a t i t seemed more than a dream. I t seemed, the way I can put i t , i t seemed l i k e I had a c t u a l l y been v i s i t e d by my f a t h e r , and t h a t ' s an impression that I s t i l l have, because i t was u n l i k e most of my dreams. I t was too sharp, too c l e a r , too focused to be i n the same category as my other dreams. That would be the s t r o n g e s t impression. I t was not dreamlike. P: I t was the c l a r i t y , the i n t e n s i t y of f e e l i n g ? W: The i n t e n s i t y of f e e l i n g s and a s e n s a t i o n that I had been i n p e r s o n a l c o n t a c t with him, not that I had j u s t had a dream about him, and t h a t ' s what I want to make very c l e a r . I knew I had spoken to him, not I had a dream about him. I t was completely the c o n v e r s a t i o n and the d i a l o g u e , and at one p o i n t , i t was j u s t the two of us 195 together. P: What was the s t r o n g e s t p a r t of the experience f o r you? W: Communication with him, very d e f i n i t e l y . P: As you s a i d , i t wasn't the words that were s a i d , but the f e e l i n g of c o n t a c t . W: F e e l i n g of co n t a c t and p r o x i m i t y to him. I sat q u i t e c l o s e t o him. I, and f a m i l i a r i t y , t h a t ' s what s u r p r i s e d me, the f e e l i n g of f a m i l i a r i t y because of what he was wearing. I t was h i s usual s h i r t . I remember i t was kind of a c o t t o n p l a i d s h i r t t h a t he had: browns, maroons, be i g e s . P: You r e a l l y remember t h a t . W: Yes, yes I do. P: Looking back on t h i s experience, what do you thi n k of i t now, f i v e years l a t e r ? W: Oh, I t h i n k i t was probably the best, most powerful experience that I've had. Looking back, i t s t i l l i s . I t looms very powerful. I t a l s o invoked the need to be i n co n t a c t with him, and i t reassured me that I am i n co n t a c t with him and w i l l be a g a i n . I guess t h a t ' s another t h i n g , l o o k i n g back, t h a t once (pause), that we are due to meet a g a i n . I don't know what. And we w i l l . P: You r e a l l y f e e l t h a t . W: Oh, yes. I know t h a t , and i t ' s q u i t e r e a s s u r i n g . Yes, the s t r o n g e s t impression i s that h i s e x i s t e n c e i s s t i l l here. P: Before the dream, that wasn't as c l e a r to you. W: No, i t f e l t l i k e he was gone. P: I see, and you kept f e e l i n g t h a t m i s s i n g . . . W: Yes, m i s s i n g him, that I would never see him again and the f e e l i n g t h a t I hadn't s a i d what I wanted to say to him. P: How does that make you f e e l when you f e e l h i s e x i s t e n c e , he's s t i l l around? 196 W: Very secure, more c o n f i d e n t . A l s o when I speak to my c h i l d r e n about t h e i r grandfather whom they never saw, i t ' s that I'm not t a l k i n g about somebody that i s gone, but about somebody that i s , although I don't speak of him i n the present tense, because he's not, i n the usual sense. But t h a t ' s , I t h i n k I t a l k about him more to my c h i l d r e n , more than I would have i f I had not had the dream. P: Has i t a l t e r e d the way you view your l i f e ? W: Oh, most d e f i n i t e l y . In f a c t I t h i n k that t h i s dream convinced me of the e x i s t e n c e of l i f e a f t e r death, that i n f a c t i t i s t h e r e . And t h a t ' s a very n i c e f e e l i n g to know that we w i l l get together a g a i n . P: You were saying that you f e l t t h a t v o i d before the dream. W: Before, but now I don't f e e l a v o i d at a l l . I s t i l l miss him f o r the doing t h i n g s , but I f e e l (pause) that c o n v e r s a t i o n was so complete, the understanding. P: That change that happened has stayed with you? W: Oh, yes. Yes, and t h a t ' s the other t h i n g . I t doesn't seem to have changed, that i n t e n s i t y of f e e l i n g . P: Is there anything e l s e that you'd l i k e to say about the experience? W: W e l l , I p a i n t e d the dream. That's what I d i d a f t e r . I t was so c l e a r i n my mind that I j u s t went and got a b i g p i e c e of drawing paper, and I sketched i t a l l i n . I t j u s t came so c l e a r l y .to me. P: What d i d you p a i n t ? W: The whole, the p i c t u r e of the b u i l d i n g , which i s i n t e r e s t i n g what I p a i n t e d . You don't see my f a t h e r i n i t . You see the, he's s i t t i n g between the windows. You don't see him, because I couldn't capture him. I c o u l d n ' t draw him, and I wouldn't draw him, because that would change my experience of him, but I drew my mother, because she's a l i v e on the b i c y c l e d r i v i n g away. I a l s o drew the t r e e s . But more than the background, i t ' s the house, the road, the b i c y c l e , and I p a i n t e d i t , and then put i t away. I t came so easy to me to p a i n t i t , so i n c r e d i b l y easy, and the depth of d e t a i l s . 197 P: You d i d that r i g h t a f t e r . W: I t h i n k i t was about two weeks l a t e r . I thought, " w e l l , I must put t h i s down on paper to remember i t . " No, not to remember i t , but "I must put t h i s down on paper, because i t was so important." I've never had such a s t r o n g image before that I c o u l d p a i n t , and my hands j u s t went on the paper with a l l the r i g h t l i n e s . They were t h e r e . P: You f e l t that the best way to express the dream was through drawing, r a t h e r than w r i t i n g . W: I f e l t compelled, oh yes. I'm not i n t e r e s t e d i n w r i t i n g about i t , because i t was a very v i s u a l dream, the b r i g h t l i g h t , the i n t e n s i t y of the l i g h t of the day, and no wind. P: Anything e l s e that you'd l i k e to express? W: No, I don't t h i n k so. Do you have any other quest ions? P: No. I'm t r y i n g to t h i n k . I think I have e v e r y t h i n g . You've t o l d me a l o t , and I t h i n k that i f there are any more q u e s t i o n s when I go through the p r o t o c o l s , I perhaps w i l l speak with you a g a i n . W: I t h i n k that the only t h i n g that I c o u l d say i s that when I say i t was s p i r i t u a l , i t c l e a r l y was s p i r i t u a l , but I t h i n k I've s a i d t h at b e f o r e . P: Your sense of s p i r i t u a l i t y , of what s p i r i t u a l i t y i s , i s d i f f e r e n t now than i t was before the dream? W: I t h i n k so. Now i t i s a b s o l u t e . Now I, t h a t ' s r i g h t , now I l i s t e n more f o r s i g n s and s i g n a l s of t h i n g s s p i r i t u a l . Where before I don't th i n k that I had a l i s t e n i n g d e v i c e on. Now I do, and I pay a t t e n t i o n to i t , because that was l i k e knocking me over the head. So I would never d i s m i s s the dream as anything but a c o n t a c t . P: I t was very r e a l , and as you s a i d , i t wasn't j u s t a dream. W: No, i t wasn't a dream, beyond a dream, but f o r a l l i n t e n s i v e purposes, i t ' s c a t e g o r i z e d as a dream (pause). P: Anything e l s e ? No. Thank y o u . 199 T r a n s c r i p t #2 (Case W) P: W, y ou've r e a d o v e r t h e t r a n s c r i p t , and I'm w o n d e r i n g what y o u r i m p r e s s i o n s were. W: I a p p r e c i a t e d r e a d i n g t h e t r a n s c r i p t , b e c a u s e when I gave you t h a t i n t e r v i e w , I d i d n ' t know what I was s a y i n g i n a t o t a l p a c k a g e . And now i t f l o w e d q u i t e w e l l , and i t c a p t u r e d what I had wanted t o c o n v e y . The o n l y t h i n g t h a t I n o t i c e d i n r e a d i n g t h e t r a n s c r i p t was t h a t my a c c o u n t o f my e x p e r i e n c e o f my m e e t i n g w i t h my f a t h e r I want t o u n d e r s c o r e t h a t i t d i d n ' t seem l i k e a dream. I know you've g o t t h a t . Even when I awoke, i t was s o m e t h i n g beyond a dream and t h a t was b e c a u s e o f i t s c l a r i t y , i t s c o n t i n u i t y , and i t s c o h e s i o n . B e c a u s e o f t e n when I dream, t h e r e i s n ' t a s e n s i b i l i t y t o i t . I t o f t e n d o e s n ' t make s e n s e , and t h i s one d i d . P: You've t o l d me a b i t a b o u t how t h i s dream was d i f f e r e n t f r o m o t h e r dreams you have h a d . Can you e l a b o r a t e a l i t t l e b i t more a b o u t t h e d i f f e r e n c e by g i v i n g an example o f a n o t h e r dream? W: In a n o t h e r dream, t h e c o n t e x t , e v e r y p a r t o f i t w o u l d n ' t be c o r r e c t . F o r i n s t a n c e , I would be d r i v i n g down t h e highway and t h e cow i n t h e f i e l d may be p u r p l e o r s o m e t h i n g l i k e t h a t . T h e r e ' s a l w a y s s o m e t h i n g o u t of s y n c f r o m t h i s r e a l i t y t h a t we know. But i n t h i s dream, e v e r y p a r t was q u i t e i n t e g r a t e d and was c o r r e c t . T h e r e wasn't any c o l o u r o r v i s u a l d i s t o r t i o n s . P: As y o u s a i d b e f o r e , i t was v e r y v i v i d , s h a r p , v e r y f o c u s e d . W: I w o u l d d e s c r i b e i t a l s o a s a m o v i e , r a t h e r t h a n a dream. P: A movie t h a t y o u were r i g h t i n and i n v o l v e d w i t h ? W: Y e s , and t h e b r i g h t n e s s t h a t I r e f e r r e d t o , i t was l i k e 75mm f i l m . I t was h i g h q u a l i t y , h i g h v i s u a l p e r c e p t i o n , and c l a r i t y . T h a t ' s what i t w a s . l i k e . P: D i d i t seem more r e a l t h a n l i f e ? W: Y e s , i t d i d . P: I n what way? W: The s t i l l n e s s and q u i e t n e s s a r o u n d i t . The i n t e n s i t y 200 of the l i g h t . A l l the p h y s i c a l environment was more r e a l than r e a l , but myself in r e l a t i o n to my r a t h e r , he seemed so average and r e a l , not h i g h l i g h t e d one way or another. P: That seemed as he would be. W: Yes, as I r e c a l l him. I t d i d n ' t seem i d e a l i z e d . He had the same l i n e s and w r i n k l e s i n h i s f a c e . P: And as you s a i d before, a f a m i l i a r s h i r t . W: Yes, a f a m i l i a r s h i r t . P: Is there anything e l s e that struck you about the t r a n s c r i p t before we go on to the themes? W: No, I t h i n k I s a i d i t . The c o n t i n u i t y was complete. A l l I can say i s that the images are as c l e a r to t h i s day as when I had them. And with many dreams t h i s i s the d i f f e r e n c e I would say. Many dreams that I've had that have been profound or emotional I can't r e c a l l the images c l e a r l y any more. These s t i c k out, and I don't know i f t h a t ' s because of that p a r t i c u l a r dream I had or the f a c t that I p a i n t e d them. No, I don't think i t ' s because I p a i n t e d them. P: You mentioned in the t r a n s c r i p t that you p a i n t e d the dream, not to remember i t , but because i t was so important. W: Yes, I a l s o wanted to p a i n t to see i f the d i r e c t i o n of my p a i n t brush would be coming from some p l a c e other than me, i n other words, j u s t f o l l o w the image i n your mind. To a l a r g e extent that was t r u e . I d i d n ' t f i n d myself t h i n k i n g , " d i d i t look l i k e t h i s , or d i d i t look l i k e t h a t ? " I knew that i t looked l i k e t h i s , and i t seemed to form on the canvas q u i t e w e l l . P: D i f f e r e n t from other t h i n g s you might have p a i n t e d . W: Yes, there was much more c e r t a i n t y about the images that I put on the canvas. P: How d i d the themes f i t with your experience? W: Is i t best to go through them one by one? P: No, not n e c e s s a r i l y , but i f you want t o . W: E s s e n t i a l l y , I would say that I i d e n t i f i e d with a l l 201 the themes, most of the themes, not a l l . I marked one theme I d i d n ' t f e e l r e l a t e d to me. " I n e f f a b i l i t y " , where some people had d i f f i c u l t y e x p r e s s i n g what had happened to them, I d i d n ' t have d i f f i c u l t y e x p r e s s i n g what had happened. I was p l e a s e d that i t had happened t h a t I c o u l d t e l l people, or I c o u l d show them through a p i c t u r e . I don't know i f that i s what you were g e t t i n g at t h e r e . P: When you say that you d i d n ' t have d i f f i c u l t y d e s c r i b i n g what had happened to you W: Or t a l k i n g about i t P: T a l k i n g about the dream, c o u l d i t be that i t was hard to d e s c r i b e your f e e l i n g s around i t or to r e a l l y d e s c r i b e to another person what you f e l t a f t e r the dream? W: W e l l , to me i t r e a l l y brought c l o s u r e to something important in my l i f e , so the f e e l i n g s were p r e t t y c l e a r to me. Now, to express them to someone e l s e ? Yes, maybe. The f e e l i n g s would be more d i f f i c u l t to express than the images. I c o u l d t e l l them the images. I c o u l d t e l l them what happened and how I f e l t about what happened, but I d i d n ' t f e e l a d e s i r e to do that o f t e n enough. P: You d i d n ' t f e e l a d e s i r e to t e l l . W: To communicate the f e e l i n g s , no, because I j u s t f e l t so s e l f - s a t i s f i e d . P: I t wasn't necessary? W: No. But I c o u l d show them. To some people, I would t e l l , but with most people, i t was something I completed so much that i t d i d n ' t seem to be so much of an i s s u e . P: I know how that f e e l s . W: Yes. P: Any other themes that may not f i t ? W: No, t h a t was the main one. I r e a l l y was s u r p r i s e d how the themes that you've i d e n t i f i e d n e a r l y a l l a p p l i e d i n my case. I t was uncanny. I thought that you j u s t developed these themes from my t r a n s c r i p t which g i v e s me a sense of co n n e c t i o n with these other people i n your study whom I don't know. That what i s t r u e f o r me c o u l d 202 be so t o t a l l y t r ue f o r o t h e r s . P: How does that make you f e e l ? W: Reaffirmed. I t a f f i r m s my experience. I t v a l i d a t e s i t which i s i n t e r e s t i n g to me which I d i d n ' t a n t i c i p a t e . And i t makes me f e e l good and that I would t r u s t my experiences l i k e t h i s i f I have i t a g a i n . I f the themes are shared by a l l of us, i t makes me want to pay a t t e n t i o n to these more. P: That was r e a l l y an experience f o r me too. W: To? P: To f i n d the themes. W: Yes, yes. P: I would l i k e to ask you a few q u e s t i o n s that I had a f t e r I went over your t r a n s c r i p t . I would l i k e to ask you more about what you were going through before the dream. You mentioned that you had the dream before the b i r t h of your second c h i l d ( y e s ) , and at one p o i n t you began to say that you thought that i t might have something to do with t h a t . Could you e l a b o r a t e more? W: In reading that over, I f e e l l e s s convinced that those two events were r e l a t e d . I can say t h a t , because I f e l t the incompleteness before the b i r t h of my c h i l d r e n . I f e l t i t maybe more a f t e r . I t was almost l i k e a pressure cooker, I guess. Maybe the b i r t h s of a l l of the k i d s t r i g g e r e d something i n me to make t h i s c o n t a c t with my f a t h e r . The dream was an event unto i t s e l f , the pressure to make t h i s c o n n e c t i o n . P: You mentioned that you f e l t a v o i d . Can you d e s c r i b e what that f e l t l i k e f o r you? W: A sense of longingness, aloneness, and incompleteness that our r e l a t i o n s h i p , the communication, had been-broken without c l o s i n g t h a t . I f e l t g u i l t as w e l l , because I c o u l d have c l o s e d i t , I t h i n k . P: Because you c o u l d have approached him? W: Yes, before he d i e d . P: You f e l t r e g r e t ? 203 W: Yes, r e g r e t and g u i l t as w e l l . P: During the dream, you s a i d that you were communicating with him. You weren't c l e a r on what was being s a i d and W: The words weren't as important. What was important was the sense of a deep understanding around whatever we were saying was being achieved. That he understood what I had been there fore and what I had been f e e l i n g i n the past . And I understood that he understood t h a t . P: Would you say that i t was almost as i f he knew you very w e l l ? W: Yes, yes e x a c t l y . He d i d n ' t seem to t a l k a l o t , and he appeared to understand my (a) d e s i r e to speak to him and (b) to say what I had to say. And I f e l t completely u n i n h i b i t e d about saying what I s a i d . In f a c t , I don't thi n k i t was what I was sa y i n g , i f I c o u l d capture the words. I don't t h i n k i t was a w f u l l y p e r s o n a l . I t was j u s t mostly the p r o x i m i t y , s i t t i n g c l o s e to him and communicating as. d i f f e r e n t from t a l k i n g i n the usual sense. P: When you say " i n the usual sense," how was t h i s d i f f e r e n t from the communication you had before with him and with others i n your l i f e ? W: There appeared to be an understanding of him by him of me t h a t ' s q u i t e unusual. I t seemed that he understood my i n t e n t i o n s , my a c t i o n s , and my behaviour. They a l l made sense to him t o t a l l y . That doesn't u s u a l l y happen when I communicate with people. There's some p a r t they won't understand. P: That's what you mean by the t o t a l understanding. W: Yes, t h a t ' s r i g h t . P: You s a i d a f t e r the dream you f e l t f u l l and complete. What does that f e e l l i k e ? Can you d e s c r i b e more? W: Yes, i t was l i k e something that had been l e f t open or broken f o r many years had been c l o s e d and r e p a i r e d . And that i n the f u t u r e that t h i s communication with him i n an a b s t r a c t sense, I don't know i n what sense, would now be reconnected and continued. Since h i s death, i t had been broken and stopped. In the dream I f e l t i t had been connected, and now I f e e l t here i s a connection with him in h i s s p i r i t i n the world. 204 P: Something i s not only c l o s e d , but a l s o opened up? W: Yes, opened up and reconnected. Yes, reconnected. P: How does that make you f e e l ? W: Wonderful, yes. Relaxed, not tense and not wanting. P: Not the l o n g i n g . W: No, the l o n g i n g i s completely gone. P: One of the f i r s t f e e l i n g s you s a i d you had when you woke up was r e l i e f . Can you d e s c r i b e t h a t ? W: W e l l , r e l i e f , because I had achieved something that I had always wanted to do and that was to see him again and communicate with him, and i t happened. P: Was the r e l i e f a p h y s i c a l as w e l l as a mental sensation? W: Yes, the r e l i e f , the sense of j u s t l a c k of t e n s i o n and we l l - b e i n g I experienced p h y s i c a l l y , (pause) yes, as w e l l as m e n t a l l y . P: You a l s o mentioned the awe and profoundness. What do you mean by that? W: That I d i d n ' t a n t i c i p a t e whatever happened, and I di d n ' t a n t i c i p a t e that i t would ever happen with the degree of c l a r i t y and completeness that i t d i d . In f a c t , I had assumed that that s o r t of t h i n g c o u l d n ' t happen. So there was the s u r p r i s e , or as I s a i d b e f o r e , although I was i n i t i a l l y s u r p r i s e d , maybe, I wasn't, because i t had been a u t h e n t i c i n my view. P: Because i t was so r e a l ? W: Yes P: And yet you d i d n ' t know these t h i n g s c o u l d happen. W: Yes, i t wasn't s u r p r i s e . I t caught me o f f guard that indeed these t h i n g s happen, and they happen with such v a l i d i t y . P: When you s a i d v a l i d i t y , before when I mentioned f e e l i n g about i t , you s a i d , "No, I know now." And you made that very emphatic. When you say you know, how i s 205 that? W: I think i t ' s because the impressions that I had from that v i s i t , the images, the p e r c e p t i o n s , the c o l o u r s , the senses are burned i n my b r a i n that a c o n t a c t had been made. That's d i f f i c u l t to e x p l a i n . P: You a l s o mentioned t h a t you f e l t r e a s s u r e d . Reassured in what way? W: Reassured i n two ways: (1) which we d i s c u s s e d , that a break had been reconnected, and something had been opened, and (2) that the s p i r i t u a l i t y of us as people i s unquestionable. To me i t meant that h i s death was a p h y s i c a l one only and not a s p i r i t u a l one, and that speaks to my own death and my c h i l d r e n ' s death that that p a r t of us won't d i e , but we w i l l d i e , and t h a t ' s r e a s s u r i n g . Because then I look forward to a l l s o r t o f , I a c t u a l l y must say that I look forward t o having t h i s kind of t a l k with my own c h i l d r e n when I am dead, come back and v i s i t them. And t a k i n g i t from h i s s i d e , i f he saw us as c l e a r l y as what I saw, then he w i l l have an awareness of us r i g h t now. P: When you are saying a l l these t h i n g s , the c o n t i n u i t y , the i n f i n i t e n e s s ? W: Yes, i t ' s almost an e t e r n a l connection, yes. P: What does s p i r i t u a l i t y mean to you? W: To me i t a f f i r m s the e x i s t e n c e of God, to mean a l l our s p i r i t s are m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of God on the e a r t h , and t h a t ' s what i t means to me. P: How i s that d i f f e r e n t now than i t was before the dream? W: Oh, I don't thi n k I knew i t . I don't t h i n k I b e l i e v e d i t with such c e r t i t u d e b e f o r e . That's r i g h t . I t was l i k e the crowning experience, and to me i t ' s not q u e s t i o n a b l e now. P: You have a knowingness about t h a t . W: Yes, t h a t ' s r i g h t . P: You s a i d i n your t r a n s c r i p t that you now l i s t e n f o r t h i n g s s p i r i t u a l . What do you mean by th a t ? 206 W: Now that I had such a strong communication made to me by my f a t h e r , I t h i n k sometimes maybe there w i l l be other people that w i l l want to communicate to me. Now that I know that i t ' s p o s s i b l e , I'd l i k e to have, at l e a s t i n my own sense, have my mind open to that happening a g a i n . I b e l i e v e i t w i l l happen again with other people, so that would mean l i s t e n i n g i n that sense. I'd l i k e to be open to t h a t . I don't want to become too busy i n l i f e or too t i r e d or something where I would miss the message. P: When you say that you want to become more open, and you don't want to become too busy, so you can l i s t e n , has your, you've t a l k e d about your a t t i t u d e towards death and how i t ' s changed, what about your a t t i t u d e s towards other areas, have they changed? W: (pause) Probably my c o n n e c t i o n s i n an e a r t h l y sense with other people aren't q u i t e as important as they were b e f o r e . I became aware that there are other ways of r e l a t i n g i n t h i s world than person to person on the p l a n e t . I t makes the time with them more important, I suppose, but i t a l s o means that I don't have to be g r a s p i n g or hanging on to t h a t , because there i s a chance that we w i l l be i n touch a f t e r we are both dead. So I've become l e s s i m p a t i e n t . P: When you say " l e s s impatient", can you d e s c r i b e ? W: I've become more, (pause) l e s s f r e n e t i c about hanging on to the moment here or t r y i n g to h o l d on to my r e l a t i o n s h i p s with people, because i f they are very good, t h e r e ' l l be c o n t i n u a l c o n t a c t beyond, when we are a p a r t , both p h y s i c a l l y on t h i s e a r t h or when they're dead or I'm dead. P: You don't f e e l as grasping? W: No, not as much, because i t ' s t h e r e . P: Have you r e l a x e d more? W: Yes, about t h a t . I f e e l , yes i t has been, because I f e e l a r e d u c t i o n i n that t e n s i o n . I'm l e s s s eeking. I'm l e s s tense around that seeking, t h e r e f o r e I f e e l more at ease. And as I t a l k about i t , I f e e l that way too. P: As you are t a l k i n g now, you f e e l more at ease? W: Yes, I do. 207 P: Not only your a t t i t u d e changed, but your behaviour too? W: Yes, t h a t ' s r i g h t . I t h i n k so, yes. I t may be q u i t e minimal by other's o b s e r v a t i o n s of me, but I sense i t . Oh, I know i t . P: Your i n t e r a c t i o n s with people are d i f f e r e n t now. W: I'm more open to communications happening to me of that s o r t . I f e e l more r e l a x e d and l e s s eager to hang on to r e l a t i o n s h i p s that I have now, or I worry about them l e s s , and yet I a p p r e c i a t e them more. I don't know. I th i n k I a p p r e c i a t e them more, because I know that what we are b u i l d i n g here w i l l go on past my death. So a l s o from a moral p o i n t of view, I t h i n k i t h e l p s me f e e l , i n r e f e r e n c e to people that I t h i n k a great d e a l of, my r e l a t i o n s h i p s with them w i l l be guided with a kind of moral posture that I w i l l f e e l good about f o r e v e r . P: What do you mean by t h a t ? W: To l e a d a good l i f e here on t h i s e a r t h , I know I w i l l be accountable f o r that even beyond my death, not i n the way a l o t of people th i n k by God. I'm not t h i n k i n g about t h a t , but by the awareness that others w i l l have of me once I'm dead and I with them. P: When you t a l k about the moral i s s u e s W: Moral as i n I ' l l guide my behaviour i n ways that are, towards those people, by honesty and c o n s i d e r a t i o n . I t ' s q u i t e r e a s s u r i n g to know that we w i l l c o n t i n u e . I t makes me more r e s p e c t f u l of them, i n the way that I t r e a t them. P: Because you f e e l i t ' s not going to end. W: Yes,, w e l l I don't t h i n k i t w i l l . P: Before you had a sense of f i n i t e n e s s ? W: Yes, I c o u l d be more r e c k l e s s i n my l i f e . P: You are now not as r e c k l e s s ? Yes, I t h i n k that i s t r u e i n terms of how I t r e a t other people. But on the other hand, I t h i n k maybe I take some r i s k s , because I don't fear death as much any more. Because of t h a t , I t h i n k that a l l our time on t h i s e a r t h i s not over when we d i e , t h e r e f o r e there w i l l be 208 o p p o r t u n i t y to look back on my l i f e when I'm dead, by me and by other people. And I would l i k e to look back on my l i f e as having taken i t s e r i o u s l y and have guided my a c t i o n s by values that I b e l i e v e i n . P: Bef o r e , that wasn't as important. W: No, no. I t ' s a very s i g n i f i c a n t change. P: The dream happened f i v e years ago. Would you say that t h i s has been a gradual process of becoming aware of these t h i n g s and a c t i n g d i f f e r e n t l y ? W: I don't know. That I don't know. I'm tempted to say yes, but I don't have a strong c o n v i c t i o n about t h i s q u e s t i o n as I do o t h e r s . P: Going back to your f e e l i n g s t h at you had a f t e r the dream, you s a i d you f e l t awe, r e l i e f , profoundness, but you a l s o s a i d that you f e l t high f o r days a f t e r . (yes) What d i d th a t f e e l l i k e ? W: W e l l , j u s t that and (pause) I f e l t a b i t of euphoria and- I'm not sure the euphoria i s because of the conn e c t i o n that had been made again or that I'd had such a c l e a r and profoundly, e x a c t l y d e f i n e d dream. P: During the dream, were you aware that you were dreaming? W: Yes, I thin k that I was aware that t h i s i s a very s p e c i a l e x t r a t e r r e s t r i a l event. P: You d i d . When you were i n i t . W: Yes, I think I know that because of the way I stayed i n i t and d i d n ' t move u n t i l i t was a l l over, d i d n ' t p a n i c , and remained a b s o l u t e l y calm, and I t r u s t e d i t . I had a sense of t h a t , not a stro n g sense, but I have to say t h a t i t was some sense. P: That t h i s was important. W: T h i s was important, and i t was going beyond j u s t being a dream, because I sonetimes come i n and out of dreams. P: And i n t h i s one you s a i d you woke up when i t f e l t completed. W: Yes (pause) yes, which i s d i f f e r e n t , because normal 209 dreaming as you know which happens to many people, can end as e r r a t i c a l l y as i t s t a r t s . P: T h i s was f i n i s h e d . W: Yes P: Is there anything e l s e you'd l i k e to say? W: (pause) No, I think t h a t ' s a l l . That p r e t t y w e l l covers i t . P: Thank you. 210 T r a n s c r i p t #1 (Case T) P: I'd l i k e you to r e c a l l a dream that a f f e c t e d you g r e a t l y and l e f t you with a f e l t sense of change immediately upon awakening. I f you c o u l d begin as i f you were t e l l i n g a s t o r y : f i r s t t e l l i n g what was happening to you before the dream, then d u r i n g the dream, and then a f t e r w a r d s , what you were t h i n k i n g , f e e l i n g , doing. T: The dream came as a s u r p r i s e , t o t a l l y out of the blue. That a l l these t h i n g s that were happening to me before would l e a d up to a dream l i k e t h i s I would never had imagined. I was eleven years o l d when I was put i n t o a c l a s s with t h i s p a r t i c u l a r teacher who was a l s o a C a t h o l i c p r i e s t . I was brought up i n a C a t h o l i c home, so I had a C a t h o l i c p r i e s t , and I l i v e d p r e t t y much i n a C a t h o l i c cocoon with the other denominations s o r t of as an a f t e r t h o u g h t . Anyhow, I'm mentioning t h i s , because I want to emphasize the emotional, i n t e l l e c t u a l , and s p i r i t u a l s i t u a t i o n that I was i n . So whatever t h i s p r i e s t teacher d i d to me and with me wasn't j u s t l i k e any other teacher would have s a i d or done. He spoke not only with the a u t h o r i t y of a teacher, but a l s o with the a u t h o r i t y of the Church and my whole C a t h o l i c background. I do not b e l i e v e that any other person with the same a u t h o r i t y j u s t being a teacher would have had the same e f f e c t on me. So I would say h i s being a p r i e s t outweighed h i s being a te a c h e r . His e f f e c t was that he was a p r i e s t who a l s o happened t o be my teacher, because I've had other teachers who have been j e r k s and unju s t , and maybe I'd be unhappy f o r a few days or a week, but i t never a f f e c t e d me f o r any l e n g t h of time deeply. Anyhow, I was put i n h i s c l a s s and immediately he v o i c e d h i s j e a l o u s y t hat I, the very f i r s t moment I walked i n t o the c l a s s , wouldn't be one of the best i n h i s c l a s s as I had been i n the other s c h o o l , because he a l r e a d y had the smartest anyhow, so I would j u s t be down the l i n e some p l a c e . Immediately he put me to the t e s t . He was te a c h i n g geometry, and one of the t h i n g s they were l e a r n i n g was how to d i v i d e an angle, so he c a l l e d me up to the board to d i v i d e t h i s angle. I d i d n ' t know how to do i t , because I hadn't'learned. I t had nothing to do with i n t e l l i g e n c e . He g r i n n e d with h i s d i s d a i n f u l g r i n and s a i d , "You see, I t o l d you weren't as smart. Go back where you came from." T h i s i s j u s t one i n d i c a t i o n , but there were s e v e r a l s i t u a t i o n s l i k e t h i s the f i r s t week i n the c l a s s , and that set the tone. From then on, I was j u s t hanging i n there knowing that whatever I would probably do wouldn't r e a l l y matter. He had a l r e a d y made up h i s mind about me and put me i n a s l o t , and that was 21 1 t h a t . Most of the time he ignored me, but whenever I was c a l l e d upon f o r demonstrations at the board, and I d i d w e l l , he always showed s u r p r i s e that I c o u l d do i t . When I gave answers, he would say that i t was wrong. Then another k i d would give the same answer a few seconds l a t e r , and he would say that i t was r i g h t . When I d i d essays, I a l r e a d y knew my grade. I t was always j u s t a pass. J u s t to t e s t him I had my uncle who was a J e s u i t w r i t e an essay. He t r i e d to wr i t e i t up the way an eleven year o l d would w r i t e , and I got the same grade, j u s t a pass. What t h i s a l l d i d to me was t o t a l l y d e s t r o y my s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e . Another example, we had a school f u n c t i o n and t h i s teacher t o l d me to order 300 r o l l s from my f a t h e r f o r a c e r t a i n date and to t e l l my f a t h e r to d e l i v e r these to h i s door step. Anyhow the r o l l s a r r i v e d on the wrong date, and I swear that I had the c o r r e c t date. He got i t wrong. That date was etched i n my mind. Not only d i d the r o l l s a r r i v e on the wrong date, but i t took him two days to f i g u r e out p u b l i c l y i n c l a s s . He had the whole c l a s s p a r t i c i p a t e i n f i g u r i n g out how much money my f a t h e r l o s t , because I got the date wrong. To say that I was embarrassed would be an understatement. I mean, I would have been ab l e to take a l i t t l e joke or remarks, but f o r two days s t r a i g h t they were working on t h i s math problem on how much money my f a t h e r l o s t because of my s t u p i d i t y . I'm j u s t mentioning these t h i n g s , because I want to set the tone f o r the s i t u a t i o n that I was i n with him. I had him f o r four y e a r s . I l e f t s c h o o l because of t h i s man. He had completely d e s t r o y e d my s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e . When I say completely, I mean completely. There was zero s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e l e f t . Whatever s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e I seemed to have had was j u s t show. I put on a brave face without any substance. I l e f t s c h o o l , not f i n i s h i n g . I d i d n ' t f i n i s h high school and I became an a p p r e n t i c e as a c o n f e c t i o n e r . I knew that I had made a mistake then. I knew i t was only to get out of school to get away from him. Another teacher I knew who was te a c h i n g the other c l a s s i n the same grade begged my parents to put me i n h i s c l a s s . He begged me to come i n t o h i s c l a s s . I couldn't do i t , because I knew that I probably would d i s a p p o i n t him too with my performance. That's how I f e l t about myself that I coul d n ' t do anything any more. I chose the t r a d e s , a pl a c e t h a t I thought I c o u l d shine i n without my c a p a b i l i t i e s r e a l l y being put to the t e s t , so I wouldn't have t o r i s k f a i l i n g a g a i n . In trade school I was a s u p e r s t a r f o r three y e a r s , but I d i d n ' t t h i n k that was r e a l l y a t r u e measure of my c a p a b i l i t i e s . I kind of laughed about i t . I s o r t of enjoyed the g l o r y , but I knew r e a l l y deep down that i t meant nothi n g . So I made 212 the best of my youth and went to S and worked t h e r e . S t i l l the shadow of not f i n i s h i n g school was always with me. I had nightmares a f t e r I l e f t s c hool very f r e q u e n t l y , at l e a s t once a week or twice a week about t h i s man. I was always w r i t i n g an exam and not f i n i s h i n g or not doing w e l l or not being prepared and always with t h i s man. I t always had to do with performance or not being capable of performing, of t r y i n g and not making i t , continous i n f e r i o r i t y . S ince he l i v e d i n our neighbourhood, I saw him q u i t e o f t e n as he was walking by our b u s i n e s s . As I grew o l d e r , I began to see him as a, more and more as he was, a man f u l l of hang-ups h i m s e l f , a man f u l l of sexual hang-ups, a man warped by h i s church. I f I knew e v e r y t h i n g that was going on i n s i d e him, I probably wouldn't even have bothered h a t i n g him. I probably would have f e l t compassion, but at that time I c e r t a i n l y d i d n ' t f e e l compassion. I f e l t pure h a t r e d , pure l i v i d h a t r e d . I c o u l d have k i l l e d him. We had a r e s t a u r a n t as w e l l , and we had a c l a s s reunion i n t h i s r e s t a u r a n t which he arranged. I thought that was very strange, so I thought he was beginning to f e e l s o r r y , but i t was j u s t a guess on my p a r t . I t wasn't any kind of c e r t a i n t y . And I s t i l l remember how he walked i n t o the p l a c e always l o o k i n g embarrassed. He always looked embarrassed a c t u a l l y , but I was s t i l l too i n v o l v e d with my own f e e l i n g s . I once v i s i t e d him a few years l a t e r , and I t o l d him that 90% of h i s students were t o t a l l y a f r a i d of him. He s a i d to me, "You are probably the only one t h a t t h i n k s t h a t . " I c o u l d n ' t b e l i e v e h i s b l i n d n e s s . He should have had enough knowledge and known h i s students w e l l enough to know th a t they were a l l scared of him, not only I. But t h i s h a t r e d and these nightmares a f f e c t e d me so much that I t r i e d to get r i d of them any way I c o u l d . Since I was brought up very r e l i g i o u s l y , I prayed about i t , and I s a i d , " L i s t e n , maybe I should f o r g i v e him. I have to f o r g i v e him." These were j u s t r e l i g i o u s and pious t r i c k s . They d i d n ' t work, nothing worked. I c o u l d say a thousand times, "I f o r g i v e you," but I s t i l l hadn't f o r g i v e n him i n my h e a r t . I j u s t c o u l d n ' t . I t was l i k e a wound b l e e d i n g t h a t wouldn't h e a l . As long as the wound i s b l e e d i n g , you f e e l the p a i n . Of course time went by, and I d i d n ' t t h i n k about him c o n t i n u o u s l y , and I even f o r g o t about him. I t was only i n my dreams that I remembered him. Then when I had a dream about him, of course, I thought about him d u r i n g the day, but i t was the nightmares t h a t r e a l l y kept t h i n g s a l i v e . So I don't know how many years had passed. I would guess about 25 y e a r s . That's a long time. J u s t four years ago from now I had t h i s dream. I was at a p a r t y , c o c k t a i l p a r t y . People were s t a n d i n g around with 213 g l a s s e s i n t h e i r hands, a l o t of people, a packed room. I don't remember any p a r t i c u l a r d e t a i l about the p a r t y . I only knew I was there maybe t a l k i n g to someone. And then suddenly, to my s u r p r i s e , t h i s teacher p r i e s t i n h i s black s u i t and h i s Roman c o l l a r , the way he always looked, approached me from the l e f t , so I c o u l d see him out of the corner of my eyes. He approached me with h i s weird g r i n that he always wore, t h i s g r i n of embarrassment, the weirdest g r i n he had. Maybe he was t r a i n e d to s o r t of s m i l e , to look kind and f r i e n d l y . Anyhow, he approached me, and he touched my cheek with two f i n g e r s . I don't know why with two f i n g e r s , the index f i n g e r and the middle one. Maybe i t was because of the way Popes and C a r d i n a l s b l e s s e d the crowd. Well, a c t u a l l y they h o l d the Host with the two f i n g e r s and the thumb. So he touched me with those two f i n g e r s and on the cheek, and I was so upset that he would dare touch me that I r o l l e d around and looked at him and s a i d , "How dare you touch me." Immediately I f e l t s i c k to my stomach, a f e e l i n g of nausea l i k e I have never had i n a l l my l i f e . I thought I was going to vomit, but i t was beyond v o m i t i n g . I t was j u s t a t o t a l f e e l i n g of nausea. And then the nausea d r a i n e d away. I don't know how. I t j u s t went. The p r i e s t d i d n ' t l i n g e r at a l l . He touched me and went by, j u s t p a s s i n g through from the l e f t to the r i g h t . I don't remember very much a f t e r that about the dream whether the p a r t y went on. Anyhow, what had to happen happened. He touched me, and I got s i c k to my stomach, and the nausea d r a i n e d away, and with the nausea, my h a t r e d d r a i n e d away. I then woke up immediately. A f t e r I had woken up, I s t i l l f e l t the two f i n g e r s where they had touched my cheek, and I rubbed i t , and I s a i d , "This i s weird that I can f e e l i t . " I c o u l d n ' t rub i t o f f . I t was there f o r days. I t was l i k e an i m p r i n t somehow, l i k e a burn that d i d n ' t h u r t , a d e f i n i t e f e e l i n g of having been touched that stayed f o r a w h i l e . And I checked my f e e l i n g s i n the morning, and the h a t r e d was gone. There was an emptiness, a v o i d , where my h a t r e d had been, a p l e a s a n t v o i d . I a c t u a l l y missed my h a t r e d , because i t had been with me f o r so long, and suddenly i t ' s gone. I t r i e d to get angry at him and t r i e d to r e c a l l what he had done to me j u s t to t e s t my f e e l i n g s . I c o u l d n ' t . I j u s t c o u l d n ' t . I was now t o t a l l y d i s i n t e r e s t e d i n t h i s man, l i k e I c o u l d have cared l e s s . I t was f i n i s h e d . Even now r e c a l l i n g t h i s , i t ' s f i n i s h e d . Even the dream, i t amazed me f o r a while, and I'm g l a d that i t happened, but i t was f i n i s h e d . F o r g i v e n e s s , was i t r e a l l y f o r g i v e n e s s on my p a r t ? I c o u l d n ' t h e l p . No t h a t ' s wrong, I d i d n ' t hate him any more. I don't t h i n k I made a conscious e f f o r t to f o r g i v e 214 him. He came, touched me, and a p o l o g i z e d . That's what I i n t e r p r e t i t as. He a p o l o g i z e d , and t h a t ' s a l l . What i s f o r g i v e n e s s ? I don't know. I can say that I had f o r g i v e n him, but t h a t ' s not t r u e . There was no a c t i v e involvement on my pa r t that you would c a l l f o r g i v e n e s s . I t ' s l i k e he had taken away that which he had put i n t o me, l i k e i t had never happened (long pause). I'm not sure i f i t was f o r g i v e n e s s at a l l , because I d i d not f o r g i v e him. He came and took my h a t r e d away, or the dream took i t away. Anyhow, i t was such a dream, such a v i v i d dream. The experience was so r e a l t h a t I surmise that t h i s man was e i t h e r on h i s death bed or was very s i c k . He must have been q u i t e o l d , probably way i n h i s e i g h t i e s when I had t h i s dream, and maybe he was ready to go ort, or had passed on when he came by. I don't know. I'm g l a d i t happened, as I s a i d b e f o r e . Even now sometimes, I s t i l l t e s t my f e e l i n g s about him to see i f I can hate him, but I can ' t . I r e a l l y don't care, and t h i s guy r u i n e d my l i f e , w e l l , to some degree, yes. He des t r o y e d my s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e which i s probably what people go on when they have success. P: You s a i d t h at you had years of nightmares, and you f e l t h a t r e d f o r t h i s man, and as you s a i d , i t was l i k e a wound b l e e d i n g . Can you d e s c r i b e that h a t r e d a l i t t l e more? T: My h a t r e d was not of the kind where I daydreamed of g e t t i n g even with him. I wasn't daydreaming of k i l l i n g him, or b e a t i n g him up. I thin k i c o u l d n ' t even do t h a t . That's how much I d e t e s t e d t h i s man. My f e e l i n g f o r him was j u s t a t o t a l f e e l i n g of hate. Yes, I wanted to get even somehow. I remember my s i s t e r had him as a r e l i g i o u s t e a c h e r . The school was supposed to draw cartoons of teach e r s . I had a l r e a d y l e f t s c hool then. She s a i d , "Why don't you draw a cartoon of t h i s man?" and I d i d . I remember as a student I would s i t there and say to myself that I never want to f o r g e t h i s f a c e . So I remembered every l i n e i n that face as i f somebody c o u l d put a s p e l l on him. That's how much I hated him. I wanted to study him as one would an enemy. So here i t was years l a t e r , and I c o u l d draw him the way he was. I f e l t I was g e t t i n g even t h e r e . I was g e t t i n g a break. I f e l t q u i t e r e l i e v e d a f t e r I had done t h i s . I knew i t would be blown up almost l i f e s i z e i n s c h o o l . P: You mentioned that you f e l t p a i n , l i k e a wound b l e e d i n g . Can you t e l l me any more about that pain? T: Well the pa i n was a f e e l i n g of inadequacy mainly, 215 f e e l i n g i n f i n i t e l y h u r t , f e e l i n g i n f i n i t e l y inadequate. I was aware of my s t a t e . I knew that I f e l t inadequate, and there was t h i s war going on i n s i d e me. Am I r e a l l y inadequate? Deep down I d i d n ' t b e l i e v e i t , otherwise I wouldn't have done anything with my l i f e . How can you d e s c r i b e hatred? When c h i l d r e n f e e l , they f e e l t o t a l emotion, not l i k e an a d u l t who can r a t i o n a l i z e . I never r a t i o n a l i z e d my h a t r e d f o r him.' I was r i d i c u l e d over and over i n f r o n t of the c l a s s and was t o l d I was s t u p i d . As a c h i l d you i n t e r n a l i z e t h i s , and t h a t ' s what you f e e l . Although you may t h i n k that he i s wrong, and you may say that I am not t h a t , but as long as you are i n the s i t u a t i o n with him every day, what chance have you got? A f t e r a w h i l e , t h i s i s the t o t a l i t y of your l i f e . You b e l i e v e , yet at the same time, you don't b e l i e v e , but at the same time you don't have anything to prove that you are not inadequate. P: You s a i d t h at you t r i e d over the years to f o r g i v e him. You prayed. Can you t e l l me a b i t more about how you t r i e d to f o r g i v e him? T: W e l l , how does one f o r g i v e someone? You can t r y f o r g e t t i n g about i t , I guess, but i t came back. Even i f I pushed i t down i n my waking l i f e where you have some d e c i s i o n over your thoughts, i t came back at n i g h t . I d i d n ' t t h i n k that I had that much power over my dreams. There he was again and again and a g a i n , year a f t e r year. I u s u a l l y was i n a s i t u a t i o n where I was f a i l i n g something, not doing something w e l l . I had these dreams o f t e n , but they became l e s s frequent l a t e r on, but o f t e n enough, too o f t e n . P: Before t h i s dream occ u r r e d d i d you have some of these nightmares? T: I don't know how o f t e n . I d i d n ' t keep t r a c k , and I d i d not keep a d i a r y of my dreams, but I would say t h a t they o c c u r r e d f r e q u e n t l y . I t wasn't a problem that slowly d i e d . In my dreams i t was always a l i v e with the same i n t e n s i t y . P: Immediately upon awakening, do you remember what was your f i r s t f e e l i n g ? T: My f i r s t thought was, " I t ' s gone." My h a t r e d was gone, l i k e something had been taken away from me that I d i d n ' t want to c a r r y anyway, a burden. I t wasn't on my s h o u l d e r s . I t was i n s i d e . I t was what you c o u l d say i n s i d e my c h e s t , and I f e l t i t was gone, and I looked f o r 216 i t . I s a i d , "Where's my hatred?" I immediately r e a l i z e d t h a t i t was of no consequence any more. I c o u l d care l e s s . Why d i d I bother? Why d i d I hate him so much? W e l l , no I can't say t h a t . I knew why I hated him, and i t c o u l d n ' t be helped. I experienced the s i t u a t i o n as a c h i l d when I couldn't r a t i o n a l i z e my way out of i t . He stood f o r so many t h i n g s , the Church, God, teacher, that I c o u l d not see him. A l l t h i s was completely gone. I t was more than the hatr e d that was gone. I t was my whole concern. There were two problems: I hated him, and I co u l d n ' t f o r g i v e him. That was taken care o f . I d i d n ' t have to f o r g i v e him any more. There was nothing l e f t to f o r g i v e . P: You f e l t a v o i d , a p l e a s a n t v o i d , you c a l l e d i t . T: You take something away that has bothered you, and you f e e l i t ' s n i c e to be r i d of i t . P: What d i d the v o i d f e e l l i k e ? T: What does a v o i d f e e l l i k e ? A v o i d i s a v o i d . You cannot d e s c r i b e i t . I t ' s l i k e an empty p l a c e . P: Can you give a metaphor f o r i t ? T: I f e l t there was a b i g hole somewhere, because i t occupied such an important p l a c e , such a b i g pl a c e i n my pa s t , i n my l i f e , i n my memory that I missed i t . I d i d n ' t miss i t i n a pl e a s a n t way, but I d e f i n i t e l y n o t i c e d that something was gone, that there was room. When there i s a v o i d and an emptiness, then there i s room fo r something e l s e , room to grow. The more v o i d there i s , the more you can grow i n t o i t , so I thin k the v o i d was t h i s b i g p i e c e or chunk out of my l i f e that was gone, and I was g l a d . The v o i d to me i s almost l i k e freedom, something to expand i n t o . P: D i d you f e e l t h a t freedom when you woke up? T: Yes, I f e l t that freedom immediately, j u s t l i k e , Oh my God, i t ' s gone. Gone, i t ' s the weirdest t h i n g . I can't e x p l a i n i t . I mean, I'm l o o k i n g f o r words. I j u s t do not, i t was, maybe i t ' s when someone l i v e s someone and l o s e s h i s l o v e . Maybe t h i s was the reverse of t h i s . W e l l , the only t h i n g i s maybe you are even more concerned then with the love that you have l o s t . But when you l o s e your h a t r e d , t h a t ' s i t . You do not concern y o u r s e l f with i t . 217 P: Is there any one p a r t of the experience that stands out f o r you? T: Yes, that he touched me and that I f e l t h i s touch f o r days. I found that very s i g n i f i c a n t , and I thin k that i t was perhaps the most important p a r t of my dream, because I knew i t was r e a l . I t wasn't j u s t another dream. To me p e r s o n a l l y , he was t h e r e . He was ther e , and I touched and rubbed my face and s a i d , "Do I r e a l l y f e e l t h i s on my cheek where he touched me?" I d i d f e e l i t f o r days, not j u s t f o r a moment. The nausea and a l l t h i s maybe j u s t f o l l o w s as a consequence of t h i s touching, because i t was my r e a c t i o n towards him that made me s i c k , my v i o l e n t r e a c i t o n to being touched by t h i s man. But i n my dream I i n t e r p r e t e d t h i s touch as a gesture, as a peace o f f e r i n g , as "I'm s o r r y . " More than t h a t , a touch i s very s p e c i f i c , when human beings touch each other who have hated each other a l l of t h e i r l i v e s , e s p e c i a l l y on the cheek, not j u s t a handshake. He touched me on the cheek. He c o u l d have shaken my hand. He c o u l d have touched me on my shoulder, but he touched my f a c e . I mean, the face i s very s p e c i a l . When you touch your g i r l f r i e n d ' s f a c e , i t ' s d i f f e r e n t i f you touch your g i r l f r i e n d ' s shoulder or shake her hand. A touch on someone's face i s a gesture of i n t i m a c y . You don't do that to everyone. You only do t h i s to very few people i n your l i f e , c h i l d r e n or people you l o v e , not to s t r a n g e r s very much. When someone i s s i c k , you touch t h e i r face maybe or when someone i s sad. There has to be a s p e c i a l reason, s p e c i a l o c c a s i o n to touch someone's face, and he touched my f a c e , and I th i n k i t i s very s i g n i f i c a n t . I t wasn't p a t r o n i z i n g e i t h e r . I t wasn't l i k e a teacher touching students. I t was one human being touching another, that he had something to say to me, something very important f o r him and f o r me, because something had gone on between the two of us, and i t was on h i s i n i t i a t i v e . He i n i t i a t e d t h i s whole b u s i n e s s . I was j u s t h i s student, a c h i l d that was under h i s a u t h o r i t y and power, so I was p a s s i v e , and he was a c t i v e . I guess he took the a c t i v e p a r t again by a p o l o g i z i n g s i n c e the whole t h i n g was imposed on me. I was p a s s i v e , and I guess I co u l d n ' t f i n d a way to f o r g i v e him, because that would have been an a c t i v e a ct on my p a r t . P: Has the change l a s t e d ? T: A b s o l u t e l y , the change has l a s t e d . I don't even need to t a l k about i t any more, even on t h i s tape. For my own purposes, i t ' s f i n i s h e d . I don't c a r e , and I don't thi n k that I would have accomplished t h i s on my own. I 218 probably would have accomplished some s o r t o f . an arrangement. I t probably would have faded from my memory more and more. Time h e a l s a l o t of t h i n g s , but I thin k that was something more than j u s t time c o u l d h e a l . I t was i n s t a n t change. I t was instantaneous. I t was a change that happened i n a s p l i t second. I t came as a s u r p r i s e to me. I d i d n ' t know t h i s was going to happen. I d i d n ' t know what the dream would do to me. I t happened to me. I can r e a l l y t r u l y say t h a t . I t happened to me j u s t l i k e i t happened to me i n c l a s s that he was my teacher. I d i d not choose him as a teacher and nor d i d I choose the dream. I was p a s s i v e as a student and as a dreamer. That's how I i n t e r p r e t e d i t . I don't know. Maybe my subconscious mind i s much more c l e v e r than t h a t . Why would I f e e l h i s touch i f i t was j u s t my subconscious mind that dragged t h i s whole t h i n g up (pause), e s p e c i a l l y when I t r i e d f o r so many years to get r i d of t h i s , and then i t happened i n an i n s t a n t . No, no, something very s p e c i a l happened t h a t moment, very s p e c i a l (pause). Then of course, i t l a s t e d , which i s the a c i d t e s t . P: Has the dream experience a l t e r e d the way you view your l i f e ? T: The p a r t of my l i f e and my p e r s o n a l i t y that was a f f e c t e d by t h i s teacher, by the memory of i t , by the hat r e d , yes, that has changed. Many t h i n g s are the same in my l i f e . I would say, yes, the pa r t of my l i f e t h a t was a f f e c t e d by the memory, by the nightmares, by my hatred, has changed. My s i t u a t i o n by l e a v i n g school e a r l y , the consequences of t h a t , have not changed. There are r e g r e t s , of course, that I d i d n ' t go on at that time, but t h a t ' s somehow separate now. That i s something that I am l e f t with, and I have to change myself, but i t i s not connected to the hatr e d any more. I t i s j u s t a problem that I face, and I have to look i n t o going back to s c hool which I am doing. I want to change my c a r e e r , and I'm doing t h a t , i f p o s s i b l e . But I do not blame him any more. Whether I blamed him or not, I do not bother blaming any more. Whether he i s the true cause or not, i s not of i n t e r e s t to me any more. So what, what i f he d i d cause a l l t h i s ? I don't even t h i n k about i t . I don't connect him with that any more, and I d i d befo r e . I know he was the cause of much of my unhappiness, u n f u l f i l l m e n t because of l a c k of educat i o n , but then a l o t of t h i n g s happened because of him. Because of him, I c o u l d come to C as a tradesman which I never would have been a b l e to do i f I had perhaps gone to school i n G, gone to u n i v e r s i t y . I'm much happier here. I mean, he changed my l i f e . Because of t h i s , he changed my l i f e . 219 We can look at t h i s from a completely d i f f e r e n t p e r s p e c t i v e . I s t a r t e d a whole new l i f e here. I'm g r a t e f u l f o r t h a t , so maybe a t the end of my l i f e , I ' l l probably see the whole t h i n g as a b l e s s i n g , because he changed my l i f e , yes, i n more than one way, n e g a t i v e l y , and then the negative turned p o s i t i v e as soon as I l e f t G and came here. Although, he c e r t a i n l y c o n t r i b u t e d to my hatre d f o r G, f o r my whole upb r i n g i n g , f o r the Church, fo r C a t h o l i c i s m , the whole t h i n g I l e f t behind. I s t a r t e d a new chapter. I came to C with the d e l i b e r a t e i n t e n t i o n of becoming a d i f f e r e n t human being. From day one I s a i d that I ' l l never go back. I ' l l stay here come h e l l or high water. I f I ' l l s t a r v e , I ' l l s t a y . So I managed to b r i n g p h y s i c a l d i s t a n c e between myself and my past, but, of course, I d i d n ' t succeed q u i t e that w e l l i n c r e a t i n g a s p i r i t u a l , i n t e l l e c t u a l d i s t a n c e between myself and my past. P: Has the s p i r i t u a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l d i s t a n c e widened because of t h i s dream? T: Yes, the dream f i n i s h e d a chapter of my p a s t . I don't t h i n k we are always aware at the moment when something s i g n i f i c a n t happens. We are not abl e to estimate c o r r e c t l y what e f f e c t a c e r t a i n o c c a s i o n or o p p o r t u n i t y has on us. We can only r e f l e c t on t h i s l a t e r and say, "That caused me to do that and was a s i g n i f i c a n t step i n my l i f e . " I f i t changes us f o r the b e t t e r or we l e a r n through i t or i f i t makes us work on our c h a r a c t e r , then I t h i n k i t has always been f o r the b e t t e r . Some l e a r n i n g process takes p l a c e i f we are aware of what we are l e a r n i n g , i f we are aware that something i s happening to us, and I c e r t a i n l y f e l t t h a t something was happening to me from the dream and af t e r w a r d s . I even was aware before that the ha t r e d was harming me. I knew i t was u s e l e s s , and I r a t i o n a l i z e d a l l these t h i n g s . I knew that i t was a long time ago, and yet I c o u l d n ' t l e t go. P: When you say th a t i t gave you a s p i r i t u a l d i s t a n c e from G, can you d e s c r i b e what you mean by s p i r i t u a l ? T: S p i r i t u a l I would i n t e r p r e t as, w e l l , I'm t r y i n g to a v o i d a r e l i g i o u s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , because I'm not sure the two are synonymous, s p i r i t u a l i s something that the t o t a l i t y of the human being as a person i s t r a v e l l i n g towards. S p i r i t u a l i t y i s an awareness t h a t one i s not alone i n the u n i v e r s e , that there i s an e n t i t y or a something that we c a l l God, and that there i s an intimate c o n n e c t i o n somewhere. As the Hindus would say, "One i s a l l , and a l l i s one," that the un i v e r s e i s not abandoned 220 somehow, and to say that the u n i v e r s e has a purpose would be an understatement i n that r e s p e c t . I t h i n k we cannot separate the universe and i t s purpose. I t ' s a l l the same. I f you say the u n i v e r s e has a purpose, then you a l r e a d y d i v i d e i t up. So s p i r i t u a l i t y to me i s t r a v e l l i n g towards the u l t i m a t e t r u t h . P: Did t h i s dream add to these f e e l i n g s of s p i r i t u a l i t y ? T: Well, c e r t a i n l y s i n c e I'm the one that the dream happened t o , I b e l i e v e that i t was not too l a t e f o r t h i s man to make up, even years l a t e r and very e f f e c t i v e l y , perhaps more e f f e c t i v e l y than he would have been ab l e to do i n l i f e . I f he would have come to me and s a i d , "I'm s o r r y , " t h i s would have been much l e s s e f f e c t i v e than in the dream, the way i t happened. I t h i n k he c o u l d n ' t have done b e t t e r . He achieved h i s aim t o t a l l y . He made up, c l e a n s l a t e . On my p a r t there are no hard f e e l i n g s l e f t , and on h i s part there i s nothing more to say. On h i s part there i s no more f o r g i v e n e s s to beg, and on my p a r t there i s no more f o r g i v e n e s s to w i t h h o l d . I t ' s f i n i s h e d , and I t h i n k that was the most e f f e c t i v e way to do i t , and that i t i s p o s s i b l e i n d i c a t e s to me, that i s a s i g n , a small s i g n of s p i r i t u a l i t y , that i t i s never too l a t e . T h i s may be unusual, t h i s dream, but maybe i t i s n ' t . Maybe i t happens much more o f t e n than we t h i n k . P: How i s i t d i f f e r e n t from other dreams that you have had? T: F i r s t of a l l , the c l a r i t y . P e r s o n a l l y , I b e l i e v e the f a c t t h a t I woke up r i g h t away i s important. I t ' s l i k e such a shock, such an event that one wakes up. I t can't be helped, and then one has to r e f l e c t upon i t and say, "Wait a minute. What happened to me?" One knows. I knew i t was important, and I t h i n k one does know when a dream i s important, and I t h i n k i f a dream i s r e a l l y important, one does wake up. I don't b e l i e v e that we miss important dreams. If they're important enough, they w i l l be remembered, because they are such a shock to the t o t a l e n t i t y , to the p e r s o n a l i t y , that something happens. It i s not wasted and doesn't get l o s t . P: You are saying a shock to the t o t a l e n t i t y . Could you d e s c r i b e t h a t shock? T: F i r s t of a l l a dream l i k e t h a t i s unusual and doesn't happen very o f t e n or a t a l l . The unusualness i s important and secondly the i n t e n s i t y . I t ' s g r e a t e r than l i f e , I t h i n k . I t ' s more r e a l than l i f e , because i f he 221 had come to me i n r e a l l i f e and s a i d , "I'm s o r r y , " and asked f o r f o r g i v e n e s s , the f e e l i n g of nausea would not have been t h e r e . And I wouldn't have rea c t e d or f e l t f r e e enough to r o l l around and say, "How dare you touch me." In a dream there are no s o c i a l conventions, w e l l , in t h i s one, there were no s o c i a l conventions. There was no holds b a r r e d . I t was a l l or nothing on my p a r t . That's what I f e l t . I r e a c t e d the way I f e l t . I t o l d him, "How dare you touch me." I f e l t t o t a l nausea. I had no c o n t r o l over, I d i d n ' t say, "Oh, I can do t h i s , or I can't cut him o f f . I can't be angry at him, or I can't f e e l s i c k now." I was s i c k . I f e l t angry. I t o l d him o f f , and the nausea d r a i n e d . I t ' s , how should I say, i t ' s s o r t of o r g a n i c . You are what you a r e . You do what you do, and maybe t h a t ' s what t o t a l i t y and f u l l n e s s of l i f e i s a l l about. You are what you a r e . You do i t r i g h t . You do i t w e l l , and you do i t i n t o t a l i t y . I think t h a t ' s what being a l i v e i s a l l about, and sometimes in dreams you reach that p i n n a c l e of e x i s t e n c e where you can do that j u s t f o r a moment. From t o t a l h a t r ed, to t o t a l f o r g i v e n e s s , t h a t ' s the p i n n a c l e of e x i s t e n c e . From anger and f o r g i v e n e s s being asked and f o r g i v e n e s s given without c o m p l i c a t i o n s . I t ' s simple. I t j u s t goes bang, bang, bang. I t i s not, maybe. There are no maybes, or what i f . There are no buts. What i s , i s , and I thi n k that i s what s p i r i t u a l i t y i s a l l about too. P: When you mentioned before that f o r g i v e n e s s was given, T: Yes, how can I e x p l a i n t h a t . I t was gone. I t was taken away from me. We l l , nobody r e a l l y took i t . I t went by i t s e l f . He d i d n ' t say any t h i n g . He touched me and walked away. I took a c t i o n then, and s a i d , "How dare you touch me." That was an a c t i v e p a r t on my p a r t . The f i r s t time I had ever taken the i n i t i a t i v e by showing him what I r e a l l y f e l t about him and what he had done. "How dare you touch me," I thin k i s very meaningful to r e f u s e to be touched by someone, and I expressed that and then l i k e I had eaten p o i s o n , and you f e e l s i c k when you've eaten poison, so I poisoned myself, and I f e l t s i c k , or he poisoned me. I t doesn't r e a l l y matter. I f e l t s i c k , nauseated, t o t a l nausea, and then i t d r a i n e d away without v o m i t i n g . I t j u s t d r a i n e d somehow, although I f e l t l i k e I c o u l d vomit f o r e v e r . Then suddenly, i t d r a i n e d l i k e you p u l l the plu g i n a bathtub. Off i t goes, and t h a t ' s t h a t . So d i d I f o r g i v e him, I don't even know what i t means to f o r g i v e someone. I t j u s t d r a i n e d l i k e a mechanism. You do t h i s and do that and then t h i s and t h i s happens l i k e cause and e f f e c t . I don't know, but maybe the apology t r i g g e r e d i t . I mean, there has to be 222 a t r i g g e r , cause and e f f e c t . C e r t a i n t h i n g s happen as a consequence. It c e r t a i n l y d i d n ' t i n c r e a s e my h a t r e d . The dream c o u l d have done something where my hatr e d would have been g r e a t e r . I d i d n ' t dream that he came and punched me or kick e d me. No, he came and touched me g e n t l y . I must say g e n t l y , a g e n t l e touch l i k e you would touch a c h i l d on the cheek, but I wasn't a c h i l d and d i d n ' t f e e l t r e a t e d l i k e a c h i l d . How can I e x p l a i n t h i s ? Maybe a movie, but not even t h a t . How can you p a i n t or d e s c r i b e emotions? P: When you say a movie, are you saying that i t ' s e a s i e r to put i n t o a p i c t u r e what you had experienced? T: W e l l , these are mental p i c t u r e s . A movie or a p i c t u r e would be o u t s i d e y o u r s e l f . Someone would be l o o k i n g on o u t s i d e y o u r s e l f , but the dream happened i n s i d e . I mean, c e r t a i n t h i n g s happened o u t s i d e myself. He came, the p a r t y , d r i n k i n g , touched, he went. That's the s e t t i n g , but how do you d e s c r i b e nausea? How do you p a i n t i t ? How do you, even i f you knew the chemical cause of i t , you wouldn't be a b l e t o . I t wouldn't mean a t h i n g . Nausea, I guess everyone has experienced i t , and everyone knows what i t ' s l i k e , and when i t goes away, everyone f e e l s r e l i e f . P: And you f e l t r e l i e v e d . T: Yes, of course, i f you're nauseated, and i t goes, e s p e c i a l l y i f i t ' s extreme kind of nausea, but not only the nausea went, but the nausea stood f o r hatred, I imagine. When the nausea d r a i n e d , my h a t r e d d r a i n e d . I t ' s a p r e t t y good metaphor to show ha t r e d as nausea, because i t made me s i c k over the years, s o r t of a s p i r i t u a l , mental nausea. P: Is th e r e anything e l s e you'd l i k e to say? T: I have a l i m i t e d view, an i n s i d e r ' s view. I may overlook a few t h i n g s . P: Thank you. 223 T r a n s c r i p t #2 (Case T) P: T, you have read over the themes. How do they f i t with your experience? T: I t h i n k they a l l f i t . There's nothing that I would add or take away. I t r e a l l y does f i t e v e r y t h i n g t h a t I went through. P: What were your impressions of the t r a n s c r i p t ? T: I t was almost l i k e I was reading someone e l s e ' s s t o r y , yet I was so f a m i l i a r with i t . I c o u l d t o t a l l y i d e n t i f y with i t , because i t was me. So I had an o u t s i d e r ' s look at myself i n a way. I looked at myself from the o u t s i d e , yet knowing the i n s i d e as w e l l . I t brought t e a r s to my eyes to see someone going through such a s t r u g g l e , an unfortunate s t r u g g l e . P: Unfortunate s t r u g g l e ? T: L i f e would have been so much b e t t e r i f i t had not have happened. More c o n s t r u c t i v e t h i n g s , the time and the energy would have been spent on more c o n s t r u c t i v e t h i n g s . I t was such a u s e l e s s s t r u g g l e . P: By u s e l e s s ? T: I t took too long to r e s o l v e i t . P: I t s u r p r i s e d you that i t was r e s o l v e d i n a dream? T: Yes, suddenly and q u i c k l y w i t h i n the dream. Twenty-five years was such a long time to go through the s t r u g g l e . I t ' s too long f o r i t to become r e s o l v e d , but I guess we do not always have c o n t r o l over these t h i n g s . I t shows the power of a u t h o r i t y , r e a l l y , and how d e v a s t a t i n g i t can be. That's r e a l l y what d i d i t to me, the a u t h o r i t y of the Church i n God's name. God i s the u l t i m a t e power i n the u n i v e r s e , and God was made an enemy to me, and I f i n d t h a t t r a g i c . P: Is God s t i l l an enemy to you? T: Oh, I can only r e s o l v e that by saying that God i s n o t h i n g . That doesn't mean that He might not e x i s t , but I have to r e f u s e to give Him any a t t r i b u t e s at a l l . That's the only way I can l i v e with God, by not knowing anything about Him. 224 P: Has t h i s change been s i n c e the dream, your concept of God? T: Yes, as long as God had a t t r i b u t e s , I had to deal with God as a person. He was p e r s o n a l i z e d i n a way. If He i s j u s t , i f He wants me to f o r g i v e someone, and He makes demands on me, He i s an a u t h o r i t a r i a n . P: How i s that d i f f e r e n t now? T: I t h i n k that God i s only a r e f l e c t i o n of our own ideas of o u r s e l v e s , and we p r o j e c t them on to Him. I t h i n k that God i s beyond my understanding, and I'm g l a d , so I don't have to get stuck with dogma or with a r t i c l e s of f a i t h or any c r e e d . I know He i s a symbol f o r goodness, and t h a t ' s good enough. Whatever goodness i s . I guess by goodness I mean that He i s not out to harm. He i s benevolent. I am g i v i n g Him a t t r i b u t e s now (pause). I f I say God i s nothing, then He i s not a t h r e a t to me, and then from there I can begin to understand Him i n a d i f f e r e n t way. P: How does that f e e l to you when you say God i s nothing compared to before when you say that God was an a u t h o r i t y f i g u r e to you? T: I wiped the s l a t e c l e a n of a l l ideas about God, because He was such a monster to me before that I would have to have a completely c l e a n s l a t e . And i f there i s a God, H e ' l l take care of the r e s t . I f there i s n ' t , then there i s nothing that I can do about i t . If they say that God i s a l l l o v i n g and a l l c a r i n g , then H e ' l l manifest Himself to me. I f He doesn't want to do t h a t , then i t ' s up to Him. I'm not going to worry about God any more. P: Since t h i s dream, you are not worrying about God as much? T: In a way, yes. The dream had to do with f o r g i v e n e s s , and I've t a l k e d about my C a t h o l i c background. P: How has that dream mattered to you? T: I t f r e e d me o f , I don't have to t h i n k about t h i s man any more, t h i s b i g chunk i n my youth. P: How has t h a t made a d i f f e r e n c e i n your l i f e ? T: The past i s f i n i s h e d . I f you c o n s t a n t l y think about 225 the past and t r y to r e s o l v e i t , and you concern y o u r s e l f with i t . , i t becomes a p r e o c c u p a t i o n . Now I have no past to look back on as f a r as s c h o o l i n g i s concerned. That doesn't give me a degree, but I do not want to look f o r excuses any more, or blame anyone. I have to go on from here now without t h i n k i n g of my unfortunate past e x p e r i e n c e . P: You aren't l o o k i n g back i n the past. T: I'm not l o o k i n g f o r excuses. I know that I have to pi c k up the p i e c e s , to accept what happened without being concerned with i t and without wanting to change i t . P: You have accepted the past now? T: Yes, oh yes, I have accepted the past now where before I d i d not. P: What does that acceptance f e e l l i k e ? T: I t makes me f e e l very r e s p o n s i b l e f o r myself. If you do not have a scapegoat any more, whether the blame i s j u s t i f i e d or not, you know you are on your own. I t ' s up to me now to do what I want to do and co n c e n t r a t e a l l my energy towards t h a t . A f t e r a while, i t becomes very convenient to have a r o t t e n past on which to blame e v e r y t h i n g . You know that you do not have to p i c k up a new c h a l l e n g e , because you are s t i l l f i g h t i n g with some monster from the past which r e a l l y doesn't e x i s t any more, except i n your own mind. Whereas the r e a l c h a l l e n g e i s to perhaps take a course now and w r e s t l e with s t u d y i n g and grades and whatnot. P: And you are doing that now? T: Yes (pause) P: As you s a i d , you are t a k i n g r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r y o u r s e l f . You are not blaming your p a s t . How has t a k i n g r e s p o n s i b i l i t y changed your l i f e ? T: Instead of an imaginary monster, I am f i g h t i n g a r e a l one now. The problem was r e a l while I was i n sch o o l years ago, but a f t e r I l e f t , i t was only a memory of i t and hurt f e e l i n g s and a l l the p s y c h o l o g i c a l e f f e c t s that I c a r r y around with myself, and these needed t o be r e s o l v e d (pause). Now I have turned away from shadow boxing and look forward to the f u t u r e which i n c l u d e s -b u i l d i n g up my s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e a g a i n . I t ' s a job t o do 226 that, to show y o u r s e l f that the past was a mistake, to prove to myself that I can do what everyone e l s e has been doing, or many have done, and that i s g e t t i n g an education. Sure you're f i g h t i n g the shadow of the l a c k of e d u c a t i o n , but you're not f i g h t i n g the man whom you blamed f o r i t . I t doesn't mean that the dream gave me back s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e o v e r n i g h t . That's not t r u e . I t c l e a r e d up a p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p . I t was important to me that the r e l a t i o n s h i p was r e s o l v e d . I t doesn't mean from then on a l l other i s s u e s would be r e s o l v e d , that a l l the damage that he caused would be r e p a i r e d . F o r g i v e n e s s means to accept and to l e t i t be, and I t h i n k that i s important. You c l o s e the l i d on something and say, "I'm not going to look back at i t , " and I t h i n k t h a t ' s what the change i s . I t ' s a change from unhappiness to happiness w i t h i n that c o n t e x t . P: You became happier? T: Yes, as f a r as my d e a l i n g with t h i s man i s concerned. T h i s probably does r e f l e c t on my d a i l y l i f e . I was so obsessed with the man which goes deep i n t o my subconscious. My dreams came up with i t a l l the time. P: And you don't have dreams of him any more? T: No P: You mentioned that t h i s dream was very v i v i d and r e a l . You f e l t h i s touch. Could you g i v e me an example of another dream you may have had, and how t h i s was so d i f f e r e n t ? T: (pause) T h i s dream was the way t h i n g s c o u l d have happened i n r e a l l i f e , as f a r as the r e a l n e s s i s concerned, and a l s o the c l a r i t y . There was no s w i t c h i n g of scenes or s l i d i n g i n t o a d i f f e r e n t environment l i k e many dreams do. (pause) I t was a short dream, but the scene was c l e a r c u t . There was a c l e a r beginning and a c l e a r end. P: Whereas the other dreams were cut o f f ? T: The other dreams s o r t of fade and choose new s e t t i n g s and new a c t i v i t i e s . Sometimes one remembers dreams s o r t of l i k e s e e i n g . L e t ' s see, how can I say? W e l l , i t ' s l i k e s e e i n g t h i n g s through a memory. Most dreams don't seem worthwhile to be remembered, or one doesn't care s u b c o n s c i o u s l y to remember them. I t ' s s o r t o f ' a given a c t i v i t y . One goes to s l e e p , and one dreams, but t h i s 227 dream was very c l e a r to my memory. I remember every d e t a i l , and other dreams I don't. P: Were you aware that you were dreaming? T: No, I was r i g h t t h e r e . I t was happening to me as i f i t was r e a l . No, no, no, I was too i n v o l v e d to even have a second thought of a n y t h i n g . I wasn't ob s e r v i n g myself. I was doing. I wasn't even second guessing anything I d i d . I wasn't r a t i o n a l i z i n g or t h i n k i n g , "Oh, I should do t h i s . I shouldn't do t h a t . " I s a i d some of that b e f o r e . P: Is there anything e l s e t h a t you'd l i k e to say? T: I t h i n k I s a i d i t a l l . I cannot t h i n k of anything to add. (long pause) P: Thank you. 228 T r a n s c r i p t #1 (Case V) P: I'd l i k e you to t r y and r e c a l l a dream that a f f e c t e d you g r e a t l y and l e f t you with a f e l t sense of change when you woke up. And c o u l d you r e l a t e the experience to me in as much d e t a i l as p o s s i b l e . F i r s t , c o u l d you begin t e l l i n g me what was happening to you before the dream. V: Yes, I was reading a book by Castaneda, and probably t h i s might have i n f l u e n c e d i t i n a way. I was f e e l i n g r a t her alone. I had j u s t broken up with someone whom I was i n love with, and I f e l t that I was a l l a l o n e . I f e l t i n s e c u r e as w e l l , because although I looked a f t e r myself a l l of my l i f e , I j u s t f e l t somehow f i n a n c i a l l y i n s e c u r e . I guess I l o s t some money i n the market as w e l l , and I f e l t i n secure about t h a t . I a l s o knew that where I was l i v i n g was not what I wanted. I guess I wanted some t h i n g s of my own, and the f e e l i n g s were coming over me that I r e a l l y wanted to get s e t t l e d , but where, what. I d i d n ' t know what I was going to do, and I was depressed. I was t r y i n g to do t h i n g s , and I was jogging at the time. I remember t a l k i n g to a g i r l I met, and she s a i d something about that she wouldn't mind jogging with me. I s a i d g r e a t , and t h i s was probably h e l p i n g me to overcome d e p r e s s i o n s . But, I wasn't r e a l l y depressed, but I knew that I wasn't f e e l i n g great e i t h e r . There was r e a l l y nothing i n my l i f e at the time. Anyway, I was reading t h i s book, and I gues