Developing Sanity in Human Affairs

By Susan Presby Kodish; Robert P. Holston | Go to book overview
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23
Dream Education and General Semantics

Allen Flagg

Research has shown that most people dream about two hours every night. When you study your dreams you are investigating an important, though usually neglected, part of your life; about 8 percent of your life is spent dreaming.

When people dream they often remember pictures and thoughts, words, images, feelings, music, ideas, etc., that come from a deep level of the mind, from unconscious to preconscious levels of awareness, that the conscious mind sometimes remembers upon awakening. Dreams may be placed variously on continua; the experiences may be called fantasies, day dreams, lucid dreams, visualizations, imagery. But whatever you say a dream is, it is not. My focus here is not only on the content of what people have obtained from their dreams but also on how to educate that specific aspect of our minds, our dream minds, so that we can have more useful, productive, creative dreams. We should be critically objective about our subjectivity. Dreaming mind and waking mind are not separate entities but different perspectives from which we may view ourselves at different levels, different orders of existence. The connecting links are the dream directives developed by Kilton Stewart, similar in effect to the extensional devices of Alfred Korzybski.

Your dreams may be considered the epistemic correlation between your unconscious silent levels and your conscious verbal levels, similar to the general semantics formulation of O-S-E: symbols mediating between organism and environment. Similarly, in dream education, the formulation would be C-D-U: dream symbols mediating between conscious and unconscious.

And we can apply time-binding to the study of dreams in our society, to determine if our Western society has adequately analyzed previous research on dreams and compared results with other societies, such as the technologically primitive Senoi people of Malaysia, whom Kilton Stewart considered highly advanced sociologically and psychologically.

Stewart1 reported that the Senoi, when he studied their culture in 1934 and

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