Academic journal article Journal of Transpersonal Psychology

WHEN THE DREAMER GETS THE DREAM WRONG - the Hidden Value of What Is Not Understood

Academic journal article Journal of Transpersonal Psychology

WHEN THE DREAMER GETS THE DREAM WRONG - the Hidden Value of What Is Not Understood

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT: Analyzed is the case of a dreamer in an Ullman experiential dream group in Taiwan who had a dream about her Yi-Guan Dao religion that the author felt she got wrong. The case is significant because it (a) allows us to evaluate and question the phenomenon of some person in the Ullman group other than the dreamer making such a judgment about a dreamer's work with her dream, (b) shows that even in those cases where the judgment might be largely true, it is most certainly not the larger part of the truth, for it fails to consider the hidden transpersonal undercurrents that are the principal benefits of working with one's dream in the Ullman group, and finally (c) affords a view of those undercurrents.

KEYWORDS: Montague Ullman experiential dream group, dreams, religion, religious fundamentalism, Yi-Guan Dao, Taiwan.

While it is true that only the one who dreams a dream can tell us what it means - not some outside theory, no matter how brilliant or true; and not some highflying expert, no matter how great that person's expertise (Siivola, 2011; Ullman, 1980, 1982, 1996; Ullman & Zimmerman, 1979) - we must also acknowledge that not all dreamers are equally able to make sense of their dreams. Between one individual and another we find gaping disparities in this regard. Some, without missing a step, dance limberly through their entire dream, from metaphor to metaphor, coming up with connections no one else could possibly have supposed lay hidden there in the images - so that the dream is enabled to speak out bluntly and shed dazzling new light on the most unsuspected waking misconceptions (Stimson, 2007, 2009a, 2009b, 2010; Stimson & Wang, 2004; Wang, 2008). Other individuals, though outwardly brilliant, professional, and accomplished, when approaching their own dream suddenly show themselves to be so out of touch with who they are and what they feel - and so utterly under the sway of mistaken conventions - that they cannot respond meaningfully to the dream or access the wealth of wisdom and insight packaged into its images. At best they might reify some of its principal metaphors and, without thinking to look deeper, block out the dream's potential to transform their lives by imposing on it some shallow, literal, and merely intellectual interpretation.

Between these two extremes of dreamers, of course, we find a seamless continuum of every possible intermediate. In this article I wish to present the case of a dreamer who on that continuum occupies a position closer to the second extreme than to the first - this is a dreamer whom I initially felt did not ''get'' her dream, or got it wrong. The case is significant because it (a) allows us to evaluate and question the phenomenon of some person in the Ullman group other than the dreamer making such a judgment about a dreamer's work with her dream; (b) shows that even in those cases where the judgment might be largely true, it is most certainly not the larger part of the truth, for it fails to consider the hidden transpersonal undercurrents that are the principal benefits of working with one's dream in the group; and finally (c) affords a view of those undercurrents.

LOOKING FOR TIN, FINDING GOLD

At Taiwan's National Chi Nan University, professor Herng-Yow Chen directs a small program called The English Corner, whose purpose is to provide students with an English-speaking environment. Dr. Chen's field is computer science but emerging research on language acquisition has awoken in him a passion to improve Taiwan's approach to teaching English. I was astonished, when I talked with him, to discover how closely his ideas about the way people really do acquire language dovetailed with the work I do with the Ullman dream group.

Using the Ullman group method to work with dreams has a lot in common with foreign language acquisition. Our own dreams are not immediately intelligible to us for the simple reason that they present themselves to us in a language that is utterly foreign to the one we use in waking life. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.