Welcome to our first bulletin for 2023. This summer has been a time of disaster and turmoil for large sections of the North Island in addition to ongoing cases of COVID. We acknowledge the suffering of those affected by the floods and Cyclone Gabrielle and empathize with them at this time. We hope that this bulletin will provide some articles of interest as our country navigates its way through one immense challenge after another.
We hope that you enjoy this issue and may join us in future DNANZ events.
- To begin our bulletin, you will see opportunities for further education in the field of dream studies. Robert Hoss is sending free webinars at the start of April and DNANZ are planning another conference in late September. This will possibly be on the topic of how disasters impact our dreams.
- In Research Corner, Margaret Bowater explains the physiology of sleep-walking and possible factors influencing its onset. She also rules out mental illness and suggests safety measures for managing this problem that affects many people.
- In Book Corner Jennifer McGarry shares a book review on Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation by Jonathan Lear. Lear describes the dream of Plenty-Coups, the last leader of the Crow Indian people. The dream prophesied the coming of the white man and was interpreted by a wise elder, Yellow Bear. He advised his people to co-operate with the invaders in order to survive and avoid disaster. The Crow’s ensuing co-operation and compromise of their cultural traditions resulted in preservation of Crow land in contrast to other tribes.
- Di Batchelor has included Part II of her article on Consciousness and Dreams in which she continues to explore research on consciousness, the unconscious mind and dreams. She quotes Eben Alexander, Robert Hoss and Deidre Barrett’s work.
- Finally, in Dream Corner, Lynette Papp shares her dream following knee surgery and a difficult period in her life. The dream is called The Donkey and the Airplane.
- At the end is a section of information about current workshops available for further education in Dreamwork
Lynette Papp (editor)
Open invitation to dreamers: Join us!
4 FREE WEBINARS on DREAMWORK
WITH ROBERT HOSS, M Sc,
on SATURDAY and SUNDAY 1st and 2nd APRIL,
9.00 am-12.00 noon each day.
We are delighted to welcome Bob Hoss, Director of the Dream Science Foundation in USA, a recent Past-President of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, author of Dream Language (2nd ed. 2014), co-author of Dream to Freedom (2013), co-editor of Dreams That Change Our Lives, (2017) and other leading titles, and a widely known presenter on dreams. His approach combines Gestalt, Jungian and neurobiology.
Saturday 9.00 – 10.30 The Physiology and Psychology of Dreaming
10.45 – 12.00 Demonstration by Bob
using his own protocol;
Sunday 9.00-10.30 Near-Death Experiences and Visitations
10.45-12.00 The Meaning of Colour in Dreams
(his own research).
Enrol now with Louise Belcher, President of Dream Network Aotearoa-NZ, on email@example.com, to be on the list for the Zoom link to be sent to you on 31st March, the day before. Our NZ host will be Jeni McGarry.
BOOK CORNER Book review by Jennifer McGarry
RADICAL HOPE: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation
by Jonathan Lear (Harvard Uni. Press, 2006).
This book is set in Canada in the mid 19th century, and tells of Plenty-Coups, the last leader of the Crow people, revealing his dream that enabled him to lead his people into a dramatically different reality. The Crows were a nomadic tribe and their tradition was to plant coup sticks to mark a boundary, symbolically representing trees. The number of coup sticks was a mark of a warrior, along with killing a member of a warring tribe. This shows how markedly different the cultural laws of this tribe were to that of the White man.
The author of this book is conveying information transcribed from the writings of Frank Linderman, a close friend of Plenty-Coups, and also checked by an anthropologist to affirm the cultural practices of the tribe. The author explains how the dream of Plenty-Coups was recorded when he was nine years old. Dreams held deep meaning for the collective and were taken very seriously. Young boys participated in a ritual that involved being sent into the wilderness to have their dreams. They endured a sweat lodge and fasting to ensure the quality of the dreams which would then be interpreted by the elders of the tribe. When Plenty-Coups was first sent into the bush to have his dream nothing appeared on his first night, so he chopped off one of his fingers as an act of sacrifice (another tribal custom).
It was on the second night that his prophetic dream occurred.
Summary of dream: He was standing beside a Man with a red rattle, who pointed, telling him to look. Out of the hole in the ground came the buffalo, bulls and cows and calves without number. They spread wide and blackened the plains. Everywhere I looked great herds of buffalo were going in every direction, and still others without number were pouring out of the hole in the ground to travel on the wide plains. When at last they stopped coming out of the hole, all were gone. All! There was not one in sight anywhere, even out on the plains.
The Man shook his red rattle again. “Look,” he pointed.
This time new, strange spotted animals came pouring out of the hole in the ground.
Out of the hole came these bulls and cows and calves past counting. These like the others were scattered and spread out on the plains. But they stopped in small bands and started to eat the grass. Many lay down, not as a buffalo does but differently and many were spotted. Hardly any two were alike in colour or size. And the bulls bellowed differently too, not a deep and far-sounding like the bulls of the buffalo but sharper and yet weaker in my ears. Their tails were different, longer, and nearly brushed to the ground. They were not buffalo. They were strange animals from another world . . .
Then the Man showed him a very old man sitting in the shade of a tree by itself and told him, “This old man is yourself, Plenty-Coups. . .” There is then a tremendous storm in which the Four Winds began a war against the forest. All the trees are knocked over, but one.
“Listen Plenty-Coups,“ said a voice. “In that tree there is the lodge of the Chickadee. (In American Indian symbology the Chickadee is a bird that holds the knowledge of the future.) He is the least in strength but strongest of mind among his kind. He is willing to work for wisdom. The Chickadee-person is a good listener. Nothing escapes his ears, which he has sharpened by constant use...... The lodges of countless bird-people were in the forest when the Four Winds charged it. Only one person is left unharmed, the lodge of the Chickadee-person. Develop your body, but do not neglect your mind, it is the mind that leads man to power, not the strength of the body.
When it was shared with the wise elder, Yellow Bear, this was his interpretation:
“ [The boy] has never been told that in his life time the buffalo will go away forever,” said Yellow Bear, “and that in their place on the plains will come the bulls and cows and calves of the white man. I have myself seen these spotted-buffalo drawing loads of the white man’s goods. And once at a big fort . . . I saw cows and calves of the same tribe as the bulls that drew the loads.
The dream of Plenty- Coups means that the white man will take and hold this country and that their spotted-buffalo will cover the plains. He was told to think for himself, to listen, to learn to avoid disaster by the experiences of others. He was advised to develop his body but not forget his mind. The meaning of this dream is plain to me. I see the warning. The tribes who have fought the white man have all been beaten, wiped out. By listening as the Chickadee listens, we may escape this and keep our lands.”
Yellow Bear could see that the White man’s way was the way of the future. As a result of this dream when Plenty-Coups rose to be chief (see photo), he guided his people to follow the laws of the White man, as he took heed of the Chickadee-person. He could see how the white man had skills far greater than the Indians. It took enormous faith to follow the guidance given by Yellow Bear, to guide his people to give up their cultural traditions, causing them a great deal of anxiety.
This dream is historically important. Plenty-Coups co-operated with the White man and as a result the Crow didn’t lose all their land and were able to continue farming the buffalo, while the Sioux were wiped out. Plenty-Coups was recognised for his strategic intelligence by joining with the White man to help fight not only against the Sioux, but also in other wars, as a result of which he received acknowledgement from the American Congress. His legacy to his people resulted in the establishment of Little Big Horn College where his people are well educated - a living monument to the ideal of Plenty-Coups. On the same reservation as Little Big Horn College lives the same tree where he had his dream which has been preserved.
In conclusion, I have been inspired by the power of Plenty-Coups and his dream. It is aligned with a modern understanding, demonstrated by both Jung and Freud, that the power lies within each of us to access valuable knowledge from our dreams. Plenty-Coups demonstrated extraordinary courage to release his attachment to his cultural traditions and follow the guidance given by Yellow Bear’s interpretation of his dream.
The author poses the question: how might the current predicament of our society’s inability to sustain life be helped if we were able to adapt to a new order that honoured human life?
My own wondering about this question is: could dreams help us in this task?
DREAM RESEARCH ARTICLE
CONSCIOUSNESS AND DREAMS: Part II
Excerpts from an article by Di Batchelor
The ‘nonlocal-consciousness’ experienced by cardiac arrest patients who have been clinically dead during the time of their NDE, poses the question ‘Where is the source of consciousness?’
American Neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander’s very lucid account of the afterlife during his own NDE has led him to reconsider the current ‘scientific’ assumption that consciousness is a result of brain function. Dr. Alexander has come to the conclusion that his NDE was a real experience of consciousness and not a hallucination or a side effect of drugs or the final throes of a dying brain. He believes his vivid and very lucid experience happened outside of his brain.
He now would describe consciousness as a phenomenon of itself and says his experience reflects the philosophy of the great physicist Sir James Jeans that the human brain is a filter that dulls down our consciousness. Jeans wrote in 1922: ‘The Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter... we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter.’
Dr. Alexander asserts “No neuroscientist on earth has even given the first sentence to explain how the physical brain might create consciousness”. Research into NDEs of cardiac arrest survivors by Pim Van Lommel (Cardiologist) and Peter Fenwick (Neuropsychiatrist) have demonstrated that NDEs of this nature occur during a period of clinical death when both heart and brain have ‘flat-lined’ and therefore there cannot be any brain function. This would mean that experiences and memories of the NDEs are not created by the brain, but outside of the brain, and this suggests that human consciousness exists independently of human life.
Where do dreams come from?
The dictionary meaning of dream is: a series of events or images that happen in your mind when you are sleeping. Much of our dreaming occurs during the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) phase of the ninety-minute sleep cycle. The REM phase lengthens throughout the four or five sleep cycles that most adults have during sleep. On average adults spend 25% of their sleep in REM.
Some dreams are said to be ‘more real than real’, these are what dream-work writers such as Marc Iain Barasch call ‘Big Dreams’ or ‘Healing Dreams’ (Barasch 2000). NDErs also report that their experiences were ‘more real than real’. Some NDErs, including Dr. Alexander, report that in comparison ‘real life now seems more like a dream’ (Alexander 2014). These reports could suggest that the experience of big dreams and NDEs may happen in the same realm. This view would be consistent with many religions and cultures that have a tradition that God speaks through dreams. But where is that realm?
Neuroscientists, using MRI scans taken during REM and NREM sleep, have mapped the areas of the brain that are active during dreaming and those areas that are dulled down. Dr. Deirdre Barrett, editor of the Scientific Journal ‘Dreaming’, reports that the pre-frontal cortex, which deals with logic and censorship, is dulled during dreaming and the secondary visual cortex, that activates visual imagination, is very active allowing the dreamer to accept pretty weird things as really happening during their dream. This also means that creative problem solving can occur during dreams because the dreamers’ prejudices and strongly held beliefs are suspended for the time being and the dream can offer a solution that is outside the square (Barrett 2016).
Robert Hoss (2019) suggests that we are in fact conscious, as opposed to unconscious, during our dreams but that we are ‘differently conscious’. According to Hoss (2019) Carl Jung also believed that although we are not aware of it in our waking conscious, we are in fact dreaming all the time. It would seem therefore that the conscious state can’t be separated from the dreaming state so they must be assumed to originate from the same source. During a dream the dreamer thinks whatever is happening is real, but he can realize that he is dreaming and become lucid, or even wake up. However, during the nonlocal-consciousness of an NDE, the experiencer may be clinically dead or unconscious and would not have the same capacity to end the experience at will.
MRI scans are one way to demonstrate that we require our brain to operate here on earth but it would seem that the experience of NDE’s implies that human consciousness survives death and therefore could originate outside of the brain. This discussion reveals that dreams and NDEs occur outside of our normal waking consciousness and both of these could be described as altered states of consciousness with NDEs being at the extreme end of the consciousness/dream range.
Alexander, E. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbkgj5J91hE Eban Alexander; A Neurosurgeon’s journey through the afterlife. Theosophical Society. 27 August 2014.
Barasch, M,I. 2000. Healing Dreams, Exploring the Dreams that can transform your life. Riverhead Books, NY.
Barrett , DL. Dreaming: A Gateway to the Unconscious? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGPfmsHtG18&t=4459sFenwick, P. Questions and Answers, 5 October 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuZ3YVhkD24
Fenwick, P. 2018. What really happens when you die: End-of-life-phenomena. An interview with Fenwick. 2 May 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78SkTuk8Zd4
Hoss R J. MS. 2019. Dream Language - Handbook for Dreamwork, 2nd Edition. PDF version. R.J.Hoss. www.dreamscience.org
Van Lommel, P. January 2013. Journal of Consciousness Studies, Volume 20, Numbers 1-2, 2013, pp. 7-48(42).
Van Lommel, P. 2013, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6179502/
Van Lommel, P. 'Consciousness and The Near Death Experience' Interview by Iain McNay. 23 May 2013.
SLEEP-WALKING Margaret Bowater
Notes from an article published by Antonio Zadra, Ph.D, presented for IASD in 2018, with added notes from Google.
Sleep-walking, or somnambulism, is a not uncommon behaviour in about a quarter of children aged 5-12 and up to 4% of adults, occurring during deep slow-wave sleep (Stage 3), not during REM-sleep. The walker’s eyes are open, showing awareness of their physical environment, but glassy-looking, not actively thinking. Their behaviour may be simply walking round the room, or quite complex, doing a routine activity such as seeking food or escape from threat. Most sleep-walking is harmless and children grow out of it in adolescence. Physiologically, it is a brain disorder in which parts of the brain are deeply asleep while networks in the motor cortex are still active. Recent lab studies have shown that adult sleep-walkers may be having dream-like experiences. Shakespeare gave us a vivid example in Lady Macbeth.
Why does it happen? There is evidence of a genetic influence from parents who were similarly affected, and from studies showing significantly higher prevalence in identical twins than non-identical twins. Possible factors may include stress, sleep deprivation, environmental disturbance - but it’s not a sign of mental illness. In cases of more intense sleep-walking, family should take precautions such as locking doors, covering windows, removing obstructions, etc.
DREAM REPORT: THE DONKEY AND THE AIRPLANE
I have a donkey and he is hungry. I am looking for food for him. I try a carrot as I know donkeys like carrots. But he doesn’t! So, I try oats and he likes them. Then I try apples. Yes, he likes apples. I think to myself that my donkey is going to be expensive to feed.
I also have an old airplane that is a bit decrepit. I am told it will fly but I need to do a few repairs and then find an air field to take off from.
MEANING: The context of the dream was that my life at the time had been rather chaotic in many ways. Firstly, my partner was training for a Triathalon and had been very fussy about food. He was also displaying a “short fuse” lately. So, I suspect that the donkey part of the dream may have been around my attempts to appease his stubborness and keep the peace. On the other hand, the airplane part of the dream most likely related to the fact that I had recently undergone a knee replacement surgery which had been quite traumatic for me. For a time I was feeling old and fragile. The bright side was the final message from the dream which was optimistic. It seemed to suggest I would be able to “fly again” once the repair had been done and I got back in action (the airfield).
THEME FOR 5TH DREAM CONFERENCE, 22-24 SEPTEMBER 2023
Our Exec members are beginning to think about our next Dream Conference, booked for the Franciscan Retreat Centre from Friday 22nd Sept 2pm to Sunday 24th 2pm. At this time, where devastation is being wrought by storms and floods on our environment as a result of global warming and the shocking impact of earthquakes that can suddenly destroy whole cities, the topic of dreams related to disaster is a possible theme. Young people are afraid there will be no future for them. We ask how is all this affecting our dreams? In the midst of enormous loss, fear, destruction and trauma, what inner resources can we draw on? Dare we hope for a change of heart in our society?
DREAMWORK TRAINING WORKSHOPS IN AUCKLAND
Margaret Bowater has resumed her programme of monthly seminars at the Mercy Centre in Epsom, Auckland, based on a cycle of 4 themes:
101 Introduction to Dreamwork; 102 Dreams of Death, Grief and Healing;
103 Visionary Dreams, and 201 Resolving Nightmares. More detail available on her website: www.dreamwork.co.nz, or contact her directly on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note that this is the last year in which Margaret will offer her Certificate in Applied Dreamwork. However she plans to continue offering dream workshops anyway!
If you have done at least a 101 Introduction, and would like to continue sharing in Dreamwork online, you are welcome to join our Network’s monthly online Dream Workshops on Zoom, hosted by our Dream Exec members, on the second Monday evening of the month from 7.00 to approx. 9.00 pm. Contact our President, Louise Belcher, to join the Zoom list, on email at email@example.com.
If you live in Auckland, you may also be interested in joining one of our small monthly face-to-face dream sharing groups, just getting under way this year. Contact Margaret Bowater for more information.
If you live in Wellington, contact Jill Griggs, on firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also learn more about the Dream Network Aotearoa-NZ from our website, administered by Talking Works, at www.Dreamnetworknz.weebly.com.
Karen Field, our Dream Network website manager, has recently upgraded it, with a new website address: www.dreamnetworknz.weebly.com
It includes basic information about our organisation, notices about upcoming events, access to join the Contact List, articles about dreamwork, and archives of past Dream Bulletins