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Our Dreaming Mind Paperback – October 17, 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (October 17, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345396669
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345396662
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #685,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Inspirational imagery revealed in dreams to Muhammad, Gandhi, Descartes, Wagner, Handel, Coleridge, Yeats, Orson Welles, Elias Howe and many others has wrought significant changes in politics, science, art, music, film, literature and religion. Yet dreams have been devalued in Western culture, and one reason for this, suggests Van de Castle, is that Freud's forging of strong links among dreams, neuroses and sex has thwarted a wider exploration of the full meaning of dreams. Former director of the University of Virginia Medical School's Sleep and Dream Laboratory, the author explores the dream theories of Freud, Jung, Montague Ullman, Fritz Perls and others. He surveys the importance of dream imagery in ancient and non-Western cultures and crams in a wealth of information on children's dreams, recurrent dreams, nightmares, gender differences in dreaming and much else. This immensely readable resource is a monumental history of dreams and a practical stimulus for those who want to remember and work with their dreams. Illustrated.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Van de Castle, former director of the Sleep and Dream Laboratory at the University of Virginia, presents the scientific facts surrounding dreams as well as some of the more prophetic, paranormal associations. He begins his well-organized text with a history of dreams, using such anecdotes as the revelation in a dream of the location of Kuwait's great oil reserves to a British political official. Van de Castle proceeds to describe modern dream theories of the 20th century with a particular emphasis on Freud and Jung. He continues with the current state of dream research and ends with the paranormal qualities of dreams. While books concerning dreams abound, this broad and intelligent work is highly recommended. [QPB main selection; BOMC alternate.]-Jennifer Amador, Central State Hosp. Medical Lib., Petersburg, Va.
--Jennifer Amador, Central State Hosp. Medical Lib., Petersburg, Va.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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This book is a grand text, combining science and actual testing.
Jeanette Fusco
Of all the books I have about dreams Our Dreaming Mind has the most comprehensive research.
Paul Bonds
It has been an informative book, and lots of interesting information.
Desiree Murray

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
Contrary to the last review, I did not find this book difficult to read or understand. Each topic is organized with subtitles in an easy-to-find manner. A great deal of information is given on the history of dreams, which was the reason I decided to buy the book in the first place; I'm currently doing a report on the history of dreams throughout varied cultures, and this is one of the better resources I've been able to find on it. Not only does the author trace the history of dreams, but he also deals with dream theories in the 20th century, early and contemporary research with dreams, dreams of famous people, how dreams vary throughout the life span, lucid and spiritual dreams, nightmares and night terrors...the list goes on. If you're looking for a good resource on dreams instead of a generic dream interpretation book, this is one to check into.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is the author's heartfelt presentation in depth of what humans past and present have thought about dreams from many points of view and not just our modern psychological one.
This is a must reading as the best survey of the field. If it has a weakness it is that the author himself sometimes takes positions on various dream issues which show a certain lack of scientific objectivity, but at least you have all the issues.
Knowning many points of view on how dreams are regarded is important for the dedicated dreamer because so many books about dreams are rather strong in the author's single point of view. When you see the many ways dreams have been used in the history of culture you can be a bit more relaxed aout trying to decide what is the right way to view dreams in general or your own dreams in particular.
Unfortunately where the author is the weakest is in not surveying modern dream approaches of the last fifty years except the laboratory research approach. He excludes by choice any mention of the development of modern dreamwork of many schools of thought except some of the most well known and now old such as the Jungian and Freudian.
So if you want an excellent background on dreams look here in this large book but if you want the latest on the creative new developments in dreamworking you will have to look elsewhere.
Strephon Kaplan-Williams, author, The Dream Cards
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Paul Bonds on December 24, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Of all the books I have about dreams Our Dreaming Mind has the most comprehensive research. Unlike other dream books that are use to promote the author point of view; Dr. Van de Castle uses facts and research to promote his claim. ***I believe most people don't remember their dreams, some or all, because they can't handle how far their dreams take them.*** Anyone that can easily remember their dreams and has a bit of a scientific mind will be overjoyed that some scientist is taking dreams seriously. I use this book as the core text for my dream study. Thank you Dr. Van de Castle!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By owookiee VINE VOICE on May 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
VdC gives a pretty good gloss-over history of dreaming and what certain people thought of them; how certain philosophers and psychologists thought of them. He also recounts several studies and the statistics that were drawn from them - which are quite interesting.
One of the studies on lucid dreaming describes the participants methods for inducing lucid dreams, and the method happens to be almost identical to a method I've successfully used before, which I originally got from a book called "Control Your Dreams".
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By S. Nakajima on January 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
I am surprized that I am the first person to review this book. It is an excellent book to learn about the dreams. Dreams are no longer meaningless hallucinations for me that happen when I am confused or feel cold at night. Dr. Van de Castle gives an extensive overview of dreams, with an open mind and heart. He also talks about his first-hand experiences that he had in scientific dream laboratories. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in dreams for personal or professional reasons.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By DrSpecter on August 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
Robert Van De Castle has a sense of vocation for his subject that conveys beautifully. He speaks very plainly and directly, without talking down to the reader. He's as objective as you can be with a subject that's so completely subjective (yet universal.)
The one negative review of Van De castle's book is from a Freudian. There is not "disenchantment" with Freud, he has been largely discredited. Dreams are not intentionally disguised infantile sexual wishes. The 'sub'conscious does not consist entirely of repressed desires. Freud's idea of the ego as basically the entire mind reminds me of the idea of the Earth being the center of the universe. They are just products of a different era.
While sometimes a little simplistic in its prose style and speculative in nature, Our Dreaming Mind is on a much higher plane than the new age junk that largely consumes shelf space devoted to the subject in book stores. Well worth the investment.
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Format: Paperback
Because I’ve been studying dreams all my life, and because I write books myself, now and then I wonder if it isn’t time to write one about dreams. But every time I say to myself: “Why not just tell them to read Van de Castle?”

This book is advertised as a “sweeping exploration” of dreams, and that’s no exaggeration. Oh, I can think of a couple of things he overlooked, but if you want to learn as much as possible in one very readable book, none can beat than this one.

There are bonuses. Van de Castle surveys the dream experts of the ancient past, and those of other cultures. You’ll see that a deep interest and understanding of dreams is nothing new. Then there’s his own research into the barely explored region of telepathic dreams. I was not aware of the strong, and very interesting evidence for dreams in which groups of people inter-connect.

You won’t read it in a day (545 pages), but if you’re seriously interested in dreams this is one book you must read.
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