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Healing Dreams: Exploring the Dreams That Can Transform Your Life Hardcover – October 19, 2000

4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

There was a time when author Marc Ian Barasch (The Healing Path) treated dreams as "nocturnal reshufflings of the mental deck; as fantasy and wish fulfillment; as psychic leftovers; those emotional coffee grounds and crumbled up impulses toward sex and violence ditched nightly down some inner Disposall." But then the vivid, ominous dreams began in which Barasch saw his neck being probed, tortured, speared, and even removed. Convinced something was terribly wrong, he went to a doctor who eventually confirmed what Barasch's dreams had been telling him: he had thyroid cancer.

That's when Barasch's fascination with the power of dreams began. The result is a breakthrough book that calls upon 15 years of research as well as hundreds of real-life dreams to expertly explore this mysterious frontier. Readers can expect excellent, poetic prose (Barasch is the former editor in chief of New Age Journal) that speaks to the transformative powers within the bizarre, shape-shifting landscape of the dream world. He helps readers see when a dream reveals a personal calling, a warning from a diseased body, or an insight that can help dreamers overcome the wounds or beliefs that hold them back. Barasch reaches far beyond the typical dream analysis into the more ambitious realms of spiritual turning points, personal relationships, and mystical opportunities. For many readers this will be a life-altering book, one that forever shifts the dreamer's approach to dreams as well as the conscious world. --Gail Hudson

From Publishers Weekly

"Healing dreams," posits Barasch, a National Magazine Award-winning writer who transformed the once-obscure New Age Journal into a prominent national magazine, are startlingly memorable, displaying "Technicolor realism... gleam[ing] with mysteries both opaque and insistent, their meaning tantalizingly beyond [our] grasp." Such dreams demand considerable time and effort to discern their meaning, and force the dreamer to take a hard look inward. His provocative and thoughtful new book, the final entry in a trilogy (The Healing Path and Remarkable Recovery) he began 15 years ago, is one of the most compelling and convincing accounts of the significance of what Jung called "big" dreams. Delving deeply into Western psychology (particularly Jung and Freud), literature and Native American culture, ancient mythology and Eastern beliefs, Barasch illuminates his life-changing ordeal with informed and pertinent insights. Barasch began his study of dreams after a series of intense, bizarre dreams (an "all-night creep show at the inner drive-in") sent him to the doctor and eventually led to a diagnosis of cancer that seemed strangely prefigured by the dreams. His study is distinguished by his reluctance to claim to have the answersAhis ego takes a backseat to the enormous cross-cultural evidence he offersAand by the quality of his prose (he draws readers in from the get-go, opening with "Fifteen years ago, I was abductedAthere is no other word for itAinto the realm of the Dream.... I was cast away in a far country from which I've never quite returned"). Despite the book's occasional redundancies, Barasch has the gift of making readers want to journey into that realm with him. They need to be willing to venture into some fairly New Agey turf to do so, but that means, of course, that this title has the potential to break out within the New Age readership. (Nov.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover; First Edition edition (October 19, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573221678
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573221672
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,322,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Gail D. Storey on October 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
What could be more welcome than a guide through the inner world of one's dreams? I found Marc Barasch's Healing Dreams extremely compelling, particularly in its exploration of the relationship between the dream and dreamer. Before reading this, I'd never thought to ask what a dream might be asking for, never mind had a way to go about it. The book is well organized into motifs, for example, dreams about animals, that make it easy to reference and yet all of a piece. Of special interest is Barasch's insight into how dreams cast light on what's going on in the physical body. His elegant writing style makes the depth of his insights accessible even to those without a background in the art and science of dream analysis. This is a great contribution to the literature of wholeness--the integration of the entire experiential self.
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In the epilogue to his latest book, Healing dreams: Exploringthe dreams that can transform your life (Riverhead Books) Marc Baraschrelates the story of his editor trying to envision a simple sound-bitepromotion for his book. The editor asked, "How would a healingdream help the average person be effective in their daily lives?"Barasch, was, in his own words, "flummoxed" by thequestion. He had spent years researching the subject, through his owndreams as he dealt with cancer, through interviewing countless peoplewho had received dreams of Great Mysteries, and through in-depthscholarship on the vast spiritual traditions pointing to dreams as achannel by which God might speak and redirect our ignorant andsleepwalking lives into the pursuit of wisdom. Yet the editor wantedsomething simple to explain it all to the consuming public. Baraschsaid he was reminded of the saying that when a thief meets a saint,all he sees is the holy man's pockets. Later, when the editor had adream about struggling to land an extremely large fish, Baraschsuspected that the fellow had finally gotten the idea: dreams, andhealing dreams especially, take us beyond our narrow categories andconcepts into a much larger world. As he puts us, healing dreamsdon't come to make it all better, but to help us live the truth.Iknow from my experience that it is difficult to take a healing dreamand turn it into a nifty formula for rescuing others....
Iappreciate Barasch's new book for the rare and worthy achievementit is: Through beautiful, even poetic language, integrated with thegrounding influence of the facts from the lives of those heinterviewed, he gives us a glimpse of a holy World Order that inspiresus to try to empathize with something that we can not fullyunderstand.
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By A Customer on July 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover
"In his fascinating, well-organized and lucid book, Marc Ian Barasch carries us along with him on a brave night journey through the dream world. He challenges the doubting reader with impressive charts of this realm and logs centuries of prior research and discovery. It is a courageous task, as many of the charts he uses belong to times and value systems that do not conform to Western scientific experimental psychology. If you want your science to be businesslike and hard, or, as William James wrote in his textbook on psychology, the researcher to be "studying the elements of the mental life, dissecting them out from the gross results in which they are embedded, and as far as possible reducing them to quantitative scales," this is not the book for you. Healing Dreams is a book for readers who can let go of preconceptions, immerse themselves in the vast lore of dreams and, above all, can savor stories of other people's experience. That dreams can be precognitive and serve both as warnings and point to cures, comes as no surprise to depth psychologists, who continually heed both the outer and inner realms of their patients' psyches and pay serious attention to their dreams. Nor will it come as a surprise to anyone who writes down and ponders his or her own dreams. We learn just what Barasch wants to share with his reader: that we are much more evolved, interconnected and subtly knowing than our little egos would have us believe. We also come to apprehend that our dreams come in various sizes and levels of importance, and can have a wisdom far beyond the personal ego's. Barasch, the author of The Healing Path and Remarkable Recovery...Read more ›
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By A Customer on November 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
What we have here is the living yoga of an inquiry that has opened the author, and now the reader, to the interwoven nature of our reality. We are unavoidably called upon to consider the intelligence of the universe. Marc's passionate pursuit of what he was given has taken the rubies of the inner world and held them up for us to marvel at, and become inspired from.
His personal journey has been the alchemical vessel in which the passion of dream knowledge has been fired and made authentic. Reading this book will change the way you go to bed at night, deepening your life with the ongoing adventure of conscious participation in this mysterious universe. It is an invitation to consider that guidance is a gift to all of us, and that when we sleep, we are in fact making a soul journey.
This book is not another self-help book sprung from some modest good intention and hope for fast money. It is a living document of life lived at the edge of fire, bringing back the heat of our inner world in a way that compels us to wake up, and acknowledge the mysteries at work. We are in Marc's debt for the work he has done, for a way has been opened that can deepen all our lives.
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