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The Mind at Night: The New Science of How and Why We Dream Paperback – International Edition, March 29, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
Along the way, you'll learn about the unusual sleep pattern of dolphins (only one hemisphere of their brain sleeps at a time); why the functional anatomy of dreaming is almost identical to that of schizophrenic psychosis; how dreaming may serve as a kind of internal therapist, helping us to integrate the emotional experiences from the day; and why that pecuiliar egg-laying mammal known as the spiny anteater may be the key to knowing when the world's first dream could have appeared.
The Mind at Night is itself a dream of a book--its vast research woven into an elegant and quite thrilling narrative of scientists in pursuit of their Holy Grail: an understanding not only of dreams, but of the very nature of consciousness itself.
I particularly enjoyed the way that she presented one approach to the study of dreams per chapter. Each chapter builds and explains the previous ones, as the research becomes more and more recent. Ms. Rock also introduces the reader to the personalities behind these cutting-edge scientists.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to better understand the dream stage (as well as consciousness generally). It is not, however, a self-help book. Other than a few tips on lucid dreaming, it is a 'why' and 'what' book, not a 'how' book.
There was quiet a bit of history, which I thoroughly enjoyed, from the Upanishad's to Jung. I especially appreciated the deeper understanding of Freud's vs. Jung's take on dream study, and resonated with Jung's sentiment of "The manifest dream picture is the dream itself and contains the whole meaning of the dream."
Being in the health care field I loved the emphasis on how healthy, essential and fundamental dreams are, as well as the theories presented to suggest the pivotal nature of dreams, in regard to our evolution. Also, the neurophysiology and progressive biochemical changes that happen from the womb until old age captured my attention. Learning about fatal familial insomnia (FFI) was fascinating and something I don't wish on anyone!
"Manipulating dream content" was brought up and some experiments documented. It was a nice balance to other books that I also enjoy tremendously, but which are far more anecdotal accounts of controlling or becoming lucid in the dream.
Debunking the myth that the presence or absence of rapid eye movement (REM) dictated whether or not one was dreaming was interesting, although I'll still make up stories about what my dogs may be dreaming when I see them moving all around in their sleep. And, I'll always look favorably upon a book that supports my sleeping late in the morning...
Overall I highly recommend this book for those leaning toward the science of oneironautics, and not those who live more in their right brains. I'm not sure how much of the science was new, as the subtitle suggests, but it is certainly a compilation chock full of really great information. It will remain on my shelf as a reference for my own explorations, when I need to be in my left brain.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an interesting book but I would not recommend it because it is outdated, 12 years old and the research is even older and written by a journalist, not a scientist. Read morePublished 14 days ago by doug korty
Even though the book is now dated (2004), the basic concepts behind current research are clearly explained along with information about how these concepts were discovered. Read morePublished 5 months ago by S. Fent
This is a really fascinating book. She describes the history of research on dreaming and what the brain is doing at night. The book seems well researched and science based. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Dennis Hensche
It's basically a summary of contemporary research. That's fine, but I was hoping for something a little more actionable. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Reid Wegner