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Our Dreaming Mind Paperback – October 17, 1995

4.3 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"A MASTERPIECE ON DREAMS...This book is a singular resource.... If it inspires you to remember your dreams, this book will change your life. If it inspires you to act on your dreams, this book will change the world."
--Henry Reed
Author of Getting Help from Your Dreams
and Dream Solutions
In this brilliantly researched and thorough study, internationally recognized dream authority Robert L. Van de Castle examines the vital role that dreams have played throughout history, from the dreams of ancient Sumerian kings to the pioneering dream research of nineteenth-century psychologists. Our Dreaming Mind delves into the most provocative experiments that scientists are conducting on the dreaming mind in this century and surveys ongoing dream experiments: dreams and sexual arousal, the impact of pregnancy on dreams, the connection between dreams and creativity, and the possibility of paranormal dreams.
"In Our Dreaming Mind, Robert Van de Castle pulls decades of accumulated wisdom together in a sweeping panorama unsurpassed in the literature for its scope, its insight, and its ability to captivate its readers.
--Stanley Krippner
Director of The Saybrook Institute
Editor of Dream Time and Dream Work
"IMMENSELY READABLE...A monumental history of dreams."
--Publishers Weekly
"Our Dreaming Mind is really a dream come true--the most comprehensive, authoritative, and inspiring book on dreams I know about. At heart, this book is about human consciousness and our place in the universe. A magnificent contribution."
--Larry Dossey, M.D.
Author of Meaning & Medicine:
A Doctor's Tales of Breakthrough and Healing

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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: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Amazon Customer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is a compendium of information about dreams, ranging from folklore and ancient beliefs through current scientific research. The book is organized into 6 parts: anecdotes and famous dreams, early dream research from the dawn of history up until Freud, modern dream theorists including Freud and Jung, experimental dream research, scientific dream analysis, and paranormal and lucid dreams. There are also two appendixes that provide contact information for dream networks and organizations, and how to keep a dream diary. The book is extensively documented with endnotes, and there is a 20 page bibliography as well as an index. There is a phenomenal amount of material crammed into this volume- -the pages are extra wide to accommodate two columns of text on each page. The book is illustrated with black-and-white photographs and dream-influenced artwork.
The early part of the book seemed almost like an extended literature review for a dissertation or an encyclopedia. The thoughts of dozens, perhaps even hundreds of philosophers, researchers, and other dreamers are briefly summarized in chronological order, from Plato to Artemidorus, from Erik Erikson to Calvin Hall. I found the sections on Freud and Jung particularly illuminating. As someone who has heard a lot about Freud, but never read his works, I found the overview of Freud's work on dreams and his school of psychoanalysis quite informative, especially when it was directly contrasted with Jung's work. The contributions of each of these men to the topic of dream research were presented in great depth, and supplemented with example analyses in their corresponding schools.
I also found the section of the book covering contemporary dream research to be quite fascinating.
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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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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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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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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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