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    Thread: Lucid Dreaming Book Club: Sept. - Oct. '21

    1. #1
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      Lucid Dreaming Book Club: Sept. - Oct. '21

      Mindful Dreaming: A Practical Guide for Emotional Healing Through Transformative Mythic Journeys by David Gordon (suggested by Occiptalred)



      I found these sources online if you need help accessing the book:

      Ebook:
      You can find a kindle ebook or physical copy on Amazon.
      Scribd has a copy.

      Audiobook:
      No audiobook found.

      I also recommend checking the catalog of your local libraries. There's a good chance you could find it on CD / Mp3 player or the physical copy. Also.. most non-library sites will offer a free trial period where you can get a book or two for free (but be careful and cancel after ).

      Happy reading!


      Books already read by the book club (you can still post in these threads for continued discussion):

      The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep by Tenzin Wangyal - Discussion Thread Here
      Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach (Sageous) - Discussion Thread Here
      Exploring the world of Lucid Dreaming by Stephen LaBerge & Howard Rheingold (MoonageDaydream) - Discussion Thread Here
      Inner Work: Using Dreams and Active Imagination for Personal Growth by Robert Johnson (nautilus) - Discussion Thread Here
      Simply Pay Attention by Peter A. Luber (Occipitalred) - Discussion Thread Here
      Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self by Robert Waggoner (EddieDean) - Discussion Thread Here
      Dreamgates: An Explorer's Guide to the Worlds of Soul, Imagination, and Life Beyond Death by Robert Moss. (MoonageDaydream) Discussion Thread Here
      The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science by Culadasa (John Yates), Matthew Immergut, & Jeremy Graves (FryingMan) - Discussion Thread Here
      Formerly MoonageDaydream

    2. #2
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      Just ordered a (hopefully well used) copy of this, looking forward to reading it since it should be different from my usual reading and since I haven't yet gotten a copy of the last book club choice either.
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      Singled out from some of my favourite quotes from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: "Risks of [Planet] flowering: considerable. But rewards of godhood: who can measure? - Usurper Judaa'Maar: Courage: to question."

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      Quote Originally Posted by DarkestDarkness View Post
      Just ordered a (hopefully well used) copy of this, looking forward to reading it since it should be different from my usual reading and since I haven't yet gotten a copy of the last book club choice either.
      I didn't finish the last book either, mostly because it requires a lot of time to work through it (meditation time). I will get back to it.

      I went with a Scribd free trial to read the e-version of this book. Bummer there's no audiobook yet!
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      Formerly MoonageDaydream

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      I finally got the book (shipping took forever) and will be starting to read it this week. Already had a bit of a peek at random pages though.
      Hilary likes this.
      Singled out from some of my favourite quotes from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: "Risks of [Planet] flowering: considerable. But rewards of godhood: who can measure? - Usurper Judaa'Maar: Courage: to question."

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      Quote Originally Posted by DarkestDarkness View Post
      I finally got the book (shipping took forever) and will be starting to read it this week. Already had a bit of a peek at random pages though.
      I think I'm going to grab the Kindle version. Too hard to read on my phone. Looking forward to it.

      ---------------

      Edit:

      Just got the kindle version. Price dropped in half today on Amazon, so got it for $10. Yay.
      Last edited by Hilary; 10-09-2021 at 04:20 PM.
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      Wow, I recommended this book! I've been out, haha.

      This is actually the first book on dreaming I found at my local library (maybe even the only one I could find) way back when, so I'm happy to share it with you.

      I'm generally not a fan of symbolic interpretation of dreams. For one, I completely disagree with dream dictionaries. Alligator = treachery. I'm more likely to say an alligator is an alligator. And this stems from my adherence to the Continuity Theory of dreaming. Yet, especially in the art of story and narratives, I do enjoy the use of symbols and themes.

      David Gordon does use a symbolic approach but it is much more direct. Someone threatens you? ---> What are they like? There's something about them that you fear.

      I remember when reading this book many years ago, I did get stuck on this part. If I remember, his approach is that the dream characters represent aspects of you. Is that right? Like someone chasing you is actually a part of yourself you are repressing? Well, I don't agree with this completely. It might be true sometimes. But in my case, chase dreams were not about me running away from parts of myself. They were really just about running from others. They were social anxiety. Mistrust. Sensitivity to danger and ill will. Sensitivity to judgement. So, for me others are often... others. Not parts of me. The thing is sometimes, I will have a thought, and a dream character will address it in my place. But I think that's more because I expect others to see things like myself more than because they represent me.

      I remember David Gordon talking about the Divine voice dreams. Maybe the higher self? Then, I did not have this kind of dream. And I still don't have these types of dreams.

      I remember him talking about repetitive settings. I don't remember the meaning of those. Personally my theory on those dreams is that the mind is slow creating a new setting and the easiest setting to create in the next room is a replica of the previous dream, leading to mazes of mirror rooms. In this case, my approach is to expect something new on the other side, maybe give it more time to form. But I think Gordon had a different idea. I don't remember.

      The thing is even if I think I disagreed with a lot of his ideas, well, I liked the ideas anyway. If I were to write a story about a dream journey, I would definitely heed those ideas. And I liked the thematic progress through the book about the different seasons dreams from Summer to Spring or something. Why I remember this book is because it got me thinking about common dream scenarios. He got me thinking about my chase dreams, about my repetitive maze dreams and so on.

      So thank you David!

      I hope you have been enjoying the read Darkestdarkness and Moonagedaydream or anyone else reading. I'm curious how this book has held up. This was my first book so I would definitely have a different opinion reading it for the first time now. I'm not sure if it would be as impactful, so I prefer to remember it as it was, when it propelled me on this journey. But I'm curious to hear your thoughts!
      Last edited by Occipitalred; 11-08-2021 at 12:20 AM.
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    7. #7
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      Unfortunately I have not yet managed to finish reading this book, I'm about halfway in at the time of writing this...

      I wanted to wait until I had finished to give my full thoughts on the book, though I have to say that I meant to bring up this part on symbols and I find it difficult to resist discussing that subject in particular, partly because I personally think this is a subjective matter.

      My personal understanding of "symbols" is that what something symbolises (an alligator, to follow your example) depends largely on your culture, your experience and your intuition. To me an alligator is a symbol of calm, of danger and of water, to name a few of its primary meanings to me. If you replace "symbol" with "schema", as La Berge defines in his ETWOLD book, you may find that the terms can be used interchangeably to mean roughly the same thing, especially under the context of dreaming.

      I agree that David Gordon does use a symbolic approach but I do not personally appreciate him dissociating himself from the "symbol" semantics, since it feels like he just tries to rebrand himself to seem cool and different, rather than accept that he is doing it, but maybe in a different way than what (seemingly?) a lot of others do. I feel that the way he sees or defines "symbols" in that certain bit, to be very reductive, and not at all fair.

      On that note, I also do disagree with dream dictionaries that give hard definitions on what specific meaning a symbol "has"; there is necessarily no set meaning for a symbol because of the three primary reasons I mention just beforehand, and if we all had the same meanings for every abstract concept in existence, we probably wouldn't get into discussions about them in the first place; in fact that's why I liked Tom Chetwynd's works, because in some way they openly accept that they have a certain cultural background as a bias and to quote myself:

      Quote Originally Posted by DarkestDarkness View Post
      (...) almost all of the value of the book's contents {Dictionary for Dreamers} is actually just in the short introductory sections, though some is also found scattered around some of the entries. Because I had already read his "A Dictionary of Symbols" (vol.2) I knew to not take any of these suggested dream interpretations too seriously or literally, especially as most of them are suggested/potential meanings {as so explained in the introduction}.
      Perhaps Chetwynd is an unusual author in the genre of symbol dictionaries (maybe because he has a very Jungian approach too?) and previously I may not have had an awareness of whether it was usual or not; but to me it's practically always seemed essential to never take anything at face value, especially when it comes to abstract themes, such as symbols, which are akin to automatic metacognitive processes; schemas by another name, as I say. Anecdotally, I had a policeman tell me a few years ago "you should always question {authority}", this when I had inquired about someone whom I wasn't sure was acting with legitimate authority, and I think that will always stick with me for more than just that specific context.

      Just last night I had been reading Mindful Dreaming and thinking about "ego strategies" and of course my dream from last night has a central point around pills, which are very much a part of my daily life, which made me jump to the first (and negative) symbolic association I had for the image in question, only later thinking that there could be more to it than I gave it credit for at face value; because of the relations at play in the dream, what I saw was a negative context at a glance after waking, but find it has both a neutral and a positive connotation under different perspectives on symbolic interpretation, having changed no elements or imagery.

      I'm a little tired so I hope I was concise enough with what I wanted to say here on symbols and in any case, like you OccipitalRed, I admit I do not like all of David Gordon's ideas, and find his way of writing can be a little repetitive and even annoying, in parts. And perhaps that's partly why I give him a lot of credit for getting me thinking differently too, which is what I value most in reading anyway. Some of his ideas, liked by me or not, are somewhat refreshing in their own way.
      Occipitalred and Hilary like this.
      Singled out from some of my favourite quotes from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: "Risks of [Planet] flowering: considerable. But rewards of godhood: who can measure? - Usurper Judaa'Maar: Courage: to question."

    8. #8
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      I finally just finished reading the book a couple of days ago.

      Despite the fact that I previously expressed some ambivalence for the writing, I found that the last two Sections, IV and V, were particularly decent. And in fairness despite that ambivalence, I do still enjoy a lot of the different ideas mentioned throughout the book and appreciate the several references to other works and authors.

      Having finished the book, I do still stand by my previous statement that in my view he uses a re-labelled symbolic approach to the dreams and their imagery, especially when some dream interpretations are made in the last few bits; some of the interpretations on others' dreams seem very assertive, which I find a bit odd and even contradictory, and they also seem to follow a logic of Symbols all the same... I suppose I can't understand why he felt the need to try to create some distance or distinction from Symbolism, though I suspect it's the sort of thing I would be able to understand better in a conversation than by me making some assumptions.

      That said, one thing I could not especially relate to was some of the logic around the "Nightmares of Attachment". Many of the types of nightmare mentioned are things I haven't even had since childhood and even if I try to interpret those childhood nightmares of mine in the same way as in these parts of the book, I cannot relate. (*This actually relates to some of what OccipitalRed had said, as many of my nightmares had a lot to do with the social context of my life, in some cases there wasn't even anything to be done about it.)

      Personally, I did not enjoy the Section/Chapter separation logic, because different sections and chapters would be mentioned in a non-linear way throughout the book. It was an interesting attempt at linking everything together given that the book does have some exercises, but with this read it just did not seem to gel well for me and I ended up feeling "lost", due to my forgetfulness perhaps. When I re-read the book I imagine it might make more sense as I become more used to it though.

      I know this sounds like a lot of negativity. I suppose I must prefer to go "bad news, good news" rather than vice versa.

      One thing I do quite appreciate is that he seems to genuinely want to help people as far as I can tell, if his accounts about his clients are anything to go by. Whether I agree with the finer points or not, he seems to do good dreamwork for others and certainly only seems to see himself as a guide at most and not as someone who can magically fix the problems of others. His mindset with regards to being centred and not be at one end or the other is something that I find a lot of value in because I think it's when we put ourselves at extremes that we find ourselves incensed.

      In recent years I have tried to be more balanced and so in my consideration a mindset like this seems like a good way to let go of angers and sorrows, feelings that on their own can be destructive. Of course I am still vulnerable to these feelings and their moments, but these days I do have better appreciation for what's going on during the moment itself and I think the book supplements this well.

      It is difficult to put biases aside sometimes, and this book more than any other has been very important for me to step towards really accepting that I am not "my thoughts", and therefore that if I read something I disagree with, even in this book, that doesn't mean that I am that thing I'm reading, just because I'm thinking it. I don't know whether this makes sense to others or not, but I suppose I have had a sort of fear of opposing thoughts for a very long time, like that just because I hear something that I would agree with it, even if it seemed insensible or morally wrong.

      And so one of the best things about this book for me has been the fact that it has been a guideline for letting go of pre-judgment and for dealing with "fears" of disintegration of my self identity. Just thinking about this makes me feel kind of alive with some kind of confidence that even if everything else is wrong outside of me, I will still securely be "me". The author really made me think about it like "what if I everything I think is 'me' were gone?", in a kind of good way.

      The author brings home to me some important and interesting points around the view that a person can have about themselves; specifically, I find a lot of value in the way he deconstructs feelings of guilt and worthlessness, feelings that I struggle and have struggled with for much of my life and I imagine many others also struggle with, especially people with a typical "Western" religious or semi-religious background like myself. I do not feel "fixed" or healed in this regard, but it has been very helpful to read the book just for this alone.

      I can't think of much else that I could add to my thoughts here, except that I did enjoy many of the aspects relating to Shamanism and Buddhism, themes that I'm not very familiar with so far, though which it seems I can relate to from a Jungian perspective.
      Last edited by DarkestDarkness; 12-11-2021 at 11:02 PM. Reason: extra
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      Singled out from some of my favourite quotes from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: "Risks of [Planet] flowering: considerable. But rewards of godhood: who can measure? - Usurper Judaa'Maar: Courage: to question."

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      I'm glad you finished it DarkestDarkness and I enjoyed reading your thoughts on it! I was happy to read you got some good things out of it. The only thing I'm not sure I understood was about your fear of opposites thoughts?
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      Well, I am not sure how else I could explain it. I'll keep using the word but perhaps fear is a strong word for it, I'm not sure. It's halfway between fear and serious concern, because it feels partly irrational and partly rational.

      Basically it is the fear of sort of being corrupted or changed by just receiving information; the fear probably originates from not realising that some internal resistance always exists, or perhaps from concern that the resistance mechanism may fail for no reason and that is to say, that an idea might be adopted with no questioning at the time of first learning about it.

      To put it more simply, it's like being afraid that just because you saw an advert, you will automatically go and buy or do the thing advertised. Move this into a different context such as propaganda and ideological discussion and the fear may feel more warranted or validated. And like any other fear, this can cause avoidance to being exposed to what it's about, in this case, new information that might be at an extreme for you, for concern of "simply adopting" that new information without questioning.

      I think part of why this affects me is because I tend to repeat things internally which I've been reading or hearing. So in the context of the prospect of coming across new information that is at the extremes, this can feel disconcerting.

      As I said before, I don't know whether this makes sense to others or not and I can't say I know when this started. And it definitely has a lot to do fear of self disintegration in terms of losing who you are as a person now.
      Last edited by DarkestDarkness; 12-12-2021 at 01:55 PM. Reason: extra
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      Singled out from some of my favourite quotes from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: "Risks of [Planet] flowering: considerable. But rewards of godhood: who can measure? - Usurper Judaa'Maar: Courage: to question."

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      Ahh, I see!

      Especially, on the topics of political opinions, I feel like a person can tell me something and I think "Oh, that clears things up for me!" and if I ever repeat this information anywhere else to practice my understanding of the topic, someone will correct me "No, it's actually..." and then I'll think "Oh, wow, that clears things up" and so on and on. It's... irritating? if I try to adopt the idea. But, it's also entertaining, like a "twist," or endless learning?

      I guess, way back, I've been trying to embrace a "paradoxical" worldview which appreciates the chaotic beauty of truth, that is, that opposites are often both true and both false all at once, together. It's a bit disorienting, but I guess, like you said, in a way, we aren't our thoughts/ideas, so we just move through it all the best we can. In some way, we are our thoughts. So, I definitely understand your fear. And you know, they say there is no courage without fear
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      Thanks for recommending this book, Occipitalred. I have been enjoying it, but I am not done. So far, I like the ideas that he presents with dreams having a deeper meaning (distraction, control, attachment, and judgement).

      Spoiler for Quotes I like:

      I don't have a lot of dreams of distraction / fear of solitude. I am very introverted, and I love solitude.

      However, I do have dreams about being abducted and kidnapped, about feeling helpless, etc. So I do have those dreams of control and dreams of judgement. I like his ideas. I'm trying to look at my dreams from new angles - what am I really running from? What fear is at the core of this issue? Once I think I've got it, the new goal is to look for an even deeper fear.

      Quote Originally Posted by Occipitalred View Post
      I'm generally not a fan of symbolic interpretation of dreams. For one, I completely disagree with dream dictionaries. Alligator = treachery. I'm more likely to say an alligator is an alligator. And this stems from my adherence to the Continuity Theory of dreaming. Yet, especially in the art of story and narratives, I do enjoy the use of symbols and themes.


      I remember when reading this book many years ago, I did get stuck on this part. If I remember, his approach is that the dream characters represent aspects of you. Is that right? Like someone chasing you is actually a part of yourself you are repressing? Well, I don't agree with this completely. It might be true sometimes. But in my case, chase dreams were not about me running away from parts of myself. They were really just about running from others. They were social anxiety. Mistrust. Sensitivity to danger and ill will. Sensitivity to judgement. So, for me others are often... others. Not parts of me. The thing is sometimes, I will have a thought, and a dream character will address it in my place. But I think that's more because I expect others to see things like myself more than because they represent me.
      You know, I do believe in symbolism, but I think it's not black and white. I think sometimes dream books can absolutely help. They can also be totally wrong. Sometimes it's more of a personal meaning. Most of the time, I think, there's more than one meaning for a symbol. A lot depends on the feel of the dream: positive or negative? And of course, the big thing is that symbols are relative and based on context. The symbols only make sense in relativity to the rest of the dream, and to your life situations. That's why, when you do understand a dream, it feels like an "aha moment". All the pieces suddenly fit together all at once. A lot of times I will ruminate on a dream, not understanding it until days later.

      I also think you're not wrong. Some dreams are really more superficial than others. Some dreams are simply replaying a life scenario we went through, or even just a "sum-up" of our current life adventures so far. But. I do believe an alligator is never just an alligator (unless you saw one in real life recently!). In my dreams, reptiles and alligators, can often represent "cold-blooded" people we know (or aspect of ourselves).

      Quote Originally Posted by Occipitalred View Post
      I remember David Gordon talking about the Divine voice dreams. Maybe the higher self? Then, I did not have this kind of dream. And I still don't have these types of dreams.
      I haven't read this far in the book, but I know I've had dreams like this.

      In one, I was riding in a car across a very long and perilous bridge. I eventually made it to the other side. Over there? A beautiful temple with an old woman. Now lucid, I talked to her. She explained she was my Higher Self. I thanked her for coming to me. She said "No. Thank you for letting me in." Since that dream, I often hear her voice in my sleep offering wisdom, and sometimes she appears, always as an old woman. She is a persistent dream guide now. I feel lucky (in fact, in another lucid dream, when I asked her name, they said "Luck").
      Last edited by Hilary; 01-17-2022 at 06:10 PM.
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      I'm happy you've been enjoying the book, MoonageDaydream! I'm happy we're still active on the bookclub! Talking about books with you and Darkestdarkness is probably my favorite thing to do on DreamViews Our little break has been good, it's given me time to read my non-dream-related books but I still think about this bookclub


      I definitely find it very interesting how everyone has different common dream patterns, like how you have the Higher Voice dreams, not me, while you don't have the distraction dreams (I don't remember what those are). I do really enjoy your Higher Voice dreams, I remember the ones in your Light Girl TOTY tasks, and I love the dynamic you have with her!

      I like to think of the animals in dreams represent animals. Like, I generally have a difficult relationship with dogs and cats, and I think that's a reflection of my lack of relationships with cats and dogs. I don't know them, how to communicate, understand, trust them, so in my dreams, they often become violent. But you know, I do love symbol interpretation when it all fits. There's a satisfactory beauty to it. I just don't believe in the Freudian theory that the dreaming unconscious does and can only communicate with symbols. I think that if there are symbols, they are the type of symbols that could appear in conscious thought. Like, let's say right now, you wanted to write a poem about cold-blooded people and alligators was the idea that came to mind as the metaphor, then, I see no reason why you couldn't have that same connection in a dream, even if unconscious. I just don't think dreams depend on this sort of association, but sure, I also don't think the dreaming mind is unable to make this type of association, and I definitely think when the unconscious mind does make those associations, then the conscious mind will need some time to see it if it doesn't miss it completely.

      (When I talk of the unconscious mind, I'm not talking about a conscious entity, I'm talking about the mental processes that we are not conscious of, which there are plenty. For example, why anything occurs as it occurs in a dream, that I did not consciously will to happen).
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