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     Dream News

     NUCLEAR NIGHTMARES:  With the threat of nuclear war hanging overhead, it is not
     surprising that our dreams might reflect this source of anxiety.  In fact,
     reports peace psychologist Randy Morris, PhD, many children in our country, not
     to mention in other nations, have had nuclear imagery in their dreams.  Are
     such dreams simply another example of how daily anxieties are reflected in our
     nighttime ruminations?  Possibly, but Dr. Morris offers another explanation. 
     "Could it be some kind of collective survival mechanism to come as close as
     possible to experiencing, in order to reject, our self-destruction?"

     .    "I believe," he states, in answer to his question, "that nuclear
     nightmares represent an impulse on the part of this collective psyche to
     confront directly the horror of nuclear war, literally, to 'imagine the
     unimaginable,' and by so doing to take the first step toward healing this
     festering rupture in the family of man.  These dreams, as expressions of pure
     emotion, have the power to motivate people to work in new ways for peace
     movement."  Dr. Morris notes that the threat of nuclear war is increased by the
     number of people who simply cannot imagine that it would ever happen.  Nuclear
     nightmares tend to be very "real" in their feeling, and thus may be a natural
     counterbalance to the ostrich syndrome.

     .    Anyone who has had a nuclear nightmare, or any kind of dream involving
     nuclear imagery, is invited to write a letter to Randy Morris, PhD, Hiroshima
     International School, 2-2-6 Ushita-naka, Higashi-ku, Hiroshima 730, Japan,

     SUDDEN DEATH SYNDROME:  SUICIDE BY NIGHTMARE:  A healthy adult goes to sleep at
     night but then never wakes up.  The medical examiners can find no cause of
     death?  What happened.  No one knows, but it happens enough to have earned a
     name, "sudden death syndrome," and to warrant having the Atlanta Center for
     Disease Control monitor the incidence of such cases.  One population group,
     Laotian refugees, has a higher than average mortality from sudden death
     syndrome.  Dr. Joseph Jay Tobin, reporting in the American Journal of
     Orthopsychiatry (July, 1983), presents a case study that leads him to suggest
     that this phenomenon may be suicide by nightmare.

     .   The patient was a male refugee from war-torn Laos, who had been recently
     relocated with his family to their own apartment in an American city.  Shortly
     thereafter, the man complained of difficulty sleeping.  He reported nightmares
     in which something (once a cat, once a dog and once a woman) came to him in his
     bedroom, sat on his chest and tried to prevent his breathing.  Dr. Tobin
     arranged for a Laotian healer to perform a "spirit cure," which was consistent
     with the patient's world view.  Afterwards, Dr. Tobin investigated further into
     the patient's background.


     .    Examination of the patient's history revealed that he was suffering from
     "survivor's guilt."  This post-traumatic malady, first identified in survivors
     of the Holocaust, combines depression and paranoia with the nagging feeling,
     "why was I saved when so many others died?"  Dr. Tobin also discovered that
     among South Asian persons there is the belief in something akin to "voodoo
     death," called banqunqut, or "Oriental nightmare death," in which a person is
     believed to be killed during sleep by a spirit which squeezes out the breath. 
     Apparently a similar belief was held in Europe during the Middle Ages.  At that
     time, the name, "incubi" was given to the presumed spirit, from the Latin word
     for nightmare, incubus.

     .    Previous medical research has indicated that heart attacks can be
     precipitated in dreams and that certain psychosomatic disorders can be
     dangerously aggravated during the sleep state.  Other research focussing on the
     healing potential of dreams, nevertheless receives indirect support for the
     physical potency of dreams by the suggestion that they might also be a vehicle
     of death.

     harrowing experience, a trauma to the personality, for the person submits their
     life, while unconscious under anesthesia, to the operation of other people's
     hands upon their vital organs.  The most critical aspect of the surgery
     experience--the operation itself--seems beyond the reach of the patient's
     personality to integrate, as would be needed following any traumatic
     experience, because of the anesthesia.  Patient's occasional reports of
     "witnessing" their operation, and statements, by psychics such as Edgar Cayce
     or philosophers such as Alfred North Whitehead, that the mind never sleeps,
     that it registers everything, would suggest that despite the anesthesia, it
     should be theoretically possible for the post-operative patient to regain
     access to the surgery experience so that it could be digested and the recovery
     made more complete.  Dr. Paul W. Pruyser, of the Menninger Foundation,
     reporting in the Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic (June, 1983) suggests that
     such an integration of the surgery experience may occur through a dream!

     .    Dr. Pruyser writes about his experience undergoing emergency, triple
     coronary bypass surgery and how his recuperation was helped by a dream he had
     five days after the operation.  In his dream, he visits a little-known,
     secluded part of the hospital grounds, a ruins site from the 19th century,
     where he encounters a heavy metal door.  The door opens with eerie creak and he
     enters a dimly lit cave.  He finds three strange, two-story, cubical habitats,
     each with leaky and rusty pipes meant to furnish heat to the inside from a
     centrally located, old-fashioned wood-burning cook stove that was very


     .    When he awoke from this dream, he reports that he felt elated and
     immensely satisfied, because, in his own words, "my mind had found access to an
     experience I was not supposed to have undergone at all because of the total
     anesthesia."  He believes, for example, that the creaking of the door was
     actually the sound of his rib cage when it was opened by the surgeon.  He
     provides background information to develop an interpretation of the details of
     the dream, which in essence refers to his confrontation with his heart and its
     clogged arteries and with his ancestral history of coronary deficiency.  More
     generally, he ascribes to his dream an act of restoration of the integrity of
     his personality--"a guarantee of the continuity of selfhood"--after being the
     threatened by his near brush with death.  The ability of dreams to spontaneously
     provide this otherwise missing ingredient to total recovery deserves further
     investigation.  (Author's address:  Menninger Foundation, P.O. Box 829, Topeka,
     KS  66601).

     GROUP DREAMING:  What happens when a group of people attempt to dream about the
     same thing?  The December, 1983 issue of Omni Magazine reports the work of
     Henry Reed (DreamNet Sysop) on an intriguing approach to studying the psychic
     potential of dreams.  A group of dreamers would be gathered together, he would
     introduce them to a stranger said to be suffering from an undisclosed problem,
     and ask the group to dream for this person, to see if they could dream up a
     solution to the person's problem.  In the morning the dreams were analyzed, the
     person's problem was revealed, and the pieces of information from the several
     dreams were pieced together to develop a solution.  Most of the dreams
     evidenced psychic information in the dreams.  Pooling the dreams enhanced the
     visibility of the psychic effect.  Having a good reason for dreaming
     telepathically seems to increase the probability of psychic material in the
     dreams.  For further reading:  "Dreaming for Mary, "Sundance Community Dream
     Journal, #3  (See Mail Order Services).

     EXPLORING YOUR DREAMS:  For a "hands-on" guide to the "New Dreamwork" see the
     October, 1983 issue of New Age Journal.  It has a comprehensive special section
     on what's happening in the world of the new dreamworker.  It gives several
     different approaches to dreamwork, has articles on some of the prominent
     dreamworkers, as well as general discussion of current developments and


     NEW LUCID DREAM INDUCTION TECHNIQUE:  Robert Price and David Cohen, of the
     University of Texas at Austin, report that they have accidentally discovered a
     method for inducing lucid dreams.  It happened while they were researching the
     ability of a subject to control, while asleep in the dream state, the sounding
     of a tone being played in the dream laboratory.  A biofeedback setup was used,
     such that whenever the sleeping subject entered the dream state, with rapid eye
     movements (REM), a loud tone would be played.  This tone would interrupt sleep,
     but if the subject could increase the amount of rapid eye movements, he could
     terminate the tone, and sleep in peace.  They found that their research subject
     could learn this task.  Then the subject began to report lucid dreaming, that
     is being aware in the dream state that he was dreaming, and reported that he
     tried to move his eyes as a means of signalling to the experimenter.  A
     "communication" system was thus set up between the experimenter and the
     dreaming subject.  The researchers suggest that such a biofeedback situation
     may be an effective way to learn lucid dreaming.  Reported in Lucidity Letter,
     November, 1983 (See Mail Order Services).

     TELEPATHIC DREAMS IN COUNSELING:  A counselor whose dreams provide psychic
     information about clients has a powerful addition to his kit of clinical tools.
     Kenneth Orkin, Ph.D., has written an article entitled, "Telepathic Dreams: 
     Their Application During the Counseling Process," describing his experiences
     with psychic dreaming about clients.  He is in private practice in Miami,
     Florida.  He recounts several types of psychic dreams, including precognitive
     dreaming about the problems of a client who would be coming for a consultation
     in the future, with the dream providing information about the source of that
     person's problem.  He also recounts a story about a dream that provided
     past-life information about a client.  His article appeared in the November,
     1983 issue of A.R.E. Journal.  You may write to the author c/o A.R.E., P.O. Box
     595, Virginia Beach, VA 23451.


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