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Record Type: Review   ID: 551

Dreams, and the Search for Meaning

O'Connor, Peter

O'Connor is a Jungian psychologist who has been strongly influenced by James Hillman. For years he has led groups in dream analysis. He says "the book is basically concerned with how to approach a dream and thereby one's unconscious mind, rather than how to interpret a dream" (p. xi). He says further that "it is concerned with the middle ground between experience (or body) and mind (or theory). This is the middle kingdom, where one finds soul; and dreams are the language of the soul" (p. x). Finally, he points out that the book has "as much to do with psyche, or soul, as it [does] with dreams. It is fundamentally about the middle kingdom of dreams and the restoration of this realm of imagination to a legitimate position: the overriding concern is one of restoration, not interpretation" (p. x). He emphasizes that there are many meanings or ways of interpreting any single dream. The primary aim is not to find the "right" interpretation of any given dream; rather, the aim is "to participate in the dream in the right way, to engage in act of imagination, not rationality" (p. x).

[This is a burgeoning field of psychology pioneered by James Hillman with his studies of imaginal thinking, Arnold Mindel with his dreambody, and Montague Ullman with his insights into the role of metaphor in dreams, to name two. Learning to experience this "middle kingdom" and following its lead may be an essential step in the process of learning to understand psi, which otherwise may continue to baffle and remain an impenetrable mystery to the conscious minds of those who attempt it to understand it.]

Publisher Information:New Jersey: Mahwah: Paulist Press, 1986. 247p. Chap bibl: 232-241; Ind: 242-247
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