Summary: A lively and succinct interpretation of dreams that takes into account both spiritual and scientific views.
Edition/Copyright:79 Cover: Paperback Publisher:Paulist Press Published: 06/28/1979 International: No
A friend of mine, the Rev. Richard D. Thomson, tells the true story of Patillo Higgins, a one-armed gunsmith who became obsessed with the idea that a great pool of oil lay beneath a swamp outside of Beaumont, Texas. In spite of the derision with which he met , Higgins was able to finance an extensive search for the hidden oil, but for many years the only thing his drilling rigs produced were debts, water, and quicksand. But Patillo was not easily discouraged. he tried again and again for several more years until he was completely out of money and the butt of jokes of others around him. Still he did not give up. He found one more financial backer and made one more attempt in the face of ridicule and scorn and, finally, in 1901, he met with success. After nearly twenty years, Patillo Higgins struck oil in the form of a gigantic gusher that shot a black stream of oil hundreds of feet into the air. It proved to be the largest oil discovery in the world at that time. and made Higgins a wealthy man. It is something like this with the unconscious. Most people think the soul of man contains nothing but quicksand and emptiness, even though Jesus once declared. ''The kingdom of God is within you.'' But for a person who is persistent, and who continues to explore the depths and heights of his own soul, there is a great wealth awaiting him. Dreams are like a gusher of oil from our inner depths. It was in 1966 that my first book on dreams was published, and at that time it was a rare thing for a book to be published on this subject. Today there is a gradually growing interest in the subject of dreams, and for a long time I have felt the need for another book, more detailed and comprehensive than my first one. This book is divided into three sections. The first section is a general introduction to the subject. It contains some of the same ideas that are in my first book, though in many important respects it goes beyond it. The second section contains a series of eight dreams which came to a young university student. At the time this young man had these dreams he was not in any kind of therapy, nor had he ever studied psychology. The most he knew about dreams was from a humanities course he had taken in which he had read Jung's autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections. He recalled that he didn't finish this book at the time, that it seemed to be over his head, but he was sufficiently intrigued by what the book had to say about dreams that he wrote down the vivid dreams that came to him, the dreams that make up Part Two. The dreams in this series are a helpful instrument for teaching because of their great clarity and impact, and because they are not part of a ''case history,'' but come out of the setting of ordinary life. There is also a little story that runs along with these dreams, which enables us to see how the inner events of our dreams fit into the outer events of our lives. The dreams of this young man also resulted in a reawakening of his religious life, which makes them especially helpful to us, for in this day and age many people have difficulty in finding a spiritual life, and this is one area in which dreams can be most helpful. I might add that I have never met this young man, and, when I first studied his dreams, had little personal knowledge of him. However, we have subsequently corresponded extensively about the dreams. From time to time, in addition to my own discussion of the dreams, I have added his insights and comments. These are in quotation marks because they are taken directly from our correspondence, with his consent, of course. The third section of the book contains a study of a series of five dreams that came in a span of two weeks to a woman in her early middle-age. In addition to their unusual clarity, I have included these dreams because they show how dreams relate to the life of a woman, just as, in section two, the dreams show how life unfolds in a young man. Dreams and the life of the soul seem to have an unusual interest and meaning for women, who often take to such things more naturally than men. I am grateful to the woman who had these dreams and the young university student for allowing their dreams to be published. It took Patillo Higgins some twenty years to find his oil. It will not take nearly as long for us to find the unconscious with the aid of our dreams, for the wealth that is locked within us wants to be found and tries to reach consciousness through the medium of the dream. There will, however, be a certain price that we will have to pay if we wish to tap into the creative possibilities of relating to the unconscious, just as Patillo Higgins had to make his initial investment of time, energy, and money. Learning to work with our dreams will require from us time, commitment, and study. Our efforts can be well rewarded, but the fainthearted, or those who want the things of the soul neatly packaged and given to them without cost, will probably not be interested. To those who are in need, and to the strong of heart, the study of dreams and the human soul is a rich field of endeavor, and it is to these people that this book is written.
View Table of Contents
Understanding Our Dreams Our Spiritual Heritage of Dreams King Nebuchadnezzar's Dream The Different Levels of Dreaming The Healing Power in Dreams The Drama and Structure of Dreams The Use of Dreams in Therapy Working With Our Own Dreams Martin's Dreams
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