Resources: Healing Dreams
Saturday, October 7, 2000
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NHNE: Resources: Healing Dreams
Saturday, October 7, 2000
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"The greatest book of study is that of your own, written by the
soul upon time and space -- that of your dreams!"
"(Dreams), if paid attention to, brought back in the memory, written
and kept and studied, interpreted as actual experiences which are symbolic
and yet real in their nature, become guidelines to such an extent that
one should be able to understand and rectify all those things in the
life which are of an imperfect nature."
--- From the book, "Season of Changes, Ways of Response"
THE POWER OF DREAMS
By David Sunfellow
Those of you who have been on the NHNE Mailing List for awhile know
that I am a very big fan of dreams. Not only have I introduced several
world class dreamers, books, networks, dream journal programs, quotes,
and other dream resources to you, but I've also spent over 25 years
working with my own dreams. Why? Because dreams are important -- far
more important than most people suspect. I wouldn't go so far as to
say that all the ills of the world could be healed if humanity, as a
whole, tapped the inner resources of their dreaming selves, but I would
say we would see some pretty amazing breakthroughs if we did.
What kind of breakthroughs?
This past week, two reminders of the power of dreams crossed my path:
a story that was sent out by National Geographic advertising a new book
of their's called "Mysteries of the Mind", and a notice about
a groundbreaking new book by Marc Ian Barasch, called "Healing
Dreams: Exploring the Dreams that Can Transform Your Life."
If you haven't been paying enough attention to the otherworldly resources
that are available to us through our dreams, I hope the following story
and announcement will trigger some renewed interest in the healing power
TO SLEEP, PERCHANCE TO DREAM
By Dr. Richard Restak
Author of National Geographic's, "Mysteries of the Mind"
I have come across some wonderful, eye-opening anecdotes while doing
research for my books on the brain, and I always enjoy sharing these
with my readers...
Several years ago, dream researcher William Dement gave the following
problem to 500 Stanford University students:
"The letters O, T,T, F, F form the beginning of an infinite sequence.
Find a simple rule for determining successive letters. According to
your rule, what would be the next two letters in the sequence?"
Dement asked his students to log the dreams they had that night. Amazingly,
the solution to the problem appeared in seven of those dreams, although
none of the seven students had reached the answer prior to their dream.
According to one of the dreamers, "I was standing in an art gallery,
looking at the paintings on the wall. As I walked down the hall, I began
to count the paintings: one, two, three, four, five. As I came to the
sixth and seventh, I saw that the paintings had been ripped from their
frames. I stared at the empty frames with a peculiar feeling that some
mystery was about to be solved. Suddenly, I realized that the sixth
and seventh spaces were the solutions to the problem!"
The solution is that O, T, T, F, F are the first letters of One, Two,
Three, Four, Five. Obviously, the next letters are S and S, standing
for Six and Seven, and so on.
Dement's student could not arrive at the answer by conscious, wakeful
reflection. But, while the student's conscious mind wrestled unsuccessfully
with the problem, another part, completely cut off from conscious deliberation,
produced a disguised solution in the form of an image. The solution
emerged visually in a dream, one step removed from verbal explanation.
If Shakespeare had known what we now know about our deductive powers
in a dream state, he might have written: "To sleep, perchance to
dream... and thereby solve."
EXPLORING THE DREAMS THAT CAN TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE
By Marc Ian Barasch
[Editor's Note: Barasch's book is due to arrive in bookstores on October
23. I haven't read his book myself, but several other seasoned, highly-respected
movers and shakers have. Their comments are followed by the Publisher's
Catalog Description, and a very interesting letter from Barasch that
talks about his ongoing efforts to get "Healing Dreams" published
and marketed. Thanks to John Steiner for sending along this information.]
If you want to order an advance copy of Barasch's book, you can do
it through this link:
COMMENTS FROM REVIEWERS:
"What we have here is the living yoga of an inquiry that has opened
the author, and now the reader, to the interwoven nature of our reality.
We are unavoidably called upon to consider the intelligence of the universe.
Any book that has been born in the heart of true suffering is one which
makes a contribution beyond the intentions of the author. Marc's passionate
pursuit of what he was given has taken the rubies of the inner world
and held them up for us to marvel at and become inspired from.
"His personal journey has been the alchemical vessel in which
the passion of dream knowledge has been fired and made authentic. Reading
this book will change the way you go to bed at night, deepening your
life with the ongoing adventure of conscious participation in this mysterious
universe. It is an invitation to consider that guidance is a gift to
all of us, and that when we sleep we are in fact making a soul journey.
"This book is not another self-help book sprung from some modest
good intention and hope for fast money. It is a living document of life
lived at the edge of fire, bringing back the heat of our inner world
in a way that compels us to wake up, and acknowledge the mysteries at
work. We are in Marc's debt for the work he has done, for a way has
--- Dream counselor, David LaChapelle
" In all my years of working in the field of human potential there
are perhaps only a dozen books that I would accord the status of 'critically
innovative.' This is one! The writing is luminous, the ideas mark a
new chapter in our understanding , and, best of all, the book speaks
to everyone who has ever had an important dream. It offers new pathways
to self knowledge. I myself am buying hundreds of copies for my students
and strongly suggesting that others in my general field do likewise.
Healing Dreams could mark a revolution in the study of consciousness
and its capacities."
--- Jean Houston, Ph.D., author of "The Possible Human" and
"Jump Time", founder of The Mystery School
"Healing Dreams is destined to be remembered as a watershed event
in the study and appreciation the psyche. Marc Barasch takes us on an
intimate journey through the complex world of the dream and, with stunning
clarity, distills for us the emotional and spiritual riches to be found
there, leaving us stronger, wiser, and better equipped to bring the
power of our dreams into our waking lives."
--- Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., author of "A Woman's Book of Life"
and "A Woman's Journey to God"
"Marc Barasch is the Nabokov of contemporary dream writers. He
gives his dreams and those of others voices that speak intimately, powerfully,
and unforgettably. The stories of lives dramatically altered by dream
experiences startle, and then convince one of the seriousness, richness,
and beauty of the mind in sleep. The power to profoundly enhance our
appreciation of reality is the gift of dreams and the gift of this fine
book. Read it if you want to live a bigger, more vivid life."
--- Gayle Delaney, Ph.D., Founding President of the Association for
the Study of Dreams and author of "All About Dreams"
"This book sets a new standard in the field of dreams. Barasch
compellingly shows how dreams can provide us with greater wisdom. He
also writes like a dream, which makes this book an uncommon joy. Highly
--- Larry Dossey, M.D., author of "Reinventing Medicine"
and "Healing Words"
"Marc Barasch is a daring thinker, a mesmerizing writer, and a
fully conscious human being who never fails to take us on an eye-opening
romp through our own minds. In Healing Dreams, he defies the orthodoxy
du jour to show us how our most vivid dreams can have extraordinary
meaning for our lives -- if we take the courage to look. As with all
his writings, Healing Dreams has transformative power; the reader emerges
not only illumined, but more intensely alive."
--- Hara Marano, Editor at Large, Psychology Today
"Marc Barasch has a remarkable ability to discern the deepest,
most spiritually charged forces that emerge in people's dreams. Healing
Dreams is a testament to the powerful potentials and mysterious insights
available to anyone who is willing to listen to the natural wisdom of
their dreaming imagination."
---Kelly Bulkeley, Ph.D. author of "Transforming Dreams"
"Heartily recommended to any intelligent reader interested in
the deeper mysteries of dreams. This wonderfully written book deals
sensitively with a tremendously important topic. It contains a poignant
and compelling story with clear, universal psychospiritual implications
for the entire species."
--Rev. Jeremy Taylor, author of "Dream Work" and "Where
People Fly and Water Runs Uphill"
"Marc Barasch's beautifully written book brings the healing capacity
of dreams front and center. It can not help but resonate with those
who pursue its wisdom."
--- Stanley Krippner, Ph.D., co-author "The Mythic Path"
"Marc Barasch is a wizard with dreams and the written word. Healing
Dreams is a jewel. Don't miss this book!"
--- Judith Orloff, M.D., author of "Second Sight"
Most of us have had (or will have) a dream that stops us in our tracks,
forcing us to question the major choices in our lives, offering a startling
new image of a loved one, or provoking a greater awareness of our very
existence. Such "big" dreams tell us that we're not who we
think we are, and reveal dimensions beyond everyday reality. But even
when we're certain we've encountered a vision of life-altering magnitude
-- something as vivid and memorable as anything in waking life -- the
question remains: what exactly are we to make of it? What does such
a dream really mean?
And, more challengingly, what does the dream want from us?
With breathtaking clarity, this book sets out a new, multi-layered
method of method of dreamwork, and shows us how unlocking its mysteries
can help us discover our greatest potential for authentic life. Through
hundreds of revealing examples of unusually vivid dreams, the author
takes us through the fundamentals of interpretation and appreciation,
focusing on the different aspects of life -- health, work, relationships,
and spirituality -- that can be transformed through the unimaginable
power of listening to one's inner experiences.
"Healing Dreams" shows us that, at their best, they can help
us to embrace our own contradictions, and heal the rifts that arise
around life's major passages. Drawing upon fifteen years of research,
this book represents a major addition to the dream literature, and a
bold new perspective on how dreams can be our greatest hope for finding
LETTER FROM MARC BARASCH
"Healing Dreams" is just coming off press, and will be on
sale in stores and on the Web by Oct. 23. It will be the crowning moment
of fifteen years of work on the phenomenology of healing. Like its predecessor,
"Remarkable Recovery", "Healing Dreams" will be
published by Riverhead (publisher of the Dalai Lama's "Art of Happiness",
The response from advance readers has been extremely positive: I recently
ran into Jean Houston at the State of the World Forum (I was flown out
there to help with their Webcast). She told me, to my shock, that she
thought it was "the most significant book on dreams in the last
twenty-five years." Similarly, Joan Borysenko has called it "a
watershed event in the study and appreciation the psyche," and
author Gayle Delaney says I'm "the Nabokov of contemporary dream
Some favorable early omens: It's been bought by One Spirit Book Club
(a new-agey division of Book of the Month Club) and Quality Paperback
Bookclub (QPB, those "four bucks, four books, no commitment"
people). It's excerpted in this month's issues of New Age Journal and
Psychology Today, and is slated to be reviewed in Publishers' Weekly,
Yoga Journal, Parabola, the Shambhala Sun, the Washington Post, and
probably the San Francisco Chronicle (so far).
The biggest break: A 3500-word excerpt will be the cover story of the
November-December issue of Utne Reader, which has around 300K circulation.
(I'm told it's the first time in that magazine's history they've run
a book as a cover story. ) There's also some hope for New Dimensions
Radio, and Oprah's producer called my publisher a few days ago asking
for a videotape of me (though getting on the show remains a long-shot
-- fingers crossed!)
The publisher is also planning a 20-city "radio satellite tour,"
subcontracting to a company which specializes in putting authors onto
radio shows. They are also trying to get reviews in newspapers. So there's
a certain momentum. But with still a somewhat pallid release (the initial
printing's only 10,000 copies) and virtually no advertising, I'm going
to have to really make an intensive, personal, bootstrap effort to make
it a success.
I really could use your help getting the word out.
One thing I'm planning is a so-called "viral marketing" campaign
via email (the only thing I can think of to publicize it on no money).
This will consist of an email letter sent out a week before the bookstores'
onsale date, featuring links to my website (http://www.HealingDreams.com/)
where they can get a taste of the book, and to Amazon.com, where they
can buy it. The letter will ask them to consider buying a copy for themselves
or as a gift. It also asks them if they'd clone the email (or write
their own) to any people in their address book who might be interested
(and who I hope then might then do the same, creating a geometric progression).
It's an experiment in seat-of the-pants, under-the-radar, guerilla publishing,
and you're heartily invited to participate. If enough people order during
those crucial few first weeks, the book could get onto a few lists and
attain enough visibility to survive and even thrive.
Beyond that, any contacts or ideas re: promo/publicity -- publications,
TV, and radio; places I might do paying lectures this Fall; Websites
to link with (or Web design advice/help); educational and training groups
that might be interested; etc. -- would be appreciated. As you may be
aware, in today's frenzied, chain-store driven environment, a book has
perhaps a month or so to prove itself in the marketplace; if it doesn't
catch on, it's swept off the shelf to make room for the next batch of
new releases. I told someone the other day it's like the Perils of Pauline,
where the minute the book's out, it's placed on a conveyor belt headed
straight for the sawmill (or in this case, the pulping vat) unless rescued
by our hero, the reading public. After all this work, I'd like to shoot
for some much-needed success, and have decided to be more self-promoting
than I might usually be.
The publisher is also springing for what they refer to as a "two-city
tour." One of the cities is...well, the one I live in; the other
is the Bay Area. So far, it's Book Passage in Marin, Dec. 1. I may try
to set up my own additional readings out there. In the Boulder-Denver
area, it's the Boulder Bookstore Nov. 10, Tattered Cover Nov. 17. If
the book could vault onto local or regional bestseller lists in both
these regions, that would get the attention of booksellers and media
nationally. (By the way, these lists work not by cumulative totals,
but by velocity -- the most books sold that week, or on Amazon.com that
day.) So the key thing is to start a fire during the first three weeks
of release, not easy in the teeth of the national election hurricane,
but I'm going to try.
To sum up the basic dynamics of the book biz these days, just FYI:
The influence of the independent booksellers we know and love has dwindled
in proportion to chains like Waldenbooks, Barnes and Noble, and Borders.
Whereas once book sales could grow through word of mouth over many months,
the chains generally don't give a book more than a matter of weeks to
prove itself. Shelf-space is valuable, and they monitor almost every
cubic inch in real- time. If a book doesn't justify its slot, it's tossed.
This is especially true due the Christmas season: if Healing Dreams
hasn't proven its salesworthiness by the time the seasonal books come
pouring in -- if it hasn't succeeded in being viewed as a potential
gift book, and so worth keeping around -- it'll be swept off the shelves
to make room.
This need for a rapid spike in sales volume from day one is why I'm
trying to focus on the Web, the one thing that's under my control and
which is very cost effective. At this point, a friend is putting up
a basic site for a few hundred dollars, out of the goodness of his heart.
Several designer friends have come forward with offers to tweak it from
there. It will be up and running by Oct. 15. (I also found out a very
cool thing : for every book bought through my personal Amazon link --
which will be on the site -- 15% of the sale price goes to me. For every
100 books, I'd get $300, which, multiplied, could help support me as
I take two months to focus on this campaign. By contrast, I'd have to
sell tens of thousands of bookstore copies before the publisher pays
me a cent. But of course, patronize your local booksellers, too.)
Once again, I won't be sending out my large email request until Oct.
15 or so, asking people to buy it the week of the 23rd, hopefully in
enough numbers concentrated in a short period (ideal might be right
on the day) to propel it onto the Amazon bestseller list. This in turn
influences other national lists which include Amazon's numbers in compiling
their own. Once a book does make a list, there is a powerful multiplier
effect -- it's a seal of approval that makes sales jump. (Remarkable
Recovery made #16 on the New York Times bestseller list -- but since
they only publish the top 15, it was one thin slot short of visibility!)
So, any suggestions much appreciated. Let me know what you think in
terms of your own emailing lists, for example. Would you be willing
to send something along to them? Do you have lists (or do you know people
who do) for professional organizations and other interested groups?
For example, I just rather laboriously typed in an email list published
in the Institute of Noetic Sciences of some hundred regional IONS contacts,
and will create a special letter keyed to them.
Targeted "snail-mail" lists are also useful, though a bit
more cumbersome. The publisher is, at my request, doing a mailing of
books to seventy-five Jungian organizations, but that's only one of
many similar "constituencies." And there are other psychological
organizations (AHP, for example), therapists' associations, Unity churches,
spiritual groups or even local dream groups which could be motivated
to spread the word.
Another thing I'm trying to cook up is a "dream show," as
opposed to just a lecture. This would be a multimedia presentation,
kind of Spaulding Gray-ish, that would immerse the audience in the world
of the dream. I think more than just a plain vanilla lecture is warranted
given the wondrously visual nature of the subject. This will take funds,
though, or equipment/software donations; if you have any ideas on this
(foundations? motivated individuals), please let me know. This way I
would not only be promoting the book, but also giving enough of a show
to warrant admission, thus taking care of part of my "nut"
every month while I spend the fall doing book promo.
So....not to put too fine a point on it....Oct. 23, the parchment hits
the pavement. And fifteen years of work -- the whole triology that started
with a dream notation I made the day I got out of the hospital in 1985
-- will be subject to "free market forces" ( though I hope
also to the laws of magic and the power of integrity).
I've enclosed the blurbs so far (forgive me if I've already foisted
these on you) to give an idea of how people in the field are responding
to the work. Their enthusiasm seems very genuine, and has given me the
confidence to try to march forth with this in a big way, trusting it
will contribute to the greater good. There is, after all, only one reason
I dedicated such a large part of my adult life to this project: I wanted
to write something that would encourage people to trust the dictates
of the soul, to honor the inner life. In a culture that pulls us centrifugally
outward at every turn (thus causing the whole world to wobble on its
spiritual axis), I hope this book will be another beacon among the many
out there that are guiding us home.
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