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About the Author

Kelly Bulkeley is Visiting Scholar at the Graduate Theological Union and teaches in the Dream Studies Program at John F. Kennedy University.

Obras de Kelly Bulkeley


Conhecimento Comum



Esta resenha foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Resenhistas do LibraryThing.
Summary: A dream researcher explores both the science and spirituality of dreaming.

Kelly Bulkeley is a dream and philosophy of religion researcher who believes dreaming and attention to our dreams can be a spiritual practice. I should mention at the outset that the “spiritual” here is not necessarily connected with a particular religious tradition but rather to the “spiritual” aspect of our lives. That said, the author does reference dream accounts from the Bible (Joseph, Jacob, and Samuel) as well as other religious texts as well as numerous patients and other contemporary persons. He contends that attention to our dreams connects our conscious and subconscious lives, allowing us to live with greater self and social awareness.

He explores how we sleep. Surprisingly, in many societies, it is together with others rather than alone. He also notes our society’s aversion to sleep and proposes the idea of sleep as a form of resistance to our “always on” society. He discusses the neurophysiology of dreaming and the four categories into which many dreams fall: aggressive, sexual, gravitational and mystic and the metaphorical character of dreams that helps in our understanding. He explores dream sharing including the dream-sharing groups he facilitates. He also offers some cautions about sharing dreams and an alternative to imposed interpretations. He suggests if we do nothing more than to begin to attend to and reflect upon our dreams, we will find our dreams, our sleep, and ourselves changing.

The second part of the book describes some of the work Bulkeley and others are engaged in in developing analytic tools to study dream accounts collected in the Sleep and Dreams Database (SDDb), an open access digital archive. In successive chapters, he considers dream content relating to animals and nature, gods and other spiritual beings, and dreams of the dying and those visited in dreams by the recently deceased. He notes how many dreams of the dying have journey themes and the comfort this affords those who are dying.

The third part explores some cutting edge developments in the field of lucid dreaming. This is a state in which one becomes aware that one is dreaming, and some would introduce training to achieve this ability use brain monitoring to further enhance this experience or even control the dream experience and content. It’s obvious that the author has ethical and mental health concerns of anything beyond self-awareness of lucid dreaming as interrupting healthy sleep cycles or even being potentially manipulative. Instead he urges the idea of dreaming as creative play, using the example of Mary Shelley’s dreams and the creative social commentary that emerged in her Frankenstein. In the end Bulkeley eschews technology for the dream journal and the approach of collecting and subjecting to content analysis the accounts of dreams. He offers an example of one dream contributor, unknown to him, whose dream content over time offered an accurate and insightful account of her life. One can see how tools like the SDDb could enhance dream journaling.

The book’s subtitle may be overstated: “Unlocking the Wisdom of Our Sleeping Selves.” My sense is that we often look for sources of “hidden knowledge.” I wonder if self-awareness or attunement might be a better descriptor–understanding the fears, longings, life-experiences and more that are expressed in our dreams. There may be a kind of “wisdom” in that, to be sure. And this is the value I found in Bulkeley’s book. I fear we are often disconnected from ourselves, and dreams help us find our way to ourselves. His descriptions were helpful of dream sharing groups and the playful approach to our dreams, as well as some warnings of rabbit holes one might fall into (similar to unsupported use of psychoactive drugs by unstable individuals).

Like many, I know I dream, but forget most of these. This book makes me wonder about keeping pen and paper by the bedside. As a Christian, we are told that “old men will dream dreams” (I qualify). I am prompted to wonder if I miss things from God, or even my own subconscious. Bulkeley’s book has at least made me curious.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the publisher through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers Program.
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BobonBooks | outras 10 resenhas | Apr 11, 2024 |
Esta resenha foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Resenhistas do LibraryThing.
This book, the spirituality of dreaming is great for anyone starting on the journey of diving into dream meaning. I enjoyed reading, about this topic. I found the book informative , without being bogged down by too much science and fact. My favorite part was the excerpt of MLK describing his dream. This book is eye opening , would recommend to a friend who was interested in the topic.
katewillett | outras 10 resenhas | Jan 26, 2024 |
Esta resenha foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Resenhistas do LibraryThing.
I have erratically kept a dream journal for more than forty years but The Soirituality of Dreaming may make me more consistent. This is a psychologist’s take on using your dreams for spiritual development. It’s not heavy on interpretation which causes some dream guides to be little more than fortune-telling. It suggests thinking about your dreams as a opportunity for growth.
varielle | outras 10 resenhas | Jan 15, 2024 |
Esta resenha foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Resenhistas do LibraryThing.
This was a good primer on dreams, especially relating to their deeper meanings in our lives. "The Spirituality of Dreaming" doesn't delve into any single area of sleep science too deeply, making it a better choice for readers who are new to the topic. I loved the inclusion of Tricia Hersey's concept of "rest as resistance" and found myself inspired to read a few other books mentioned in this text. While it was a little more dense and slow to get through than I had hoped, and had a little less on dream interpretation than expected, there is some good content to be had here, as long as the reader is willing to wade through a wide breadth.… (mais)
Lschoeggl | outras 10 resenhas | Jan 12, 2024 |



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