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     Dream Life & Waking Life: Both are Creations of the Person 
     There is a growing appreciation for the variety of dream phenomena, such as
     the  creativity in dreams and their sometimes transpersonal aspects.  Older
     theories that generally ignored such facts are being replaced by newer ones
     that attempt to account for such  phenomena.  Most recently, Gordon Globus,
     M.D.,  Professor  of  Psychiatry  and  Philosophy  at  the   University  of
     California,  Irvine, has taken a  stab at integrating  such perspectives as
     psychoanalysis,   transpersonal   psychology,   cognitive    science,   and
     phenomenological philosophy  in a  pleasantly person-  able statement  of a
     view of dreams that readers of Perspective can live with.  
     That dreams  are a creative experience  is one of the main  factors that he
     wishes to  explain.   The author rejects  the notion,  in existence  before
     Freud  made it  law, that dreams  are merely rearrangements  of past memory
     experiences.  Instead, the author claims that dreams are created "de novo,"
     meaning from scratch.  In defending this position, he finds himself arguing
     that our waking life is also an experience that we create, thus placing his
     work  close at  hand to the  metaphysical perspective  that claims  that we
     "create our  own reality."  Both realms are created "in the image" (meaning
     "in the imagination") of the  person, in the same way God has  been said to
     create the world.   The symmetry between the creative  aspect of both dream
     existence and waking existence, and the "divine"  role given to the person,
     is   pleasing   both  to   the  ancient   Buddhist  and   modern  spiritual
     The question is, how does this modern, scientifically grounded theoretician
     justify such a metaphysical basis to dreams and waking life?  He does so by
     reference to both the leading edge theories of perceptual psychology and 
     certain philosophical traditions.  Perceptual psychology has long abandoned
     the  camera analogy to explain  how we see things.   Plato's concept of the
     archetype, the  transpersonal, non-material "ideas" that  govern the actual
     ideas  and things  that  we  experience, has  gained  new  favor in  modern
     thinking  about the  perceptual process.   Instead  of theorizing  that our
     perceptual mechanisms  "photograph"  what is  out  there, modern  work  has
     forced the theory that  we already "know" or "suppose"  what it is that  we
     are trying to perceive, and then  we search and analyze data bits according
     to their  significance and  fit to  what we  are attempting to  "perceive."
     Meaning and intention are more significant to perception, in modern theory,
     than light waves and photo-sensitivity.   In other words, the creative  and
     subjective processes in  perception are given more  central prominence, and
     the  physics of  perception  are accorded  more  the status  of  tools than
     primary determinants.    Similarly,  the  philosophy of  science  has  been
     arguing that facts, as such, do not exist; rather theories--in other words,
     intentional approaches  to creating meaning--are what  determine which data
     bits constitute  facts, and determines  whether or not  the data  bits will
     even be noticed.  


     Perhaps such philosophical abstractions seem  cloudy or irrelevant, but the
     mechanistic,  sensory-based, objective approach  to perception  (whether in
     visual perception or scientific knowing) has been 
     undergoing  radical changes.  Fans  of the transpersonal  dimension of life
     who assume that the eye sees like a camera have an unnecessarily tough time
     trying  to  justify as  scientific  their  views  on  ESP.   Realizing  how
     scientific and  philosophical views on  perception have  evolved makes  ESP
     seem more  natural than supernatural.   Thus  the author's work  does us  a
     great service.  It provides a  readable  treatise on how one can  argue, on
     the basis of both scientific and philosophical grounds, that dreams, not to
     mention  our  lives, are  pregnant  with  meaning (sometimes  transpersonal
     meaning), and deserve our attention. 

     Source:  Dream  life, waking  life:  The  human condition  through  dreams.
     Published by the State University of New York Press, 1987.  


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