The International Dreams Conference has passed us by. It was a hot week in Sonoma, but the rooms were cool. Tempers were cool too, at least that’s what I gathered. Gentle dreamers from all walks of science: psychologists and psychiatrists, anthropologists, poets, shamans, and students all.
I somewhat remember wine, at some point, and the wine tasting that was more like a cascading. At that point, dream performer Lana Nasser emerged from the trees as a bird and adventured around on the outskirts of civilized white tablecloth conversations in a decidedly bird-like manner. (Photo credit: Bhaskar Banerji)
There was science, too. Mark Schroll led a dynamic panel on the subject of Bohmian science and its implications for sacred sites, ecopsychology and spiritual emergence. Stanley Krippner presented his experimental dreaming research into megalithic sites in England and Wales. This pilot study is frought with issues, but paves the way for dream fieldwork in a new way, in which the content of dreams is considered in relationship with landscape, not merely a habit of cultural or personal predispositions.
The study was ultimately not convincing that the ancient sites affected the bizarreness of the researchers” dreams, yet Krippner acknowledges that his hope is that “someone takes it on from here.” I”m glad to see this presentation in debate; it goes against the scientific materialist paradigm, so the variables have to be isolated well. This is pioneering work nonetheless and close to my own research interests in imaginal archaeology.
Also, Curt Hoffman, dream researcher and archaeologist, presented his self-study on how visiting novel places (new cultures and landscapes) can permeate dream content. He found that the highest instance of dreams with elements of those places occurred within the month following his trips.
In particular, Hoffman suggested that the average delay of sense of place – or the spiritus loci – is about five days. So don’t feel too bad if you don’t have a powerful dream on a weekend camping trip that only lasts two nights. Wednesday night, get some sleep and it may well turn up, as long as you don’t fall asleep watching reruns of “Matlock” or engaging in other dream-snuffing behavior.
Personally, I”m a sucker for watching “Quantum Leap” in inappropriate intervals.