The International dreams conference is now half over. I”m sitting in the lobby of the hotel tapping this out before I collapse on my bed. Yes it’s true, you get no sleep at academic conferences, even ones about dreaming. It’s the best kind of exhaustion, though: I can really feel my mind being stretched wide open. Very friendly bunch, these dreamers, many of whom are not academics at all but dream enthusiasts from all walks of life. This is a truly interdisciplinary conference, welcoming psychologists, artists, scientists, and ministers with open arms. Just for a taste of what I”ve heard about in the last couple days: the new neurophilosophy of dreams, the effects of ketamine on nightmares, threat stimulation theory, healing traumatic memories with dreamwork, the latest research on day residue (yes, Freud was at least right about this one!), the dreamways of Inuit hunters, Gilgamesh’s nightmares, metacognition in dreams, the history of dreams in Christianity, and galantamine’s effect on lucid dreaming success. Later, I’ll go into some of these topics with more depth. I”ve also seen some amazing dream-inspired art, including artists who paint what they see in their own lucid dreams. This is fascinating to me, and when I get the permissions worked out I’ll be sure to display some of this unique work. Au revoir from Montreal!
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