Will You Dream For Me?

A Qualitative Study of the Dream Helper Ceremony

(part 3)

General Findings

          Previous experience with dream work was not a factor in whether or not participants viewed the exercise as beneficial.  Some first time helpers had as much success as others who were part of ongoing dream-sharing groups.  An individual's intent seemed to be the key ingredient to predicting success.  Success was also enhanced by the emotional connection created by people helping one another, "'what comes to mind is the emotional connection that the dreamer has to the target person.  I definitely think it's helpful." 

          The Dream Helper Ceremony provides an easy-to-use structure that anyone can utilize to tap into the fascinating reservoir of helpful information available to us.  Although participants made no attempt to reach a consensus on the source of the information, all agreed that it was helpful. 
 

Chapter V.  Summary, Conclusion, and Recommendations

Summary

          A large truth that flies in the face of one's beliefs is extremely difficult for most people to accept.  Socrates led people to accept conclusions they initially denied by asking them to allow smaller truths that made up the supporting theoretical framework of the larger truth he was pursuing (Crain, 1992, p. 150).  Without personal experience in the processes of the Dream Helper Ceremony, I also would have denied the greater truth of dreaming for another person except in a few rare cases of gifted psychics.  What many people consider out of the ordinary is part of our daily existence:  three quarters of people questioned in a 1990 Gallup poll reported experiences that could be classified as supernatural, paranormal, or occult (Richards, 1998, p. 10).  I have come to believe that we are all gifted psychics, and can do amazing things if we can only move outside our ritual of denial for long enough to test the smaller truths that make the larger, but shocking truth undeniable. 

Should Dr. Reed's seminar have been advertised with a conditional statement of acceptance such as, "If you believe that you can deliberately dream for another person and then help them use the dream to better understand a troubling personal issue, please come and join us," I suspect that there would have been considerably fewer takers in attendance.  Participation in the Dream Helper Ceremony creates new understanding of our minds, dreams, and of our latent ability to help one another in a surprising way.  If this study intrigues you enough to try the experiment for yourself, I'm sure you'll be pleased with the dynamics of the process and very likely do a good thing for a friend who needs your help.

Conclusion

          The steps of the ceremony did not violate any strongly held paradigms:  making a solemn promise to remember a dream for "Robert," saying a prayer of intent as I lay down for the night's sleep with pen and paper at bedside, writing whatever I could recall immediately upon awakening, and then sharing what I'd written with my group.  If a small group of friends would agree to undertake the experiment of testing the Dream Helper Ceremony for themselves, I believe they would also come to the unavoidable conclusion that the majority of participants reached in August of 2001: "Yes, I can dream for another person."

Recommendations for Future Studies

          Some respondents felt very strongly about their answers, while some were more ambivalent.  Survey instrument items such as graduated responses provided by Likert scales (Cooper & Emory, 1995, p. 179) could be developed and utilized during post-interview analysis to evaluate the strength of beliefs.  They would also be useful for secondary interviews to further discern different experiences and provide a more quantitative balance to the study. 

          One of the interviewees suggested that a follow-up study of the seekers who had been the focus of the ceremony would be helpful.  She told a story (during interview h11) of a woman in her study group who had benefited from the Dream Helper Ceremony.  "We could see over time how that Dream Ceremony affected her life'  I don't know if that's the complete reason, but it at least gave her a new viewpoint and you could see their relationship change."

          Validation of study results should be confirmed with participants more representative of the general population.  People who choose to spend a week at the Association of Research and Enlightenment camp are generally strongly motivated toward service to others as a result of their spiritual beliefs.  Many are also perceived to have psychic gifts that may have contributed to successful dream communication.  Dream Helper Ceremonies conducted and evaluated in the general population (such as college student volunteers) could provide results that would better translate to the general population.  

References

          Cooper, D., & Emory, C. W. (1995).  Business research methods  (5th ed.).  Chicago: Richard D. Irwin, Inc.

          Crain, W. (1992).  Theories of development: Concepts and applications  (3rd ed.).  Englewood Cliffs, NJ:  Prentice Hall, Inc.

Eisner, E. W. (1998).  The enlightened eye: Qualitative inquiry and the enhancement of educational practice.  Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Prentice-Hall, Inc.

          Fornari, A., Rombaldini, E., & Picknett, L. (1988).  Encyclopedia of dreams.  New York: GALLERY BOOKS, W. H. Smith Publishers Inc.

          Frazer, J. G. (1981).  The golden bough:  The roots of religion and folklore.  New York:  Avenel Books.  (Original work published 1890)

          Freud, S. (1965).  The interpretation of dreams  (J. Strachey, Trans.).  New York: Basic Books, Inc.  (Original work published 1900)

          Holroyd, S. (1976).  Minds without boundaries.  Garden City, NY:  Doubleday and Company, Inc.

          Moss, R. (1996).  Conscious dreaming.  New York: Crown Trade Paperbacks, Crown Publishing Group.

Holy Bible (1978).  Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.

          Reed, H. (1985).  Getting help from your dreams.  Virginia Beach, VA:  Inner Vision Publishing Co.

          Reed, H. (1989).  Edgar Cayce on channeling your higher self.  New York:  Warner Books, Inc.

          Richards, D. G. (1998).  The psychic quest: Understanding your psychic potential.  New York:  Penguin Putnam, Inc.

          Sechrist, E. (1968).  Dreams--your magic mirror.  New York: Cowles Education Corporation.

          Stevens, W. O. (1949).  The mystery of dreams.  New York: Dodd, Mead & Company.

Tanner, W. B. (1988/1995).  The mystical magical marvelous world of dreams. Tahlequah, OK:  Sparrow Hawk Press. 

Taylor, J. (1992).  Where people fly and water runs uphill: Using dreams to tap the wisdom of the unconscious.  New York:  Warner Books Inc.

          Ullman, M., Krippner, S., & Vaughn, A. (1973).  Dream telepathy.  New York:  MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc.

          Van de Castle, R. L. (1994).  Our dreaming mind.  New York:  Ballantine Books.

  To read the Appendices to this report, which contain the verbatim accounts of participants, click here!

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