The 1,966th Meeting of the Society

October 5, 1990

Exploring the Natural Resources of Your Dreaming Mind

Robert Van de Castle

University of Virginia School of Medicine

About the Lecture

Our dreams are a vastly unappreciated natural resource. During a typical night's sleep, we all spend approximately 100 minutes engaged in dreaming activity that is interspersed fairly regular intervals during the night. We don't have to spend money to obtain dreams, nor wear special clothing to participate in them, nor do we have to engage in any strenuous physical activity to reap their helpful benefits. Whether we desire them or not, they come unbidden and can arrive bearing valuable gifts for those willing to accept them. Dreams can help us to develop a more realistic self-appraisal and assess our areas of conflict, shortcomings and strengths. They provide honest appraisals of our responses to other important individuals in our lives and offer suggestions as to how these relationships can be improved. They may even give us tips about necessary changes we need make with regard to our health status. Research findings confirming the ability of our dreaming mind to obtain information about distant events and future happenings will be presented. Such data substantiate that a materialistic model of human functioning is not consistent with empirical data. For many, dreams have also provided personal conviction of a spiritual dimension, and most of the world's major religions own their inspiration to dreams experienced by their founders. Dreams are expressed in an international pictorial language and construct a nocturnal bridge of communication between people from different cultures. Perhaps this talk and later discussion will stimulate you to claim your share in this universally available natural resource.