Have you ever experienced a lucid dream you yearned to describe and decipher? Have you been drawn to automatic or flow of consciousness writing as a therapeutic medium for personal growth? If you're drawn to the study of psychology or mind-body connections, documenting unlocked secrets of the unconscious mind in a journal is an enriching way to give voice to the inner narrator we all possess.
Benefits: Mapping the Unconscious
For those interested in cultural anthropology and the works of scholars such as Carl Jung Man and His Symbols, Joseph Campbell The Power of Myth, Marijas Gimbutas The Language of the Goddess to name a few, understand and value the intuitive parts of their nature and the power of the unconscious mind to influence everyday reality and the choices we make. Investigating the more mysterious parts of our nature can aid us in expanding our powers of understanding and perception.
Format: The Theorist
Would you like to invent a machine or scientific theory? Turn off all your computer and T.V. screens, buy yourself a notebook and start scribbling. The American psychologist and author Catharine Morris Cox Miles studied the habits of 300 well known geniuses and discovered that all of them were journal or diary keepers. She also discovered that only 1% of the world’s population engaged in journal writing on a daily basis. Those that did turned out to be higher achievers that lived longer lives than most.
Through the use of client dream documentation, dream scholars study the complex way in which dreams may offer metaphorical commentary on future events, psychological dilemmas, physical health and initial symptoms of disease. Paying attention to one’s unconscious can be critical in matters of illness and creativity. Documenting internal messages is a vital activity for those whose dream life is as important as waking reality.
Here is an example of a predictive dream with a special emphasis on specific words: “I dreamt that a friend by the last name of Cantor told me my dog had died. I was upset by the dream so discussed it with friends at dinner, the extreme old age but good health of my dog and why an acquaintance would have announced her death in a dream. They remarked that Cantor sounded a lot like cancer. On arriving home my husband remarked that my dog appeared to have a dramatic swelling on her leg. Two days later she was diagnosed with cancer and died within three weeks”.
Dream interpretation varies widely and different techniques are employed. Research a school of interpretation for yourself or simply use the Jungian technique of giving a voice to each object in the dream (human, animal, sky, water, jewel, book, shoe, etc) and allowing the object to speak to their own significance.
Choose a journal large enough for drawings or depictions. Store it in a bed side table or within reach of your bed. Some may want to use a tape recorder and later transcribe dreams into journals. Dream experts suggest that plenty of rest is beneficial to an active dream life. To remember dreams they suggest the following:
Format: Active imagination and automatic writing
For some, the idea of automatic writing is tainted by the craze of spiritualism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries plus modern new age channeling techniques wherein a ‘spirit’ speaks through a living person.
His personal diary in which he recorded his experience and use of automatic writing was bound in red leather and has come to be referred to as the Red Book. It consists of 205 pages of text (81 of which are hand drawn calligraphy) and numerous luminous illustrations depicting his inner world visions. Until 2001 the Jung estate and his heirs denied scholars access to the book for fear of harming Jung’s reputation and until 2009 only two dozen people had even seen it. After persuading Ulrich Hoerni, Jung’s grandson, of its importance, historian Sonu Shamdasani created the Philemon Foundation in order to facilitate the publication.