In the Introduction to the book The Power of Myth, the late journalist Bill Moyers explains what he got from his many conversations with Joseph Campbell about the impact of myth and story on the human psyche. At one point saying, Now he was describing the hero’s journey not as a courageous act but as a life lived in self-discovery…
The book is laid out in conversation format, because it was based on several interviews Moyers conducted with Campbell concerning his life long study of mythology and what we humans can learn from it. When Moyers asks how we might begin this inward journey, Campbell tells him we can begin by paying attention to our dreams.
Moyers: How do we pay attention to our dreams?
Campbell: All you have to do is remember your dream in the first place, and write it down. Then take one little fraction of the dream, one or two images or ideas, and associate with them. Write down what comes to your mind, and again what comes to your mind, and again. You’ll find that the dream is based on a a body of experiences that have some kind of significance in your life and that you didn’t know were influencing you. Soon the next dream will come along, and your interpretation will go further.
The Power of Myth
__Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers
Makes it sound rather simple, doesn’t it? I had started working with my dream material long before I started writing my Morning Pages. There are many ways to learn how to lean in and listen. Working with dream material is definitely one of them. Much of what I had learned to do is there in those early pages. I had added a few things I had gained by reading books on working with dream material. Although I did make notes of what I did, and my interpretations, I no longer needed to write out the dream in full and total detail.
My oldest daughter was interested in the process and I had taught her how to work with dream images, using some of the techniques I had learned, and others I had created along the way. I believe that our sleeping dreams are often messages from the subconscious mind, giving us information about the place we are in and even suggesting, at times, how to deal with problems that have arisen. I still do the same with dream material because it actually works on many levels. As I have been reading through those early Morning Pages, I also find that those old dreams can be interpreted on a newer and deeper level.
For an example of some of the techniques I used to work with dreams, you may go here: http://1sojournal.wordpress.com/2008/12/15/holes-in-the-soul/