The Tuscaloosa News report Richard Louv article “Dreams: What They Say About Your Secret Self” by Richard Louv reports that “how” a person performs in his or her dreams often reflects “how” a person performs in waking life. Source
Louv goes on in the article to talk how understand how one is in dreams helps people discover the skills they need to perform more effectively in waking. The researcher Richard Corriere talks about how the Freudian notion of dreams needing to be interpreted by experts is useful in some cases but more often understand how one talks, acts and connects with others is a simpler and often more useful skill to acquire.
For example, many nightmares are examples of a person being very passive in their dreams. When events are “happening to you” in a dream the dream is often experienced as unpleasant and disturbing. Corriere’s ideas are defined in his three books on dreams: The Dream Makers The Dream Makers, Dreaming and Waking Dreaming and Waking, and the Functional Analysis of Dreams The Functional Analysis of Dreams.
Overall Corriere argues that dreams are useful teachers that don’t require experts to interpret but instead each person can ask herself or himself three simple questions:
- Am I active or passive?
- Do I talk or am I quiet?
- Do I connect with people or am I separate?
Ask those questions and then ask the question, “What happens in this dream when I am more active, when I talk, and I connect with people.” Corriere argues you’ll be surprised how quickly you begin learning from yourself.
The inspiration for Corriere’s research came from his anthropological studies of the study of the Senoi Tribe of Malaysia Source . The Senoi were known as a non-violent, highly productive society that taught their children from their earliest days to be strong in their dreams and to confront bad or evil characters. They had children learn to re-dream dreams until they were strong, active, speaking and calling on friends to help them while sleeping. The Senoi then went further to apply these same teachings to waking life skills.
Corriere began to understand how the current field of social science was 180 degrees different from the Senoi. Social Sciences instead of teaching the skills people needed to learn to be productive members of society was focused on what went wrong with people and societies. The Senoi were looking ahead to how to make life better while Social Science was looking at what went wrong. The light bulb turned on.