Sarvananda Bluestone,
The World Dream Book
(Destiny, 2002)

Dreaming. It is something we all do. Even those of us who claim we don't actually do dream; we just don't remember them. In the West, dreaming isn't considered a big deal. In fact, it has a bad rap sometimes; did you ever get in trouble as a kid for "day dreaming"?

Sarvananda Bluestone has written an instructional manual, The World Dream Book, to help those that are interested not only in learning how to remember their dreams, but also how to interpret them. Along the way he offers insights into the way in which many of the world's cultures view dreaming. In short, this book is part instruction booklet, part anthropological study and part dream- or story-telling.

Savananda likes to say that "dreams are another truth." There are infinite realities and who is to say which ones are true -- our waking consciousness or our dream consciousness or both? In many of the exercises, he likes to get his participants to blur the line between the two. In the majority of exercises, you will be told to write, write, write. This book, if followed in its entirety, will use a lot of pen and paper!

One of the things I truly like about the book is that it asks its readers to be open and use their imagination -- something that has atrophied as many of us have grown older. I also like how he disagrees with the many other dream interpretation books on the market. He points out that the symbols in dreams are extremely personal. What is a good omen to one individual might be evil for the next. No one but the dreamer can honestly interpret what they see in a dream.

It took me months to read this book. With all the "Dream Exploration" exercises, I could not get through more than a few pages at a time. Fortunately, it is acceptable to jump around from chapter to chapter if you so desire. Say you are having trouble with nightmares. Then you can certainly jump straight to chapter 4 and see what Sarvananda and many of the world's cultures have to say about them.

You will not agree with all that is printed in the book. You can't. Many of the cultural beliefs are diametrically opposed. Still, it is interesting to see what others feel about the subject. I don't share all of Sarvananda's personal beliefs that he discusses in the book, either. But I still was able to gain something from this offering. I am certainly remembering more of my dreams now. I'm also having fun as I figure out what they mean to me. I've come to enjoy exploring the symbols and feelings my imagination drums up at night. In a way I think I'm finding out more about myself.

If dreams interest you, then this book might be worth reading. At a minimum, you will be entertained by the "Dream Stories."

- Rambles
written by Wil Owen
published 28 May 2005

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