Eric Snyder: What, in your view, are the most significant benchmarks/ successes in terms of educating the public about dreams in the past 30-40 y ...read more
In the early 1980s, I was working as a counselor for the City & County of San Francisco. These kids were from broken homes and they had generally experienced little but abuse and neglect throughout their lives. As that time I was interested in how fantasy and creativity (and lack of it) played a role in development, but I didn't know much about dreams.
I began studying with Jungian analysts in San Francisco in the early 1980s, and found that dreams provided not only a wonderful arena for exploring fantasy and creativity but also provided a soulful feedback system and continual inner dialogue. After a few years I began studying with other people who worked with dreams in many other ways and shifted my focus away from pure Jungian dreamwork
I was especially interested in the lack of education that therapists were receiving in graduate counseling programs and began a dream tutoring practice to allow counselors from various modalities to respond to their clients' dreams in a more sophisticated manner. I felt a little boxed in by the work. The one-to-one contact was meaningful, but I felt I was not reaching a large enough audience. Also, the notion of dreams only being in the service of healing seemed limited. I wanted something that involved the wider culture. Both of these needs came together when I first experienced the Internet.
I began developing a wide variety of programs to network dreamworkers, distribute news, experiment with online dream sharing and provide information and education on dreams. This kind of global networking seemed the natural extension of the grassroots Dream Movement that had been developing since the 1960s, and I modeled much of the online community around this. The first part of the model I found in local dream sharing groups such as those made popular by Strephon William-Kapalan, Jeremy Taylor, Gayle Delaney, Stan Krippner, Montague Ullman, and many others. Another grassroots trend was a networked outpouring of information, education and creative group projects that included such organizations as BADG (Bay Area Dreamworkers Group), the Dream Library and Archive, and the Dream Network Journal.
My initial online community, the Electric Dreams Community, had, and still maintains at its core, a peer/partnership paradigm, and a focus towards online dream sharing. As new Internet projects came up, various members volunteered to coordinate and direct them. In this way the community remained a public service, being able to offer a monthly magazine (e-zine), continual online dream groups, the Global Dreaming News, and other projects.
About the same time, I noticed that there was a great need for education about dreams and dreaming and started the DreamGate classes online which offered not only a background in the field of dreams, but hands-on groups through the Net.
In 1996 I was part of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) Conference Committee and developed the Computer and Internet Resource and Exhibition Center for the Berkeley Conference, as well as contributing to the initial development of the IASD presence online and IASD web site, which I now manage for IASD. I have been very impressed by the way IASD attempts to provide a way for all fields to come together and study dreams encompassing all sides of the dream field, from anthropology, dream therapies, dreams and spiritual work, dream inspired art and literature, non-clinical dreamwork, dream telepathy, dream bio-physiology, and many other disciplines.
Over the next decade, I was the IASD Webmaster, the Chair of the Electronic Communications Committee, and provided regular articles on dreaming and dreamwork online to the IASD magazine, Dream Time in the Cyberphile column. This has allowed me to develop the online projects for IASD with many, many people from around the world, and unfold the IASD mission to provide dream education for the public and to make the Association a truly international enterprise. For example, beginning in 2002, IASD began offering an international online conference with Ed Kellogg, Ph.D., call the PsiberDreaming Conference, for which I built the technical infrastructure.
In 2005 I became the IASD Operations Director, managing the IASD office and its operations at the office in Berkeley. In 2018 the office went virtual and is now PO Box 206, Novato, CA 94948
Another interest has been interested in the application of philosophy to dreamwork. How can the application of novel ideas compliment and further the developments in dreamwork?
This work is collected on the Postmodern Dreaming page.