Possible worlds, possible selves: Dreaming and the liberation of consciousness

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Book Chapter

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Theories of the dreaming-waking relationship vary dramatically. Historically, the dominant view was that the dreaming mind is dissociated from the waking mind. William James, for example, asserted that a hallmark of the waking mind is the ability to reflect upon or evaluate ongoing experience (what Farthing termed reflective awareness) and that dreaming lacks this capacity.' In a similar vein, Freud theorized that dreaming entails a regression to earlier developmental stages and to primary processes characterized by magical thinldng, loss of ego control and irrationality. Many of the subsequent and highly influential dream theories that emerged from studies of dreaming in the sleep laboratory incorporated this 'deficiency' view of the dreaming mind without further investigation. Hence few dream researchers, with the notable exception of Sheila Purcell, Alan Moffitt and their colleagues took up the task of testing these claims empirically.

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On dreams and dreaming


Sudhir Kakar

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