Saturday, May 21, 2011

Books: The Committee of Sleep by Deirdre Barrett, Ph. D.

Help from the Committee of Sleep

I chose to read The Committee of Sleep because the title sounded very authoritative.  This book turned out to be quite informative and based on historical and research data.  The book covers how dreams have inspired the best work of famous people and how anyone can use dreams to solve problems.  There are lots of examples given, and the author also suggests techniques to develop lucid dreaming as a tool for inspiration.

Lucid dreams are generally dreams in which the dreamer realizes that he or she is dreaming and has some aspect of control over what happens in the dream, although there are still usually surprise elements.  The normal restrictions of waking life do not apply.  People can fly, call upon or dismiss characters at will and do all sorts of things that defy the rules of waking life.  When dreamers realize that they are dreaming, they can actively seek inspiration within the dream and possibly wake themselves soon after, in order to record the dream in waking life.

There are several examples of scientists giving subjects brainteasers to solve using dreams.  Many people successfully solved the riddles or came very close.  Using the subconscious mind during dreams, we are able to break away from the confines of the conscious mind and think outside of the box.  There were also studies done in which subjects were asked to solve a waking life problem or question that was of importance to them.  I am fascinated by this and plan to try it.

I recommend this book to any dreamers out there who are looking for a more practical application of the information we learn in our dreams.  Although the book was a bit dry and overly-historical in some parts, the real world examples of success give me hope that dreaming might be a fruitful ground for working on my own problems.  Stay tuned to see if my dreams yield any real problem solving.