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Dude-a-palooza

25 Aug
Maude Lebowski bowls

“Your roll, New York,” says Lebowski Fest. Maude Lebowski (Julianne Moore), daughter of the Big Lebowski, not the Dude Lebowski.

This weekend Lebowski Fest was scheduled to bring fans of the Dude (Jeff Bridges in the The Big Lebowski [1998]) to Lucky Strike Lanes on far-west 42nd Street and Gramercy Theater on East 23rd Street. Although I have no reason to think the festival didn’t take place, I can’t say with certainty that it did, because I’m not a big enough Lebowski fan to have taken part. My lack of fandom for what’s been called a stoner masterpiece is of no consequence; easily enough without it, “The Dude abides.”

I had to do a Google search to be reminded whether there were any dream scenes. I have a poor enough memory for plot details, and this is a Coen Brothers movie about which, according to Wikipedia quoting an Indie Wire article, “Joel Coen stated: ‘We wanted to do a [Raymond] Chandler kind of story – how it moves episodically, and deals with the characters trying to unravel a mystery, as well as having a hopelessly complex plot that’s ultimately unimportant.'” As Roger Ebert described it, “‘The Big Lebowski’ is about an attitude, not a story….Only a steady hand in the midst of madness allows them [the Coen Brothers] to hold it all together–that, and the delirious richness of their visual approach.” All of which explains this film’s cult-fest worthiness. (Ebert’s review provides interesting backstory about the Coens’ inspiration for the main character.)

It turns out there are at least two major dream scenes, beloved of fans. One is a flying dream. The other is a Busby Berkeley* type of dance number to  Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) by Kenny Rogers & the First Edition (1968). Continue reading

Newish dream books by New Yorkers

10 Jul

Add these recent books to your reading list. They’re by local members of the International Association for the Study of Dreams:

About Dreams, by Suzanne T. Saldarini

About Dreams, by Suzanne T. Saldarini

 

  • The Gap, an ebook by New York psychoanalyst Lou Hagood, is available on Apple’s iBooks Store for iPhones & iPads, as well as Amazon’s Kindle and most other readers. It’s about a blind seer who does dream play in the Underworld.
The Gap, by Louis Hagood

The Gap, by Louis Hagood

 

Lavender, by Judy B. Gardiner

Lavender, by Judy B. Gardiner

 

The Creative Power of Dreams: conference report

31 May

With abject apologies to Ira Barouch, from whom I solicited this guest post, at long last I’m posting his report on the New England Regional Conference of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD)—which took place one long year (and a few days) ago. Two main reasons for my delay: The article happened to come to me just a few days after I had to move out of the apartment I had lived in for 26 years because my landlord needed to sell it (and I was still deep in trying to find a new place), so life was rather chaotic for quite a while. Also, a synchronistic typo occurred as I was doing a light edit of the piece. It occurred in the paragraph after the one on Kabbalah and dreams. Intending to type an em dash (Alt-0-1-5-1 on the number keypad when using Windows), I accidentally typed something I never have before or since: ק, a character I recognized as a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Because I’d heard of the Kabbalistic use of a numerology system called gematria, I emailed the friend who had told me about it for help in deciphering a potential gematria meaning of this little synchronicity. He was on his way out of the country, and at that point, I’m embarrassed to say, procrastination set in on both following up with him later and getting Ira’s post posted.

A small saving grace for me: Ira’s report has timeless relevance because of the subject matter. It also has timely relevance, because several of the people who presented at the New England conference will be presenting at IASD’s annual conference next week (June 3–8) in Berkeley, California: Linda Yael Schiller, Tzivia Gover, Curtiss Hoffman, and Deirdre Barrett. So Ira’s report can serve as a bit of a preview of the upcoming conference. Continue reading

Blessing-type synchronicities

2 Aug

Carl Jung defined synchronicity as meaningful coincidence—the noncausal correspondence between something on your mind and an external event that echoes it in some way. An example he gave (I might get some small details wrong here as I write from memory) was a patient of his who’d hit a brick wall for months in dealing with a particular issue. In her therapy session one day, she told him a dream in which she’d been given a golden brooch in the shape of an Egyptian scarab beetle. Just as she finished telling the dream, they heard a sound at the window. Jung opened it and caught in his hand the insect that made the noise as it beat its wings against the window. It was a scarab beetle, very rare in the Swiss environment of Jung’s home. The synchronicity so awed the patient that she experienced a breakthrough on the difficult issue.

I find that synchronicities often trigger my interest in something—commonly when I hear an unfamiliar word three times in 24 hours in different, unrelated contexts.

Other times, a synchronicity bestows a sense of blessing on a new interest that’s just occurred to me. That’s the type I experienced today. Continue reading

Robbie Bosnak: true gold

2 Feb

Robert BosnakThe talk Sunday night by Dutch psychoanalyst Robert Bosnak (who’s now based in Australia) was greeted with enthusiasm for this renowned and gracious dreamwork pioneer. In the late 1970’s, Robbie pioneered a radically new method of dreamwork—embodied imagination—that incorporates aspects of Carl Jung’s technique of active imagination and insights from Jung’s studies of alchemy. Robbie’s book A Little Course in Dreams has been translated into twelve languages. In the late 1990s, Robbie and advanced nurse practitioner Jill Fischer in Connecticut pioneered dreamwork on the Internet, establishing Cyberdreamwork.com, via which dreamers in locations around the world engage in real-time dream-sharing groups via PalTalk. And now they both are part of a team establishing a healing sanctuary in Santa Barbara, California.

Nieuw Amsterdam drawing by Rev. Samuel Manning, from Wikipedia Commons

Nieuw Amsterdam drawing by Rev. Samuel Manning, from Wikipedia Commons

Scheduled to be a keynote speaker at the 2011 conference of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) in Kerkrade, Netherlands, in June, Robbie chose a topic for New York that links his homeland with this city that originated as a Dutch colony: “Nieuw Amsterdam and the Dream of the Golden Age: An Alchemical Perspective.” Though Robbie set the dream succinctly against the cultural heritage of the 17th-century Dutch Golden Age that helped spawn Holland’s New World colonization, the “dream of the golden age” in Robbie’s title was the culmination of a modern-day dream series. The dreams were incubated (requested of the dreaming mind before sleep), under Robbie’s direction, by a person he characterized as a financial expert dealing with the emotions and practicalities of the past three years’ turmoil in the financial world.

Robbie intends to publish his research with the dreamer in question, so best to leave it to him to get it into writing the sensitive dream text accurately. Descriptions of the dream imagery in this post will be limited mostly to the very general (sorry, folks!), but it was rich with metaphors that seem easily associated to the stock market of the past couple of years: metaphors for bloatedness, performance measures, lack of transparency, control and lack thereof, indifference by those in charge to how activity is directed, heart-stopping panic, and collapse. The Dutch historical perspective that Robbie recounted also seemed easily associated to modern times, in a history-repeats-itself way. Continue reading