I was initially attracted to this book because of its physical beauty. It was lying on the counter at Field's Metaphysical Bookstore and it captured m...moreI was initially attracted to this book because of its physical beauty. It was lying on the counter at Field's Metaphysical Bookstore and it captured my eye, then secured my purchase as soon as I picked it up. Its a true pleasure to hold.
The text itself is equally as beautiful. Its an essay about mysticism, dreams, and initiation, as its title suggests. It is the most intelligent treatment of dreams I have read since Jung. In fact, it was almost too intelligent for me, I needed to look up several words and I'll have to read it again before I can fully express what it conveyed.
Luckily for me, it also sketches out a history of mystical dreams at the same time as expounding its theory, which is still above my head. The history was illuminating and surprisingly complete for such a small book. Strictly as a collection of references and a bibliography, this book is outstanding. (less)
Every once in a while, I'll go to a bookstore and buy a book with no clear reason why or even a notion of when I'll read it. This book was one of them...moreEvery once in a while, I'll go to a bookstore and buy a book with no clear reason why or even a notion of when I'll read it. This book was one of them. After a few weeks of it on my shelf, I started it. I think its subtly changed my life or, at least, my relationship to my dreams.
Moss offers a very sane view of dreams, backed up with years of personal experience, study, and work facilitating dream groups. He suggests that while dreams have a psychological component, they're also spiritual in nature. This isn't a new notion and in fact none of what he presents is novel. Rather, it reads more like a collection of chapters on common sense about dreaming than a presentation of a theory.
He simply points out that they're a very natural experience, albeit somewhat magical. He goes through their aspects and offers his experience on them, which is very interesting and informative. He offers techniques to engage with and explore dreams.
The best part of this book is that the techniques and experiences aren't limited to dreams in sleep. He offers methods to engage with the world, memories of dreams, and psychological phenomena during waking life. In fact, I finished reading this book with a strong appreciation for the dream-like nature of waking life.(less)
One of the unfortunate things about being interested in lucid dreaming is the lack of literature on the topic. Actually, the lack of intelligent, thou...moreOne of the unfortunate things about being interested in lucid dreaming is the lack of literature on the topic. Actually, the lack of intelligent, thought out, and well written literature. On a whole, lucid dreaming books have too much of the author's own opinion and not enough research, in addition to mediocre writing. What I want is a well researched, well written, and scholarly book that doesn't read like the author's dream journal.
This book almost fulfills my wish. It is well written. The author is scholarly and has spent years researching the subject. There are more examples of other people's dreams than the author's. I read it all the way through.
However, it doesn't break free of my stereotype of lucid dreaming books. While its the best I've encountered in its class, it is still in that class. It is not scholarly, nor is it well researched, even though the author himself is those things. It is more like a conversation with a smart and knowledgable person on the subject, rather than a treatise.
Wikipedia shares more information on the subject in a more concise fashion. If you're interested in the facts and history of lucid dreaming, go there. However, if you're interested in the opinions and impressions of an intelligent, well-read, and experienced lucid dreamer, then read this book.(less)