Jean Campbell, is an American dream analyst who has been devoting many years of her life to the study of dreams. She is CEO of the nonprofit organization, The iMAGE Project of Dreams. A dream researcher, lecturer. and a popular TV show guest in the United States, she leads worshops and teaches classes on dreams. She is the author of the books font-style: Great Gardens of America and Dreams Beyond Dreaming.
She has been involved with IASD since it began in 1984, and has been dedicated to spreading the importance of dreaming, as well as helping to build an international community of dreamers. Because she sees the Internet as a major tool in this work, she has moderated the IASD Online Bulletin Board and also created The World Dreams Peace Bridge. Jean Campbell is IASD President- Elect 2005
When did you become interested in dreams?
I first became interested in dreams when I was about five years old, and discovered that I could fly down the stairs and not hurt myself. When my family laughed at me though, and said, "Oh that was just a dream," I lost interest and did not recall another dream until three powerful dreams shook me awake in my early twenties.
Which is your approach to dreams?
For the past twelve years, my approach to dream work has been what I call DreamWork/BodyWork, because it utilizes the knowledge inherent in the body to interpret the dream. The body has a natural understanding of the meaning of a dream, and if we stand in the way of a dream character, or move as the dream character moves, we often learn a great deal about the message the dreaming self is attempting to communicate. The paper I presented on DreamWork/Body work at the annual conference of the International Association for the Study of Dreams in 2000 is available online at http://www.imageproject.org in the Therapy Works section of the site.
How can dreams be used for healing people?
What I have discovered in working with clients utilizing the DreamWork/BodyWork approach is that the dreaming self is often keeping a much closer watch on physical health than the waking self may be. So dreams can be about the prevention of illness as well as about curing it. For example, a dream about fish may, quite literally, be a dream saying that the body needs more fish protein in order to stay healthy (although of course the dream may be about other things as well).
People who are long-term dream journal keepers will often discover, when going back over a series of dreams, that the dreaming self has been trying to communicate health information long before a disease is evident. I recommend journal keeping to anyone who is interested in utilizing the information of dreams to the fullest possible extent.
Is it possible to dream in groups?
This question probably deserves a dissertation, but I will try to be brief. Starting with a Dream Helper experiment in 1978, which was co-facilitated by the Association for Research and Enlightenment (the Edgar Cayce organization) and Poseidia Institute, which I then directed, I began to organize a series of research projects about group dreaming or mutual dreaming.
We called these research projects "Dreams to the Tenth Power," because they involved bringing together ten dreamers, often people who had never met and who lived in different parts of the world. During this research, there were many examples of people sharing dream elements or meeting each other in dreams, even lucid dreams. Possibly the most delightful of these examples happened in 1986, when we ran two Dreams to the Tenth Power groups simultaneously.
Each group was given a target or goal to meet two times per month for three months. During the last month of the experiment, a participant in one of the groups said she was getting married and wished to invite the other nine people in her group to the wedding (in dreams). We gave the second group of dreamers the original goal, to "meet at the beach."
On the target date, six out of the ten dreamers in Group One attended a wedding, if not the wedding, but the woman who was getting married wrote to say she must have been very tired that night. She had a dream, but not about the wedding. Instead, she dreamed that she joined a group of others who "looked familiar" for a trip to the beach.
Naturally, with such results, I am convinced that people often dream together spontaneously, though we may never know how many until more people are comfortable sharing their dreams.
What is a lucid dream?
I mentioned lucid dreaming in the answer to my last question because, in the context of mutual or group dreaming, lucidity takes on a somewhat expanded meaning.
Many people have lucid dreams, though they have never known what to call them. At its simplest level, lucid dreaming is the awareness, while dreaming, that the event happening is a dream.
From that point, researchers interested in dream lucidity have defined more subtle distinctions in types of lucidity. There is even a conversation about lucid dreaming recorded between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and a group of Western scientists, including one of the original researchers of dream lucidity, Dr. Jayne Gackenbach, in the book Sleeping, Dreaming, Dying .
However, most of these distinctions involve only one dreamer. There is very little published information dealing with mutual dream lucidity, but having experienced this, I can only say that it gives a whole new meaning to the concept of telepathic communication.
Is it possible recognize a precognition dream?
Obviously there are many "laws" of space and time which are brought into question by the experience of mutual dreaming. How can people "meet" in the dream state when the agreed upon laws of physics say that I am either here or there, not both?
A similar question is raised about precognition, or the kind of dream in which we dream something happened days, months or even years before it happens in waking life. There are numerous recorded instances of this type of dreaming, for example the book Committee of Sleep by Deirdre Barrett, Ph.D.
What we have discovered about mutual dreaming is that people who live in different time zones may dream the same event, or even people who dream a day before or a day after an agreed "meeting time" may dream the event. At the very least, it appears that space and time are not linear, in order for this to happen. Of course, anyone familiar with the discoveries of quantum physics over the past fifty years is already aware of this. So rather than say we are dreaming precognitively, it might be more accurate to say that all events are present in "time" and we only perceive them differently while dreaming than we perceive them when awake.
What is the World Dreams Peace Bridge?
The morning of September 11, 2001, I watched on television as a second passenger airliner flew into the Twin Towers in Manhattan. As moderator for the online Bulletin Board of the International Association for the Study of Dreams web site, I knew that many others (as I did myself) would probably have experienced dreams about the disaster. I went to my computer and sent out an invitation to people to record their dreams online. There were dozens of them.
Not long after this though, noticing the feeling among many dreamers that they should have been able to do something to prevent the tragedy from occurring, again I went to my computer and sent out an invitation to people to join a new online group: The World Dreams Peace Bridge. If we can dream precognitively, I asked them, could we possibly dream the world toward peace?
From that beginning, over one hundred dreamers from seventeen countries in the world now are joined on The World Dreams Peace Bridge. Dreamers on the Peace Bridge have followed their dreams of Peace, and the results have been quite amazing: a dream from Jeremy Seligson in South Korea resulted in Peace Train art work created in many countries and Peace Trains being sent around the world; dreams of the children before the invasion of Iraq resulted in the formation of the Aid for Traumatized Children Project, an ongoing funding of assistance for the children in Iraq. Over $20,000 has been raised so far. For more information on the work of The World Dreams Peace Bridge, visit our web site at http://www.worlddreamspeacebridge.org .
And the World Dreams Peace Train?
Let me say just a little more about the Peace Train Project. This is a peace-making activity that any number of people can enjoy, whether or not they are involved with dreams.
In the original Peace Train dream, Jeremy found himself riding on a train across the United States. The train carried a banner on its engine that read, "Peace Train," as it traveled across the country to Washington. Members of the Peace Bridge picked up on the idea and Peace Trains began appearing, as if by magic.
* In Australia, Victoria Quinton and Nick Cumbo began holding Peace Train Workshops in Queensland and created a PeaceTraining web site.
* In Turkey, on Childrens Day 2003, children all over the country created Peace Train art, later displayed at an international Peace conference in Istanbul.
* In Oregon, a school teacher and her students created a Peace Train that traveled along every hallway in the school.
* Children from seasons Art School in Baghdad, Iraq created their vision of Peace and sent photos of the drawings online to the World Dreams web site.
* One German family opened their home to their children's friends for a family day of creating Peace Trains.
* Members of The World Dreams Peace Bridge won first prize at the 2003 Dream Ball at the conference of the International Association for the Study of dreams with their Peace Dragon Train costume.
Anyone who wants to create a Peace Train can do so. And "conductors" on The World Dreams Peace Bridge will assist in moving that train on to another location.
Interestingly enough, many people have told me that they had Peace Train dreams, even before they knew about the Peace Train Project in waking life. One of these people was CEO President, Rosa Anwandter.
Tell me about your future projects
Since 2001, I have become increasingly aware that children are the most underrepresented group of dreamers in the world. There are no organizations for children who dream, no programs, very few books about dreams written for children. And to make matters worse, most dream organizations around the world are not child-friendly. They seem to put out the message, "No young people allowed." I would like to see this change, as I believe that children and the dreams of children are like an untapped reserve of oil or gold. Moreover, I would like to see programs in which whole families dream together and share information from their dreams. I have been working on two programs for children, which I would like to see more fully developed in the near future.
One program is The Dream Scouts International Program, which goes along with a set of books I have been writing for young adults, The Dream Scouts Adventure Books. Through this program, kids will get to look at some of the fun and adventuresome aspects of dreaming as well as the more serious ones.
During the spring of 2004, a group of fifteen young people, their parents, and a volunteer staff from three continents beta tested the Dream Scouts International Program online. They used password-protected bulletin boards to discuss their dream experiences and participated in several activities. Harry Bosma of The Netherlands has created a Dream Scouts dream journaling software, which is now being tested. More on the Dream Scouts is available at The iMAGE Project web site at http://imageproject.org/dreamscoutsinternational.htm
The other project I hope to see developed, one which goes right along with the Dream Scouts program, is a project called "Dreams and the Children of Baghdad." For this program, twenty one children between the ages of ten and fourteen have been selected by Seasons Art School in Baghdad to work as a group, and work with school staff, with their dreams. A curriculum is being created for the program which will allow the children to explore their dreams. But an extremely important part of the program is that it is designed to allow the children, the program staff, and several interested members of The World Dreams Peace Bridge to explore the differences and similarities between dream work in the Muslim world and dream work in other parts of the globe. This is a difficult program to deal with, even though all of us want to see it happen. The need for dreams for children living in a war zone is crucial. But the worsening conditions in Iraq make this work difficult. My hope is that a program developed in Iraq could be funded for use in other war-torn parts of the world.