Today I enjoyed a lively conversation with Anne Hill on her "DreamTalk" radio show based in Occidental, California. A central theme was how we ceased to be a dreaming society and how we can grow a dreaming society again. I talked about how the advent of artificial lighting disrupted the natural cycle of sleep and wakefulness - and dreamtime and liminal states. In the old days, Westerners did not expect to lie down and sleep for seven or eight hours. They were used to having a "first sleep" and a "second sleep" and maybe a "third sleep" with intervals of reverie or wakefulness during which, inter alia, they might share dreams and thoughts with whoever was available in what was rarely a very private setting. The benefits of that, in terms of dream recall, dream sharing and community dreaming, can be observed in the case of the Andaman islanders, whose practices may have helped them get out of the way of the terrible Asian tsunami of December 2004, a case discussed in my Secret History of Dreaming.
I don't despair, not at all, about the prospects for reviving dream practice in our society as a whole. First off, in evolutionary terms we are still very much the same people as our ancestors who thought night was for more than dreamless, uninterrupted sleep. Second, with our Lightnng Dreamwork process, we at last have a quick, high-energy, fun way to share dreams and guide each other to take effective action to bring guidance and energy from the dreamworld into ordinary life that can work with just about anyone. Third, while technology may have interrupted our natural cycles of sleep and dreaming, there is a good chance that it will now give many of us the opportunity to reclaim a creative realtionship with the night.
Within our linked-in, worldwide webs, how many of us really need to work regular hours in an office in order to do our jobs and sustain an active working community? Pretty soon we'll be able to project our holographic doubles to attend meetings anywhere on the planet that has the appopriate screen. As more and more of us grab the opportunity - and develop the required discipline and drive - to work from home or in intentional settings, we can also practice developing discretionary and flexible hours. Sure, kids and other obligations will still necessitate schedules. But those of us some of the sniffy elite in the print media like to call "bloggers in pyjamas" will prove to be a wave of the future, the wave on which the dreaming society can rise again.
I confessed to Anne Hill, after she used that phrase on the show, that I am a "blogger in pyjamas - except that I don't wear pyjamas." Quick as a whip, she dubbed me, "a blogger in a robe".