Wednesday, December 1, 2010

When dreamers are the top earners

"Dreams represented a guarantee of work and the possibility of wealth and fame. Any children who showed an inclination - vivid dreaming, night terrors, a tendency to sleepwalk, were thought, by hopeful families, to have chance at the life."

A society where dreamers have the highest social status and are even better-paid than anyone else? this has to be fiction, right? Well, yes. The quote is from a most interesting young adult novel, Dreamhunter, by New Zealand author Elizabeth Knox. She creates an alternate reality where the most powerful, most respected - and most feared - citizens are the "dreamhunters" who are able to produce dreams that can be transferred to others. So far, so good. But there is a dark side to this situation. Any power can be abused, and when dreaming is recognized as the ultimate form of power, there are interests that will seek to control and misuse that power for their own agendas.

A provocative read, which challenges those of us who are seeking to midwife the rebirth of a dreaming society to think carefully about all the issues this will involve.

Elizabeth Knox is a vivid writer and an intelligent thinker on collateral matters. As a historian, I wanted to stand up and cheer when I read this: "History, unlike science, doesn't need repeatable proofs. A story can be true if its sources are sound." This is exactly why we need the historian's approach, more than the psychologist's, to understand the past and future nature of dreaming. While a certain type of scientist will dismiss case histories of dream precognition, or even the vast array of historical case studies in my Secret History of Dreaming as merely "anecdotal", any true historian knows better.


Justin Patrick Moore said...

The Muse of Clio seems to be at play.

This book has been on my "to-read" list for awhile. I'm moving into a a YA reading period, so I'll definitely find an available copy here at the Winged Library.

Savannah said...

This looks great, and I'm in the market for another novel! Thanks for all the wonderful reviews you share on this blog, Robert. So many times it's synchronistically introduced me to just the perfect reading material!

Irène said...

I've never regretted reading book references I've found on this blog. And similar to Savannah, I always find some aspect of this recommended litterature to apply specifically to the current thread of life I'm weaving. ... and I do remember Robert recently speaking about the possibility of earning one's living by doing dreamwork.

Anyone else interested in dreaming this into reality with me?

nina said...
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Robert Moss said...

Irene - Well, yes, as you are quite aware I have made it part of my life mission to help to create a situation where active dreamers and dream teachers can earn a decent living doing what we do, which is urgently needed in our world.

Patricia said...

Thank you for this reference. It seems to tap into a project I'm working on at the moment. I ordered the book straight away. It will be interesting reading I'm sure.
As for encouraging others to play with their dreams, I'm all for it and have already chosen a course of action for next year. People down under are sometimes a bit reluctant to take a leap, but I feel the time is coming.
Regards as always