Electric Dreams

A View from the Bridge
May 2003

Peace Train Steams Into Berkeley Station

Jean Campbell

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Campbell, Jean (2003 June). A View from the Bridge - May 2003:
Peace Train Steams Into Berkeley Station. Electric Dreams 10(6).


For those of you who are planning to attend the annual Association for the Study of Dreams conference being held this year between June 27 and July 1 at the Radisson Hotel in Berkeley, California, [asdreams.org/2003] you won't want to miss either the Dreams and Peace Trains Workshop being conducted on Monday night by Jeremy Seligson, May Tung, and Jean Campbell, or the display of Peace Trains from around the world. The Peace Trains will be on display in the common areas of the conference throughout the week.

But the Peace Train Project, begun by The World Dreams Peace Bridge last August, has been picking up steam in more areas than one. Exciting news has reached the Peace Bridge recently from both Korea and Turkey, as dreamers from the Bridge continue to explore ways to dream the world toward peace.

Let me quote from a May 12 e-mail written from the original Peace Train dreamer, Jeremy Seligson, to UNESCO in Seoul:

"Dear Mrs. Yeon,

Could you please forward this explanation to your counter-part in UNESCO North Korea. It would be wonderful if North Korean children could draw pictures of peace and make their own North Korean Children's Peace Train which could link up with the South Korean Children's Peace Train and make one Korean Children's Peace Train of it. What a good example they could set for the adults on both sides."

Jeremy states in an enclosed article, the purpose of Peace Trains:

"The Peace Train is a dream on behalf of the people and other creatures of this planet, and especially for the children and future generations who will inherit the condition of life on Earth from us. It is a dream of love and prosperity, of harmony and joy, of self-confidence and personal security. It is a dream of a co-operative family, local and world community, one that creates an environment for respectful settlement of disputes. And it began with an actual dream I had on July 26th, 2002...."

Jeremy goes on to explain:

"The first trains began rolling in from children in South Korea. It was here that the World Children's Peace Train first began, with art works collected by my students at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul. They went out to playgrounds, elementary and middle school classrooms, Sunday schools, art schools, youth groups and other places to lead Peace Train workshops, collect and construct trains together with the children. The children made Peace Trains and at the same time received Peace Training. They learned to express their own desires and feelings for peace, as well as to work together with others on a project for peace, a project which was part of a greater design, involving children around the whole world....

"It is apt that the Peace Train begin in Seoul, Korea, because this is perhaps the most dangerous place in the world to live, being faced with the moment by moment threat of annihilation by the missiles and artillery of the North Korean military, stationed just some 230 kilometers away...."

The most recent stop for the Korean Peace Train was at the International Fair in May at the International School in Seoul, where a Peace Train exhibit graced the walls of the gym where the fair was held. Jeremy has also been interviewed recently for a Peace Train documentary by a Korean journalist, who is currently studying in London.

More exciting Peace Train news came in mid-May from Ilkin Sungu in Turkey. At a picnic, she struck up a conversation with the wife of a childhood friend, who turned out to be the national director of the Education Volunteers Association, a group which sponsors after-school and summer programs for school children all over Turkey.

So excited was this new friend about the Peace Train Project and its potential, that she immediately asked Ilkin to put together a proposal for using it as a teaching tool within the program, and scheduled a meeting for her with program directors during the week of May 20.

But wait. There's more. Quoting from a post sent by Ilkin to the World Dreams Peace Bridge on May 21, "I entered the meeting room and an EARTHQUAKE happened (fortunately not a large earthquake). I saw that they already put Peace Train in their Summer School Program.... They are also planning to put The Peace Train in their 2003-2004 Academic Year Program...."

As the meeting progressed, Ilkin said, she learned that this large volunteer organization was also planning to offer the Peace Train Project to one of its sponsors for its annual Summer Festival.

Assuming that the Peace Train Project is accepted as the theme for this event, Ilkin explained in her proposal for the Summer Festival:

"....Our goal will be to build the basics of 'peace consciousness' in our own country where nearly half of the 72 million population is under the age of 16.

" The natural geographic specialty of Turkey, as the only country in the world being a bridge between continents will also let the Turkish Children's Peace Train be a natural bridge between the cultures and societies....

" Turkish children are, although they have witnessed many wars in neighboring countries for decades, the lucky children of a country which did not even enter the Second World War, and who grow up with a belief of 'Peace in the Homeland, Peace in the World.' They have many important observations to tell the world children both from their witnessing the wars in nearby areas and growing up in a country which has not entered any war since its founding."

The Peace Train Project is not the only aspect of the World Dreams Peace Bridge, but it is a most important and growing one. On the Peace Bridge discussion list, the Peace Train maintains its foundation in dreams. For example, here is one recent dream from Nick in Australia (see Nick's report on Dreams and Healing in this issue of Electric Dreams)

Colourful Friendships

I'm on the train, near the front of one of the carriages. Two seats down, closer to the door, I see a boy of about 4 and his roughly 30 year old mum. She's got a punk-like haircut, but she's a very relaxed person. She goes off, to check something, so I start talking to her son. At first, I'm just smiling at 'the little baby', making faces and stuff. A girl about my age, looks over at me. I catch a glimpse of inner happiness - as she watches.

Anyway the boy starts talking to me, at which I am a little surprised - because he's so young. I decide that I should make more of an effort to listen to children. After a little, I'm beginning to wonder where his mum is, and notice that she's near the door. She seems to be getting the pram ready. Laughing, I make a joke, about how she just disappeared, leaving her poor son here with me. I'm surprised at how comfortable I feel speaking to her.

Then the mum, starts showing me how they've decorated the train. It's very cool, I see five little necklaces hanging from the front of the carriage, along with these amazingly colourful fish - made from paper. It reminds me of this origami-fish, my friend made for me. I called it a peace-fish. Suddenly I am struck by this realisation, that this lady would be a perfect person to tell about the Peace Trains project. I start, "Well that's really interesting, because there's this project using artwork like this for peace".

At this stage, my friend Jesse joins me. He adds something, saying "I like artwork for communication". It comes across with his own particular slant on things - ie. the use of artwork to market an idea. After this the woman is talking about friendships, and the different kinds. I see a scene, and in this a big roadway type thing, surrounded by buildings? on either side. At the beginning, there is a space for 'physical friendships' highlighted, and she points out one or two other varieties - through the depiction of colour.

I think one of them's about friendships, which are more based on who is popular, etc. Finally, I see an area called 'colourful', and she tells me "Invariably, colorful's make the most of where I am".

Dreaming of peace and the interesting projects created as dreams come true happen daily on the Bridge. Join us. To learn more about The World Dreams Peace Bridge, go to our web site at http://www.worlddreamspeacebridge.org, or join the Peace Bridge discussion group by sending a post to

The World Dreams Peace Bridge is a group that uses personal dreams for public world peace. You can find out more about the WDPB at: http://www.worlddreamspeacebridge.org