Electric Dreams

 The Electric Dreams Education Program - A Proposal

Richard Catlett Wilkerson

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Wilkerson, Richard Catlett (1997 January). The Electric Dreams Education Program - A Proposal by Richard Wilkerson. Electric Dreams 4(1). Retrieved July 26, 2000 on the World Wide Web: http://www.dreamgate.com/electric-dreams

Exploration of Electric Dream Educational Series:

What kind of educational assistance might we (The ED Dream Community) offer?

The question brings up the identity, however loose it is, of who we are. I'm assuming here that we are a loose knit grass-roots network of dream concerned netizens who basically love to share dreams and are continually seeking out new ways to do this, especially on the Net. Dream sharing in this sense is extended to include all forms of dream inspired expressions including groups, text, stories, art, voice & sound, journaling, news, gossip, questions, comments and many other forms. We seem to use the Electric Dreams monthly E-zine & Web site as a community focus for practicing dream sharing and providing news about other dream related events and resources. But the community also maintains active mail lists that are not published, practices dream sharing via unique venues and continues to explore new forms and cyber-venues for dream sharing. The community has become a resource center for dream and dreaming information and dream news and events. And, since we are often the *first* contact that a person has online for dreams and dreaming, we are often the gateway to Cyber-Dreamland. Sometimes we are the first contact a person has with *any* kind of dream awareness, which is why I'm interested in exploring our education possibilities.

:A side note on the word "interpretation". It seems to me that the definition as we (the ED community) use it is informed by psychology , but extended in meaning to include literary, philosophical, spiritual and artistic usage. In this sense, the interpretation of a dream is any response to a dream. Silence is considered an interpretation as spiritually and politically significant as a ten page Jungian analysis with pictures. There is a bias we consciously choose towards allowing the dreamer to be the final authority on the meaning and value of the dream, but modeling new & old interpretive techniques has been found to facilitate creative inspiration and guiding the dreamer in their usage is considered an act of caring and kindness.

Some things we have decided we are *not*. At this time we are not an venue for children. We seem to be open to someone expanding into this area and are willing to support them, but want to be very careful about protecting Electric Dreams and the Net as an open, adult environment were freedom of speech is protected and the pioneering spirit of the Net where traditional boundaries needed for protecting children do not become a hindrance to experimenting with new social practices for adults. (did you have to take a breath to get through that sentence?)

We have also decided we are *not* a venue for psychoanalysis and professional therapy. We find dream sharing is often healing, can provide insight and stimulate personal growth. But we have no designs nor plans at this time in aligning ourselves with the healing professions nor to provide crisis counselling. At all times and in all venues we enter into as part of the Electric Dreams sponsored events and programs, we do so a peers and adults responsible for our own behavior and actions. We tend to have a conscious bias toward self empowerment and the dreamer being the final authority on the meaning and value of his/her dream. Therapies & therapists may find us a resource for healing, empowering and insightful practices as well as leads on organizations, publications, schools and networks that involve dreams and dreaming.

We are *not* commercial. By this, I simply mean that we do not maintain a treasury or fund and do not accept money in exchange for advertisements. This is not a ethic or moral decision, but rather a general part of ED not really being owned by anyone and the group desire to not have repetitive, monthly information. On the other hand, we offer free space to commercial adventures to announce products, publications, classes and other commercial dream related seminars and events. The idea is to give us something *new* each issue, so that we can establish a networked relationship rather than a service contract. The key here is Electric Dreams as an informative exploration of cyber-dreaming.

Just what this means when we get donations is unclear.

In an attempt to accept varied and competing viewpoints, we continue to provide an open forum and try to respond to disagreeable views by sharing our own.

ED Dream Education Plan - A proposal

First Contact.
Since we are the first contact many people have online with dreams and dreaming, we have an opportunity to make the learning experience as joyful, fun and enlightening.

Do our own thing, but invite others to contribute.
In keeping with our open and organic process at Electric Dream, what I would like to contribute to the educational program are a set of cycles that will repeat throughout the year and give general info about dream sharing in general and cyberdream venues in particular. I think we already cover the specific programs just fine in events, news, and online activates.

The first cycle would be a set of articles on the different venues for dream sharing. Maybe 4 articles, repeated 3 times per year, hopefully with updates and other folks plugging in related articles when the interest or inspiration is there. I will just do the basics, including a summary of what's going on, a little on how -to and references to further exploration.

Jan - Email and Mail lists
Feb - Web sites as dream sharing
March - Usenet and message boards
April - IRC, Iphone, Teleconference, & other
May - Email and Mail lists
June - Web sites as dream sharing
July - Usenet and message boards
August - IRC, Iphone, Teleconference, & other
September - Email and Mail lists
October Web sites as dream sharing
November - Usenet and message boards
December - IRC, Iphone, Teleconference, & other

The second cycle will be a fun mix of history and technique. Each month will include a different school of psychology and an interpretive approach to dream imagery that the school either teaches or inspired and some links to related topics. Maybe a 1 year cycle. These will be very short, maybe 3 paragraphs and references.

I think this section will be called "Dream Sharing Influences"

Jan ------------Freud & Free Association
Feb ---------- Jung & Amplification
March ------- Adler & Practice Dreaming
April ------ - Surrealism and Self Astonishment
May -------- Phenomenology and the thing itself
June --------- Archetypal Psychology and Dream poetry
July ---------- Gestalt and levels of interpretation
August ----- Bodywork and the dreambody
September - Erickson and stage Dreaming
October ---Object Relations & Dream Objects
November - Proactive Dreaming & Dream Incubation
December - Grassroots and Alternative Dreaming

Just for the fun of it, Madame Aionia will be including this year "Dreaming through the Houses", an astrological exploration of dreaming cycle, with a different house focus each month. I've been trying to get an astrologer to do this now since 95 and can wait no longer, we're going with Madame Aionia! No, I'm not big on astrology as a predictive practice, but they have some great metaphorical lenses. Thus we can look forward to the addition of a new columnist, Madam Aionia, who can interface well with Bob's classification systems and occasionally, she tells me, she will interpret dreams. If this turns out to be as fun as I think it will be, Madame Aionia's brother Alberto Magnus may begin an alchemical series as well.

Jan -- 1st House - Personality, dispositions, appearances
Feb -- 2nd House - Possessions of all kinds
Mar -- 3rd House - Family, schools and immediate environments.
April -- 4st House - Home & Hearth, beginning and end of life.
May -- 5st House - Creativity, pleasures, and interests.
June --6st House - Working relations with servants, repair folk, students.
July -- 7st House - Emotional and Business relations, marriage & partners.
August -- 8st House - Crimes, inheritances of money and emotional patterns
Sept --9 st House -Distant travel, deep study, dreams, morals
October --10st House -Aspirations, ambitions and public standings
November -- 11st House -Friends, clubs, societies
December -- 12st House - Self sacrifice, seclusion, escapism

I think these cycles will be fun and may attract people who are interested in exploring the meaning and value of dreams in cyberspace. Also, I would like to encourage the columnists and readers who would like to contribute to these themes to send articles earmarked for that month. If you have themes you would like to see cycled throughout the year, send them along as well.