The tragic death of Princess Diana set into motion an international swirl of
public and private concern, mass media events, talks, conversations, personal
reflections and yes, dreams. Those who follow their dreams parallel the
processes the general public follow. We struggle with both private and public
suffering. Institutions and public processes are brought into question, and our
connection with our personal beliefs, images and values emerge. We sort through
which of our feelings are mediated by public media events, and which are private
concerns for who Diana was to us. Where is she the real person, where the
Princess, and where is she a symbol for our own inner life?
I was discussing this event with the dream content analysis researcher,
William Domhoff. We were talking about how world events are not usually part of
our dream life. Work, for example, is rarely dreamt about. Bill said that his
colleague , the famous dream researcher Calvin Hall was teaching a class and
collecting dreams in the 1940's. After the atomic bombs were dropped in Japan,
he noted that not one of his students had dreams about this event. "Given
that we dream so rarely about world events," said Domhoff,
"underscores just how deeply Diana was a part of our *personal*
concerns." In terms of her fairy tale like rise to nobility, yet her
continual struggle with ‘common' problems of bulimia, sexuality and other
needs, she publicly acted out our fantasies and struggles.
On the other hand, Diana also held & symbolized the larger than personal,
the values we aspire to be like. This not only included her being selected and
noticed by the prince, but also in her heroic efforts to help others less
fortunate. The fact that her death evoked such a large international response,
became itself an larger-than-life event and has caused the re-examination of
many social practices, including the monarchy, the media, and our own roles in
her accident. When Mother Teresa then died as well, the two events were often
read together, as if a general assumption of great women was taking place.
In the Dream Section of Electric Dreams 4-9 you will be able to see a sample
of these dreams and their special and unique ways of coping with these events.
An now, what do we make of all this, what changes in our behavior and
potentials are now available? In our articles section we deepen the imagery of
this event and offer a few perspectives by which to help investigate our own
dreams and feeling of September, 1997, a month when the whole world cried.
Gackenbach, Jayne (1997 September). Princess
Diana's Death as a Ripple in the Collective Field of Consciousness: Personal
Ruminations in the Context of My Work With the Cree. Electric Dreams 4(9).
Retrieved July 26, 2000 from Electric Dreams on the World Wide Web: http://www.dreamgate.com/electric-dreams
Marks, Tracy (1997 September). Diana,
the Living Myth: Diana/Artemis in Greek and Roman Mythology. Electric Dreams
4(9). Retrieved July 26, 2000 from Electric Dreams on the World Wide Web: http://www.deramgate.com/electric-dreams
Linda Lane (1997 September). Hooray!
It's the End of an Age. Electric Dreams 4(9). Retrieved July 26, 2000 from
Electric Dreams on the World Wide Web: http://www.deramgate.com/electric-dreams
Roberts, Maureen (1997 September). Dreams,
Death and Diana: Lessons in Personal and Collective Healing. Electric Dreams
4(9). Retrieved July 26, 2000 from Electric Dreams on the World Wide Web:
Also, please see the Diana Dreams for September 1997 Electric