Dreams are pictorial representations of what is going on beneath the surface of our mundane consciousness. This is the area of life where our true feelings, beliefs, desires and psychic mechanisms reside.
It therefore stands to reason that the more we look to this rich vein of psychological material the greater the level of self-knowledge and conscious awareness we can have of ourselves. In this regard dreams are particularly important for they are capable of aiding us in the journey to deeper connections with, amongst other things, the Universal Spirit
Dr. Michael Lennox is a practicing psychologist with a deep understanding and appreciation of the significance of dreams and their ability to educate and inform. In his book Llewellyn’s Little Book of Dreams, he has distilled his understanding of dreams down into a form that is readily accessible to anyone who is new to the subject.
Dr. Lennox began his own journey of discovery into the subject of dreams the day when, as a young boy, he came across a copy of the seminal work on the unconscious, The Interpretation of Dreams, by psychologist Sigmund Freud. From that moment on he developed a deep fascination with the unconscious – one which began by him interpreting his friends dreams and which led him to earning a master’s and doctorate degree in psychology in his later years.
Whilst studying for his degree the author found the part of the curriculum that dealt with dreams a little too narrow and restrictive so later on he developed his own specific, and somewhat intuitive method of working with them.
Llewellyn’s Little Book of Dreams is divided into four specific and distinct parts. In the first the author offers a general overview of dreams; what they are and why we have them. In the second he looks at the most common dream types that people tend to have. This includes nightmares as well as recurring, precognitive, lucid, and shared dreams.
In the next section the author considers the practices involved in working with dreams. This includes how to recall dreams, record them, and analyse them. Finally, Dr. Lennox investigates the subject of psychological archetypes and primary dream symbols. This includes an analysis of such elements as animals, people, specific environments, situations, colors, actions and circumstances.
In summing up the nature and value of dreamwork the author states. “When you approach your interpretation process through the lens that every image in a dream is reflecting some part of you and your personality, it becomes possible to have a deeper understanding of all the elements of your ever-expanding sense of self.” That surely describes the power of dreams as a transformative tool.
Whilst the author references Freud as being instrumental in his discovery of the importance of dreams I am pleased to report that, thankfully, he has tended to leave the founder of psychoanalysis where he belongs – back in the century he was working in.
Instead Dr. Lennox founds his fundamental approach to dreams through the work and framework of C. G. Jung – the Swiss psychologist who tended to view dreams through a more mythological and spiritual perspective. For this reason his book will be of particular interest to those who are working in the field of self-development.
This book describes itself as ‘little’. Do not take this at face value for here is a work that crams in about as much information and insight as any one might be able to digest. Additionally it is an extremely well-structured work and the writing, although clearly technical and complex by nature, is presented in an extremely clear and readable way.
Furthermore, I must point out that this is also a delightfully produced book – one that has a great typeface and an excellent use of colour highlighting. Its enclosed exercises are extremely valuable as indeed is its full index.
In the Llewellyn’s Little Book of Dreams Dr. Michael Lennox has produced an exceptional perspective of the workings of the inner world of the human psyche. Anyone who might be guided towards looking more closely at their dream world will find it to be a rich repository of practical insight and guidance.