Book Review: 
I Must Be Dreaming – 
A Guide to Interpreting Your Dreams
 – Leon Nacson

Insights by Deepak Chopra;


Published by Newleaf: Dublin 1997

Written by the Editor of the Australian environmental newspaper “The
 Planet”, this small volume is aimed at the popular psychology market and
 comprises a selection of easy to follow techniques for recording dreams, using
 daydreams, hints on how to sleep well and using the tarot to interpret your dreams.

While Nacson looks at dream-work from a variety of approaches, including the
 Gestalt method of becoming the dream, his approach is broadly Jungian. His initial 
emphasis is on the personal meanings of each symbol for the dreamer. In order to
 explore the archetypal elements in a dream he turns to the more unorthodox
 method of using the tarot’s major arcana. Through a process of visualisation, one 
holds the image in mind and then sets out the cards as if for a reading, looking at 
details on the card which may elucidate its obscure meaning. As he admits, it has
 no scientific basis but feels it helps to develop one’s intuitive perception.

He also includes eight pages of the most common dream symbols and gives a 
handful of likely associations with each. A more comprehensive study is 
undertaken of motifs such as the body, various animals, money, death, the past, 
buildings, transportation, work, feelings, music, seasons, peoples and numbers.

The chapter on daydreaming is probably the most unusual in the book. Nacson is 
certainly a believer in the power of positive thinking and revels in the potential 
healing that exists in the use of imagination and optimism.

“Dream more than others think is practical! Those of us who dream are actually 
creating our tomorrows. I am acquainted with a lot of dreamers and the ones I truly 
enjoy are the ones everyone else thinks are a little bit wacky or eccentric. I once 
knew a dreamer who never did a practical thing in his long and joyful lifetime.
 Care more than others think is wise, risk more than others think is safe, expect 
more than others think is possible.”

The book basically fulfils its purpose as a light-hearted and easily accessible
 approach to dream-work. While those who work regularly with their dreams may 
find it too basic or too ‘wacky’ it can provide the beginner with a loose framework
 within which to come to one’s own conclusions as to the purpose of dreams.

Those who are looking for this volume in the bookshelves may care to note that its 
clever packaging may lead one to believe it is written by the more well-known
 author of its foreword, Deepak Chopra.

Tim Hannan.