Dream and the Sacred

with Simão Cortês

 A four week course (via Zoom) on WEDNESDAY EVENINGS 7.00-9.00

18th November, 25th November, 2nd December, 9th December

 COST: £40. 

All sessions will be recorded and made available to participants.

In this course Simão is going to explore some of the core issues around dreaming and the relationship between the dreamer and her dreams. Each session will focus on a specific set of approaches to dreams, both religious and psychoanalytic, private and communal, creative and playful. Students should be able to acquire theoretical and practical knowledge on how to approach dreams in a variety of contexts. The world of dreaming is complex, multifaceted and enchanting. These sessions take an interdisciplinary approach to the subject in an attempt to convey the manifold possibilities of our night wanderings. Each class takes two hours, and will alternate lecture and seminar format. There will be a short pause around the one hour mark.

Simão Cortês is an astrologer, academic and a dream researcher. He has been exploring symbolic and divinatory techniques since 2012. In 2018 he concluded his Master’s in Myth Cosmology and the Sacred where he developed a Creative Project focused on dreams. He is now pursuing a PhD about the relationship between dreaming and education. His main interests are dreams, astrology, ancient philosophy and the intersection of animism and social justice issues.

 Session 1:  Dreams and Religion

In this session we will make a general overview of approaches to dreaming in different religious traditions and what this means for different theories of what the sacred is. We will cover approaches from classical antiquity, indigenous traditions, Christianity and Islam. We will also look at approaches from Eastern traditions, mainly Buddhism and Daoism. Topics covered will include:

Dreaming as freedom of the soul in classic antiquity and indigenous traditions

  • Word play in Egypt and Ancient Greece dream manuals
  • Christian and Islamic tensions in dreaming
  • Dreaming as koan in Buddhism and Daoism

Session 2:  Dreams and Psychoanalysis

In this session we will look at some psychoanalytic approaches to dreaming, in particular in the light of the Jungian and Freudian psychoanalytic traditions. I will attempt to connect this views of dreaming with our ways of understanding ourselves and our place in the world. Topics covered will include:

 Sigmund Freud: The dream as royal road to the unconscious

  • Carl Jung: Dream and objective psyche
  • James Hillman: Dream and the soul of the world
  • Robert Bosnak: Embodying dreams as a healing practice

Session 3: Communal Dream Practices

In this session we will look at dreams as more than a personal reality and as a shared source of knowledge for larger groups. We will start by looking at the so-called “dream cultures”, that is, cultures whose daily routine depends heavily on practices around dreaming. We will then look at modern dream groups, projective techniques to work with dreams outside of a psychoanalytic context, and social dreaming as a technique. Topics will include:

 Dream cultures and the dream as culture

  • Asclepian dream temples
  • Modern dream sharing groups
  • Ullman and Taylor: Protecting the dreamer through projective techniques
  • Gordon Lawrence: Social dreaming Matrices

 Session 4:  Dream work and Dream Play

In this session we will look at ways of using our own dreams for creative purposes and inner work. We will look at some specific techniques that can be used to explore our own dreaming by ourselves and apply them in practical exercises. Topics will include:

 Dream work and Dream play: metaphors for our relationship with dreams

  • Techniques to remember dreams
  • Dream journal techniques
  • Working with individual dreams: Writing and other creative techniques
  • Working with dream clusters: Identifying and addressing recurring themes

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