Psychic Dreaming, by Loyd Auerbach

Loyd Auerbach’s 2017 Psychic Dreaming: Dreamworking, Reincarnation, Out-of-Body Experiences & Clairvoyance is a revised edition of a book published in 1991 as Psychic Dreaming: A Parapsychologist’s Handbook.  It covers a lot of ground in under 200 pages, but not in as much detail as the subtitle implies.  Auerbach explores the idea of being psychic (an ability he feels we all possess to a greater or lesser extent), how it relates to dreams, and how readers can apply an understanding of their dreams to enhance their lives.

His preface notes that much of the straight parapsychological detail in the first edition (its history and then-current research) has been dropped, but with only minor editing otherwise.  While more tightly focused on the dream experience and possible connections with psi processes, this lack of a thorough revision means the latest data on sleep science has not been included.  However, as Auerbach points out, there has been no significant advance in the parapsychological study of dreams in the intervening period, and methods of working with dreams, psychic or otherwise, are much the same.

For the person coming to the subject for the first time, in addition to looking at the basics of sleep and dreaming he sets the scene with useful information on the various parts of psi that might manifest in dreams – telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition – before he delves in depth into dreams, their form and potential meanings, and the intricacies of dream analysis.  Auerbach quite correctly stresses how time-consuming keeping a dream diary then going through it to pull out significant aspects can be, but also how invaluable it is to conduct the exercise to really get to grips with dreamwork.

There is extensive advice on how to tackle recording and analysing dreams, and ideas for informal psychic experiments.  There is also a discussion of lucid dreaming, for those lucky enough to experience it, and connections with out-of-body-experiences and reincarnation.  External influences that could affect the psychic component of dreams, such as personality and attitude, are touched on.

His opinion, in the absence of firm research conclusions, is that psychic and non-psychic dreams differ little in terms of form, so ascertaining whether there is a psychic component has to rely on an intuitive feeling that it is qualitatively different from ordinary dreaming.  This is not very satisfactory, assuming dreams do, at least sometimes, contain psychic elements, but our current level of knowledge means it is not possible to point authoritatively to psychically-derived information.  Even if the presence of psi should be apparent, utilising it may not be feasible for practical reasons.

Auerbach has extensive experience of psychical research and Psychic Dreaming is based on an authoritative understanding of the field.  Anyone who is fascinated by their dreams, and wonders if they are more than the random firing of neurons, will find the book of value in exploring this mysterious region to which we travel each night.  Even if there is no psi in dreams, or there is but it is not available in ours, there are still benefits to thinking about them and what they might be telling us.


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