DREAM WORK: Path to Self-Discovery by Jill Morris

DREAM WORK: Path to Self-Discovery

Email this review


Not such stuff as quality dream-books are made of. Rather, amateur dream archeology in a cookbook of self-mental-help recipes with marginal tidbits from Jung, Freud, Peris, Malaysian aboriginals and mass magazines. Worse, muddled banalities arrogate to Morris major analytic thought, e.g., ""But dreams are also the door, the flying carpet. . .that can lead us to the untapped truths and possibilities that lie within us."" But Freud said it already, and better: ""Dreams are the royal road to the unconscious."" Dreamwork, a lifeless amalgam of superficialities distinguished mainly by missing ideals of key thinkers, is a model of minimalism in scholarship and accuracy. Its shaky framework teeters largely on articles from Vogue, Science Digest and Omni. The pioneers R¢heim (The Gates of the Dream), Arieti (Creativity: The Magic Synthesis) and Sullivan (Schizophrenia as a Human Process) are absent, exposing the author's ignorance of basics, or concern solely for the simplistic. Absent too are Lacan's and Levi-Strauss' concepts of ""excess signifiers"" which, to Freud, always refer to only one signified--one wish. Instead ""exercises,"" offered as panaceas to increase signifier lists, obscure the path to direct access of that wish. Dreams censor subjectivity via symbols. When the I emerges in professional dream analysis, there is authentic Self. Morris, exhorting readers to amass symbols, fiddles with their authenticity, forcing the real I out of focus. Neither profundity nor light relieve its dullness. Published despite a condescending posture, negligible research and an immature grasp of a normally exciting subject, it's work, but no dream to read.

Pub Date: June 6th, 1985
Publisher: Little, Brown