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Moadei, Y. (1968). The Dream and Human Societies. By G. E. Von Grunbaum and Roger Caillos. University of California Press, 1966, 454 pp., $ 10.00.. Am. J. Psychoanal., 28(2):212-213.

(1968). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 28(2):212-213

Book Reviews

The Dream and Human Societies. By G. E. Von Grunbaum and Roger Caillos. University of California Press, 1966, 454 pp., $ 10.00.

Review by:
Yahya Moadei, M.D.

This fascinating book is a compilation of twenty-five papers presented at an international interdisciplinary conference at the Abbaye de Rayaumont near Paris. The contributors are well-known international scholars who have done extensive work on various aspects of dreaming.

The topics of these papers are varied. Some deal with the neurophysiological aspects of sleep and the psychophysiology of dreaming; others look at the logical, philosophical and sociological aspects. A few examine the relationship between dreams and literary creation, and one examines its place in the religious world.

The book demonstrates how different civilizations make different uses of the dream. While the modern West uses it as an analytical tool in depth psychology and therapeutics, other cultures tend to rely on it as a means of gathering information about the otherwise unknowable—be it the distant past, the future or the beyond.

From this wealth of material I will limit myself to reviewing the following two papers: “The Dream in Ancient Greece and its Uses in Temple Cures” explores the phenomenology of the cultural pattern in the use of dreams in ancient Greece. In Homeric dreams, the gods appeared in person and spoke directly to the dreamer. Everyone was convinced that dreams were messages from the gods.

Plato wrote that the content of the dream is determined by the active part of the psyche, and if the dream prevails, it may reveal to the dreamer the all-important truth. To Aristotle the dream was an incentive to future actions.

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