So, can you learn to ‘wake up’ and be conscious in your dreams?
What does the latest neuroscience reveal about the connection between sleep, circadian rhythms, and mental health?
How can Jungian Psychology help you interpret what your dreams mean?
These are just some of the topics the speakers will discuss at The Weekend University this month. In this series of talks, we’ll explore the fascinating psychology of sleep and dreams.
This is an event for anyone ready to wake up to the amazing power of sleep and dreams. This information could be just what you need to get a good night’s sleep. And if you’re still weighing up the pros and cons between which mattress is the best – sleeping duck vs koala, then this could be the event for you! You’ll learn how these insights can benefit your own life, but also your ability to help others, too.
The format will be similar to a TED event, but with in-depth lectures and focused on the psychology of sleep and dreams.
As Jung put it, dreams ‘show us the unvarnished, natural truth, and are therefore fitted, as nothing else is, to give us back an attitude that accords with our basic human nature when our consciousness has strayed too far from its foundations and run into an impasse’ (CW 10, paragraph 31).
You may ask, then, why their meaning is sometimes so obscure. This is due to the dream symbol, and the essence of this talk will be to explore how we can understand and interpret these symbols and their many layers and levels of meaning which can, sometimes, go on unfolding over a lifetime.
In passing I will say something about the history of dream interpretation, contrast Jung’s and Freud’s approaches, and talk about the neuroscience and purposes of dreaming.
My particular interest is in the way that dreams show us the patterns which govern the way we relate to others, structure and live our lives, and influence what we believe – what psychotherapy calls our implicit, internal working models.
I will illustrate the talk with some of Jung’s own dreams and, in something of an experiment, I will talk you through how to go about interpreting one of your own dreams (so do bring one along!).
Marcus West is the Training and Supervising Analyst of the Society of Analytical Psychology and UK Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Analytical Psychology. He is the author of ‘Understanding Dreams in Clinical Practice’ (2011) as well as two other books: ‘Feeling, Being and the Sense of Self’ (2007), and ‘Into the Darkest Places: Early Relational Trauma and Borderline States of Mind’ (2016).
He has taught and lectured widely in this country and abroad and has written a number of papers and contributed chapters to books. He was joint winner of the Michael Fordham Prize in 2004.
Severe sleep and circadian rhythm disruption (SCRD) is a common feature of mental illness, yet its origins remain a mystery, its detection is frequently overlooked, and it is rarely treated, though sufferers may be using places like this weed dispensary canada to try and aid sleep.. However the health consequences of SCRD are profound. SCRD promotes multiple illnesses ranging across abnormal metabolism; heart disease; reduced immunity; increased stress; and abnormal cognition and mood states. Significantly, these poor health states are common in psychiatric illness, yet SCRD is rarely identified as a cause or contributor of this poor health. So what are the possible mechanistic links between SCRD and mental illness?
We now appreciate that sleep and circadian timing systems are the product of a complex interaction between multiple brain regions and most brain neurotransmitter systems. Similarly, psychiatric illness arises from abnormalities in interacting brain circuits and neurotransmitter systems, many of which will overlap with those regulating sleep and circadian rhythms. In addition, SCRD itself will impact upon multiple aspects of brain function, including activation of the stress axis, which could further exacerbate mental health problems. In turn, medication, substance abuse, social isolation and/or activation of the stress axis associated with psychiatric illness will certainly impinge upon the sleep and circadian systems. In this presentation, these links will be considered along with how we might be able to use this new information for the development of new therapeutics for mental illness.
Professor Russell Foster is the Head of the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Director of the Sleep and Circadian Research Institute and a Fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford. His research addresses the neuroscience of circadian rhythms and sleep, and the health consequences of sleep disruption.
Russell is a Fellow of the Royal Society and Academy of Medical Sciences and was honoured with a CBE for services to Science. He has published over 250 scientific papers, four popular science books and received multiple awards.
We sleep for a third of our lives. For millennia the Tibetan Buddhists, Toltec-Mexhicas and Sufi mystics have used that lost third for waking up to their highest potential through lucid dreaming.
In this talk, lucid dreaming teacher Charlie Morley will explore how this ancient art is now being studied by modern day neuroscience and how these studies have been as insightful for the mystics as they have been for the scientists.
Lucid dreaming can be used to consciously direct the dream so that we can learn, train, meditate and gain answers to some of life’s biggest questions while we dream. Sourced from over 10 years of teaching the subject, Charlie’s talk will open you up to the possibility of engaging deep change while you sleep deeply.
The talk will include an overview of the history, science and practice of lucid dreaming from both the Western science and the mystic traditions as well as explorations on how to engage the wider holistic benefits of lucid dreaming and conscious sleeping which these practices offer.
Charlie Morley is a bestselling author and teacher of lucid dreaming & shadow integration. He was “authorised to teach” within the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism by Lama Yeshe Rinpoche in 2008 and has since developed a holistic approach to dream work called Mindfulness of Dream & Sleep and written three books which have been translated into 13 languages. He’s spoken about lucid dreaming at Cambridge University, “Buddhism and Youth Culture” at The Houses of Parliament, is a regular expert panellist for The Guardian and has been named one of The Next Generation of Meditation Teachers.
In 2018 he was awarded a Churchill Fellowship grant to research “mindfulness based PTSD treatment” and continues to teach on retreats for armed forces veterans. For over 10 years Charlie has run retreats and workshops in more than 20 countries and continues to teach internationally.
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