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Threads, Knots, Tapestries [Paperback]

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Item description for Threads, Knots, Tapestries by Tess Castleman...

Threads, Knots, Tapestries reveals the way our dreaming expresses and reflects our deep interpersonal and environmental interconnectivity.... Drawing upon her decades of Jungian analytic practice, and many years of pioneering in dream groups, Castleman weaves a rich tapestry of dream threads which shows us how we are dreaming with and for each other. Her method is that of a storyteller telling the stories of people, their dreams, the stories of shamans, the stories of individuals suffering from cancer, love entanglements, and most delightfully, stories which show how dreams are woven together with communal life in other cultures, as well as in our own.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   279
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.25"
Weight:   0.94 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2004
Publisher   Daimon Verlag
ISBN  3856306978  
ISBN13  9783856306977  

Availability  0 units.

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1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Social Sciences > Psychology
2Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > General
3Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Psychology & Counseling > General
4Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Psychology & Counseling > Reference
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Consciousness & Thought

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Reviews - What do customers think about Threads, Knots, Tapestries?

A great delight to read and savor  Aug 6, 2008
Threads, Knots, Tapestries was a great delight to read and savor. Castleman has the courage to explore and report upon collective consciousness with her clients in dream group therapy like no one else I have ever known. Where most dream therapy groups have the participants discussing and analyzing each others' dreams, Castleman's participants actually dream each others' dreams - not just each other's issues.

Castleman recommends groups of 7 clients, meeting in one of three formats:
Once weekly for 1 hour - allowing one client to share a dream and then others relate to it;
Once every 2 weeks for 3 hours - allowing processing of up to 6 dreams; and
Once monthly for 7 hours - only for therapists, as this is a very intense format, in which each participant usually shares in some depth at every meeting.

Castleman finds that the depths of intimate disclosure and sharing of personal, individual psychological processes brings group participants very close together. They begin to find that they are dreaming each others' dreams. That is, one or more clients at a given session and/or the therapist may have dreams that clearly reflect the content and process of another group participant's life situation and issues. Often, personal and intimate details of the other person's life - both recent and past - appear in these dreams. Castleman's metaphoric style is lively and engaging.

It takes some time on the potter's wheel before the vessel is ready to sit on the fire. Dream group is much like crafting a cauldron; it needs to be watertight, able to withstand high heat, and ultimately fulfill its purpose of being able to "cook the stew." (p. 4)

In addition to collective dreaming, group members begin to find they have remarkable coincidences in their lives that link them even more closely to the group. They may encounter each other unexpectedly outside the group in highly unlikely places; discover that they have acquaintances and occurrences appear simultaneously with a frequency that suggests more than random, chance interactions and overlapping of separate events.

Dream group members have an uncanny habit of dressing in the same colors or in the same clothing on given days. Dreams will be congruent beyond the average level of coincidence. In one group I have led since 1986, we almost always identify a theme for each time we meet. Sometimes everyone's dream will actually be about the same issue. (p. 102)

From among many synchronistic coincidence that Castleman describes, here is one about meeting the same person: Castleman invited three First Nation friends who were visiting her to attend a local Native American ceremony announced at a local church. They were all distressed at the patent lack of true Native American ritual or expressions of genuine spirituality in the Anglo person who was dressed in gaudy colored clothes and did not appear to have any depth of understanding of that which he purported to be teaching. They left after only a few minutes. Several years later, a client of Castleman reported he was struggling to extricate himself from a cult-like group near where he attended a school, forty miles away from Castleman's office. The leader of the group turned out to be the same man Castleman and her friends had felt was a sham rather than a shaman.

The spectrum of interactions between group members group allowed and encouraged by psychotherapists ranges from the pole of insistence on complete abstention from personal exchanges outside the group, to the opposite pole of being open to any and all interactions that participants wish to explore (so long as they are not distinctly damaging to the participants). Castleman is a strong advocate for what she calls gooey interactions.

Dreams-whether the ego realizes it or not-are extremely gooey. Gooey is a word I use to describe the part of us that comes from the fertile self, the self where we are creative, spiritual, sensual, heroic, saintly, and passionate. (p. 37)

The richness of life interactions of group participants outside the group meetings deepens and enhances the sharing and processing within the groups. Participants may have individual meetings, parties or retreats, and may develop personal relationships with other group members. Castleman feels this is a much more genuine and helpful way of conducting a group that is a very deeply meaningful life experience.

Dreams are the intimate, revealing bonding, illuminating, connecting, and magical goo from which relationships naturally form. (p. 65)

The dream maker, the teacher within each one of us, in generally a kind teacher. We only get confronted harshly (as when one has a terrifying nightmare) when we absolutely ignore obvious data. Sometimes this data presents itself in a dream, a synchronicity, an "omen," a vision, or possibly an insight. Sometimes this confrontation appears from those around us as corrective feedback or sometimes in a slow progression of awarenesses. In dream groups, the whole of the group, with some individual exceptions, is a body that mirrors truth for a member if the trust and of confrontation are rarely helpful, but the base foundation of love and respect are. Love is the great healer and teacher of all human experience, and dream group is largely about connecting to that energy within ourselves and the members of the group. Clever interpretations of dreams are far less important than the attitude and atmosphere of the people participating. Despair, violence, "inappropriate" sexual fantasies, anger at the facilitator or someone in the group are all delightful pieces of the puzzle that give one clues to the unfolding process. There are no taboos, none that I can think of, that are unacceptable in the discussion and amplification of dream images. (p. 41)

Castleman is a full participant in the group, sharing her own dreams with the group. However, she has very clear boundaries in this regard, weighing very carefully the content and timing of her sharings so that she does not push the river of therapy with her own agendas. She also illustrates how this careful sharing of dreams can be helpful with individual therapy.

The phenomena of projected self-identification. This is the experience in which the therapist has emotions of fantasies that are attributed to the client rather than the therapist. Theoretically, the therapist has "caught" the unconscious process of the client and, by bringing it into the session, can aid in making the material conscious. The same occurrence works in groups when the group mirrors the unconscious feelings of the person working. (p. 80)

Castleman views these manifestations of collective consciousness as synchronicities. "Synchronicity is one way the ego gets a bump on the head that not all of reality is as it seems." (p. 91) She believes they help to move our awareness into deeper layers of individual and collectivbe consciousness.

A skeptic might suggest that with hundreds and thousands of dreams and dream images that arise in the dreams of a group, there are bound to be matching elements. Castleman suggests otherwise:

Following are two dreams I had that were both identical to dreams of two of my analysands:

1. I am at a beach in India. Giant stone statues lie on the beach. They seem to be ancient gods and goddesses.
2. I am married to Kevin Bacon. He is unfaithful, and I am sad and angry.

The first dream was brought into analysis by a male analysand a few days after I had dreamed it myself. The second dream came from a female analysand, and was also the same dream I had had a few nights earlier.
I relate to specifics of these dreams to make it clear that they are not common variety dreams. (p. 91)

Castleman marshals many examples of how synchronicities helped to move individual and group therapy into deeper levels of awareness.

The shocking coincidence, almost impossible to believe, has a way of breaking the ego's set attitude that it sees all, knows all, understands all. There, right in my consulting room, the mysterious magnificent process reveals a potent magic. One races to explain or justify such an experience. Perhaps there is no teleological meaning. Perhaps the experience speaks for itself - it stands as the mystery against a backdrop of the banality and routine of life. It is at such times that I know we have entered sacred space. It is here transformation and change occurs. Synchronicity in analysis and dream groups reveals a connection between two or more persons attempting a task together-the task of individuation, wholeness, meaning. It reveals an irrational level of the unconscious that is even more common and prominent in dream groups. It suggests that we are unique selves; we live on a foundation of archetypal truth, and in between lies a tribal, relational field where psyched intersect in a mysterious yet rather common way. (p. 92)

While Castleman allows that psychic awareness may account for some of the shared dreams and synchronicities, she tends to dismiss this realm of discussion, suggesting that people who demonstrate psychic abilities "tend to have suffered substantial wounds in early life" (p. 142). She also views what to this reviewer are simple, telepathic communications between group participants as synchronicities (e.g. p. 94). Such cases have been extensively documented in the parapsychology literature. My own opinion is that synchronicities go way beyond such simple levels of communication, and Castleman amply illustrates and analyzes cases of these sorts - the greatest contribution of this book. Of course, as telepathy, clairsentience and precognition are phenomena that are as yet unexplained within Western science, we could speculate that these are manifestations of synchronicities - an aspect of collective consciousness.

Castleman also stops short of any in-depth consideration of spiritual considerations of the implications of synchronicities. For instance, while speculating (p. 207) that bereavement apparitions may relate to a valid experience of an outer, spiritual reality (rather than being a projection from the mind of the person experiencing them), she stops short of exploring this dimension in any detail. In Healing Research, Volume 3, Personal Spirituality, I bring extensive reports and research to show that apparitions occurring during bereavement are experienced by at least two out of three people who have lost someone close to them. The communications with these spirits are often deeply meaningful and informative to the bereaved.

This book is a wonderful resource for anyone questioning whether synchronicities are real. Moreover, the demonstrations of collective consciousness through shared dreams and synchronicities points to a oneness of human beings that transcends personal and social interactions.

In today's world the tribe is ill. The tribe that carries both the conscious and unconscious support of the individual is fractured and disbursed into a distant web rather than a contained pueblo of community life. (p. 187)

We are one with every other living being on our planet. Going beyond Castleman's discussion, we are also one with our planet, Gaia, itself. As we open to this oneness, we will have the feedback of its reality through synchronicities such as Castleman explores and shares.
Mysterious Connections in Dreams  Jun 1, 2005
Mystery is at the heart of synchronicity. It is the unknown, that which puzzles us and defies our rational approach to reality. ~Tess Castleman

Tess Castleman walks were many of us may fear to tread. When you start to tell people your dreams you enter a new level of intimacy and can reveal everything from your deepest fantasies to your darkest fears. Dreams seem to be a good place to live out all our unattainable fantasies, like flying.

Tess Castleman cautions against taking books of dream symbols too seriously and her advice is very relevant if you are looking to analyze your own dreams. The color red could have many interpretations (power, anger or sexual experience) and elements in your dream could even solve problems in daily life.

The author believes our dreams are often more complex than they first appear. She unveils the mysteries in dreams on a daily basis and enters one of the most intimate places in the human psyche. Here our fears and desires are revealed in metaphors, feelings, images and symbols only we may understand.

Jung is mentioned quite often and there are discussions about the animus and anima. There is also a list of an individual psyche that includes the Persona, Ego, Complexes, Shadow, Anima/Animus, Tribal Field, Archetypes, The Self, Collective Unconscious.

The Tribal Field helps to explain synchronicity, while archetypes can help us understand our actions through universal images.

"The tribal of communal field, one's inner desire, the movement of the Self, does not reveal itself in drop-dead-jaw-agape synchronistic phenomena alone. It may just as likely emerge as a mild, quiet, connecting link, like the notes in a melody that flow one into the next in a chain or matrix of meaning and music." ~Tess Castleman

One interesting aspect of dreams is that when you talk about specific types of dreams with friends, you might start to have similar dreams or even induce dreams where someone has not been dreaming that much before or at least has not been remembering details of their dreams.

I love talking about dreams and analyzing my own dreams because I think they give us clues to how we are living our life, our destiny and our most secret and often hidden desires. For some reason, all my dreams lately have been about traveling to other planets and I think that might be symbolic of some change in my life in the near future. Blue has been a current theme. Just for fun, I will sometimes go online and type in things like "What does the color blue mean in dreams?" Some of the answers make perfect sense.

Dreams can be mysterious and exciting, but what happens in the day in regards to synchronicity can also be quite entertaining. Like, I am still trying to figure out why everything one of my friends talks about instantly appears in movies I'm watching.

Threads, Knots, Tapestries will be especially helpful to anyone who wants to join or start a dream group. If you are not participating in a dream group, the information may encourage you to analyze your dreams in more depth. What you dream could be important for a friend or relative or maybe even the entire world.

~The Rebecca Review
Transpersonal Connections for Artist  Jun 17, 2004
Thank you for a job well done! Written in a conversational tone, sharing personal anecdotes of years of dream groups, Castleman reminded me we are never alone in our endeavors. As an artist I spend most of my time alone in the studio, but the time in altered states of consciousness, similar to dreaming, that can come about when emersed in the process of art work, puts me into the company of the collective where eagles soar.
Sifting through stories, myths, and beliefs about dreams  Apr 13, 2004
Threads, Knots, Tapestries: How A Tribal Connection Is Revealed Through Dreams And Syncronicities by Tess Castleman (a Zurich trained Diplomate Jungian Analyst), focuses upon "Dream Groups", and what Jungian analysis has to say about revealing and interpreting human psychology through the examination of unconscious messages. Sifting through stories, myths, and beliefs about dreams in order to better explore just what dreams can tell us about internal and external worlds alike, Threads, Knights, Tapestries is a superbly written and deftly presented analysis which is most especially recommended reading for student of Jungian psychology and psychoanalysis.
Fascinating Reading  Mar 27, 2004
Is it possible that our dreams affect others and the dreams of others affect ours? Is there some kind of collective dream world that we all share in and that through it we affect each other? These are the kind of questions author Tess Castleman, a Jungian Analyst based out of Dallas, Texas, examines in her book "Threads, Knots, Tapestries". Her primary area of interest and expertise is the use of dream groups. After years of studying these groups she now shares her experience and how common dream threads demonstrate our interconnectedness with each other.

Some schools of psychology teach that all the characters of your dream are just different parts of yourself. Is it possible that there are times when a dream is much more than this? Tess Castleman examines situations where it appears there is some type of communal dreaming occurring. Apparently there is some sort of collective dream world that we can all access and do at times. Going one step further she shows how we may be interacting not only other people, but also with our environment itself, or even with other cultures.

"Threads, Knots, Tapestries" is a fascinating trip into the realm of possibilities and how closely we may all be bound together in the web of life.


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