Dream Weaving
Emily VanLaeys
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Get *Dream Weaving* delivered to your door! Dream Weaving:
Using Dream Guidance to Create Life's Tapestry

Emily VanLaeys
A.R.E. Press
March 2001
166 pages
rated 2 of 5 possible stars

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In the preface to Dream Weaving, author Emily VanLaeys asserts that this autobiographical work is a "spiritual memoir" in which she develops images and uses intuitive imagination through a persona (called "Dream Weaver") to guide and give meaning to life experiences. She claims to use only vivid or fascinating imagery, or dreams in which the Dream Weaver speaks to her in audible words (later she claims she can experience such dreams with eyes open).

Curled Up With a Good BookVanLaeys recommends keeping a daily journal of dreams, if one has time; prayer (she later urges that prayers be said out loud); asking specific questions; meditation; and periodically referring to psychics, mystics, or spiritual figures to assist in understanding symbols and meanings from nocturnal dreams and visions. She believes dreams are "real" and may be a reflection of physical conditions (no examples given), the subconscious (by definition outside awareness), a projection of spiritual forces in the individual, a form of art, a means of expanding one's consciousness, and so on. The author does not compare, contrast, give examples, or attempt to define any of these entities, methods, and/or their respective functions; nor does she acknowledge in the book that there may be current scientific explanations and medical, psychological, and counseling treatments available for understanding and managing these mental/emotional/behavioral states.

Throughout Dream Weaving, it is difficult to differentiate between what VanLaeys consciously believes, what her dreams (aka "Dream Weaver") suggest or affirm for her to believe, and content disassociated from read- or heard-from sources, especially biblical quotes, theological fragments, denominational (e.g., Protestant, Mormon, Roman Catholic) sermons and spiritual traditions (e.g. Native American). In Chapter 3 ("Finding the Balance"), the author asserts she is

sure that angels or other divine messengers are responsible for some of my dreams, and occasionally I'll receive a dream time visit from an angelic being
but also admits to never seeing
an angel or divine messenger of any kind, but I sense them observing me from behind the invisible curtain of life's stage.
In Chapter 7 ("To Find the Soul in Housework"), VanLaeys expresses her anti-material and anti-conventional beliefs in an effort to elevate herself and use dreams to learn how to be patient with daily chores and accept the inevitable presence, and post-cleaning recurrence, of dust and dirt in the house. She claims to have reconciled this conflict by dreaming that dirt is a part of material/domestic life with an added spiritual twist (and "life is eternal"). Each dose of conflict and anxiety, each challenge, activity, and role function becomes grist for her observant dream-mill imagery and portentous self scrutiny. Even "crying tears" must be dreamed about, focused on, and examined in order to give it a higher meaning above and beyond mere conventional interpretations of disappointment, hurt, loss, envy, and regret.

I hope the author found security and more balance between ambitions, roles and material success with dreamed-for spiritual rewards. Even with dream power and faith, this skeptic wonders if vivid imagery is cause or consequence of living or a personal weaving skill. Is there untapped magic to be found in a process of dreaming or in the content of dreams that needs to be studied with reliability before we can appreciate any method's applicability for managing our pursuit of life purposes?

© 2001 by David L. Johnson for Curled Up With a Good Book

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