Online Guest Interview on Dreams

AOL Women's Channel Live Chat

DATE: December 6, 2000
TOPIC: Dreams
GUEST: Craig Webb
HOSTs: Miriam, Rascal, Raizel, Wheel and Tweety
AOL users, see: Conference Transcripts

HOST WLV Miriam: Our Guest tonight is Craig Webb
Topic: Dreams

HOST WLV Wheel: Craig Webb is cofounder and Executive Director of the nonprofit DREAMS Foundation. A McGill University graduate, Craig works with the foundation which operates in collaboration with the Dream & Nightmare Laboratory at Montreal's Sacre-Coeur Hospital. Craig has studied, worked and presented workshops and talks about dreams for more than a dozen years. He has been involved in dream and consciousness research at Stanford University and Montreal's Sacre-Coeur Hospital. Craig's credentials also include having been a founding member of Making Contact, a weekly radio show on 150+ stations and the Public Relations Coordinator for the Lucidity Institute. He has appeared on/in/at The Discovery Channel, The Learning Annex, CTV, CBC, AOL (previously), Self & Glamour Magazines, The San Francisco Examiner, The London Times and numerous other printed, television, radio and online media. He has authored various articles on dreams, consciousness and related subjects and a Contributing Editor for Magical Blend Magazine.


The DREAMS Foundation ( is a nonprofit organization working in collaboration with the Dream & Nightmare Laboratory at Sacre-Coeur Hospital. The Foundation's mission is to support further research into dreams and the non-pharmaceutical treatment of sleep, parasomnias, and dream disorders, to inform both the general public and health/science professionals about the nature of dreams and their practical applications in relationship to health and well- being.

The Foundation offers numerous events, courses and presentations, as well as useful articles about dreams and related topics. Also of interest is a Canoe-Camping dream quest adventure retreat in August.

Please visit The DREAMS Foundation's web site at:

HOST WLV Miriam: Craig welcome ..We would like to give you a little bit of time to introduce yourself and your topic.

DREAMS C Webb: Good evening all.......
I would be glad to offer any insights I can about dreams and how they can be applied practically to life for improved mental, emotional, physical health, fun, creativity, improving skills, coping with dying or deceased friends or relatives, and numerous other practical or artistic concerns. I would like to generally stay away from dream "interpretation" per se, but this doesn't limit anyone from sharing specific dreams. Nightmares and recurring dreams in particular are usually worth sharing and learning about, since they often hold such great gifts. Unfortunately, we often ignore such messages as nightmares or "bad" dreams. So I encourage anyone to ask about such experiences or any others that they wish. We can speak about dream recall (many people are interested in improving their recall), lucid dreaming, sleep disorders or any other such related topics. I look forward to your questions.

HOST WLV Miriam: Craig, thank you.

Tonette316: While I know that you do not interpret individual dreams - what can you say about dreams that a person has recurring over and over in their life? It has to do with driving in or falling in water.

DREAMS C Webb: Thanks Tonette...
For starters, I would like to point Tonette and other folks to an article all about the topic of recurring dreams and nightmares that will provide much insight and also a simple but very effective technique for working with and resolving such unpleasant experiences:
As far as your specific dreams go Tonette, what is the specific feeling as you drive or fall into the water?

Tonette316: That I cannot breathe, and a feeling of falling - the weightlessness.

DREAMS C Webb: Is the falling a fear feeling? Do you remember when this recurring theme started?

Tonette316: It has been going on for many years - it is that I am driving along and the road ends in water. Or that I am on a bridge which breaks in the middle and I fall in - almost always in a car.

DREAMS C Webb: Water speaks of emotions and feeling, and often feeling vulnerable (like in the bath tub, or our mother's womb). Driving is often the symbol of our inner "action self" our "doer," and so this aspect of the dreams may be speaking about a work scenario or career or lifestyle.

Tonette316: Well, I will have to say that when I allowed work to stress me out, I had this dream more often. I approach work with a different attitude now and don't have it so much.

DREAMS C Webb: In this case, since you land in water, and so the dream might be speaking about a need to balance work and stress and outer action with more down time, and especially being in touch with our playfulness and simply "being." So, if this happens when there's a lot going on in your work life, it's a message to perhaps re-prioritize or rebalance yourself with quieter activities at that time.

Tonette316: I think you are right on - thank you!

Roflmiao: I very seldom ever dream that I remember unless they are really strange dreams. Is there a particular reason for this?

DREAMS C Webb: As for a quick tip list on dream recall, please check out our site at the specific link for a list of recall tips is at the following url:
It is helpful to remember dreams for many reasons, but it is also good to trust that the important ones will make it through to our waking minds, and hence this is the reason why those few are particularly vivid. The "strange"ness is simply because dreams use a different language to speak to us than we're used to--not linear words, but images, and especially associative processes. It's kind of like learning Russian--sounds strange until you learn the grammar, sentence structure, something about the culture, etc. I mention this because these "strange" but vivid dreams are very likely trying to show you something quite important and that is why you are able to recall them. I would encourage you to also check out another article that may get you started on understanding them and perhaps harvesting their rich insight:

HOST WLV Wheel: Do you have a follow up question Roflmiao?

Roflmiao: Not at this time. Thank you.

TTCW001: Why does the mind use symbols in dreams to convey ideas rather than overtly state the content?

DREAMS C Webb: A good question... Dreams generally speak in a multi-dimensional language of feelings, images and multi-level associations. Says author Bernie Siegel, M.D., "While our minds and our bodies communicate constantly with each other, most of this exchange occurs on an unconscious level. That’s why I often advise patients to start recording dreams, because the body cannot speak except by using symbols." Exactly why this is so is a question that is tough to answer. My best guess is that much more than a simple message to our waking ego is involved in most cases with dreams. We are getting and sending multi-level communications with many parts of our psyche and even our body and mind, and perhaps even with other individuals (kind of like an "innernet" of sorts, where information is shared in the dream realm and remembered upon awakening.
One way of thinking about this that is not complete but may perhaps help is that some dreams are more like communications between different parts of our deeper being that we "listen in on" when we remember them. Others are directed towards our waking self, and as I just mentioned to Roflmiao, those are the ones that really strike us and which are vivid (and often contain anxiety if we have not been in touch with our dreams for a while). Many of such dreams are quite blatant in their messages, or at least are accompanied by waking thoughts which spell it out quite clearly anyway. It is very good then not only to remember these dreams, but to take note of any accompanying thoughts that come with them as we wake. It is a bit of a learning process, but once we trust and act upon such insights, there are many powerful and fulfilling results in our lives. Did that answer the question?

HOST WLV Wheel: TTC.. anything more you'd care to ask?

TTCW001: Yes. Your concept of the innernet is interesting. I know two people who were visited in dreams by the spirits of people they knew who accurately foretold their imminent deaths.

DREAMS C Webb: This is more common than most people think. All the more reason to gain awareness and practice in this area. There are numerous examples of people connecting with deceased or geographically distant relatives. If this is of interest, I suggest the book "Edgar Cayce on Dreams" by Harmon H. Bro, see:

DREAMS C Webb: By the way TTCW, my initials are also TCW...kind of dream-like, right?

HOST WLV Miriam: TTC ? You have a comment ?

TTCW001: Note to Mr. Webb - TTCW001's last name is Weber!
No thanks, other than that just sent about my name.

DREAMS C Webb: Pretty interesting on the name/initials Synchronicity...This TCW wishes you a wonderful Solstice TTCW.

OhioU Alum: I had an odd dream last night that has puzzled me all day. I dreamed my next door neighbor (just acquaintances - not good friends) was abusing his dog. This person is very kind and gentle to animals and thoughts of him abusing them....have never entered my mind. Why I would dream thoughts of someone that are completely opposite to my waking way of thinking? Any insight on that? (I dream just about every night and remember many of my dreams if that makes a difference.

DREAMS C Webb: Every dream is not necessarily meant to be "interpreted" per se, some are simply experiences meant to shift things within us emotionally, spiritually, and sometimes even physiologically.
This said, I would offer that a good overall strategy for understanding dreams is to look at the feeling within the dream and find the same one in waking life. This is the Rosetta Stone, the link that helps us understand what the dream is about. Do you remember your feeling in the dream?

OhioU Alum: I was puzzled more than shocked or horrified since the behavior was so uncharacteristic. (and I felt sorry for the dog).

DREAMS C Webb: Well, as you may find, dreams often want us to break out of our regular thinking and feeling patterns and see something in a new light. My sense is that this dream is speaking about something else in your life other than your neighbor specifically. This dream was last night?

OhioU Alum: Yes, last night.

DREAMS C Webb: And did something happen yesterday or today where you had the same feeling of "feeling sorry" for something/someone?

OhioU Alum: Not that I can recall. I've had some good things happen lately though - but will force me to make choices. But not really causing stress.

DREAMS C Webb: It is hard to say specifically what the dream might be about without going into it more deeply with you, but I would just like to mention that often dreams speak of future events of days ahead (sometimes even months and years), though I don't know if this is the case for you. It is tough also to look at one dream alone by itself, since they often come in series and have themes that thread through consecutive nights and even weeks.
As Edgar Cayce puts it, "much more useful to interpret a whole dreamer than just a dream".

OhioU Alum: Yikes - that's scary - I have some strange dreams. LOL Thanks for your insight!

DREAMS C Webb: You may however gain insight from the "Organic Dream Integration" article at and may even wish to try making the dream real in some way (painting, telling a close friend, etc.). This often brings insight during the process. You will find a fun technique for this suggested in the article.
One thing that comes to me that you might wish to do is to tell the neighbor the dream if you feel comfortable, since there are often connections with the people who appear in our dreams. I often tell my dreams to people who appear in them and have seen connection after connection. Kind of like the telepathic "innernet" link we just recently spoke about. Hope this helps. The article is at:

OhioU Alum: I always tell people when I dream about them and will tell them. Thanks for the info!

DREAMS C Webb: Pleasure to share these thoughts with you Ohio...

HOST WLV Miriam: << has one more question before we end :)
Craig, you mentioned to me earlier tonight that you asked my brother to "dream for you" instead of buying a Christmas 'gift.' Would you explain that to us please?

oops I mean YOUR Brother LOL

DREAMS C Webb: Glad you asked Miriam...maybe your typo slip is a subconscious note to you to try this technique with your own family or friends.

HOST WLV Miriam: Craig it would be IF I had a brother!

DREAMS C Webb: It's a method called the "Dream Helper" ceremony.
It's really much like praying for someone, though in some ways even more profound and more full of possibilities. There is a wonderful example of this in Marc Barasch' new book "Healing Dreams"
( see: books#Healing_Dreams )
where he asks his close friends and family to "dream for him". In this case, his father who never remembers his dreams, has a very vivid one that ends up being chock full of revelations that are sparked between him and his father, including deep family history which neither knew of the other.
To make a wonderful but long story short, the dream and ensuing sharing of it end up healing generations of family blocks and issues.

HOST WLV Miriam: Wow that's amazing.

DREAMS C Webb: This can be truly amazing. I just recently had a friend offer me a birthday gift in this way. She had what she called a "very powerful vision" on the morn of my birthday that was semi-lucid in which she received a gift for me which may indeed be the underlying basis for this whole year of my life, if not more. In short, the message that was directly spoken to her in the dream was to encourage me to concentrate on being more and more *lucid* in this waking dream (that we call life). I received this gift with much gratefulness and many very interesting events have been happening since her sharing a little over a week ago.
If anyone wishes to try this, I can offer some brief guidelines...
Any interest?

HOST WLV Miriam: Craig .. we can have people E-mail you if they are .. as we are just about out of time here.

Host WLV Raizel: <--- very interested

DREAMS C Webb: People are welcome to email me at The DREAMS Foundation:

HOST WLV Miriam: Thank you ..

DREAMS C Webb: As for the dream gift experiment, people can see:
and set their personal dream goal as a gift for whoever is to receive the dream.

HOST WLV Miriam: Craig, Thank you so much for sharing your expertise and humor with us tonight!

DREAMS C Webb: Glad to chat with you all in cyberdreamland. A warm, rich soulstice along with great vision dreams or at least pleasant nightmares to all.

Learn more about an excellent new non-violent computer biofeedback software game that incorporates stunning, dream-like 3D graphics, inspiring music, and state-of-the-art physiological biosensors to teach you how to focus your awareness, boost your energy, and quiet your mind:

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