DREAMHEALING  Preface  Introduction  Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chaos & Consciousness Universal Solvent Chaosophy Holographic Healing Placebo & Dreams Creative Consciousness Clinical Chaos Dreaming Brain Links

Welcome to Iona Miller's DREAMHEALING, 2008

WHAT’S NEW: Updated 8-2009
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Scientific revolutions and paradigm shifts happen in various disciplines on a regular basis. Some practitioners in a field are quick to adapt new models into their conceptualizations and work, while others who are reluctant to change cannot make the leap in consciousness. Continuing to adhere to outdated, but familiar philosophies and practices, they represent the established order and its preference for the status quo.The healing arts, both medical and psychological, have not been exempt from this persistent human pattern. But our understanding of the fundamental nature of reality through scientific understanding is progressing exponentially; advances have been phenomenal.<>

Increasing popularity of the alternative health movement, human potential movement, recovery movement, and self-help has shown that a large segment of the population are changing their approach to well being. A variety of so-called healing techniques have become available with widely varying credibility and results.Whether they have any scientifically traceable therapeutic effect, or not, most are rooted in the idea of treating the WHOLE PERSON, rather than mechanically treating bodies in a maintenance factory. Complementary health practices encourage preventive maintenance as well as physical and psychological self-care and self-regulation, not just crisis management.





Dreamhealing: CHAOS & the Creative Consciousness Process


"The creative action is always at the boundary or leading edge of any field."

Iona Miller, consultant and transdisciplinarian, is a nonfiction writer for both the academic and popular press, hypnotherapist (ACHE) and multimedia artist. Her work is an omnisensory fusion of sacred activism, intelligence, science-art, chaos theory, plenum physics, and emergent paradigm shift melding experiential psychotherapy, new physics, biophysics, philosophy, cosmology, healing, creativity, qabalah, magick, metaphysics, and society. Rather than having an interest in specific doctrines, she is interested in the EFFECTS of doctrines from religion, science, psychology, and the arts. Our beliefs are the moldable raw material of the psyche, manipulated by governments, media and culture. How do we become what we are and how is that process changing in the near future?

Performance artist and spywhisperer, Ms. Miller writes for the international academic and popular press and is published by Phanes Press, Destiny Books (Inner Traditions), Autonomedia, Nexus Magazine, Dream Network, PM&E, Journal of Nonlocality and Remote Mental Interactions (JNLRMI), Asklepia Foundation, Chaosophy Journal, OAK, DNA Monthly, Pop Occulture, Schiffer, Bolero, Science-Art Research Centre, and more. She serves on the Boards of Medigrace.org, and The Wisdom Center, nonprofit organizations. Recent contributions include print articles in Der Golem (Germany), Paranoia zine #44, #46 (USA), JNLRMI (Russia), Antibiothis (Portugal), The Art of Fetish (Miami), and Journal of Interdisciplinary Crossroads (India). Her artwork has shown in Miami, Phoenix, New York, and more. She has appeared in 21st Century Radio, Untamed Dimensions, Reality Portal, Digital Long Island, etc.

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Story Behind Dreamhealing

Stanley Krippner, PhD

In 1971, Fred Swinney was told by his physician that he had, at most, three years to live. He suffered from hypertension, heart disease, ulcers, and hypoglycemia. Seeing a connection between his weakened physical condition and his job pressures as an engineer, Swinney entered psychotherapy. This experience not only alleviated his physical problems, but prompted him to enter a training program in Transactional Analysis. Swinney received his license in Transactional Analysis in 1975 and began seeing clients.

In 1976, Swinney was travelling by canoe to James Bay in the northern Ontario wilderness. One night, he feel asleep before the smoldering fire and had a dream in which animal predators emerged from the woods, tore him apart, and devoured him. Waking in terror, Swinney opened his eyes and stared at the coals. Just beyond, he could discern two yellow-green eyes and the shadowy form of a wolf. Much to his surprise, Swinney experienced total surrender instead of fear. he stared at the wolf, the worlf appeared to stare back, and Swinney felt a oneness with all that surrounded him.

Eventually the wolf slipped back into the forest, but Swinney still felt its presence in his mind and body. He realized that in some strange way he had become a wolf. Having been devoured in his dream, he had been reborn a wolf upon awakening. A few weeks later, Swinney left the wilderness and returned to his family and clients. He attempted to forget the episode since it had been remarkably different than anything he had previously experienced. Swinney completed his Master's degree in 1980 and avoided any activity that would again evoke his wolflike nature.

Five years after, during a group therapy session held while fire was flickering in Swinney's fireplace, one of his clients expressed extreme anger. Suddenly, Swinney had a mental image of Libra, the Greek goddess of justice, holding her balanced scales. He asked his client if she could relate to this image. The woman erupted with emotion, telling the group how, during her childhood, her mother had tried to treat her and her sister equally. When the client did not experience this fairness in later life, it upset her and she could not cope with other people very well. Upon working through her memories of her early experiences and subsequent expectations, the client was able to accept the inequities in her relationships. Eventually, she was able to terminate therapy.

Swinney realized that his evocation of the image resembled his experience with the wolf. Similar episodes occurred. Invariably, Swinney's images, hunches, and insights were of great value to his clients. Swinney realized that the wolf had returned and had demonstrated the way in which it could be of assistance, even in civilization.

Swinney resolved to learn more about wolves and was surprised to read that in all probability the wolf he had seen in Canada would not have attacked him as he slept before his fire. Two friends gave him books about wolves even though they knew nothing about his resolution or his experience in the forest. Swinney's readings also yielded information about shamans and how they frequently dream about being devoured and reborn during their initiation and training.

Swinney also learned that shamans were the world's first psychotherapists. Shamans often claim to have animal "guides" that assist their work with clients, and often report feelings of unity with their surroundings. After five years of running away from his inner wolf, Swinney again surrendered, just as he had that night in the woods before the coals of his campfire. He took the name "Graywolf" and introduced elements from shamanism into his work as a psychotherapist. Graywolf used rituals and ceremonies with his clients, both in individual and group sessions. He looked for mythic themes, animal "guides," and spiritual symbols in his clients' dreams. He made use of guided imagery sessions and had clients carve, draw, mold, or paint those images that seemed to possess healing qualities. He encouraged body awareness through breathing exercises, dance, and movement.

Graywolf had shared these experiences with me when we first met. We saw each other again in 1984 at the annual meeting of the Association for Humanistic Psychology near Boston. I was scheduled to give a presentation on shmanism with a colleague who was flying in from out of town. My colleague's flight was delayed; thus I asked Graywolf to take his place. Graywolf told his story to a group of several hundred people and led them in some breathing and imagery exercises that he had found useful with his clients. Graywolf's comments were very well received and he felt positive about sharing his private experiences with a large group of interested people.

Since that time, Graywolf has shared his experiences with thousands of individuals and dozens of groups. In addition, he has moved from Western psychotherapy to native shamanism to the dreamhealing tradition of ancient Greece and Rome. But this is hardly a step backwards, as he has combined this with chaos theory, arguably one of the most vital models of the upcoming 21st century.

Chaos theory is the branch of mathematics for the study of processes that seem so complex that at first they do not appear to be governed by any known laws or principles, but which actually have an underlying order that can be described by vector calculus and its associated geometry. Examples of chaotic processes include a stream of rising smoke that breaks down and becomes turbulent, water flowing in a stream or crashing at the bottom of a waterfall, electroencephalographic activity of the brain, changes in animal populations, fluctuations on the stock exchange, and the weather -- either local or global. All of these phenomena involve the interaction of several elements and the pattern of their changes over time.

The rate of change of each of the variables or elements involved depends on the other variables, and the rules of the rate of change must be nonlinear for the chaotic temporal patterns to occur. When basic processes of systems are connected interactively, they are called "dynamical systems," which is the parent branch of mathematics of which chaos theory is a subdiscipline.

Classical chaos theory deals with a calculus of infinite duration and resolution which, of course, may or may not exist in the actual world, but is beyond the resolution of our knowledge of the actual world. Thus, in the mathematical models of chaos one encounters "sensitivity to initial conditions" where even the smallest difference in initial conditions can lead to a large difference in position later on within a chaotic attractor. Therefore, since our knowledge of initial conditions is never exact but bound to inexact observation, our prediction into the future is limited, more so the further into the future we try to predict. Until recently, it was presumed that chaotic systems, like classical linear systems, tended toward stable equilibrium (fixed point) or period attractors and that the erratic behavior found in actuality resulted from unidentified variables not yet detected.

For example, researchers believed that the weather would be predictable if it were somehow possible to gather enough information about all relevant variables. Precision about knowledge thus derives not from insufficient information about the number of processes involved which could be very few to describe very complex chaotic attractors, but from the complexity of their interaction plus the imprecision concerning our measurement information at some arbitrary starting time about the exact state of the system. Our useful knowledge of the system, which is very orderly and deterministic, concerns its behavioral characteristics, i.e. the features of the attractor, rather than making an exact prediction of its future state at an exact time.

Geometric patterns with repetitive self-similar features have been called "fractals" because of their fractional dimension, and because of the sheer beauty of these forms. Many chaotic attractors display fractals when sliced, like opening an orange. Thus, fractal dimensions are one of the many numerical properties used to characterize chaotic attractors along with measures of the simultaneously convergent and divergent characteristics which have led many to characterize chaotic attractors as like the stretching and folding of bread dough or taffy. Rapid Eye Movement sleep (the period of the sleep cycle from which most dream reports emerge) could be chaotic in nature and contain this type of attractor.

Graywolf grounds his work in chaos theory, but he also claims roots in the ancient Asklepian temples. Here it was the dream experience itself, not the interpretation of the dream, that was felt to heal pilgrims. One of Graywolf's contributions to the field of dreamworking is his facilitation of a healing effect directly from the dream process itself. His client's dream experiences are just as carefully nurtured as those provided by the Greek and Roman priests; Graywolf's contrivances range from dream incubation to white river rafting! Graywolf claims that in some cases only one such intense event may be necessary to produce a lasting positive change in a client's life. Before dismissing this possibility as wishful thinking or self-deception, one should consider that a single traumatic event can have devastating effects; the power of recovery can certainly be as forceful as the tumult of trauma. In addition, one needs to examine Graywolf's 8-step process that encompasses this life-changing event, steps that range from "the pilgrimage" to "the re-entry."

Graywolf's Creative Consciousness Process is based on a unique model of the human psyche, and can provide a roadmap for the tribal shaman as well as the dreamhealer. Both frequently travel into the mythic underworld to find and retrieve the lost souls of their clients. I have seen contemporary shamans make this perilous journey on behalf of a person whose soul has been absconded by the forces of addiction, depression, or life-threatening accidents. Sometimes, the soul must be persuaded to return; at other times it does not know it is lost and must be informed; and on still other occasions the soul is held captive by the spirits of cocaine, heroin, alcohol, or other seductive substances. Most contemporary psychotherapists dismiss the concept of "soul" as superstitious, yet they do so at their peril. They may treat their clients' bodies, feelings, and intellects, but may never restore wholeness to them unless they explore the spiritual dimension of the psyche.

In Graywolf's model, the shaman/dreamhealer and his or her client emerge from the depths of the psyche through various development levels, beginning with conception and ending with behavior. The lost soul has been found, retrieved, and revitalized, and this new wholeness is reflected in the client's daily activities. The source of dreams, according to Graywolf, is located at primal levels of the psyche as the brain experiences itself during sleep. Like the fractals of chaos theory, brain centers undulate through cycles of firing and rest, processing both externally-generated and internally-generated input, shaping plots and narratives, creating symbols and metaphors. Once more, order is generated from chaos.

Another one of Graywolf's contributions is to find the genesis of the Creative Consciousness Process in evolutionary theory and ecological psychology. Rapid Eye Movement sleep probably served an evolutionary function as small mammals formulated strategies of survival during sleep, checking them against the memories of their daily experience. This was the beginning of the brain's capacity to create stories from the morass of internally-evoked images during the night -- stories that would often become cultural and personal myths, themselves important determinants of social survival. In our time, as Earth itself struggles to survive the onslaught of human exploitation, the Creative Consciousness process sees its task as reminding individuals and groups of their connection to the rest of Nature, and to awaken them to the fact that the very survival of humankind may rest on honoring this connection, not severing it still further.

Tribal shamans recognized the ecology of consciousness; their techniques often were chaotic yet the disorder produced through drumming, dancing, and mind-altering plants induced shifts in consciousness that led to a new order that could be both healing and life-enhancing. I have participated in sweat lodge rites, drumming ceremonies, and dancing rituals where the heat was so intense, the music was so overwhelming, and the movement so exhausting that the only way to stay with the process was to shift into a state of consciousness where my ordinary limitations were expanded or transcended. Again, order can emerge from chaos; today's shaman/dreamhealer takes advantage of this knowledge.

Graywolf has facilitated numerous hero's and heroine's journeys for his clients over the past several years, encouraging their departure, validating their discoveries, and celebrating their return. They realize at profoundly deep levels of the psyche where their growth has been stalemated and how flow can be restored. By providing sacred internal and external sites for this change to occur, Graywolf has revived the dreamhealing tradition. Asklepios would be pleased.


Graywolf passed into the ether in 2004, but left this legacy as well as another book, Holographic Healing.