“Healing dreams,” posits Barasch, a National Magazine Award-winning writer who transformed the once-obscure New Age Journal into a prominent national magazine, are startlingly memorable, displaying “Technicolor realism… gleam with mysteries both opaque and insistent, their meaning tantalizingly beyond grasp.” Such dreams demand considerable time and effort to discern their meaning, and force the dreamer to take a hard look inward. His provocative and thoughtful new book, the final entry in a trilogy (The Healing Path and Remarkable Recovery) he began 15 years ago, is one of the most compelling and convincing accounts of the significance of what Jung called “big” dreams. Delving deeply into Western psychology (particularly Jung and Freud), literature and Native American culture, ancient mythology and Eastern beliefs, Barasch illuminates his life-changing ordeal with informed and pertinent insights. Barasch began his study of dreams after a series of intense, bizarre dreams (an “all-night creep show at the inner drive-in”) sent him to the doctor and eventually led to a diagnosis of cancer that seemed strangely prefigured by the dreams. His study is distinguished by his reluctance to claim to have the answers his ego takes a backseat to the enormous cross-cultural evidence he offers and by the quality of his prose (he draws readers in from the get-go, opening with “Fifteen years ago, I was abducted there is no other word for it into the realm of the Dream…. I was cast away in a far country from which I’ve never quite returned”). Despite the book’s occasional redundancies, Barasch has the gift of making readers want to journey into that realm with him. They need to be willing to venture into some fairly New Agey turf to do so, but that means, of course, that this title has the potential to break out within the New Age readership. (Nov.)
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