Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream

Jeremy Taylor has been helping people understand their
unconscious beliefs since the late 1960s. As a conscientious
objector to the Vietnam War, Taylor struggled to make white civil
rights activists more sensitive to their racial biases. ‘Here we
were, strong believers in civil rights and equality,’ the Unitarian
minister recounts in an
with The Sun
, ‘and we had failed to overcome our own
unconscious racism.’

Taylor turned to dream analysis conducted in a group setting as
a way to help people to recognize their unconscious beliefs and
access the foundational assumptions that are often in conflict with
their conscious, avowed principles. Once this has happened, he
says, people are better able to see how those same beliefs manifest
themselves in waking life and to gain a greater command over their
unconscious racism. ‘Authentic likes and dislikes began to replace
ritual ‘politeness,’ patronizing blunders, and repressed fears,’ he

A self-taught Jungian theorist, his methods go against the
grain: Taylor acknowledges that Jung did not approve of dream
analysis in a group setting. Nevertheless, Taylor holds that his
approach is a powerful ‘tool for non-violent political, social, and
cultural change.’

Taylor’s practice stems from his belief that life in modern
society urges us to disassociate ourselves from rage, hate, and
other unpleasant realities. When we call these darker sides
inhuman, we fail to develop a full understanding of what it means
to be human. By ‘awakening a sense of rapport with the rejected and
despised aspects of ourselves,’ Taylor says, we can begin to
understand — and change — the world around us on a deeper
Nick Rose

Go there >>
Last Night I
Had the Strangest Dream

Related Links:

Related Links from the Utne

Comments? Story tips?
Write a letter to the editor

Like this? Want more?Subscribe to Utne

In-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.