Dream Sets for Content Analysis
by Nori Muster
I have kept a continuous dream journal since 1979. When I turned sixty in February 2016, it was like an alarm clock went off in my head. I had to do something with the journal because I could not bear the thought of all the dreams sitting in boxes on a shelf going to waste. I searched for someone who studies dream journals, and met Prof. G. William Domhoff. He taught me about Quantitative Dream Content Analysis.*
In the fall I went back to UCSB where my journals are stored, and transcribed a thousand dreams. By the end of the year, my dreams were in a blind study. Researchers are more confident in dreams recorded prior to entering a dream study, so the parameters of the journal are set - there are 231 notebooks covering 38 years, 1979 to 2016. See a summary of the entire collection.*
Transcribed in 2016
Decade Years Dream Set
250 dreams from 1986 - the year I turned thirty
250 dreams from 1996 - the year I turned forty
250 dreams from 2006 - the year I turned fifty
250 dreams from 2016 - the year I turned sixty
At the 2017 Dream Conference, Dr. Kelly Bulkeley presented statistics he gathered from "Beverly," my pseudonym in the blind study. I also sat on the panel and shared my findings, including a series of dreams from 1996 about a Buddha Zen garden. Click here to read the presentation.
Transcribed in 2018
Dreams from Ten Years with the Hare Krishnas
Dreams and daytime notations from the first ten years of the journal, 1979-1989. Click here to read this study.
Dreams of God:
Appearance of the deity Krishna (and Jagannatha deities) in the 1979-1989 set.
Presented at the 35th Annual Conference of the International Association for Dream Studies.
Listen to presentation: Religious Research Panel
July 19, 2018
Association for Dream Studies, annual conference, Scottsdale
Nori Muster: Dreams of Ten Years with the Hare Krishnas (first)
Dr. Shanee Stepakoff: Dreams of the Divine in a Woman from Young Adulthood to Late Middle Age (starts at 25:10)
Dr. Kelly Bulkeley: Dreams of Lucrecia (starts at 1:02)
click here to listen
Dream Content Analysis:
The Twenty-Two Attributes of God Study
After learning of Dr. Stepakoff's Twenty-Two Attributes of God, I decided to evaluate my dreams of God in the light of her findings about the attributes of God in dreams. The paper is approximately ten pages, with an additional twenty-five pages of appendices.
The appendices include Dr. Stepakoff's attributes of God list, and 105 of my dreams of Krishna and Jagannatha. Click here to read The Twenty-Two Attributes of God Study
Transcribed in 2018-2019
After ISKCON - My Forties
November 2018, UCSB Special Collections shipped me all the notebooks from my forties. The journals arrived the Monday after Thanksgiving, and I began to transcribe them immediately. These notebooks begin when I turn forty and end after my fiftieth birthday. As of February 2019, I am currently one third of the way through the transcription process. After the notebooks are transcribed, I will analyze them for "after" leaving ISKCON. I predict fewer Sanskrit words, fewer references to ISKCON, and fewer appearances of characters who dominated my thoughts and dreams when I was in ISKCON.
Summary of All Notebooks
Notebook Set 1 - ISKCON Experience
10 years in ISKCON - 39 notebooks dated February 1979 to January 1989.
Status: transcription complete; main characters tagged and analyzed.
Presentation: I presented my findings at the 2018 annual Dream Studies conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, July 19, 2018. My presentation was, “Dreams from Ten Years with the Hare Krishnas.”
Notebook Set 2 - Years as a Fringie
8 years - 69 notebooks dated 1988 to 1996
Contents: After moving away from the temple, I was a fringe member. During this time, I moved to Oregon for three years, earned my master's degree, then moved to Arizona and completed my memoir.
Status: these notebooks have not been transcribed.
Notebook Set 3 - After ISKCON - My Forties
10 years, 8 months - 53 notebooks dated January 1996 to August, 2006
Contents: I turned forty in 1996, and in my forties I quit visiting any ISKCON properties, and quit identifying with the organization. In 2000 I got involved with the cultic studies world. During this these years I was an advocate for the children in the lawsuit, Children of ISKCON vs. ISKCON.
Status: I am currently transcribing these notebooks, which will provide an “after” set to accompany the "before" leaving ISKCON set, above.
Notebook Set 4 - My Fifties
10 years - 66 notebooks dated 2006 to 2016
Contents: During these years I lived in Arizona, got my real estate license, worked in real estate, and continued writing.
Status: These notebooks are not yet transcribed.
Notebook Set 5 – My Sixties
28 notebooks (as of February 2019) dated 2016 to present
Contents: During these years I continue to live and work in Arizona.
Status: These notebooks are partially transcribed.