Dream Fact and Real Fiction: The Realization of the Imagined Self



This paper intends to explore the topic of consciousness in relation to the domain of the contemporary dream, its narration and interpretation. "Consciousness" involves the experience and interplay of dream, fantasy and "reality." Hence an ethnography of the dreaming subject involves several interlinked domains: the cultural construction of dream symbolism, dream narration, and dream interpretation within and through a group setting. The paper is based on findings from a recent ethnographic study of dreamwork groups in the U.K. Examples from the study will explore how personal identity and consciousness is represented and invented through the production of socially informed imaginative contents in both dreamwork and guided fantasy. Key words: dreamwork, anthropology, metaphor, group therapy