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DreamGate's

Collected Dream Texts Bibliographies


Senoi Bibliography

Articles, Books, Notes and Summary of the Senoi



(if you know of selections that could go in this bibliography, send them to me. )


++DENTAN,R.K.-Senoi dream praxis. Dream Network Bulletin,2(5) 1-3,12;1983.

++DENTAN,R.K.-"The mystique of dreams:a search for Utopia through Senoi Dream Theory" by G.William Domhoff-a review. Lucidity Letter,4(2)104;1985. Also IN:Lucidity Letter,2(3)61-63;1983. Brain Mind Bulletin,Vol.9,6;1984.

++Domhoff, G. W. (1985). The Mystique of Dreams: A search for Utopia Through Senoi Dream Theory. Berkeley, CA.: University of California Press.

++DENTAN,R.K.-Lucidity,sex and horror in Senoi Dreamwork. IN:GACKENBACH,J.I. 7 LABERGE,S.(Eds.):Conscious Mind,Sleeping Brain. Plenum Press/New York-London;1988.

++DENTAN,R.K.-Senoi dream praxis. Dream Network Bulletin,2(5) 1-3,12;1983. Also IN:Lucidity Letter,2(3)61-63;1983. DENTAN,R.K.-A dream of Senoi. Special Studies Series,nr.150. Council on International Studies. State University of New York at Buffalo;1983.

++Editor. (1987). Senoi authority, anthropologist, Robert Dentan, interviewed. Association for the Study of Dreams Newsletter, 4(5), 10-12.

++DOMHOFF,G.W.-Senoi,Kilton Steward and the mystique of dreams;further thoughts on an

allegory about an allegory. Lucidity Letter,7(1)51-57;1988. Also IN:Lucidity,10,327-333;1991.

++Domhoff, G. W. (1985). The Mystique of Dreams: A search for Utopia Through Senoi Dream Theory. Berkeley, CA.: University of California Press.

++Domhoff, G. W. (1988). Senoi dream theory and "The mystique of dreams": Further thoughts on an allegory about an allegory. Association for the Study of Dreams Newsletter, 5(2), 1-2, 16.

++Doyle, Marie C. (1984). Enhancing dream pleasure with Senoi strategy. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 40(2), 467-474

++Faraday, A., & Wren-Lewis, John (1983). A report from the Senoi. Dreamworks, 3(4), 1983-84, 278-280.

++FARADAY,A. & WREN-LEWIS,J.-The selling of the Senoi. Dream Network Bulletin,3-4;1984. Also IN:Lucidity Letter,3(1)79-81;1984. Also IN:Lucidity,10,334-336;1991.

++FARADAY, A.-Review of G.W. Domhoff, the mystique of dreams. Association for the Study of Dreams Newsletter, 3(4)12-13;1986.

++GIESLER,P.-Comments on "The selling of the Senoi". Lucidity Letter,3(2&3)89-91;1984.

++Greenleaf, E. (1973). "Senoi" Dream Groups. Psychotherapy: Theory Research and Practice, 10(3), 218-222.

++Hennager, K. (1993). Senoi dream theory. In M. A. Carskadon (Ed.), Encyclopedia of sleep and dreaming (pp. 532-533). New York: Macmillan.

++Herod, J. W., & Smith, J. (1982). A review of Senoi dream principles: Adaption to hypnoanalysis. Medical Hypnoanalysis, 3, 96-107.

++Hudson, J. O., & O'Connor, C. (1981). The PEACE process: A modified Senoi technique for children's nightmares. School Counselor, 28, 347-352.

++JOHNSON,J.-Elements of Senoi dreaming applied in a Western culture. Sundance Community Dream Journal,2(1)50-61;1978.

++Kaplan-Williams, S. (1980) The Jungian-Senoi Dreamwork Manual. Berkeley: Journey Press.

++ NOONE,H.D.-Chinchem; a study of the role of dream experiences in culture contact amongst

the temiar Senoi of Malaya. Man;1936-April.

++NOONE,R. & HOLMAN,D.-In search of the dream people. Morrow/New York;1972.

++RANDALL,A.-The terrible truth of the Temiar Senoi. Dream Network Bulletin,2(2)1-3;1983.

++ROBARCHEK,C.-Senoi anthropologist speaks up.Dream Network Bulletin,2(8)8;1983.

++ROVICS,H.-American Senoi Dreamwork. Dream Network Bulletin,2(11)1-2,6-7,13-14;1983.

++Stewart, Kilton (1974/1950's). On dream theory in Malaya. In Richard Grossinger and Lindy Hough (Eds.), Dreams, Io Issue on Oneirology, 8, (2nd Edition, pp. 68-69). Berkeley, CA: Io Publications.

--------. (1954). Pygmies and Dream Giants. New York: W. W. Norton.

--------. (1953-4). Culture and personality in two primitive groups. Complex, 9, 3-23.

--------. (1951). Dream theory in Malaya. Complex, 6, 21-33.

--------. (1972).STEWART,K.-Dream exploration among the senoi. IN:ROSZAK,T. (Ed.):Sources. Harper & Row/New York;1972.

--------. (1948). Magico-religious beliefs and practices in primitive societies: A sociological

interpretation of their therapeutic aspects. Doctoral thesis, London School of Economics and

Political Science. University of London.

--------. (1954). Mental hygiene and world peace. Mental Hygiene, Vol. 38, 387-403.

--------. (1962). The dream comes of age. Mental Hygiene, 1962, Vol. 46, 230-237.

++Wallis, K. Senoi dreamwork. Australian Journal of Clinical Hypnotherapy, 1980, Vol. 1,

54-57. (8350)

Also, see both the ASD Newsletter, Dream Time and the Abstracts from the Debate on the Senoi at the 1996 Association for the Study of Dreams Conference in Berkeley, CA.


Kilton Stewart and The Marvelous Senoi Dream Controversy.

A summary by Richard Wilkerson




The Senoi represent a whole development of dreamwork and dream anthropology that really forms its own world off the left of mainstream anthropology. I'm re-presenting a summary from my online History of Dream Sharing class as the controversy will someday soon move onto the Net. The work has had a great influence on American dreamwork culture since the 1960's.

The Senoi are (were) a Malaysian hunting and gathering tribe brought to the attention of the West by Kilton Stewart. His descriptions of this happy tribe, free of disease and mental illness due to their morning dream sharing and techniques of dream control, were first described in the early 1950's though the research itself took place before the Second World War.

But (outside of the dream content psychologist Calvin Hall), the information was relatively unknown. Then Charles Tart (or a friend of his - Charles can't remember) rediscovered Kilton's writings and made them available at Esalen, the experimental retreat center in Big Sur, California. The ideas became part of a larger program to find the best in self development and consciousness raising techniques and distribute them into the mainstream education system. The program floundered, but Tart and George Leonard, a journalist/educational theorist, both wrote popular books that included information on the Senoi.

(According to Domhoff) With the growing frustration with urbanization, technology and Western values arising out of the Vietnam War conflict, the appeal of more earthy, simpler paths arose and with it the valorization of native and primitive cultural patterns and living styles. In the early 70's both Ann Faraday and Patricia Garfield use the Senoi as models in their popular books and Garfield even had a chance to talk with some Senoi that were working in a hospital she visited in the area. The dreamwork principles are summarized by Domhoff: (via Stewart and Garfield) (1985, pg 9):

1. Always confront and conquer danger in dreams. If an animal looms out of the jungle, go toward it. If someone attacks you, fight back.

2. Always move toward pleasurable experiences in dreams, If you are attracted to someone in a dream, feel free to turn the attraction into a full sexual experience, If you are enjoying the pleasurable sensations of flying or swing, relax and experience them fully.

3. Always make your dreams have a positive outcome and extract a creative product form them. Best of all in this regard, try to obtain a gift from the dream images, such as a poem, a song, a dance, a design, or a painting.

As dian mentioned, if one can't handle the beasties along, you can call on others to help and this is very effective too.

But other researchers could not find any evidence of that the tribe practiced this morning ritual and by the early 1980's other critics left the reality of the Senoi in question. The most critical of these researchers was G. William Domhoff, and in his 1985 _The Mystique of Dreams_ he "debunks" the whole affair and argues not only that the Senoi people show no signs of having practiced these techniques and that the whole program as adopted by Westerners only promotes the very control and manipulation of the environment it ardently is meant to offer an alternative for in the first place.

But the critiques have not caused much despair. Most have felt that the Senoi are an important inner metaphor of our desires and valid as such. For an example of this creativity, see Strephon Kaplan Williams' Jungian-Senoi Dreamwork Manual, the culmination of a myriad of wonderful approaches to the dream inspired by Jung , the Senoi and his work in areas of healing and wholeness.

Recently some, like Jeremy Taylor, feel the criticisms of the Senoi to be exaggerated and feel that the evidence against them came from the tribe after it had been destroyed by contact with the modern world.

The controversy continues, as is evidenced by the very heated discussions found in current issues of the ASD ( association for the study of dreams) newsletters between Taylor and Domhoff. The discussion continued in a 1996 panel discussion at the ASD convention in Berkeley which included Allen Flagg. Flagg, who married Stewart's wife after his death. Flagg has plans to bring the work more into the public domain, following the lead of Kilton and Clara Stewart who also taught classes on the Senoi dream control techniques and talked about plans of creating an institute. I noticed a piece by Flagg in the latest Summer 97 Dream Network Journal.

I'm sure we will see and hear more about the Senoi, and can watch for their appearance on the Net.

Richard Wilkerson


If you are interested in a complete Online Class on the History of DreamSharing, I teach an online class at the beginning of each month. Send for a syllabus to dream-class@dreamgate.com


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