Big Dreams & Big Dreamers

Do you ever wish you could have a really BIG DREAM? You might imagine what it would be like: a great opportunity. Some people report having life defining dreams that remain vividly in mind for years.

Who wouldn’t want such an experience? In ones’ imagination, the big dream might be extremely vibrant, or be of the utmost clarity. Most certainly, it would be memorable and life changing. The dream might spark a spiritual awakening.

In an attempt to find out more about the big dream, I looked through my dream book collection. Some of the authors assured readers that their books on dreams provided all the information they needed to know about dreams. Nevertheless, scanning tables of contents, chapter titles, section labels, and indices failed to turn up any direct reference to the big dream.

The big dream was even elusive on the internet. The term was there. Some “big dream” sites attempted to tell internet surfers what they “really” want out of life. One site had a synchronicity card pack for sale. Another site was about a church building fund. Even “” billed as “your source for virtually anything” wasn’t a source of information about big dreams. On a hunch, I revisited The World Dream Book by Sarvananda Bluestone. He used the term, “great dream.” He also provided a simple yet significant reminder that “ … there are many kinds of dreams, it lies with the dreamer to determine the nature of the dream and it remains for each person to determine his dreams’ lessons.”

There is certainly the chance that many of us have had a big dream and failed to recognize it. We’ve been conditioned in our society to expect important things to make a big impression. The big dream may fail to get our full attention at first.

Symbolically, the International Association for the Study of Dreams (ASD) has been like a big dream for me that began quietly but grew in importance as I worked with it. It has helped me to satisfy my intention to learn more about dreams by providing reading material, group study opportunities, dream sharing groups, and research reports. Most importantly, it has provided the opportunity to be a part of a dedicated community of dreamers. Rita Dwyer and Jean Campbell are vital members of that community.

I met Rita when I attended an Association for the Study of Dreams annual conference for the first time. Prior to the conference, I had little contact with the organization. Rita made quite a fuss over me. She explained how she had seen my name as a founding member of the association on paperwork for about 14 years and wondered who this phantom person might be. Her welcome made me feel very much at home during a personally and professionally rough time in my life. Immediately after the conference, I got to enjoy her company when a small group of members went out to supper before returning home. Remembering the event brought a heartfelt smile as I recalled such a warm feeling of belonging. Over time, I became aware of how vitally important Rita was to the association and all of the people she has welcomed. Years later, at another conference, I was just turning to leave the ball, when Rita reached out and asked me to dance. I wondered if she had sensed that I felt alone and reached out once again to make me feel right at home.

I met Jean Campbell at an ASD Conference in Copenhagen a few years ago. I knew about her marvelous “Dream Bridge” project that allowed children from different countries to share their dreams. I can recall with fondness, sitting on a restaurant boat with Jean and another member as Jean shared her dreams, plans, and hopes for the organization. The weather was chilly and rainy, but she projected an air of confidentiality that made me feel like a life long friend. At a subsequent conference, I was pleased to learn that she had been elected as president of the association and I worked just briefly with her on a project. More recently, I received a note card from Jean in the mail. She was complementing me on an article I had written. I was tickled to read the compliment in her beautifully written script even before I had gotten a chance to see the article in print myself.

Like dream characters, Rita Dwyer and Jean Campbell came into my life for an admittedly brief period of time, but have had an ongoing and meaningful effect. In order to fully appreciate the positive impact these two dedicated individuals have had on the lives of others, however, we would literally have to visit with people all over the world. You can bet that Rita and Jean represent portions of the big dreams of many individuals. So, if you get a chance to meet Rita and Jean, be sure to see that opportunity as potentially life changing, something like a big dream coming your way. ∞

Bluestone, Sarvananda. The World Dreambook. Rochester, Vermont, Destiny Books, 2002