Dreams and Healing in West Bengal

The close connection between dreaming and healing has a long and venerable history in Western civilization.  The ancient Greek healing god Asclepius was worshipped throughout the Mediterranean for many centuries, with people praying to the god for dreams to help cure their physical and psychological suffering.  The dream practices at the Asclepian temples became the deep spiritual basis for the Western medical tradition that many of us rely on today, although this fact is rarely acknowledged or … [Read More...]

How to Misbehave in Other People’s Dreams

What would you do if you could control not only your own dreams, but other people’s dreams, too?  What if you could enter other people’s dreams without their knowing it?  How would you use those powers?  Do the same ethical principles that guide our waking lives also apply in dreaming? The new television series “Falling […]

Climate Change Nightmares: A Sign of Things to Come

The front page of today’s New York Times newspaper includes an article about the impact of climate change on a remote village in Alaska.  The article, by Erica Goode, is titled “Climate Change Pushes Towns in Alaska to Wrenching Choice,” and it begins with a dream: In the dream, a storm came and Betsy Bekoalok […]

“Falling Water” and the Vasty Deep

The second episode of the excellent new TV series “Falling Water” (USA Network) starts with a creepy voiceover from a character who later reveals the frightening extent of his powers in the dream realm. He quotes from Shakespeare’s play “Henry IV Part I,” when two English lords plot a rebellion against the king: Glendower: I […]

Dreams of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

  In several studies over the past 24 years I have explored the various connections between dreaming and electoral politics. One of the recurrent findings has been that political events and activities, like Presidential elections, can impact the content of people’s dreams. Some politicians appear with unusual frequency in people’s dreams, which has led to the […]

Review of the 2016 Conference of the International Association for the Study of Dreams

At this year’s annual conference of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD), held June 24-28 in Kerkrade, the Netherlands, the world’s leading dream researchers gathered to share their latest findings. The conference ran for four and a half days, with six or seven simultaneous tracks of events going on from morning through […]

Dreams of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

Psychologists from Sigmund Freud onwards have usually treated dreams as purely egotistical and self-centered, with no relevance outside the personal wishes of the dreamer. Every four years I try to prove that assumption wrong. In response to my quadrennial request about election-related dreams, several colleagues sent me reports of dreams they have experienced relating to […]

Lucid Dreaming and “Pan’s Labyrinth”

This essay is based on a presentation I gave at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry on April 13, 2016, as part of OMSI’s “Reel Science” series in which a lecture precedes the showing of a popular movie. My lecture involved the science of lucid dreaming, and the film was Guillermo del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006). A simple definition of lucid dreaming is this: the experience of … [Read More...]

Recent Interviews About “Big Dreams”

In the past couple of weeks I have spoken several times with journalists about Big Dreams: The Science of Dreaming and the Origins of Religion.  It's a daunting experience to have smart people read what you've written and ask sharp questions about how you put together your argument... and all the more intimidating with a tape recorder running.  But I think the basic ideas from the book come … [Read More...]

Donald Trump: The Sleep Deprivation Hypothesis

It seems that every pundit on the planet has taken a shot at explaining the phenomenal rise and mercurial character of Donald Trump, currently the leading contender to become the Republican nominee for US President. A recent op-ed piece by Timothy Egan in the New York Times, “A Unified Theory of Trump,” suggested a novel and I believe entirely plausible explanation for Trump’s behavior as a … [Read More...]

Cartoon Dreams: Psychological Insights in The Justice League and SpongeBob SquarePants

Childhood is a time of frequent and intense dreaming for many people. Often these nocturnal experiences from early life have a dark hue—children are especially prone to nightmares, sleep paralysis, and night terrors. But children are also more likely than adults to experience magical dreams of flying and lucid dreams of self-awareness.   The whole wild world of dreaming, in all its strange … [Read More...]


BOOKS BY KELLY BULKELEY