The world has just lost one of its greatest, wisest, and most compassionate dream teachers. The Reverend Jeremy Taylor died two days ago, just two days after the death of his wonderful wife and life companion Kathy, a sage dreamer and artist herself. Their passing together makes a tragic kind of sense, as an ultimate expression of their profound love for each other. I miss them both deeply.
For more than fifty years, Jeremy has been traveling the country and the world, teaching people about dreams in an incredibly wide variety of places and circumstances. I’m not sure any single person has devoted more of his life’s creative energy to the cause of increasing public awareness of dreaming. And I’m not sure any single person has had a greater beneficial impact on the overall tenor and ethos of contemporary dream research.
It will take a long time to reflect on his legacy and take in the full scope of his influence. What strikes me immediately is how he taught us to find the exciting potentials in even the tiniest dream fragment, and how he welcomed everyone, from all backgrounds, into the great spiritual adventure of exploring the world of dreaming. He also taught us to think of dreaming as a window into social conflict and cultural change—an idea with more resonance than ever right now, as he well knew.
Below is the card he sent me on July 10, 1987, in response to my asking him for an opportunity to meet him and talk about his work. I had just finished my first year in doctoral studies, and was trying to figure out where exactly I wanted to focus my research. The meeting that ensued from Jeremy’s warm invitation (at 10 am at their home in San Rafael) had a direct impact on how my studies proceeded from there (he had published Dream Work in 1983). And it all ties together in a way, because I first heard about Jeremy through my mother, who was working for a time with Kathy Taylor in Marin County and happened to mention my interests to her. Kathy suggested I contact Jeremy, which I did. And my life changed as a result.