Senoi, Kilton Stewart and The Mystique of Dreams: Further Thoughts on an Allegory About an Allegory
"Senoi" dream theory, which is centered around the idea that we should share and control our dreams for spiritual development, is an attractive theory said to derive from an appealing, non-violent people living simply in the highlands of Malaysia. But the real story of "Senoi" dream theory can be a painful one for at least two reasons that go beyond the usual academic conflicts over the validity and usefulness of ideas. First, some people in the United States and elsewhere make their living off of it by leading dream groups; they therefore have more at stake than do professors who are secure in their jobs whether their ideas pan out or not. Second, the theory resonates with deeply held cultural and spiritual values that almost compel people to believe it; they therefore become very upset when it is questioned.