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Coffee with: Danial Joseph, dream catcher
Local author Daniel Joseph likes to think that he was preordained to write about dreams.
According to the Bible, both Daniel and Joseph were dream catchers and dream interpreters that the pharaohs would use to predict famine, war, or disaster.
"I'm like the dream catcher, I make my dreams come true," says Joseph, who grew up in Ladner and graduated from Delta Secondary in 1999.
Joseph had taken some psychology classes at Kwantlen College after high school and enjoyed learning about hypnosis and dreams. Since he was always writing down his thoughts, he decided to begin journaling his dreams.
"I was like my own lab experiment," he says, adding at first he just tried coffee, alcohol and other substances to see how it affected his sleeping and dreaming.
Years later, it occurred to him that his 18-month experiment would make for an interesting book. The result is Me, My Dreams and I.
Joseph says the book is deeply personal because it contains the unfiltered thoughts of his subconscious.
Usually, people are used to the sort of dreams where they're trying to do something but find themselves unable.
An example might be trying to run down a hallway that never ends, or struggling to lift a small object that's too heavy.
That's generally due to an inability to become self-aware that you're dreaming.
There are, however, ways you can coax yourself to control dreams by leaving markers for yourself.
Joseph says the film Inception studied dream theory well. For instance, if you can't tell time from a clock it could clue you in to the fact you aren't awake.
The most significant documented dream in the book is the night of Sept. 10, 2001 when Joseph had the biggest night terror of his life.
"I think it was a premonition," he says, referring to the terror attacks that took place that morning in New York City.
In his dream he's cleaning out a trash compactor when he gets stuck inside and realizes it's going to crush him alive. The memory of the nightmare remains with him to this day.
Joseph says people often tell him they don't dream but he insists everyone dreams.
"Just because you don't remember it doesn't mean you don't dream," he says, adding the book teaches people how to better remember and document dreams.
When people wake up there's a brief moment when the dream is accessible before the flood of responsibilities washes it away. That's why Joseph notes it's so important to write it down immediately.
Keeping a notepad by your bed and documenting your dreams helps because dreams are basically a combination of imagination and memory.
"The more you learn about your dreams the more you learn about your thoughts and can manifest your reality that way."
Me, My Dreams and I is available at Albany Books in Tsawwassen, Black Bond Books in Ladner, and Chapters Metrotown.