Remembering Monte

Robert Van de Castle - University of Virginia
Robert Van de Castle, PhD, Professor Emeritus, University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, is former president of the Association for the Study of Dreams and the Parapsychological Association. He is author of Our Dreaming Mind (1994) and may be contacted at

 I first met Montague Ullman in Miami when he sought to recruit me for a position at Maimonides Hospital to establish a Sleep and Dream Laboratory to study telepathic dreams. At the time I was working with Calvin Hall at the Institute of Dream Research. For several hours each day sitting under a palm tree, Calvin and I were busy scoring up dreams and working on our book The Content Analysis of Dreams. Though I found Monte to be a quite charming, kind, warm person with a wonderful smile and sense of humor, that idyllic setting overruled any considerations about moving to Brooklyn. His subsequent hire of Dr. Stanley Krippner turned out to be the perfect choice to meet the needs for that challenging Maimonides project.

Eventually, Calvin and I investigated whether telepathic material could be incorporated into dream content and got very encouraging results. Monte invited me to see whether I would be able to demonstrate similarly successful results at Maimonides partly because of my excellent memory for the details of dreams and capabilities as a telepathic receiver. I eventually participated as a subject on eight experimental nights during a forty-four week period. On each morning that I had served as a subject, I would spend an hour or two with Monte while we explored at great length my feelings about the person several hundred yards away in a locked room who had served as the “sender,” what was going on in my life at the time, what associations I had to the target picture and so forth. Monte was the “sender” on one of these experimental nights. It was an interesting process to weave back and forth all the associations to the material that emerged that night. The publication of Monte and Stan’s classic book Dream Telepathy eventuated from nearly a decade of their systematic research on this topic.

It was a pleasure to be in the audience when Monte received his award for Lifetime Achievement in Dreamwork from the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) at their annual meeting in 2006. No one was a more deserving recipient than Monte. His theoretical proposals involving the vigilance hypothesis, the role of inter-species connectedness, and his recent forays into finding links between the mysterious realms of the paranormal and David Bohm’s theories on quantum physics have always been beautifully articulated, well reasoned, and extremely compelling.

During our recent 2008 IASD conference in Montreal, Dr. Milton Kramer emphasized in his invited address how groundbreaking Monte’s humanitarian role had been in establishing the first mental-health clinic in New York City and how he had always been a strong advocate for the under-served and under privileged.

Monte was an incredibly humble man who would easily become embarrassed if anyone attempted to congratulate him for being the outstanding human being and friend that he was to so many of us, or if we tried to point out how extraordinarily significant his theoretical contributions had been in shaping our views about the purpose and functions of dreaming. Monte also completely revolutionized the way that dreams were dealt with in professional settings. His compassionate and supportive way of working with dream groups and spelling out the techniques that eventually became incorporated into his compassionate “if it were my dream” technique have been enthusiastically spread around the globe.

The Healing Power of Dreams
Wendy Pannier - Dream Group Leader

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Montague Ullman:
In Memoriam - Clio's Psyche | Elovitz | Gilden | | Pannier | Potts | Van De Castle
 The Little Prince | Quantum Dreaming : The Dream: In Search of a New Abode
Lifwynn Lecture | Psi Dreaming | Monte Ullman: Selected Works Relevant to Cosmic Dreaming