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Begin the new year on a positive note with Dreamland and Whitley Strieber! We’ve all tried positive thinking techniques, and have all discovered the same thing–they often don’t work. But what DOES work? Find out on Dreamland’s New Year’s special with expert Mitch Horowitz.

It’s likely that almost all of us have read at least one book such as ‘the Secret,’ and made an unsettling discovery: positive thinking techniques are flawed, in the sense that many of them don’t work. And yet the positive thinking movement is a powerful undercurrent in modern thought. This cannot be because it doesn’t work. In fact, for some people under some circumstances, it does.

Mitch Horowitz has made a study of positive thinking, and has come to understand what works and what doesn’t and why certain techniques can have a powerful and life-changing effect if used correctly. In this interview, he discusses his new book, One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life.

Mitch is vice-president and editor-in-chief at Tarcher/Penguin, the division of Penguin books dedicated to metaphysical literature. He frequently writes about and discusses alternative spirituality in the national media, including CBS Sunday Morning, Dateline NBC, All Things Considered, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, BoingBoing,, and He appears in recent mini-documentaries on the history of positive thinking; Ouija Boards; and occult New York. Visit him at; on Twitter @MitchHorowitz; and on Facebook at Mitch Horowitz.

Get One Simple Idea from Amazon. Click here

He is also the editor of Whitley Strieber’s books the Key and Solving the Communion Enigma.

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  1. positive thinking used as a
    positive thinking used as a tool to improve your life. more power to the positive.

  2. A very long time listener and
    A very long time listener and reader of Whitley’s books, FINALLY subscribed to the website! YAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!

    I want to keep this brief and just say hello and Blessed Be to everybody, and I hope you ALL have a 2014 full of healing, proseperity, and most of all that you all have many loved ones around you in body and/or spirit, and much LOVE!

    I may sound very positive here but it is really something I need to work on, to build a consistent positive outlook and positive reaction to all the challenges in life, especially to all people.

    I am proud to say that I’m a long-term HIV survivor, this May will be 30 years (!!!!!!) since I received it through a blood transfusion in 1984 my high school senior year, when I had a car wreck (AND an out-of-body experience, don’t know if I would have come back if I knew what was happening to my body that very moment, but I’m SO glad I did.)

    This note is already longer than I intended, but I wanted to throw one more thing out for everyone to think about and spread to all you know to see if they have ever heard this phrase: A SLIENCE IN POSITION ….or A SILENT IMPOSITION

    The reason is that I had 3 disinct experiences of something VERY WEIRD between the ages of 4 to 6 years old. They were all very different, but this one reminds me of Whitley’s experience in COMMUNION when he was awake and very gradually became aware that there was someone standing in the darkness in the corner of the room…the same exact thing happened to me but I was very little, and when I would look directly at this thing, I could only see darkness, like the afterimage from a flash that temporarily blinds you. I made i out finally from my peripherial vision, and it appeared to be a long, very pale, very thin/skeletal doll or figure…I thought at first it was one of our 3 ft bendy skeleton decorations from Halloween, but it wasn’t flat like them, and it WASN’T Halloween. It was hairless and between 3-4 feet tall, and it almost seemed propped in the corner, like a doll or marionette, but I didn’t have anything like that. Although it hadn’t moved, the fear kept growing and growing, until it suddenly floated or moved out of the corner straight towards my bed, very quickly. It seemed at the time that it grew suddenly taller, but I think it just floated upward, then seemed to fall towards me…all this may have taken 2 seconds (the movement part), and as it happened, there was this hissing sound like on a radio when no one is speaking or the background of a tape, and this huge, LOUD, nasal, dastardly sounding voice intoned “A SI–LENCE INNNNN PO-SITIONNNN” I have no memory past that, it seemed like I blacked out in terror, then the sun was shining in the window and it was morning. This phrase has haunted me…is it a metaphor? a hypnotic suggestion to be silent or not remember? or something else….? If I ran into ANYONE who had ever heard this phrase, I would know it was more than a nightmare.

    I had another experience that involves a field or meadow filled with yellow jonquils or daffodils where it couldn’t possibly have been, and it really jolted me when these yellow flowers are mentioned in COMMUNION and again in TRANSFORMATION (I THINK it was these two books, I know it was two of them) and AGAIN yellow flowers are mentioned in the wax paper-like material from the UFO wreckage in MAJESTIC. Because of this memory of a wonderful day in this place full of daffodils, I always said from then on, I love daffodils so much! They’re the only flower I want at my fun funeral! Not wedding. Not Birthday. Funeral. WHAT THE HECK???? And I don’t even like YELLOW! I’ve wondered if these flowers have some connection to all the experiences of seeing loved ones who have died, but that never happened to me, and no one I knew was dead or died anytime soon after that. I still like those flowers, but the fact that is a MEMORY of something in the daytime that absolutely never happened makes me feel uneasy and kindof sick now when I think about those flowers.
    Well so much for my short note…I would be thrill to hear if there are any answers or information to the account above. I keep trying to write down ALL of the strange and varied things that have happened in my life, but I never get very far, my memory seems to be hard to access when I try I get headaches, achy and tired almost immediately, it is very frustrating. Is THIS problem related to a post-hypnotic suggestion to “KEEP SILENT”????

    I’m sure this is more than enough for now, but my present situation is that I’m rather ill and have much fatigue and pain. I am on full disability and while I am grateful for it, I feel trapped, depressed, and worthless sometimes. I am a singer and musician and I’m so glad I got to front my own cover band for a few years before I got sicker, always have lived in Texas, but I am saving and planning to move to Hawaii…I figure heck, there’s poor people THERE too, and I think I’d rather be poor in Hawaii. LOL It will take a while but I’m determined.

    Okay, I’m stopping this note NOW!
    Best Wishes,

    Beth Nelson
    Austin, TX

  3. Beth,
    What an extraordinary


    What an extraordinary life, and most of it while living with HIV hanging over your head!

    Do not keep ‘silent’; continue to express yourself. It is not about an imposition, or even a position, it is about a state of being, and learning to be in the silence. Now that you are a subscriber, you have the opportunity to listen in and be a part of Whitley’s meditations. As for the answers to your past and highly strange encounters, there are no definite answers, but being in the good company of the denizens of Unknown Country can be a great help in assisting you with coming to terms with it and keeping “the question open”, as Whitley likes to say.

    If you are not involved already, I would suggest a great organization in Austin, Health Alliance for Austin Musicians. They are there to assist and support you. For more information, go to:

    AIDS Services of Austin, are also there for you:

    I think it it so important to understand that you are not alone, and while your physical self may not be in top form, and pain a daily companion, you can choose how you deal with it. One very important step may be to reach out to those who understand and can help you the most. While they may not be able to ‘cure’ you, or take away all of your physical pain, their concern and friendship can make your path a little easier to tread.

    And, finally, you do not have to be ‘poor’ anywhere, but you can be ‘rich’ just about anyplace. So, if you would rather be ‘poor’ in Hawaii, rather than ‘poor’ in Austin, try being ‘rich’ in Austin for a while before making that move. What gives you joy? Whatever that is, embrace it. This is not about money.

    One more thing: Change “Bethiewolf” to “Be the Wolf”. 🙂

    Feeling sorry for yourself occasionally is not a bad thing. It means that you are human.

    All the best to you on your journey!

    1. Thank you so much, Cosmic
      Thank you so much, Cosmic Librarian, for your welcome, and for your suggestions. I wanted to clarify some of the topics you touched on. I did not mean for it to sound as if I am feeling sorry for myself. I was using the word poor in a literal, financial sense….I DO consider myself rich where I am, Hawaii gives me joy, and I have spent the last 4 years meditating and verifying that it is where I’m supposed to be, contacting medical, spiritual and HIV services there, building a jewelry inventory for the outdoor markets, building an appropriate songlist and preparing an appropriate promo pack for the area, and speaking to rental and property management companies to thoroughly research and find the best home for me and my cats….I have just had hundreds of conversations with family and others who will never understand why I would go there if I don’t have lots of money. If I am any more thorough and gradual about making my plans to move there, I will have to do it in my next life…no thanks, I’m doing it in this one.
      Thanks for the referral to the page on spirit animals, it’s great to always learn more….but I would be more comfortable keeping my nickname/username as Bethiewolf… was given to me long ago, and “Be the Wolf” sounds like more of an affirmation to me, than my name. By the way, another outstanding reference to wolves and healing through story is “WOMEN WHO RUN WITH THE WOLVES” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.
      Thanks again for your warm greeting, thanks for encouraging me to HOOWWLL!

  4. Thank you for this–I’ve
    Thank you for this–I’ve always been a believer that we are co-creators and get to live what we have created. We need more of the positive in this world! And by the way the articles on Unknown Country are awesome! I always look forward to reading them! Thank you so much!

  5. Nicely done, as always,
    Nicely done, as always, Whitley.

  6. Perhaps the question of
    Perhaps the question of whether positive thinking works isn’t important. The people I know who tend to think more positively in general are a lot happier than the people I know who don’t.

  7. Speaking of howling, I
    Speaking of howling, I remember when Anne got us all to bark at the last symposium. Bark prayer (you had to be there) but it was wonderful!

    I think you hit on a great point, Finchly. It’s not a technique but a way of being. That’s really what Mitch’s book stresses. Not so much trying to wish things true as by thinking from one’s inner core of joy–which can sometimes be hard to find, believe me, I know! But it’s there.

  8. Beth,
    You are very welcome! I


    You are very welcome! I read “Women Who Run with Wolves” several years. “Be the Wolf” is not an affirmation, but more a state of being, even if only for a moment. So, howl like crazy! Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve, and I know that in Austin they like to ‘keep it weird’, so go for it! 😉

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