Robert Moss, born in Melbourne (Victoria) in 1946, is an Australian historian, journalist and author and the creator of Active Dreaming, an original synthesis of dreamwork and shamanism.
Early life and education
Moss survived several life-threatening bouts of illness in childhood and traces his fascination with dreaming from this time.
He was educated at Scotch College, Melbourne, Canberra Grammar School and the Australian National University where he gained a BA (1st class Hons.) and subsequently gained an MA. He was a lecturer in Ancient History at the ANU in 1969-1970.
Journalism and international affairs
In 1970, Moss started PhD research at University College, London, but soon accepted an invitation to join the editorial staff of The Economist. From 1970-1980, he was an editorial writer and special correspondent for The Economist, reporting from some 35 countries. He edited The Economist's weekly Foreign Report from 1974-1980, and wrote for many other publications, including The Daily Telegraph, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic and Commentary. He was a regular commentator on international affairs on British television and the BBC World Service.
In a paper presented to the International Institute of Strategic Studies in 1971, Moss was one of the first to identify the emergence of international terrorism. He expanded his paper into his first book, Urban Guerrillas, published when he was 25. From 1971-1980, he was a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Defence Studies in London. Moss drafted a speech for Margaret Thatcher in January 1976 warning about the Soviet military build-up. In response to this speech Thatcher was labelled the “Iron Lady” by the Soviet Army newspaper Red Star.
He was awarded the Freedom Prize of the Max Schmidheiny Foundation at the University of St. Gallen in 1979.
Moss co-authored the novel The Spike with Arnaud de Borchgrave; it became a best seller in 1980.
Moss became a full-time writer and published a series of best-selling suspense novels including Moscow Rules and Carnival of Spies.
Interest in dreaming
In 1986, Moss felt the need to get away from the commercial fast track and moved to a farm in upstate New York, where he started dreaming in a language he did not know that proved to be an archaic form of the Mohawk language. Helped by native speakers to interpret his dreams, Moss came to believe that they had put him in touch with an ancient healer – a woman of power – and that they were calling him to a different life.
Out of these experiences he wrote a series of historical novels and developed the practice he calls Active Dreaming, an original synthesis of contemporary dreamwork and various methods of journeying and healing. A central premise of Moss's approach is that dreaming isn't just what happens during sleep; dreaming is waking up to sources of guidance, healing and creativity beyond the reach of the everyday mind.
He introduced his method to an international audience as an invited presenter at the conference of the Association for the Study of Dreams at the University of Leiden in 1994.