Home > Uncategorized > The Sleep Project VIII: Dreaming

The Sleep Project VIII: Dreaming

As I work my way through the religions of the world, I keep coming up against what, for each, is their deepest mystery (or, depending on taste, their most ridiculously superstitious claim). The resurrection of Jesus; the Enlightenment of Buddha, the ability of Puja to bring a deity into a Hindu statues; the finality of Mohammed’s Prophethood. The significance of these events lies at the heart of daily life for millions: and what unites them all is that they happened at night. Buddha by the river, beneath the Bodhi tree; the Prophet transported to Jerusalem and back; the events that led to the Empty tomb; the spirit in which Visnu, Shiva and all are awakened. Someone’s telling us something here, it seems to me: something about the difference between ‘real’, as in cup-of-tea real, and ‘dream’, as in … something else. Perhaps that’s the point: we dream our deepest truths into being.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. R
    October 11, 2012 at 8:02 am

    The Native People’s religions – the Shamanism of the central Asian nomads and their descendants in north America, Bon in Tibet, Aboriginal Australians, Celtic Druidism – share at least two common threads. One is a near-universal collation between geographic/topographic place (streams, trees, passes, mountain tops, seams of coloured rock), and the spirit world.

    The other is that the dream state is the portal to the spirit world.

    Entering the dream state while physically located in a sacred place will open the door to the spirit world.

    Perhaps the nocturnal deep mystery in the major religions that you note in the post above is an inherited strand of spiritual DNA, passed down from far more ancient mysteries?

  2. October 11, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Indeedy…. or perhaps all of them are telling us something rather reassuring about what is ‘true’ and what isn’t, if only we’d care to notice.

  3. Dave
    October 11, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Responses vary but we all share the experience of mystery.

    The dark, quiet, lonely nights understandably enhance this experience as do dreams during sleep.

    Perhaps caves were significant as they mimic night. Perhaps drugs were/are significant as they mimic dreams…

  4. Paul
    October 11, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    I’m just having a cup of tea (if it or I am here, or at least in my study if not wherever here in the virtual world is or isn’t), trying to recover from ploughing through a reading list for my first philosophy of knowledge seminar… then I read this. Thanks Jon :-)

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