SUMMARY Big Dreams 108

Big Dreams

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Redictive models that can be applied to new sets of data The notion of a connection between dreaming and religion has always been intuitively compelling; Big Dreams transforms it into a solid premise of religious studies and brain mind scienceCombining evidence from religious studies psychology anthropology evolutionary biology and neuroscience Big Dreams makes a compelling argument that big dreams are a primal wellspring of religious experience They represent an innate neurologically hard wired capacity of our species that regularly provokes greater self awareness creativity and insight into the existential challenges and spiritual potentials of human lif. Read the full review on I like about this book is that it is very easy to read Even though the subject matter that Bulkeley discusses is very scientific he has the ability to talk about complex issues with ease and knowledgeIf you are a book lover like me this book will give you so much titles of books that will go on your list for further studyThis is a wonderful oversight about contemporary knowledge of the science of dreaming with religion as specific interest And even if you are not interested in te topic of religion and dreaming this book offers so many other insights into psychology neurology and dream content analysis it is well worth your moneyI missed a chapter on the neurology of religious dreams Why did we the human species develop religion at such an early stage of our existence How has the disappearance of religion affected our dreams Are there ways to induce Big Dreams in our own lives or do we have to wait until we are in crises And how do hormones play a role in religious dreaming We know that women remember dreams and are religious than men How are those two facts related Maybe he already wrote about those uestions in his book Dreaming in the World’s Religions A comparative History And if not it will be a sublime subject for a next book Opération bagration la revanche de Staline (été 1944) of data The notion L'État contre les juifs: Vichy, les nazis et la persécution antisémite of a connection between dreaming and religion has always been intuitively compelling; Big Dreams transforms it into a solid premise Nouvelle histoire de la France contemporaine, Tome 8 : 1848 ou l'apprentissage de la République, 1848-1852 of religious studies and brain mind scienceCombining evidence from religious studies psychology anthropology evolutionary biology and neuroscience Big Dreams makes a compelling argument that big dreams are a primal wellspring Les soldats de la honte of religious experience They represent an innate neurologically hard wired capacity Le traité de Versailles et la fin de la Première Guerre mondiale: Chronique d’une paix manquée of Le jour le plus long : 6 juin 1944 our species that regularly provokes greater self awareness creativity and insight into the existential challenges and spiritual potentials Itinéraire d'un triangle rose of human lif. Read the full review Noirs dans les camps nazis on I like about this book is that it is very easy to read Even though the subject matter that Bulkeley discusses is very scientific he has the ability to talk about complex issues with ease and knowledgeIf you are a book lover like me this book will give you so much titles Par le sang versé of books that will go Le Monde selon De Gaulle : Tome 2, Le général à livre ouvert... on your list for further studyThis is a wonderful Mai 68 l'arnaque du siècle oversight about contemporary knowledge Ils partiront dans l'ivresse : Lyon (mai 43)-Londres (février 44) of the science Vaincre sans gloire: Le corps expéditionnaire français en Italie (novembre 1942-juillet 1944) of dreaming with religion as specific interest And even if you are not interested in te topic Opération "Torch" of religion and dreaming this book L'Honneur, pas les honneurs: Mémoires, tome I. Avec le 2e REP en Algérie offers so many A la droite d'Hitler other insights into psychology neurology and dream content analysis it is well worth your moneyI missed a chapter Mitterrand, le grand initié on the neurology L'espèce humaine of religious dreams Why did we the human species develop religion at such an early stage 1943 of Les origines républicaines de Vichy our existence How has the disappearance Le mythe du grand silence: Auschwitz, les Français, la mémoire of religion affected La vie des français sous l'occupation our dreams Are there ways to induce Big Dreams in Simone Veil et les siens: Album- préface d'Annick Cojean our Les Français de l'an 40. Tome 1. La guerre, oui ou non ? own lives Un été 16 : Eléments d'histoire culturelle européenne au regard du présent or do we have to wait until we are in crises And how do hormones play a role in religious dreaming We know that women remember dreams and are religious than men How are those two facts related Maybe he already wrote about those uestions in his book Dreaming in the World’s Religions A comparative History And if not it will be a sublime subject for a next book

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Big dreams are rare but highly memorable dream experiences that make a strong and lasting impact on the dreamer's waking awareness Moving far beyond I forgot to study and the finals are today and other common scenarios such dreams can include vivid imagery intense emotions fantastic characters and an uncanny sense of being connected to forces beyond one's ordinary dreaming mind In Big Dreams Kelly Bulkeley provides the first full scale cognitive scientific analysis of such dreams putting forth an original theory about their formation function and meaningBig dreams have played significant roles in religious and cultural history but because of their infreuen. Can dreams have a meaning and purpose beyond that of our brains taking the garbage out each night In this book Kelly Bulkeley makes the case that the content of dreams is a worthy subject for scientific study It is not necessarily easy to study something so personal and subjective but with a combination of EEGs and fMRIs etc which can give us insight into which parts of the brain are active during particular kinds of dreams and dream databases which gather descriptions of dreams from a wide range of individuals and organise them so they can be searched by keywords it is possible to obtain some objective data to analyseAs the title suggests Bulkley’s ultimate aim is to look at the relationship between dreaming and religion but because both of these topics may be viewed as uestionable areas for scientific study he takes his time and works his way up to them progressively beginning with an account of the role that sleep plays in the lives of animals generally and humans specifically We learn that dolphins sleep with one half of their brain at a time one eye always open for possible dangers and that bottle nose dolphin mothers and calfs remain awake and in visual contact for over two months straight after the calf’s birthThe outline of the book follows the example of Thomas Auinas’ Summa Theologica 5 Vols in that each chapter begins with a uestion followed by a brief account of an answer to that uestion which runs counter to that which Bulkeley will be making in the chapter itself He then makes his detailed counter argument and ends with a brief summary explaining why he thinks his answer is the valid oneA key idea which is introduced in the second section of the book in which Bulkeley moves on to the topic of dreams themselves is that dreaming is a form of play In play we experiment freely with ideas and forms of behaviour in a safe environment He explains that patients suffering from post traumatic stress disorder have a tendency to experience rigidly repetitious nightmares reliving their trauma and that the process of recovery can be charted in the freeing up of the dream process We can see in this a reflection of waking culture in which creativity and health arise from the ability to improvise rather than be restricted by fixed stereotypical forms of thought or expressionAfter setting the scene with the first two sections of the book which deal with the topics of sleep and dreams generally he moves on to his main subject “big dreams” The term comes from Carl Jung A “big dream” is one which is very memorable and leaves a significant emotional reaction after waking These dreams are relatively rare so to study them is a “black swan” approach The argument here is similar to that of Willam James when in The Varieties of Religious Experience he argued that the best way to increase our understanding of religious experiences was to examine the extraordinary examples in which defining ualities were exaggerated and thus could be easily observedBulkeley divides these big dreams into four kinds aggressive sexual gravitational and mystical His contention is that our ability to experience these kinds of dreams has arisen via natural selection because each of them may convey upon the dreamer a survival advantage Aggressive nightmares in which we may have to battle against or run from frightening creatures can act as an emotional preparation for dealing with real life dangers Sexual dreams may help to increase our breeding potential by whetting our appetite for sex and allowing us to mentally rehearse sexual activities Gravitational dreams such as nightmares about falling may have helped our tree dwelling ancestors to maintain a necessary habit of wariness about the danger of falling out of the tree at night but they may also act as a metaphor for failure of any kind thus encouraging wariness generallyIt is with the evolutionary advantage of mystical dreams such as dreams of flying and visitations from people who are dead that we get to the heart of the thesis which will feed into the examination of religion Here the evolutionary advantage is that such dreams stimulate our capacity for hope and imagination These kinds of dreams may have been the origin of religious beliefs in other plains of existence and the survival of the soul beyond the body but this is not the only effect that they can have Bulkeley gives an example of a composer who had a dream about musical composition which continued to inspire him over 25 years after he had it Perhaps the same lack of inhibitions which allows us to have very “inappropriate” sexual dreams can also set free our creative intuitionWhen he gets to the topic of religious dreams in the final section of the book he discusses four different kinds those involving demonic seduction prophetic vision ritual healing and contemplative practice Here again he takes a leaf out of William James’ book and points out that we can only study what happens in the mind of the individual having a religious experience we cannot on the basis of such a study say anything about the existence or non existence of the supernatural beings with whom the individual claims to have had contactBulkeley’s approach in this part of the book is not to try to assess in any particular case whether a dream or approach to dreaming had a beneficial effect but rather to look at whether the idea that it could is credible scientifically When it comes to dreams of demonic seduction he uses a similar approach to that he used with aggressive nightmares and sexual dreams generally Just as sexual dreams can prepare us to breed successfully dreams about demonic seduction can prepare us to be suitably wary about the dangers which may occur in the breeding processThe essential argument with prophetic dreams is that our mind has access to a lot of information about the important things going on in our lives and the dreaming process is one in which our mind is freed up to play around with the possibilities inherent in that information so it is possible that we might make a better prediction of what lies ahead for us during a dream than we have while awake This may not happen very often at all but the fact that it can and that correct predictions are remembered while incorrect ones are forgotten could explain why we have developed a cultural belief in the existence of dream prophecyThe concept of dream incubation is central to the discussion of ritual healing through dreams Many cultures believe that dreams can have a healing influence and there are practices and locations which can help to bring on such healing dreams Sleep itself is central to the health of the body and the mind so anything which reassures the individual and thus helps them to sleep deeply and restfully is going to help the healing process but the other factor Bulkeley discusses is the placebo effect There are certain kinds of physical or mental ailment which have been shown to improve significantly simply because the sufferer believed that they would If we combine these two factors then it is possible that someone going through a process of dream incubation may experience a noticeable improvement in their health because of a reassuring belief in the process and a feature of that experience may be hopeful dreams or dreams which give good advice making use of information absorbed but not previously activated Once again he is not saying that it works but that it could conceivably work in some instancesIn the chapter on contemplative practice the emphasis is on pointing out the link between what happens in the brain during dreaming and what happens during meditation There is also a discussion of lucid dreaming in which the dreamer can become aware of the fact that they are dreaming and engage in all of the forms of conscious thinking which are accessible in the waking state Thus dreaming can be a gateway to exploring alternate states of consciousnessAnd for anyone who thinks he is too much of a dreamer Bulkeley makes the following point “Dreaming is not opposed to skepticism On the contrary dreaming gives birth to skeptical consciousness When people awaken from a dream particularly a big dream they immediately face a profound metaphysical uestion one that has puzzled philosophers for ages How does the reality of the dream relate to the reality of the waking world This uestion echoes throughout human life as a conceptual template for critical thought and reflection” La construction européenne on the dreamer's waking awareness Moving far beyond I forgot to study and the finals are today and Nuremberg face à l'histoire other common scenarios such dreams can include vivid imagery intense emotions fantastic characters and an uncanny sense La bataille de Lépante: L'expansion ottomane mise à mal par les chrétiens of being connected to forces beyond Histoire des blancs one's Introduction à l'histoire de notre temps, t. 2. Le (2) ordinary dreaming mind In Big Dreams Kelly Bulkeley provides the first full scale cognitive scientific analysis Vent glacial sur Sarajevo of such dreams putting forth an Histoire des révolutions original theory about their formation function and meaningBig dreams have played significant roles in religious and cultural history but because Les grands vaincus de l'histoire of their infreuen. Can dreams have a meaning and purpose beyond that Une histoire du Troisième Reich of Histoire militaire de la France our brains taking the garbage Considérations sur Hitler (Tempus t. 637) out each night In this book Kelly Bulkeley makes the case that the content Nouvelle histoire de la France contemporaine, tome 12 : Victoire et frustrations (1914-1929) of dreams is a worthy subject for scientific study It is not necessarily easy to study something so personal and subjective but with a combination U-564 : Au coeur d'une mission du Korvettenkapitän Teddy Suhren of EEGs and fMRIs etc which can give us insight into which parts Le Code d'Esther of the brain are active during particular kinds 39-45 Les dossiers oubliés: La face cachée de la Seconde Guerre Mondiale (JOURDAN (EDITIO) of dreams and dream databases which gather descriptions D'Amérique en Europe. Quand les indiens découvraient l'ancien monde (1493-1892) of dreams from a wide range Histoire de la Géorgie of individuals and Des anglais dans la résistance. Le SOE en France, 1940-1944 (Texto) organise them so they can be searched by keywords it is possible to Ecrits historiques de combat obtain some Combat Pour Berlin: Édition Intégrale objective data to analyseAs the title suggests Bulkley’s ultimate aim is to look at the relationship between dreaming and religion but because both Koursk 1943 (Domaine étranger) of these topics may be viewed as uestionable areas for scientific study he takes his time and works his way up to them progressively beginning with an account Caen 1944 of the role that sleep plays in the lives Les Décombres of animals generally and humans specifically We learn that dolphins sleep with Combats oubliés : Résistants et soldats français dans les combats de la Libération one half Histoire de l'Europe pour les Nuls of their brain at a time The Ghosts of Port Winston one eye always Au temps des Vikings open for possible dangers and that bottle nose dolphin mothers and calfs remain awake and in visual contact for Introduction à l'histoire de notre temps. L'Ancien (1) over two months straight after the calf’s birthThe Les secrets du IIIe Reich (Tempus t. 591) outline Les Paras De La Waffen-ss of the book follows the example Du Pont D'arcole a La Bataille De Rivoli 1796-1797: Les Derniers Jours De La Première Campagne D'italie of Thomas Auinas’ Summa Theologica 5 Vols in that each chapter begins with a uestion followed by a brief account Histoire du monde (1) of an answer to that uestion which runs counter to that which Bulkeley will be making in the chapter itself He then makes his detailed counter argument and ends with a brief summary explaining why he thinks his answer is the valid Histoire de la Belgique pour les Nuls, 2e édition oneA key idea which is introduced in the second section Dictionnaire des corsaires et des pirates of the book in which Bulkeley moves L'Armee Francaise de la Guerre Franco-Prussienne: 1870-1871: Des Cent-Gardes Aux Moblots on to the topic La guerre d'Espagne (TEMPUS t. 133) of dreams themselves is that dreaming is a form La Luftwaffe Face Au Débarquement Allie: L'intervention de la chasse allemande dans la bataile de Normandie et en Provence: Messerschmitt 109 G et Focke Wulf 190 A au combat 6 juin - 31 aout 1944 of play In play we experiment freely with ideas and forms Carte Bataille de Provence aout 1944 of behaviour in a safe environment He explains that patients suffering from post traumatic stress disorder have a tendency to experience rigidly repetitious nightmares reliving their trauma and that the process Histoire des Tchèques et des Slovaques of recovery can be charted in the freeing up Histoire des pays tchèques of the dream process We can see in this a reflection Cinquante nuances de guerre of waking culture in which creativity and health arise from the ability to improvise rather than be restricted by fixed stereotypical forms A l'ombre de l'épée - Naissance de l'islam et grandeur de l'empire arabe of thought Veni, Vidi, ... Ces grandes défaites militaires qui ont fait la France or expressionAfter setting the scene with the first two sections Winston Churchill: Une vie of the book which deal with the topics Figures de proue of sleep and dreams generally he moves Hermann Goering on to his main subject “big dreams” The term comes from Carl Jung A “big dream” is Les Artilleries Francaises: Premiere Partie 1786-1815, L'artillerie a Pied one which is very memorable and leaves a significant emotional reaction after waking These dreams are relatively rare so to study them is a “black swan” approach The argument here is similar to that Le débarquement de Normandie: Overlord, l’opération décisive de la Seconde Guerre mondiale of Willam James when in The Varieties 1989 of Religious Experience he argued that the best way to increase Rome devant la défaite: (753-264 avant J.-C.) our understanding Penser l’événement. 1940-1945 (Folio Histoire 285) of religious experiences was to examine the extraordinary examples in which defining ualities were exaggerated and thus could be easily Les services secrets en Indochine (Poche Histoire) observedBulkeley divides these big dreams into four kinds aggressive sexual gravitational and mystical His contention is that Fabuleux destins our ability to experience these kinds Histoire de Belgrade of dreams has arisen via natural selection because each Berlin, 1933 - La presse internationale face à Hitler (Documents (H.C)) of them may convey upon the dreamer a survival advantage Aggressive nightmares in which we may have to battle against La Nuit des longs couteaux (Ce jour-là) or run from frightening creatures can act as an emotional preparation for dealing with real life dangers Sexual dreams may help to increase France militaire, histoire des armées françaises de terre et de mer, de 1792 à 1833. Tome 1 our breeding potential by whetting Comment être un étranger, De Venise à Goa, XVIe-XVIIIe our appetite for sex and allowing us to mentally rehearse sexual activities Gravitational dreams such as nightmares about falling may have helped Auriez-vous crié "Heil Hitler": Soumission et résistances au nazisme : l'Allemagne vue d'en bas - Essais - documents (L'Inconnu) our tree dwelling ancestors to maintain a necessary habit Joukov of wariness about the danger La bataille des Ardennes: Les derniers jours de l’occupation allemande en Belgique (Grandes Batailles t. 20) of falling Les Batailles de Napoléon out Le marché de l'art sous l'Occupation: 1940-1944 (HISTOIRE) of the tree at night but they may also act as a metaphor for failure De Gaulle et Roosevelt. Le duel au sommet (Tempus 136) of any kind thus encouraging wariness generallyIt is with the evolutionary advantage Vent glacial sur Sarajevo: Récit (Mémoires de Guerre t. 20) of mystical dreams such as dreams Atlas des peuples d'Europe centrale of flying and visitations from people who are dead that we get to the heart Biographies animales. Des vies retrouvées of the thesis which will feed into the examination Guerre des Juifs. Livre V of religion Here the evolutionary advantage is that such dreams stimulate La Deuxième Guerre mondiale (TEMPUS t. 308) our capacity for hope and imagination These kinds La vie des Français sous l'occupation (Histoire) of dreams may have been the Le traité de Versailles et la fin de la Première Guerre mondiale: Chronique d’une paix manquée (Grands Événements t. 13) origin La Première Guerre mondiale (2): 1916-1918 of religious beliefs in La Kriegsmarine (1935-1945) other plains Assassiné(e)s : Seize récits d'assassinats qui ont marqué l'histoire of existence and the survival 500 anecdotes historiques pour enfin retenir l'Histoire of the soul beyond the body but this is not the Sainte-mere-eglise & Mederet: Zone D'operations Aeroportees Americaines Du Jour J only effect that they can have Bulkeley gives an example Dieppe le raid 19 août 1942 of a composer who had a dream about musical composition which continued to inspire him Les hommes de Londres : histoire secrète de la Terreur over 25 years after he had it Perhaps the same lack Dieu le veut. Chronique de la première croisade of inhibitions which allows us to have very “inappropriate” sexual dreams can also set free Histoire de l'Atlantique our creative intuitionWhen he gets to the topic Les paras du matin rouge of religious dreams in the final section Tout sur Mein Kampf (Tempus t. 747) of the book he discusses four different kinds those involving demonic seduction prophetic vision ritual healing and contemplative practice Here again he takes a leaf La Corruption parlementaire sous la Terreur out Venise au Moyen Age (Guides Belles Lettres des civilisations t. 12) of William James’ book and points En voyage. Alpes et Pyrénées out that we can Christophe Colomb et le Nouveau Monde: Une erreur qui mène à la découverte de l’Amérique only study what happens in the mind Dictionnaire critique de la Révolution française of the individual having a religious experience we cannot Le duc de Saint-Simon, comte de la Ferté-Vidame, mémorialiste et épistolier on the basis La guerre d'Afghanistan: L'opposition de l'URSS et des moudjahidines, de 1979 à 1989 of such a study say anything about the existence Vignes et vins au Liban : 4000 ans de succès or non existence Gutenberg et l'imprimerie à caractères mobiles: Vers une révolution du livre of the supernatural beings with whom the individual claims to have had contactBulkeley’s approach in this part Les Mots de l'histoire. Essai de poétique du savoir of the book is not to try to assess in any particular case whether a dream Le français, histoire d'un combat or approach to dreaming had a beneficial effect but rather to look at whether the idea that it could is credible scientifically When it comes to dreams ACTA LATOMORUM: Chronologie de L'histoire de la Franche-Maçonnerie Française et Étrangere of demonic seduction he uses a similar approach to that he used with aggressive nightmares and sexual dreams generally Just as sexual dreams can prepare us to breed successfully dreams about demonic seduction can prepare us to be suitably wary about the dangers which may Franco: La période noire de la guerre civile espagnole occur in the breeding processThe essential argument with prophetic dreams is that Dictionnaire amoureux de la Suisse (DICT AMOUREUX) our mind has access to a lot Thomas Jefferson et la Déclaration d'indépendance: Entre idéaux et réalités du pouvoir of information about the important things going Benjamin Franklin: Le Père fondateur des États-Unis on in Espagne (Histoire société culture) our lives and the dreaming process is Thomas Edison, le magicien de Menlo Park: La vie lumineuse d'un inventeur insatiable one in which La guerre de Cent Ans: La lutte franco-anglaise pour la domination de l'Europe centrale our mind is freed up to play around with the possibilities inherent in that information so it is possible that we might make a better prediction La Commune de 1871, quand Paris s'insurge: Une révolution au destin tragique of what lies ahead for us during a dream than we have while awake This may not happen very Dictionnaire amoureux de Saint-Pétersbourg (DICT AMOUREUX) often at all but the fact that it can and that correct predictions are remembered while incorrect Voyage dans la Basse et la Haute Égypte, pendant les campagnes du général Bonaparte ones are forgotten could explain why we have developed a cultural belief in the existence Henry Ford. L'automobile à portée de tous: L’ère de la mécanisation of dream prophecyThe concept Une histoire de la Pologne (Essais et documents) of dream incubation is central to the discussion La Révolution française et la fin de la monarchie absolue: Aux armes, citoyens ! of ritual healing through dreams Many cultures believe that dreams can have a healing influence and there are practices and locations which can help to bring Andorre, 10.000 ANS D'Histoire on such healing dreams Sleep itself is central to the health Le maccarthysme ou la peur Rouge: La croisade américaine contre le communisme of the body and the mind so anything which reassures the individual and thus helps them to sleep deeply and restfully is going to help the healing process but the L'extermination des Tutsis au Rwanda: Le dernier génocide du XXe siècle other factor Bulkeley discusses is the placebo effect There are certain kinds Souvenirs d'un montagnard (Éd.1878) of physical Andrew Jackson, le Lion d'Amérique: Un homme ordinaire à la tête des États-Unis or mental ailment which have been shown to improve significantly simply because the sufferer believed that they would If we combine these two factors then it is possible that someone going through a process Pedro Álvares Cabral, sur les pas de Vasco de Gama: Le Brésil au hasard des alizés of dream incubation may experience a noticeable improvement in their health because Par les terres de la maure enchantée: L'art islamique au Portugal of a reassuring belief in the process and a feature Petite Histoire de la France de la Belle Époque à nos jours of that experience may be hopeful dreams Histoire de la Lorraine or dreams which give good advice making use L'ABCdaire de Toscane of information absorbed but not previously activated Once again he is not saying that it works but that it could conceivably work in some instancesIn the chapter Nelson Mandela: Le combat contre l'apartheid on contemplative practice the emphasis is Parcours historique : A la découverte du plateau de Palaiseau on pointing Marie-Antoinette: Le destin tragique d'une reine dans la tourmente de la Révolution out the link between what happens in the brain during dreaming and what happens during meditation There is also a discussion Jeanne d'Arc, la Pucelle d'Orléans: Sur les traces d’une héroïne française of lucid dreaming in which the dreamer can become aware Séquana, nymphe ou déesse de la Seine ? of the fact that they are dreaming and engage in all De Villaine à Vilmorin : L'histoire des graviers of the forms Robespierre: L’artisan de la Révolution française et des valeurs républicaines of conscious thinking which are accessible in the waking state Thus dreaming can be a gateway to exploring alternate states Richelieu: Un cardinal à la tête de la France of consciousnessAnd for anyone who thinks he is too much Saint Louis: Un roi chrétien à la base de la justice moderne of a dreamer Bulkeley makes the following point “Dreaming is not Dictionnaire amoureux de la Belgique (DICT AMOUREUX) opposed to skepticism On the contrary dreaming gives birth to skeptical consciousness When people awaken from a dream particularly a big dream they immediately face a profound metaphysical uestion Saddam Hussein: Ascension et chute du dictateur irakien one that has puzzled philosophers for ages How does the reality Dictionnaire historique et critique: Miscellanea philosophica of the dream relate to the reality Mai 68, la France paralysée: De la révolte étudiante à la crise nationale of the waking world This uestion echoes throughout human life as a conceptual template for critical thought and reflection”

Kelly Bulkeley á 8 SUMMARY

T occurrence and fantastical features they have rarely been studied in light of modern science We know a great deal about the religious manifestations of big dreams throughout history and around the world but until now that cross cultural knowledge has never been integrated with scientific research on their psychological roots in the brain mind system In Big Dreams Bulkeley puts a classic psychological thesis to the scientific test by clarifying and improving it with better data sharper analysis and a broader evolutionary framework He brings evidence from multiple sources shows patterns of similarity and difference uestions prior assumptions and provides p. As a typical American albeit my heritage is 98% eastern European I’m mostly down to earth and practical But I’m also a fantasy author with a background in pastoral ministry so a book that promised to combine three things I’m interested in—science dreams and religion—proved irresistible Also difficult The author uses the precise—and lengthy—language of a good scientist but which is sometimes hard for the layperson to wade through It took me longer to read this book than perhaps any other But it was worth the effort The author’s impressive credentials enables him to combine evidence from psychology neuroscience anthropology and evolution to show how dreams aren’t just a bit of undigested beef but can be studied scientifically and are deeply rooted in the origins of world religions The first clue in what is known as the cognitive science of religion lies in in the fact that the word for “dream” in almost every culture is related to their word for “seeing” Even for blind people dreams involve the same part of the brain that is related to vision Bulkeley’s particular emphasis is on big dreams the really vivid ones that stay with us provide a picture of what troubles us the most and have the power to change our lives They appear in times of acute crisis or mortal danger as he shows in his case study of the second century martyr Perpetua Having converted to Christianity this young woman broke Roman law and was sentenced to death in the lion arena She kept a journal of her dreams which eventually enabled her to find the courage and hope to face what was coming Thankfully most of us won’t experience this kind of trauma but most of us face our own lions every day The author shows how big dreams are evidence of the capacity for hope and imagination beyond the present sometimes very grim realityBulkeley points out the close neurocognitive connection between dreaming and meditation and how important meditation is in many world religions including Buddhism Islamic Sufism Native American religion and Christianity Meditation techniues are even taught nowadays in corporate board rooms and hospitals That’s because it works It eases fear increases intentionality and enables our consciousness “to freely explore the farthest reaches of its own latent abilities” WowAs a pastoral minister I agreed with the author when he mentioned which religious groups—not entire religions mind you but certain groups within them—have trouble with taking dreams seriously He also surprisingly shows how dreaming actually gives birth to skepticism When someone wakes up from a big dream they immediately wonder what it means and how it relates to the everyday world “This uestion” Bulkeley says “echoes throughout human life as a conceptual template for critical thought and reflection I could not have formulated my own ideas without the help of skeptical uestions”The book ends with a dream reported by Charles Darwin which as I thought about it could have been similar to one Jesus of Nazareth might have had Both were facing serious resistance from religious authorities a family less interested in their ideas than seeing them properly settled and physical suffering And the dream even for an atheist like Darwin had an unmistakable resurrection motifAs a fantasy author I found this study of big dreams inspirational Dreams meditation myth spirituality—all help people “see” And this kind of vision it seems to me is inherent in the best of the fantasy genre Reading good fantasy might prepare us ordinary people for a deeper life—maybe even for the far reaching life to come Veronica Vernie Dale author of Blood Seed and Night Cruiser Short Stories about Creepy Amusing or Spiritual Encounters with the Shadow Les mythes de la Seconde Guerre mondiale occurrence and fantastical features they have rarely been studied in light 1944-1945 of modern science We know a great deal about the religious manifestations Jacques Chirac : Une histoire française of big dreams throughout history and around the world but until now that cross cultural knowledge has never been integrated with scientific research Adolfo Kaminsky, une vie de faussaire on their psychological roots in the brain mind system In Big Dreams Bulkeley puts a classic psychological thesis to the scientific test by clarifying and improving it with better data sharper analysis and a broader evolutionary framework He brings evidence from multiple sources shows patterns Dans les archives secrètes du Quai d'Orsay : de 1945 à nos jours of similarity and difference uestions prior assumptions and provides p. As a typical American albeit my heritage is 98% eastern European I’m mostly down to earth and practical But I’m also a fantasy author with a background in pastoral ministry so a book that promised to combine three things I’m interested in—science dreams and religion—proved irresistible Also difficult The author uses the precise—and lengthy—language Mes combats of a good scientist but which is sometimes hard for the layperson to wade through It took me longer to read this book than perhaps any Chirac intime - Un retraité comme les autres other But it was worth the effort The author’s impressive credentials enables him to combine evidence from psychology neuroscience anthropology and evolution to show how dreams aren’t just a bit Les Pieds-noirs : L'épopée d'un peuple of undigested beef but can be studied scientifically and are deeply rooted in the Berlin origins D'Izieu à Auschwitz : L'histoire de deux enfants dans la Shoah of world religions The first clue in what is known as the cognitive science Histoire de la guerre d'Algérie, 1954-1962 of religion lies in in the fact that the word for “dream” in almost every culture is related to their word for “seeing” Even for blind people dreams involve the same part Koursk - L’été où Staline a vaincu Hitler of the brain that is related to vision Bulkeley’s particular emphasis is Un train en hiver on big dreams the really vivid 1941 ones that stay with us provide a picture "Ma vie avec Louis XIV..." Version integrale. of what troubles us the most and have the power to change Des sauvages, ou Voyage de Samuel Champlain, de Brouage, (Éd.1603) our lives They appear in times Petite Histoire de France: Vingt siècles d'Histoire illustrés de 60 lithographies et dessins des XIXe et XX siècles of acute crisis L'encyclopédie de la chanson française : Des années 40 à nos jours or mortal danger as he shows in his case study "Ma vie avec Louis XIV..." of the second century martyr Perpetua Having converted to Christianity this young woman broke Roman law and was sentenced to death in the lion arena She kept a journal L’histoire de France: Chronologie - De Vercingétorix à la Ve République (Petit guide t. 1) of her dreams which eventually enabled her to find the courage and hope to face what was coming Thankfully most Histoire de la cuisine et de la gastronomie françaises (TEMPUS) of us won’t experience this kind Dictionnaire historique des rues de Paris (complet en deux volumes et un supplément) of trauma but most Histoire et dictionnaire de la Révolution française : 1789-1799 of us face HISTOIRE DE PARIS (GISSEROT HISTOIRE) our Grandes dates de l'Histoire de France: Chronologie (Petit guide t. 280) own lions every day The author shows how big dreams are evidence Les rois de France: La monarchie de Hugues Capet à Louis XVI 987 à 1792 - Chronologie (Petit guide t. 38) of the capacity for hope and imagination beyond the present sometimes very grim realityBulkeley points Sénat sous la IIIe République (Le) (HISTOIRE) out the close neurocognitive connection between dreaming and meditation and how important meditation is in many world religions including Buddhism Islamic Sufism Native American religion and Christianity Meditation techniues are even taught nowadays in corporate board rooms and hospitals That’s because it works It eases fear increases intentionality and enables Catacombes. Histoire du Paris souterrain (LA PETITE COLLE) our consciousness “to freely explore the farthest reaches "Ma vie avec Louis XIV..." T2 of its SS Français: Récits, lettres et témoignages inédits de la SS Charlemagne own latent abilities” WowAs a pastoral minister I agreed with the author when he mentioned which religious groups—not entire religions mind you but certain groups within them—have trouble with taking dreams seriously He also surprisingly shows how dreaming actually gives birth to skepticism When someone wakes up from a big dream they immediately wonder what it means and how it relates to the everyday world “This uestion” Bulkeley says “echoes throughout human life as a conceptual template for critical thought and reflection I could not have formulated my Le Second Empire: « Que sais-je ? » n° 739 own ideas without the help Guide du prospecteur et du chercheur de trésor : Ou l'art de découvrir les fortunes enfouies of skeptical uestions”The book ends with a dream reported by Charles Darwin which as I thought about it could have been similar to Un homme, une voix ? Histoire du suffrage universel one Jesus Farewell. Conséquences géopolitiques d'une grande opération d'espionnage (Histoire) of Nazareth might have had Both were facing serious resistance from religious authorities a family less interested in their ideas than seeing them properly settled and physical suffering And the dream even for an atheist like Darwin had an unmistakable resurrection motifAs a fantasy author I found this study Guide historique du Paris libertin of big dreams inspirational Dreams meditation myth spirituality—all help people “see” And this kind Manuel du politiquement correct of vision it seems to me is inherent in the best Histoire de Rouen of the fantasy genre Reading good fantasy might prepare us Le guide du pèlerin : Codex de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle attribué à Aymeri Picaud (XIIe siècle) ordinary people for a deeper life—maybe even for the far reaching life to come Veronica Vernie Dale author L'âme des lieux - la revue - numéro 2 (02) of Blood Seed and Night Cruiser Short Stories about Creepy Amusing HISTOIRE DE LA FRANCE. : Des origines à nos jours or Spiritual Encounters with the Shadow


6 thoughts on “Big Dreams

  1. says:

    Can dreams have a meaning and purpose beyond that of our brains taking the garbage out each night? In this book Kelly Bulkeley makes the case that the content of dreams is a worthy subject for scientific study It is not necessarily easy to study something so personal and subjective but with a combination of EEGs and fMRIs etc which can give us insight into which parts of the brain are active during particular kinds of dreams and dream databases which gather descriptions of dreams from a wide range of individuals and organise them so they can be searched by keywords it is possible to obtain some objective data to analyseAs the title suggests Bulkley’s ultimate aim is to look at the relationship between dreaming and religion but because both of these topics may be viewed as uestionable areas for scientific study he takes his time and works his way up to them progressively beginning with an account of the role that sleep plays in the lives of animals generally and humans specifically We learn that dolphins sleep with one half of their brain at a time one eye always open for possible dangers and that bottle nose dolphin mothers and calfs remain awake and in visual contact for over two months straight after the calf’s birthThe outline of the book follows the example of Thomas Auinas’ Summa Theologica 5 Vols in that each chapter begins with a uestion followed by a brief account of an answer to that uestion which runs counter to that which Bulkeley will be making in the chapter itself He then makes his detailed counter argument and ends with a brief summary explaining why he thinks his answer is the valid oneA key idea which is introduced in the second section of the book in which Bulkeley moves on to the topic of dreams themselves is that dreaming is a form of play In play we experiment freely with ideas and forms of behaviour in a safe environment He explains that patients suffering from post traumatic stress disorder have a tendency to experience rigidly repetitious nightmares reliving their trauma and that the process of recovery can be charted in the freeing up of the dream process We can see in this a reflection of waking culture in which creativity and health arise from the ability to improvise rather than be restricted by fixed stereotypical forms of thought or expressionAfter setting the scene with the first two sections of the book which deal with the topics of sleep and dreams generally he moves on to his main subject “big dreams” The term comes from Carl Jung A “big dream” is one which is very memorable and leaves a significant emotional reaction after waking These dreams are relatively rare so to study them is a “black swan” approach The argument here is similar to that of Willam James when in The Varieties of Religious Experience he argued that the best way to increase our understanding of religious experiences was to examine the extraordinary examples in which defining ualities were exaggerated and thus could be easily observedBulkeley divides these big dreams into four kinds aggressive sexual gravitational and mystical His contention is that our ability to experience these kinds of dreams has arisen via natural selection because each of them may convey upon the dreamer a survival advantage Aggressive nightmares in which we may have to battle against or run from frightening creatures can act as an emotional preparation for dealing with real life dangers Sexual dreams may help to increase our breeding potential by whetting our appetite for sex and allowing us to mentally rehearse sexual activities Gravitational dreams such as nightmares about falling may have helped our tree dwelling ancestors to maintain a necessary habit of wariness about the danger of falling out of the tree at night but they may also act as a metaphor for failure of any kind thus encouraging wariness generallyIt is with the evolutionary advantage of mystical dreams such as dreams of flying and visitations from people who are dead that we get to the heart of the thesis which will feed into the examination of religion Here the evolutionary advantage is that such dreams stimulate our capacity for hope and imagination These kinds of dreams may have been the origin of religious beliefs in other plains of existence and the survival of the soul beyond the body but this is not the only effect that they can have Bulkeley gives an example of a composer who had a dream about musical composition which continued to inspire him over 25 years after he had it Perhaps the same lack of inhibitions which allows us to have very “inappropriate” sexual dreams can also set free our creative intuitionWhen he gets to the topic of religious dreams in the final section of the book he discusses four different kinds those involving demonic seduction prophetic vision ritual healing and contemplative practice Here again he takes a leaf out of William James’ book and points out that we can only study what happens in the mind of the individual having a religious experience we cannot on the basis of such a study say anything about the existence or non existence of the supernatural beings with whom the individual claims to have had contactBulkeley’s approach in this part of the book is not to try to assess in any particular case whether a dream or approach to dreaming had a beneficial effect but rather to look at whether the idea that it could is credible scientifically When it comes to dreams of demonic seduction he uses a similar approach to that he used with aggressive nightmares and sexual dreams generally Just as sexual dreams can prepare us to breed successfully dreams about demonic seduction can prepare us to be suitably wary about the dangers which may occur in the breeding processThe essential argument with prophetic dreams is that our mind has access to a lot of information about the important things going on in our lives and the dreaming process is one in which our mind is freed up to play around with the possibilities inherent in that information so it is possible that we might make a better prediction of what lies ahead for us during a dream than we have while awake This may not happen very often at all but the fact that it can and that correct predictions are remembered while incorrect ones are forgotten could explain why we have developed a cultural belief in the existence of dream prophecyThe concept of dream incubation is central to the discussion of ritual healing through dreams Many cultures believe that dreams can have a healing influence and there are practices and locations which can help to bring on such healing dreams Sleep itself is central to the health of the body and the mind so anything which reassures the individual and thus helps them to sleep deeply and restfully is going to help the healing process but the other factor Bulkeley discusses is the placebo effect There are certain kinds of physical or mental ailment which have been shown to improve significantly simply because the sufferer believed that they would If we combine these two factors then it is possible that someone going through a process of dream incubation may experience a noticeable improvement in their health because of a reassuring belief in the process and a feature of that experience may be hopeful dreams or dreams which give good advice making use of information absorbed but not previously activated Once again he is not saying that it works but that it could conceivably work in some instancesIn the chapter on contemplative practice the emphasis is on pointing out the link between what happens in the brain during dreaming and what happens during meditation There is also a discussion of lucid dreaming in which the dreamer can become aware of the fact that they are dreaming and engage in all of the forms of conscious thinking which are accessible in the waking state Thus dreaming can be a gateway to exploring alternate states of consciousnessAnd for anyone who thinks he is too much of a dreamer Bulkeley makes the following point “Dreaming is not opposed to skepticism On the contrary dreaming gives birth to skeptical consciousness When people awaken from a dream particularly a big dream they immediately face a profound metaphysical uestion one that has puzzled philosophers for ages How does the reality of the dream relate to the reality of the waking world? This uestion echoes throughout human life as a conceptual template for critical thought and reflection”


  2. says:

    As a typical American albeit my heritage is 98% eastern European I’m mostly down to earth and practical But I’m also a fantasy author with a background in pastoral ministry so a book that promised to combine three things I’m interested in—science dreams and religion—proved irresistible Also difficult The author uses the precise—and lengthy—language of a good scientist but which is sometimes hard for the layperson to wade through It took me longer to read this book than perhaps any other But it was worth the effort The author’s impressive credentials enables him to combine evidence from psychology neuroscience anthropology and evolution to show how dreams aren’t just a bit of undigested beef but can be studied scientifically and are deeply rooted in the origins of world religions The first clue in what is known as the cognitive science of religion lies in in the fact that the word for “dream” in almost every culture is related to their word for “seeing” Even for blind people dreams involve the same part of the brain that is related to vision Bulkeley’s particular emphasis is on big dreams the really vivid ones that stay with us provide a picture of what troubles us the most and have the power to change our lives They appear in times of acute crisis or mortal danger as he shows in his case study of the second century martyr Perpetua Having converted to Christianity this young woman broke Roman law and was sentenced to death in the lion arena She kept a journal of her dreams which eventually enabled her to find the courage and hope to face what was coming Thankfully most of us won’t experience this kind of trauma but most of us face our own lions every day The author shows how big dreams are evidence of the capacity for hope and imagination beyond the present sometimes very grim realityBulkeley points out the close neurocognitive connection between dreaming and meditation and how important meditation is in many world religions including Buddhism Islamic Sufism Native American religion and Christianity Meditation techniues are even taught nowadays in corporate board rooms and hospitals That’s because it works It eases fear increases intentionality and enables our consciousness “to freely explore the farthest reaches of its own latent abilities” WowAs a pastoral minister I agreed with the author when he mentioned which religious groups—not entire religions mind you but certain groups within them—have trouble with taking dreams seriously He also surprisingly shows how dreaming actually gives birth to skepticism When someone wakes up from a big dream they immediately wonder what it means and how it relates to the everyday world “This uestion” Bulkeley says “echoes throughout human life as a conceptual template for critical thought and reflection I could not have formulated my own ideas without the help of skeptical uestions”The book ends with a dream reported by Charles Darwin which as I thought about it could have been similar to one Jesus of Nazareth might have had Both were facing serious resistance from religious authorities a family less interested in their ideas than seeing them properly settled and physical suffering And the dream even for an atheist like Darwin had an unmistakable resurrection motifAs a fantasy author I found this study of big dreams inspirational Dreams meditation myth spirituality—all help people “see” And this kind of vision it seems to me is inherent in the best of the fantasy genre Reading good fantasy might prepare us ordinary people for a deeper life—maybe even for the far reaching life to come Veronica Vernie Dale author of Blood Seed and Night Cruiser Short Stories about Creepy Amusing or Spiritual Encounters with the Shadow


  3. says:

    Read the full review on I like about this book is that it is very easy to read Even though the subject matter that Bulkeley discusses is very scientific he has the ability to talk about complex issues with ease and knowledgeIf you are a book lover like me this book will give you so much titles of books that will go on your list for further studyThis is a wonderful oversight about contemporary knowledge of the science of dreaming with religion as specific interest And even if you are not interested in te topic of religion and dreaming this book offers so many other insights into psychology neurology and dream content analysis it is well worth your moneyI missed a chapter on the neurology of religious dreams Why did we the human species develop religion at such an early stage of our existence? How has the disappearance of religion affected our dreams? Are there ways to induce Big Dreams in our own lives or do we have to wait until we are in crises? And how do hormones play a role in religious dreaming? We know that women remember dreams and are religious than men How are those two facts related? Maybe he already wrote about those uestions in his book Dreaming in the World’s Religions A comparative History And if not it will be a sublime subject for a next book


  4. says:

    Overall an interesting book but not what I was hoping for Bulkeley explores dreaming through a cognitive science lens but the book focuses on CSR explanations for different types of dreams and the science behind dreaming than what I had hoped I would be reading how dreaming impacted the origins of religion


  5. says:

    I enjoyed the book and appreciate the scientific research Bulkeley references for support and explanation Having personally experienced several Big Dreams I am reading about the experience out of curiosity Thank you for such a concise and thorough book


  6. says:

    Dreams science and religion tied together to create one fascinating book