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Big DreamsThe Science of Dreaming and the Origins of Religion$
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Kelly Bulkeley

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199351534

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199351534.001.0001

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(p.177) 11 Gravitational
Big Dreams

Kelly Bulkeley

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at the “gravitational” prototype of big dreaming. These kinds of dreams often involve vivid experiences of falling, paralysis, collapsing environments, tidal waves, and other encounters with forces of nature. This chapter looks at the frequency of such dreams in the general population, and their recurrence in various cultures throughout history and around the world. Research from neuroscience and cognitive psychology is presented to show which brain systems are most likely to be active while gravitational dreams are occurring. The argument is presented that intensely memorable dreams of gravitational experience—particularly the otherworldly types described in this chapter as “titanic dreams”—stimulate an uncanny awareness of the cosmic forces of physics and their pervasive influence on human existence.

Keywords:   dreams, dreaming, big dreams, prototypes of dreaming, gravitational dreams, falling dreams, paralysis dreams, tidal wave dreams, titanic dreams

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