Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Big DreamsThe Science of Dreaming and the Origins of Religion$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 October 2020



(p.195) 12 Mystical
Big Dreams

Kelly Bulkeley

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at the “mystical” prototype of big dreaming. These kinds of dreams often involve vivid experiences of magically flying, interacting people who have died as if they were alive again, and seeing places of astonishing beauty. 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 mystical dreams are occurring. The argument is presented that intensely memorable dreams with mystical themes of flying, visitations from the dead, aesthetic wonder, etc., stimulate an adaptive and distinctly human sense of possibility and hope beyond the given realities of current waking life.

Keywords:   dreams, dreaming, big dreams, prototypes of dreaming, mysticism, mystical experience, flying dreams, visitations from the dead, dreams and death, aesthetic dreams

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .