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The Awakened OnesPhenomenology of Visionary Experience$
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Gananath Obeyesekere

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231153621

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231153621.001.0001

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Contemporary Dreaming

Contemporary Dreaming

Secular Spirituality and Revelatory Truth

(p.441) Book 8 Contemporary Dreaming
The Awakened Ones

Gananath Obeyesekere

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines lucid dreaming, the most interesting of the contemporary Euro-American obsessions with dreams. Lucid dreaming provides a kind of escape from the world of everyday reality into the dream realm. Lucid dreamers experience what one might reasonably label dream-visions that provide insights into a transcendental reality, not based on any known religion but rather on an intuitive personal insight into such an imagined reality. In that sense they constitute another form of “secular spirituality” for those who have been disenchanted with traditional religion. The chapter discusses how the transmuted and sublimated erotic desire found in Tibetan religion appears in lucid dreams. It illustrates the American uses of Tantra in the work of Patricia Garfield, a major practitioner, theorist, and popularizer of lucid dreams who has shown the way to sustained orgasmic pleasure through dreams. It also considers the waking dreams or trances of Edwin Muir, a literary critic, poet, mystic, and translator of Kafka.

Keywords:   lucid dreaming, lucid dreams, secular spirituality, erotic desire, Tantra, Particia Garfield, Edwin Muir

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