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Sleep and Dreams

Erich Fromm                  The Forgotten Language

The dreams of ancient and modern man are written in the same language as the myths whose authors lived in the dawn of history . . . . Indeed, both dreams and myths are important communications from ourselves to ourselves . . .


Yajnavalkya                  The Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad

Leaving the bodily world through the door of dream, the sleepless spirit views the sleeping powers . . . . Soaring upward and downward in dreamland, the god makes manifold forms now laughing and rejoicing with fair beauties, now beholding terrible things . . . . Then clothed in radiance, returns to his own home, [he] the gold-gleaming Genius, swan of everlasting . . . . [From this state, called Sushupti, when the body is in deepest slumber and the soul is said to be completely free] the Spirit of man returns again by the same path hurrying back to his former dwelling-place in the world of waking . . . .


Herbert Fingarette              The Self in Transformation

Once Chuang Chou dreamt that he was a butterfly.  He did not know that he had ever been anything but a butterfly and was content to hover from flower to flower.  Suddenly he awoke and found to his astonishment that he was Chuang Chou.  But it was hard to be sure whether he really was Chou and only dreamt that he was a butterfly, or he was really a butterfly and was only dreaming that he was Chou . . .


Charles Fourier                  The Passions of the Human Soul

. . . In fact, at the epochs when it [the soul] is freed from the human body it revives instantly in the great soul of the globe, . . . and disdains the present life, as at the moment of waking we despise or cherich a dream, according as it has been happy or unhappy.  Now the civilized and barbarian state is an ugly dream to 99/100 sould . . . . After a period passed in the great soul, they go to sleep and are born again upon the globe in a new body . . .


Sir Humphrey Davy              Consolations in Travel

We sometimes, in sleep, lose the beginning and end of a dream, and recollect the middle of it, and one dream has no [seeming] connection with another, and yet we are conscious of an infinite variety of dreams, and there is a strong analogy for believing in an infinity of past existences, which must have had connection . . .


Arthur Schopenhauer              The World as Will and Idea

What sleep is for the individual, death is for the will . . . through this sleep of death it reappears refreshed and fitted out with another intellect, as a new being . . .


Leo Tolstoy                  Letters

. . . The dreams of our present life are the environment in which we work out the impressions, thoughts, feelings of a former life . . . . Our life is but one of the dreams of that more real life, and so it is endlessly, until lthe very last one, the very real life, the life of God.


John Ellis McTaggart              The Nature of Existence

. . . we may die old but we shall be born young.  And death acquires a deeper and more gracious significance when we regard it as part of the continually recurring rhythm of progress --as inevitable, as natural, and as benevolent as sleep.


A. P. Sinnett                  Esoteric Bhuddism

Manas . . . makes us feel one identity ; . . . it bridges the gap made by sleep . . . it bridges the gap made by the sleep of death . . .


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