Dreams and revelations
2 minute read

«Where does all this leave us today? On one hand, the link between REM dreams and spiritual experience disturbs some religious people because they fear it suggests that religion is nothing but delusional dreaming and hallucinations. On the other hand, the connection upsets some die-hard atheists, who dislike the idea that spirituality is rooted in our biology – that it is functional and adaptive, and central to who we are$1

What we do with the demonstration that spirituality is rooted in REM sleep and dreams is a personal – perhaps spiritual – choice. But science and society itself would benefit from taking the connection seriously. If our dreams generate spiritual ideas, they might also contribute to a generation of religious-based terrorism and fanaticism. After all, REM sleep has been studied as a model for psychosis. The same chemical brew that produces the dream state can, if tweaked, produce obsessional psychoses and related neuropsychiatric symptoms. Religious fanaticism has a kind of obsessional and paranoid feel to it that links it with REM intrusion into waking life and the subsequent delusional states that follow. The future neuroscience of the spiritual, rooted in the study of dreams, could help us to confront some of our era’s greatest challenges.»

Dreams and revelations

September 26, 2016 at 04:15PM

via Instapaper https://aeon.co/essays/why-are-dreams-such-potent-vehicles-for-the-supernatural