The interpretation of independent agents and spiritual content in dreams

Andrew Paquette

Abstract


Mystical experiences and spiritual dreams have been studied to learn how to define them, who has them, and why. Rarely is the content taken seriously except as evidence of physical or psychological pathology, religious beliefs, or the influence of local culture. A challenge posed by spiritual dream content and mystical experiences in general, is that spiritual experiences refer exclusively to things that cannot be tested because they supposedly exist in a non-physical continuum. For this reason, spiritual or mystical content is generally described as ‘subjective’ in the literature. However, there can be some overlap with objectively veridical psi content. This research utilizes a single dataset comprised of 34 dream journals containing 12,224 dream records produced by this author over the past 27 years to explore the relationship between veridical and spiritual content in dreams. The results suggest that it is unreasonable to characterize all spiritual content as subjective when veridical secondary evidence is available. It also suggests that so-called ‘folkloric’ or ‘primitive’ explanations for dreams are more consistent with the data than modern psychological, cultural, or neurological explanations.

Keywords


Spiritual; mystical; dream; veridical; Near Death Experiences (NDE); Out-of-Body Experiences (OBE); ghost; spirit; religious

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11588/ijodr.2018.2.41217

URN (PDF): http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bsz:16-ijodr-412174