Dreams pp 233-237 | Cite as

Western Dreams about Eastern Dreams

  • Wendy Doniger


It is often argued that quantum physics confirms Zen Buddhism, that our own “modern” ideas were prefigured by “Oriental” mythologies. This may or may not be so, but I do not think it is a useful path to follow. Instead, I would argue that some of the insights of non-Western mythologies do indeed bear striking resemblances to some of the most abstract formulations of modern science, but only because the same basic human mind is searching for a limited set of metaphors with which to make sense of the same basic human experiences, be the expressions Eastern or Western, “factual” or imaginative. This is the bridge that justifies our attempts to gain insights about our dreams from the stories that other cultures tell about their dreams.


Striking Resemblance Genital Stimulation Vaginal Blood Flow Control Freak Dream Narrative 
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  1. 1.
    Stephen LaBerge, Lucid Dreaming: The Power of Being Awake and Aware in Your Dreams (New York: Ballantine Books, 1985).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hervey de Saint Denys, Dreams and How to Guide Them (London: Duckworth, 1982), cited in LaBerge, Lucid Dreaming, p. 116.Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    Oswald, cited by Charles Rycroft, The Innocence of Dreams (New York, Pantheon, 1979), p. 111.Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    See Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty, Dreams, Illusion, and Other Realities (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1984), passim.Google Scholar
  5. 11.
    See Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty, Other People’s Myths: The Cave of Echoes (New York: Macmillan, 1988).Google Scholar

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© Kelly Bulkeley 2001

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  • Wendy Doniger

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