Dreams pp 239-248 | Cite as

The Dream of Scholarship

Some Notes on the Historian of Mysticism as a Dreaming Creative
  • Jeffrey Kripal


In the following chapter I wish to make (which is not to say establish) three points. First, I would like to suggest, with a very large chorus of other thinkers, that dreaming is, potentially at least, a creative activity and, a bit more originally, that the dream is commonly tapped as a creative state in the humanities, particularly in religious studies, and especially in that subfield of religious studies that we might designate as the history of mysticism, that is, the historical, social and psychological study of altered states of consciousness as these are recorded or, better I think, “deposited”2 in texts.


Altered State Dream State Creative State Religious Vision Moral Crisis 
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  1. 1.
    James Hughes, Altered States: Creativity Under the Influence (New York: Watson-Guptill, 1999).Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    I am relying here on Michael Schumacher, Dharma Lion: A Biography of Allen Ginsberg (New York: St. Martins Press, 1992), 94–99. My thanks to Amy Hungerford for pointing this text and passage out to me.Google Scholar
  3. 10.
    Mircea Eliade, Autobiography: Volume I, 1907–1937, Journey East, Journey West (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1981), 256.Google Scholar
  4. 15.
    Sergiu Al-George, “India in the Cultural Destiny of Mircea Eliade,” trans. Mac Linscott Ricketts with prefatory and concluding notes by J.W. Jamieson, The Mankind Quarterly (1978), 124.Google Scholar
  5. 19.
    Mircea Eliade, Ordeal by Labyrinth: Conversations with Claude-Henri Rocquet (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982), 66.Google Scholar
  6. 24.
    Mircea Eliade, Two Strange Tales (Boston: Shambhala, 1970), 98.Google Scholar
  7. 25.
    Mircea Eliade, Yoga: Immortality and Freedom (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969), 268.Google Scholar
  8. 30.
    Louis Massignon, “The Transfer of Suffering,” in Herbert Mason, Testimonies and Reflections: Essays of Louis Massignon (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1989), 158.Google Scholar
  9. 31.
    For three fuller descriptions and analyses, see: Christian Destremau and Jean Moncelon, Massignon (Paris: Plon, 1994), chap. 3;Google Scholar
  10. Mary Louise Gude, Louis Massignon: The Crucible of Compassion (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1996), chap. 2; Kripal, Roads of Excess, Palaces of Wisdom, chap. 2.Google Scholar
  11. 43.
    See Hugh B. Urban, “A Dance of Masks: The Esoteric Ethics of Frithjof Schuon,” in G. William Barnard and Jeffrey J. Kripal, eds., Crossing Boundaries: Essays on the Ethical Status of Mysticism (New York: Seven Bridges Press, 2001).Google Scholar
  12. 44.
    Quoted in J. Allan Hobson, Consciousness (New York: Scientific American Library, 1999), 229.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kelly Bulkeley 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey Kripal

There are no affiliations available

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