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Communing with the Gods

Today I’m proud to announce another new book release from Daily Grail Publishing: Communing with the Gods: Consciousness, Culture and the Dreaming Brain, by Charles D. Laughlin, Ph.D. (available from Amazon US and Amazon UK):

Communing with the Gods presents the most comprehensive account of culture and dreaming available in the anthropology of dreaming, and is written by an anthropologist who is also trained in neuroscience, and who is himself a lucid dreamer and Tibetan Tantric dream yoga practitioner. The book examines the place of dreaming in the experience of peoples from diverse cultures and historical backgrounds. Communing with the Gods touches on shamanism and anthropological theories of dreaming, ‘paranormal dreams’, lucid dreaming, and what we know about how the brain produces dreams and why.

A comprehensive theory of brain, culture and dreaming is presented that explains the neurobiological functions of sleep and dreaming, the evolution of dreaming, the universality of, and cultural variation in dream elements, and the role of dreaming as a system of intra-psychic communication. This theory is then applied to an examination of dreaming in modern society. The book concludes by discussing how modern dream-work may ameliorate wide-spread alienation, spiritual exhaustion and despair in modern society.

I want to be clear that this is an extremely scholarly work on the neuroanthropology of dreaming – it is not a ‘pop read’ in any sense. But that is what is exciting about this book: Charles Laughlin is a very well-respected academic with a long history of research into this topic, and in this book – aimed at others in the fields of anthropology, neurobiology and dream research – he deals calmly and rationally with the oft-neglected issues of transpersonal and paranormal dreaming, not to mention the more general fact that modern Western cultures largely ignore dreams, to their detriment, and that it is high time we began to reconnect with this aspect of our lives.

For those who are interested in exploring these topics further, you can use the following links to purchase a copy:

Also, for those admiring the gorgeous cover artwork: it’s courtesy of our good friend, visionary artist Adam Scott Miller.

    1. Scientific & Medical Network
      [quote=Rick MG]Would love to know if there’s video available of Charles Laughlin’s presentation at the Mystics & Scientists conference earlier this year. The theme was “The Nature of Dreams: On The Threshold of Other Realities”, and guest speakers included Paul Devereux.[/quote]

      For the past two years I have been a member of the Scientific & Medical Network here in the UK:

      I met Paul & Charla Devereux at one of their gatherings this past summer and also got to meet and talk with some hugely interesting (and smart) people. Anyhow, the point I am making, in answer to your question is that they have an archive of video’s and audio recordings of all their past presentations, including the one you link here. I think, however, you need to take out a subscription in order to access it. The subscription is reasonable even for my meagre means so I would recommend it unreservedly. The archive alone is worth the price.

      Hope that helps.


  1. Ah, I have not found the time
    Ah, I have not found the time to finish Daily Grail Publishing’s earlier “Lucid Dreams” yet, but this one looks great!

    Anthropologist, trained in neuroscience, lucid dreamer and Tibetan Tantric dream yoga practitioner also sounds like good credentials for an author that has written about dreams.

    In addition the information about Laughlin available through the link Rick provided above (thanks) also makes the book even more interesting:

    “Charles Laughlin will suggest a theory of lucidity that can better account for the range of dream experiences had by people in non-Western cultures in which dreaming is considered as important. He will discuss the range of dream cultures in which empowerment, divination, sorcery and knowledge are sought in the dream state. He will focus especially upon his own lucid dream experiences had while researching Tibetan Tantric dream yoga.

    Charles D. Laughlin, Ph.D. is an emeritus professor of anthropology and religion in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He has done ethnographic fieldwork among the So people of northeastern Uganda, Tibetan Buddhist lamas in Nepal, and the Navajo people of the American southwest. He is co-author of Biogenetic Structuralism (1974, The Spectrum of Ritual (1979) and Brain, Symbol and Experience (1990). He is an authority on the neuroanthropology of alternative states of consciousness and ritual”

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