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Uh-oh! Organized religion in dreams... you do have your bulletproof vest, don't you?

No joke. Religion has even more landmines than sex these days. So here's a ground rule about religious dreams. They're often not literal. Even dreams that stereotype other religions (or seem racist or sexist or downright mean) aren't necessarily expressing beliefs--dreams have a different purpose, to open up debate on something unexpected, something your conscious hasn't seen. We've accepted, a century after Freud, that sexual dreams can't be judged literally or hastily. But dreams that seem casually sacrilegious... well, that's still a bit taboo.

Religious dreams can shock the conscious mind, yet have a constructive point quite unrelated to the surface meaning--if you have the open-mindedness to look.

RELATED TOPICS: God (the monotheistic Judeo-Christian-Islamic one) - gods and goddesses in general - Christianity - Islam - Judaism - Buddhism - Hinduism - Taoism - shamanism - Paganism and Goddess worship - science as a faith - cults - fanatics and fundamentalists - prophets and priests - Jesus (personal appearances, etc) - meditation - abiku (longing for the spirit world) - places to go when you die: Hell - haunted houses - reincarnation - the astral plane - Paradise - San Francisco - See also the full INDEX OF SUBJECTS.

What this site is - Add your dreams! - How to read blurbs - Ratings - Copyright - Downloading - The World Dream Bank has 2300 dreams plus 1000 more pages on dreamwork, shamanism, surrealism, fantasy, worldbuilding, creativity and genius. Site © Chris Wayan 2001-2013.

ANOREXIA NIRVANA: by Wayan; 1993, a digital picture-poem of astral temptation.
I was anorexic for years; I only mastered it when I saw it was a hunger for the spirit world...
ARCHANGEL: by Wayan; 1997/10/19, a dream-farce--or is it?
Sure I've been through hell, but how the hell did that get me elected archangel? And why's my butt itch?
ASK ME ANYTHING: by Wayan; 1975/1/31, a backstage dream.
It was a dark and stormy night. I was lost, till I stumbled on God in her underground control room...
BAR BET: by Wayan; 1982/4/30, a dream-quest on not settling for less.
On a bar-bet, we seek God. We reach the Isles of the Blessed, but they're too complacent. We want the wild God, the real God, the Bad Taste God. Onward, pagan questers! Because we want to win our bet.
BESTIALITY: by Wayan; 1997/2/6, essay with implications for dreams breaking taboos
A capsule history of a taboo that changed startlingly over 3000 years... does sin depend on timing?
BLACK MAGIC: by Wayan; 1986/11/10, a dream of love and rage; Chapter 8 of UNICORN TAG, though it can stand alone.
A packet of magic soup mix transports me to the secret wizards' lab in our attic. They're trouble enough, but they've called up a demon they can't handle: the furious Black Unicorn...
BONOBO AND BEAR: by Wayan, 1999/10/14, a mystic war movie.
The gods of our cave-past and star-future fight over us--using us, of course. After I see the toll it's taking on a bonobo buddy of mine, I decide to bring the war back home, and go gunning for God--BOTH of them...
THE BOULDER DISSOLVES: by Myoe Shonin; mid Dec. 1230, an old monk's dream of liberation
I was trapped inside a boulder, but as I chanted it melted around me until it resembled a discarded skin...
BUDDHA BEARS: by Wayan; 1994. Digital painting of daydream.
Gosh, I'm speechless. How Zen! Market me at once!
BURN THE EGGS: by Wayan; 2008/1/20; a magical advisory nightmare with 15 sketches.
Fighting a theocracy, my dragon-soul burns the church's dragon-nursery. The cost is terrible: a black vortex...
BUT I WANT TO LIVE!: by Wayan; 1995/8/5, a life-altering dream.
My job's to clarify people's deepest wishes. But when I meet two women who truly want to die...
CAT-SNAKE: by Wayan; 1993/3/6, a short dream fable.
I glue cat-legs on my snaky friend, despite the warnings of Christians who don't like snakes evolving...
CELLPHONE HEAVEN: by Alder, 2008/8/28, a dream of practical sainthood
I visit a Tibetan monastery with great cellphone reception from the gods. But all their calls are to help other people...
CHESTERTON'S POUNCE: by William Archer; 1920/4/6, a literary nightmare
G.K. Chesterton was a leopard, and he ambushed George Bernard Shaw... Oh, the blood! Why didn't I intervene?
CLIMB FROM THE PIT: by Wayan, 1996/11/9, a dream parable.
I'm in the Mideast. No wonder it's a war zone--it's a vast pit BUILT for war! But a spiral stair leads slowly out, to...
CONFUSED?: by Wayan; 1996? Digital painting of my main mental state.
When I'm confused, this angel comforts me with this MORE confusing quote...
COYOTE'S DINNER PRAYER: by Wayan; 1998/6/5. A waking prayer-poem for you hungry coyotes.
Coyote's pagan parody of the Christian Lord's prayer. Well, actually, it's kind of sweet..
COYOTE SENT ME CASH!: by Wayan, 3.1MB (MP3 + lyrics), a 2007 jazz-rap telling a 1982/10/11 psychic dream.
A true tale proving the Trickster God really will provide. We're lilies of the field!
CRAWL: by Wayan; 1995-6. Digital collage inspired by a dream scene.
I dreamed I couldn't walk on water like Jesus, but I COULD crawl on it! A baby miracle.
CROSS THE BLACK RIVER ONE DEATH AT A TIME: by Wayan; 1990? Astral landscape
Buddhism is a 12-step program; it has its pitfalls for those of us who already detach all too easily...
CURMUDGEON I: by Wayan; 1981/7/24, a silly dream.
That broccoli business made the new pope controversial, but when he goes off to find his girlfriend...
A DIFFICULT PATH: by Anna Kingsford; 1877/11/3, an advisory dream.
I lead my daughter up a thorny path, but she’s getting badly scratched. Shall I leave her in that fishing village? She wants to...
DOG AIRPORTS: by Wayan; 1999/5/4, a dream of misplaced worship.
Okinawa in the far future, when the world is run by dogs. Except they worship us, and we aren't there...
DREAMWORK IN A DECADENT AGE: by Wayan; 1997/11/19, a short essay
Sprague De Camp says religions seduce us with emotional comfort. Is dreamwork science or faith?
DRINK THE DOVE: by Myoe Shonin; c.1202/9/11, a pre-Surrealist surreal dream
The sparrow died in the ashes, but the dove in my hands became a blue cloud. I drank it, thinking "This will benefit us all"...
DUCK!: by Wayan; 1988. Digital painting of a dream, 1987/6/5.
I was on one of those package dream-tours--an hour here, a scene there. But then in Patagonia...
FIGHT GOD!: by Wayan; 1979/12/25, a Christmas fight dream.
I'm in Heaven, but... it's full of Christians! I fight 30,000 angels, but I wanna go right to the top, and...
FIVE BLUNT TEETH: by Wayan; 2011/2/17, a biting nondream shape-poem
I read The Best American Poetry, 2007, but it just isn't, and I find myself writing a Savage Response...
GET YOUR BODY BACK: by Wayan; 1997/6/11, a dreamed parable.
A man dies--his body's chopped up. He ends in Hell. But he's a stubborn guy; he wants his body back. So...
GODEVILLE: by Wayan; 2013/9/1, a nightmare of over-divinity
I'm at a vaudeville for gods, as they strut their stuff. Then Cthulhu the squid-god tries to stomp me. Then Cthulhu gets horny...
GOD'S THREE DIALS: by Wayan; 1992/11/20, a heavenly dream.
God built 3 dials to check: body, soul, and time. But the Holy Spirit's lazy, only checks one! It's up to us...
A GUINEA-BISSAU REVOLUTION: by Wayan; 1999/4/24, a dream of necessary pain.
My part in the revolution in Guinea-Bissau: substantial, but not exactly planned. I just wanted out...
HEBREW RADIO RITE: by Wayan; 1997/10/12, a cynical mystical dream.
An ancient rite has headgear that today picks up radio stations. What'd it pick up in ancient times?
HELL CAFE: by Wayan; 2009/10/21, a dream poem w/sketch; Dreamverse #62
A Buddhist scroll shows me Hell Cafe, where diners become entrees. But I read the scroll backwards! You can escape Hell just by walking out, against the traffic flow...
HELL-TORNADO: by Wayan; 1988/7/2, a dream on social engineering.
Who built the tornado in the Heartland, that sucks anyone who opens their spirit-wings down to Hell?
HERMIT IN THE PIPE: by Wayan; 1999/5/2, a dream of the end.
I'm a holy man sneaking into a sewerpipe at the beach, to pop anxiety pills in shame. Do they even work?
HIDE THE LIST!: by Anonymous; c. 1550, a recurrent warning dream.
One of London's last Protestants dreamed Bloody Mary would find the congregation's member-list and burn them all...
I TURNED OFF JESUS: by Chris Baker; 2011/2/18; an "oops!" dream
Playing Mario Kart, I stray into a darkness where Earth floats, burning. And then Jesus speaks up! But I carelessly hit the OFF button...
IN THE STAR; 1988/9/12 by Wayan; an epic, out-of-body, intrastellar quest-dream
I tour the heart of a red supergiant, where dreaming souls explore their heart's desires unconstrained by matter...
IS GOD GOD?: by Wayan; 1984/6/17, a dream of the school of hard knocks.
God watches over me--to slap me down. If God is even God. So I set out to learn about this jerk-God...
JACOB'S LADDER: by Jacob, grandson of Abraham; c. 2050 BCE; a self-fulfilling prophetic dream.
Jacob dreams of angels climbing to heaven. He meets God, who promises the Holy Land to him and his descendants. Jacob uncritically accepts the gift...
THE KEYRING OF ATTACHMENTS: by Wayan; 1974/5/31, a dream gone too far.
Swayed by sinister surgeons, I go all Buddhist and give up my attachments, including various organs...
LIONS AND TIGERS: by William Archer's friend; before 1924, a zootheological dream.
At the zoo, Archer's friend found the tigers caged but the lions roaming free. The reason? Lions fear hell, but tigers...
THE MAN-EATER: by Carl Jung, 1879; a precocious formative nightmare.
Jung (at age three and a half) sees a terrifying god deep underground, and is told “That is the man-eater!”...
MELTDOWN BABY: by Wayan; 1996/10/13, a guilty nightmare.
In a Mormon future, my baby climbs a tree and spontaneously disintegrates! I try repotting, but...
MIRYAM'S THEFT: by Wayan; 1996/9/24, a psychic dream on being used
I'm a ghost dwarf in love with a Lady trapped in a magic Arabian castle. But our love is being used...
MONASTERY: by Anonymous #7; before 1986, a predictive/advisory spiritual dream
I happily meditated alone in a monastery. But when I woke, I couldn't see how to act on the dream. Then a friend visited...
THE MUEZZIN WHISTLE: by Wayan; 1994/7/14, a brief cynical dream.
I argue to a friend that Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Capitalism are more alike than they admit...
MUIR ON MARS: by Wayan; 1994/5/14, a dreamtale.
I'm John Muir reborn on Mars, supporting Mars First against tree-cutters, who poison their enemies...
NATALIUS’ WELTS: by Natalius the Confessor, ca. 155 AD, a dream leaving physical traces.
Natalius dreamed that angels whipped him for joining a heretic cult, and woke to find welts on his back...
NIGHTMARE TRANSUBSTANTIATION: by Wayan; 2015/2/10; a gross-out nightmare that turns out to be predictive
I'm in a basement, forced to enact a ritual where I must mate with, then FEED on, a flayed creature... I wake shaken, open a random book--and it describes the rites of Epona...
NOW DON'T PUT WORDS IN MY MOUTH: by Wayan; 1998, pencil sketch of 3 recurring dream figures.
It's hard being even mildly multiple. Here three of my least compatible personalities line up and...
PANIC ATTACK IN MY SLEEP; 2012/1/11 by Rainier Mathee; a nightmare on every level
No work, no friends, no lover. People power-drill their own skulls. My uncle's going insane. And when I call 911...
PAUL AND THE DISCIPLES OF JESUS: by Anna Kingsford; 1877/7/17, a dream of channeled indignation
Jesus's disciples kvetch that Paul, who never knew Jesus, perverted his clean simplicity into a religion...
CAUTION: JARGON, HERESY (on one side or other)
PEACOCK KINGS: by Myoe Shonin; 1196/8 or 1196/9, an ecstatic dream
I meet two Peacock Kings bigger than human beings, who chant blessings until I wake with tears drenching my pillow...
THE PEN: by Elector Frederick of Saxony; 1517/10/30, a predictive political dream.
Frederick dreams a monk writes words on the door of Wittenburg’s church with a pen so big it pokes the Pope. The next day...
THE PERFECT MUSICAL GENIUS: by "Agnes"; before 1922, a Romantic romantic dream.
I'm to be martyred. I ask if the man I love can strangle me. Yes! I say farewell to our hermaphroditic genius baby...
PERPETUA'S LAST DREAM: by St Perpetua; 203 A.D., a flying, sex-changing, defiant dream.
Facing death the next day in a Roman arena, Perpetua dreams of the spiritual duel behind the physical one...
POKING THROUGH THE NET: by Wayan; 1993/8/6, a dream on evading repression.
Cult members must wear a chadoor, and daily confess their sins. So why's their beach a major pickup place?
PREGNANCY FROM HELL: by Wayan; 1994/6/6, a predictive dream-farce.
I'm pregnant with the Antichrist. This is going to ruin my vacation! Why do I think this is all about money?
A PRISONER OF ZEN: by Wayan; 1980/11/19, a dream on isolation.
The Pope spears our Inuit captain and the Mystic, who turns solitary--a prisoner of Zen. Can I free him?
PRODIGIES' ODDITIES: by Wayan; 1994/2/2, a confession.
I suspect we child prodigies and geniuses are as unlike the gifted as normal people. So here's a checklist...
RADIANT LIGHT: DREAMING IN THE HYPOGEUM: by Jenny Badger Sultan, 1999/5/15, 6/12 & 7/14, a painting based on 3 dreams
I'm in the Hypogeum, an ancient Maltese dream-temple. I join some women staging a ritual; a little girl draped in a web plays the role of an insect...
RECONCILIATION: by Martha Sherwood; 2003/6/19, a dream-parable
Even after the Resurrection, a mother and daughter still have issues to clean up...
RUG-SHAG: by Wayan; 1994, digital; a sexy daydream that suddenly found a voice.
I just wanted to imagine getting licked by a nice friendly escapist dog on a nice shaggy rug, but...
SATANAGRAM: by Wayan; 1998/8/1, a Christmas song lyric.
A hard-hitting rap on Satan's dumbest disguise. Yet he's gotten away with it! The shocking truth...
SATYR: by Wayan; 1999/4/1, a frustrating wish-fulfillment dream (yes, both).
I'm a faun, the oracle for a Greek village. But my predecessor set up rituals I want to change...
SHEEP IN THE SKY: by Myoe Shonin; c.1220/9/20, a dream of strange advice.
A strange thing appeared in the sky. It kept transforming--a light, a sheep, a man. It advised me to stop burning my head...
SILKY'S WEDDING: by Wayan; 1988/1/6, a dreamtale.
Silky, my often-animal anima, leads me into a strange pagan church where we get married at last...
SKY AND PRESTER JOHN: by Wayan; 2009/9/30, two short dream poems with sketches; Dreamverse #57
My neurotic sister and I both lust for a girl named Sky; then I flee a gang of popes and lamas and mullahs...
SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED: by Wayan; 1978/10/26, a dreamtale.
A demigoddess and a wizard meddle with humans. But do even THEY know what they're assembling?
THE STUTTER: by Wayan; 1995/9/7, a religious dreamtale.
Half our religion-founders were just one guy coming back till he got it right. Well, practice makes perfect...
SUTRO PARK: by Wayan; 1990/11/31, digital painting of nondream surreal event.
The tale of the most truly sincerely religious revelation I've ever witnessed...
TAOIST DEBUT: by Wayan; 2012/9/16, a dreamlet on book-learning vs. living experience
I'm at the court of Jenghiz Khan, as rival priests try and fail to convert the Mongols. Then a Taoist demigod walks up...
THE THIEF OF DREAMS: by Wayan; 200K, an illustrated dream-play, 1996/11/29.
I was a mermaid trying to find Count Coyote's stolen dreams, so I could marry my human girlfriend...
THIRTEEN PEACE SIGNS IN A TIME OF WAR: by Wayan; early 2002, acrylic sgraffito on wood.
The animal goddess of peace, stubbornly raising her sign, my sign, as you all slide into your nice holy war...
THE THREE VEILS BETWEEN MAN AND GOD: by Anna Kingsford, March 1881, a prophetic, almost messianic, dream.
I was shown what veils the God in us: Blood (violence), Idols (dogmatism), and the Curse of Eve (sexism)...
TITANIA: by Wayan; 1983/1/7 and subsequent nights; an epic dream of love
Clarence the sappy angel from IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, and Milton's Lucifer, noblest Devil of them all, land on Earth, offering treaties. Who to sign with? Clarence thinks we're perfect, and the Devil's a tinkerer, learning from failures. Failures like me, and my girlfriend Titania, the first android with a full range of feelings. Too bad one is the feeling she's fake...

UNICORN TAG: by Wayan; 1986, a linked series of illustrated dreams.
Animal teachers, mostly equine, drag me (as I scream NO!) beyond plain dreamwork into shamanism...
Chapter 1: The Deer Party: by Wayan; 150K, 6 illus.
Chapter 2: Ariane's Honeymoon: by Wayan; 8K
Chapter 3: The Everest Marathon: by Wayan; 1 illus.
Chapter 4: Who'll Be My Love?: by Wayan; 100K, 4 illus.
Chapter 5: Dreamrider: by Wayan; 7K, a nondream interlude
Chapter 6: Half Shaman, Half Statesman: by Wayan; 170K, 4 illus.
Chapter 7: Eight To A Horn: by Wayan; 2 illus.
Chapter 8: Black Magic: by Wayan, 7 illus.
Chapter 9: Misfits On Mars: by Wayan; 300K, 7 illus.
UNKNOWING: by Wayan, 640 x 480, 1995. Digital picture of a nondream delusion.
"I believe, O lord/ Help thou mine unbelief"--as a kid I thought this meant "God, keep me skeptical"...
UTOPIA: by Wayan; 37 p, 3.9 MB, 2007/5/9, a painted essay on... wishes?
An improvised painting-series exploring my obsession for Utopia--and your deafening silence...
VICARIOUS ATONEMENT: by Anna Kingsford; 1880/1/31, an anti-shamanic dream
Kingsford meets a girl who burns herself as a protest. K flips out! She rants “This is wrong!” when help is what’s needed...
THE VOICE OF GOD: by Wayan, 1993/1/31, a psychic nightmare-epic.
I go half-mad and massacre a whole cult, till my gun manifests stigmata: a gory miracle. Then I'm one of the cult members, struggling to ignore the Voice of God pushing all us mortals to murder in His name.
I woke up haunted, and wondered for weeks what this was about... until the Waco Massacre.
VRILLASSA’S ONLY PRIEST: by Jo; 2007/2/10, a dream of meeting God
A job as the only priest on an island colony sounded perfect, only I’m the wrong religion...
WHALE SPEAKS: by Brenda Ferrimani; 2014?; an epic dream painting
I dreamed I was a whale swimming against a Christian ebb tide, trying to lead humans to a cleaner spiritual current...
WHAT GOD BELIEVES IN: by Wayan; 1984/9/23, a dream of working for a difficult deity
God's my boss, but like a bratty little brother, he's Not Speaking To Me. It's slowing down our office...
THE WHITE DEER'S EXPERIMENT, or, FAWN OF A LESSER GOD: by Wayan; 2013/4/13, a shamanic epiphany dream
I meet my Creator--a deer. No wonder I'm a shy, horny herbivore unlike these naked apes! She tells me my divine purpose...
WINDFALLS IN EDEN: by Wayan, 2000/3/30, a religio-politic dream.
I'm a part-owner of Eden, harvesting windfalls. But a renter says his Landlord promised him all the apples...
THE WIND FROM HELL: by Wayan; 1981/4/21, a dream-poem.
Hot air rises, right? So there's a monsoon from Hell, lifting souls. Lucky for us that gravity balances it...
WITCH, FLY FREE!: by Wayan; 1997/5/3, a predictive dream.
A castle of witches in Europe. Persecuted for centuries, they're wary. Can I find a good witch to love?
MERRY WITCHMAS!: by Wayan; 1990. Digital dreamy image
Just a witchmas card spreading love and paganism to all, and to all a good night...
YEATS: by Wayan; 1990/1/1, a poem wrestling with Yeats's visions.
Our dilemma is, now that we have the power to get what we want... what exactly was it we wanted?
YOU'RE THE EAGLE: by Wayan; 2000/2/8, a dream fable.
A hermit spends his life wrestling with shadows. His only disciple becomes famous. Who was happier?
ZEMMYO: by Myoe Shonin; c.1221/4/20, a spiritual Pygmalion dream.
A doll sent from China breaks into tears over her exile here in Japan. I reassure her and she becomes real...
ZYGOTE: by Wayan; 1999, a comic astral vision.
It's true: after death, angels advise you where to go next. But what if you get an over-eager travel agent?

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