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Islam and Muslims in dreams. As Muslims re-examine concepts of jihad and shari'a, and Judeo-Christians re-examine their stereotypes of Islam... my dreams are examples of a non-Judeo-Christian take on Islam.

My dreams have for years used Islam symbolically, to mean "living by the book", or "trust in rules". Like most Americans, I rarely dream of liberal Muslims--but does that mean I think they don't exist? My dreams want handy icons, and reactionary Muslims, being so loud at this historical moment, are perfect poster-children for that sort of book-centered bigotry. "If it isn't in my book, get rid of it!" And when my mind gropes for symbols of liberalism or radicalism, it finds all around me flashier models than liberal Muslims--I live in San Francisco, after all! So why should my dreams use liberal Islam? Yet I know such traditions exist. Is this literal, is this fair? My dreams care more about making their point, to change how I live my life, than about political correctness.

My point? Your dreams may use this sort of shorthand, too. Dreams that seem racist, sexist, or use stereotypes, aren't necessarily expressing belief--dreams have a different agenda. We've accepted, a century after Freud, that sexual dreams shouldn't be judged literally or hastily. But dreams that seem racist or sexist or casually sacrilegious... they can still shock the conscious mind. And sometimes, I suspect, dreams do what artists do--shock us not because they're primitive or ignorant, but to make a point.

Now, that's my general warning on dreams about religion. I think a personal confession is also in order. I should warn all Jews, Christians and Muslims, all the Ahl-al-Kitab, the "People of the Book" (that handy Arabic term for all three peoples)... that basically, my dreams don't bother to even distinguish your faiths. My dreams lump all three together as: patriarchal, humanocentric, and tediously obsessed with past prophets, instead of encouraging you to directly experience the sacred yourself! My dreams prefer the empirical "try it and see what works" attitude of pagans, shamans, witches... and sometimes scientists (depending, of course, on funding).

Cynical? Moi?

Anyway... you've been warned.

RELATED TOPICS: religions in general - God (the monotheistic pushy one) - politics - bias and bigotry - fundamentalists and fanatics - Christianity - Judaism - 9/11 massacre - See also the full INDEX OF SUBJECTS.

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THE ARREST: by Georges Perec; July 1970, a dream of .... huh? Dream #16
I am arrested in Tunisia, essentially for being Jewish, despite my pro-Palestinian sympathies.
My main regret: I face years of dirty socks...
BIRDS ON FIRE: by Wayan; 2008/9/15, a political dream-poem, Dreamverse #26
George Bush leads a hill-tribe raid against the hill-tribe led by Osama bin Laden... and I'm stuck between...
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 soupmix sends me upstairs to a secret wizards' lab.
They've summoned a demon they can't handle: the furious Black Unicorn...
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...
DREAM OF THE DANCE: by Jenny Badger Sultan, 2006/10/16, a dream-painting
After our trip to Turkey, I dreamed I was dancing in
a heavy black robe like those the Turkish women wore...
DREAM OF THE DANCING GODDESSES: by Jenny Badger Sultan, 1988/12/19, a dream-painting
I sneak into a dance rehearsal. Huge colorful cloth goddesses dance,
while four fat women wearing only scarves weave round them...
HISTORY CHANGES: by Wayan; 1994/11/22, a dream of an alternate life.
I'm the token Chinese guy in a jazz band in backwoods Brazil, in the old colonial days, when...
HUNT OF THE UNICORN: by Wayan; 1989/5/18, an overlooked psychic dream.
I marry, just to get into a clannish world where I'm seeking symbiotic unicorns. I end up fleeing...
Next evening, a TV movie--Goldie Hawn marries into a clannish world and ends up...
I DREAM OF DERIVERRANS: by Wayan; 1982/11/16, a Joycean dream of surrender.
I must rescue Ann Soforth from righteous rapists, then Paul McCartney from a musical curse...
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...
MILK ADDICTS: by Wayan, 1974/6/2, an early psychic dream.
I'm in what seems to be a village of very conservative Muslims. But they're really alien castaways...
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...
A MUSLIM CHEETAH: by Wayan, 2004/12/2, a dream of fundamental ambivalence
A cheetah is a saboteur for a violent Islamic group. I'm attracted, but tear into her;
"You plant bombs in the name of a rulebook meant for apes not cats!"
MY MUSLIM MOTHER-IN-LAW: by Wayan; 1995/3/25, a dream on repression.
How exactly did I acquire a mother-in-law snooping on my phone calls, when I don't have a wife?
PRAISE THE DANCING GOONS: by Wayan; 2008/10/16, a dream-poem: Dreamverse 34
Three big tap-dancing kidnappers is too many to fight. So I try admiring their kidnapping technique...
SAMURAI BULLET: by Wayan; 1985 automatic drawing, 3x5", ink; tinted 2001.
I didn't know myself what this was about, till I had to write this note--and suddenly I got it...
SERAFINA AND RAM DASS: by Wayan; a 2000/11/6 dream anticipating an 11/9 experience with auras
A Finnish shaman/witch gives me a lesson in night flying; in the waking world
I meet Ram Dass and sense him speak astrally before his body can get the words out...
THE SHAMAN INSPECTOR: by Wayan; 1996/7/31, a dream on core values.
My work as a federal shaman inspector involves judging a rainbow of traditions by a few basic principles:
SHARONNE: by Paul Friedrich, pre-1983, a political dream (despite Freud and Jung)
I was in a gang, but I quit. They stoned me--and the green heron, the green color I called "Sharonne".
The setting (Israel), the green (Islam), and the name (Ariel Sharon?) all hint the dream's political...
THE SPELL BLURS WOMEN: by Wayan; 2013/5/5, a poem from a Lorelei dream
In a creepy castle on the Rhine, whenever I'm near three women, they blur
into one. A powerful spell! Now where have I seen this effect...?
THE THREE VEILS BETWEEN MAN AND GOD: by Anna Kingsford, March 1881, a messianic dream.
I was shown what veils the God in us: Blood (violence), Idols (dogmatism), and the Curse of Eve (sexism)...
TIAMAT'S REBELLION: by Wayan; 1988/1/1, a dream about neoteny.
That day: I read of a young healer in rural Indonesia harassed by the local mullah.
That night: I dream she leads a revolution on a starship against her elders...
THE UNCLEAN HAND: by Wayan; 1995/5/24, a dreamtale.
An Arabic traveler to China is shocked by toilet paper, which explains the origins of dualism. Really.

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