Funzing Talks | The Ancient Art of Lucid Dreaming
- 182 Stoke Newington Road, London, N16 7UY
Temple Sleep - Ancient dream practices for the future of consciousness. Sarah Janes will be presenting research from her book Lake of Mnemosyne - a study of the ancient practice of & 'Temple Sleep'
In the ancient world, many cultures built temples dedicated to healing through sleep and sacred dreams. Elaborate systems of fasting, dedication, ritual drama, invocation and dream interpretation remained commonplace for many thousands of years. Clearly the sleep temples were effective for many, but how? And would these old methods work today?
The practice is well-evidenced in ancient Egyptian, Greek andRoman archaeology and literature. It reveals many secrets relating to the journey of human consciousness, the evolution of memory and language, the mind-body connection, the placebo effect and the unconscious mind’s response to story and symbolism. What cosmic, earthly and human forces have influenced the way we experience the relationship between the inner and outer worlds? How might our perception have shifted since the days of sleep temples? What can the ancient cultures teach us about dreaming and the healing power of sleep? How is modern sleep research validating the effectiveness of the 'divine dream cure’?
Physical health, emotional wellbeing and cognitive functioning are inextricably entangled within the altered state we encounter in dreams. Sleep states can be easily optimised through good practice and conscious effort, but in the modern world, we often find ourselves rushed out of bed, over-stimulated, caffeinated, light-polluted and essentially not ‘fully present’.
The effect sleep has upon our happiness and fitness is woefully underestimated by contemporary zombie culture. To return to a more natural state, we have to find a way to dis-engage from the unnatural rhythms of technology and re-harmonise with biological rhythms set by the cycles of the planet. To be healthy, our circadian clock should be set by the natural phases of light and dark experienced as Earth rotates on its axis.
With each new rotation of the Earth, we emerge from darkness and enter light. As the Earth turns counterclockwise each day, we are carried about 24,900 miles, at 600mph (in the UK) and Earth orbits our Sun at 67,000mph. We live in a rhythmical, cyclical, fractal, vibrational, electrical universe - there is a living pulse. Our existence is miraculous, divine. Our perception however is manufactured. Experience, culture, language, habit and practice are the forces that have sculpted our perceptual apparatus over time and this ‘hardware’ defines the bandwidth at which our awareness is set.
If we can find a continuity, a bridge between our waking and dreaming body, we can work towards integrating our spiritual, physical and emotional selves. We can bring some wisdom from the infinite divine into the finite physical life we experience on Earth. We can sleepwalk with open eyes through the many veils that obscure us from The All. The current psychedelic renaissance aspires to these same great goals, but I believe the dream state (especially lucidity), with a bit of luck and patience, is the ultimate safe, wholesome and integrative psychedelic experience. This initiation into divinity was the highest purpose of the ancient practice of Temple Sleep. At the core was a very strongly held belief that sleeping and dreaming could permit an individual to make contact with the Gods and in doing so, change physical reality.
There is a deep truth to these claims which current science can demonstrate, albeit with different terminology. I hope to show you how to apply these ancient techniques of dream incubation for tangible expansion in your waking and sleeping life.
Sarah Janes is a writer living in Hastings, England. She has been obsessed since childhood with dreaming, especially lucid dreams. She has written on the subject for The Idler, The Bohemian and
Ancient Origins and is currently writing her book on the practice ofTemple Sleep for Muswell Hill Press.
Venue: Haunt, Stoke Newington
Doors: 7pm / Talk starts: 7.30pm.
Funzing Talks is a new concept which aims to re-invent your after work drinks. We've pulled together an impressive array of leading entrepreneurs, intellectuals, bright thinkers and incredible individuals to inspire your evenings.
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