chapter
dreams
Pages 7

Dreaming is a universal human experience which has raised profound questions about human nature, destiny, experience and epistemology since the beginning of history. The earliest preserved dream book is an Egyptian papyrus dated roughly to 2000 BC that presents a catalogue of images seen in dreams alongside their interpretations, divided into good and bad prophecies. If a man saw himself drinking wine or copulating with his mother, for instance, these were auspicious dreams; the first indicated ‘living in righteousness’ while the second meant that his ‘clansmen will cleave fast to him’. Seeing himself drinking warm beer or copulating with a jerboa were bad dreams and meant ‘suffering would come upon him’ and ‘the passing of a judgement against him’ respectively (Lewis 1976).