“Dreamtimes and Thoughtforms: Cosmogenesis from the Big Bang to Octopus and Crow Intelligence to UFOs” by Richard Grossinger; Park Street Press, Rochester, Vermont, 2022; 192 pages, paperback, $16.99.

Funny how sometimes things fit together of their own accord.

This winter I was reading anthropologist Timothy Knab’s book “Dialogue of Earth and Sky” about the way dreams, and their interpretations, function in the life of modern Aztec villages in south central Mexico. One of the main threads in the book is that dream interpretation is a highly skilled occupation that is often quite effective in helping people deal with their lives. Dreams provide a way of piecing together meaning in everyday life. Which means they are, in some practical, nonscientific use of the word, real.

This latter, profoundly simple point turned out to be an important thread in a book that arrived around the same time, Richard Grossinger’s “Dreamtimes and Thoughtforms.” That I would be reading simultaneously two books with the nature of dreaming for their subject matter is not exactly a coincidence, because the literature of “mysticism” (to use the word extremely loosely) has long been one of my academic fields. But their arrival together clearly involved some kind of synchronicity. It fit together of its own accord.

What is going on here?

Grossinger, as it happens, has spent his whole life trying to figure out the answer to this question. “Dreamtimes and Thoughtforms” is his latest effort to piece together how the cosmos coheres.

In his philosophic quest, everything “has to be accounted for.” And so this book synthesizes knowledge from virtually every field of human experience you can think of. It seeks to show how the practical realities and efficacies of dreaming in aboriginal cultures is related to the intricacies of DNA, the strange genesis of biological life, modern physics, cosmology, “UFOs, spirits, angels, ghosts, and the like,” reincarnation (a phenomenon that extensive academic documentation suggests does happen, somehow), and one’s own personal life.


Among these difficult-to-account-for realities is quantum physics, which over the past hundred years has revealed facts that contradict classical science’s picture of reality. Whatever is going on in subatomia, dream-terms may be the best way of understanding it: “Quantum mechanics operates … like dreams or hypnagogia,” Grossinger propounds. “The only way to resolve anomalies and paradoxes arising from quantum mechanics … is to concede the primacy of consciousness.”

Consciousness may be what coheres the cosmos, but it’s a conundrum—what is it, and what are its limits, if it even has any? This in a way is Grossinger’s central question, and has been for decades. Characteristic of his many other books,  which from different starting points mount the same fundamental effort to account for everything, the discussion in“Dreamtimes and Thoughtforms” is freewheeling, marked by an astonishing storehouse of knowledge, and delivered in fissionary prose, meaning it gives off an enormous flow of poetic and philosophic energy. You have to come to this book, like all of Grossinger’s books, ready to adapt to the hairpin figurative turns, highly allusive facts base, and philosophic challenges offered in practically every sentence. But if you give yourself to its peculiar quantum-entangled ecology of words, even the abstruse terminology of genome science may crack open doors of perception.

“Dreamtimes and Thoughtforms” should be fascinating reading for anyone who suspects there are more things in heaven and earth, than are dreamt of in our science.

Somehow, everything fits together.

Grossinger has been making sojourns in Maine since the late 1960s when he was an anthropology instructor at the University of Maine at Portland-Gorham, where I first met him as a student. He currently lives in Bar Harbor, and has kept homes in recent decades in Portland, Southwest Harbor and elsewhere.

His other books include “Bottoming Out the Universe: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing,” “The Night Sky,” “Dark Pool of Light” and several autobiographical works, among many others. His Substack blog, “OperaJupiter,” provides his latest convention-challenging take on how science, history, politics, magic and everything else fits together.


“Dreamtimes and Thoughtforms” is available through local and online book sellers.

Off Radar takes note of poetry and books with Maine connections the first Friday of each month. Contact Dana Wilde at dwilde.offradar@gmail.com.




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