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Dreaming the End of the World: Apocalypse as a Rite of Passage [Paperback]

Michael Ortiz Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 28, 2004 0882145568 978-0882145563 1
Michael Ortiz Hill looks closely into one hundred end-of-world dreams and uncovers the myths ruling our fears and hopes.<br/><br/>In his foreword to this new edition, Ortiz Hill calls September 11, 2001 "the blade of initiation, dividing who we were from who we are called to be . . . I invite the reader to the wilderness, to the beginning of the apocalyptic rite of passage . . . I offer this book with a single caveat: Beware the seduction of the image, mine and others, for the myth of apocalypse seeks to enthrall us into an epic fiction with very real consequences. Beware the fascination with what is larger than life, this vulgar Passion Play that would crucify the world.">

Editorial Reviews


"Very, very few people today dare to go near this topic. This is a profound book." -- Ram Dass

About the Author

Michael Hill Ortiz is a writer, registered nurse, and practitioner of traditional African medicine in the United States and among Bantu people in Zimbabwe.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Spring; 1 edition (September 28, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0882145568
  • ISBN-13: 978-0882145563
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,062,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep, insightful, fresh, satisfying June 22, 1999
Starts by describing the nuclear bombs of WWII, from an experiential viewpoint. There are quotes from physicists I haven't seen elsewhere. They were changed, and they knew the world had changed. After this dramatic introduction, the author describes, with dreams fragments as examples, several stages of apocalypse, tying together the personal-scale experiences and the archetypical end of the world symbolized by the Bomb. This is no trivial book where the author just threw some related ideas together; Michael Ortiz Hill has skillfully related ideas that, to me, seem to be from different worlds. One very minor gripe is the lack of an index, but there is a topical dream image glossary, very fun to browse, and I'm not sure this book would benefit much from a regular index. Like movies, some of which are entertaining but you forget as soon as you walk out of the theater, and others make you think about life for some time afterward, books can be fleeting or lasting. Dreaming the End of the World was one of the most satisfying, enlightening, food-for-thought books I've ever read, and it's good for a second -- or third -- reading.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eloquent and important August 12, 2009
This is a quite brilliant book, pulling together dreams of nuclear holocaust using sensitive, shrewd psychological observation. Hill finds patterns, but schematizes them in a way that respects rather than over-interprets the material. If you've not already discovered through personal experience, this book should demonstrate the profound significance of apocalyptic dreams, where boundaries between personal and cultural psychology become more and more fluid. If you've experience this kind of dream already, reading this book is an even more potent demonstration of the liminal nature of dreams. I found the common themes and motifs that Hill draws out of his informants' dreams to reflect with uncanny precision the threads running through my own nuclear / apocalypse dreams. Especially fascinating and important is the segue from the dream of nuclear holocaust to the dream of ecological devastation; again, something that my own dreams testify to. I always suspected I wasn't alone; this book made me sure. Hill's book makes an excellent contribution to the idea that there is some form dream world, more mercurial than this world, but a clear overlapping of our dream landscapes.
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