Awakened Dreams was written in the early 1900s at the end of the Ottoman era by Ahmet Hilmi—humorist, revolutionary, and Sufi mystic.
Raji—a young man disillusioned with science, philosophy, religion, and with life as he knows it—meets a grandfather-like “madman” who lives in a cemetery and wears clothes patched with bits of mirrors. The Mirror Dede, though apparently mad, makes more sense than anyone Raji has ever met. From time to time they drink coffee together, and as the old man plays a reed flute, Raji’s transformation is mirrored through a series of awakened dreams. He experiences changes of perception which show to him the limitations of our ordinary human faculties, and he encounters various prophets and holy beings who reveal to him the secret of his own existence.
This book has the charm of Hesse’s Siddhartha, the wry humor of a Vonnegut novel, and the visionary wisdom of Castaneda’s Don Juan series. It continues to be used as a vibrant teaching tale in many Sufi circles. Though a story of mythical dimensions,Awakened Dreams is not a fantasy but a transcription of the spiritual journey based on Hilmi’s own experience.
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