International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)

International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)
Call for Papers | Fully Refereed | Open Access | Double Blind Peer Reviewed

ISSN: 2319-7064

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Research Paper | Philosophy | Nigeria | Volume 10 Issue 5, May 2021

Dreams and Human Nature: An African Viewpoint

Ucheoma C. OSUJI

Abstract: Beyond the classical renditions of humans being composed of body and soul, there are complimentary perspectives that see humans beyond this dualism. Thus, an African perspective provides an insight to this view drawing analysis from dreams because they are important parts of our lives. The aim of this essay is to discuss the impact of dreams in understanding the component of human nature from an African perspective. The objective is to discuss on how best we can explain and justify the traditional thought systems that operate on the belief in dreams and their explanations of human nature: The roles of dream; in the personality building, as information retrieval system (source of knowledge), as intelligible (system of illumination and divine assistance) and cognitive part of life will be discussed. In this essay, I will begin with the conceptual clarification of dreams drawing instances from western and oriental perspectives. I will proceed to the African perspective, where I will limit my explanations to the Nigerian scenario (Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba and Efik and / or Ibibio). From here, I will discuss on the components of human nature from an African perspective drawing analysis from dreams and dreaming. Thus, I shall be discussing; what aspect (s) of human body is involved in dreams and dreaming? The varying states of human nature indifferent states; wake, sleep and dream such as Eleda (Yoruba explanation of bodily representatives outside the body), inner person as distinct from spirit and body, nro (Igbo perspective), dream activities, and friends and their appearances in real life (Efik perspective), will be explained using descriptive and autoethnographic analysis. Thus, I shall be addressing two issues; are humans made of just body and soul?? and the connections between objective existence, dreams and self-consciousness will be re-visited, from an African viewpoint. In the remaining part of the paper, the contemporary implications of the authenticity of dream activities becoming real when remembered, and relating to real life will be discussed.

Keywords: Africa, Dreams, Human Nature, Philosophy, Traditional thought systems, illumination

Edition: Volume 10 Issue 5, May 2021,

Pages: 393 - 402

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