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Religious Scholar Has An Interesting Take On Why Dreams Feel So Real

"When you dream, you are returning home."

Thomas Moore has been a lifelong spiritual seeker and teacher. He spent 13 years as a Catholic monk before going on to earn a PhD in Religious Studies and become a practicing psychotherapist. Now, Moore has decades of religious study and 16 books under his belt, and though it all, he has come to believe that a sense of wonder is crucial to a spiritual life.

And what could hold more wonder than a dream?

In his latest book, A Religion of One's Own, Moore writes: "Your spiritual self was born in a dream, and when you dream, you are returning home. Your natural self is at home in the land where everything is both a physical fact and a poetic metaphor. When you dream, you are returning to the home, the very womb of your spirit and a world that speaks the language of your soul."

If you have to read that passage more than a few times, you're not alone.

Oprah also read and re-read Moore's words, and asked him to clarify what he meant when the two sat down for an interview on "SuperSoul Sunday." His work as a psychotherapist, he explained, often involves analyzing dreams and having his clients record what they remember the moment they wake.

"I have this great position to be with people as they are going through the trials of their life. And we look at their dreams," Moore said. "It's like their life is like the top level, and you've got this whole dream world with all of its meaning and suggestion and mystery."

That mysterious dream world generates a strange feeling, Moore continued.

"It doesn't feel like you're watching a movie, does it? You're in it," he said. "But, yet, it's not you, sometimes; it's like you, but it's not quite you. And ... someone may appear from your childhood, or someone you met yesterday."

Though it may seem random, Moore believes dreams suggest that something quite meaningful is at play.

"What is that saying? We're all here. That childhood is still there. And it appears in our dreams," Moore said. "That's our home, that's really where we are. That's where we find everything."

So, is he suggesting that our dream life is just as real as our actual life?

"Maybe more. Maybe more real," Moore said. "Really, it could be more real in the sense that that's where our real motivations can be found. You look at your dreams and you say, 'Wow, now I see what I've been doing up here on the surface.'"

Moore also believes there's a clear reason why being in that dream space tends to feel more like "you" than the you that exists in reality.

"We tend to think that 'I' -- that the sense of who we are -- comes from someplace in our head, and we call it 'ego' and all that stuff.  But I really think, and this is not my idea, it goes way back in time, that who we are comes from that deep dream place," Moore said. "That's really where identity is."

"SuperSoul Sunday" airs Sundays at 7 p.m. ET on OWN.

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