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Dreams and Dreaming

Dreams consist of images, internal movies or such clippings, thoughts, feelings, and sounds experienced during sleep, and especially during REM phases. (REM = Rapid Eye Movement.) There are many sides to dreaming, and many opinions about what dreams are taken to reflect or reveal. There are many hypotheses about the functions of dreams and how they are to be understood, if at all. And since a biblical heritage has influenced the Western culture much, and it also contains jumbled material on dreams, some points on dreams fram that one source are included too, but not for the sake of propping up anything - just to give some references from a segment of the culture.

It is possible to train recall of dreams, and it may assist recall to use a dream journal. Dreams as not really nonsensical, but a lot of them are crypted somehow. Major psychologists have studied how dreams work and why they appear, and whether they occur according to patterns, and which patterns. Carl Jung, Medard Boss, Calvin Hall, Montague Ullman and others have decreed that dreams do carry meanings, but you need to understand how dreaming functions. Dreams functions on their own terms. Through the basics of dream interpretations to get a hold on many of them.

Some dreams reflect mind content that pertains to tasks and problems and other issues the mind gets deeply involved in. And parts of the jumbled "video clips" within may just present "left-overs" from days before. Dream interpretations need to be tentative, perhaps open-ended too. Consider the deep feelings and messages involved in the recurrent and most impressive dreams you have had.

Decode and interpret the flows of various icons, images, scenes, actors, happenings, concomitant feelings so as to arrive at tentative or putative postulates about what impressive dreams could mean. In such work there is help in mulling over single, outstanding ideas or episodes inside the stream or flow of a single dream. Take notes of them and learn to draw special illustrations that serve you in a log book. all of it could help, but it may be time-consuming work that had better be done for the whole life. In short, you have to learn to assess well.

There are some dream manuals that can offer a little help in this life-time project: I for my part am fond of Jungian interpretations, and have collected Jung statements on dreaming here: [Link]

Clippings from the Bible

Yhwh [Jehovah, etc.] came down in a pillar of cloud and said,

"When there are prophets among you, I reveal myself to them in visions and speak to them in dreams. It is different when I speak with my servant Moses . . . face-to-face . . .!" - Numbers 12:5-8.

Even before that, Joseph rose under Pharaoh because Old God let him interpret dreams. And afterward Daniel rose under another king in exactly the same way, as an interpreter of dreams as omens. Dream interpretation, it is persistently said, should be from Old God.

Do not think too little of yourself either [Hebrews 2:7; John 14:12]. Added to this:

The Spirit gives one person the power to work miracles; to another . . . the ability to tell the difference between gifts that come from the Spirit and those that do not. To one person he gives the ability to speak in strange tongues, and to another he gives the ability to explain what is said. - 1 Corinthians 12:10

However, judged by evidence that has surfaced lately, it may not work like that. Better be careful. So "put the spirits to the test" [1 John 4.:1], also bearing in mind what the Bible's God is capable of:

Lord, you deceived me, and I was deceived; you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed. [Jeremiah 20:7]

In the Bible scenario there are one deceiving God, many deceiving spirits and also false prophets to reckon with.

"I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, "I had a dream! I had a dream!" How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds? [Jer 23:25-26] . . . "I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, "The Lord declares." Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams," declares the Lord. "They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies . . .," declares the Lord. [Jer 23:31-32]

And tongue-talking may or may not be articulate, may or may not be properly understood, it shows up - and many of those points appertain to dream and dream interpretations too - there is no good reason to be taken in by gullibility.

One individual's ecstatic speech was tape recorded and played back separately to many individuals who believed that they had the gift of interpreting tongues. Their interpretations were quite inconsistent. Those particular interpreters were unable to extract significant meaning out of the glossolalia. [MORE]

"The proof of the pudding . . . " - Still, "Bible gossip" has it that interpreting dreams is good and works for good in a life and family, and may even save a whole nation. That may depend on skills and purity of heart, however. There is ample, good reason to question both Bible sayings and dream interpretations, and not accept all of them . . . Think as you will of that.

Many famous scientists have treasured dreaming too, at any rate. "Let us learn to dream, gentlemen, and then perhaps we shall learn the truth," said August Kekulé too. And "To accomplish great things, we must not only act but also dream," said Anatole France.


Dreams and the Edgar Cayce Heritage

In major dreams we receive input which can be food for thought - thus the need to clarify. A dream may mean something physically, mentally, environmentally, or spiritually, - these can be held to be facets involving your total self – And dreams may deal with any dimensions of our total lives.

Dreams come to you for a reason. Some dreams or dream themes evolve in time. Some elements of evolving dreams may reflect what comes to pass in the physical world or inwardly on some giant (i.e., spiritual) plane. And we may be warned in dreamland before something bad actually happen in the world of matter. Good things too can be foreshadowed in our dreams.

One may explore whether and how far dreamt encounters show any possible reality. Many try to do that.

Correlate the insights and truths you think you find enacted in dreams or as dreams with yourself in a process of developing (in the school of life). And remember that develop here means growing up, often waking up through insights, that is, moving in certain ways toward inwardness, i.e., higher forces, and getting aware of the confusion going on about you too.

The best development of the human family is to give the greater increase in knowledge of the subconscious, soul or spirit world. - Edgar Cayce

Some Tips for Dream Work

In the Edgar Cayce heritage many of these things are proposed for analysing dreams:

  1. Suggest to yourself every night as you fall asleep, "I'll remember my dreams." Yes, suggest to yourself (through mild autosuggestion) before going to sleep that you are interested in observing keenly in your dreams and would like to plumb many of them after waking.
  2. Then be prepared: Keep a notebook beside the bed. Record your dreams as soon as you can after waking. And if you wake during the night, write down the main symbols and perhaps the matter of the dream returns in the morning.
  3. You can learn to draw strong dream scenes quite like altar pictures. Draw a circle and sketch the elements that impressed you the most. This may help far better than words where "a picture is worth a thousand words" (American proverb). To combine notes and sketches is good. Any of them may do as mementos.
  4. Look for these components in a dream: the persons, the setting, the feeling, the action, the colour or tone, and the words, especially the intrinsically meaningful ones.

Dreams do not appear for no reasons. Most dreams, especially through the first parts of the night, may show the organism's adjustments to the previous day's encounters and marring experiences. In this light dreams are reaction of the inner self to daytime activity - yet they also show a way out of the dilemma lots of times, if well interpreted. Much depends on that. Let them relate first to much of your current activity and impressive encounters, for dreams may inspect backwards (be retrospective) as well know or suspect in advance - as prospective.

Most dreams appear to guide and help, not to amuse or mar. Through such as servo-mechanisms and higher facets they indicate errors of omission and commission and offer encouragement for right endeavors. They also give us the chance to assist others in various ways.

Learn to be practical in your interpretations. Always look first for a lesson. For example, what have you refused to face or been ignoring, or been lackadaisal with again and again?

If you receive an unusual message, reduce it to common terms. See if there is a possible symbolism in it, after you have learnt the basic elements of such figurative portrayals. Your total experience may be involved and should be drawn on for understanding properly.

If you are unable to decipher an important dream, suggest to yourself before your next sleep that the dream repeat itself more clearly.
      And most important of all, perhaps, you have to persist in order to learn what is called "the dream language" or "language of angels", the often forgotten language of the subconscious and further. The focus of most dreams are first and foremost linked to the total organism, the core of which is the self. Some dreams may relate outside that perspective, though.

You can work on analysing your dreams every day, otherwise it may be hard to assess how they evolve or progress in time.

Hints for understanding

  • Repeated, unchanged dreams through the years indicate the old resistance to some change.
  • Recurring dream elements could be tentatively looked on as symbols. Some are privately formed, others are shared in a culture, and so on.
  • If dreams are illogical, these reasons are possible: (a) Perhaps mere dream fragments were recalled. (b) The dream could reflect something illogical in your life. (c) There may be erased recall through suppression of elements - mental blocks tend to do that. If so, relax about it.
  • Dreams may be dramatic portrayals of plots to catch your notice. Dreams of such as ill health and bad contacts can be either literal or symbolic warnings. Love to into them in that light and see what you find out. And nightmares in which you are unable to move or cry out, may indicate a wrong diet. It could be needed to make some changes of diet or habits.
  • When a problem or crisis and ill health confronts you, you can ask for guidance given through your dreams. And if you have earned a proper understanding, it helps.
  • Usually it pays to study dreams quote as "left-overs" from the preceding day. Over eighty percent of the dream content may be of that kind, especially dreams from the first half of the night. But still, I find it fit not to leave out that if conversing with others in dreams, one-way communication could indicate telepathy. If both participate, maybe an actual encounter took place. Mental telepathy may occur in dreams too, as with Joseph, the three wise men and other notables of the Bible. And yes, the Bible is often self-contradictory, so the value of many a reference to it may not be of substantial worth. [See Matthew 1:20; 2:12; 2:13]

Facing dreams

You can affirm and visualise daily in deep, pleasant mediation to get better inspiration, contacts, and insights from dreams you work on. You can develop skills to improve the quality and reception and understanding of your dreams, and what you do with them (understanding things is often not quite enough), by learning the craft of dream interpretations from a neat source. I have been taught Jungian dream analysis and sniffed at Cayce's methods too, apart from reading interesting works on dreaming by psychologists.

To avoid uncessary dreaming, it helps to understand life better somehow. Give it a try. And in addition, observe carefully recurrent dreams, as well as the serially progressive ones. They may illustrate progress or failure or deeper things to be faced in time [Cf. Acts 2:17].

"Will there be anyone to interpret dreams and visions reliably?" is another pertinent question. [A study of tongue-talkers and their interpreters]

If you interpret your dreams all right, it should help health in a holistic sense: being whole, not getting so easily tricked and psychosomatically disabled, not repressing a whole lot, seeing clearly and without gross distortions. Thus, there can be many benefits from treating your total self with very much respect.


If you carry too many groceries you feel weighed down, and those who get weighed down tend to feel defeated if it goes on for long, on and on.

The reason why one may carry groceries even beyond one's capacity, is a desire to win - win time is included. Winning often helps.

When it comes to dreaming and interpretations of them, we may bear these images in mind. You get weighed down and hear little because of it. Then, in dreams, when your body is relaxed, what we may call certain background messages pop up through the daytime filters. If you are receptive - it can be trained - you may find many messages in signals - messages that often are open-ended or not too apparent and easy to verify.

Interpret not beyond your capacity if you get a load of this kind to carry too. It is fit to relax in a good many cases nowadays. It is easy to tell it, and often more difficult to accomplish the good things.

○ Cayce on Dreaming

○ Philosopher Edgar Cayce


Rudolf Steiner on Dreaming

Rudolf Steiner is the founder of Waldorf edication. About 1000 Waldorf schools operate in about 60 countries.

Through dreams we perceive - but dimly and without firm definition - single fragments of our inner, organic conditions. Through dreamless sleep we come to know our organization in its totality, although dimly and obscurely. Thus we have already considered three stages of knowledge: dreamless sleep, dream-filled sleep, the waking state.

Then we come to the three higher forms of knowledge: Imagination, Inspiration, Intuition. These are the stages which lie above the waking consciousness. [More]

A dream ... is mostly connected with ideas [someone] had already acquired in his life, with reminiscences. These are however only the garments of what really lives in the dream or during sleep ... for in dreams is revealed what actually takes place in the soul during sleep ... (And the dream) is [also] related to the future ... the soul is a prophet during our sleep ... while we are asleep we do have to concern ourselves with the future. [More]

○ Rudolf Steiner according to The Skeptic's Dictionary


Bible Passages to Look Up

From the Old Testament

Genesis 20:3-6; Genesis 31:10-11; Genesis 31:24; Genesis 37:5-6, 8-10; Genesis 40:5, 8-9, 16; Genesis 41:5; Genesis 41:7-8, 11-25, :32; Genesis 42:9; Numbers 12:6; Judges 7:13, 15; 1 Kings 3:5, 15; Job 33:15; Dan 1:17; Dan 2:1-9, 16-30, 36; Dan 4:5-9, 18-19; Dan 5:12; Dan 7:1; Jeremias 29:8; Joel 2:28.

The last passage is considered important in reborn-sects. Compare Acts 2:17.

From the New Testament

Matthew 1:20; Matthew 2:12-13, 19, 22; Matthew 27:19; Acts 2:17.


What a Sceptic Thinks

There are many opinions on dreamwork. People to think along veins that fit in where they are. They find themselves helped by such conformism.

Similarly, most people on a farm may be "suspected" to hold views and notions that find it OK to keep animals tightly under control and use them. Other notions tend to leave the heads of those who need farms in order to live. It is much similarly in other fields and camps of men too. In some camps there are outlooks that support the livelihood of many who are involved there, especially if one's livelihood is seriously involved. It is often subsumed - it goes without saying.

Innocent persons may be unaware of the hidden background choir of concerns which regulates what is eventually accepted or called acceptable enough. It is fertile field of study. And give proper attention to what the sceptics think too. They are not fanatics unless they are fanatic sceptics -

If want to delve into various sides of an issue, see what scepticts think too, and early in the process. That could help, and also the insight that a sceptic may (or may) not be biased. [◦Link]

Be solid and preferably cogent. It pays in the end, hopefully, if not sooner . . .


Dream interpretations, dreams, dreaming, Literature  

Blass, Rachel B. The Meaning of the Dream in Psychoanalysis. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2002.

Boss, Medard. "I dreamt last night ... " Gardner. New York, 1977.

Bulkeley, Kelly. Dreaming in the World's Religions: A Comparative History. London: New York University Press, 2008.

Freud, Sigmund. Dream Analysis: Psychology for Beginners. New York: James A McCann, 1920.

Freud, Sigmund. The Interpretation of Dreams. 3rd ed. New York: MacMillan, 1913.

Hall, Calvin: The Meaning of Dreams. New ed. McGraw-Hill. New York, 1966.

Hall, James A. Jungian Dream Interpretation: A Handbook of Theory and Practice. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1983.

Hark, Helmut: Religiöse Traumsymbolik. Lang. Frankfurt am Main, 1980.

Hobson, John Allan. Dreaming: A Very Short Introduction. Paperback. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Jung, Carl Gustav. Dreams. Tr. R. F. C. Hull. Bollingen /Princeton University Press, 1974.

Jung, Carl Gustav. Memories, Dreams, Reflections. London: Fontana, 1995.

Krippner, Stanley, Fariba Bogzaran, and André Percia de Carvalho. Extraordinary Dreams and How to Work with Them. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2002.

Nell, Renée. The Use of Dreams in Couple Counseling: A Jungian Perspective. Toronto: Inner City Books, 2005.

Pick, Daniel, and Lyndal Roper, eds. Dreams and History: The Interpretation of Dreams from Ancient Greece to Modern Psychoanalysis. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge / Taylor and Francis, 2004.

Snowden, Ruth. Exploring Your Dreams: How to Use Dreams for Personal Growth and Creative Inspiration. Oxford: How To Books, 2011.

Taylor, Jeremy. Dream Work: Techniques for Discovering the Creative Power in Dreams. Ramsey, NJ: Paulist Press, 1983.

Ullman, Montague, and Nan Zimmerman. Working with Dreams. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Perigee, 1979.

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