Over the last few weeks I’ve had some interesting and often instructive dreams. Last night I’d a dream within a dream.
In my dream’s dream I saw a portal through which appeared hieroglyphics of some kind. As I looked I became aware that the mysterious markings were from outside the normal human sphere and belonged to a higher level of beings.
I then awoke from the ‘dream within a dream’ only to find myself relating it to an unknown stranger who stood beside me, gaining an interpretation of the unknown text as I spoke.
Suddenly, I awoke from this ‘shell’ dream only to find myself lying in the silent darkness beside my soundly asleep wife, Zan.
I’ve meditated on this dream today and have a strong sense that I’m to repost my ‘Dream On’ blog from some time back to encourage others to take their dreams seriously.
I’m also willing to interpret any dreams sent to me, especially repetitive dreams or particularly striking dreams that you feel contain a spiritual/psychological message.
Please forward any puzzling dreams to me at email@example.com and I’ll see if Spirit reveals an interpretation that may help you.
Be assured that I don’t charge and never will for this service as I believe that as I’ve freely received so I’m to freely give. Your dream will not be published in any form and any correspondence regarding it will be held in total confidence.
The interpretation of dreams is, I believe, nothing ‘spooky’ but an often neglected aspect of the spirituality of Yeshua, birthed in the Jewish tradition.
‘ In the dream, in a night vision, when deep sleep falls upon men, in slumberings upon one’s bed; then He opens mankind’s ears and seals their instruction….. ‘
Job 33 v 15-16
In the last post we looked at the whole idea of visions and their place in the spiritual walk, if any! In today’s post I want to examine the place of dreams in such a journey.
I’d been a follower of Yeshua for over 40 years before anyone pointed out this strange quote from the Jewish book of Job. I wonder why? I may be wrong but one possible reason may be its suggestion that Divine communication isn’t dependent on a sermon or homily from a professional preacher. It may be too dangerous for people to begin to hear God’s voice for themselves!
Dreams in ancient societies were always understood to be a means of communication from the gods – today many such native Peoples still hold to that premise. We in the West after the arrival of the 20th century god ‘psychology’ and its cohort neuro- sciencehave concluded that the ancient practice of interpreting dreams as Divine messages was no more than superstition. Yet the facts are that scientists still can’t fully explain the dream phenomenon – we just believe they can.
As with visions most Western religious adherents are deeply suspicious of anything outside an intellectual framework of faith. Letting go of the conscious mind’s control is seen as a no-no! You never know what could happen? We all hear horror stories of folk who think they’re Napoleon,Joan of Arc or even more terrible, Jesus Christ Himself.We shy away from our subconscious minds believing that if we stuff our heads full of lots of good Bible teaching then God should be able to get through to us if He wants.
Before we progress let me say that I believe the Divine can communicate through the Bible or a sermon based on the Bible if He so chooses.So again, my Evangelical friends can sleep easily in their beds! Sorry, maybe that’s the wrong thing to say as we’re about to tackle dreams as Divine communication.
Let’s do a question and answer thing again and see if it proves beneficial.
Can dreams be a Scriptural form of Divine communication?
Yes. See the above quote from poor old Job and the numerous dreams within both Jewish and Christian Scriptures. You’ll be surprised at how many dreams are hidden in there that we just overlook or spiritualize away, Jacob’s angelic ladder being one of the most famous. Young Joseph rose to political power due to his God-given ability to interpret Pharoah’s nightmares.So too with Daniel etc.
But surely the New Testament is different?
No. Many of the leading characters had dreams, interpreting them as Divine communication. Mary’s future husband Joseph, Pilate’s wife and the mystically inclined Saint Paul. There are others.
Are all dreams Divine messages?
Personally I don’t think so. Scientists claim that dreams are just the brain’s activity of safely filing away the days new information. I can live with that for some dreams, especially after I’ve eaten a late night cheesy pizza!
What sets apart a dream with a message?
In my experience I often wake up from these ones with a start.They are easy to recall and seem to have made their way into the conscious mind.
What is the source of such messages?
I believe there are two sources – our Higher Self/ ‘I’ and Divine Spirit.
Can you clarify these two sources?
Often we believe that we consist only of our conscious self. In my experience this conscious self can suppress information coming from the subconscious whether Higher or Lower.A dream soured here is trying to get an important message across to me that will adjust my inner life. It may be a warning that my health is suffering due to suppressed emotion or memories. My primal wounding as a response to trauma is setting this dream warning system off so I can take action. I view these dreams as a kind of internal sprinkler system trying to put out the hidden fires that lie deep within.Nightmares tend to originate in the Lower subconscious whereas more positive and life enhancing dreams tend to come from the Higher Subconscious.This area may be close to the religious terms soul or spirit – the area of Self that borders with the Divine.
Other dreams definitely seem to come from the Divine Spirit, flowing through our Higher subconscious but originating from an outside Intelligence that we call God or Holy Spirit.
How can one tell that it’s a Divine message rather than an internal psyche message?
Both are important to respond to but the Divine message will usually have a future ‘vision’ element to it Divinely sourced dreams are usually life enhancing without any hint of fear. Strangely they also tend to be in colour. It’s like God can’t work with the shadowy world of our internal grey dreams and turns up the coloured pixels to make the dream particularly alive and memorable. Each person may be different but those dreams I’ve interpreted for others that seem to be Divine in origin usually are in glorious Technicolor!
Why does God have to send me a dream?
The Divine loves to communicate with us, not just on Sundays but at all times. What stops this flow of communication is the blockage mechanism of the conscious mind. It has an important role to play in helping us live in the ‘real’ world but tries to dominate our Being by shutting out messages sent via our Higher consciousness. Mystics, I believe, are those who’ve been able to place the conscious mind in its proper place and let other forms of communication flow.
If the Spirit can’t get through to us by more conscious means then out of love will visit us when the defensive shield of our conscious mind is in neutral i.e. when we’re asleep. His goal as is suggested by Job is to open our ears, in other words to listen. If we don’t listen to the Voice in our waking hours then He will communicate visually and audibly in a dream clip.
What should I do with a dream upon waking?
If you can recall anything from the dream then write it down in a dream journal. More of the dream may reveal itself to the conscious mind later in the day if you use your waking memories as a ‘handle’ on the dream. Ponder over it and don’t be embarrassed or ashamed to do so. You’re not being weird but trying to ‘get the message’ that your psyche or the Spirit is trying to deliver to you. It will enrich your life and maybe even change it.
How do I interpret my dream? Do I need to buy a dream interpretation book? Do I need someone else to interpret it for me?
Dreams are deeply personal things but like all pictorial revelation will usually be symbolic in nature. I find the dream interpretation books a big turn off – symbols appear to mean different things to different authors? How confusing is that! If you are just beginning to interpret your dreams, as with visions, ask the Spirit for the interpretation. Be patient and the meaning of the main players/events within the dream will pop into your conscious mind.
Another tip is to steep yourself in the imagery of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures. If you’ve a dream in which you’re riding a horse can Scripture imagery help you out? Yes! Being on horseback is symbolic of holding authority. The Horsemen in the Revelation of John for example were sent out with God’s authority to release certain events on Earth. God may be encouraging you to take authority indeed to let Him supply you with a Divine authority in a situation. Kings rode horses, foot-soldiers had to walk!
If you don’t feel comfortable interpreting your own dreams, try to find a spiritual friend who has some experience of revelatory gifts. He or she may be able to point you in the right direction but remember the dream is yours and you don’t require a guru to reveal the Divine mind. Perhaps talk the dream over with a soul mate – if they think your interpretation is way out then just be cautious. They may be correct.
What will be the outcome of the interpretation?
Like visions dreams are sent for a reason.
They may point out present or approaching danger. By the way if you die in a dream don’t panic – it usually represents the death of a phase in you life or a relationship that will end.
They may be sent for encouragement to show you that you are on the right track. To empower you and see yourself in a new way. If you see yourself flying in a dream it may mean that you have spiritual perception and can hear the Divine voice, perhaps even have revelatory gifting for the service of others.
Job suggests that dreams can give sealed up instruction. Such sealed instructions may suggest a future purpose when the dream will be applicable. The unsealing may refer to the interpretation process that may take a little time, become clearer at future date.
What about repetitive dreams?
These would appear to be dreams of great depth that reveal a lesson that we find it difficult to learn or absorb into our daily lives. I tend to think that they originate in our own subconsciousness whether Higher or Lower, and deal with strong Primal Wounding issues. That’s just my subjective hunch. The repetition is a means of progressively healing us from such wounds or a sign that we may need further help by a trained therapist that one can trust.
Can you relate a dream?
In my book The Prodigal Prophet I relate the following dream that proved extremely powerful in a time of confusion and turmoil. It seems to be coming to fruition even as I blog and write!
In it I was sitting in my parked car in Priory Lane, a street near my childhood home. As I sat there with the window rolled down a substitute history teacher from my old school approached me. He politely asked what I was going to do, now that I’d retired from the teaching profession.
I confidently replied, “I’m going to speak to people about the Lord.” I was as surprised by my reply in the dream as my ex- colleague. Being the disillusioned son of a retired clergyman he was a card-carrying atheist and a very cynical one at that.
At that point in the dream a police patrol car pulled up behind me and parked. I was sure they were coming to speak to me but instead the two officers crossed the street and entered a house.
I suddenly looked down at my car clock and noticed it was 9.10 a.m. I apologized to my teacher friend saying I’d have to leave as I was late. Starting the car I quickly drove off.
As I lay in the stillness of the night the interpretation slowly came to me point by point. The car was my life’s purpose. At present I seemed to be going nowhere. I was resting close by, but not in, the religious world as represented by the close vicinity of Ballybrigg Priory.
My verbal response to the teacher’s question was my prophetic call to speak God’s words into people’s lives. I was replying to a history teacher’s question so my future purpose would be bound up with my own personal history.
The policemen represented two of the authority figures that I’d experienced as model obstacles; they would no longer bother me and be the focus of my life.
The clock reading was highly significant. 9.10 a.m. was the end time each morning of the pastoral period in school. During this fifteen minute period I’d be bombarded with the pastoral problems of both pupils and staff. This problem solving pastoral life within both the educational and religious worlds was now over.
Starting the car and heading off represented a new direction and purpose in my life that would become clearer in time.
My dream touched me deeply. Was Divine Love so detailed? Was it trying to reach others through dreams as they slept? Could the Divine encourage, strengthen and sometimes warn us through dreams?