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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Dreams: A purely mental/emotional experience or a real interaction with the supernatural?

From Free Extras

After my Dad died when I was fifteen, I started having the most vivid dreams about him.
In those dreams we were always conversing about why he had died, and he would always act like he either didn't know he had passed or tried to convince me that he hadn't died. He always took me into his granny flat and spoke to me there in the dream. I would ask him questions and he would answer in great detail, without admitting he was dead.
After I awoke I always wondered - was that me just going through a process of emotional catharsis or were we actually speaking in some other place outside time?
When I was seven, I had a dream that we were searching a haunted house for the creature that lurked within it. I looked under a chair. This cat like beast flung the chair over and with it's talon forced into my back holding me down said "If you come looking for me, I will do this too you every week of your life boy". I awoke, curled backwards feeling the talon still stuck in my back. It is as vivid now as it was thirty one years ago.
Some people never claim to remember their dreams. Others live there lives as if their dreams guided them. Sometimes they are seen as omens, other times as an emotional response to anxiety and fear.
My mother in law has dreams of disasters, which then seemingly come true within 24 hours. It is hard to write off easily when you dream of a plane crash and it happens as you dreamed the next day.
In the Bible, dreams are taken seriously. In the old testament the dreams of Pharaoah and Nebuchanezzar were interpreted correctly by Joseph and Daniel and they implicated the outcomes for the greatest nations on earth at the time. Daniel himself had dreams that were of future kingdoms and empires. In the new testament Joseph was informed in a dream to marry Mary and also to flee from King Herod. These are quite directive dreams, which give instruction on which way to go and what to do - these dreams were to achieve outcomes that God was directing or aware of. 
I know of Muslims who dream of Jesus. Of whole tribes in far away lands who informed the missionaries when they arrived that they had been dreaming about Jesus for many years. In one dream, Jesus appeared as a giant Manta Ray that covered the whole sky and then revealed itself to be the Lord Himself. He speaks to people in ways they understand. 
In many ways, dreams are a time of connecting to a deeper realm, either within ourselves or perhaps with beings that are supernatural. Often when a house is haunted or experiencing strange and fearful activity, people have horrific dreams and night terrors. When I slept in a room with the Churinga Stone of the Aboriginal People of Bowen Mt (prior to knowing what it was) I had awful dreams about Aboriginal witchdoctors and Doolagahls (Yowies)..
There are hundreds of books on this subject, including guides to lucid dreaming (where you interact within the dream of your own free will) so it's a subject of incredible interest and appeal to people.
I have noticed when I dream that when the dream is in "Blue Ray DVD quality" it tends to be directive, as if it is not emanating from my subconscious but is being put there. I qualify that by saying these dreams often have a narrative quality to them where I am being instructed in some way or given information. Other dreams, where you can't run, can't punch, are falling, can see people about to be attacked by something but can't do anything, are in public naked, are about to sit an old exam etc etc - these tend to be built more around periods of stress and anxiety and are more "VHS quality" and don't seem to be directive in any way.
Then there are the "ex girlfriend dreams, ex job dreams, old house dreams" where you seem to be resolving an issue from the past. Have you ever had a dream where you go "Why am I going out with my ex girlfriend when I am now happily married" or "Why am I at the old job I hated when I have a job I now love"? Can you relate to that!! You are recapitulating to a set of circumstances where you may have felt trapped or perhaps you were wronged or wronged someone, only to come out released at the end to your new life.
Or sometimes, like in the dream where the demon cat's talon was tangibly shoved in my back, perhaps the source is not God or emotions, but possibly an unclean spirit.
On the day of Pentecost in the book of Acts in the New Testament, the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples of Jesus. They spoke in strange tongues that were understood by people who were in Jerusalem from all over the known world. And in his address to the crowd, St Peter quotes directly from the book of Joel and he states in part "....Your young men will see visions and your old men will dream dreams..". Visions and dreams have been part of Judeo-Christian stories for millennia and in all religions and cultures.
Most houses have a bible in them, whether you are a Christian or not. I'd encourage you to grab it and start making notes on the dreams in it, or just google 'dreams in the bible' and look at how many times dreams were directive, corrective, intructive or otherwise in that record of human-divine interaction.
Get a journal and start to make notes on your own dreams. Which ones do you class as "Inspired" and which ones do you class as "reactive" to life, love and labour. Pray and ask God to speak to you through dreams or to bring peace to the dreams you are having that are disturbing. It's just another way God has given us to process our lives and sometimes, to hear from Him.
God bless you this week, Pastor Baz.

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