Happy Are the Righteous to Whom God Reveals His Secrets in Dreams

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1 Corinthians 16

13 Keep alert. Be firm in your faith. Stay brave and strong. 14 Show love in everything you do.

Lamentations 1

21 Everyone heard my groaning,
    but no one offered comfort.
My enemies know of the trouble
that you have brought on me,
    and it makes them glad.
Hurry and punish them,
    as you have promised.

Dreams

Between this world and the next is the world of dreams. Not all dreams are spiritual, but some definitely are, and they are often the most vivid and memorable. During such a dream, the spirit leaves the body for a time and mounts up into the spirit world, where it experiences various phenomena. some of these are of God and convey meaningful messages. other dreams are encounters with low or evil spirits; these include nightmares, sexual dreams and the like. these passages describe the spiritual process of dreaming and give instructions on how to discern whether a dream is from God. through a dream God can reveal life-changing information and guidance, as he did to Jacob and Joseph in the bible. thus, paying attention to significant dreams is an important discipline of the religious life.

Jacob… came to a certain place, and stayed there
that night, because the sun had set. Taking one
of the stones of the place, he put it under his
head and lay down in that place to sleep. And
he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the
earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and
behold, the angels of God were ascending and
descending on it! And behold, the l ord stood
above it and said, “I am the l ord , the God of
Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the
land on which you lie I will give to you and to
your descendants… Behold, I am with you and
will keep you wherever you go, and will bring
you back to this land; for I will not leave you
until I have done that of which I have spoken
to you.” Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and
said, “Surely the l ord is in this place; and I did
not know it.”
Genesis 28.10-16

When a man lies down in bed, his soul leaves
him and begins to mount on high, leaving with
the body only the impression of a receptacle
which contains the heartbeat. The rest of it tries
to soar from grade to grade, and in doing so it
encounters certain bright but unclean essences.
If the soul is pure and has not defiled itself by
day, it rises above them, but if not, it becomes
defiled among them and cleaves to them and
does not rise any further. There they show it
certain things which are going to happen in
the near future, and sometimes they delude her
and show it false things. Thus it goes about the
whole night until the man wakes up, when it
returns to its place.
Happy are the righteous to whom God
reveals His secrets in dreams, so that they may
be on their guard against sin! Woe to the sinners
who defile their bodies and their souls! As for
those who have not defiled themselves during
the day, when they fall asleep at night their souls
begin to ascend, and first enter those grades
which we have mentioned, but they do not
cleave to them and continue to mount further.
The soul thus privileged to rise finally appears
before the gate of the celestial palace, and
yearns with all its might to behold the beauty
of the King and to visit His sanctuary… Thus
it is written, “With my soul have I desired Thee
in the night (Isaiah 26:9),” to pursue after Thee
and not to be enticed away after false powers.
Zohar 1.83a (Judaism)

God takes the souls of men at death; and those
that die not He takes during their sleep. Those
on whom He has passed the decree of death He
keeps back, but the rest He returns to their bod-
ies for a term appointed. Verily in this are signs
for those who reflect.
Qur’an 39.42

While one is in the dream state, the golden,
self-luminous being, the Self within, makes the
body to sleep, though He Himself remains for-
ever awake and watches by his own light the
impressions of deeds that have been left upon
the mind. Thereafter, associating Himself again
with the consciousness of the sense organs, the
Self causes the body to awake.

While one is in the dream state, the golden, self-
luminous being, the Self within, the Immortal
One, keeps alive the house of flesh with the help
of the vital force, but at the same time walks
out of this house. The Eternal goes wherever He
desires.

The self-luminous being assumes manifold
forms, high and low, in the world of dreams. He
may seem to be enjoying the pleasure of love,
or laughing with friends, or looking at terrifying
sights. Everyone is aware of the experiences; no
one sees the Experiencer.

Some say that dreaming is but another form
of waking, for what a man experiences while
awake he experiences again in his dreams. Be
that as it may, the Self, in dreams, shines by Its
own light…

The Self, having in dreams enjoyed the pleasures
of sense, gone hither and thither, experienced
good and evil, hastens back to the state of
waking from which he started.
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.3.11-16 (Hinduism)

Once upon a time, Chuang Tzu dreamed that
he was a butterfly, a butterfly fluttering about,
enjoying itself. It did not know that it was
Chuang Tzu. Suddenly he awoke with a start
and he was Chuang Tzu again. But he did not
know whether he was Chuang Tzu who had
dreamed that he was a butterfly, or whether he
was a butterfly dreaming that he was Chuang
Tzu. Between Chuang Tzu and the butterfly
there must be some distinction. This is what is
called the transformation of things.
Chuang Tzu 2 (Taoism)

If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord
make myself known to him in a vision, I speak
with him in a dream.
Numbers 12.6-7

God’s messenger said, “A believer’s vision is a
forty-sixth part of prophecy, and what pertains
to prophecy cannot be false.” He held that
visions were of three types: ideas which come
from within, terrifying dreams caused by the
devil, and good news from God; so when one
sees anything he dislikes he should not tell it to
anyone, but should get up and pray.
Hadith of Bukhari and Muslim (Islam)

The vision flutters over a man as long as it is not
interpreted, but when it is interpreted it settles.
Tell it only to one who loves him or one who has
judgment.
Hadith of Abu Dawud (Islam)

Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream,
and there is no one who can interpret it; and
I have heard it said of you that when you hear
a dream you can interpret it.” Joseph answered
Pharaoh, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh
a favorable answer.” Then Pharaoh said to
Joseph, “Behold, in my dream I was standing
on the banks of the Nile; and seven cows, fat
and sleek, came up out of the Nile and fed in
the reed grass; and seven other cows came up
after them, poor and very gaunt and thin, such
as I had never seen in all the land of Egypt. And
the thin and gaunt cows ate up the first seven
fat cows, but when they had eaten them no one
would have known that they had eaten them,
for they were still as gaunt as at the beginning.
Then I awoke. I also saw in my dream seven ears
growing on one stalk, full and good; and seven
ears, withered, thin, and blighted by the east
wind, sprouted after them, and the thin ears
swallowed up the seven good ears. And I told
it to the magicians, but there was no one who
could explain it to me.”
Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dream
of Pharaoh is one; God has revealed to Pharaoh
what he is about to do. The seven good cows are
seven years, and the seven good ears are seven
years; the dream is one. The seven lean and
gaunt cows that came up after them are seven
years, and the seven empty ears blighted by the
east wind are also seven years of famine. It is
as I told Pharaoh, God has shown to Pharaoh
what he is about to do. There will come seven
years of great plenty throughout all the land of
Egypt, but after them there will arise seven years
of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten
in the land of Egypt; the famine will consume
the land, and the plenty will be unknown in the
land by reason of that famine which will follow,
for it will be very grievous. And the doubling of
Pharaoh’s dream means that the thing is fixed by
God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
Genesis 41.15-32

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