FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION ABOUT DREAMS, VISIONS, AND CHRISTIANITY
WHAT ARE DREAMS?
Dreams are a vestige of a form of consciousness that human beings had before the Fall. Since the Fall, this ancient form of consciousness has been gradually supplanted by individuated waking consciousness, i.e. sensory based consciousness. Said another way, before the Fall human consciousness was an inseparable part of the consciousness of God; since the Fall we have developed our own individual consciousness. Dreams remain as a faint reminder of our spiritual heritage and our direct connection to God.
WHY DO HUMANS DREAM?
Human beings dream because when we sleep we open to the spiritual planes, and it is here where we have experiences that are ‘in the spirit’. (cf. Romans 8:9; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 6:18; Revelation 4:2 and 17:3) Today, it is fairly common for people to imagine that human life unfolds exclusively within material reality. However, this is not so. We are primarily spiritual beings and we remain connected to the spiritual realms via our soul and our spirit. At night, we fall asleep to the material world and we awaken to the spiritual planes, and it is on these planes that the soul and spirit become particularly active. Dreams are pictographic representations of our experiences while we are in the spirit.
WHY DESIGNATE DREAMS AS CHRISTIAN?
Historically, dreams and visions have been a central and fundamental feature of the Judaeo-Christian tradition. What were true human experiences in the Old and New Testaments are still true today. The Christ is the Lord of the heavenly forces on the earth (“. . . I am the way, and the truth, and the life . . .” John 14:6) and a spark of His light resides within every Christian. It is from this place that he illuminates the dark recesses of our consciousness. As a Christian your sleeping dreams are infused with His light, love, and wisdom—this is what makes dreams fundamentally Christian.
WHY ARE DREAMS RELEVANT TO MY LIFE?
Every dream is a moral evaluation that contrasts the perfection contained in the Lord’s teaching with the reality of the dreamer’s day-to-day life. This evaluation seeks to guide the development of human consciousness toward a more prefect alignment with the God. If His instruction is important to you, then these nighttime communications are highly relevant, for it is here that you will learn, not from other human beings, but from God.
WHAT IF I DO NOT BELIEVE IN MY DREAMS?
Dreams are spiritual experiences. To deny the relevance of dreams is to deny human spirituality. A categorical disbelief of dreams creates many impediments to the development of the soul and spirit. If this denial is sustained for longer periods of time it can introduce an increasing darkness to the soul, which can eventually lead to expulsion to the outer darkness. (cf. Matthew 22:13)
WHY SHOULD I WORK WITH MY DREAMS?
All wisdom that is necessary for you to perfect your life before the Lord comes to you in your sleeping dreams. (cf. 1 John 2:27) Dreams are an accurate reflection of the dreamer’s state of mind and state of consciousness within a context of Christian teachings. This reflection is fundamentally moral in nature, and in this context there is no better source of feedback related to how we, as Christians, are fulfilling our responsibilities and living our lives in the material world. The Holy Scriptures teach us that we are on earth to learn to align our will with the will of the God (“Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10), and dreams are a nightly assessment of our successes and our failures as we strive to align ourselves more perfectly with the Lord.
WHAT RESULTS CAN I EXPECT?
For those sincere Christians who work hard, there will be a closer alignment between your individual will and the will of God. The Christ and his heavenly hosts will work with you to reveal the ‘mysteries’ (cf. Ephesians 1:9, 3:3) of God’s will as it relates to the challenges and opportunities in your life.
SHOULD I USE MY DREAMS AS A BASIS FOR IMPORTANT LIFE DECISIONS?
At Christian Dream Interpretation (CDI) we urge everyone to exercise great caution when applying the messages received in dreams to your daytime life. In the early stages of your work in this area we suggest that you never base a significant life decision on a dream or even a series of dreams. Dreams can be very deceptive, and in the absence of extensive experience in this area, in the absence of knowing the difference between divine and demonic dreams, it is best not to place too much trust in them. As you gain experience and your confidence grows then you can, little-by-little, and with great care, more fully incorporate your nighttime instruction into your waking life. In general terms, our advice is that everyone who aspires to work with their dreams should: 1) assume that every dream is influenced by, or originates with, the adversarial powers; 2) not attempt their own interpretations; 3) make no decision based on a specific dream, no matter how persuasive that dream might be (unless the situation can be characterized as an emergency involving, for example, natural disasters and life and death situations), and 4) seek competent professional dream interpreter that understands the dynamics of the spiritual planes and the ways in which the forces of light and the forces of darkness express themselves in dreams.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DREAM AND A VISION?
In general terms, dreams occur when the consciousness mind is asleep, that is, when the mind is not aware of sensory experience at the material level of life; visions occur when the conscious mind is awake to sensory experience. Many traditions do not have a clear line of demarcation between a dream and a vision, and often they are understood to be the same thing. In the Old Testament, for example, they are referred to as dream visions or visions in the night.
WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF RECURRING DREAMS?
All true dreams (those from the Lord) are a form of moral, practical, and spiritual instruction. Sometimes it happens that a dreamer does not receive the Lord’s instruction. If an issue is important, the message will be repeated in the hopes that the dreamer will come to recognize significance of the instruction. Thus, we can say that recurring dreams occur because the individual has not gotten the message. When the message is received and acted upon then the recurring dream will stop.
ARE ALL DREAMS MEANINGFUL?
Yes and no. Yes, in that every dream reveals something about the dreamer’s state of consciousness. No, in that most dreams are a low-level form of processing that is related to day-to-day activities, events, and personalities, and often include expressions of anxiety, fear, and negative emotions. There is truth in these dreams but it is almost always shrouded by chaos, confusion, ignorance and darkness. A competent dream interpreter will be able to discern some points of instruction in these dreams but the untrained eye will see nothing but the outward chaos and confusion. Most of the time this type of dreams does not warrant interpretation, however, there are instances when they can be quite revealing. Dreams of a deeper soul nature have a number of distinguishing features, one of which is that they create a lasting impression. Any dream that is distinctive with its clarity and intensity, with strong emotions, with a powerful narrative is very likely to be of greater significance. If a dream leaves an impression that plays upon your mind for days afterward then it is very likely to be a more meaningful dream experience. These are the dreams that ought to be interpreted.
IS THERE SUCH A THING AS PRECOGNITIVE DREAMS?
Yes, but for most people they are unusual, if not rare. In Christian terminology, what modern psychology calls precognitive dreams is termed a prophetic dream. There are many examples of these in the Holy Scriptures. As a rule, those individuals who receive a prophetic level of guidance from the Lord are the Sages and Prophets, highly evolved individuals who have strong spiritual disciplines and a deep devotion to the Lord. For the average dreamer prophetic dreams usually come as warnings about emergencies or life threatening situations. They are therefore distinguished by their intensity and immediacy. By all means pay attention to these dreams, heed their warning and keep yourself and your family safe.
WHAT IS THE RELEVANCE OF EMOTIONS IN MY DREAMS?
Emotions and feelings are very important features of any dream and they should be carefully noted when they occur. The more intense emotions, especially negative ones, arise from the deeper recesses of the dreamer’s sub-conscious mind and express qualities that are in some way unresolved. The very fact that these feelings have arisen in a dream suggests that there is an opportunity to address these complexes during waking consciousness.
DOES SATAN APPEAR IN OUR DREAMS?
Yes. At normal levels of human consciousness most of our dreams are infused with the presence of the adversarial powers (Satan, Lucifer, and their helpers). Just as the Lord has hosts of angels supporting his work, Satan and Lucifer have a legions of unclean and evil spirits supporting them (“ . . . the devil and his angels . . . “ Matthew 25:41) and these forces are a common presence in the dreams of modern man.
HOW CAN WE TELL IF OUR DREAMS ARE FROM GOD OR FROM THE ADVERSARIAL POWERS?
How to distinguish true dreams (from God) and false dreams (from the adversarial powers) is the single greatest challenge found in the art of dream interpretation. There is no quick and easy formula as we seek to distinguish between the forces of light and the forces of darkness as they appear in our dreams, although every dream contains hints. The difficulty arises because the forces of darkness are exceedingly clever at deception and manipulation. To know what to look for, to be able to spot the manipulations and deceptions that come to us from the forces of darkness is an essential skill for any dream interpreter.
SOME CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN LEADERS SAY THAT GOD NO LONGER SPEAKS TO HUMANS THROUGH DREAMS. IS THIS TRUE?
No. While not all dreams are from God some of them are and this is true for every dreaming Christian. If anyone says that God no longer speaks to them it is because they have lost their ability to listen.
WHY HAVE DREAMS AND VISIONS BEEN IGNORED AND OFTEN SUPPRESSED BY ORGANIZED RELIGION?
Because of ignorance, superstition and a desire to control the minds of those who believe.
DO ALL PEOPLE DREAM?
Almost all people dream every night, although these dreams are not always remembered.
DO ALL PEOPLE DREAM IN COLOR?
No. Many people often, sometimes always, dream in black and white.
IS IT NORMAL TO HAVE NIGHTMARES?
No. Even though nightmares are quite common in the chaos and confusion of the modern world they are fundamentally an aberration. Nightmares indicate that there is a significant degree of disturbance in the consciousness of the dreamer.
WHAT IS ‘LUCID’ DREAMING?
This is a term developed within the confines of modern psychology and it refers to a condition characterized by an awareness of dreaming while actually dreaming, i.e. during a dream the dreamer is aware of the fact that they are dreaming. To have conscious awareness while you are dreaming is a good thing.
ARE DREAM FRAGMENTS IMPORTANT?
Any feature, aspect or fragment of a dream that is recalled is important, if only because that part had sufficient power to push its way into the conscious mind and then stay there long enough for it to be remembered. These should be recorded in your dream journal as with any dream experience.
HOW DO I IMPROVE MY DREAM RECALL?
The most important thing to is to keep a dream journal. Record your dreams as soon as you can after waking, even if it is only a brief note or two. Later, when you have more time you can use your notes as a basis for recording your dream more fully. Daily practice is the secret to success.
SHOULD I INTERPRET MY OWN DREAMS?
No. It is unwise to attempt to interpret your own dreams. You are inherently biased and you will make faulty projections and impose distortions onto your dream experiences, plus, you will very likely miss that which is obvious. There is a maxim about lawyers that is instructive here: a lawyer who represents himself in court has a fool for a client. This rule applies to anyone who attempts to interpret their own dreams.
SHOULD I JOIN A DREAM GROUP?
No. Sadly, most of the work done in dream groups is little more than guesswork based on projected fantasies, wishes and desires. In the main, these groups are for new age dilettantes and will be of little or no value to anyone who is seriously interested in working with their dreams.
ARE DREAM DICTIONARIES WORTHWHILE?
No. If you have a dream dictionary, throw it away! Likewise avoid those that are on-line. Christian Dream Interpretation has not seen one dream dictionary that is any good; all are misleading and all are hopelessly obsolete. If they are used in any manner they will do far more harm than good.
IS A DREAM, AS SOME SUGGEST, TOTALLY A CREATION OF MY OWN MIND?
Dreaming takes place within human consciousness; understand that human consciousness is not confined to the brain, but extends to the realm of body, soul and spirit. The mind is a faculty or a function within the consciousness of an individual. Thus, a dream transpires within your consciousness and it is your mind that perceives it. Please understand this distinction clearly: a dream occurs within consciousness, and it is the mind that apprehends the dream.
DO DREAMS HAVE MULTIPLE MEANINGS?
Most dreams have a single purpose or a single point of instruction. It is our experience that the simplest interpretation is likely to be the most correct. Even in relation to dreams the modern understanding of Occam’s Razor holds true: "the simplest explanation is the one most likely to be correct." Christian Dream Interpretation suggests that you not burden your dreams with elaborate, convoluted, or unnecessary interpretations as this is likely to add confusion to what is often a perplexing situation.
IS DAYDREAMING THE SAME THING AS HAVING A VISION?
No. Daydreaming is an activity of a lazy, bored, or disturbed mind.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN I DON’T DREAM?
Nearly everyone dreams every night, although a large number of individuals frequently do not remember their dreams. The two most common reasons for poor dream recall is low vitality and a dull mind. Successful dream work requires high levels of energy and mental clarity.
ARE THERE ANY CONTEMPORARY BOOKS ON DREAMS THAT ARE WORTHWHILE?
Yes, there are a few. Please see our bibliography for some suggestions.
WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM USING THIS WEBSITE?
Christian Dream Interpretation is for those Christians who desire to more fully experience the inner presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. The only prerequisite is that you are a sincere Christian who is willing to keep a dream journal.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I RELY ON CDI’s DREAM INTERPRETATIONS?
Any interpretation of a dream needs to be considered carefully before it is understood to be an accurate reflection of the dreamer’s state of consciousness. The interpretation must feel right to the dreamer, it has to fit within their understanding of who they are. If the dream interpretation does not feel right, if it doesn’t fit the dreamer, then there is a good chance that the interpreter has missed significant features and therefore the interpretation will be either inadequate or incorrect. Christian Dream Interpretation does not claim to know all that your dreams means to you. Only you can fully appreciate the relevance that your dreams have in your life. CDI does understand dreams and dreaming, and can offer you some insight and some suggestions about how to understand your dream experiences. Once we offer our insights and make our suggestions it is up to you to see if our assessment fits your life circumstance.
WHAT IS CHRISTIAN DREAM INTERPRETATION?
Christian Dream Interpretation is a non-profit educational organization that teaches interested individuals how to deepen their Christian faith and develop a more comprehensive understanding of the ways that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and God the Father manifest in our lives. We operate this website, and offer individual instruction, as well as workshops, classes and seminars.