“Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?” “The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are.”
Dreams and dreaming have always fascinated the lot of us, from the modern psychologist to the ancient “interpreters” of dreams (among groups called “wise men”). The biblical record is replete with references to dreams and dreaming, from the Genesis crescendo in Egypt (Chapters 37 – 50), which section forms the results of Joseph’s nocturnal insights.
From the Genesis “ dreamer” (his brothers were reported to have called him), to the warning the “other” Joseph supposedly received in Egypt, to return by a different route to his homeland, to those of other prophets, and most notably of Daniel and Revelation’s author, John, dream material seems to form extensive portions of the “canonical narrative.”
I believe that nearly the whole of the Bible’s record came into existence as an oral and written collection of inscripturated dreams, and I think I can give ample evidence from the writings themselves to prove this. These dreams were the dreams of pharaohs, of kings, of “prophets,” and less often, of priests.
They were later edited, trimmed, collated and reshaped to fit together more neatly, with some contemporary details added that were “generally known” about the primary actors in the narratives.
What is the point? The Bible actually creates what I call “Dream World,” a world “alternative” to the harsh realities of the ancient past. But its primary effect has been to lead us away from the real world, and the study and progress of the sciences and of its benefits to all.
The most noteworthy, and easy to recall dreams are of two kinds – Paradaisical dreams, and night terrors, like those Joseph and Daniel were supposedly called on to interpret. These kinds of awe-inspiring dreams make the world larger than life, where every event carries world-historical (and earth-shaking) importance of the “do-or-die” decision kind. This is just how the biblical narratives read.
The books of Daniel and Revelation TELL US plainly that their authors fell asleep and saw “night visions” or visions (dream-speak) to learn the material the reader then encounters; other places in the Bible, the dreams of pharaohs and kings are interpreted as VERY IMPORTANT and prophetic.
PLEASE NOTE that the specialized language the visionary-dream texts use – thought forms and idiomatic expressions dot the landscape of the Bible narratives in many places throughout. This shows a pervasive influence of dreams and dream material.
Dreams were considered extremely important by the ancients, and they largely contributed to the magicalistic environment of the ancient dream-world cultures.
Consider this possibility – my view – the whole of the Bible is either directly or indirectly the result of the primary influence of dream material – oral and written traditions built upon the dreams of kings and prophets – and we built an entire civilization upon this dreamscape fiction as “the Word of God” – and never noticed the clear and distinct signs that show us the Bible as DreamWorld.
I shall blog more upon this topic when convenient.