Thursday, April 30, 2020

Dream, Dream, Dream

Marc Chagall (Russia, 1887-France, 1985). The Dream of Jacob ...

The Dream of Jacob -- Marc Chagall

When we do our morning "how was your night?"  check-in each day we invariably agree that the dreams were constant, yet we can't remember what they were about, for the most part. We are both aware of our dreams (some people aren't) but during the pandemic they have really ramped up for both of us. 

Lo and behold, this is a common pandemic thing, Google the subject and you'll discover that lots of major news sources have published pieces on the whys and wherefores of dreaming during a time of uncertainty and anxiety. I heard a Queen's University professor of psychology  speaking about what's up with the dreams on CBC radio recently. 

Why not interview some theologians and scriptural scholars as well?  Dreams figure prominently in the bible, and often they mark significant shifts in circumstances and perception for individuals and peoples as God breaks into the consciousness of the dreamer. Joseph was a go-to dream guy in Egypt and rose to power and prominence as a result. Jacob fled for his life, only to find a new purpose through his dreams. These dreams are not only vivid, they invite the dreamer into a trans-rational which is real, and life-changing.Often it's unclear whether what is unfolding is a dream, or a trance, or a vision. 

In the New Testament Joseph, the father of Jesus, is instructed to take Mary as his wife in one dream, to flee to Egypt in another, then eventually return to Israel in yet another. In the book of Acts the disciple Peter claims that in a new age of the Risen Christ young people will dream dreams. Later Peter enters into a trance while praying (Acts 10) where he see "unclean" creatures descending from heaven and as a result he changes his perception of who may receive the Good News of Jesus, the Christ.                                                                                  Peter's vision of a sheet with animals Domenico Fetti (1619)                                                                                                                                                 
 Do our dreams actually mean something? Could God be speaking to us through our dreams? While the notion of a mystical dream state appeals to me I've never had a dream that I felt altered my life's path. I could have used some dreamy direction at certain key moments, but I'll never say never!

What's happening for you these days? Are you dreaming more, and are you remembering those dreams? Perhaps the Everly Brothers have an answer.

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