The Dream as a Literary Device
The Dream – a Historical Review
1. The Ancient World:
The Native Americans from the North to the South
2. In Greek Philosophy:
3. Old testament and Judaism
Abimelech's Dream, Genesis 20
The first dream of Jacob, Genesis 28
The second dream of Jacob, Genesis 31
Joseph's dreams. Genesis 36
The dreams of the chief baker and the chief butler, Genesis 40
Pharaoh dreams. Genesis 41
Gideon's dream, Judges 7
King Solomon's dream, 1 Kings 3
6. Modern Psychology:
The Dream and its Interpretation - 3 approaches
1. The Scientific – Physiological approach
2. The Psychological approach
3. The Metaphysical – Para psychological approach
a. On dreaming and sleep
b. The Prophetic Dream
c. Daydreaming and Deja Vu
d. Mutual and Concurrent Dreaming
e. "I dreamt I wad dead and when I woke up I realized I was"
Different uses for dreams
1. The dream as a tool in the fantastic story
2. The dream as a bridge to an alternate reality - Forever in a Day
3. The Dream as a Deus Ex Machina
4. The philosopher's viewpoint: Or is it a dream?
5. The dream as a cautionary tale
6. The Sandman
Dreams have been held in considerable importance through history by most cultures.
Some researchers claim that the library of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal (626-669 BC), contained books about the interpretation of dreams, written in 2000 BC, and that his personal Book of Dreams was one of the main sources used by the Greek Artemidorus, author of the most famous Dreams Book in the ancient world.
In ancient Egypt, priests also acted as dream interpreters. Hieroglyphics depicting dreams and their interpretations are evident.
Dreams are messages from the Gods.
Dreams are a phenomenon associated with the separation of mind and body.
A standard traditional Chinese book on dream-interpretation is the Lofty Principles of Dream Interpretation compiled in the 16th century by Chen Shiyuan (particularly the "Inner Chapters" of that opus). Chinese thinkers also raised profound ideas about dream interpretation, such as the question of how we know we are dreaming and how we know we are awake. This raises the question of reality monitoring in dreams, a topic of intense interest in modern cognitive neuroscience.
Plato (4th century BC)
Dreams reveal man’s true nature.
Aristotle (4th century BC)
According to his On Divination (312 BC), dreams are divided into two categories: Dreams featuring action principles and plans, which can be used for predictions, as opposed to dreams which are purely random and do not to merit any attention.
Dreams are purely the product of physiological functions.
Artemidorus (2nd century AD)
Artemidorus of Daldis, who lived in the 2nd century AD, wrote a comprehensive text entitled Oneirocritica (The Interpretation of Dreams).
Although Artemidorus believed that dreams can predict the future, he also presaged many contemporary approaches to dreams. He thought that the meaning of a dream images could involve puns and could be understood by decoding the image into its component words.
In the times of the Old Testament, prophetic dreams and the messages they convey were regarded very seriously.
In the book of Genesis, Joseph is described as the interpreter of Pharaoh’s prophetic dreams and receives the title of “Solver of Mysteries".
In the Book of Daniel, Daniel is nominated as the Interpreter of Dreams for Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon.
… and dreamers speak lies (Zechariah 10, 2)
3. But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man’s wife. 4. But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation? 5. Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this. 6. And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her. 7. Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.
.8. Therefore Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ears: and the men were sore afraid. 9.Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? and what have I offended thee, that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? thou hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done. 10. And Abimelech saidunto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing? 11.And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife’s sake. 12. And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.
The dreamer negotiates with God in his dream
The reconciliation with Abraham
… and lay down in that place to sleep. 12. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. 13. And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; 14.And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15.And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. 16. And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not
16. And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not. 17.And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. 18.And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. 19. And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first. 20.And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, 21. So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: 22. And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.
the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.
How did the dream affect Jacob’s behavior? Jakob had no one to tell about the first dream, and he takes the vow.
3. And the LORD said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee
4. And Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field unto his flock, 5. And said unto them, I see your father’s countenance, that it is not toward me as before; but the God of my father hath been with me. 6. And ye know that with all my power I have served your father. 7. And your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me. 8.If he said thus, The speckled shall be thy wages; then all the cattle bare speckled: and if he said thus, The ringstraked shall be thy hire; then bare all the cattle ringstraked. 9. Thus God hath taken away the cattle of your father, and given them to me. 10. And it came to pass at the time that the cattle conceived, that I lifted up mine eyes, and saw in a dream, and, behold, the rams which leaped upon the cattle were ringstraked, speckled, and grisled. 11. And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here am I. 12. And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle are ringstraked, speckled, and grisled: for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee. 13. I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred.
After the second dream Jacob consults his wives, what a gentleman ...
5. And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.
6. And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: 7. For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf. 8. And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words. 9. And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me. 10. And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? 11. And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.
How many dreams are we actually talking about? What does "yet another" mean?
Jacob interprets Joseph’s dream - "What is this dream that thou hast dreamed..."
The brothers’ interpretation ("envy") and Jacob ‘s interpretation of ("observed the saying")
The brothers decide to throw Joseph into the pit (after Reuben and Judah prevent them from killing him) and then sell him to the Ishmaelites. Whether it because they were fed up with him or because they believed him, is unclear; Jacob surely believed (perhaps from personal experience…)
5. And they dreamed a dream both of them, each man his dream in one night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream, the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, which were bound in the prison. 6. And Joseph came in unto them in the morning, and looked upon them, and, behold, they were sad. 7.And he asked Pharaoh’s officers that were with him in the ward of his lord’s house, saying, Wherefore look ye so sadly to day? 8.And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it. And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you.
9.And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, In my dream, behold, a vine was before me; 10. And in the vine were three branches: and it was as though it budded, and her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes: 11.And Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand: and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand. 12. And Joseph said unto him, This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days: 13. Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head, and restore thee unto thy place: and thou shalt deliver Pharaoh’s cup into his hand, after the former manner when thou wast his butler. 14. But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house: 15. For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon. 16. When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said unto Joseph, I also was in my dream, and, behold, I had three white baskets on my head: 17.And in the uppermost basket there was of all manner of bakemeats for Pharaoh; and the birds did eat them out of the basket upon my head. 18.And Joseph answered and said, This is the interpretation thereof: The three baskets are three days: 19. Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thy head from off thee, and shall hang thee on a tree; and the birds shall eat thy flesh from off thee. 20. And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants. 21. And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand: 22. But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them.
One will be executed and one will be restored (and forget Joseph in prison)
Is this in example of mass dreaming?
The chief butler forgets Joseph.
1. And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river. 2. And, behold, there came up out of the river seven well favoured kine and fatfleshed; and they fed in a meadow. 3. And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill favoured and leanfleshed; and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river. 4. And the ill favoured and leanfleshed kine did eat up the seven well favoured and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke. 5. And he slept and dreamed the second time: and, behold, seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, rank and good. 6. And, behold, seven thin ears and blasted with the east wind sprung up after them. 7. And the seven thin ears devoured the seven rank and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and, behold, it was a dream.
8. And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh. 9. Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my faults this day: 10. Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, and put me in ward in the captain of the guard’s house, both me and the chief baker: 11. And we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he; we dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream. 12. And there was there with us a young man, an Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret. 13. And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was; me he restored unto mine office, and him he hanged. 14. Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh. 15. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it. 16.And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace. 17. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river: 18. And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fatfleshed and well favoured; and they fed in a meadow: 19. And, behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill favoured and leanfleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness: 20. And the lean and the ill favoured kine did eat up the first seven fat kine: 21. And when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them; but they were still ill favoured, as at the beginning. So I awoke. 22. And I saw in my dream, and, behold, seven ears came up in one stalk, full and good: 23. And, behold, seven ears, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them: 24. And the thin ears devoured the seven good ears: and I told this unto the magicians; but there was none that could declare it to me. 25. And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do 26.The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one. 27. And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine. 28.This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh. 29.Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt: 30. And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land; 31.And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous. 32. And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass. 33. Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34. Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years. 35. And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. 36. And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine. 37. And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants.
The seven plenteous years and the seven years of famine, you have to prepare adequately for the lean years ahead.
I remember my faults this day
Pharaoh appoints Joseph to be his Second and changes his name to Zaphnath-Paaneah
2.And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. 3. Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand. 4. And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. 5.So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. 6.And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. 7.And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place. 8. So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all the rest of Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley. 9.And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Arise, get thee down unto the host; for I have delivered it into thine hand. 10. But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the host: 11.And thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thine hands be strengthened to go down unto the host. Then went he down with Phurah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that were in the host. 12.And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude.
13. And when Gideon was come, behold, there was a man that told a dream unto his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along.
14. And his fellow answered and said, This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: for into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host.
The dreamer negotiates with God in the dream.
Gideon is convinced only after he hears someone else’s dream and interpretation:
15. And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the LORD hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian. 16.And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers. 17. And he said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do. 18. When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon
5. In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. 6.And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. 7.And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. 8.And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. 9. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? 10. And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 11.And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; 12. Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. 13. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. 14.And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days. 15. And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream.
… And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants
The dreamer negotiates with God in the dream.
Solomon asks for wisdom and is rewarded.
"True dreams are from Allah and bad dreams are from satan" [Sahih of Bukhari, Vol 9 p 95, no 113]
The overall position of the Church is that dreams should be ignored because they do not come from God.
Saul (Paulus) of Tarsus
The epiphany on the road to Damascus – Acts, 9, 3-9:
3And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
4And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
5And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
6And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
7And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
8And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.
9And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
A serious scientific study of dreams began in Europe only in the 19th century
Dr. Alfred Murray conducted experimented to test for a possible connection between external physical stimuli and the dream.
French philosopher Henri Bergson believed that physical stimuli bring up repressed memories in the form of dreams.
Dream as a way to process events that have occurred in the past (near or far) and reach their understanding after filtering noise ":
According to Freud:
In dreams inhibitions are released and things are discovered which were repressed in the mind.
Dreams are a tool for understanding the past, not the future.
There is a connection between dreams and the subconscious.
During sleep, a "censorship of consciousness" takes place.
This is the approach most prominent and best known although nowadays it is quite controversial.
According to Yung:
Deciphering the symbols of dreams depends on the dreamer and his state of mind.
According to tradition, during sleep a part of the "spirit" leaves the body and goes out looking for enlightenment, and then returns to the body refreshed and renewed. This also allows it to encounter other "spirits" of other people wandering out there.
What is a prophetic dream and how does it occur?
A prophetic dream is a dream in which the dreamer receives information about events occurring to him or the people around him in the future. Such a dream prepares the dreamer for such occurances. Sometimes things happen around us and we just feel that we knew this beforehand with some kind of an inner knowledge, because this information was received in a dream and even thought we didn’t realize it at that moment, it trickled in and we had a sense of premonition ("Deja Vu").
A prophetic dream is like opening a window into a parallel world, occuring both in the present and in the past. Past, present and future revolve around us in parallel worlds, so when the wall between the current world and another world is breached, we get a glimpse into another time (some would call it "channeling").
Is the dream designed to reveal the future? Is it even possible to predict the way our destiny is being fulfilled?
Prophetic dreams, by definition, do not leave the future open bar change. A prophetic dream fixture certain event in the future and by definition contrary to the authority given to man to change his fate. And yet- rare and prophetic dreams even more rare Fools "(tongue-innocent) who dream them.
How do we know we dreamed of a prophetic dream?
Many interpreters argue that prophetic dreams are high intensity dreams, leaving a strong impression on the dreamer committed to memory for a long time. Prophetic dreams will be diverse in color and shape, and will involve imageries from the dreamer’s life. A prophetic dream is usually accompanied with a sense of clarity, it which the dreamer is aware of the dream. However, the only way to know if a dris prophetic is only after the fact - after its actual occurrence in the dreamer's life. In most cases, this means the occurrence of events of the dream in the reality of the dreamer's life, and in rare cases, the occurrence of the dream in its entirety.
This indicates that it is very difficult to interpret the prophecy that the dream brings into the life of the dreamer. As an interpreter, I prefer to avoid interpreting a dream as a prophetic dream, in order not to confuse the dreamer further. When the dreamer suspects he had a prophetic dream, I recommend that he tries to understand what was the purpose of the preliminary information he received, and what he can do in order to use this information to his advantage in the present. Expecting events to occur in the future is always more difficult and exhausting than preparing for them in the present.
(Translated from the Hebrew original by myself)
Some scientists claim that they have located the origin of the phenomenon known as Deja Vu, in a small part of the hippocampus, the Dentate Gyrus, responsible for the information which allows us to distinguish between similar places and situations. It turns out that aging and brain disease impair the functioning of this part and thus impair the power of distinction, which causes symptoms such as "deja vu".
There are two kinds of dreams that fall into this category: mutual and concurrent. In each case, two or more people dream of similar characters and activities. What differentiates them are the means by which the dreams occur. In mutual dreaming, the dreamers intentionally develop a desire to experience a shared dream through incubation. However, in concurrent dreams, the dreamers had no idea their content would be similar going into the night's rest.
Mutual dreaming is an intentional movement toward influencing dream content. This discipline allows dreamers to design psychic meeting grounds for subconscious awareness of one another. This can be a seedbed for finding new facets in a relationship, from the ordinary to the sensual.
It is often quite interesting to get together with your mutual dreamer friend(s) and compare dreams. The best way to do this is for both or all of you to write down what you dreamt about the subject in question, then share the essays.
Concurrent dreams are often discovered by chance. You may be telling a friend about a dream you had, using vivid details, when all of a sudden she reveals that she had the same exact dream. This is a rare and mysterious occasion indeed!
The Aberfan Tragedy
In early October 1966, a ten-year-old Welsh schoolgirl named Eryl Mai Jones had something important to tell her mother.
"Mummy," she said, "I'm not afraid to die."
"You're too young to be talking about dying," her mother said. "Do you want a lollipop?"
On October 20, Eryl Mai woke up after having a memorable dream.
"Mummy, let me tell you about my dream last night," she said.
"Darling, I've no time now. Tell me again later."
"No, Mummy, you must listen," she said. "I dreamt I went to school and there was no school there. Something black had come down all over it.,,
Her mother thought nothing more about the dream. After all, they lived in Aberfan, Wales, a poor coal-mining town. Perched high on a hill overlooking Aberfan was a coal tip, where waste from the mining process was dumped. The Aberfan coal tip caused many residents of the town to worry for their safety. So when Eryl Mai's mother heard her dream, she may have concluded that her fear of the ever-present coal tip had provoked it.
Eryl Mai went off to Pantglas Junior School that day as usual. Nothing unusual happened. The next day, Friday, October 21, she did the same. But at 9:15 that morning, the coal tip gave way, sending tons of coal sludge, water, and boulders to the village below. The avalanche mowed down everything in its path, including stone houses and trees, and swept toward the Pantglas School, where it crushed the back of the school.
In all, 144 people were killed, most of them children at the school. Eryl Mai Jones was one of the victims.
Had her dream provided a glimpse of a tragedy in the future? Or was it merely a coincidence? Dr. John Barker, a psychiatrist in a nearby town, was curious to discover if anyone had had a precognitive dream or vision about the Aberfan disaster. He persuaded a newspaper to run an article asking people to send in a written account of any precognitive experience related to Aberfan. Altogether, he received seventy-six letters, but many seemed too vague to have anything to do with Aberfan. He selected the cases that seemed believable. Then he made sure to ask each correspondent to supply him with the names-and addresses of anyone who knew the details of the dream or vision before the disaster had occurred. Only by asking friends and family of the correspondent for confirmation could Barker be sure that the correspondents were telling the truth.
Eryl Mai's experience came to light through Barker's appeal for precognitive cases. Although she was the only schoolchild in Aberfan to have a future vision, she wasn't alone in her precognitive experience. However, most of those who wrote had never heard of Aberfan, didn't live near it, and had no connection to it in any way.
One woman, Carolyn Miller, had a vision of the disaster on the evening of October 20. In her mind she saw
an old school house nestling in a valley, then a Welsh miner, then an avalanche of coal hurtling down a Mountainside. At the bottom of this mountain of hurtling coal was a little boy with a long fringe looking absolutely terrified to death. Then for a while I "saw" rescue operations taking place. I had an- impression that the little boy was left behind and saved. He looked so grief-stricken. I could never forget him, and also with him was one of the rescue workers wearing an unusual peaked cap.
She met with some women from her church that night and shared her vision with them. She also told a neighbor the next morning at 8:30 what she had seen. She was stunned to hear about the disaster, but even stranger is what she saw while watching television two days later. That night she was watching a program about the Aberfan tragedy when she saw both the terrified boy from her vision and the rescuer.
This raises the question: Did she have a vision of the Aberfan tragedy or of the television program that summarized it? It may well be the latter.
Another precognitive experience related to Aberfan was related by Mary Hennessy. She wrote Dr. Barker to say that she had dreamed about Aberfan the night before the tragedy. In her dream, there were a lot of children in two rooms. Eventually, they moved to a larger room, where they seemed to be playing in small groups.
At the end of the room there were long pieces of wood or wooden bars. The children were trying somehow to get over the top or through the bars. I tried to warn someone by calling out, but before I could do so one little child just slipped out of sight. I myself was ... watching from the corridor. The next thing in my dream was hundreds of people all running to the same place. The look on people's faces were terrible. Some were crying and others holding to their faces. It frightened me so much that it woke me up.
The dream was so vivid and terrifying she was worried that it meant harm would come to her two young grandchildren. Early the next morning, she called her son and daughter-in-law at 8:45 and explained her dream.
"I am very worried because the dream was about children. It makes me think about the girls," she said, referring to her granddaughters. "I know I dreamed about schoolchildren, but just take special care of them, please?"
Despite the large number of precognitive experiences related to the Aberfan disaster, however, no one's vision or dream provided enough details to have prevented the tragedy. That is one of the unfortunate truths about precognition: Although glimpses into the future are possible, the information isn't specific enough to allow most future travelers to stop a disaster from happening.
Barker, J.C. "Premonitions of the Aberfan Disaster." Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, December 1967: 168-181.
England, Edward. The Mountain That Moved. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1967.
For more examples of tragedies foreseen by dreams click here.
The most extreme case of this type is the "Nightmare on Elm Street" Saga, which offers a rather literal interpretation to the statement "I dreamed I was dead and when I woke up I realized I was."
b. Whose dream is it anyway?
The dreamer finds himself in a strange and unknown reality, and after a short adjustment period he gets to know its laws and learns to survive in it.
Alice falls asleep under a tree and wakes up next to her sister Dinah (named, by the way, after the Liddell family cat ...), probably the only one who noticed something had happened.
The Yankee gets hit on the head and wakes up in King Arthur's court.
In "Dallas" there was a big commotion when actor Patrick Duffy ("Bobby Ewing") decided to quit in the spring of 1985. In May 1985, he (Bobby, not Patrick) "was killed in a car accident". Due to the decline in the ratings of the show on the one hand, and the decline of his career on the other, Duffy agreed to return for the 86'-87’ season, and the producers prepared the ground for this in the final episode of the 85’-86’ season, which included a devastating explosion in J. R.’s office. In the peak moment of the episode, Pamela, Bobby's wife, wakes up to see Bobby coming out of the shower. The credits for the episode featured Patrick Duffy’s name, but without specifying the role he played. The fans, who waited with bated breath until September 1986, were disappointed to find that the all the events of the previous season, including Bobby’s alleged death, originated in Pamela's fevered mind, and were nothing but a long dream ...
The producers’ solution for the return of Bobby/Duffy was simply a "Deus Ex Machina" in the form of a dream, and if that's not enough, it also caused complications for the Dallas spin-off, Knotts Landing, in which Bobby stayed dead. This problem was solved when the separation between the two shows was became complete.
It is written in the Chuang-tzu (4th Century BC)::
"Once Chuang Chou dreamed that he was a butterfly. He fluttered about happily, quite pleased with the state that he was in, and knew nothing about Chuang Chou. Presently he awoke and found that he was very much Chuang Chou again. Now, did Chou dream that he was a butterfly or was the butterfly now dreaming that he was Chou?"
According to Hans Christian Andersen:
The 1841 folk tale Ole Lukoie tells the story f the Sandman, or Ole lukoie, by relating dreams he gave to a young boy in a week through his magical technique of sprinkling dust in the eyes of the children.
According to E.T.A. Hoffmann:
In a story called Der Sandmann, Hoffmann (1776–1822) wrote an inverse depiction of the lovable character, which showed how sinister such a character could be made. According to the protagonist's nurse, he threw sand in the eyes of children who wouldn't sleep, with the result of those eyes falling out and being collected by the Sandman, who then takes the eyes to his iron nest on the moon, and uses them to feed his children. The protagonist of the story grows to associate this nightmarish creature with the genuinely sinister figure of his father's associate Coppelius.
According to Neil Gaiman:
A series of graphic novels feature a character created by Morpheus ("the Sandman") called the Corinthian, who steals the eyes of his victims, similarly to Hoffman's Sandman.
In Gaiman's, Morpheus (the Greek God of dreams), is the Sandman, the third of seven children, named The Endless. The brothers and sisters in the family, according to their age, are: Destiny, Death, Dream, Desire & Despair (twins), Destruction and Delirium. The seven brothers and coexist side by side with Gods and Goddesses of all myths and beliefs, but they are truly the eternal ones, and they will continue to exist as long as there is an entity in the universe that can have a destiny, can desire, destroy, hallucinate, spiral into the abyss of despair, dream and die.
According to Terry Pratchett:
According to Soul Music, in the Disk World, The Sandman just puts people to sleep by hitting them over the head with a bag of sand...
According to Piers Anthony:
The seven are Death, Fate, War, Nature, Good, Evil and Time
Nightmare on Elm Street
Star Trek – First Contact