Dreams and Visions: A Search for God and the Human Soul
Why people have visions and dreams, and where do these come from are the focal themes of Visions and Dreams: Are They Communication from God, or Just Us on Ken Powe's book. Ken Powe takes us on an almost spiritual journey of understanding and interpreting dreams and visions, at the same time touching on the scientific and logical explanation of these two phenomena. People through time immemorial have always been on the quest of searching for meaning on those distorted, unclear images conjured while they’re sleeping. Are those surreal images a representation of people’s innermost desires? Are they unconscious premonitions, or even omens of what will come to be? Or are they messages coming from God? In man’s unquenching thirst for understanding life and searching for God, they look at dreams and visions often more on a spirituality perspective and challenge themselves to decipher scriptures and other sources of faith-based works of literature, till they find the answers that satisfy the questions of why do they dream the dreams that the dreamt or the visions that they perceived.
Dreams and Visions
As Seen Through Christianity
Christianity in the olden days viewed dreams and visions as revelations coming from God, or Yahweh, as in the Bible’s Old Testament. The Book of Exodus is an example where men and prophets turn to dreams and visions as the medium in which Yahweh communicates to the book's central figures. In the book, Moses receives a vision of a burning bush, thereby commencing the following events that led to the emancipation of the Hebrews from the stronghold of the Egyptians. Visions are often more clearly perceived than dreams, which is why visions play an essential role in prophecies by the old prophets. The Book of Numbers supports this theory. Numbers 12:6 states: “Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, shall make Myself known to him in a vision. I shall speak with him in a dream.”
As Seen Through Hinduism
Hinduism, one of the world’s major religions whose origins are founded in India, has almost the same perspective as Christianity on how they view dreams and visions. Hindus perceive dreams and visions as something prophetic and divine. They saw dreams and visions as illusions or messages coming from the God, Vishnu. These illusions are closely interpreted in the context of self-realization, of what is self, or the purpose of man in life. Hindu practitioners often believed that it is only through the state of deep sleep or deep, clear-mind meditation where the realization of man’s purposes of life can be revealed. And who hasn’t heard of Yoga? Yoga is one of the world’s most beloved Hindu-originated ascetic and spiritual practices and disciplines for meditation, breathing control, and bodily postures to benefit the overall physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual well-being.
As Seen Through Islam
Islam believed that the messages of Allah (God) were relayed to mankind through his prophet, Muhammed. This theory was developed because of the significant event when the archangel Gabriel appeared to the Prophet Muhammed in a dream. It is also believed that before this event, Muhammed had already been dreaming dreams full of spiritual concepts that eventually led him to begin preaching. Although not as frequently elaborated as it was in the Christian Bible, Islam perceives dreams as imageries that stem from personal experience or personal circumstances of the dreamer. Interpreting dreams as something akin to omen is discouraged by Islam religion. If a person has a bad dream, that person should recite passages from the Quran (Islamic bible) and make donations to the religion to get rid of the bad dream, since it is believed that these dreams came from the evil one.
So, are dreams and visions messages coming from God? Are these prophecies of what is about to happen, omens, or forewarnings of something terrible that is about to take place? Do people need to understand and interpret these dreams and visions as first perceived, or do they need to be carefully studied before any interpretations are made? The act of searching for the answer itself is but man’s natural penchant for curiosity or for searching and discovering. One thing’s for sure: dreams and visions are reflections of man’s pursuit for understanding the human soul and for man’s constant and ceaseless search for God.