Tuesday, March 15, 2016


Abraham Lincoln, the great President and believer in God, said; "How much there is in the Bible about dreams! 
There are, I think, some sixteen chapters in the New Testament and four or five in the New in which dreams are mentioned; and there are many other passages scattered throughout the book which refer to visions. 
  If we believe the Bible, we must accept the fact that, in the old days, God and His angels came to humans in their sleep and made themselves known in dreams." 1

  God and His Angels continue His healing work through dreams today.
Many followers of God followed His call to them received through dreamwork.
  In the times of the early Christian Church, early followers of The Way followed their dreams.
They did this in order to find out God's Will for them, and to understand how God was working in their lives.
  Dreamwork was commonly and openly practised.
As time wore on, however, the dream fell into disrepute and dreamwork became almost a thing of the past.

Discernment of dreams
Dreams are given to everyone. Dreams function as ongoing orientation. 
  They act as reminders of the universal call to journey towards personal wholeness, healing and ultimate holiness.
  From ancient times, peoples from every culture and spiritual belief have responded to dreams with respect and veneration. The ancients constantly endeavoured to find their true meaning.
  Dreams are thus common to all. What is not common, however, is knowledge of whether a dream is truly from God. 
  The answer to this puzzle is that discernment of dreams is the key.

Dreamwork Tradition
According to Luke in the Book of Acts, dreams and visions occurred often and at important moments in the life of the early Christian community.
  Dreams occur when the corporeal, the body, is asleep; and visions when the body is awake.
Peter's dream-vision at Joppa directly guided the transformation of the new Church's attitude towards non-Jews [known as Gentiles], and the Hebrew dietary laws.
  Paul's dream redirected his missionary travels from Asia to Europe.
  Early disciples - such as the deacon Stephen who lost his life in witness to Jesus Christ - reported dreams and visions.
  Dreams and visions were treated seriously and given much authority in the germinating church.

  The conviction that God often speaks through dreams and visions are found in the writings of Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Tertullian, Athanasius, Augustine, John Chrysostom, Anthony, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nazianzen, Gregory of Nyssa, Ambrose, Jerome, Gregory the Great, John Cassian and many others. 2

Synesius of Cyrene, a fifth century Bishop of Ptolemais, wrote, "Dreams, more than any other thing, entice us towards hope. And when our heart spontaneously presents hope to us, as happens in our sleeping state, then we have in the promise of our dreams a pledge from the divinity." 3
  Origen and other writers clearly recognized that dream images were not simple physical perceptions such as when we perceive animals, trees, people and other objects in ordinary working life.
  Dream images were instead images and symbols that revealed the nature of the spiritual world.
  Synesius emphasized that dream imagery was essentially personal, and that symbolic dream material is best understood by the dreamer in terms of his or her personal life. 4

    Dreams thus form a very personal experience. Repressed emotions or issues may burst forth through them, sometimes in embarrassing or surprising ways.
  The early writers were aware that we have dreams which we might not be able to publicly share, containing unusual and embarrassing activities.
  In dreams the dream ego may manifest unusual capacities which transcend usual bodily capacities.
Dreams may reveal inner working of personality that the rational mind is not in touch with.
  Dream images are thus a way of expressing inner and spiritual dynamics.

  Dreams are a way to express what we are not dealing with in our daily lives.
If we repress our anger because we believe anger is wrong, we repress a perfectly natural emotion which will surface in strong ways.
  Anger is a healthy and normal emotion which gives the person experiencing the emotion the energy to confront a threatening, disrespectful or exploitative situation.
  When this emotion is not owned and repressed, the owner will start experiencing certain manifestations.
  Difficulties in sleeping, nightmares, headaches, stomach aches can occur.
  Or once in a while the person will emotionally explode over one issue, and the rage and unresolved grievances of years will pour out.
  Over time anger which has not been dealt with can turn inwards and attack the inner person.
Quite literally, illness can result. 5

  Unresolved anger can express itself in dreams, such as using dream violence when this is out of character with your daily persona.

Dream Journal
The best way to discern dreams is to keep a record of our dreams over a period of time.
  We will see almost everything about ourselves revealed.
Keep a dreamwork journal, and document your dreams.
  Keep this journal safe; it is a personal document and thus merits privacy.
The journal is a tool for personal growth. When you have an especially vivid dream that strikes you and somehow infuses you with a sense of purpose, a sense of the 'Other' - God; record the happenings of the dream in your journal, and date the entry.
  If God is sending you a message, as time unfolds you will discern that message.
I have read notes I made of dreams which occurred many years before, and have been startled by the accuracy with which God prepared me for certain events in my life which came to pass.

Dreamwork techniques
We work with dreams as giving us invitations and challenges.
  No matter what our dream ego does or chooses, our conscious waking ego still needs to make choices on how it will actualize or not actualize the potentials of the dream.
  Those who are deeply related to God are likely to receive revelation from God in their dreams and dreamwork. 6

  Various dreamwork techniques can be used. Objects, animals, locations, colors and other images can mean different things to different people based on their associations and impressions of those things which are unique to each person.
  Concentrate on developing your own individual dream vocabulary by discerning the meaning of recurring symbols in dreams.
  For example, in my own dreams the symbol of the cloak of the Master symbolizes vocational call.
 Dreams. They possess powerful energy.

  After years of dreamwork journal discernment, you will come to find your personal symbols God creates uniquely for you in order to encourage you on your life path and vocational call towards Him.

God Communication
When you do dreamwork, keep in mind that dreams are a form of communication used by God.
  God uses a number of different forms for dreams;
1) Warning dreams
2) Prophetic dreams
3) Vocational - [call to vocation or call] dreams
4) Confirmation dream
5) Answer to request dreams

God uses dreams to warm global leaders of future events [Gen 41;1-8].
  God also uses the warning dream to warn us against certain decisions [Matt 27;17-19].
God uses prophetic dreams to provide revelation to His prophets [Num 12;6].
  Vocational dreams are used by God to reveal His Divine Plan for our lives [Gen 37;5-8].
God answers our requests, confusion, pleas, petitions and prayers with dreams of answer 
[1 Kings 3;5-15].

The warning dream is meant to warn us about some future attack from an enemy or some difficult time ahead.
  The warning often helps to avert a disaster.
The confirmation dream confirms the truth concerning what you intuitively discern about a person or situation.
  This dream gives you the impetus to act on what you already know on some deep level to be true, but have thus far been unresponsive towards.

  The prophetic dream reveals the future concerning yourself, or another, or a nation. 
The vocational dream is sent by God to give us clear direction as to the life path He has chosen for us to reach our divine destiny by the straightest life road.
  We are free to accept or decline His divine invitation.
However, if we decline, we might always be beset by emotions of regret, of what might have been.

Divine guidance and leadership may lead us into previously unchartered spiritual waters; but they will never be dull.
  Relationship with God grows ever more steady and close with each successive symbolic processing in dreamwork.
  The challenge is for you to find out what God is saying to you through the symbol; and sometimes to accurately understand the symbol may take years.

  Sometimes the words, images or actions in a dream sent by God can be taken literally. An example of this is when the Angel clearly gave Joseph the direction to 'Arise, take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the Child to kill Him.' 7
  There is clear direction here.
Sometimes the words, images or actions in a dream sent by God need to be taken symbolically.
  For example, if in a dream your dream ego is changing employment, do not assume the dream means you must immediately change your employment or career.
  You cannot assume to know what the dream means without first doing discerning dreamwork.
  Dreams don't usually give literal commands to act; rather, dreams ask questions, invite responses, reveal issues, open up new possibilities and suggest alternatives.

And every once in a while dear Reader, God may choose to take the direct route and give you clear guidance in a dream.
  The art to discernment is that we always realise that the initiative for messages in dreams comes from God alone. 
  We can pray for guidance, and humbly ask God to send us a dream or vision to help us.
We cannot command it.

Relating to dreams
In Matthew 1;20, God did not order Joseph to marry Mary through the intercession of the Angel in Joseph's dream.
  When we use discernment of dreamwork, we find the Angel told Joseph not to be afraid to marry Mary.
  God - Emperor of the Universe and Angels - seldom commands through dreams.
Rather, He invites and confronts.
  Joseph's dream thus confronted Joseph with his attitudes and feelings towards Mary.
God's dream to Joseph opened up years of discernment process for Joseph.
  The information God gave through the dream to Joseph about the Baby growing within Mary opened up new possibilities and alternative plans for them.
  For Joseph to respond adequately to the dream, he would have to open up his inner self to a great degree.
  He would have to do much more than simply take Mary into his home, and marry her.
He would have to deal with his feelings, attitudes and values - towards Mary, towards her unborn Baby, towards His own self-image, towards the other villagers in Nazareth, and to the Mosaic Law. 

  So when we deal with a symbolic event or image in a dream, we don't try to define or translate it.
  We need to relate to it. Symbols, which form the usual language of the unconscious and of the spiritual dimension, function at a level more primary than words or even concepts.
  When we are in the discernment of dream process, we need concepted thought - words and sentences - to make the symbolic dream experience conscious; to give it perspective, to release the energy it contains, to bring it into daily life.

  Joseph's dream held symbols. The Angel, messenger of God, symbolized God Himself.
Joseph had the choice whether to accept the symbolic messenger as symbolizing God and God's Word Himself.
  He could have chosen to argue to himself that a messenger is not the One sending the message. Joseph was too humble and authentic a man to turn down a message sent through a mediator.
  The angelic dream told him symbolically in essence to disobey the Mosaic Law. The Mishnah prescribes stoning for betrothed women and their lovers who are adulterous.
  Joseph had to symbolically accept that the centuries of tradition, devotion and fidelity to the Law of God was to be disregarded.
  That meant going against everything he had been taught at his father's knee, in the synagogue and in the Nazareth village.
  Discerning the dream meant that Joseph had to make the choice. Was his dream an authentic vision from God with a clear command to act contrary to all he had ever deemed real? In which case, he would need to follow the command and accept Mary with her unborn Child into his house, and give him his name. He would need to be full father to the Child.
  Joseph's other choice was to dismiss the dream as a figment of his imagination, a possible dream springing from his unhappiness in discovering Mary has become pregnant by Another.
  Joseph unhesitatingly discerned and dismissed centuries of Torah certainty for the uncertainty of a future charted by God.
  The rest is history.

Dreams and Healing
  The need for healing implies that there is a conflict, a wound a brokenness.
We need healing when our bodies suffer from illness, our minds are in turmoil and our spirits experience guilt.

  Sickness, whether physical, spiritual or psychological, happens to everyone.
Individuals, communities and countries experience conflicts which require resolution and healing.
  Healing itself refers to an ongoing action. Healing is a continuous process which brings resolution of conflict and woundedness.
  Healing leads to the founding of a new unity or wholeness. When a couple whose marriage is on the point of breakup begins marriage counselling, they are assisted to face up to the source of their marital conflicts.
  Upon healing - resolution - a stronger and deeper relationship often results.
Healing has led to a new wholeness [holiness] and strength.

  Our woundedness and need for healing often reflects in our dreams.
Sigmund Freud published his book 'The Interpretation of Dreams' in AD 1900. 
  Freud saw in dreams a means of approaching the realm of humanity's unconscious thought.
Freud's work on the interpretation of dreams paved the way for a new field of study and research.
  Psychology, psychoanalysis and psychiatry all have fields of study bearing on the use and interpretation of dreams. 8

  Synesius of Cyrene's treatise 'On Dreams', written 405 AD, remained perhaps the most spiritually and psychologically sophisticated treatment of dreams and dreamwork until the work of Carl Jung in the twentieth century.
  Synesius believed that the entire universe is a unity, and dreams express the meaning of the universe, including our relationship to it and each other.
  Anything we do in life can gradually be integrated and harmonized so that we are not at war with ourselves. 9
  Doing dreamwork helps us thus towards healing, and integration of our unique inner selves.
Dreamwork also helps us ground our relationship with God, our heavenly Father, in increasing strength, respect and love.

  In the next and final lesson on Dreamwork, we will look at spiritual and dreamwork journalling, and explore varoius Dreamwork techniques.

Questions for the Heart and Mind
1. Have you every discerned the voice of God to you in your dreams?

2. Explore a dream from Holy Writings. What does this say to you?

3. Why do you thing God often makes use of symbols in drams in order to communicate with us?

4. How can discernment of dreams lead to my dreams becoming a gift to my community?

1. Lewis, Lloyd. 1957. 'Myths after Lincoln', p 24.  New York; Grosser & Dunlap
2. Kelsey, Morton. 1974. 'God, Dreams and Revelation' pp 102-161. Minneapolis; Augsburg &
Rader, Rosemary. 1981. 'The Martyrdom of Perpetua; A Protests Account of Third Century           Christianity' in Wilson-Kastner, Patricia, et al., 'A Lost Tradition; Women Writers of the Early Church' 
pp 1-32. Washington, D.C.: University Press of America
3. Fitzgerald, Augustine. 1930. 'The Essays and Hymns of Synesius of Cyrene' p 345. London; Oxford
4. Savery, Louis et al. 1984. 'Dreams and Spiritual Growth: A Judeo-Christian Way of Dreamwork'
 pp 38-40. USA; Paulist Press
5. Raymond, Jeanette PhD. 2010. 'Melanoma: How Repressing Anger Can Cause Cancer'
www.  goodtherapy.org.blog/stress-due-to-repressed-emotions-leads-to-melanoma
6. Savery, Louis et al. 1984. 'Dreams and Spiritual Growth: A Judeo-Christian Way of Dreamwork'
 p 45. USA; Paulist Press
7. Matthew 2;13
8. Schnarr, Rev Frederick L. 'Sleep, Part 1; Introduction' p 2. http: //www.swedenborgstudy.com/articles/bible/fls80a.htm
9. Savery, Louis et al. 1984. 'Dreams and Spiritual Growth: A Judeo-Christian Way of Dreamwork'
 p 40. USA; Paulist Press

Good Shepherd Church Seminary
Doctor of Healing Ministry Lesson One

Good Shepherd Church Seminary
Doctor of Healing Ministry Lesson Two

Good Shepherd Church Seminary
Doctor of Healing Ministry Lesson Three

Good Shepherd Church Seminary
Doctor of Healing Ministry Lesson Four
Good Shepherd Church Seminary
Doctor of Healing Ministry Lesson Five
Good Shepherd Church Seminary
Doctor of Healing Ministry Lesson Six
Good Shepherd Church Seminary
Doctor of Healing Ministry Lesson Seven

Good Shepherd Church Seminary
Doctor of Healing Ministry Lesson Eight

Rev Catherine
Use freely for any worthy purpose

Disclaimer; The information on this post is meant for information only. The        information is not meant to replace your Doctor of Health professional or  Herbalist care.

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