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Dreams

愛、生活、人生系列
2021-03-29
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Everybody dreams. Scientists tell us that we all dream for one to two hours a night.
Dreams are a normal and healthy part of being humans. But where do they come
from?
A middle-aged woman named Meg once talked about her dream. Meg was in her bedroom
trying to look in the mirror, but her husband kept getting in her way. When she
finally looked in the mirror, she was horrified. The reflection showed her
husband, but his face had morphed (變形) into the image of a devil. He had
bright red horns and a ghoulish (食屍鬼的) face. Meg woke up terrified. The
dream troubled her so much that she began looking more closely at her husband’s
life. She checked his bank accounts and watched his behavior for something
amiss (錯誤地). Meg soon discovered that her husband had been deceiving her
along with their friends and family. Eventually, he was charged with criminal fraud (欺騙)
and taken away to prison. Meg’s dream
saved her from a dire (悲慘的) situation, but it leaves us with an important question. 
Where did the dream come from? Did
Meg subconsciously know her husband was being deceptive, but was unable to
recognize it? Or did the information come from an outside source that exposed
what no one else could see?
Theories abound about the source of our dreams. While it isn’t possible to be definitive
about all our dreams, we can learn from the perspective of different cultures
and our own personal experiences. Here we see that dreams arise from three
possible sources:
1.     Dreams Come from Ourselves
Most of our dreams come from ourselves. They are a picture of what is going on
beneath the surface of our waking life. This is why counsellors and
psychologists often engage in dream works with their clients. 
The first psychologist to take dreams seriously was Sigmund Freud in the early 20th
Century. He was followed closely by Swiss psychologist Carl Jung. Both Freud
and Jung understood dreams to be windows into the unconscious personality. Like
shadows reflecting a reality we don’t always see, dreams tell us about our
hidden selves. Usually they speak in a symbolic language that draws on the
imagery we use in our everyday lives. So we dream of turning up naked to an
examination when we’re anxious about a job interview scheduled the next day. Or
we dream of being chased down a dead-end alley when facing the stress of
limited options. Or we see ourselves flying weightless over the treetops when
longing for new levels of freedom. These are all natural dreams.
They contain messages from ourselves. With its in-built (崁入的) healing system,
the brain uses dreaming to process the everyday happenings of our lives. It’s a
little like housecleaning for the mind. Humans need to dreams. That’s why
dreams have been called the “guardians of sanity.” Researchers have found that
if we try to stop persons dreaming, they show signs of mental illness. These
natural dreams offer much more to us than just “housecleaning.” They can be a
powerful tool for self-awareness. We are not always familiar with what is going
on beneath the surface, but our dreams point the ways. Jung wrote, “No one who
does not know himself can know others. And in each of us, there is another whom
we do not know.” He speaks to us in dreams and tells us how differently he sees
us from the way we see ourselves.
This is why it is so important to attend to our dreams. Each one of us was created
for potential and purpose. Like a physical wound that has inbuilt mechanisms to
heal itself, our dreams point the ways towards healing and growth. They become
a powerful aid for personal development, exposing our anxieties, fears and
wounds. They shout; “Alert, alert!” Something needs attention. This may
have been the case in Meg’s dream. She may have been suspicious of her
husband’s deceitful behavior, but was unable to confront it in her waking life.
Her dream of the devil revealed the truth. When we have a natural dream that
draws our attention, take note of it. It’s a bit like having our own personal
therapist! Natural dreams are well worth listening to.
2. Dreams Come from the Spirit World
The second source of our dreams is the spirit world. Dreams act as a kind of
doorway between the earthly and the spiritual realm. This
understanding of dreams has been held by practically every culture and religion
in history. The American Indians have their dream-catchers; the
Chinese have their dream books and the Ancient Babylonians had their
professional dream interpreters. Most religions also share this perspective of
dreams. Hindus, Muslims and Jews all have sacred Scriptures that contain
accounts of the spirits communicating through dreams. The idea that there is
another world of reality that breaks in through our dreams occurs everywhere
except in modern Western culture. When the spirit world speaks to us in our dreams,
we can often access information
that is normally inaccessible to us. Even evil spirits can get it right. 
 But that doesn’t mean that we should listen to them.
When we open ourselves to hearing from unknown spirits,
we can never be sure of their intentions.
Spirit-dreams can often lead to fear, shame and condemnation. The best way to
deal with these kinds of dreams is to resist them. If we hold to the Christian
faith, pray in the name of Jesus for these voices to be silenced before we go
to sleep. They cannot be the blessing.
3. Dreams Come from God
Finally, our dreams may come from God. In Christianity, God is deeply personal
and longs to have a personal relationship with us based on two-way communication.
People are often familiar
with prayers, but they have not always considered the possibility that God can
speak back. The Bible itself contains hundreds of examples of personal “God conversations.”
Most of these conversations occurred while someone was sleeping!
Even the Christmas story contains five different dreams. The baby
Jesus would have been murdered if people had not listened to them (Matthew
1-2). We should recognize God-dreams, because they are always creative, clever and contain
wisdom from beyond ourselves. Often they contain supernatural information. Some
reveal glimpses of the future. Dreams that are sourced in God will always bring
hope, joy, peace and love to every situation. They will be consistent with his
character most fully revealed in Jesus who came to give us life to the full
(John 10:10). God speaks to people regardless of whether they affiliated with a
religion. This is because he wants to reveal himself to all people.
This may well have been the case with our friend Meg.
God may have been revealing supernatural information that would protect her
from her deceitful husband. If we have not yet encountered God revealed in
Jesus for ourselves, we should pray and ask God to speak to us.
We can also learn more about what God is like in the Bible.
Our prayers will know the God who speaks personally to us,
and we will always have sweet dreams!
































 




























A
middle-aged woman named Meg once talked about her dream. Meg was in her bedroom
trying to look in the mirror, but her husband kept getting in her way. When she
finally looked in the mirror, she was horrified. The reflection showed her
husband, but his face had morphed (變形) into the image of a devil. He had
bright red horns and a ghoulish (食屍鬼的) face. Meg woke up terrified. The
dream troubled her so much that she began looking more closely at her husband’s
life. She checked his bank accounts and watched his behavior for something
amiss (錯誤地). Meg soon discovered
that her husband had been deceiving her along with their friends and family.
Eventually, he was charged with criminal fraud (欺騙) and taken away to prison. Meg’s dream
saved her from a dire (悲慘的)
situation, but it leaves us with an important question. Where did the dream come from? Did
Meg subconsciously know her husband was being deceptive, but was unable to
recognize it? Or did the information come from an outside source that exposed
what no one else could see?
Theories
abound about the source of our dreams. While it isn’t possible to be definitive
about all our dreams, we can learn from the perspective of different cultures
and our own personal experiences. Here we see that dreams arise from three
possible sources:
1.     Dreams Come from Ourselves
Most
of our dreams come from ourselves. They are a picture of what is going on
beneath the surface of our waking life. This is why counsellors and
psychologists often engage in dream works with their clients. 
The
first psychologist to take dreams seriously was Sigmund Freud in the early 20th
Century. He was followed closely by Swiss psychologist Carl Jung. Both Freud
and Jung understood dreams to be windows into the unconscious personality. Like
shadows reflecting a reality we don’t always see, dreams tell us about our
hidden selves. Usually they speak in a symbolic language that draws on the
imagery we use in our everyday lives. So we dream of turning up naked to an
examination when we’re anxious about a job interview scheduled the next day. Or
we dream of being chased down a dead-end alley when facing the stress of
limited options. Or we see ourselves flying weightless over the treetops when
longing for new levels of freedom.
These
are all natural dreams. They contain messages from ourselves. With its in-built (崁入的) healing system, the
brain uses dreaming to process the everyday happenings of our lives. It’s a
little like housecleaning for the mind.
Humans need to dreams. That’s why
dreams have been called the “guardians of sanity.” Researchers have found that
if we try to stop persons dreaming, they show signs of mental illness. These
natural dreams offer much more to us than just “housecleaning.” They can be a
powerful tool for self-awareness. We are not always familiar with what is going
on beneath the surface, but our dreams point the ways. Jung wrote, “No one who
does not know himself can know others. And in each of us, there is another whom
we do not know.” He speaks to us in dreams and tells us how differently he sees
us from the way we see ourselves.
This
is why it is so important to attend to our dreams. Each one of us was created
for potential and purpose. Like a physical wound that has inbuilt mechanisms to
heal itself, our dreams point the ways towards healing and growth. They become
a powerful aid for personal development, exposing our anxieties, fears and
wounds. They shout; “Alert, alert!” Something needs attention. This may
have been the case in Meg’s dream. She may have been suspicious of her
husband’s deceitful behavior, but was unable to confront it in her waking life.
Her dream of the devil revealed the truth. When we have a natural dream that
draws our attention, take note of it. It’s a bit like having our own personal
therapist! Natural dreams are well worth listening to.
 
2. Dreams Come from the Spirit World
The
second source of our dreams is the spirit world. Dreams act as a kind of
doorway between the earthly and the spiritual realm. This
understanding of dreams has been held by practically every culture and religion
in history. The American Indians have their dream-catchers; the
Chinese have their dream books and the Ancient Babylonians had their
professional dream interpreters. Most religions also share this perspective of
dreams. Hindus, Muslims and Jews all have sacred Scriptures that contain
accounts of the spirits communicating through dreams. The idea that there is
another world of reality that breaks in through our dreams occurs everywhere
except in modern Western culture.
When
the spirit world speaks to us in our dreams, we can often access information
that is normally inaccessible to us. Even evil spirits
can get it right.  But
that doesn’t mean that we should listen to them. When we open ourselves to
hearing from unknown spirits, we can never be sure of their intentions.
Spirit-dreams can often lead to fear, shame and condemnation. The best way to
deal with these kinds of dreams is to resist them. If we hold to the Christian
faith, pray in the name of Jesus for these voices to be silenced before we go
to sleep. They cannot be the blessing.
 
3. Dreams Come from God
Finally,
our dreams may come from God. In Christianity, God is deeply personal and longs
to have a personal relationship with us based on two-way communication. People are often familiar
with prayers, but they have not always considered the possibility that God can
speak back. The Bible itself contains hundreds of examples of personal “God
conversations.” Most of these conversations occurred while someone was
sleeping! Even the Christmas story contains five different dreams. The baby
Jesus would have been murdered if people had not listened to them (Matthew
1-2). We should
recognize God-dreams, because they are always creative, clever and contain
wisdom from beyond ourselves. Often they contain supernatural information. Some
reveal glimpses of the future. Dreams that are sourced in God will always bring
hope, joy, peace and love to every situation. They will be consistent with his
character most fully revealed in Jesus who came to give us life to the full
(John 10:10). God speaks to people regardless of whether they affiliated with a
religion. This is because he wants to reveal himself to all people.
This
may well have been the case with our friend Meg. God may have been revealing
supernatural information that would protect her from her deceitful husband. If we
have not yet encountered God revealed in Jesus for ourselves, we should pray
and ask God to speak to us. We can also learn more about what God is like in
the Bible. Our prayers will know the God who speaks personally to us, and we
will always have sweet dreams!
 

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