leads us to metamorphosis—defined as a change in the
form or nature of a substance because of either natural or
supernatural means. How fitting.
A holy dream shifts our mind, awareness, or interior
posture upward to new, loftier, perhaps more abstract
levels. My research and direct experience shows that
shift can endure. It lingers, influencing us in subtle and
sometimes obvious ways, often prompting us to shape,
arrange, or reorder ourselves at our very ground of
being. Outwardly we may appear unchanged, yet within
ourselves we know something radical has happened.
Because the holy dream shows up during what I
believe is a transcendent state of sleep, some say it’s like
praying while asleep. We somehow become aware of
HOLY DREAMS VS. VISIONS
A dream is an interior image, picture, or story that
takes place during sleep, while a vision appears externally.
A vision can result from ingesting drugs (such as LSD),
plants (including peyote), certain teas, or herbs, as well
as from mental instabilities or chemical imbalances. Even
high fevers, illnesses, and exhaustion can stimulate a
vision. Yet only a few of us have visions. Dreams, on the
other hand, are universal. All people dream nightly.
The holy dream flows from a very specific state of
sleep in which our minds and thus our dreams are
stirred by God (or Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Divine,
the Absolute—please choose your own terms). These
dreams are, in fact, so weighty we rarely forget them
and ponder them frequently. Throughout our lives, a
single holy dream can grow with us, developing its truth
and unfolding its message as we mature spiritually. The
worst thing we can do is rush to judgment or force a
delicately nuanced verity along. Time lets the dream
grow us. A holy dream, after all, holds a teaching or a
parable, a story with a moral.
I find similarities in the dreams of those in religious,
spiritual, or highly creative fields. Such people may share
the ability to receive, recall, and quite easily use the
wisdom and power contained in their dreams—holy or
otherwise. Do such people dream more richly, understand
more fully, and somehow invite spiritual dreams more
easily than others? I believe so.
These “fruitful” dreamers are also more patient with
ambiguity. They don’t try to force some linear, cookie-
cutter answer. They intuitively recognize their need for
rest and renewal. They carve out time for the regular
recharging of mental batteries. They habitually daydream,
putter, and are preoccupied with some idea, solution,
or project in ways that free their thought processes.
Inventors, for example, are famous for utilizing their
hypnagogic states (that delicate time between sleep and
wakefulness) to invite dreams about their most enchanting
projects. When the mind struggles for answers, we are
absorbed, fully engaged. That’s a call Spirit hears.
DECODING HOLY DREAMS
Holy dreams reflect God’s word, plan, and purposes for
our lives. People of all ages and backgrounds report having
grief, cautionary, healing, or directing dreams. Children
often tell of angels bringing them inspiration in dreams.
The Bible reveals some such dreams are prophetic. It’s said
Abraham Lincoln dreamt of his death a few days before he
was shot, although most dreams of dying can symbolize
some type of personal transformation. The holy dream
simply accentuates what’s for us.
Some feel infused with creative power and wisdom after
such dreams. Saint John Bosco, for example, learned of
his vocation through his holy dreams in which the Virgin
Mary, angels, and other saintly figures appeared to guide
him toward his calling. Throughout his life, he recorded
his most revealing dreams and taught their morally
elevating lessons to his students.
IS NOT A
PIZZ A— WE