God and Dreams
God in a dream can depict several things: it can point to a set of emotions you use to deal with anxiety – i.e. our own belief that a higher power is in charge, so therefore you are okay in the world and are not responsible – maybe a way to lessen self responsibility. God can represent a parent image from early infancy, or a set of moral or philosophical beliefs you hold. In some dreams, because of personal feelings or beliefs, God depicts self judgement on your behavior or value – or something/someone you worship. In dreams of positive and uplifting experience, God can indicate a feeling of connection with humanity, an expression of the fundamental creative/destructive process in yourself, or an experience of your living interaction or relationship with all beings and the universe.
So to dream of God might be an expression of your religious feelings or emotional feelings about God. But it is helpful to remember that if you have strong feelings for a friend, or think about them and feel uplifted or moved, the feelings in no way are that friend. They are only about that friend. So in most cases, when someone tells us they were moved by God, they are usually meaning they were moved by feelings or ideas they experienced about God.
Jung says that while the Catholic Church admits of dreams sent by God, most theologians make little attempt to understand dreams in relationship to God.
God can also depict processes in you that can be enormously transformative. Seen in a very practical way, if a person believes there is nothing in life that stands beyond their present situation and weakness, they might never open to the possibility of healing change. Even if God is only an idea, opening to the influence of that idea allows the action within oneself of an enormous enlargement of functions such as self-healing, widening of awareness, and reaching beyond ones previous limitations and boundaries.
In some dreams however, one has an experience almost as if there is no separation between what is sensed as God, and oneself. This formless, often emotionless experience, may be thought of as an opening to your fundamental and core self. The following dream illustrates this full experience of God as ones fundamental self.
Example: I thought about the dream that I had about L., the dream was that L. had a very red face and told me that she was pregnant. But I didn’t think that I could have made her pregnant and I told her so. She then changed her mind and said, ‘OK then I’m not pregnant’.
In working on the dream I imagined becoming L. I entered into her pregnant body and felt her sexuality and understood the dream. She had offered herself to me, her sexuality and her body but I hadn’t recognised it, I didn’t see it and so she withdrew. L. wants another child and she had offered herself to me but I couldn’t give myself to her. I had never given myself before. In the dream I felt I was not responsible for her pregnancy, and that represents the denial of my own sexuality and of all that results from it.
This is when I entered into the house of God. At first I saw the image of a huge cathedral or church with a magnificent domed roof and I knew that I was in the house of God. I felt the utopia. I felt like I have never felt before, so very good, so excellent. I knew all things. I didn’t have to read the bible or any kind of teachings because the answers are all here in the presence of God. In this state I could ask any question and know the answer. I knew God, yet I was God because there was no separation. Neal C.
The archetypal image of God, when investigated as in the above dream, often reveals itself to be an underlying sense that our core self is in some way life itself, the creative impulse of life. We find that the mystery that created the universe is at the core of us. This unconscious realisation that within us is the Creator, that the holy essense of life itself is expressing through us as our own being, is often so difficult to accept that it is usually projected outward to form an external God. We approach this external God as if it is something distinct from us. Yet again and again, when people delve deeply into themselves they arrive at the realisation – I AM THAT I AM.
Of course this doesn’t refer to ones personality, but to the essence of life that causes you to exist and can flow out into what you do and who you are. If it is taken personally then it can become a sort of mental confusion.
Also, the powerful emotions we sometimes experience about God may well be connected with our tremendous childhood need for love and approval from parents. But equally as likely is that the immense feelings we have about meeting God in a dream, may express the wonder and perhaps terror we experience in meeting the enormity of realising that our fundamental self is the Creator. As the ego melts and realises itself as the One Great Life, undifferentiated, there can no longer be a sense of real separation.
However, the dream God can be many things, and the next exploration of God in dreams shows a very different aspect of it.
When I explored the emotions that had surfaced in recent dreams about God, I came across something totally unexpected. I had decided I would treat the image of God like a dream image, and ‘get inside it’, find out what was behind it. When I managed to do this I found with amazement that my desperate need for my father’s love, a love he found difficult to express, had been transported into my internal sense of God.
At this point I suddenly saw that my urge for God is actually the urge for my father’s love. My unsatisfied urge to receive love from my father, became a power to create an image of a loving God, an image of a cosmic father who can love – and from this inner creation I can get the love I need. I created a loving God because that was my need. But others may create an avenging God to deal with their feelings of guilt; or a mysterious beautiful ever present God to deal with a sense of parental loss, and so on. The image takes the place of real human love – a second best. I saw also that it is much more honest to say – not God loves me – but I am touching the love within myself. I have become the father. I am the God. I have dared to take on the role of father and God.
This makes sense and links with what has been said about the fundamental creative core in ourselves when we express it in a different way. You are always the hero of your own life. You are the central character of your own drama of experience. You are the one facing life and death, love and despair. As such you are the deed doer, the hero or fallen god, especially when the dream is portraying dramatic life events.
To make what has been said about God clearer in practical language we can look at the universe we exist in. Without the universe we do not exist. We can therefore say all we experience, all that we are, has arisen out of the processes of the universe.
Taken a step further, the universe as we experience it, as far as we understand through scientific investigation, did not originally exist in its present form. Originally there existed something very difficult to reason about because there was no time or space or physical matter as we now know it. Time and space, and the material universe came about after the big bang. So originally there was, or still is according to quantum physics, a timeless and spaceless existence.
An aspect of this that is often overlooked is that one condition died to give rise to another. This death and birth are repeated everywhere in what we can see in our universe. The sun is dying as it radiates its energy, and this allows life on our planet.
However we conceive of it, the coming into being of the universe was an incredibly creative process. If we consider what we know about the universe, this creativity, this death and rebirth is still going on everywhere. It is an everyday human experience. It is what underlies every aspect of our own existence.
Example: I witnessed a conversation between a man and a woman, and the man says, “Religion; that’s surely a direction for failures and people who can’t really cope with facing reality.”
And the woman he is accusing of this inability to face reality says, “You poor person! Is your mind or awareness so tiny that you have never realised the forces and processes of your own body are beyond anything you understand? Can’t you see that your very existence is brought about by things so far beyond your knowledge that it is only a statement of your impoverishment to suggest religion is an expression of some sort of smallness and failure. Have you never understood that? Have you not seen that religion is not only an acknowledgement of what we fail to understand and yet depend upon, but it is also an opening to it, a willingness to relate to it? It can also be something far more even than that. It is can be an active loving relationship. And such love is an exchange, a sharing, a way of merging one with another. It is an exchange – a sharing of bodily fluids – the very substance of life. Is that something you are afraid of?”
As expressions of the universe, that creativity, that creative leap into being from a timeless and spaceless existence is fundamantal in your own life. You and I are an expression of it. And what is found in dreams and in deep self enquiry is that if you dig deep enough into yourself, you come to an encounter with that timeless and spaceless core. You discover that what created the universe, whatever name you want to give it, is at the core of you too. And that core is eternal and enormously creative. You are enormously creative – if you touch your core.
Below are two more examples of dreaming about God, or ones core self.
I felt myself to be a primitive tribal male. Suddenly I encountered a force – or what I saw as an immense being. This being I felt was a god or God, but looking back it wasn’t an all encompassing being, so was more like a god, or an aspect of God. My visual impression of it though, was of something so huge yet visible, that I was at first terrified of it, and so were my ‘people’. If one can imagine an immense skyscraper rising into the clouds and beyond, yet not a building but a living being, that was my view of it. This being I knew as the All Shaper. It was the power that gave form or shape to everything. As such it could influence the shape one had become through the errors of history or the deeds of ones family or oneself. The pristine shape or matrix which guides the cells to form organs could be restored.
There was a problem however. This being was terrifying and beyond the gods of my people. To stand before it or acknowledge it was akin to transgressing all the lore of the tribe, all its customs. So not only was the All Shaper something more than we had known before and so threatening to our – and my – world view, but also to take it as ones god was to break with all the tribal traditions and to stand apart and different to ones whole tribe. Christopher.
Before I went to sleep that night I focused on the question -Who am I, really?
The dream was vivid, and still gives me shivers to this day. I dreamed that I looked up and there was this incredible star that was emanating points of light in the sky. It got brighter and brighter and the bottom-most point reached down to where I was and transported me up to the star. The points of light came out from the centre in all directions, and I found myself on the end of one of the horizontal points.
A wonderful (female) voice spoke to me and said this is who you are, and I had the strong sense of being located at the end of the horizontal light bar. Then she said and this is who you are and carried (transported in some way) me to the next bar of light, where I saw another version (incarnation?) of myself (in a different time and place, although I knew that the essence of this version of me was really me). She continued transporting me from bar to bar where I experienced myself in many different versions in the past, present, and future. I had different skills and interests that were the focal point of each version of myself–a musician in one, a farmer in another.
Some of the versions were females, although I experienced the same sense of self in all of them. Then she returned me to the horizontal bar of my current self and said to me that all of this is who I am, but that now she was going to show me who I really am. Then she drew me into the centre of the star (light, energy source) where I merged with her and could see each of the emanating points of light as manifestations of a single source or spirit. It was one of the most incredible feelings of being integrated and whole that I’ve ever experienced, and I basked in the feeling for a while just absorbing and soaking it in. Then she returned me to myself (with a cosmic wink) and I slept peacefully for the rest of the night. Ever since then I haven’t felt the need to ask who or what I am, and I’ve seen my various abilities and struggles in life in a totally new way. C.A.