Dreams of Spiritual Transformation

Symptoms of Spiritual Awakening

Image via Pinterest.

Big changes in life are usually easy to detect.  We all recognize when there is a need to change a job, or a desire to get married.  There are external and internal catalysts that tell us it’s time to make a change.   We no longer feel the job is right for us or we meet a special person who awakens new and wondrous feelings.  We go ahead and make the decisions that set in place the change, and change happens.   We get a new job or we get married.   Our lives are transformed.   We judge the success of the change by the outcome of the new job or marriage.

Monitoring Spiritual Transformation is Often Not So Simple

On the spiritual level, the need to make a change, as well as the ability to monitor the success and degree of change is often a lot more subtle, and may take years to notice if we lead a busy, work-filled lifestyle.  The catalysts for spiritual change, especially the profound and life altering changes at the soul level, such as the need to live for a deeper reason, or a loss of feeling comfortable with the way things are can bring on rich, insightful, and even guiding dreams that help one through the often difficult challenges and obstacles that happen later in the process of spiritual transformation.  Dreams help us get prepared for the shift at the soul level.

Dreamwork Helps Monitor Spiritual Change

Doing dreamwork over a long period of time has many advantages, and one of them is the ability to see one’s own spiritual transformation take place before one’s eyes, over a period of time, presently or imminently—before it actually manifests in waking life.  This can be especially helpful if one is going through a long, dark period when no glimmer of hope for change seems so on the horizon.

This transformation can be seen in dreams by symbols and stories of change.  A symbols doesn’t have to be obviously spiritual or religious, but the dreamer will make the association if it is.   An important symbol in the dream may actually morph and change shape, showing the type of transformation that will take place.  A process taking place in the dream may symbolize what the dreamer will go through.  Voices may actually tell the dreamer that change has taken place, or will take place.

I am reminded of a recent dream I had where I parked my car and walked off, only to return to find that my old car had morphed into an amazing new car that had a special feel to it.  Someone in the dream scene told me that I had parked my car in a “zone of transformation” so that caused the car to be transformed!  Previously in the past couple of years, I had dreams of my old car having brake and tire problems—even being blown up, all of which seem to reflect the many spiritual challenges I faced at this time that related to making my way through life.  This transformational dream related to my car certainly lets me know that all those challenges are leading to change!

Bringing Dreamwork into Religious Practice

Jacob's Dream

Jacob’s Dream. Image via Pinterest.

Just like prayer and meditation, working with dreams is a method of spiritual practice because dreams are spiritual in nature in that they speak for the soul.  Just by doing the exercise of recording and reflecting upon our dreams, we are connecting with the spiritual aspect of ourselves.

If we seriously practice a religion, the spiritual practice of dreamwork can be made part of our religious experience by 1) using prayer as part of our intentional dreaming and 2) by referring to the Bible or some other holy writing when we reflect upon the meaning of our dreams. 

Intentional Dreaming

Intentional dreaming is requesting a specific insight, solution or healing from a dream.  This is a very ancient practice that has often been connected to religion.  This practice can be done today by praying to Jesus, God or some other spiritual figure to provide guidance and help with our request before we go to bed at night.

Referring to the Bible or Other Inspired Writing

We can work with the Bible or other holy book to help us understand our dreams.  The Hawaiians have a practice of praying about an important dream to ask for guidance in interpreting the dream.  Then, they open the Bible to a random place and read the passage that presents itself.  They look for a correlation or some inspiration to come based on a combination of the dream and the passage.

Another way of tying dreams to the Bible is to look at the symbols in the dream.  Many symbols in important dreams are also symbols found in the Bible.  For example, I once dreamed of a chair in my living room that had caught fire and burned but did not burn up.  It reminded me of the Burning Bush in the Old Testament.  I reflected on the meaning of the Burning Bush in the Bible as a sign of God’s presence to Moses and wondered if this wasn’t telling me that something numinous was happening in my own life!  Sure enough, a strong and new energy soon came into my life which redirected my spiritual journey.

Still another way of understanding dreams as they relate to the Bible is to learn from any of the many biblical passages where holy people used dreams for inspiration and guidance.  The story of Joseph in the Old Testament and the story of Joseph, the husband of Mary, come to mind as people who relied on dreams to shape their lives.  We can observe how they worked with dreams and do as they did.  Try these practices and see how they enliven your dream and waking life!