Thursday, March 25, 2010

Do you dream about God?

I was reading the autobiography of St. Thérèse not long ago, and was struck by these lines: "I often wonder why I do not dream about God since I think about Him all day. My dreams are usually about woods, flowers, rivers and the sea..."

At once I realized that I never dream about God either. One time years ago Jesus appeared symbolically in one of my dreams, but I didn't recognize it until after I woke up. My dream-self never even remembers that God exists. (Maybe that's part of why the dream world is so crazy and random and sometimes downright sinister.) Once I even dreamed of Word of Life Island, where I had a huge, life-changing experience of God when I was 13, and when I woke up I realized that it was July 14, the seventh anniversary of that very day. But the dream had been strictly about the location, with nothing about what happened there.

I don't think about God every moment like St. Thérèse, but I do think of Him a lot, so how come He never makes it to my dreams? Before I attempt to draw any conclusions I'd like to gather more data, so someone please share: is this true of you as well, or are St. Thérèse and I the only ones?


Pam H. said...

Isn't there a theory that dreams are the subconscious' way of processing our life experiences? And maybe it's the sensory experiences (even if we experience them in our minds, emotions, etc., they're usually sensory) that need dealing with. And I don't know about everyone else, but I don't have too many experiences of God that are sensory. So, yes, I confirm your experience, and that's my half-baked theory.

Maybe dreams about God are restricted to those that are Sent, on purpose. (St. Joseph's come to mind.)

Susan Thompson said...

I've been enjoying your blog for awhile. I found it through Conversion Diary.

I don't dream about God either. Perhaps God prevents it in order to avoid the theological chaos which would ensue. We all attribute meaning and significance to our dreams, and if God showed up as a random character in our dreams it would confuse us. That's my theory.

JimAroo said...

Nope - no God in my dreams.... my dream world looks like this world would look if there were no God...chaotic... irrational... disconnected...alienated... meaningless in a bizarre alice in wonderland way....disordered.

I do experience God often with my senses,my imagination, and my emotions in my prayer. So I guess I will go with Susan's theology on this question.

Rachel Gray said...

Thanks for your input, folks. :) So none of us dream about God-- interesting. (If anyone out there does, please add your comment!)

I can understand why God might prevent us from dreaming about him, at least in ways that could be easily misinterpreted as divine commands. (If I did have such a dream I don't think I'd act on it without other evidence that it was God's will.)

Welcome Susan, and thanks. I love Conversion Diary!

Gary Page said...

I've only had one dream with God in it. Almost 30 years ago I was selling cars for a living. I dreamed that I had died and gone to heaven. As St. Peter led me in, we traveled down a dirt road and passed by many tumble-down shacks. I asked who lived in such terrible abodes and each time St. Peter would answer with the name of a saint: St. Francis over there, St Pius V over here, St. Faustina two doors down. Finally the dirt road ended and was replaced by gold cobblestones leading up to a huge Victorian mansion - with my name on it! I protested to St. Peter that there must be some mistake. He said I would have to take it up with the Big Guy. At that moment, God the Father appeared and said "What's the problem, son?" I said, "How can I deserve this when all these saints are in such humble homes?" God replied, "Oh that - you see we have lots of saints and popes up here, but you're the first car salesman!"

JimAroo said...

Hey, wait a second, that you mention it I had almost the same dream when I was a real estate salesman.

Rachel Gray said...

This is such a coincidence. I, too, had a dream of Heaven. I dreamed that I wanted to bring my considerable wealth with me into the afterlife, so when I realized that death was approaching I quickly liquefied all my assets and converted them to gold ingots which I piled in a burlap sack and tied to my ankle. The stratagem succeeded and I found myself at the pearly gates with all my wealth in hand. I marched right up to St. Peter, explained the situation, and asked if I could take the sack of gold with me into Heaven. "Well," said he, scratching his head, "sure, I guess. But why did you bring pavement?"

Harmony said...

Hi Rachel,

I just discovered your blog today and find this question very interesting! I have never really dreamt about GOD either, come to think of it!
My theory is that perhaps if we dreamt about GOD, it would signify that we are(or felt) seperate from Him. And as a previous commenter suggested that dreams were a way of processing experiences in our lives, I think our relationship or knowledge of GOD is a complete part of us. No need for working it out in dreamlife.

Anyway, I look forward to your future posts!

God Bless!

Rachel Gray said...

Thanks Harmony! I think you're on to something about perhaps not dreaming about God because we're so close to Him. I'm a separate person from God but I wouldn't even be in existence without Him. This makes me think of the beautiful Psalm 139:

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast...
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.

adonela said...

well, my dream definitely did not have a mansion-- it did however involve Our Lady and Our Lord...and a future canonization.

Rachel Gray said...

Well, I'm not surprised you dreamed of me being canonized, but remember it's not kosher to speak of it while I'm still alive. ;)