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Spirituality Articles


Voyage of Dreams

by Hal. N. Banks

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Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt taken from the book, “ An Introduction to Psychic Studies’ by Hal. N. Banks. The book went through several printing with the last being in 1989. It is now out of print but here is what it had to say about dreams.

"Then the Lord came down in a pillar Of cloud and stood at the doorway of the tent, and He called Aaron and Miriam. When they had both come forward, He said, ‘Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord shall make Myself known to him in a vision. I shall speak with him in a dream.’ ”
Numbers 12:5-7


A. A dream is a series of pictures, visual images, events or mental activity that occurs during sleep.

1 . W. E. Sargent, the author of Teach Yourself Psychology, defines a dream as a "...mental 'play' illustrating part of the sleeper's unconscious life ......

2. Dreams are commonplace. We all dream. Scientists state emphatically that each night as we sleep we dream. The scientific community is still uncertain as to why we dream, and the study and investigation of dreams is still in its infancy.
a. ...Having thus ascertained that dreaming is both a universal and an essential function among humans, researchers sought to discover why we dream. So far a number of interesting and highly complex hypotheses have been advanced. But no scientist can yet say for sure that he knows why we dream. All that science knows for certain is that everyone does dream and that everyone must dream if he is to remain psychologically healthy. Some people may think that they do not dream; but, in these cases, what really happens is that the individual forgets his dreams - perhaps because it is emotionally too painful for him to remember them.'

3. The first scientific study of the dream state was begun in 1953 at the University of' Chicago by Eugene Aserinsky. He noted that while babies slept their eyes moved rapidly under their closed lids. Thus, adults were also tested while asleep and ihe same thing happened. The term Rapid Eye Movement came into our vocabulary. So scientists determined that if there are REMs a person is usually dreaming.
a. While dreams have always been of interest and widely discussed dreams now became the subject of scientific inquiry.
b. Psychologists and psychiatrists, however, have for years investigated the meaning of dreams. Dr. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was the pioneer in dream research and his Interpretation of Dreams, published in 1900, became a classic.
(1) Freud said that dreams are the language of the unconscious and symbolically depict or represent our tensions, hostilities, hopes and fears. He indicated that dreams were significantly meaningful pronouncements in symbolic language of the dreamer's personality. (i.) Freud was convinced that dreams served to discharge sexual and aggressive drives in the individual in such a way that they eluded public censure.

4. Another giant in the area of dream research and investigation was the Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung (1875-1961).
a. To Jung dreams represented efforts by the dreamer to discover his psychic development which would enable him to plan for the future. He speaks of the symbology of dreams:
... As cultural archetypes, 'primordial images' seen in the world's myths and folklore shared by all people in a common or racialcultural heritage, called the collective unconscious. The object of dream analysis was to interpret the dreamer's fantasy life in terms of these archetypes, adjusting him or her to the collective unconscious, to 'get right with civilization..."

5. There are many reasons why we dream. Dreams release the frustrating feelings and thoughts that we cannot handle in our daily everyday life. A dream then serves as a 'safety valve."
a. We dream for many reasons, and they usually concern incidents that happened earlier in the day. You might have had an argument with your spouse; had an automobile accident; are concerned with a test tomorrow in a subject that you dislike; had a ruckus at a party; caught an annoying cold - any of these things might set the stage for the night's dream activity.
(1) Dreaming can be the result of our emotional state. When your feelings are hurt, when you feel insecure, when you are caught up in loneliness, when you are frightened or are filled with fear, when you are severely depressed or have been rejected by someone you genuinely care about - all of these factors contribute to the night's dream menu.
(2) How you feel physically has a vital relationship to your dreams. Too much food and drink with the attendant indigestion will influence the ingredients of your dreams. I recall a young fellow who consumed too much beer. That night he dreamed that he was drowning in a sea of beer. Illness frequently will manifest in dreams.
(3) Bedroom conditions can make for dreaming episodes. If the room is too hot or cold, if you are restless, if your bodily condition is uncomfortable, or if you are about ready to roll off the bed, all these factors are grist for the dream mill.

6. Dreams are filled with symbols, and any study of the pertinent literature in the field will substantiate this fact.
a. ...The main characteristic of nearly all dreams is their symbolism. Of all our experiences, dreams are doubtless the most symbolic. They represent certain wishes, desires, emotions, thoughts, etc., which fill the subconscious mind ... These thoughts, as they become externalized, are presented in symbolic form. Thus, a snake may be a symbol of fear and hatred; an angel may be a symbol of love; a key may be a symbol of success, etc."


A. According to a learned Jew, a dream not interpreted is like a letter not opened. Many dreams, especially if they concern patterns of our daily living, are not too difficult to interpret. Dreams that are complex and filled with symbols are another matter. There are "helps" available for your personal dream interpretation, but much published material is inadequate for in-depth interpretation.
1. Psychotheraphy can prove helpful.
2. One of the first things you should do if you wish to analyze your dreams is to keep a dream diary. Alan Davis in his book, What Your Dreams Mean, in speaking of a dream diary, tells us that:
... This log is extremely important, because dreams are meaningful only in relation to other dreams and in 'relation to what you know about yourself as a person. If you attempt to analyze individual dream symbols or fragments of dreams without relating them to your other dreams and to what you know about yourself as a person, you will accomplish nothing. In order to understand fully what your dreams mean you must study all your dreams, as a whole and seek recurrent themes and patterns of symbolism.'

B. Your interest in dreams and especially in their interpretation should take you to a good bookstore or public library. Abundant literature is available.

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