Dream Interpretation

A Scientific and Practical Exposition
By Gustavus Hindman Miller

"Dreams are rudiments of the great state to come.
We dream what is about to happen" - Bailey

The Bible, as well as other great books of historical and revealed religion, shows traces of a general and substantial belief in dreams. Plato, Goethe, Shakespeare and Napoleon assigned to certain dreams prophetic value. Joseph saw eleven stars of the Zodiac bow to himself, the twelfth star. The famine of Egypt was revealed by a vision of fat and lean cattle. The parents of Christ were warned of the cruel edict of Herod, and fled with the Divine Child into Egypt.

Pilate's wife, through the influence of a dream, advised her husband to have nothing to do with the conviction of Christ. But the gross materialism of the day laughed at dreams, as it echoed the voice and verdict of the multitude, "Crucify the Spirit, but let the flesh live." Barabbas, the robber, was set at liberty.

The ultimatum of all human decrees and wisdom is to gratify the passions of the flesh at the expense of the spirit. The prophets and those who have stood nearest the fountain of universal knowledge used dreams with more frequency than any other mode of divination. Profane, as well as sacred, history is threaded with incidents of dream prophecy. Ancient history relates that Gennadius was convinced of the immortality of his soul by conversing with an apparition in his dream.

The writers of Greek and Latin classics relate many instances of dream experiences. Homer accorded to some dreams divine origin. During the third and fourth centuries, the supernatural origin of dreams was so generally accepted that the fathers, relying upon the classics and the Bible as authority, made this belief a doctrine of the Christian Church. Synesius placed dreaming above all methods of divining the future; he thought it the surest, and open to the poor and rich alike.

Aristotle wrote: "There is a divination concerning some things in dreams not incredible." Camille Flammarion, in his great book on "Premonitory Dreams and Divination of the Future," says: "I do not hesitate to affirm at the outset that occurrence of dreams foretelling future events with accuracy must be accepted as certain."

Joan of Arc predicted her death. Cazotte, the French philosopher and transcendentalist, warned Condorcet against the manner of his death. People dream now, the same as they did in medieval and ancient times. Here are some other examples.

"A child six years old stops in the middle of his play and cries out, frightened: "Mamma, I have seen Mamma." At that moment his mother was dying far away from him. A young girl at a ball stops short in the middle of a dance and cries, bursting into tears. 'My father is dead; I have just seen him.' At that moment her father died. She did not even know he was ill. All these things present themselves to us as indicating not physiological operations of one brain acting on another, but psychic actions of spirit upon spirit. We feel that they indicate to us some power unknown.

No doubt it is difficult to apportion what belongs to the spirit, the soul, and what belongs to the brain. We can only let ourselves be guided in our judgment and our appreciations by the same feeling that is created in us by the discussion of phenomena. This is how all science has been started. Well, and does not everyone feel that we have here to do with manifestations from beings capable of thought, and not with material physiological facts only?

All these show unknown faculties in the soul. Such at least is my own impression. It seems to me that we cannot reasonably attribute the prevision of the future and mental sight to a nervous action of the brain.

I think we must either deny these facts or admit that they must have had an intellectual and spiritual cause of the psychic order, and I recommend sceptics who do not desire to be convinced, to deny them outright; to treat them as illusions and cases of a fortuitous coincidence of circumstances. They will find this easier.

Uncompromising deniers of facts, rebels against evidence, may be all the more positive, and may declare that the writers of these extraordinary narratives are persons fond of a joke, who have written them to hoax me, and that there have been persons in all ages who have done the same thing to mystify thinkers who have taken up such questions.

These phenomena prove, I think, that the soul exists, and that it is endowed with faculties at present unknown. That is the logical way of commencing our study, which in the end may lead us to the problem of the after-life and immortality. A thought can be transmitted to the mind of another. There are mental transmissions, communications of thoughts, and psychic currents between human souls. Space appears to be no obstacle in these cases, and time sometimes seems to be annihilated.

A few years ago a person whom I will designate as "A" related a dream to me as follows: "I take no interest in pugilism or pugilists, but I saw, in a dream, every detail of the Corbett and Fitzsimmons mill, four days before it took place out West. Two nights before the fight I had a second dream in which a favorite horse was running, but suddenly, just before the judge's stand was passed, a hitherto unobserved little black horse ran ahead and the crowd shouted in my ears, `Fitzsimmons wins!'

"B" relates the following as a dream: "I saw the American soldiers, in clay-colored uniform, bearing the flag of victory two weeks before the Spanish-American war was declared, and of course before any living being could have known the uniform to be adopted. Later I saw, several days before the actual occurrence happened, the destruction of Cervera's fleet by the American navy." Signed "B."

"Just after the South African hostilities began, I saw in a dream a fierce struggle between the British and Boers, in which the former suffered severe losses. A few nights after I had a second dream in which I saw the contending forces in a long-drawn contest, very disastrous to both, and in which neither could claim a victory. They seemed to be fighting to a frazzle." Signed "C."

In this dream we find the dreamer conversing with some strange intelligence possessed of knowledge unknown to objective reason. It could not, therefore, have been the waking thoughts of the dreamer, for he possessed no such information. Was the message superinduced through the energies and activities of the waking mind on the subjective mind? This could not have been, because he had no such thoughts; besides, the intelligence given was free from the errors of the calculating and anxious waking mind.

We must therefore look to other sources for an explanation. Was it the higher self that manifested to Abraham in the dim ages of the world? Was it the Divine Voice that gave solace to Krishna in his abstraction? Was it the unerring light that preceded Gautama into the strange solitudes of Asia? Was it the small voice that Elijah heard in the desert of Shurr? Was it the Comforter of Jesus in the wilderness and the garden of distress? Or, was it Paul's indwelling spirit of this earthly tabernacle?

One thing we may truthfully affirm--that it did not proceed from the rational, objective mind of the rank materialist, who would close all doors to that inner life and consciousness where all true religion finds its birthmark, its hope, its promises and its faith; which, rightly understood, will leave to the horrors of the Roman crucifixion the twin thieves, superstition and scepticism, while the angel of "Goodwill" will go free to solace the world with the fruit and fragrance of enduring power and promise.The steel chains that fasten these hydra-headed crocodiles of sensuous poison around love and destiny can only be severed by the diamond of wisdom and knowledge.

This is an edited extract from the authors preface to The Dream Dictionary by Gustavus Hindman Miller and published by Foulsham Books. The complete preface may be viewed at www.Paranormality.com

Soothingminds Poll
What colour are you currently attracted to?

Archived Polls