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Kabbalah on Dreams

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Kabbalah on Dreams

DREAM STATES

Life is but a dream.

Literally, according to the Zohar! Kabbalah considers our physical world an illusion, a temporary residence, and not true reality.

Our world of morning mochaccinos and evening rush hour traffic jams is just one of many dream worlds and dimensions that separate us from the ultimate reality. These other dimensions are accessible in a variety of ways, one of which is through the dream state.

THE PURPOSE OF SLEEP

When the sun is set and the stars spatter the heavens, part of our soul leaves our body. Even if we remain awake, part of the soul still departs, which is one reason why we begin to feel more tired and drained as night unfolds.
 

During actual sleep, the Zohar explains that 59 of 60 parts of our soul have now left the body, leaving only 1/60 to sustain us physically.
 

When the body is in slumber, the chains of physical existence are suddenly broken. The soul is now free to ascend to a high place in the spiritual atmosphere where it receives nourishment, power, and the occasional oil change. Why the need for a recharge?

In the course of a typical, chaotic day, the limitations of time, space, and motion extract their toll on the body and soul. Take the concept of time, for example: Time constantly keeps us under extreme pressure. Either we're playing catch-up, madly trying to meet deadlines as the clock races by, or we grow wildly impatient as time slows down to a crawl.

WHY THE DREAM STATE?

During our "metaphysical tune-up", the soul is in a realm beyond time and space. Past, present, and future are unified into one. The panorama of a human life span is fully displayed from birth to death.

Thus, in addition to getting a recharge, the soul oftentimes catches sight of events that are coming our way, both positive and negative.

These glimpses are then filtered down to the body, where they take the form of dreams.

Most of our dreams are a combo-plate special. In other words, one aspect of a dream consists of the events, experiences, and thoughts currently occupying our conscious minds. Interspersed into this mixture are visions of the soul that dwell in the subconscious.

According to Kabbalah, dreams offer us the opportunity to understand our negative character traits. They can help us learn what it is we need to change in order to grow spiritually. Of course, we must know how to read and intepret the dream in order to discern this wisdom.

Moreover, if a person has no intent or desire to change or experience spiritual growth and transformation (probably 95% of the world remains stuck in this category), then the messages of the soul are that much harder to detect. In fact, we probably won't even remember the majority our dreams.

TRUTH & CONSEQUENCES

All of our negative actions towards other people carry repercussions, as dictated by the universal law of cause and effect.

We can deny this spiritual truth.

Ignore it.

Doubt it.

Or not even realize it.

Nonetheless, for every envious glance, unkind word, and short-tempered response that we put "out there," there is an equal negative consequence coming our way. Consider it the ultimate boomerang effect.

All the repercussions looming over the horizon are what our soul perceives during sleep. Really serious consequences foreseen by the soul usually produce nightmares.

If we are open-minded, we can extrapolate the messages from our nightmares and begin to understand what we have to change about ourselves. Spiritual change is the proactive way to deflect negative effects.

It is said that King David was a man of extraordinary spiritual character. Whenever he experienced a terrifying nightmare, he was able to glean the message from it and make the necessary spiritual corrections in his life.

On the other hand, the Zohar tells us that an unjust man will often be shown a happy dream (an untruthful one) so as to lead him further astray from the path of the truth. This spiritual principle is explained in the following Zohar text:

Whoever sets out to purify himself is purified from above, and whoever sets out to defile himself is similarly defiled from above.

Zohar II, 200a

The more spiritual an individual is, the more truthful the dream he experiences.

When a person is bent on self-centered behavior, if they are enslaved to their own ego, this will tilt the scales of power from the soul to the body. Thus, it makes it far more difficult for the soul to elevate during sleep.

DAILY INVENTORY

The Kabbalists teach us that each night our soul ascends, it is asked whether we've accomplished anything of spiritual substance during the previous day. If the answer is negative, the soul cannot receive its full charging. We wake up feeling tired and lethargic, regardless of how many hours we've slept. We feel run-down, even though we're popping vitamins and exercising.

(The reason we don't experience constant fulfillment and energy in our lives is that we don't know and therefore don't live by these rules of the spiritual world.)

According to the Zohar, if a person fails to have a dream for seven days or more, it is because he is consumed by selfish desires, and tremendous negative forces are now controlling him. His negative deeds far outweigh his positive deeds each day.

Don't panic just yet. Many of us can have a dream but we might not remember it. The problem in this scenario is that there is a lack of communication between the person and his soul. If there is a lack of learning and spiritual growth in one's life, he will not merit access to the information in his dreams.

TRUTH & LIES

All dreams contain both truths and lies, according to the Zohar. Dreams that occur between the hours of 12 midnight and 5:00 a.m. usually contain a larger proportion of truth.

LEVELS OF DREAMS

Natural Dreams

This is the lowest level of the dream state. People who are predominantly materialistic and self-seeking experience this level of dream. Their dreams are usually about their material pursuits, the chaos of their life, and the anxieties that assault their waking mind during the day.

Nightmares

Bad dreams are usually aroused by our own negative behavior. Negative forces oftentimes "whisper" in our ears all the things that will frighten and torment us.

Providence Dreams

This level represents messages, warnings, and lessons for life. We should make every attempt to remember these dreams and absorb the message being conveyed. It is not uncommon to be woken up in the middle of the night after having experienced this level of dream. If possible, one should write it down in detail, for it is in the details where the most important messages are often found.

Prophetic Dreams

This level of dream is hardly ever forgotten. It is crystal clear and is commonly received by those who have dedicated their lives to spiritual transformation.

I. Dream Interpretation

Interpreting dreams is a delicate matter, and only the very knowledgeable will be able to understand the true messages that are concealed inside a dream.

A dream that is not interpreted can be likened to a person receiving an important confidential package overnight, via FedEx, and the person never bothers to open it up.

If we have a good dream, and we do not tell it to an interpreter, the dream remains in a state of potential. It becomes much harder for the positive elements of the dream to manifest in our life.

Moreover, if we do not understand the messages being conveyed through our dreams, we miss out on the path and the specific point of correction that we came to this world to achieve. In other words, there is an aspect of our internal character that is in need of correction and change. The path to effect this change is made evident in our dreams. It could be a conflict that needs to be resolved between ourselves and a friend. The cause of the conflict could be our own stubbornness, and we don't even realize it. Or there may be a lack of care and attention on our part towards a loved one.

If situations like these remain unresolved, and if our character remains unchanged, the door is left wide open for chaos and negativity to manifest in our lives. These unconcluded circumstances are often the cause behind those all-too-common "sudden appearances" of turmoil that always catch us off guard.

As an old adage states quite emphatically: Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Caution on Interpretation

It is written that there were 24 interpreters of dreams in Jerusalem during the time of the Second Temple (approximately 2000 years ago). If a person told his dream to all 24 interpreters, the dreamer might very well receive 24 different interpretations.

Remarkably, the sages teach us, all 24 interpretations could actually play themselves out in the physical world. Namely, the act of interpreting dramatically impacts and influences the dream's expression in the physical world.

On that account, the Zohar says that the interpretation of a dream is actually more important than the dream itself. Hence, it behooves you to make every effort to find the right person to interpret your dream. It should be someone who truly loves and cares for you, or it should be a spiritual person who possesses a love for all mankind, because the interpretation will color the dream's influence in your life.

The Glass is Half Full

According to Kabbalah, we should not tell more than one person our negative dreams, to prevent any openings for its physical expression.

A person who loves you will always interpret a negative dream in a more positive light, which is extremely important. For example, if there was an accident, it could be interpreted not as a physical accident but something spiritual that you need to work on and fix in your life.

The Zohar states:

We have learned that when a man has had a dream, he should unburden himself of it before men who are his friends so that they should express to him their good wishes and give utterances to words of good omen.

Thus, a man's friends should affirm the good interpretation, and so all will be well.

Zohar II, 200a

If a person has an extremely bad dream, he should not speak about it directly, for it can be spiritually dangerous, according to Kabbalah.

One must also never speak of the future, so as not to place limits on the individual. Instead, the interpreter should recommend in a positive way what the dreamer needs to do in the present.

Remembering Our Positive Dreams

In a famous story in the bible, Joseph saw in a dream that he would become a great ruler. He actually became the ruler of all Egypt 22 years later.

Thus, the ancient Zohar explains that it can take up to 22 years before a dream comes true - but there's a caveat: We must remember the dream.

According to the Zohar, as long as we remember our dreams in the Lower Worlds, they will remember them in the Upper Worlds.

States the Zohar:

A dream that is not remembered might as well have not been dreamed, and therefore a dream forgotten and gone from the mind is never fulfilled. Joseph therefore kept his dream fresh in his memory, never forgetting it, so that it should come true, and he was constantly waiting for its fulfillment.

Zohar II, 199b

II. Controlling Your Dreams

According to the Zohar, we all have the ability to change the quality of our dreams. There are a number of tools you can use before retiring for the night.

(1) Contemplation & Introspection:

Each morning, Kabbalah states, we are renewed - our souls are like a brand new creation. Nevertheless, every day the same "baggage" follows us around. Chaos confronts us at every turn.

Kabbalistically, if a person does not proactively judge himself every evening before bedtime, then life will exert judgment upon him throughout the day.

Therefore, before falling asleep, reflect upon your negative behavior of the day gone by. Become accountable for your actions. Be honest with yourself and search out selfish or self-seeking actions. Commit yourself to change, in spite of how hard it may be on your ego.

Ask questions about any problems you are facing. The more specific you are in your questions, the more effective the answers that you'll attract.

If you need help, ask for it. Look to the Light of the Creator for assistance. Go beyond your ego and doubt. Request support. At the moment your soul departs from the body, it will go to the level where your questions can be answered.

The harder we work on ourselves, proactively, during the night, the calmer the seas will be during the day.

(2) Kabbalistic Prayer & Meditation:

There are various mystical letters that we can invoke each night before retiring. These unique configurations of letters can be uttered or meditated upon to arouse positive forces that help our souls elevate to higher levels of consciousness and dream states. It's within these lofty levels that we receive messages that are extremely accurate and truthful. Moreover, we ignite radiant spiritual influences that bring incredibly good energy into our lives.

Here are two meditation tools you can utilize every evening:

Ekhad Adonai Elhoheinu Adonai Yisroel Shema
Transliteration: Right to Left

Read or scan the above words and letters to invoke their spiritual influences.

About this Connection

There is an actual force that induces us into sleep each night, to allow the soul to vacate the body. By reciting or visually meditating upon these words, we attach an "umbilical cord" to our soul so that it will return, in full, and fill the space that it left behind.

So what happened to your wandering soul before you came across this website and learned about the "umbilical chord"?

Good question.

Kabbalistically, our souls have various levels and layers. Therefore, only a portion of our soul returns each morning, which usually accounts for lower energy and lethargy in a person. Think of it in terms of a light bulb. A 500-watt bulb generates more light than a 100- or 25-watt bulb. Without certain tools, Kabbalah says our souls do not reach their "maximum wattage." Thus, our lives are not filled with as much Light and energy as we might hope. This "umbilical cord" connection can help solve that problem.

In addition to drawing our complete soul back to our body, these words activate spiritual Forces which nourish the 248 parts and the 365 sinews of our body.

Maximizing the Effect

If we're harboring any ill feelings toward another person as we go to sleep, we are preventing both souls from elevating to the Upper Worlds during the night. Thus, we must let go of all our anger directed towards others, no matter how annoying they may be. We must also ask for forgiveness from those people to whom we've caused pain through our professional and personal jealousies, our intolerance, and our egocentric competitiveness.

It's important to acknowledge that this forgiveness applies to everything that has occurred, whether intentional or accidental, through words or through physical activity, in this lifetime or in prior lifetimes.

(Even if you don't yet feel a connection to the concept of past lives, ask for forgiveness anyway. Remember, ignorance of the law is no excuse. So play the odds. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Once you start achieving results, you'll begin to feel more receptive to the idea.)

Scanning or Reading Zohar

The verses and letters of the Zohar have tremendous spiritual power that helps us utilize sleep as a powerful spiritual tool.

A special excerpt from the Holy Zohar is presented below. Read or scan the Hebrew from right to left. Then read the "Synopsis" to learn about the passage. Next, read "The Relevance of this Passage." All three actions will assist your soul in reaching lofty heights during the dark of night.

3. "And his spirit was troubled"

A Synopsis

This passage deals with Pharaoh's troubled spirit, caused by his inability to interpret his dream. The rabbis compare Pharaoh's state of mind to that of Nebuchadnezzar during the Babylonian captivity. Rabbi Yitzchak maintains that kings and other heads of state are occasionally granted glimpses of the hidden world, which are usually only provided to the prophets of Israel.

The Relevance of this Passage

Each night, our soul ascends to higher realms, where it receives dream messages that can influence us in our spiritual endeavors. Depending on our actions and interactions during the previous day, these messages can advance or hinder our efforts. Positive actions arouse prophetic messages of truth, while negative behavior invokes deceitful messages and disingenuous dreams. Here we receive assistance in making positive use of our sleep, so that our dreams can provide reliable glimpses of the future.

(3) Physical Conditions:

One should avoid sleeping in an unclean bed. Any form of spiritual or physical uncleanliness is a magnet for bad dreams. It is not good to sleep unclothed, as clothing provides protection against negativity, especially for children. In addition, eating a heavy meal prior to sleeping "weighs" down the soul in its efforts to be free of bodily constraints.

(4) Directing the Dream:

We can train ourselves while dreaming to direct or change certain parts of the dream, shifting negative scenes into positive. The more in control of our behavior we are during the day, the more control we have at night.

(5) Physical Cleansing After Sleeping:

When a person sleeps, the soul leaves the body. Kabbalistically, it's equivalent to 1/60 of death. When we wake after sleeping, and the soul returns, this energy of death still remains on the finger tips. Thus, whatever one touches is infused with this negative energy. The most effective way to remove this negative force is by pouring fresh water from a glass or pitcher once on the right hand, then on the left, and repeating this procedure twice more. This should be done every morning.

(6) Deflecting Negativity of the Dream:

If we have a dream that features "heavy" judgment and negativity, it can be neutralized by performing sharing actions and good deeds. Giving charity such as money or assistance to a needy person helps sweeten judgments. This should be done as soon as possible, preferably in the morning following the dream.

III. Common Dream Themes & Symbols

Many times, the events in our dreams that we believe to be negative are actually quite positive. Dreams involve the reality of the soul where new rules and conditions apply. Let's now briefly explore some common themes and symbols as defined by Kabbalah:

Recurring Dream

When a specific dream is not interpreted, it is like a fax machine on redial. If the message is not accepted, the message is sent again.

Recurring dreams mean there is an aspect of your behavior that is negative and is being repeated over and over again. If the dream repeats itself, but there are some changes in it, this means you've changed some aspect of your behavior.

Experiencing Fear

You are being told to be more concentrated in attempting to understand what the dream is about.

Bad Spirits & Ghosts

A person should not speak about a dream involving frightening entities. It means there is negative energy in the bedroom. Check the room for cleanliness. Burn sage. Carry the sage around the room, directing the smoke towards each of the four corners. As you scent the room with sage, you can meditate upon the following letters:

A Child's Nightmare

If a child has a nightmare, or if they see "scary things" without much of a story, check the room for cleanliness. Ask the child if anything is bothering him. Burn sage, following the procedure above.

People who have passed away give you something:

This is a positive sign. It means they are giving you something that they were able to accomplish in their lives.

Elderly Dying:

If an old person is dying or dies, this could be a message to you that that person may soon leave this world.

Blood:

It's generally a good sign, meaning sustenance and blessing. However, it might not be positive if any part of the body is bleeding.

Violence:

This could mean that you are surrounded by enemies, or that you are also violent and need to transform your behavior.

Grapes:

(a) If white or green: This is a positive sign of success.

(b) If black or purple: This can be a negative sign (if the dream takes place when grapes are not in season) concerning judgment, a warning of something going wrong, especially if birds are eating the grapes.

Pomegranate:

This means you will gain much wisdom, or perform many positive and good deeds.

Colors:

(a) Most colors are positive.

(b) Light blue is not positive. This is an indication of evil eye, or judgment being directed your way. Evil eye refers to those not-so-friendly glances we receive from others who are envious. According to Kabbalah, these negative stares have an adverse affect on our life.

Snakes:

This is a positive sign. It indicates money, prosperity, and success. If the snake bites you, this means you will get double what was originally promised to you. If the snake is killed, then this opportunity for success or for receiving money is removed.

Remarrying an ex-spouse:

It means that the same failing you had in your previous marriage is repeating itself in your new relationship. This failing concerns basic traits that you came to this world to correct and transcend such as: impatience, lying, cheating, intolerance, abusiveness, coldness, sexism, insensitivity etc. This dream is not a sign for you to remarry your ex-spouse, but rather to self-reflect, check for mistakes, and make sure you stop repeating the same negative behavioral actions. You are now receiving a new opportunity to correct them.

Camel:

This means that the person was supposed to die but was saved. It could also mean that the person might loose his possessions.

Elephant:

This means a miracle happened, is happening or will happen. Often, when miracles occur in our life, we are unaware of them. Many elephants mean many miracles have occurred.

Cat:

A decree of judgment upon you was changed or lifted.

Body of Water:

This is positive if the river or sea is calm; also good if the color is clear or turquoise. If it's turbulent, blackish, or dirty, it's not positive.

The Zohar states that a river seen in a dream is a presage of peace.

Swimming:

If the water is not dirty, this is very positive. It means good and positive people surround you.

Haircut (your own):

Depending on the dream's context, and what the person is doing with his life, it can mean that you are going to have an opening for growth. If it's also your beard, the same will take place for the close people around you.

Seeing Intercourse with Family Member:

The Talmud writes that there are three things that can give us a taste of heaven. These are: being in the sun; delighting in the Sabbath day; and sexual intercourse, which can be the highest spiritual connection and unity between husband and wife.

The people seen in the dream are not really the people themselves, but rather representatives. For example, a father represents the energy of wisdom, a mother represents the energy of understanding. So the dream means a tremendous energy will be brought to your life.

Intercourse with a Friend's Wife:

This is a tricky one. If you harbored sexual thoughts about her before, this is obviously negative. If you did not have such thoughts, it indicates that you will be elevated to a higher level of consciousness. However, you should not dwell on the dream, and be clear in your mind that it has nothing to do with the potential of an actual physical relationship!

Being Naked:

(a) The Talmud says that if you are naked in the land of Israel, it means you are naked and free from negativity-a very good thing.

(b) If you are outside the land of Israel, you are naked from positivity-not a good thing.

Someone being with you while you were naked has no importance and is considered a meaningless detail. The action that you were doing is important. If you were doing something positive, it's a positive dream. If you were engaging in negative activity, the dream is obviously not positive.

Drinking Oil:

If a man dreams about drinking oil, it could mean that his wife is cheating on him.

Drunk:

If you dream someone is drunk, it is a sign that you could receive money. If you yourself are drunk, it means you will be rescued from your troubles.

Bible drops:

If a book of the Bible (Torah) drops on the floor, this is a very serious matter. Amongst other things, it could mean that if your wife is pregnant, she could loose the pregnancy.

Eyes or Fish:

They both are warnings of the evil eye-the channel for the destructive force of envy.

You are either:

(a) The victim: Someone around you hates you, is jealous, or doesn't agree with your actions and wants to disturb or destroy what you are doing;

or

(b) You are the envious carrier of the evil eye: This is still destructive, even to yourself. Those you envy are hurt by your glances. Moreover, the negative energy rebounds and hurts you. A no-win scenario.

NOTE: Fish can also be a very good sign of blessing. This depends upon the rest of the dream (the whole picture), as well as what is going on in the person's life-whether he's working on becoming a better person and developing himself spiritually.

Breathing Underwater:

This indicates that you are not being dominated by the limitations of the five senses-a very positive indication.

Egg:

This means your request or desire is heard and will be fulfilled. A broken egg means that the wish has already been fulfilled.

Shoes:

Shoes represent mates; soul-mate, or any other close partnership. If you are looking for your shoes, you are looking for your mate.

Previous Lifetime:

This is a message warning you not repeat mistakes made in prior lives. You need to change something in your behavior and outlook on life.

Falling:

Falling indicates a downward cycle in your life. This is not positive. Corrective measures should be taken concerning your consciousness and conduct in life.

Going Up:

Rising upwards signifies that an upward trend will take place in your life, a positive sign.

Flying:

The Zohar states that we all have the innate ability to fly, but as long as we are trapped by the illusions of physical existence, this ability remains as an unfulfilled potential. Flying represents being free of limitations. Whatever you are involved with or whatever you asked for, it's the right thing.

Feeling Good:

You had what seemed like a negative dream, but when you got up in the morning, you felt good. This means that the dream was actually positive.

 

Continue to: Lose Your Ego!

Back to: Kabbalah on Mental Health

 

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