In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; then he openeth the ears of men and sealeth their instruction that he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man.
—Job xxxiii., 15.
Dreams are rudiments of the great state to come. We dream what is about to happen.
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.
Through the dream of Cecilia Metella, the wife of a Consul, the Roman Senate was induced to order the temple of Juno Sospita rebuilt.
The Emperor Marcian dreamed he saw the bow of the Hunnish conqueror break on the same night that Attila died.
Plutarch relates how Augustus, while ill, through the dream of a friend, was persuaded to leave his tent, which a few hours after was captured by the enemy, and the bed whereon he had lain was pierced with the enemies' swords.
If Julius Caesar had been less incredulous about dreams he would have listened to the warning which Calpurnia, his wife, received in a dream.
Croesus saw his son killed in a dream.
Petrarch saw his beloved Laura, in a dream, on the day she died, after which he wrote his beautiful poem, The Triumph of Death.
Cicero relates the story of two traveling Arcadians who went to different lodgings--one to an inn, and the other to a private house. During the night the latter dreamed that his friend was begging for help. The dreamer awoke; but, thinking the matter unworthy of notice, went to sleep again. The second time he dreamed his friend appeared, saying it would be too late, for he had already been murdered and his body hid in a cart, under manure. The cart was afterward sought for and the body found. Cicero also wrote, If the gods love men they will certainly disclose their purposes to them in sleep.
Chrysippus wrote a volume on dreams as divine portent. He refers to the skilled interpretations of dreams as a true divination; but adds that, like all other arts in which men have to proceed on conjecture and on artificial rules, it is not infallible.
Plato concurred in the general idea prevailing in his day, that there were divine manifestations to the soul in sleep. Condorcet thought and wrote with greater fluency in his dreams than in waking life.
Tartini, a distinguished violinist, composed his Devil's Sonata under the inspiration of a dream. Coleridge, through dream influence, composed his Kubla Khan.
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.
The following excerpt from The Unknown, a recent book by Flammarion, the French astronomer, supplemented with a few of my own thoughts and collections, will answer the purposes intended for this book.
We may see without eyes and hear without ears, not by unnatural excitement of our sense of vision or of hearing, for these accounts prove the contrary, but by some interior sense, psychic and mental.
The soul, by its interior vision, may see not only what is passing at a great distance, but it may also know in advance what is to happen in the future. The future exists potentially, determined by causes which bring to pass successive events.
POSITIVE OBSERVATION PROVES THE EXISTENCE OF A PSYCHIC WORLD, as real as the world known to our physical senses.
And now, because the soul acts at a distance by some power that belongs to it, are we authorized to conclude that it exists as something real, and that it is not the result of functions of the brain?
Does light really exist?
Does heat exist?
Does sound exist?
They are only manifestations produced by movement.
What we call light is a sensation produced upon our optic nerve by the vibrations of ether, comprising between 400 and 756 trillions per second, undulations that are themselves very obscure.
What we call heat is a sensation produced by vibrations between 350 and 600 trillions.
The sun lights up space, as much at midnight as at midday. Its temperature is nearly 270 degrees below zero.
What we call sound is a sensation produced upon our auditory nerve by silent vibrations of the air, themselves comprising between 32,000 and 36,000 a second.
Very many scientific terms represent only results, not causes.
The soul may be in the same case.
The observations given in this work, the sensations, the impressions, the visions, things heard, etc., may indicate physical effects produced without the brain.
Yes, no doubt, but it does not seem so.
Let us examine one instance.
Turn back to page 156.
A young woman, adored by her husband, dies at Moscow. Her father-in-law, at Pulkowo, near St. Petersburg, saw her that same hour by his side. She walked with him along the street; then she disappeared. Surprised, startled, and terrified, he telegraphed to his son, and learned both the sickness and the death of his daughter-in-law.
We are absolutely obliged to admit that something emanated from the dying woman and touched her father-in-law. This thing unknown may have been an ethereal movement, as in the case of light, and may have been only an effect, a product, a result; but this effect must have had a cause, and this cause evidently proceeded from the woman who was dying. Can the constitution of the brain explain this projection? I do not think that any anatomist or physiologist will give this question an affirmative answer. One feels that there is a force unknown, proceeding, not from our physical organization, but from that in us which can think.
Take another example (see page 57).
A lady in her own house hears a voice singing. It is the voice of a friend now in a convent, and she faints, because she is sure it is the voice of the dead. At the same moment that friend does really die, twenty miles away from her.
Does not this give us the impression that one soul holds communication with another?
Here is another example (page 163):
The wife of a captain who has gone out to the Indian mutiny sees one night her husband standing before her with his hands pressed to his breast, and a look of suffering on his face. The agitation that she feels convinces her that he is either killed or badly wounded. It was November 14th. The War Office subsequently publishes his death as having taken place on November 15th. She endeavors to have the true date ascertained. The War Office was wrong. He died on the 14th.
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 (page 124).
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 every one feel that we have here to do with manifestations from beings capable of thought, and not with material physiological facts only?
This impression is superabundantly confirmed by investigation concerning the unknown faculties of the soul, when active in dreams and somnambulism.
A brother learns the death of his young sister by a terrible nightmare.
A young girl sees beforehand, in a dream, the man whom she will marry.
A mother sees her child lying in a road, covered with blood.
A lady goes, in a dream, to visit her husband on a distant steamer, and her husband really receives this visit, which is seen by a third person.
A magnetized lady sees and describes the interior of the body of her dying mother; what she said is confirmed by the autopsy.
A gentleman sees, in a dream, a lady whom he knows arriving at night in a railroad station, her journey having been undertaken suddenly.
A magistrate sees three years in advance the commission of a crime, down to its smallest details.
Several persons report that they have seen towns and landscapes before they ever visited them, and have seen themselves in situations in which they found themselves long after.
A mother hears her daughter announce her intended marriage six months before it has been thought of.
Frequent cases of death are foretold with precision.
A theft is seen by a somnambulist, and the execution of the criminal is foretold.
A young girl sees her fiance', or an intimate friend dying (these are frequent cases), etc.
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.
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.
D related to me at the time of the occurrence of the dream the following: It had been suggested to me that the two cereals, corn and wheat, were too far apart, and that I ought to buy corn. At noon I lay down on a lounge to await luncheon; I had barely closed my eyes before a voice whispered: Don't buy, but sell that corn. What do you mean? I asked. Sell at the present price, and buy at 23 7/8. The foregoing dream was related to me by a practical, successful business man who never speculates. I watched the corn market and know it took the turns indicated in the dream.
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.
A citizen worthy of confidence relates the following dream:
In December, 1878, I saw in a dream my brother-in-law, Henry Yarnell, suffering from a bloody knife wound; after this I awoke, but soon fell asleep again. The second time I dreamed of a similar scene, except that the wound was the result of a shotgun. After this I did not go to sleep again. I was much troubled about my dream, and soon started in the direction of my brother-in-law's house. I had not gone far, when I met an acquaintance who promptly informed me that my brother-in-law had been shot.
A well-known resident of Chattanooga, Tenn., formerly of New York City, will vouch for the accuracy of the following incident in his life:
On February 19, 1878, I was boarding with a family on Christopher street, New York, while my wife and baby were visiting my parents in the country, a short distance from the city. Our baby was taken sick. The malady developed into brain fever, followed by water on the brain, causing the little one's death.
At our boarding-place there was at the time a quartette of us grass widowers, as we called ourselves, and in order to pass away the time pleasantly we had organized a `grass widowers' euchre club.' We used to meet almost every evening after dinner in the dining-room, and play until about eleven o'clock, when we would retire. On the above date I dreamed that after playing our usual evening games we took our departure for our rooms, and on the way up the second flight of stairs I heard a slight movement behind me; on looking around I found I was being followed by a tall figure robed in a long, loose white gown, which came down to the floor. The figure seemed to be that of a man--I would say, about seven feet tall--who followed me up the second flight and along the hallway, entering my room. After coming in the door he made a circle of the room and seemed to be looking for something, and when he approached the door to make his exit he stopped still, and with a gesture of his hand remarked, I have taken all you have. On the following morning, about 9:30 o'clock, I received a telegram from my wife announcing the death of our only baby.
A well-known citizen of Chattanooga, TN, relates and vouches for the truth of the following occurrence:
Several years ago, when a boy, I had a schoolmate and friend, Willie T., between whom and myself there sprung up a mutual feeling of high regard. We were chums in the sense that we were almost constantly together, both at school and at home, and among the partnerships we formed was one of having amateur shadowgraph and panoramic shows in the basement of Willie's home. This much to show the mental and social relationship that existed between us. Some time during this association (I cannot recall the exact night now) I had a strange dream, in which my chum appeared to me with outstretched hand, asking me to shake, saying, `I shall not see you any more.' With that, the dream lapsed and was over. I thought nothing of the occurrence, and had almost forgotten it, when one day, about a week later, during which time I had not had a glimpse of my chum, while he was out hunting with another friend, W. McC., in following him over a rail fence, the latter's gun was accidentally discharged in Willie's face and neck, resulting in instant death. With this shocking news the memory of the dream I had had came back to me vividly and puzzled me very greatly, and indeed has puzzled me to this day.
The recipients of the above dreams are living to-day and their names and address may be obtained, none of them are credulous fanatics or predisposed to a belief in psychic or spirit phenomena.
The above dreams, except two, cannot be explained by telepathy, because the mental picture cast on the dream mind had not in either instance taken place in waking life. This would account for the dream perception of D, which did not, in all probability, take place until after the murder had been committed.
The vision of F saw the white-robed specter open the door, walk around the room and finally, taking his position as if to depart, say: I have taken all you have. No doubt this vision took place at the exact moment of the child's death.
There are thousands of similar experiences occurring daily in the lives of honest, healthy and sane human beings, that rival the psychic manifestations of Indian Yogism or Hebrew records.
Still men go on doubting this true and loving subjective intelligence that is constantly wooing for entrance into the soul and is ever vigilant in warning the material life of approaching evils. They prefer the Witch of Endor, and the Black Magicians of ancient Egypt to the higher, or Christ self, that has been seen and heard by the sages and saints of all ages, assuming appropriate symbols, as in the case of the vision of F, where the angel of death was assumed.
To Paul it appeared as a great personal truth whom he was relentlessly persecuting. To many a wayward son or daughter of the present time, it appears as a dead relative or friend, in order to approach the material mind and make its warning more effective.
To those who were interested in the teachings of Christ, but who after his death were inclined to doubt him, this higher self materialized in the form of the Great Master in order to impress on their material minds the spiritual import of his teachings. So, to this day, when doubt and temptation mar the moral instinct, God, through the spiritual self, as Job says, approaches man while in deep sleep upon the bed to impress his instructions that he may change man from his purpose.
The spiritual world always fixes its orbit upon a straight line, while the material world is fonder of curves. We find man struggling through dreadful marshes and deserts of charlatanism in order to get a glimpse into his future, instead of solicitously following the straight line of inner consciousness that connects with the infinite mind, from which, aided by his Church and the healthy action of his own judgment, he may receive those helpful spiritual impressions and messages necessary to solace the longings of the searching soul.
The philosophy of the True Master is the straight line. Pythagoras, Plato and Christ created angles by running vertical lines through the ecclesiastical and hypocritical conventionalities of their day. The new angles and curves thus produced by the bold philosophy of the humble Nazarene have confronted with impregnable firmness during the intervening ages the sophistry of the Pharisees.
In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; then he openeth the ears of men and sealeth their instruction. That he may withdraw man from his purpose and hide pride from man.
Man cannot contradict the laws of Nature. But, are all the laws of Nature yet understood? [*] ...
Real philosophy seeks rather to solve than to deny.
Those who live active lives exclude spiritual thought and fill their minds with the fascinations of worldly affairs, pleasure and business, dream with less frequency than those who regard objective matters with lighter concern. The former depend alone upon the voluptuous warmth of the world for contentment; they look to money, the presence of some one, or to other external sources for happiness, and are often disappointed; while the latter, with a just appreciation of temporal wants, depend alone upon the inner consciousness for that peace which passeth all carnal understanding.
They are strengthened, as were Buddha and Christ, by suppressing the sensual fires for forty days and nights in the wilderness of trial and temptation. They number a few, and are never disappointed, while the former number millions.
Nature is three-fold, so is man; male and female, son or soul. The union of one and two produce the triad or the trinity which underlies the philosophy of the ancients.
Man has a physical or visible body, an atom of the physical or visible earth. He has a soul the exact counterpart of his body, but invisible and subjective; incomplete and imperfect as the external man, or vice versa.
The soul is not only the son or creation of man, but it is the real man. It is the inner imperishable double or imprint of what has outwardly and inwardly transpired. All thoughts, desires and actions enter the soul through the objective mind.
The automaton of the body responds as quickly to the bat of the eye as it does to the movement of the whole body. By it the foot-steps of man and the very hairs of his head are numbered. Thus it becomes his invisible counterpart. It is therefore the book of life or death, and by it he judges himself or is already judged. When it is complete nothing can be added or taken from its personnel. It is sometimes partly opened to him in his dreams, but in death is clearly revealed.
Man has also a spiritual body, subjective to, and more ethereal than the soul. It is an infinitesimal atom, and is related in substance to the spiritual or infinite mind of the universe. Just as the great physical sun, the center of visible light, life and heat, is striving to purify the foul miasma of the marsh and send its luminous messages of love into the dark crevices of the earth, so the Great Spiritual Sun, of which the former is a visible prototype or reflection, is striving to illuminate with Divine Wisdom the personal soul and mind of man, thus enabling him to become cognizant of the spiritual or Christ presence within.
The heresy and Herod of wanton flesh, degenerate victim of the sensuous filth and fermentation of self-indulgence, is ever striving to exile and suppress, from the wilderness of sin, the warning cry of the Nazarite voice by intriguing with the cunning, incestuous daughters of unholy thoughts and desires.
The objective mind is most active when the body is awake. The subjective influences are most active, and often fill the mind with impressions, while the physical body is asleep. The spiritual intelligence can only intrude itself when the human will is suspended, or passive to external states. A man who lives only on the sensual plane will receive his knowledge through the senses, and will not, while in that state, receive spiritual impressions or warning dreams.
Men and women rarely ever degrade themselves so low that the small voice of the desert does not bring them a message. Sodom and Gomorrah, vile with the debauchery of a nameless crime, were not deserted by the angel of love until the fire which they had lighted in their souls had consumed them. The walls of Jericho did not fall until Rahab, the harlot, had been saved and the inmates had heard for several days the ram's-horn and the tramp of Joshua's infantry.
The evangelist Jonah, the Sam Jones of Hebrew theology, exhorted the adulterous Nineveh many times to repentance before it fell.
David, while intoxicated with the wine of love, from languishing in the seductive embrace of the beautiful bathing nymph, Bathsheba, heard the voice of Nathan. Surely God is no respecter of persons, and will speak to all classes if the people will not stiffen their necks or harden their hearts.
Women dream more often and more vividly than men, because their dream composition is less influenced and allied to external environments.
All dreams possess an element of warning or prescience; some more than others. This is unknown to the many, but is known to the observing few. There are many people who have no natural taste for music, and who do not know one note from another. There are also those who cannot distinguish one color from another. To the former there is no harmony of sound, and to the latter there is no blending of colors.
They are heard and seen, but there is no artistic recognition of the same. Still it would be absurd to say to either the musician or the artist: your art is false and is only an illusion of the senses.
One man apparently never dreams; another dreams occasionally, and still another more frequently; none attempt to interpret their dream, or to observe what follows; therefore, the verdict is, There is nothing in dreams. (Schopenhauer aptly says: No man can see over his own height.... Intellect is invisible to the man who has none.) The first is like the blind man who denies the existence of light, because he does not perceive it. The second and third resemble the color-blind man, who sees but who persists in calling green blue, and vice versa.
A fourth man sees in a dream a friend walking in his room; the vision is so vivid he instantly gets up and strikes a match. After making sure there is no intruder about the room he looks at his watch and goes back to bed. The next day he receives the unwelcome tidings that his friend died at the exact moment of the vision.
At another time he hears in his dream a familiar voice cry out in agony. Soon he hears of a shocking accident or distressing illness befalling the one whose voice he recognized in the dream.
The third man, already referred to, has about the same dream experiences, but calls them strange coincidences or unconscious cerebration, etc.
Again, the fourth man dreams of walking through green fields of corn, grass or wheat. He notes after such dreams prosperous conditions follow for at least a few days. He also notes, if the area over which he passes is interspersed with rocks or other adverse signs, good and bad follow in the wake of the dream. If he succeeds in climbing a mountain and finds the top barren he will accomplish his object, but the deal will prove unprofitable. If it is green and spring-like in appearance, it will yield good results. If he sees muddy water, sickness, business depression or causes for jealousy may develop.
A nightmare suggests to the dreamer to be careful of health and diet, to relax his whole body, to sleep with his arms down and keep plenty of fresh air in the room.
He sums up the foregoing with a thousand similar dream incidents, and is led to believe certain dreams possess an element of warning.
There are three pure types of dreams, namely, subjective, physical and spiritual. They relate to the past, present and future, and are influenced by past or subjective, physical and spiritual causes. The latter is always deeply prophetic, especially when it leaves a vivid impression on the conscious mind. The former, too, possesses an element of warning and prophecy, though the true meaning is hidden in symbols or allegory. They are due to contingent mental pictures of the past falling upon the conscious mind of the dreamer. Thus he is back at the old home, and finds mother pale and aged, or ruddy and healthy, and the lawn withered or green. It all augurs, according to the aspect the picture assumes, ill or good fortune.
Physical dreams are more or less unimportant. They are usually superinduced by the anxious waking mind, and when this is so they possess no prophetic significance.
Dreams induced by opiates, fevers, mesmerism and ill health come under this class. A man who gambles is liable to dream of cards; if he dreams of them in deep sleep the warning is to be heeded; but if it comes as a reverie while he sleeps lightly he should regard it as worthless. Such dreams reflect only the present condition of the body and mind of the dreamer; but as the past and present enter into shaping the future, the reflections thus left on the waking mind should not go by unheeded.
We often observe matters of dress and exterior appearance through mirrors, and we soon make the necessary alterations to put our bodies in harmony with existing formalities. Then, why not study more seriously the mental images reflected from the mirror of the soul upon our minds through the occult processes within us?
Thirdly, the spiritual dreams are brought about by the higher self penetrating the soul realm, and reflecting upon the waking mind approaching events. When we put our animal mind and soul in harmony with our higher self we become one with it, and, therefore, one with the universal mind or will by becoming a part of it. It is through the higher self we reach the infinite. It is through the lower self we fall into the whirlpool of matter.
These dreams are a part of the universal mind until they transpire in the life of man. After this they go to make a part of the personal soul. Whatever has not taken place in the mind, or life of man, belongs exclusively to the impersonal mind. But as soon as a man lives or sees a thing, that thing instantly becomes a part of his soul; hence, the clairvoyant, or mind reader, never perceives beyond the personal ego, as the future belongs exclusively to God or the universal mind, and has no material, subjective existence; therefore, it cannot be known except through the channels of the higher self, which is the Truth or the Word that is constantly striving to manifest itself through the flesh.
Our psychical research people give us conclusive proof of mental telepathy or telegraphy between finite minds. Thus communications or impressions are conveyed many miles from one mind to another. This phenomenon is easier when one or both of the subjects are in a state of somnambulence or asleep.
In thought transference or mind reading it is absolutely necessary to have a positive and a negative subject. Through the same law that mental impressions are telegraphed from one finite mind to another a man may place himself in harmony with the infinite mind and thus receive true and healthful warnings of coming evil or good. Homer, Aristotle and other writers of the ancient classics thought this not improbable.
The statesman, the poet, the philosopher of the Bible were unanimous in attaching prophetic significance to dreams. Has the law of ethereal vibrations undergone any recent changes to debar or molest the communion of the soul with its spiritual father, any more than it has debarred contact with its material mother or environments?
We only understand the great laws of nature by effects. We know that vegetation planted in native soil and properly attended with light, heat and moisture, will grow and yield a certain species of fruit. We may infer how it does this, but we cannot explain the process of transformation any more than we can explain why certain tropical birds are burnished with glowing colors, and that other birds under the murky skies are gray and brown, while in the Arctic regions they bleach.
In sleep we see, without being awakened, the angry lightning rend the midnight clouds, and hear the explosive thunder hurl its fury at us; but can we explain it any more than our scientist can explain the natural forces of thought, of love and hate, or the subtle intuition of woman?
What of the silhouette or the anthelion of the Scandinavian Alps, and the aerial cities so often seen by explorers and travelers? Do not they defy the law of optics? Must we understand the intricacies of articulation and the forces back of it before we can appropriate speech? Must we discard all belief in an infinite mind because we cannot understand it, and therefore say we are not a part of it because there is no Infinite? Should we discard the belief in the infinitude of number, because we cannot understand it, and therefore say that finite number is not a part of the infinite?
No scientist or naturalist is so grossly stupid as to deny the infinite expansion of numbers? If this be so, it establishes the infinite of number, of which every finite number is a part, and thus we have a parallel in mathematics, the very cornerstone of the exact sciences, for a finite and an infinite mind. It is from the prototype of this infinite of number, namely, the infinite of intelligence, that spiritual dreams proceed. They are, therefore, the reflection of truth upon the dream mind and occur with less frequency than do dreams of the other two classes.
There are also mixed dreams, due to a multitude of incidents arising from one or more sources, which being reflected upon the mind at the same instant, produce an incoherent effect similar to that which might be produced by running the same newspaper through two or more presses all of different size type.
Again, if you sit before a mirror where flashlights of faces and other things are reflected simultaneously and instantly removed, you will fail to obtain a well-defined impression of what passed before your mind.
If you should pass on a train, at the speed of two miles a minute, through a forest of flowers and trees, your mind would be unable to distinguish one flower or tree from another.
It is in a similar way dream life and incidents may fall upon the mind.
A woman may dream of receiving a letter, and in the same connection see muddy water, or an arid landscape. Closely following, in waking life, she is astonished to receive a letter in about the same manner of her dream, but the muddy water and the arid landscape are missing.
This is a mixed dream and is due to more than one cause. The first part is literal in its fulfilment, and belongs to the spiritual class; the other part of the dream is subjective, and therefore allegorical in meaning. Together with the letter, it was a forewarning of misfortune.
These dreams are more difficult of interpretation than those belonging to the spiritual type. In such dreams you may see water, letters, houses, money, people, and countless other things. The next day you may cross water or receive a letter; the other things you may not see, but annoyance or pleasure will follow.
Again, you may have a similar dream and not receive a letter or cross water, but the waking life will be filled with the other dream pictures and you will experience disappointing or pleasant surprises as are indicated by the letter or water sign.
I have selected the allegorical type of dreams for the subject of this work. Dreams that are common occurrences and are thought by the world to be meaningless.
I have endeavored, through the occult forces in and about me to find their esoteric or hidden import.
Dreams transpire on the subjective plane. They should therefore be interpreted by subjective intelligence. This, though burdened with many business cares, I have honestly endeavored to do. Through the long hours of many nights I have waited patiently and passively the automatic movement of my hand to write the subjective definitions without receiving a word or a single manifestation of intelligence, and again the mysterious forces would write as fast as my hand could move over the paper.
I will leave it for my readers to draw their own conclusions as to whether automatic writing is the work of extraneous spirits, through the brain and intelligence of the medium, or the result of auto-suggestive influence upon the subjective personality.
It is argued by the Materialist, with some degree of strength, that the healthy man does not dream, This is, perhaps, true, in a way, but the whole man comprises the past, present, and future. The past and future always embrace more of the conditions that surround him than the present. The present is only the acute stage, while the chronic stage, considered from a personal view, is the past and future combined. Man cannot eliminate entirely these states from himself, for, while they are past and future to the personal mind, they are ever present to the higher subjective senses; he is, therefore, never in perfect health unless these states are in harmony with the present. The personal self, in a normal state, cannot free itself from the past or from the anxieties of the future.
The reader should ever keep before his mind the fact that no man ever had the same dream twice. He may have had very similar dreams, but some detail will be missing. Nature seems to abhor duplicates. You could no more find two dreams alike than you could find facsimiles in two blades of grass. A man cannot live two days exactly alike. Different influences and passions will possess him. Consequently, no two dreams can be had under exactly the same influences. Stereotypes are peculiarly the invention of man and not of God or nature.
Since it is impossible to find a man twice in exactly the same mental state, it is equally impossible for him to dream the same dream twice; therefore, it is only possible to approximate dream interpretation by classing them into families. This I have attempted to do in a more comprehensive way than other writers who have preceded me.
All men are acquainted with health and sickness, love and hate, success and failure. Sickness, hate and failure belong to kindred families, and often ally their forces in such a way that it is hard to say whether the dreamer will fail in love, health or some business undertaking. But at all times a bad symbol is a warning of evil, though that evil may be minimized or exaggerated, or vice versa, according as signs are good.
Thus, if the dream symbol indicates wealth or fortune to the peasant, his waking life may be gladdened by receiving or seeing a fifty-cent piece, or finding assuring work, while the same symbol to a wealthy man would mean many dollars, or a favorable turn in affairs.
It is the same in physical life. A man may hear the sound of a wagon. He cannot determine by the rattle of the wheels whether it is laden with laundry, groceries or dry goods. He may judge as to its size and whether it is bearing a heavy or a light burden. When it objectifies he will be able to know its full import and not before. So with dream symbols. We may know they are fraught with evil or good, as in the case of Pilate's wife, but we cannot tell their full meaning until their reflections materialize before the objective sense.
Death is more frequently foretold by dream messages or visions, as explained in another part of this chapter.
During sleep the will is suspended, leaving the mind often a prey to its own fancy. The slightest attack of an enemy may be foretold by the unbridled imagination exaggerating the mental picture into a monstrous shark or snake, when, indeed, a much less portentous sign was cast from the dream mold.
A woman may see a serpent in waking life and through fright lose reason or self-control. She imagines it pursues her when in reality it is going an opposite direction; in a like way dreams may be many times unreal.
The mind loses its reason or will in sleep, but a supersensitive perception is awakened, and, as it regains consciousness from sleep, the sound of a knock on the wall may be magnified into a pistol shot.
The sleeping mind is not only supersensitive as to existing external sounds and light, but it frequently sees hours and days ahead of the waking mind.
Nor is this contradictory to the laws of nature. The ant housed in the depth of the earth, away from atmospheric changes, knows of the approach of the harvest, and comes forth to lay by his store.
In a like manner, the pet squirrel is a better barometer of the local weather than the Weather Bureau. With unerring foresight, when a wintry frown nowhere mars the horizon, he is able to apprehend a cold wave twenty-four hours ahead, and build his house accordingly.
So in sleep, man dreams the future by intuitive perception of invisible signs or influences, while awake he reasons it out by cause and effect. The former seems to be the law of the spiritual world, while the latter would appear to be the law of the material world. Man should not depend alone upon either. Together they proclaim the male and female principle of existence and should find harmonious consummation.
In this manner only can man hope to achieve that perfect normal state to which the best thought of the human race is aspiring, where he can create and control influences instead of being created and controlled by them, as the majority of us are at the present day.
God, the highest subjective source of intelligence, may in a dream leave impressions or presentiments on the mind of man, the highest objective source of intelligence.
The physical sun sends its light into the dark corners of the earth, and God, the Spiritual Sun, imparts spiritual light into the passive and receptive soul.
Man, by hiding in a cave, or closing the windows and doors of his house, may shut out all physical light; so he may steep his soul in sensual debauchery until all spiritual light is shut out.
Just as the vital essence of the soil, the mother of nature, may be extracted by abuse, either from omission or commission, until neither the light of the sun, nor the moisture of the heavens will wake the flush of life, so may the spiritual essence be deadened when the soil of the soul is filled with the aged and multiplying weeds of ravishing materiality.
The dream mind is often influenced by the waking mind. When the waking mind dwells upon any subject, the dream mind is more or less influenced by it, and it often assists the waking mind in solving difficult problems. The personal future, embodied in the active states of the universal mind, may affect the dream mind, producing premonitions of death, accidents and misfortune.
The objective mind rejoices or laments over the aspects of the past and present, while the spiritual mind, striving with the personal future, either laments or rejoices over the prospective conditions.
One is the barometer of the past, while the other is the barometer of the future.
If we study carefully the spiritual impressions left upon the dream mind, through the interpretations of this book, we will be able to shape our future in accordance with spiritual law.
Thus our temporal events will contribute to our spiritual development, and in turn our spiritual knowledge will contribute to our temporal welfare. Without this harmonious interaction of the two great forces in man, the Divine plan of destiny cannot be reached.
This can only be accomplished through the material mind or reason dominating the animal emotions of the heart. In this way we would not covet our neighbor's goods, or grow angry with our brother over trifles.
The house vacated by the selfish appetites of the world would be filled with the whispers of spiritual love and wisdom necessary to the mutual welfare and development of body and soul.
The theory used in this book to interpret dreams is both simple and rational. By the using of it you will be surprised to find so many of the predictions fulfilled in your waking life. We deal with both the thought and the dream. The thought or sign implied in the object dreamed of and the influence surrounding it are always considered in the interpretation.
Thoughts proceed from the visible mind and dreams from the invisible mind. The average waking mind receives and retains only a few of the lessons of life. It is largely filled with idle and incoherent thoughts that are soon forgotten. The same may be truly said of the dream mind. Many of our day thoughts are day dreams, just as many of our night dreams are night thoughts. Our day deeds of evil or good pierce or soothe the conscience, just as our night symbols of sorrow and joy sadden or please the objective senses. Our day's thoughts are filled with the warnings and presence of the inner mind and our night's thoughts are tinctured and often controlled by our external mind.
Some writer has said:
Everything that exists upon earth has its
ethereal counterpart. Christ said:
As a man thinketh so is he.
A Hindu proverb says:
Man is a creature of reflection; he becomes
that upon which he reflects. A modern metaphysicist says:
Our thoughts are real substance and leave their images upon
our personality, they fill our aura with beauty or ugliness according
to our intents and purposes in life. Each evil thought or action
has its pursuing phantom, each smile or kindly deed its guiding angel,
we leave wherever we ignobly stand, a tomb and an epitaph to haunt
us through the furnace of conscience and memory.
Closely following in the wake of our multiplying evil thoughts are armies of these ghastly spectres pursuing each other with the exact intents and purposes of the mind that gave them being. If we consider well these facts we will be forced into thinking our best thoughts at all times. Thoughts are the subjective and creative force that produces action. Action is the objective effect of thought; hence the character of our daily thoughts is making our failure or success of to-morrow.
The impersonal mind deals with all time and things as ever present. The objective mind is constantly striving to penetrate the spiritual realm, while the spiritual mind is striving to enter matter, hence our actions have their subjective counterparts and their subethereal counterparts. The universal mind, in harmony with the evolutionary plans and laws of the macrocosms, materializes through functions of the microcosm, imparting to each, with its routine of failure and success, its daily objectivity. The inner or passive dream mind may perceive the subjective types or antitypes many days before they objectify through the microcosm. Their meaning is often wrapt in symbols, but sometimes the actual as it occurs in objective life is conveyed. Our own thought images which have passed before the objective mind may be perceived by the clever mind reader, but those antitypes which are affecting our future, but which have none other but subjective existence, are rarely ever perceived by any one except by the power of the higher self or the spirit within. For this reason we are enjoined by the sages to study self. With the physical mind we only see physical objects, with the subjective mind we see only subjective objects. This was Paul's doctrine and it is the belief of the best psychic thought of this century. By means of our reason—an objective process for divining the future—aided by mathematical and geographical data, we may outline the storm centers and the path of the rain days before they appear in certain localities. After eliminating all contingencies arising from clerical error and counteracting influence, the prognostication is sure of fulfilment. For centuries ahead the astronomer foretells the eclipse of the moon and the sun and the arrival of comets. He does not do this by crossing the borderland dividing the spiritual from the physical world. In a like manner the subjective forces operate upon their own planes and know very little even of their own corporal realm, just as our physical senses know little, if anything, of the soul or spiritual habitation. They know that by gross living the sense of conscience may be dulled, or that by right living it may be strengthened. In like manner the subjective mind perceives by its own senses certain invisible types of evil seeking external manifestations in the microcosm. It knows that these forms of error will work harm to the objective mind, and that if persisted in they will pervert all intercourse or interchange of counsel between the two factions of the man. In this there is no spiritual perception of physical objects, any more than there is in mundane life a sense perception of spiritual images and antitypes. The former only sees the forms that manifest on its plane, while the latter can note only those common to its sphere. Each may recognize and feel the violence or good that these manifestations will do to their respective counterparts, but we have no reason to believe that normal objective or subjective states have visional powers beyond their own plane. The mind of man acting upon the mind of the macrocosm will produce, according as he thinks or acts, antitypes of good or evil in the imagination of the world which is reflected upon the spiritual aura of the microcosm previous to taking on corporal form. While in this state they may be perceived by subjectivity, and thus the images seen are impressed on the dream mind during sleep, or on the passivity of the objective sense.
Evil or righteous acts recently committed will more acutely affect the present waking mind than those enacted at a more remote period. In a similar way future disaster or success which is soon to occur will impress the dream mind more vividly than those which are to transpire at a later date. But in the lives of all men there are past incidents which they will never forget, and which will never cease to fill their hearts with pride or remorse. So, too, in their distant future there are important events to transpire which are struggling through tumultuous infinitude to leave their ghastly or smiling impress upon the dream mind. If your mental states are passive you will receive the warnings. There are cases on record which show events have been forecast years ahead of their occurrence.
We do not claim that this book will prove an interpreter of all dreams, or that the keys disclosed will open to you all the mysteries of the future, or even all those surrounding your own personality, but by studying the definitions and the plane upon which they were written, you will be able, through the power of your own spirit, to interpret your own dreams. The combination of dream and dream influences are as infinite as the stars, or the combination of thought and number. They can only be classed and considered as such. They cannot be analyzed in detail or as a whole. In mathematics we have nine digits from which an infinite variety of combinations may be formed and solved by the deduction of the mind. Through them we may measure time, space, quality and quantity.
The symbol o and I exist by reason of no thing and some thing or death and life. The figure one is subject to illimitable expansion. It is without beginning in the infinite of number, as God is without beginning in the infinite of being. As with the vegetable kingdom, the tiny seed or acorn silently working its magical transformation into a plant or tree, and directing its destiny with marvelous intelligence through the torrid and frigid vicissitudes of the seasons; so is man without beginning in the infinitude of his own being or microcosm. Man is both a type and antitype. A type of what pre-existed in the imagination of the world, and an antitype of a future life yet to manifest itself on another plane where the incidents of the one will be subjective, as the events occurring in infancy or in other planes are now subjective. His dreams, thoughts and actions, and the influences that produce them and their multiplying combination, cannot be numbered or reproduced any more than you can number the leaves of the forest, or find two exactly similar units among them. Thus the full meaning or interpretation of dreams cannot be fully demonstrated through mental or even spiritual stereotypes. But by the intelligent use of this book you will be able to trace out almost any dream combination and arrive at the true nature of its portent.
A wise doctor, in preparing medicine for a patient, considers well his age, temperament and his present condition. So should the interpreter of dreams ponder well the mental state, the health, habits and temperament of the dreamer. These things no one can know so well as the dreamer himself. He, therefore, with the aid of this book, will be able to interpret his dreams by the light that is in him.
Man is the microcosm or a miniature world. He has a soul and mental firmament, bounded by the stellar dust and the milky way, and filled with the mystery of suns, satellites and stars. These he can study best by the astronomy of induction and introspection. He has also a physical plane, diversified by oceans, lakes, rivers, fertile valleys, waste places and mountains. All are in cosmic interdependency as they are in the macrocosm. Here rests the mystery of being—the grandest of subjects! The student is no less bewildered and awed than the geologist who gropes blindly through the seams of the earth searching for links in the infinite chain of knowledge, or the astronomer sweeping the heavens of the macrocosm in quest of new phenomena. The two planes are dependent upon each other. It is the smile or disease of the firmament that blesses or diseases the earth. It is likewise the impure firmament of the microcosm that diseases the body and soul. If it reflects the drought of thought or the various states of evil, deserts will enlarge, forest of infectious, venomous growth will form the habitation of lust and murder. Before great moral or physical revolutions or catastrophes occur, clouds will darken the horizon of the dream mind; storms will gather, lurid flames of lightning will flash their volatile anger; the explosive thunder will recklessly carry on its bombardment; bells will ring, strange knocking will be heard—symbols of a message—phantom forms will be seen, familiar voices will call and plead with you, unknown visitors will threaten you, unearthly struggles with hideous giants and agonies of mind and body will possess you; malformations of the most hideous type will seize your vision; shrouded in sheets of a whitish vapor, evanescent specters, with pallid face and of warning countenance, will cling around you, and contagion and famine will leave their desolate impress upon the flower of health and in the field of plenty. Thus all of us would be nightly warned in our circle or miniature world if we would develop subjective strength to retain the impressions left upon our dream mind. But in spite of all reason and conscience—in spite of the inductive knowledge received through our senses—we go on from day to day, and step by step, feeding our soul on the luscious fruit of the outward senses, until the rank weeds of selfishness have choked out all other forces. Thus the soul is filled with thought images that assume the form of vicious animals, homely visaged fowls, rabid and snarling cats and dogs, leprous and virile serpents, cankerous lizards, slimy intestine worms, hairy and malicious insects. They are generated by greed, envy, jealousy, covetousness, backbiting, amorous longings and other impure thoughts. With the soul filled with this conglomeration of virus and filth, why doubt a hell and its counterpart condition, or expect the day or night to bring happiness? If evil thoughts will infest the soul with ravenous microbes, good thoughts and deeds will starve and suppress their activity, and create a heaven to supplant them. With this grand and eternal truth in view, man should ever think kindly of those about him, control his temper in word and action, seek his own, think the best of thoughts, study to relieve the worthy poor, seek solace in the depth of being, and let gentleness and meekness characterize his life. Then will he sow the seeds of a present and future heaven. His day thoughts and his night thoughts in harmony will point with unerring forecast to a peaceful end. Spiritual and helpful warnings will fall upon the dream mind, as gently as dew upon the flowers and as softly as a mother's kiss upon the lips of love. When our external lives are guided by the forces within, sweet are the words and messages from our own spirit; for those who are truly blessed are those who seek divine love through the channels of their inner world of consciousness.
Man is a little circle or world composed of the infinitesimal atoms thrown off from the great circle or parent world, and fitting into his place in the zone of life. If in the revolutions of the great circle he catches more material he increases his circle to objective or subjective growth: if he absorbs spiritual or mind atoms as they fall from the great body of creative source, he enlarges or contracts his own circle according to the assimilation of the food he receives from the parent.
It is optional with man to obtain spiritual or material manna as it is disseminated throughout existence. To feed on material diet alone, contracts and distorts the circle of the man; but a full comprehension of the needs of the circle, a proper denial of supply to some of the compounds, together with a tender care of other parts, will round out the whole into a perfect physical and mental circle of life.
Dissentious and conflicting results should be avoided in computing the length and breadth of the compounded circle of man's individual world. Objective life is one of the smallest compounds in real life.
Dream life is fuller of meaning and teaching of the inner, or God life, than is the exterior life of man. The mind receives education from communing with the dream composition in the great circle. Consult with your whole nature or circle before beginning a serious work; partial consultations, or material advice only, often brings defeat of objects sought, when a true home counsel would have brought success and consequent happiness.
Man should live in his subjective realms and study more his relation to other compositions or circles; thus fructifying and making beautiful his own world through intercourse with others who have worked in the great storehouse of subjectivity, and who have climbed already from the basement into the light of spiritual sunshine.
* * * *
QUESTION—What is a dream?
ANSWER—A dream is an event transpiring in that world belonging to the mind when the objective senses have withdrawn into rest or oblivion.
Then the spiritual man is living alone in the future or ahead of objective life and consequently lives man's future first, developing conditions in a way that enables waking man to shape his actions by warnings, so as to make life a perfect existence.
Q.—What relationship is sustained between the average man and his dreams?
A.—A dream to the average or sensual person, bears the same relation to his objective life that it maintained in the case of the ideal dreamer, but it means pleasures, sufferings and advancements on a lower or material plane.
Q.—Then why is man not always able to correctly interpret his dreams?
A.—Just as words fail sometimes to express ideas, so dreams fail sometimes in their mind pictures to portray coming events.
Q.—If they relate to the future, why is it we so often dream of the past?
A.—When a person dreams of past events, those events are warnings of evil or good; sometimes they are stamped so indelibly upon the subjective mind that the least tendency of the waking mind to the past throws these pictures in relief on the dream consciousness.
Q.—Why is it that present environments often influence our dreams?
A.—Because the future of man is usually affected by the present, so if he mars the present by wilful wrongs, or makes it bright by right living it will necessarily have influence on his dreams, as they are forecastings of the future.
Q.—What is an apparition?
A.—It is the subjective mind stored with the wisdom gained from futurity, and in its strenuous efforts to warn its present habitation—the corporal body—of dangers just ahead, takes on the shape of a dear one as the most effective method of imparting this knowledge.
Q.—How does subjectivity deal with time?
A.—There is no past and future to subjectivity. It is all one living present.
Q.—If that is so, why can't you tell us accurately of our future as you do of our past?
A.—Because events are like a procession; they pass a few at a time and cast a shadow on subjective minds, and those which have passed before the waking mind are felt by other minds also and necessarily make a more lasting impression on the subjective mind.
* * * *
Q.—To illustrate: A person on retiring or closing his eyes had a face appear to him, the forehead well formed but the lower parts distorted. Explain this phenomenon?
A.—A changed state from perfect sleep or waking possessed him.
Now, the man's face was only the expression of his real thoughts and the state of his business combined. His thoughts were strong and healthy, but his business fagging, hence his own spirit is not a perfect likeness of his own soul, as it takes every atom of earthly composition perfectly normal to reproduce a perfect spirit picture of the soul or mortal man. He would have seen a true likeness of himself had conditions been favorable; thus a man knows when a complete whole is his portion. Study to make surroundings always harmonious. Life is only being perfectly carried on when these conditions are in unison.
Keep the mind clear and as free from material rubbish as is possible and go to sleep in a negative condition (this will, of course, have to be cultivated by the subject). A person can, if he will, completely relax his mind and body to the receptive mood required for dreams to appear as realities, or true explanations of future events.
* * * *
To dream you are conversing with a dead relative, and that relative endeavors to extract a promise from you, warns you of coming distress unless you follow the advice given. Disastrous consequences could be averted if minds could grasp the inner workings and sight of the higher or spiritual self. The voice of relatives is only that higher self taking form to approach more distinctly the mind that lives near the material plane. There is so little congeniality between common or material natures that persons should depend more largely upon their own subjectivity for true contentment and pleasure.
* * * *
The will is suspended during sleep, so the dream mind is more a prey to excitability than the waking mind.
Thus when images appear upon the dream vision they are frequently distorted into hideous malformations that fill it with fear and excitement.
The constant dwelling of the mind upon certain things distorts their shapes upon subjectivity, thus throwing dreams in exactly opposite channels to the waking reality. Yet the dreamer always feels a sense of being awake in dreams like these, and on awakening experiences no recuperation of mind or body after such contrary dreams, Sleep is not fully sustained while the dreamer is held by material ideas in the subjective state.
* * * *
The cessation of the organs to perform healthful functions converts a man into a different person, and dreams while in this state would have no prophetic meaning, unless to warn the dreamer of this disorganization of his physical system.
Dreams are symbols used by subjectivity to impress the objective or material mind with a sense of coming good or evil. Subjectivity is the spiritual part of man. The soul is that circle of man lying just outside the gross materiality and partaking largely of it. All thoughts and desires enter first the soul or material mind and then cast themselves on the spirit. Frequently the soul becomes so filled with material or present ideas, that the spiritual symbols are crowded out, and then it is that dreams seen to be contrary. Material subjectivity, that is, all thoughts and ideas emanating from material sources, go to make up this circle; then the mind catches up the better thoughts of this section and weaves them into a broader and more comprehensive power, sustaining the owner in his own judgment.
And still another circle is formed of the finer compound of this, which is spiritual subjectivity, or the highest element of intelligence reached by man. [This circle is "the spiritual man" and relates in substance to the spiritual soul of the macrocosm or universe. It becomes strong or weak as we recognize or fail to recognize it as a factor of being. The process of spiritual development is similar to that of the vegetable and animal kingdoms. The trees on the outer rim of the forest are more capable of resisting the wind than those more to the center, by reason of their exposure to storms; the roots have penetrated with double strength far into the earth, and the branches are braced with toughened bark and closely knitted ligaments.
The same may be said of the animal kingdom. The mind is developed by vigorous exercise just as are likewise the muscles of the body. The more these are cultivated by drawing from their parental affinities in the macrocosm, the more knowledge or power they take on. Thus as a man simulates in thought and action an ape, a tiger, a goat, a snake or a lamb he takes on their characteristics and is swayed by like influences to enmity, meekness, covetousness and avariciousness. To illustrate further. If he is cunning he draws on the fox of the microcosm and becomes, in action and thought, like that animal. If selfishness survives, the hog principle is aroused from its latent cells in the microcosm and he is dominated by material appetites. In a similar way he may perceive the spiritual in himself. Nature's laws, with all their numberless and intricate ramifications are simple in their harmony of process and uniformity of purpose when applied to the physical and ethical developments of man.]
Possibilities for inner improvements or expansions rest with material man. If he entertains gross desires to the exclusion of spiritual germs, he will dwarf and degrade higher aspirations, and thus deprive subjective spirituality of her rightful possessions.
* * * *
Nature, in compounding the materials for the creation of the deaf man, inadvertently dropped the ingredient sound, hence making an imperfect being; and sound, being thus foreign to his nature, he can only be approached by signs even in dreams. Subjectivity uses nature's forces, while a normal person uses dreams to work on his waking consciousness. As it is impossible to use with effect a factor which a man does not naturally possess, a deaf man rarely ever dreams of sound, or a blind man of light.
* * * *
Whatever symbol is used to impress the dreamer is the one which is likely to warn him more definitely than any other. No two persons being ever in the same state at the same time, the same symbols would hardly convey identical impressions; neither will the same dream be as effective in all cases of business or love with the same dreamer.
A person's dream perception wavers, much as it does in waking hours. You fail to find the same fragrance in the rose at all times, though the same influences seemingly surround you; and thus it is that different dreams must be used for different persons to convey the same meaning.
Creation, confident of her power to perfect her designs, does not resort to that monotony in her work, which might result were the perception of man, or the petals and fragrance of flowers cast from one stereotyped mold of intelligence, beauty or sweetness. This variety of scheme runs through all creation. You think you have identical dreams, but there is always some variation, even if it be something dreamed immediately over. Nature is no sluggard and is forever changing her compounds, so that there is bound to be change in the details even of dreams. This change would not materially affect the approach of happiness or sorrow in different people, and hence the same dreams are reliable for all.
Persons of the same or similar temperament will be more deeply impressed by a certain dream than would people their opposite; and though the dream cannot be the same in detail yet it is apparently the same, just as two like flowers are called roses, though they are not identical.
If a young woman twenty-five and a girl of fifteen should each have a dream of marriage, the same definition would apply to each, just the same as if they would each approach a flower and smell of it differently. Different influences will possess them unconsciously, though the outward appearance be the same.
A young woman of a certain age is warned in a dream of trouble likely to befall her, while another of similar age and threatened trouble is warned also, but in different symbols, which she fails to grasp and bring back to waking existence, and she thus believes she has had no warning dream.
There are those in the world who lack subjective strength, material or spiritual, and hence they fail to receive dreams, however symbolic, because there is no power within them to retain these impressions.
There are many reasons for this loss, utter material gross-ness, want of memory, physical weakness uncoupled from extreme nervousness, and total lack of faith in any warning or revelation purporting or coming from the dream consciousness.
To dream at night and the following day have the thing dreamed of actually take place, or come before your notice, is not allegorical. It is the higher or spiritual sense living or grasping the immediate future ahead of the physical mind. The spiritual body is always first to come into contact with the approaching future; it is present with it, while still future to the physical body. There is no reason why man should not grasp coming events earlier, only he does not cultivate inner sight as he does his outer senses. The allegorical is used because man weakens his spiritual force by catering to the material senses.
He clings to the pleasures and woes of the material world to the exclusion of spirituality.
 From The Unknown. Published by Harper & Brothers Copyright, 1900, by Camille Flammarion.
 For authentic records, see Flammarion's Unknown.
[*] The 1845 edition of Edward Bulwer Lytton's Zanoni has "Man cannot contradict the Laws of Nature. But, are all the laws of Nature yet discovered?" (Emphasis added.) —The Editor.