Buddhism and dreams The principle aim of Buddhism is to achieve liberation from the things that bind consciousness to what Buddhists see as the illusory concepts of the self and the world. This principle or goal is called liberation or Nirvana, and it is sometimes associated with the obliteration of a sense of self or ego. This is not the death of the self but an untangling of the self from the illusions that emotions and thoughts create. Dreams are therefore thought to depict the illusions of the everyday experience of life in that they express a person’s fears, hopes and opinions.
Christianity and dreams According to traditional Christianity, the purpose of dreams is to improve communication with God; this can be shown by the constant references in the Bible to communication through the medium of dreams between man and God, man and the angels, and between man and his higher self. The moral standards of the dreamer may be reflected in the clarity and degree of quality of their dreams.
Hinduism and dreams Hindu dream interpretation puts great importance on individual dream images, and relates them to gods and demons. This belief that dream symbols may be universal as well as individual is similar to the more modern ideas put forward by Carl Jung in his theory of the ’collective unconscious’.
Islam and dreams Dreams, according to Muslim scholars, are of three types. The first of these are sound dreams that are indicative of glad tidings. These can include premonitions of the future. A second type of dream is said to be evil and the result of Satanic whisperings or inspirations. A third type of dream can be termed as ’idle dreams’, and they are the result of eating unpalatable foods, the over-exercise of one’s imaginations, or experiences in life which might also be reflected in one’s dreams.
Judaism and dreams Dreams have long been considered a legitimate form of divine revelation in Jewish mysticism and throughout Jewish history—from Hagar, Joseph and King Solomon to Sigmund Freud and beyond— Jews have honored their dreams and searched for their deeper meanings. Judaism takes dreams very seriously. In the Bible, we read of the dreams of the great people of Israel: Abraham, Jacob, Joseph and many of the prophets. Judaism is of the opinion that all prophecy, except for the prophecy of Moses, was transmitted to the prophets when they were in a dreamlike, almost catatonic, trance. The Talmud places heavy emphasis on the interpretation of the dream as the key to its fulfillment.
If a seemingly bad or frightening dream is interpreted positively, no ill effects from that dream will ever actually occur.
Other traditions and dreams Oriental traditions concerning dreams are comparative and philosophical; the dreamer’s state of mind is thought to be of more importance than the predictive power of the dreams themselves.
Ancient Chinese philosophy holds that the soul is separated from the body whilst dreaming and that several levels of consciousness exist; the dreamer’s horoscope, time of year, and the individual’s physical condition are all taken into consideration when interpreting dreams.... The Element Encyclopedia