Have You Ever Met an Angel or a Demon In Your Dreams?
These past couple months I've been cleaning out my attic, carport and tool shed. You wouldn't believe the stuff I've accumulated after living in this house for 27 years. I hauled boxes, sacks and junk of all descriptions out to the end of my driveway to be picked up. I'm surprised the trash people accepted so much. In fact, I still have some more in a second attic to hand over to them. When will it ever end?

In the same spirit I've begun to sort through the files stored on my computer, files handed down from three generations of computers. I'm not sure about everything that's in there. To assist I have this neat program that searches not only the Internet, but also my desktop. Should I throw some of these files away? Hmmm, maybe I'll let you be the one to decide.

To start with I'm going to share some of the stuff I've accumulated about dreams and meeting angels in your dreams.

 



One of the clergymen that helped me to get a little handle on this topic was an Episcopal priest who long ago taught in the graduate department of Notre Dame University, a man by the name of Morton T. Kelsey. Kelsey wrote extensively about dreams. In his book God, Dreams and Revelation (Augsburg, 1968), he wrote about St. Augustine's worldview (pp.148-151). None of the ancient Christian fathers is more important to Lutheranism than Augustine.

Augustine's psychology and epistomology were based upon a sophisticated psycho-physical dualism in which he saw two essentially different kinds of reality--the purely coporeal or physical, and the non-corporeal or "mental," which is spiritual in nature. . .

Augustine’s study of perception was as sophisticated as any in the ancient world. He saw reality as consisting of outer physical objects to which we react with our bodies, and then of the impressions of this sense-experience, impressions that are “mental” in nature. We then have the inner perception of this sense-experience, and finally the mental species in its remembered form. It is the action of the ego (called the will by Augustine) that unites these perceptions to the object. In one place he calls the faculty of imagination the bridge that mediates the object to consciousness, thus presenting almost the same thinking as that worked out by Synesius of Cyrene. Augustine saw man as possessing an outward eye that receives and mediates sense impressions, and an inward eye that observes and deals with these collected and stored “mental” realities that are called memory.

In addition to the realities that come from outer perception and from inner perception of “memories,” autonomous spiritual realities (angels and demons) can present themselves directly to the inner eye. These are of the same nature as the stored “mental” or psychic realities that are perceived inwardly. Augustine writes that men in sleep or trance can experience contents that come from memory “or by some other hidden force through certain spiritual commixtures of a similarly spiritual substance.” These autonomous realities are non-physical; yet they can either assume a corporeal appearance and be experienced through the outward eye, or be presented directly to consciousness through the inner eye in dreams, visions, and trances. Thus through dreams man is presented with a whole storehouse of unconscious memories and spontaneous contents, he is given access to a world that the fathers called the realm of the spirit, which Jung has seen as the “objective psyche.” Man has no control over this world; the contents of a dream or vision are as objective, as much “given” to the inner eye as sense experience is to the outer eye (Book XI.4.7.).

Augustine admitted that it was easier to describe what the angels and demons do than to explain what they are. In discussing the dreams that people have of the dead, he stated that it is not the dead person himself who appears (just as one doesn’t expect the living person to know when one dreams of him), but “by angelical operations, then, I should think it is effected, whether permitted from above, or commanded, that they seem in dreams to say something . . .” (On Care to be Had for the Dead, 12) Just as angels have direct contact with man’s psyche and present their messages before the inner eye, so also do demons. . .

They (angels or demons) persuade [men], however, in marvelous and unseen ways, entering by means of that subtlety of their own bodies into the bodies of men who are unaware, and through certain imaginary visions mingling themselves with men’s thoughts whether they are awake or asleep (The Divination of Demons, V.9, N.Y., Fathers of the Church, Inc., 1955, Vol.27, p.430).

Augustine, as we can see, considered these experiences equally important whether they came in a waking vision or a dream.

So far Kelsey. . . All over the Bible you also hear of people meeting angelic beings in their dreams. Notable are the encounters by Joseph in the Christmas story. When was the last time you considered that you might have intercourse with either angels or demons in your dreams?

 

This article comes from Alvin H. Franzmeier
http://www.alfranzmeier.com