Spiritual Dreams

Spiritual Meaning of Dreaming in History

There is an ancient and universal tradition about the true nature of dreams which has lost favor in modern times. This view holds that dreams are of divine origin, that they are a portal to spiritual worlds, and that they bear messages from heaven and prophetic insights.

The Gilgamesh saga of ancient Mesopotamia shows us that dreamers used various techniques to increase the chances that a deity would appear in their dreams. A god might send a dream message to a single priest or a group of dreamers.

The Egyptians were said to believe that dreams were caused by the soul taking out-of-body journeys during sleep. In the Old Testament, God says, “Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make myself known to him in a vision, I speak with him in a dream.”

In Jacob’s famous dream at Bethel, he saw a ladder reaching up to heaven, with angels ascending and descending upon it. At the top was the Lord. When Jacob awoke from the dream he exclaimed, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

The Chinese also believed that the soul could separate from the body during sleep and journey into the spiritual worlds, where it could communicate with the departed, then return to the body with memories of the visit. High Chinese officials were expected to seek divine guidance through their dreams so they would obtain the insights needed for wise political judgment.

In ancient India the soul was also thought to leave the body during sleep and visit other places. Indian texts also state that children dream of impressions from past lives and that old people could dream of the world to come.

The Greeks, such as Homer, believed dreams had a divine origin and that the messages were often direct and readily understood. Like nearly all ancient cultures, the Greeks believed that the soul was able to leave the body at night, take trips into other worlds, and visit with the gods.

The list goes on, but these examples show the widespread belief held by our ancestors in the spiritual nature of dreams.

What Is a Spiritual Dream?

It is one of the greatest losses of modern psychology in its pursuit of scientific foundations that this ancient view was discarded. For spiritual dreams are as prevalent today as they were in ancient times.

Thousands of people are reporting out-of-body journeys in the dream state—journeys to distant locations on earth or to higher spiritual dimensions.

They are reporting prophetic dreams, past-life dreams, telepathic dreams, healing dreams, and dreams of illumination and divine love, guidance, and protection. The dreamers having these kinds of adventures are too numerous to ignore.

The dream teachings of Eckankar define the nature of Soul. You are Soul, a particle of God sent into the worlds (including earth) to gain spiritual experience.

The assumption is made right from the start that spiritual dreams are real, that they are a vital part of life, and that they are an essential and key element in one’s spiritual growth.

The goal is spiritual freedom in this lifetime, after which you become a Co-worker with God, both here and in the next world. Karma and reincarnation are primary beliefs.

Do you want to understand the nature and reality of your dreams? And experience the wondrous potential for love and happiness they can bring into your life? Learn more about spiritual dreams.

Harold Klemp, the spiritual leader of Eckankar, is one of the foremost advocates of spiritual dreaming in the world today.

Dreams & Medieval Past Lives



Understanding and Interpreting Dreams

Have you had a dream about a certain period of history? Could this be a memory of a past life?

Discover a deeper insight into your dreams in this answer from Sri Harold Klemp.

Dreaming about Medieval Times

Q: I haven’t been having any dreams that I can remember for the past month. This is unusual for me; I usually have dreams all the time. Is it karma? I would like to know, if possible, because I learn from my dreams.

Another thing I would like to know is, are there knights on the higher planes? I am attracted to medieval wars and battles.

A: In answer to your first question: By the time you read this, you will have started to dream again. There are times when Soul shifts gears; this is when we don’t always remember our dreams. But it is a passing thing.

About your attraction to knights and medieval wars and battles: Your interest in that period of history is due to your many past lives there.

It was a time of great adventure, chivalry, and heroics. The forces of darkness and light were in a hotly contested battle for centuries, and you played a part in those unsettled, but interesting, times.

History can teach us much about how mankind’s unlearned lessons repeat themselves. This allows us to use our knowledge to avoid unnecessary problems, because we can sidestep a lot of them.

People make history. You might enjoy the historical novels by Mary Stewart that bring to life the times of King Arthur at the beginning of the Middle Ages: The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, The Last Enchantment, and The Wicked Day.

You’ll find many spiritual insights in these books, for the author is adept at looking at past-life records on the Causal Plane.

A Modern Prophet Answers Your Key Questions about Life, Book 1

Would you like to read more? View the free ECKANKAR Soul Adventure Magazine or subscribe now.

Dreams and Our Spiritual Journey

By Sri Harold Klemp

Dreams—the stuff of wonder, fear, the unknown—are certain to pique our curiosity.

A Dream of Prophecy

As a classic example, there is the case of Samuel Clemens, the American humorist known as Mark Twain. He foresaw the death of his brother Henry, who also worked on the Mississippi riverboats during the 1850s.

One night, Twain awoke from a nightmare in which he clearly saw a metal coffin for his brother. On it lay a bouquet of white flowers, a red rose in the middle.

A few weeks later, Henry suffered severe injuries from a boiler explosion on the river.

He died shortly after.

When Twain arrived a few days later, he found the setting exactly as it had appeared in his dream. People had taken pity upon his brother and had collected money for a metal coffin, instead of the wooden boxes usually used in river accidents.

As Twain paid his last respects, a woman entered the room and placed on the coffin a bouquet of white flowers with a single red rose in the middle.

Dreams for Insight

Dreams touch every level of our life. They may let us glimpse the future, or give suggestions for healing, or share insights into our relationships. Above all, they can and will steer us more directly toward God.

A woman had been running her life by the forces of power and control instead of love. Her inclination was to control other people, to tell them what to do. It was second nature to her.

She did realize she had developed some bad habits, but she couldn’t pinpoint what they were doing to her life.

So the Dream Master, her spiritual guide, gave her an experience about habits.

One night in the dream state, she found herself in a basement with a group of people. Crust-covered leeches were crawling all over the walls and floor. The basement was dark.

The other people felt it was very important to keep plucking the leeches off themselves. They spent most of their time just sitting there, plucking and plucking.

Suddenly a door opened from the outside. Sunlight poured into the basement, and a second group of people came in. They seemed very unconcerned about the crusty creatures.

The first group tried to warn them, “Be careful of these leeches. Keep plucking them off, because they’ll get all over you, and they stick!”

The second group didn’t seem to care. They were too busy laughing and enjoying themselves. The first group simply could not impress upon these happy people that leech-plucking was important.

The second group left the basement, and sunlight poured in through the open door. About this time, the dreamer awoke.

The dream was upsetting and left the woman with a feeling of discomfort. But from this experience she was able to take a bad dream one step further, to a higher level, and raise herself spiritually.

How to Change a Dream Yourself

In contemplation, the woman visualized herself walking out of the dark basement into the sunlight. She made an effort to dispel the frightening effects of the dream by moving from a darker world into a higher, lighter one.

As she did this, she realized that the crusty things that hung on like leeches were actually habits. Her habits. They were the habits of control, fear, power, and other practices that did not allow the people she was with to have their freedom.

She also realized that the people in the second group were simply engaged in the love of everyday life and loving Divine Spirit, the ECK. This love was the Light and Sound, from the greater worlds of God.

A definite effect occurs when you begin working to change your inner space, to uplift it from power to love. Something happens out here.

You begin to have brighter vision; you become more willing to allow other people as much freedom as you would like for yourself.

Lesson learned!

Wisdom of the Heart

Many of the first steps to the higher states of consciousness are taken in the dream state. Dreams are a way for you to find wisdom of the heart.

And once found, no one can take it from you.

Would you like to read more? View the free ECKANKAR Soul Adventure Magazine or subscribe now.

Spiritual Meaning of Being Chased in a Dream

A Stranger in My Dreams

By Larry White

Night after night I had the same nightmare—a dream of being chased by a man with a knife.

It didn’t matter where I was or whom I was with in the dream, he would pop out of nowhere and chase me. Around corners, down unlit streets and alleys, through abandoned buildings, he was always in pursuit.

To make things even less pleasant, the faster I tried to run, the slower my legs would go. It was like trying to sprint underwater. My legs grew heavier, and just before capture I awoke in a cold sweat.

My line of work demands an alert state of mind. The want of sleep was a threat to my job security, leading my boss to ask whether I held a second job. He felt I was sleepwalking through waking life.

I decided to end this dream madness.

The next time this stranger pursued me in the dream state, I determined to turn around and demand, “What do you want from me?”

After all, the Living ECK Master has emphasized how much one can learn from dreams. Confronting a dream situation face-to-face is better than running from it: a reminder to myself.

That night I lay in bed, ready for action. I repeated to myself, “Tonight I am going to confront the man with the knife. Tonight I am going to ask him what he wants from me.”

Eventually, I slipped into repose. In no time I woke refreshed from a full night’s rest—but without the recall of a single dream.

It was a better day at work than usual.

That night I repeated my inner directive to confront the man in my dreams. Again nothing came of it. Was this good? Was getting rid of one silly nightmare worth wiping out all my other dreams?

My boss didn’t care; he was happy to have his employee back full-time.

The third night I repeated the postulate. But I felt more detached.

All of a sudden I awoke in the dream state, flipping through albums in a record store. My search was for one particular album. What did it look like? No idea. However, I had every confidence of recognizing it once my fingers touched it.

About to give up and leave, I spotted the desired album on a wall rack. Its name was Look at Yourself. The cover was an actual mirror, and it was a strange feeling to see my reflection staring back at me: a very sad face indeed.

The reflection held yet another image: a man screaming, “You’ll never amount to anything!”

It was the awful man with the knife.

I took off at a fast run out of the store, then on through the mall. The familiar footsteps pounded hot on my trail. The faster I tried to run, the slower my legs would churn.

An instant later, I remembered my resolve to confront this mysterious stranger. So I stopped dead in my tracks and spun around.

“What do you want from me?” I demanded.

“Thank God,” the panting man said. “I thought you’d never stop running away.”

Shutting my eyes to await the worst, I was startled to hear an odd grating sound. My eyes snapped open. The man, crouched at my feet, was using the knife like a saw to cut a ball and chain from each of my legs, to set them free.

Then, with compassion on his face, he said, “You’ve got to stop blackballing yourself. There. Now you’re free.”

I awoke and recorded the dream. The realization struck how I’d been holding myself back. There was an opening for a much better job at another company that I hadn’t felt worthy to apply for, so the opportunity came to nothing.

Echoes from my past included “You’ll never amount to anything.” It was a message oft repeated and set into old, well-established grooves of thought. This recording played over and over.

But was that a reason to keep sabotaging my life?

The next day after work I drew up a list of all my job skills. Upon finishing it, I was surprised at the breadth of experience. The next step was to create a résumé from the list and submit it to the other company. They called me in for an interview that morning.

The company hired me on the spot.

Since this dream experience I have released many old recordings of fear and replaced them with the unconditional love of ECK. Whether hideous or beautiful, my dreams have been blessings full of truth.

Would you like to read more? View the free ECKANKAR Soul Adventure Magazine or subscribe now.

Why Do We Have Bad Dreams?

By Sri Harold Klemp

A good dream is one that helps you grow stronger, wiser, and more full of love.

So what are bad dreams for?

Children often have nightmares until the age of six or eight, and sometimes longer. Grown-ups do too, though not so often as a rule. But why scary dreams for good people?

A negative dream is generally a memory of a past life.

It may include experiences of mistreatment, suffering, and even death. Some of us even have dreams of being born, which can give a feeling of suffocation.

These experiences are part of everyone. Children still remember bits and pieces of past lives, and these bad dreams are a part of them.

Bad dreams are old fears.

Having a disturbing dream is like airing out a musty room in spring. You need to face that old fear until it loses its grip, for only then can you be free to live this life to its fullest.

So good and bad dreams both hold spiritual lessons.

From ECK Wisdom on Karma and Reincarnation

Would you like to read more? View the free ECKANKAR Soul Adventure Magazine or subscribe now.

The Law of Karma

Past & Present Lives

By Sri Harold Klemp

We are each the sum of all our thoughts, feelings, and actions from this life and every lifetime in the past.

The past is a fascinating study. Even more so is learning of a present condition that saw birth in a past life.

To celebrate their wedding anniversary, a couple took a cruise. A port of call was Mexico. The couple went to see the Mayan ruins at Tulum, took many pictures, and also bathed in the turquoise waters nearby. The cruise was a happy, memorable event.

But it proved to be more than a physical journey.

Just Coincidence?

Soon after their return home, both the woman’s husband and her father became ill with the same problem, congestive heart failure. They were taken to the same hospital, the same floor, and shared the same doctor. An interesting quirk of timing and location.

On top of that, the wife, four months before the cruise, had been brought to that very hospital and saw the same doctor, because she too had a heart problem.

A small world indeed.

The woman who wrote this account to me is a student of Eckankar. She reports that it was an obvious spiritual lesson of sorts. But what?

The Past-Life Dream

She asked the Mᴀʜᴀɴᴛᴀ, the Inner Master, for an insight.

Then came a dream. It showed her a past life when she, her husband, even her father, and the doctor were Mayans. On the day of a great festival, crowds of people in bright colors and feathers filled the streets around the temples. The doctor was a high priest. He was at the top of the temple stairs performing human sacrifices. The Mᴀʜᴀɴᴛᴀ spared her the experience of reliving her family’s and her own death.

The dream was clear. The priest who did human sacrifices in those ancient days was now their doctor. His field of service today was to heal hearts, not rip them out.

That’s how the Law of Karma deals with misdeeds.

A bright sidelight to the dream is that she had a healing. She no longer needs to take any heart medication.

The Past-Life Lesson

Many of our dreams relate to past lives. Once we come to that realization, we can begin to access the experiences that lie hidden within our memory banks.

And, yes, it is possible to bring hard-won lessons from past lives into the present for a better understanding of our situation in life today. The spiritual exercise of the HU song can pull aside the veils that shade your inner vision.

For the spiritual student, it’s all about liberation. It’s about experiencing the freedom, joy, and wisdom of Soul. 

Would you like to read more? View the free ECKANKAR Soul Adventure Magazine or subscribe now.

Copyright © 2020–2023 ECKANKAR. All rights reserved. The terms ECKANKAR, ECK, EK, MAHANTA, SOUL TRAVEL, and VAIRAGI, among others, are trademarks of ECKANKAR, PO Box 2000, Chanhassen, MN 55317-2000 USA. 200140