In this study I would like to study dreams and look at particular dreams to lend insight into other dreams.
One of the most uncanny aspects of dreaming is the feeling that the dream is reality. The most bizarre things can happen in a dream and we relate to them as normal: Fish can talk and complain; we can soar into the sky like a jet, or hover over our bedroom like a helicopter; the bank manager can become a walrus and a walrus can make a good cup of tea. And when we awake, there is that strange pivotal moment of emergence when, hanging between two worlds, we are not sure in which reality we are. Fortunately when we wake up we can say, “Baruch HaShem!” because we KNOW it was just a dream.
When we are dreaming, we believe that the world of that dream is real. That is why we can have strong emotions like fear and ecstasy during a dream. Yet, when we awaken we realize that that world, the dream world was an illusion. How do we “know“ that the dream world was an illusion? The answer is we just know! Thus we learn that our perception of reality is a function of the daat. Further, we learn that there will come a time when we awaken, in the resurrection, from this world, this “dream” world, and realize that this world was the dream! When confronted with the reality of the Olam HaBa, we will realize that this fleeting world was just a dream. In the transition from this world to the next, we will suddenly wake up and know that this world was a dream. We will suddenly wake up and wipe the sweat off our brow. We will breathe a sigh of relief because we will knowthat the Olam HaBa is the real world. This is the mashal of a dream.
A dream is an interesting experience in that an observer knows that we are dreaming when he sees our closed eyes moving rapidly. This stage of sleep is called REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. If a person is awakened after being in REM sleep for a second or two, he will describe a dream that went on for a long time, sometimes for years! This teaches us that a moment in the Olam HaBa will be like a long time in this world. A dream teaches us that “time“ in this world is fleeting compared to “time” in the Olam HaBa.
Not all dreams are prophetic, however. Some dreams are simply the mind processing the day’s events. Others are the cold pizza you ate during Letterman or Leno. These dreams are most often nonsensical. They do not stay with you. Yet, there are other dreams that you cannot dismiss no matter how hard you try. These dreams come from the soul.