By Fr. Roy Cimagala
Do we have control over our dreams? I suppose the conventional answer is that, we don’t. Dreams just pop up on their own. They come at random. We may not even like them, but they just come. And yes, they can be beautiful or ugly, wonderful or weird, a delight or a nightmare.
But if we have to take a closer look at how dreams come to us, we actually have some control over them. Definitely not full control, just like anything else in our life. But yes, some control.
Dreams come about because we are capable of what we are dreaming about. Knowing our capabilities gives us an idea of how we can have some control over our dreams.
Definitely we are capable of dreaming something real and factual that happened in the past. We are also capable of dreaming something that can happen in the future or is merely pure fiction.
Our spiritual and psychological nature, whose basic faculties are our intelligence and will together with our imagination, memory, emotions, passions, enable us to have all kinds of dreams.
In other words, our dreams reflect our thoughts, desires, intentions. These thoughts, desires and intentions can be good or bad, something we like to pursue or we choose to repress or suppress. They either edify us or demoralize us.
Dreams can also channel things that we have not considered in our conscious state. That’s why we sometimes wonder why we were dreaming of something purely fictional, something we do not know where they come from. This again is due to our spiritual and psychological nature that is open to all kinds of things and can also go whichever way, including into the world of make-believe.
But there is just one more thing that is important to reckon with. And that is that our spiritual and psychological nature can open itself to the world of the supernatural or the infranatural. That is why we can have dreams that are extraordinarily beautiful and wonderful or extraordinarily ugly and weird.
Yes, it is possible that God, angels and saints can enter into our dreams as happened in the case of St. Joseph, for example. We can be divinely inspired. It is also possible that demons can enter into our dreams, even to the extent of possession. This is where we have to learn the art of proper discernment of spirit.
I suppose that knowing these principles or theories can help us to have some control over our dreams. We can dream what we want to dream. We can dream what we have thought about, desired or intended to do. We can dream what we want to pursue or what we choose to hide.
And we can dream what we have in our spiritual life, whether there is faith or unbelief, whether we tend more to our rationality or to our animality, whether we are more open to the supernatural or to the infranatural. In short, our dreams reflect the kind of life we have, the kind of person we are.
The dreams these trying times of the Corona virus pandemic are occasioning, can serve as some kind of catalyst to show the kind of life we have and the kind of person we are.
And mind you, it is not only the state of mental health or psychological condition that is reflected in these dreams. It is also the kind of spiritual and supernatural life one is having. Thus, our dreams can show whether we are dominated more by fear or by hope.
In talking with people about their dreams that may be disturbing to them, I imagine that we should not just look into their mental, psychological or emotional condition. We have to look more into their spiritual life, because that is where the real condition of the person can be found and where the final solution can be given.
Otherwise, we would just be giving highly temporary and unsure solutions.