Q: Do dreams while we sleep have meaning?
A: Thanks for writing to us here at TruthBook.com with your question about dreams and their meaning...
Down through the ages, mankind has sought to apply logic and meaning to the dream-life—what The Urantia Book calls "fantasies of the night season." Dreams have had an important place in the spiritual evolution of mankind...see Sections 4 and 5 from Paper 86 (Early Evolution of Religion).
All of us have had dreams that we remember, and that seemed to have great meaning to us. And I guess it is possible that some dreams do have personal significance—something to think about, maybe. But, the teachings of The Urantia Book largely dismiss the idea that there can be found any profound conscious meaning in dreams. In fact, ascribing meaning to ordinary dreams is not encouraged at all:
(86:5.11) All down through the ages men have stood in awe of the apparitions of the night season, and the Hebrews were no exception. They truly believed that God spoke to them in dreams, despite the injunctions of Moses against this idea. And Moses was right, for ordinary dreams are not the methods employed by the personalities of the spiritual world when they seek to communicate with material beings.
(100:5.6) If one is disposed to recognize a theoretical subconscious mind as a practical working hypothesis in the otherwise unified intellectual life, then, to be consistent, one should postulate a similar and corresponding realm of ascending intellectual activity as the superconscious level, the zone of immediate contact with the indwelling spirit entity, the Thought Adjuster. The great danger in all these psychic speculations is that visions and other so-called mystic experiences, along with extraordinary dreams, may be regarded as divine communications to the human mind. In times past, divine beings have revealed themselves to certain God-knowing persons, not because of their mystic trances or morbid visions, but in spite of all these phenomena.
In "Erroneous Concept of Adjuster Guidance", we read more about the dream-life as pertains to Adjusters:
So, we see that the Adjusters may and do work with us in dreams, and I would say that is pretty meaningful in itself, but we are seldom made conscious of it. It is a matter of distinguishing between the subconscious and the superconscious levels of mind. Ordinary dreams are the product of the subconscious, and we are not ordinarily given access to the superconscious ministry of the Adjuster.
(110:5.2) Man's dream experiences, that disordered and disconnected parade of the unco-ordinated sleeping mind, present adequate proof of the failure of the Adjusters to harmonize and associate the divergent factors of the mind of man. The Adjusters simply cannot, in a single lifetime, arbitrarily co-ordinate and synchronize two such unlike and diverse types of thinking as the human and the divine. When they do, as they sometimes have, such souls are translated directly to the mansion worlds without the necessity of passing through the experience of death.
During the slumber season the Adjuster attempts to achieve only that which the will of the indwelt personality has previously fully approved by the decisions and choosings which were made during times of fully wakeful consciousness, and which have thereby become lodged in the realms of the supermind, the liaison domain of human and divine interrelationship.
While their mortal hosts are asleep, the Adjusters try to register their creations in the higher levels of the material mind, and some of your grotesque dreams indicate their failure to make efficient contact. The absurdities of dream life not only testify to pressure of unexpressed emotions but also bear witness to the horrible distortion of the representations of the spiritual concepts presented by the Adjusters. Your own passions, urges, and other innate tendencies translate themselves into the picture and substitute their unexpressed desires for the divine messages which the indwellers are endeavoring to put into the psychic records during unconscious sleep.
It is extremely dangerous to postulate as to the Adjuster content of the dream life. The Adjusters do work during sleep, but your ordinary dream experiences are purely physiologic and psychologic phenomena. Likewise, it is hazardous to attempt the differentiation of the Adjusters' concept registry from the more or less continuous and conscious reception of the dictations of mortal conscience. These are problems which will have to be solved through individual discrimination and personal decision. But a human being would do better to err in rejecting an Adjuster's expression through believing it to be a purely human experience than to blunder into exalting a reaction of the mortal mind to the sphere of divine dignity. Remember, the influence of a Thought Adjuster is for the most part, though not wholly, a superconscious experience.
Jesus, in his talk on "Magic and Superstition" taught:
There have been notable instances where dreams were of great significance, such as Joseph's dream and Zaccharias' dream regarding the birth of Jesus and John. But it seems that in our lives, we might be better served to live our lives in waking consciousness of God, and let the Adjuster do its work in the dream life. Hopefully this superconscious ministry will play itself out in our conscious lives to the glory of God.
(150:3.9) 7. The interpretation of dreams is largely a superstitious and groundless system of ignorant and fantastic speculation. The gospel of the kingdom must have nothing in common with the soothsayer priests of primitive religion.
Thanks again for this question. I hope that my reply is helpful to you.