The example of the dream


In the Seven Valleys it mentions that Luqmán, “in proving to his son Nathan the planes of resurrection and death, advanced the dream as an evidence and an example.” I have just a few thoughts to share on this statement.

There is another Tablet, provisionally translated, where Bahá’u’lláh uses the dream metaphor relative to the idea of resurrection – or more specifically, when something appears in other form after death: I find that this explanation also connects with the other dream example, immediately preceding His statement about Luqman in the Seven Valleys.

A few thoughts: For all things there is an essence and an appearance, which are intimately related but not identical. Resurrection is the return of essence in a new appearance. This happens in the world of nature, in the return of the Manifestations — and it happens when we dream. In dreams, we observe things that connect to the waking world in very indirect ways. This is because the essence is the same, but the appearance varies between the waking world and the dream world, just as they do through all the worlds of God.

If one understands how a “river” in a dream can represent the course of one’s life in the real world, and vice versa, then one should understand how religious texts speak of spiritual realities using metaphors and images: where “earth” may mean the heart and “heaven” can mean the Holy Scriptures. The dream world is an example of the flexibility with which spiritual essences reveal themselves in the world of Being, and so also how the Ancient Beauty appears in various figures and guises throughout history. This is why it is such a powerful “evidence and example”, and how this insight can lead to divine confirmations. The dream is, in this way, an intra-personal reflection of how the spiritual and material worlds are connected.

Consider the difference between these two worlds and the mysteries which they conceal, that thou mayest attain to divine confirmations and heavenly discoveries and enter the regions of holiness.