What is "Dream Work?"

My husband, who is not a Christian, is now leading “dream” classes where he analyzes people’s dreams.

What is this? My intuition is to stay away from it. He insists though that he needs to build a website to promote his craft of being a “Spiritual Guide.”

I’m very confused by his practices and “religion,” which he says hates the word religion. He also says he hates the word “non-believer.” So I tell him he has “the religion without a name.”

I’m torn-- do I help him build a “spiritual guide” website, knowing he will be making money but
doing this dream work and spiritual stuff, or do I refuse and tell him I want nothing to do with it? He told our parish priest he’s Jewish, so the priest is under the impression he’s that. Am I a liar too for not standing up to his lies to the priest?


I would have nothing to do with this.

I believe dreams are just one of the ways in which God communicates to us and so, initially, there doesn’t appear to be anything out of the ordinary in your husband’s desire to interpret other people’s dreams.

I was a little concerned however at his calling himself a “spiritual guide” as there are spirit guides who aid people (within the New Age Movement) by revealing knowledge not readily avaialable to them. In other words, spirit guides are actually demons in disguise who come across as friendly beings eager to help the helpless. This is a gray area which slowly and certainly leads down a path away from God.

My concern also is that your husband’s desire to continue with this dream therapy is causing you to question or maybe even compromise your christian values and morals.

When Jesus commanded his followers to “come follow me”, it was in regards to the very situation you find yourself in that that he was talking about. It’s apparent that you are struggling with something that seems bigger than you, but if you just start calling upon Jesus for help when you feel overcome by the pressure your husband is putting on you, you will find your savior there to help you. Walking in faith or in good conscience is a daily struggle and each time you call upon Jesus for help, you will find that circumstances may unexpectedly change or your husband may have a change of heart. Call upon the Lord and then wait expectantly for his love and compassion to come through.

You say your husband is an unbeliever. God does not wish that anyone should perish, so when you say your prayers, try offering up your husband to Jesus. He alone can save your husband and bring him out of this false path he is being led on. Oftentimes, we tend to take other’s cross upon our own shoulders, but when you start offering up your husband to Jesus, you will find Jesus ready and able to take up that cross too. That’s why he died for you and your husband, so that this very day, “salvation would come to your household.”

God bless and when life gets to be too much, turn to Jesus. He is the way, the truth and the life.

Jesus Rocks

Hi Lily: Sounds like a very trying situation. I don’t understand why he tells your priest that he’s Jewish. You’re not a liar for not outing him on it, but if the priest asks you something about it, I would use that occasion to set the record straight. In other words, you can be honest if asked. The lie is your husband’s problem, and no form of spirituality is served well by lies. Whatever he believes, he should be honest about it.

If you don’t believe in his practice, I see no reason why you should have to participate. The problem then is finding what your common ground is. Can you live together and respect what the other believes, and find enjoyment experiencing life together in spite of your differences regarding spirituality? To do that, you have to respect one another, which means he needs to respect your Catholicism, and I get the sense that he doesn’t. For instance, he doesn’t seem to respect your priest much by playing games with him in regards to what he believes.

I’m very sorry about the situation you’ve described and I do hope the two of you can work it out, but I really think while accepting what he does is helpful, you really have to stand your ground about him showing some respect to what you believe.

Your friend

In and of itself, I can’t imagine why dream analysis would be problematic. We all have dreams, our dreams all have symbols… so… what’s the big deal?

Why do you think it is a problem?

Good point. I don’t see where paying attention to dreams is counter to any religious beliefs, but it sounds as though this particular person sees it as a basis for spiritual guidance. While to some extent I suppose that could be true, I really don’t know if dreams alone constitute a spiritual path. The study of consciousness is a relatively new area of exploration in western thought, and my personal feeling is that research in that area should be done in serious academic environments. We just don’t understand enough about these things currently, and they need to be explored. That said, I pay attention to my dreams, but I can’t say for sure what they mean, and I don’t see tying it into spirituality to any large degree without the guidance of science in conjunction with perhaps some ancient cultural practices.

Your friend,

Thank you for your thoughts. I implored further with my husband on why he insists that I be more “open” to other ways of “spirituality” and he said because it’s very closed-minded of me to just believe in Jesus, and it’s discriminatory. I said, well, I’m a simple person and I just want to be a Catholic and nothing else. My husband temps me though to delve into his world of dreams and spiritism, which involves buddhism, native american worship practices, and connection, where he says “all is one.” This involves having close relationships with people of the opposite sex.

I reject all of this. I just don’t know where the dream work comes in. Yes, I’ve had signs given to me in dreams. I think that worshipping your dreams though is wrong.

I wanted to know more about where my husband stood in his faith. I asked him what his parents taught him about God. He said the word “God” was never used, and that he relies on the “universe” to come to a higher place. I just don’t understand this at all.

Hi Lily: I am very familiar with your situation. My wife is Catholic and I am Hindu. As a Hindu, I see Jesus in a broader context of human experience with God that includes many cultures and many permutations of one God. That includes the Jesus experience, but for us, it’s one of many. As a Catholic, my wife’s views are much more narrow in scope, in that she recognizes only the Jesus experience, and in particular, the Catholic interpretation of it. So what do I do about that? I respect it. It is her path to God and I support her with it. I wonder of your husband would do that if you asked him? You have a right to believe what you do, and a spouse needs to recognize that their partner needs the ability to express what it is that is sacred to them. Both of you have a belief system of some sort and for each of you it’s important. To experience what is sacred, one must start with oneself. A good place to start might be for the two of you to sit down and affirm the recognition that you are both sacred to each other. The love that you have for each other is all that really matters. If God can’t be found there, He won’t be found anywhere, in which case what you believe or what he believes matters little, don’t you think? The way we experience God is in each other. We can talk about this religion or that, but what happens between the two of you is where the rubber really hits the road.

Is any of that easy? I know it’s not. I’ve been through it, but you can work it out.

Good luck to you both, and God bless you both as well.

Your friend,


Since you are a Catholic, believe Jesus is God incarnate, and married to a man who is involved in spiritism of some kind, if you hope to remain a Christian who worships the one true God, you will need to rely on the words of Jesus as He described Himself and His followers.

He said among other things, He is the Good Shepherd. His sheep know His voice and they will not follow the voice of a stranger. There are many strange voices beckoning to be followed. Your husband has set himself up as one of them, trying to make money as a spiritual guide. Jesus did not make a living from selling phoney spiritual knowledge. He gave His life for others.

He said all those who came before Him were thieves and robbers. He was referring to those who claimed to be from God and to be revealing the way to God. He was not referring to the Jewish prophets who claimed to speak in God’s name. He spoke well of them.

He claimed also to be the door of the sheepgate that we have to go through to get to our safe home.

He said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”.

He said we are either for Him or against Him. No one will be ambivalent. Your husband is against Jesus, anti-Christ, and he makes that very clear.

Helping your husband would be sharing in being against Jesus. You can love your husband and pray for his conversion, but helping him is not a good idea. It may come to your having to decide between your husband and your Savior.

God bless you.

Dreams are how the mind “makes sense” of issues and events that occur in our lives. They are the mind’s way of “working out” issues…and paying attention to one’s dreams may be a key in solving personal issues for some people.

Thanks to all of you for taking the “thorn out of my eye” on this matter. I feel so blessed to be part of this community.

Thank you for helping me to restore my faith in Christ, which has seemed distant the last few weeks as I struggled to please my husband. I had no idea I was being turned away again. My husband told me not sharing in his religion was disrespectful to him, and I must be respectful in a marriage. Also he has separated me from the Church by lying to the paster, and holding our son’s baptism as a way that I need to start practicing his religion now. I am a weak and vulnerable person by God’s design :slight_smile: I’ll go talk to my priest this week-- I’ve been putting it off.

Yes, if I had to choose between Christ and pleasing my husband, it would have to be Christ. There’s no question of that.

I believe that if he didn’t see “sharing” and just “respecting our differences” I would feel free to practice my faith without pressure to convert to his more “open” ways.

The two of us definitely need to sit down and talk.

In Christ,

Well, I looked more into his dream-work related classes and also I asked my husband about it. He said that dream work is mostly for him seeing symbols and interpreting them as a way for spiritual growth and seeing one’s “own strength” and finding one’s “true self.” He said seeing signs is a way to know when to move forward with something. (For instance, he saw a red-tailed hawk and knew he needed to overcome his fear because of the strength of the hawk).

I just think this method is unreliable because it relies on signs, which may or may not present themselves, instead of the absolute authority of God. It can also cause one, ironically, to go down the wrong path because of a “sign.”

Basically for the class they light a candle, have a moment of silence, read poetry, and interpret dreams, then read another poem, and blow out the “dream candle.”

Sorry to get so specific… I just want to know what to watch out for.

For quite a while I kept a “dream diary”. The mind does present it self in dreams thru symbols…signs…images that may have nothing to do on the surface with a dream…paying attention to our dreams can…CAN…assist us in identifying problems, fears, issues, joys, directions we’re headed unconsciously with out thought processes.

For millenia people have looked to dreams…a good therapist can assist us with our “dream work”. We dream for a reason…it is the minds way of working out issues…problems that may not on the surface be apparant to us consciously.

It’s when we “confuse” dreams with reality that I think the problems surface…is some of the “dream work” hokum? You bet…is some of it theraputic? You bet.

So often we do not pay attention to our “life symbols and signs” that present themselves in our dreams.

There have been times where I’ve ignored dreams that was trying to tell me something…an unresolved issue…an unfaced fear…OR an unrecognized blessing.

I have a “Dream Diary” my sister gave me for my b-day one year…I’ve never used it…it’s a very nice book…I keep a note pad next to my bed…and when I have a particularly vivid or troubling dream…I write down the dream…I try to remember the feeling I had…was I happy…fearful…sad…confused…did I laugh…what was I wearing…what were the characters in the dream wearing…was it in color or black and white? These are “clues” to our unconscious mind that is trying to “break thru” to our consciousness.

There are plenty of charlatans who tout dream work with a lot of…and I hate this phrase as it carries with it bad connotations for conservative Christians…“New Age” pop philosophy.

Scripture has quite a few instances when God spoke to people in dreams…those dreams had meaning…God speaks to our unconscious mind too…listening and using some common sense by simply being reflective about our dreams can be beneficial…not all who engage in “dream work” do so with a therapist motive…be wary of easy answers and don’t impart spiritual meaning and guidence for every dream you have…but sometimes…we do need to listen to our dreams…there are universal/cultural images in our dreams…a person here in the USA may have similar images than a poor peasant in the mountains of Peru…but they mean different things.

Dreams are beneficial…we would go insane and die without dreaming…dreams can indicate a direction one’s life is taking we may not be comfortable with…each of us is different…so paying attention to our dreams can assist us…putting too much empasis on dreams can cripple us…they are tools our mind uses to work out problems and make sense of things that occur and impact us in our daily lives we are not even aware of. at times.

That is new age.

That sounds spiritually dangerous.

*Demons often transform themselves into angels of light and take the form of martyrs, and make it appear to us during sleep that we are in communication with them. Then, when we wake up, they plunge us into unholy joy and conceit. But you can detect their deceit by this very fact. For angels reveal torments, judgments and separations; and when we wake up we find that we are trembling and sad. As soon as we begin to believe the demons in dreams, then they make sport of us when we are awake too. He who believes in dreams is completely inexperienced. But he who distrusts all dreams is a wise man. Only believe dreams that warn you of torments and judgments. But if despair afflicts you, then such dreams are also from demons. *
St John Climacus%between%

Does respect go two ways in a marriage?

Your husband is playing with spiritual fire. He will be burned. He is relying on signs that may or may not be there and his own personal ideas of what they mean.

His religion is false, or yours is. It is one or the other. They are not compatible.

Are you trying to say that dream analysis is sacrilegious? Why?

I said that it was a component of the new age movement. The following is from a Catholic website:

At the end of the millennium, the year 2000, a yearning for an age of freedom from the evils afflicting the world, the spirit of millenarianism has returned as it has so many times before. It is not a sect, a religion, a single organization, a science or a philosophy. In some ways it is not even new. It is called a movement in order to indicate that it is a network of individuals and groups who share a world-view and a common desire to change the world.

This so-called New Age movement is a cultural current that has engulfed the world today. There is therefore a pressing need for Catholics to understand authentic Catholic doctrine to properly assess New Age themes. New Age thought and practice is, like second and third century gnosticism, an assortment of positions that the Church has identified as contradicting the Catholic faith. Astrologists believe that what they call the [FONT=Arial]Age of Pisces, 0 – 2000 A.D., has ended and that the Age of Aquarius, 2000 – 4000 A.D. is at hand. In the historical wake of the events of the Renaissance and the Reformation, many are less inclined to obey external authority and they think of religion in a way that leads to the notion that the self is sacred and to an exaggerated idea of freedom, self-reliance, and authenticity. Faith in God is often abandoned, except perhaps as a tool for self advancement. Thus is the stage set for an imagined triumph and reign of the consumer culture.[/FONT]

A society which has undergone a breakdown of faith in the Christian tradition and in the unlimited process and progress of science and technology has now to confront the surprising return of gnosticism, a compendium of cosmic religiosity, rituals, and beliefs which had never really disappeared. Gnosticism has its origin in the pagan religions of Asia, Phoenicia, Egypt, Greece, and Babylon, and also in astrology and Greek Platonism. Its basic tenet is the doctrine of salvation through knowledge. The New Age movement claims to be able to acquire this knowledge in an esoteric way through such methods as **dream analysis **and through the medium of a “spiritual master.”

That is new age.

You guys really need to find a new word for anything that’s not you. No one under 50 has heard of Yanni or Zamphir and his magic pan flute. Now THAT’s new age! :slight_smile:

Your friend,

I have seen Catholics whose faith was severely damaged by the subtle yet gnostic temptings of garbage such as enneagram, reiki, eco-spirituality, and yes…dream analysis/spirit guides.

So don’t get me started.

Ps—I think Zamfir is spelled with an “f”. :wink:

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