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Do dreams have magic in them? Yes, the Baha’i teachings explain — and the magical power of dreams directly relates to our souls.
Baha’is believe that Baha’u’llah’s new revelation has brought forth our ability to radiate all of the names and attributes of God through the inspirational power of his words. The Baha’i writings say:
… the divinity of God, which is the totality of all perfections, reveals itself in the reality of man – that is, the divine Essence is the sum total of all perfections, and from this station it casts a ray of its splendour upon the human reality. In other words, the Sun of Truth is reflected in this mirror.
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Therefore, the spiritual powers we have are not entirely latent — we can utilize them now, right here in this physical world, to a certain degree. These powers have not attained perfection in any one person, but can serve us nonetheless.
Whatever attribute of God we can imagine — love, compassion, humility, kindness, creativity, and on and on —we can also manifest in ourselves to a limited degree. As Baha’u’llah wrote in “The Seven Valleys”: “… in thine inward being thou revealest the hidden mysteries which are the divine trust deposited within thee.”
So by the power of our inner vision, the spiritual insight we human beings are all endowed with, we can seek out and discover the hidden mysteries of our divine trust and advance our progress towards perfection.
I don’t know all the powers we have, and I certainly don’t have a lot in my own life. However, it is fascinating to obtain a few insights into the ones that are there. I’ve gotten brief glimpses of one of those spiritual powers in my own life: I have dreams that later come true.
I’ve never dreamed of anything immediately useful, like lottery numbers or the Dow Jones average, nor are my dreams usually clear enough to really serve as a warning to me. But I did dream about my motorcycle accident three times before it happened.
It wasn’t clear it would actually happen until it did, though. Most of the time the specifics of my dreams get lost in the mists of sleep, and all I experience is the feeling of dejá vu — that eerie sense that I’ve been in this exact situation before. Most everyone has experienced dejá vu, but not everyone ascribes it to a dream coming true, as I do.
The Baha’i teachings, though, describe the phenomenon of dejá vu quite clearly, and attribute it to our inner spiritual faculties. Baha’u’llah, the prophet and founder of the Baha’i Faith, wrote:
Consider thy state when asleep. Verily, I say, this phenomenon is the most mysterious of the signs of God amongst men, were they to ponder it in their hearts. Behold how the thing which thou hast seen in thy dream is, after a considerable lapse of time, fully realized.
This ability used to bother me, and provoke a host of questions. If I could see something before it happened, does that mean it was foreordained? If so, then what does that imply about free will?
An experience cleared up my quandary. One day I had a particularly vivid replay of a dream, with a double sort of dejá vu vision — the movie of my dream played back in my head, superimposed over the real events transpiring before my eyes. So vivid was the dream that I could remember what was going to happen next. I put my hand in front of my face – an event that had not happened in the dream – and as I did this, the dream faded away and reality continued to unfold.
In his writings, Baha’u’llah explained this kind of experience, and made a distinct contrast between fore-ordained and fore-knowledge:
This fore-knowledge of God, however, should not be regarded as having caused the actions of men, just as your own previous knowledge that a certain event is to occur, or your desire that it should happen, is not and can never be the reason for its occurrence.
When we dream, Baha’u’llah explained further, we access at least two realms of the spirit:
… the world in which thou livest is different and apart from that which thou hast experienced in thy dream. It would be true if thou wert to contend that this same world is, as decreed by the All-Glorious and Almighty God, within thy proper self and is wrapped up within thee. It would equally be true to maintain that thy spirit, having transcended the limitations of sleep and having stripped itself of all earthly attachment, hath, by the act of God, been made to traverse a realm which lieth hidden in the innermost reality of this world.
The visionary power we access in a dream state is not bound by time or space. When dreaming our spirit is stripped of earthly attachment and journeys to the innermost reality of a world that has neither beginning or end; yet is still within our proper self. In the book “Some Answered Questions”, Abdu’l-Baha said:
While asleep, this physical body is as dead: It neither sees, nor hears, nor feels, and it had neither consciousness nor perception – its powers are suspended. Yet the spirit is not only alive and enduring but also exerts a greater influence, soars to loftier heights, and possesses a deeper understanding.
Whatever this ability is that we experience in our dreams, I believe we all have it, simply because Baha’u’llah ascribes it to everyone. We possess tremendous untapped spiritual powers, some of which we can access, and others as yet unwrapped and unimagined.