Seaborn Hall, 11/30/19
I had a dream where I was on the phone with a good friend, but we got interrupted and cut off. Then I got a call from the operator who was sent to give me a message from my friend. He said a few things at first which seemed OK, but one stood out and caused me to get angry. He said, “She won’t listen to gossip anymore, so don’t gossip.” I was so angry for two reasons: First, that she would send a difficult message like that through someone I didn’t know instead of telling me herself. Second, because I wasn’t gossiping.
Above is the first half of the dream we initially used to demonstrate the difference between personal and universal dreams in Part 1. In general, the dream ‘trick’ is to interpret elements symbolically (remember, Numbers 12 governs) – unless there is a compelling reason to interpret literally and the whole context bears this out.
The temptation is to interpret everything literally, taking the elements as literal, that is, a phone call is really a phone call, gossip is really gossip, etc. Certain elements in any dream may or may not be literal and should be evaluated as discussed, in the total context, that is dream context and life context.
Opening Of The Dream Determines Context And Meaning
I had a dream where I was on the phone with a good friend, but we got interrupted and cut off.
What does this mean symbolically?
Most likely this is speaking of a strong connection that was broken, disconnected for some reason. It may be a real friendship – or ‘good friend’ could even be symbolic for a quality or some characteristic within the dreamer, a way she or he is ‘cut off’ from his/herself. The first option means the dream would be speaking to a relationship; the second option means the dream is speaking to an internal quality, to character development.
This opening line is important because it determines and governs the context for the whole dream. Once it is interpreted properly, it is much easier for the rest of the interpretation to fall into place. If this first line is misinterpreted, then the whole dream interpretation may be off.
Again, one interpretation above is based on interpreting ‘good friend’ as literal. This is one confusing aspect of interpretation. Though the primary attack of interpretation should be symbolic, there are always some minor elements in symbolic vehicles that are literal for themselves.
Is the ‘good friend’ literally a good friend of the dreamer’s? It is possible. However, if the ‘good friend’ is symbolic it means that this person in the dream is ‘standing in’ for a quality or aspect of the dreamer’s life. In this case, only the dreamer will know specifically what the dream is about because since this is a personal vocabulary aspect of the dream, the dreamer must decide what character or quality or issue the ‘good friend’ represents.
If the dream is not about the dreamer’s relationship with her good friend, but the friend is symbolic, the ‘friend’ could be symbolic for any character issue or quality the dreamer associates with this ‘good friend.’ This is a ‘life context’ aspect of the interpretation.
For example, I have a good friend who is very competitive. This person would race their grandmother across the street and feel the need to win. If this was the ‘good friend’ in a dream of mine and the ‘friend’ was symbolic for an issue of my own the dream wanted to speak to, then it could be that, for me, the dream was attempting to say something about my own competitive instincts.
The context in the dream here is a broken relationship with a good friend, a previous ‘called connection.’ The friendship has become disconnected – or the dreamer has become disconnected from some aspect of themselves.
Note that regardless of which way this is interpreted, it is a very personal issue and context. If this were a universal dream, the symbols and context would be much larger. Dreams like this, in which a problem is outlined in the opening of the dream, usually offer solutions somewhere in the later part of the dream, usually the final scene or scenes.
Interpreting The Body Of Dream Based On Opening Context
Establishing the context in the opening makes the next part of the dream more clear. The ‘operator’ is not a negative figure, but a positive one. This is confirmed by the context that the ‘operator’ appears in –
Then I got a call from the operator who was sent to give me a message from my friend.
In other words, the dreamer is being ‘called,’ or we could say ‘invited,’ to see something or to do something in the context of her relationship with her ‘friend.’ The question, of course, is still whether this ‘friend’ is a real relationship that has been broken recently, or whether the ‘good friend’ is symbolic for a character issue or quality of personality for which the dream is attempting to provide insight.
Either way, the operator is not negative – he is there to give her a message, to provide insight into her situation.
Notice also that the dream defines its own message as a “difficult message.”
First, that she would send a difficult message like that through someone I didn’t know instead of telling me herself. Second, because I wasn’t gossiping.
The whole message of the dream and the insight the operator has to provide is somehow a ‘difficult message’ for the dreamer to hear. This is why it is coming through a dream. Dreams always bypass our conscious minds and tell us things that it would be hard for us to hear otherwise.
The Interpretation Of The Dream – The Second Half
I went across the street to her house to confront her on this. I told her she didn’t have reason to send me the message because I wasn’t gossiping, and she should have told me the message herself instead of going through someone I didn’t know. I also said that I’d worked on this issue in the past and was doing well. She was relentlessness and didn’t apologize. She said she was getting ready to go on a mission trip overseas, and needed to set herself apart by going higher in her character. Then some other friends of mine came into the room and they heard both of our sides. End.
To completely interpret this second half of the dream, note that the ‘friend’ is feminine, a ‘she,’ and the ‘operator’ is masculine, or a ‘he.’ This can be ascertained from analyzing the first half of the dream.
I went across the street to her house to confront her on this.
Going across the street is symbolic either for taking the risk to go outside of her comfort zone to confront an issue with a real friend, or, for shaking herself out of one mindset to entertain another perspective, if this is an internal character or value or perspective issue. Only the dreamer will know which applies more naturally.
Since this is such a personal dream, without knowing the dreamer personally it is difficult to take the interpretation much further. However, it seems likely that the dream may be more about personal character issues or some sort of internal struggle than about a real relationship.
The End Of The Dream
Then some other friends of mine came into the room and they heard both of our sides. End.
At first, the end of the dream seems confusing and abrupt. However, this is the solution part of the problem that the dream presents. In the first two parts of the dream there is a conflict of some kind going on. This statement presents a solution for dealing with the dilemma.
What is the solution? The dreamer needs to get counsel, that is, the dreamer needs insight from others about the conflict that is occurring and about the dream itself. The dreamer needs to others to come ‘into the room’ of the dream and the conflict. Once others hear both sides of what is going on they can shed much needed objective light.
If the dream is speaking more to internal or character issues this part of the dream could reflect all of the personality ‘parts’ or ‘conflicts’ coming back together again.
A Second Example: Personal Dream Mistaken For A Corporate Dream
According to the author, “A few nights ago, I had a dream that I was flying into the United States on what felt like an assignment from the Lord to go to different cities to pray and wake up what was spoken over those regions. The plane I was flying in was a private jet that was assigned for this special mission and had “22,” “2222” and “222” written on it in various ways.
My first stop was California, so as soon as the plane landed I stepped onto the soil and fell into a heap in travail and prayer, coming into agreement with Heaven for the state and the nation. Then I felt a wave of intercession arise for families around the earth and saw God send a revival to homes and families. Suddenly, it felt like warm oil was flowing over me and I heard a sound, so I asked, “What is that sound?” I heard, “It’s the voice of healing coming back!” [bold italics CS]
The writer’s evaluation of her own dream is “I was deeply stirred and felt this was a word for California and the United States, as well as a corporate, global word for the nations and families.”
Note that early in the dream the words ‘assignment’, ‘private jet’ and ‘assigned’ repeat. This makes clear that the dream is meant to be a personal assignment and private to the dreamer alone. There is no primary corporate message or prophecy in this dream, except that California and the US both need prayer, hardly a revelation. There is a promise in the dream, however – if the dreamer fulfills her ‘assignment’ then there will be a result in families in the state. If the writer herself is about to take a trip to California, this could apply specifically to families that she knows personally.
It is natural and normal for all of us to take things meant as personal from the Lord and make them ‘corporate’, ‘global’ or more important early in our ministries and in our experience with the prophetic. I have done this and I’m sure if everyone is honest, we have all done it.
This is a very important personal dream calling the dreamer into specific intercession. The promise to the dreamer is that healing will result – and that families in California will be affected – if she responds to the assignment (‘it felt like warm oil was flowing over me’). The promise is most likely a personal promise of physical and spiritual healing to the dreamer when she responds to the personal assignment invitation of the dream.
In this day of the internet and social media, so many things that are intended to be ‘private’ become ‘corporate’ and ‘global.’ God calls us first to Himself, not to public, corporate or global ministry.
Personal vs Universal Dreams – Principles
At this point we can clarify some general principles to differentiate personal and universal dreams. Opening is paramount. Personal dreams will open with a specific and personal context that uses words and statements with a narrow, personal field of meaning.
Universal dreams will typically use iconic symbols, for example, The Virgin Mary, The Statue of Liberty, etc – or larger than life symbols like an aircraft carrier, a 737 airliner or the White House. Personal dreams will use personal symbols that are familiar in every day life.
Operators or managers in dreams are typically personal dream symbols that are used to manage or navigate issues that occur in daily life. They become the ‘god’ symbols that attempt to give us insight and point us toward the solution of a problem.
There are some personal dreams that also have corporate or universal meanings or intent. These dreams work on more than one level in the same way that Scripture can have deeper or fuller meanings. In this case, the extended meanings, or deeper meanings will always remain congruent with the primary or initial meaning. There will be no contradiction.
To a certain extent, all dreams have this element in a basic way. But not all personal dreams are meant to speak directly to the corporate Body or universally. Dreams that have this in their DNA are a special type. We will address this type of dream in a future installment.
Finally, universal dreams will usually be vivid, memorable and full of color and life. Personal dreams may be in color, or mixed or muted colors, or even gray scale dreams depending on their purpose.
God uses dreams, especially early on, to speak into our personal lives and take us step by step through our journey with Him. This begins with personal development and character issues in our lives. It is true that even some personal dreams can have some deeper universal meaning. However, we need to be careful about taking dreams that are meant to speak to us and applying them universally.