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These questions are found in Max Heindel's "The Rosicrucian Philosophy in Questions and Answers", initially printed as a two-volume set.
Questions Concerning Sleep and Dreams
What are dreams,
have they all a significance, and how can we invite or induce dreams? »
In the waking state, the different vehicles of the Ego, the mind, desire body, vital (etheric) body and dense body are all concentric. They occupy the same space, and the Ego functions outwardly in the Physical World. But at night, during the dreamless sleep, the Ego, clothed in the desire body and the mind, withdraws, leaving the physical and the vital (etheric) body upon the bed, there being no connection between the higher and the lower vehicles, save a thin, glistening thread, called the silver cord. It happens, however, that at times the Ego has been working so interestedly in the Physical World and the desire body has become so stirred up that it refuses to leave the lower vehicles and is only half withdrawn. Then the connection between the sense centers of the desire body and the sense centers of the physical brain are partly ruptured. The Ego sees the sights and scenes of the Desire World which, in themselves, are extremely fantastic and illusory, and they are transmitted to the brain centers without being connected by reason. From this condition come all the foolish and fantastic dreams which we have.
It happens at times, however, that when the Ego is altogether outside the dense body, as in dreamless sleep, it sees an event concerning itself about to materialize, for coming events cast their shadows before, and before anything happens in the material world it has already happened in the spiritual worlds. If, upon awaking from such an experience, the Ego succeeds in impressing the brain with what it has seen, we have a prophetic dream, which in due time will come true, or which the Ego, if its Fate permits, may modify by a new action. For instance, if warned of an accident, it may take steps to counteract the impending calamity. ...more »
Can a person be influenced in
natural sleep as he can in hypnotic sleep, or is there a difference? »
Yes, there is a difference. In the natural sleep the Ego, clothed in the mind and desire body, draws outside the physical body and usually hovers over the body, or at any rate remains close to it, connected by the silver cord, while the vital (etheric) body and the dense body are resting upon the bed.
It is then possible to influence the person by instilling into his brain the thoughts and ideas we wish to communicate. Nevertheless, we cannot then get him to do anything or to entertain any idea except that which is in line with his natural proclivities. It is impossible to command him to do anything and to enforce obedience, the same as it is when he has been driven out by the passes of the hypnotist, for it is the brain which moves the muscles, and during the natural sleep his brain is interpenetrated by his own vital (etheric) body and he is in perfect control himself, while during the hypnotic sleep the passes of the hypnotist have driven the ether of which his vital body is composed out of the brain, down to the shoulders of the victim, where it lies around his neck and resembles the collar of a sweater. The dense brain is then open to the ether from the hypnotist's vital (etheric) body, which displaces that of the proper owner. Thus in the hypnotic sleep the victim has no choice whatever as to the ideas he entertains or the movements he makes with his body, but in the ordinary sleep he is still a free agent. In fact, this method of suggestion during sleep is something which mothers will find extremely beneficial in treating refractory children, for if the mother will sit by the bed of the sleeping child, hold its hand, speak to it as she would speak when it is awake, instill into its brain ideas of such a nature as she would wish it to entertain, she will find that in the waking state many of these ideas will have taken root. Also in dealing with a person who is sick or is addicted to drink, if the mother, nurse or others use this method, they will find it possible to instill hope and healing, materially furthering recovery or aiding self-mastery. This method may of course be used for evil, but we cannot refrain from publishing it, as we believe that the good which can be done in this way will much more than offset the few cases where some misguided person may use it for the wrong purpose.
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