“Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God.” (Ecclesiastes 5:6-7)
Words, vows, dreams. Vanities. The previous verse says “Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.” God takes the stuff of our life, i.e. the means of expressing what’s on our heart and mind (and subconscious) very seriously. God tells Job:
“Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.” (Job 38:2-3)
When we endeavor to bring out what is on our heart but do so in a frivolous or idle manner and don’t take seriously that we are speaking in the presence of the God of the universe, we are, as the previouser verse says, acting the “fool”.
“For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words. When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it: pay that which thou hast vowed.” (Ecclesiastes 5:3-4)
Dreams are symbolic representations of events–either forthcoming or that which you’re already treading–distilled into easily digestible images and sound-bites. This doesn’t mean that we automatically understand everything going on therein. Nor does it mean everything coming across our screen is from God. I would say that some dreams are a mix of both influences. And then there are those dreams that don’t mean anything and best not to bank on what’s contained within. In much the same way as a dream, an icon is (supposedly) a symbolic representation of the qualities inherent to the person depicted and represented. For instance, you would have the patron saint of such-and-such and their icon represents those qualities. Does it really? Does any one person or institution have the power to imbue through magic or some other artifice this idea that a physical object is something greater than the sum of its parts? An icon is that which I’ve described. Aniconism, however, is the opposite. It’s a framework of worship and belief and practice that eschews the physical representation of intangible, if spiritual qualities. And iconoclasm is the bridge between the two, just so you know. But what does all this have to do with dreams? Because, as Solomon says, “in the multitude of dreams, there are many words.” The opposite of laconic, I should add. When we opt for, not the lucid detailed and utterly overwhelming exposition of that which we experience, but the “fear of the Lord” (Proverbs 1:7), then we’ll get somewhere with God. I believe He wants to explain and detail everything that raises a question in our mind and heart. I believe He delights in doing so. But He’s also wise beyond imagining. He knows that we won’t be able to handle all this knowledge if we’re not “rooted and grounded in love” (Ephesians 3:17).
“For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him. But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16)
I find that information can be wound tighter and tighter until we have no idea what’s going on. After God demands of Job an answer, He goes on to describe the knowledge and wisdom with which He used to create the world and all therein. Job answers much later on with “I will lay mine hand on my mouth.” (40:4b) I can tell you from personal experience that if you seek to both explain away yourself and also everything going on in your head, you will soon lose track of both your thought process and also the line out of which you sought to peer inside your own mind. We have “the mind of Christ” but sometimes, all God asks is that we trust Him. His peace and the knowledge that He has our best interests at heart and also His love are all we have to guide us through the oneiric (dreams), the conscious and the subconscious. I suppose it’s a comfort that I can’t explain myself away a-hundred percent. That would make me God and only He is. And He owns me and understands me backwards and forwards.
“And to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled with all the fulness of God.” (Ephesians 3:19)