Do we have any old-testament scholars on here?

Casual conversation between friends. Anything goes (almost).
Post Reply
Fortyeightvows
Posts: 1974
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2014 2:37 am

Do we have any old-testament scholars on here?

Post by Fortyeightvows » Thu May 17, 2018 11:59 am

I have one question:
why does the deity sometimes communicate through dreams (Genesis 40-41, Daniel), while at other times we find a back and forth exchange(moses, noah, etc)?
Thank you

User avatar
Aryjna
Posts: 826
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:45 pm

Re: Do we have any old-testament scholars on here?

Post by Aryjna » Thu May 17, 2018 1:54 pm

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 11:59 am
I have one question:
why does the deity sometimes communicate through dreams (Genesis 40-41, Daniel), while at other times we find a back and forth exchange(moses, noah, etc)?
Thank you
I doubt that there is a specific explanation about that, but I am not an old testament scholar. The dreams in Genesis are to Egyptians, while Moses etc. were god's 'chosen' so this may be a reason.

User avatar
Matt J
Posts: 723
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:29 am

Re: Do we have any old-testament scholars on here?

Post by Matt J » Thu May 17, 2018 2:01 pm

I'm not a scholar, but Moses Maimonides gave some of the most philosophical, rational explanations of the Old Testament.

You can read a summary here:

https://thetorah.com/does-god-speak/
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 1612
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:35 pm
Location: Whitby, Ontario

Re: Do we have any old-testament scholars on here?

Post by Coëmgenu » Fri May 18, 2018 2:08 am

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 11:59 am
I have one question:
why does the deity sometimes communicate through dreams (Genesis 40-41, Daniel), while at other times we find a back and forth exchange(moses, noah, etc)?
Thank you
The dreams are the same kind of communication as the back-and-forth exchanges.

I cannot speak to Jewish interpretations, but in Christianity, one does not interact with the Father in any way at all. One interacts with Jesus, who unlike the Father, is embodied and can be/is perceived. When the God cast his "shadow" on the mountain, that was Jesus's shadow. When Moses "sees" God, he "sees" Jesus's human body.

This is related to when Jesus says "none has seen the Father but me".
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः
उत्पन्नाजातुविद्यन्तेभावाःक्वचनकेचन

User avatar
Matt J
Posts: 723
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:29 am

Re: Do we have any old-testament scholars on here?

Post by Matt J » Fri May 18, 2018 2:05 pm

In the Jewish interpretation, as espoused by Maimonides, God interacts with humans through the faculty of imagination. The more highly developed the person, the more personal the interaction. Moses was said to have the most direct (but not entirely) vision of God. Others who were not as developed had to settle for intermediaries through dreams. If I recall correctly, the Jewish mystic only approached God, there is never a unity.

It is interesting because I think this "not satisfied with the common world" point of view has definitely impacted my practice. Judeo-Christianity is based at least in part of spirituality that is world denying and has an emphasis on a better world, superior beings (angels), etc. I wonder if this contributes to the allure of wanting fantastic meditation states as opposed to liberating insights. But then I think --- the Tibetans also have a complex system that involves dreams, visions, gods, and so on. Is that a problem or a help?
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

XXIlluminatingVoid72
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:05 am

Re: Do we have any old-testament scholars on here?

Post by XXIlluminatingVoid72 » Fri May 18, 2018 6:29 pm

For the same reason Tibetans have mi-lam (dream yoga), kyerim (creative insight of divinity in meditation), phowa (transference of consciousness into higher worlds) ect. A back and forth exchange with a higher wisdom, as with Moses and Noah, seems to be a deeper level than a passive reception of symbolic dreams, hence they were considered prophets

Karma Dondrup Tashi
Posts: 1579
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:13 pm

Re: Do we have any old-testament scholars on here?

Post by Karma Dondrup Tashi » Fri May 18, 2018 7:16 pm

As stated above (AA. 2, 6), divination is superstitious and unlawful when it is based on a false opinion. Wherefore we must consider what is true in the matter of foreknowing the future from dreams. Now dreams are sometimes the cause of future occurrences; for instance, when a person's mind becomes anxious through what it has seen in a dream and is thereby led to do something or avoid something: while sometimes dreams are signs of future happenings, in so far as they are referable to some common cause of both dreams and future occurrences, and in this way the future is frequently known from dreams. We must, then, consider what is the cause of dreams, and whether it can be the cause of future occurrences, or be cognizant of them.

Accordingly it is to be observed that the cause of dreams is sometimes in us and sometimes outside us. The inward cause of dreams is twofold: one regards the soul, in so far as those things which have occupied a man's thoughts and affections while awake recur to his imagination while asleep. A such like cause of dreams is not a cause of future occurrences, so that dreams of this kind are related accidentally to future occurrences, and if at any time they concur it will be by chance. But sometimes the inward cause of dreams regards the body: because the inward disposition of the body leads to the formation of a movement in the imagination consistent with that disposition; thus a man in whom there is abundance of cold humors dreams that he is in the water or snow: and for this reason physicians say that we should take note of dreams in order to discover internal dispositions.

In like manner the outward cause of dreams is twofold, corporal and spiritual. It is corporal in so far as the sleeper's imagination is affected either by the surrounding air, or through an impression of a heavenly body, so that certain images appear to the sleeper, in keeping with the disposition of the heavenly bodies. The spiritual cause is sometimes referable to God, Who reveals certain things to men in their dreams by the ministry of the angels, according Num. 12:6, "If there be among you a prophet of the Lord, I will appear to him in a vision, or I will speak to him in a dream." Sometimes, however, it is due to the action of the demons that certain images appear to persons in their sleep, and by this means they, at times, reveal certain future things to those who have entered into an unlawful compact with them.

Accordingly we must say that there is no unlawful divination in making use of dreams for the foreknowledge of the future, so long as those dreams are due to divine revelation, or to some natural cause inward or outward, and so far as the efficacy of that cause extends. But it will be an unlawful and superstitious divination if it be caused by a revelation of the demons, with whom a compact has been made, whether explicit, through their being invoked for the purpose, or implicit, through the divination extending beyond its possible limits.


Aquinas, ST II-II, Q. 95, Art. 6

Fortyeightvows
Posts: 1974
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2014 2:37 am

Re: Do we have any old-testament scholars on here?

Post by Fortyeightvows » Sat May 19, 2018 7:19 am

I appreciate the responses you have all given. Especially the piece from Aquinas.
I also just found this from The Book of Numbers 12:
And he said, “Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make myself known to him in a vision, I speak with him in a dream. 7 Not so with my servant Moses; he is entrusted with all my house. 8 With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in dark speech; and he beholds the form of the Lord.

User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 1612
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:35 pm
Location: Whitby, Ontario

Re: Do we have any old-testament scholars on here?

Post by Coëmgenu » Sat May 26, 2018 12:12 pm

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 7:19 am
I appreciate the responses you have all given. Especially the piece from Aquinas.
I also just found this from The Book of Numbers 12:
And he said, “Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make myself known to him in a vision, I speak with him in a dream. 7 Not so with my servant Moses; he is entrusted with all my house. 8 With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in dark speech; and he beholds the form of the Lord.
Moses dies before he gets to dwell in the Holy Land. A little bit of biblical melancholy.

A quote relevant to the OP:
Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face[...]
-the death of Moses, Deuteronomy 34
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः
उत्पन्नाजातुविद्यन्तेभावाःक्वचनकेचन

Post Reply

Return to “Lounge”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 36 guests