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James Randi Educational Foundation

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

Introduction | "R" Reading | Curse of the Pharaoh | End-of-the-World Prophecies

Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

dreams The Greek scholar/historian Xenophon wrote about dreams as a form of divination and in the second century Artemidorus of Daldis set about collecting dream lore and published a book on their interpretation. Dreams also served the Greeks as diagnostic tools, being messages from the gods.
      It was also believed, in some cultures, that dreams resulted from divine visitations, demons or spirits of the dead. The Bible records that Joseph interpreted dreams for Pharaoh, and there are several other prognostications achieved through dreams, such as those in Genesis 20:3, 31:23, and 37:5; Job 33:15; Numbers 12:6; and 1 Kings 3:5.
      In actuality, a dream appears to be the reaction of the brain to various sensory inputs experienced while asleep. It explains away what would otherwise be disturbing and/or misunderstood information. The dream is not a supernatural phenomenon.

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