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Premonitions


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#1 Matthew M.

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 01:16 AM

For a few years now, I have experienced infrequent "premonitions." What this entails is daydreaming or dreaming about some event occurring, and then it occurring within the next days or weeks. None of these premonitions are "useful" in anyway, in fact they are generally about me doing something mundane, such as navigating to some church website, or going through a restaurant drive-through.

 

My question is, is this some kind of demonic temptation that I need to work (pray/fast) to eliminate? Is it a trick of the devil? What is it, and has anyone else experienced it?

 

In Christ,

 

Reader Matthew



#2 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 11:56 AM

I know nothing about these things.  The only thing that occurs to me is to test whether what you think happens really does; write down the daydream or dream immediately after you have it and when the event depicted in it later occurs, see whether what then happens really matches the daydream or dream.


Edited by Andreas Moran, 28 March 2013 - 11:57 AM.


#3 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 12:00 PM

When in doubt, say the Jesus Prayer or the Lord's Prayer often works as well. Mention it to your confessor, he may have a suggestion or two as well.



#4 Phoebe K.

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 03:25 PM

Abba Anthony is asked about this by some brothers about visions that they were having and shows that they were coming from daemons.  

 

All of the desert Fathers and the Church Fathers are strong about not paying attention to visions and assuming that they come from the enemy.  

 

speaking to your father Conffesor about this would also be beneficial.

 

Phoebe



#5 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 04:16 PM

Whilst acknowledging what Phoebe says, there may be things - one thinks of deja vue - which have a physiological or neurological cause and not be the work of demons.  It is said that the soul after death can be accused by the demons of things the person did not do.  Whilst it may be difficult to discern, we possibly sometimes accuse the demons of things they have not done.  The typical parish priest.confessor may have a hard time with this.  Is it fair to throw such a burden on him?  But where then does a person turn?  An Orthodox neurologist?



#6 Lakis Papas

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 07:04 PM

There are three kind of dreams:

 

1) dreams caused by natural neuro-physiology

2) dreams caused by God

3) dreams caused by devil

 

 

Wisdom of Sirah. 34:1-7  

The hopes of a man that is void of understanding are vain and deceitful: and dreams lift up fools.
The man that giveth heed to lying visions, is like to him that catcheth at a shadow, and followeth after the wind.
The vision of dreams is the resemblance of one thing to another: as when a man's likeness is before the face of a man. What can be made clean by the unclean? and what truth can come from that which is false?
Deceitful divinations and lying omens and the dreams of evildoers, are vanity:
And the heart fancieth as that of a woman in travail: except it be a vision sent forth from the most High, set no thy heart upon them.
For dreams have deceived many, and they have failed that put their trust in them.

 

 

 

#7 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 07:45 PM

The inconsequential and infrequent character of what Rdr Matthew describes might suggest the first of the three categories Lakis sets out.  But my opinion is based on nothing.



#8 Richard A. Downing

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 08:32 AM

It is my experience that if God wants you to know something, you will know it unambiguously.  It won't always be obvious why you believe it, but you will.

It's interesting and instructive that those in the Scriptures who had visions or dreams from God (e.g St Joseph the Betrothed), were pretty certain about, so much so that they often did stuff that everyone else thought was crazy (like unaccountably taking your family to Egypt), yet in hindsight....



#9 Kusanagi

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 08:45 PM

In the Ladder it clearly warns about such things where the devil will do these tricks and someone will believe and marvel at such happenings and before you know it you fall away from God.



#10 Jeremy Troy

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 03:21 AM

To expand on some of what Andreas said:
 

When my brother was younger, he would often claim that he had dreams about things that later happened. When the thing in question happened, he had a feeling as if he knew exactly what was going on all around him. He once told me that when he had these experiences he would know what something looked like before he looked at it. Later in life, we found out that he had a mild form of epilepsy, and that those experiences were actually minor seizures. The lesson to take from this, I think, is not that you might have epilepsy, but rather that it isn't always safe for us to assume that experiences like this come from anywhere other than our own brains.



#11 Michael T.

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 07:30 PM

What A. Moran suggests is the "on the sidewalk" answer. What I mean when I say that is in matters of this type of discussion the practical and most straight forward answer is the most useful. Monastic father after monastic father says that in their writings. We believe in the concreteness of this world. The Devil and his demons function in that which doesn't exist, he is the father of all lies. Keep your feet planted solidly on the ground.

Actually what Kusanagi suggest is a product of this very same assertion, but it is in the light of writings advising monastics. As we take our religious or spiritual journeys, in the process of growing many people are lead away from the path they had embarked on. As a result, just as a hiker who hikes off the blazed path gets lost the "seeker" does also. To put it another way, if a person goes on a spiritual journey to seek out God all the distractions that constitute his greatest weaknesses will show-up. His prayers may seem to be answered, life may seem to be falling in to place, but DO NOT get distracted by these things. Likewise getting distracted by what may appear to be premonitions (whether they are premonitions or not) is to loose your focus on your goal, which is God.

The ultimate truth is that it doesn't matter from which the "premonitions" came, they don't matter. seek God first. Don't let yourself be distracted by anything. A quote by Thomas Carlyle fits here.
Our main business is not to see what lies dimly in the distance but to do what lies clearly at hand.

So seek first the kingdom of God, everything else is distractions.




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