I realise that in defining a theology of meditation and altered states of consciousness I need to also touch on dreams, archetypes and symbols.
Oneiromancy is the study of dreams and their interpretation and it is found throughout the Bible. The books of Daniel and Acts are obvious starting points but the question I hope to provoke by invoking the word oneiromancy is: what makes dream interpretation Christian? Dream interpretation was a form of pagan revelation also, it wasn’t just the prophets that engaged in it. Phenomenologically there is no distinction. So how is it ontologically different? It is the deity that is invoked as guide.
But I wan’t to take this further. How do we interpret the archetypes and symbols that arise in dream consciousness. Recently I have been wondering about powers and principalities language in the letters of Paul, to what degree were these internalised or externalised. It is not clear Paul made a distinction. Some theologians, such as John Howard Yoder, have proposed that powers and principalities language can provide a framework for understanding collective sin / structural injustice. I’ve been wondering to what extend this may also be employed to provide a framework for understanding inner phenomena, the archetypes that inhabit the collective unconscious.
Anyway, my thoughts are still quite embryonic on all this so feel free to comment.