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The effect of psychic activity protracted in sleep. Their religious significance derives from many sources, not the least of which is the frequency with which the Scriptures speak of dreams, in the Old and New Testaments, and indicate that sometimes God uses this means of communicating with human beings.
Dream representations are largely expressed in visual form, but auditory, olfactory, and taste dreams also occur. Although the structure of dreams is disorganized, nevertheless dreams do contain a latent meaning. They may be considered as a symbolic transference of situations, ideas, and sentiments previously experienced by the dreamer.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.