3. Joseph, the Gospel narrative states, was warned by an angel who appeared to him in a dream, and who said to him, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.” (Matthew, 2: 19 to 23).
Warnings by dreams play an important part in the sacred works of all religions. Without guaranteeing the exactitude of all facts reported, and without discussing them, the phenomenon has nothing in itself anomalous when one knows that in sleep, the spirit frees itself from its imprisonment in matter, and enters again momentarily into the spiritual life, where it finds itself with those whom it has known. It often happens that this moment is chosen by guardian angels to manifest themselves to their protégés, in order to give them more direct counsel. Authentic examples of warnings by dreams are numerous; but it is not necessary to infer that all dreams are warning, and still less that all have a signification. It is well to reckon the art of interpreting dreams among superstitious and absurd beliefs (chap. XIV, n° 27 and 28).