Book Review: Dream Vessel

Dream Vessel:  Navigating A Sea Of Prophecy, Dreams, And Visions, by Gail Andrea Naughton

[Note:  This book was provided free of charge by BookLook/WestBow Press.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

This sort of book comes with all kinds of warning signs.  Quickly upon reading this book by the Cocoa-based author, two different aspects strike this reader as especially problematic.  For one, the author seeks to appeal to those who (like her) have a lengthy and well-documented history of lucid dreams [1] and a vigorous dream life in general as being some sort of dream vessel for prophetic communication to humanity, which shows the danger and lure of thinking oneself a self-appointed prophet for those who have frequent and unusual dreams.  The second concern is less personal, and relates to the fact that the author appears to elide certain discussions of a departure from a longtime church and a praise of people being spiritual without being religious, as if she was a moral authority somehow working against the church but not in accordance with God’s laws or God’s ways.  Having seen all too many people depart from a godly path because of a belief of having obtained a special personal message from God, it is not too surprising to see the author have a similar set of problems.  Those who believe themselves to be special and privileged vessels of divine communication without just cause are often unwilling to abide by the strictures of religious discipline pursued by less mystical sorts of people.  It is easy for us to use our perceived gifts as an encouragement to show contempt for those we see as less talented and gifted than ourselves, a temptation that must vigilantly be guarded against.

In terms of its genre, this book mixes a personal memoir through dreams and personal experiences with a how-to guide for keeping lucid dream journals and giving them a rough and ready interpretation.  The fifteen chapters of this moderate sized book are divided into three unequal sections, the first on being marooned (in, ironically enough, the author’s dream vessel) because one has fled from a divine command a la Jonah, the second on being released, and the third on being sequestered through what the author seems to believe is a wilderness experience time, without putting it into those biblical words.  The author shows herself to be remarkably ignorant of the Bible and her dream analysis does not rise above the level of Freud, although her thoughts are more about glory than about eros and thanatos.  This an author who perhaps tries a bit too much, from the humbebragging about her retired life on the coast of Florida to her belief that she is a chosen vessel for divine communication to mankind who is destined to her distress at the difficulties she had in church as a result of her self-appointed prophetic ministry [2].  Despite these questions about tone and consistency, it is still a surprise that this book did not get picked up by the Baker Publishing Group, which has quite a large interest in publishing books about visions, charismatic ministries, and the like.  Perhaps the author simply chose the wrong places to submit this book to, as there is a market for a book like this, even with all its flaws.

Although this is not a great book, it is not without value.  I have no doubt that the author is sincere about her dreams, and she certainly does not appear to be writing with any ulterior motives.  Although she is a bit coy about the other side of the story about what she views as a divinely appointed time of difficulty, and although she appears not to be the easiest person to get along with, this is unfortunately all too common among writers seeking to present their best sides to a reading audience.  More than most people, that is something I can understand.  The book also does offer useful help, although one questions the author’s ability to be an expert on the matter of dreams and visions, because she clearly is not a practicing believer on the order of Daniel or Joseph, two believers given a great deal of insight in dreams.  This is a book where one can easily agree with the premise of the book that God communicates in dreams through people who for one reason or another are more responsive to that form of communication, without considering the author to be a dream vessel for God on account of her own life and lack of firm Bible knowledge or practice of God’s ways.  Whether that is enough of a recommendation to check this book out is something I will have to leave to the reader.

[1] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2014/12/23/every-second-of-the-night-i-live-another-life/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2013/02/19/three-for-the-price-of-one/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2015/06/30/in-the-heat-of-the-night/

[2] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2014/02/26/book-review-the-making-of-a-prophet/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2013/01/09/profitless-prophets/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016/09/19/book-review-are-we-there-yet/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016/07/03/book-review-in-his-service/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Christianity, Church of God and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Book Review: Dream Vessel

  1. Pingback: Book Review: Jerusalem In Prophecy | Edge Induced Cohesion

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