A vision is something seen in a dream, trance, or religious ecstasy, especially a supernatural appearance that conveys a revelation. Visions generally have more clarity than dreams, but traditionally fewer psychological connotations. Visions are known to emerge from spiritual traditions and could provide a lens into human nature and reality. Prophecy is often associated with visions.
Examples of visions
Visions are listed in approximately chronological order whenever possible, although some dates may be in dispute.
- Vision of God in the Book of Ezekiel chapter number 1. (6th century BC)
- Vision of a heavenly figure "like a son of man" in Daniel 7:13 (6th century / 2nd century BC)
- Jesus' vision of the dove when baptized in the Book of Mark 1:10 (1st century)
- St Paul's vision of Jesus on the road to Damascus (1st century)
- Marian apparitions (visions or visitations of Mary, mother of Jesus) (1st century AD - present)
- Visions of the afterlife in the martyr accounts of Perpetua and Felicity (2nd century AD)
- The theoria (Vision of God) by which a Christian mystic may discern a deep aspect of God (in the Eastern Orthodox tradition) (3rd-6th centuries AD)
- Constantine's vision of Christ's sign (312 AD)
- Jakob Böhme's vision of 1600, revealed when he observed the beauty of a beam of sunlight in a pewter dish
- René Descartes' series of dreams on the night of November 11, 1619, which set the course of his life in science
- Blaise Pascal's vision of November 23, 1654, which reinvigorated his spiritual commitment
- Emanuel Swedenborg's visions, which formed the basis of a newly revealed doctrine (beginning in 1740s)
- Joseph Smith's First Vision (1820)
- Ramakrishna Paramahamsa describes of several visions including Kali, Sita, Krishna, Jesus, Mohammed. (mid/late 19th century)
- Angels of Mons (1914)
Modern neuroscience provides theories of some hallucinations, illusions, out of body experiences, and altered states of consciousness which have been suggested as explanations of some visionary experiences, and in some cases can be used to artificially induce similar experiences. However other neuroscientists such as Eben Alexander have argued that some visionary experiences are of real metaphysical entities and that the brain is used to perceive them as it perceives all other entities.
- Altered state of consciousness
- Apparitional experience
- Beatific vision
- Private revelation
- Temporal lobe epilepsy
- Vision quest
- Ferrer, J.N. Toward a participatory vision of human spirituality. ReVision 24(2): 15. 2001.
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