How many times do we think about the interpretation of dreams and their connection with our everyday lives? Or how many times do we try to understand the causes of sleep alterations and disorders, such as sleep paralysis, based on explanations that go beyond the medical perspective and are located in the spiritual dimension?
We already know that good sleep improves our physical, mental, and emotional balance, boosts our immune system, helps prevent disease, and is very important for the proper functioning of the brain. It even helps preserve memory.
So, constantly concerned with the health and integral well-being of human beings, since we are both body and Spirit, we invite you to read the interview with the Minister-Preacher of the Religion of God, of the Christ, and of the Holy Spirit* Paula Suelí, who answered the following questions:
What is the spiritual view of sleep paralysis and what causes it?
It’s important to know what Science says about the subject. According to the Sleep Institute in Brazil,
“Sleep paralysis is a temporary inability to move or speak in the transition between sleep and being awake. It is a state of temporary disconnection or a discontinuity of the motor, perceptual, emotional, or cognitive functions. As a result, those who are almost asleep or waking up are suddenly unable to make voluntary movements, speak, or scream. They feel a tightness in the chest and may hallucinate.”
In these cases, the person cannot move or ask for help, which can cause great anxiety.
“Although sleep paralysis is a relatively common phenomenon, it is still little studied. There are several studies on potential risk factors, but the causes are still unclear. One hypothesis is that a lack of synchrony between changes in brain activity and muscle atony in the REM sleep is responsible for the temporary paralysis. But it is believed that this is a multifactorial phenomenon,” says the Institute.
What happens is that the brain, which was somehow organized for rest in this deeper stage (the REM stage) but is suddenly interrupted, wakes up differently. There is a delay in the body reacting and waking up as it usually does.
There are several medical reasons that might be related to sleep paralysis, such as: not getting enough sleep, not eating properly, not doing physical exercise, not having a bedtime routine, being under great stress, suffering from a mental disorder (bipolar and anxiety disorders, for example), a prescription drug abuse, or even the use of hallucinogenic substances.
We cannot generalize from a spiritual point of view, because each person has a history and the symptoms might simply be caused by the material factors already mentioned—that is, maybe the person needs physical health care.
There are cases, however, that may be the result of inferior spirits drawing closer. These evil souls that are ignorant of divine laws take advantage of people who are not physically well or who have some weakness in their spiritual health and are vulnerable to the influence of opportunistic spiritual beings, who want to scare and impress us.
What should we do?
First, take good care of our bodies, because this is an exercise in spirituality too. Our body is given to us by God for our spiritual evolution on Earth.
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We need to rethink our habits, especially because, as Brother Paiva Netto, President-Preacher of the Religion of God, of the Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, teaches us on page 29 in his book Jesus, a Dor e a Origem de Sua Autoridade – O Poder do Cristo em nós [Jesus, the Pain, and the Origin of His Authority – The Power of Christ Within Us]:
“Everything is spiritual, whether for Good or sadly for evil. It rhymed and it is true. Hence my concern to show you, for example, that social reform comes from the spiritual realm.”
Inspired by Jesus, he always reminds us that the material does not exist “outside” or “disconnected” from the spiritual.
The body constantly suffers the impact of our spiritual choices, and our Soul can also suffer from choices we make with only “material” criteria in mind, in an immediacy that puts us at risk when we disregard the spiritual repercussions of each of our decisions.
So, we need to start improving the habits of our material life, because if we are on the material plane and have received a material body for our spiritual evolution, we need to learn to respect it and take care of it.
Eat better, do physical activity, look after your emotions, and if there is a mental health situation that needs care, seek medical help.
We need to put aside thoughts like, “Oh but if I’m going into therapy, what will people think of me?” First, what people are going to think of us is their problem, not ours, because controlling what people think of us is impossible and an exhausting and unproductive thing to do. Second, looking after our own health, including our mental health, is our responsibility, not other’s; after all, we’re the ones who suffer the consequences of mental and emotional vulnerability, not those who are “outside” our inner world.
Now, to prevent the approach of inferior spirits who want to take advantage of this context, we need to resort to Jesus’ advice: Pray and Watch (the Holy Gospel according to Mark 13:33).
Prayer is always the best response! Pray when you wake up, at mealtimes, when going to bed, but you should also pray during your daily routine. If you feel something bad or get into an argument, before seeking anyone else, look for Jesus intimately. No one needs to know it. Sometimes two people start arguing in the workplace, and you don’t need to “stick your nose into it,” but through prayer you can help reduce your own anxiety about the subject and improve the energy in the environment.
Turn your thoughts to God, seek the protection of your Guardian Angel, and these constant choices will bring you balance, a spiritual protection that is so great that inferior spirits will have no place in your life and/or in your home. This makes our day lighter, strengthens our Souls, and favors our spiritual tranquility while our body rests through sleep.
This is a continuous commitment, which needs to be observed individually. It’s an attitude that cannot be delegated, because no one can do it for us.
But that doesn’t mean you need to learn how to do it on your own, without any help. Many people don’t know how to start praying, how to find the Silence of the Soul, how to focus on prayer and block the “noises” we “hear” in our minds and hearts, which is possible even in a context of great agitation, as Brother Paiva explains:
“Entering the Silence is being in the Peace of God, even if we find ourselves in the middle of the noisiest square in the most violent of cities. An even greater challenge is to overcome the noises of our own Soul when suffering knocks at our door. Overcoming it cannot be achieved by idly resigning ourselves to it. We need to go further. We need to sublimate the pain, turn it into the fuel for moving the world around us, elevate it with examples of pertinacity and work, and never let ourselves become entangled in the meshes of revolt. Those who achieve this state of mind in its most varied stages (some have more, others have less) are able to build a more just and fraternal society. They are capable of controlling an angry crowd.”
This text was taken from the Sagradas Diretrizes Espirituais da Religião de Deus, do Cristo e do Espírito Santo [Sacred Spiritual Guidelines of the Religion of God, of the Christ, and of the Holy Spirit], volume II.
When you learn how to enter the Silence of the Soul, you will feel spiritually safe and prepared for dealing with difficult situations (such as sleep paralysis), preventing suffering, and protecting yourself from the onslaught of inferior spiritual beings.
You can count on the Religion of the Third Millennium in this learning process. You will learn how to pray, “to talk to God,” as its late Proclaimer, Alziro Zarur (1914-1979) used to affirm, and you will find balance for your Soul, which is indispensable for a happy life.
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