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Sleep paralysis in the Bible

That which follows is really a chapter sample from my book What Does the Bible Say About Various Paranormal Entities: A Styled Paranormology.

The term sleep paralysis has been applied in order to, generally, denote experiencing what has been variously defined as a waking sleep that is, being mentally alert and yet unable to move (or able to only make slight movements such as eyes and mouth; able to speak).

Sleep paralysis has a very, very long history and thus many attempts have been made to explain it. In fact, so long is its history that we find various references to it within the Bible.

In our modern day sleep paralysis is a common occurrence amongst people experiencing various sorts of encounters with extra-terrestrial aliens and those experiencing various sorts of encounters with deceased humans, ascended masters, spirit guides, etc. as is the case amongst psychics and/or mediums; spirit channelers.

Of course, some would, rightly correlate these as being experiences with the same beings; that is, beings who pretend to be extra-terrestrial aliens and also pretend to be deceased humans and also pretend to be ascended masters and spirit guides.

In such a case, biblically speaking, we are dealing with beings that pretend to be that which they are not in order to put forth certain agendas which are inevitably un-, non- and anti-biblical. Thus, we can understand who this is by quoting 2nd Corinthians 11:14 which notes that “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” Thus, his minions appear to do the same.

As we consider biblical references to sleep paralysis we will note that the manner whereby satan goes about doing things, his modus operandi, is to emulate YHVH in a corrupting manner. In other words, he attempts to do that which YHVH does but backwards, upside down and inside out.

The first reference to sleep paralysis occurs in Genesis, the book of beginnings, at 2:21-22:

“And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.”

Essentially, Adam was anesthetized to prepare him for surgery; in our terminology.

Next, in Genesis chapter 15 we find a much more familiar instance of sleep paralysis as it involves a frightening experience even though it was a godly one:

“And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him…And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces [of sacrificed animals]. In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram…”

Thus, Abram (later named Abraham) had a deep sleep fall upon him and yet, YHVH spoke to him. In this case, YHVH was making a promise, a covenant with Himself, and so Abram was incapacitated, as it were, so as to not interfere—presumably.

Following upon the concept of incapacitation, note that in 1st Samuel 26:11-12 David was able to abscond with “the spear and the cruse of water from Saul’s bolster” unseen and unnoticed Saul’s men “were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the LORD was fallen upon them.” Isaiah 29:10 makes a similar point:

“For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.”

The book of Job makes various references to “deep sleep” for example in chapter 4:

“Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and mine ear received a little thereof. In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men, fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake.

Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up: It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice, saying,

Shall mortal man be more just than God? Shall a man be more pure than his maker? Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly: How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth? They are destroyed from morning to evening: they perish for ever without any regarding it. Doth not their excellency which is in them go away? They die, even without wisdom. “

When it comes to the book of Job one must be very careful about context as this was stated by Eliphaz the Temanite and there many other statements within the book made by the friends of Job whom YHVH rebukes. Thus, whether this really happened or not (perhaps Eliphaz made it up) and whether the vision was godly or not (as YHVH does rebuke him in the end) is a question to be posed.

Indeed, he is right that mortal man will not be more just or pure than YHVH. But Job’s friends tend to fall into the area of misinformation; they make good points along the way but draw faulty conclusions.

Job chapter 33 notes:

“For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, that he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man.

He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword. He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain: So that his life abhorreth bread, and his soul dainty meat. His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; and his bones that were not seen stick out.

Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers. If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness: Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.

His flesh shall be fresher than a child’s: he shall return to the days of his youth: He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness.  He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not; He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light.

Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man, to bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living. Mark well, O Job, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I will speak.”

That what is being referenced is “when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed” may be a merely a reference to sleep (not necessarily paralysis) and yet, that is when “he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction.” The menacing aspects of sleep paralysis seem to be referenced in the statement that “He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain.” And yet, YHVH is not doing this for malicious motives but, “these things worketh God oftentimes with man, to bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living.”

Yet, overall, the last verse quoted makes it clear that it is not Job who states these things but rather Job is being spoken to. The speaker is Elihu the son of Barachel who spoke because “against Job was his wrath kindled, because he justified himself rather than God” as it was the friends who perceived that Job “was righteous in his own eyes.” Thus, Elihu let Job have it and also let the others have it as “Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.”

As for receiving messages from YHVH in our dreams “In a dream, in a vision of the night” when “he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction” keep in mind that while this is most certainly not impossible, the Bible also notes the following in Jeremiah 29:8, “For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed.” Thus, we may cause ourselves to dream certain dreams and so, as with any supposed message from YHVH, dreams must be judged according to that which the Bible already states.

Thus, overall and again, we must be careful with the info.

Daniel relates a sleep related experience in chapter 8:

“In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first. And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai.”

There is no reference to sleep in this portion but the chapter continues thusly:

“And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man. And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.

So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision. Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright.”

Thus, the man was speaking with Daniel even as Daniel was in a deep sleep and the man set Daniel upright (whilst asleep?).

Then, in chapter 10, Daniel writes:

“In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision…I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel; Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man…And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.

Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground. And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.”

In this case, Daniel alone saw the vision while the others experienced great quaking, as in a fearful reaction, for some reason (maybe nothing more than something to make them run away so that Daniel would not be disturbed from receiving the message within the vision).

Daniel found himself growing very tired, heard the man’s and then fell into a deep sleep. Again he was set upright (whilst asleep?).

Therefore, it appears that YHVH causes various versions of sleep paralysis for various reasons. In turn, satan and his comrades appear to do the same and yet, for very different reasons.

Some, such as the self-professed possessed professor Jeffrey Kripal (my review of the book here) and punk rocker and comic book extraordinaire Grant Morrison tell of their real life story of becoming, sleep paralysis related, possessed beings whilst participating in Hindu rituals in India (see video here and here for both of their stories). Morrison may not have been asleep but Kripal actually uses the term “sleep paralysis” as he engaged in sexual union with the Hindu false goddess Kali.

Encounters with extra-terrestrial aliens are often accompanied by abduction experiences of various sorts which include sleep paralysis-like experiences during the midst of various scientific-like examinations and experimentations. There are also stories of aliens using sleep paralysis-like states in order to indoctrinate via the showing of video-like images, telepathic messages, etc.

Experiencing with the deceased, ascended masters, spirit guides, etc. likewise are often accompanies by night-time sleep paralysis related experiences as these beings impart messages, do “energy work,” etc.

During the middle ages we have many reports of male and female beings who causes sleep paralysis in order to sexual violate people. These became known as Incubus and Succubus.

The Bardo Thodol / the Tibetan Book of the Dead may have some things to say on this topic. For example,

III: Here beginneth has a section titled, “The Root Verses of the Six Bardos”—bardos literally means intermediate state, transitional state, in-between state, liminal state, etc. (liminal pertains to conscious awareness)—section 2 of which states:

“O now, when the Dream Bardo upon me is dawning! Abandoning the inordinate corpse-like sleeping of the sleep of stupidity, may the consciousness undistractedly be kept in its natural state; Grasping the [true nature of] dreams, [may I] train [myself] in the Clear Light of Miraculous Transformation: Acting not like the brutes in slothfulness, may the blending of the practicing of the sleep [state] and actual [or waking] experience be highly valued [by me].” (brackets in original)

Then in Book I, Part I, “The Bardo of the Moments of Death” it is stated:

“If the expiration is about to cease, turn the dying one over…If the person dying be disposed to sleep, or if the sleeping state advances, that should be arrested…At this moment, the first [glimpsing] of the Bardo of the Clear Light of Reality, which is the Infallible Mind of the Dharma-Kaya, is experienced by all sentient beings…

‘…I know this Bardo, and, mastering the Great Body of Union in Bardo, will appear in whatever [shape] will benefit [all beings] whomsoever: I will serve all sentient beings, infinite in number as are the limits of the sky.’”

In all of this, the Tibetan Book of the Dead has its own context and yet, its references to sleep may be relevant.

According to the Qur’an Allah essentially abducts us while we sleep as per Surah 39:42,

“It is Allah that takes the ‘Nafs’ (of men) at death [nafs is the self, psyche, ego or soul]; and those that die not (He takes) during their sleep: those on whom He has passed the decree of death, He keeps back (from returning to life), but the rest He sends (to their bodies) for a term appointed. Verily in this are Signs for those who reflect.”

Thus, while we sleep, Allah takes our self/psyche/ego/soul and returns it upon waking.

And there are many references to sleep paralysis and sleep paralysis related phenomenon throughout history.


Stop Sleep Paralysis

Science Cannot Explain Sleep Paralysis which provides the video found here.

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