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I think it is fairly obvious that when somebody prays it is rather like asking somebody else a question. To get an answer they have to listen and put aside their own ideas. So we can presume that in asking for an interpretation, Joseph quietens his own personality and thoughts, and listens for an answer.

Obviously there is a problem here for many people because they cannot believe there can be a spontaneous answer from God or other than from a person’s own imagination. The story of Joseph interpreting the dream of Pharaoh suggests that Joseph did not know through his own thinking process what Pharaoh's dream meant, but sought help from God. Whether we believe in God as described as a sort of father figure or not doesn't matter. We are looking at a piece of anthropological information couched in the language of the times.

The core information is that a person can gain information, help or power from a source other than their conscious thinking and knowledge. Experiments with hypnotism suggest that we are all experts on understanding dreams, but not with our conscious mind. Only when we are in a semi sleep state or a passive open state of being such as prayer or meditation might be, can we access this inner source of insight, information and power.

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