History

The Dreams that Fueled Hong Xiuquan

 

Dreams are often difficult to interpret. Dreams are believed to offer a metaphysical and divinatory knowledge, as well as provide ethical clarity concerning actions in the world. The leader of the Taiping Movement, Hong Xiuquan, relied on the dream world as proof of his calling from God to transform the minds of his followers. Hong used his dreams and his limited interpretation of the bible to persuade distressed and wealthy Chinese followers to believe he was their heavenly leader. Hong Xiuquan proclaimed there was a kingdom in heaven, yet he left earth a hell in his wake. His dream world validated his actions as a self-proclaimed prophet because Hong believed the will of heaven rested with him.