To sleep, perchance to dream. To dream perchance create.
Could divine inspiration be the result of divine intervention? While watching a program on The Smithsonian channel the other night on TV, I suddenly became aware of a major missed opportunity in my life. There’s increasing evidence that by not paying closer attention to our dreams we’re missing out on a vital source of intelligence, inspiration and creativity. The program described how various scientists over the centuries claim to have taken intelligence that appeared to them in dreams and transcribed this information into working knowledge they relayed to others. Immediately, my awareness of the possibilities related to this theory heightened and I’ve shifted into receptive high-gear.
According to scientists, there’s a whole realm of intelligence and ideas floating around in the psychic energy fields surrounding us and we simply have to open our brain receptors to receive the information. History cites many examples of creative people claiming to have received inspiration for art, science, music and other creative pursuits during a dream:
- Keith Richards’ inspiration for (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction came to him in a dream. He roused himself from sleep (??) long enough to jot down the basics and finished that now-famous guitar riff, chords and words later.
- Stephen King’s Misery, with the main character played so magnificently by Kathy Bates in the movie version of the book, came to him while he was sleeping on a plane during an overseas flight. When he woke up he wrote down the nugget of the idea on a cocktail napkin and later, when he arrived at his hotel, wrote a sixteen-page outline in longhand in the middle of the night.
- Scientist Mendeleev said the final form of the Period Table of Elements came to him in a dream.
- Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was inspired by a dream.
- Paul McCartney’s Yesterday, the most covered piece of music in history, came to him in a dream.
- Jack Nicklaus was able to come out of a serious slump after changing his swing to what he envisioned in a dream.
In an earlier blog posting entitled “Feeling uninspired, take a nap”, I described how our brains function better in a relaxed state and some of our best ideas come to us while walking the dog, napping in the afternoon, or meditating. Stephen Jobs was famous for using walks and meditation to clear his head for new ideas. The examples are endless but the bottom line is the same. I’ve decided to take this information seriously and make sure my brain is receptive and always open for business.
If I’m even a fraction as successful at extracting inspiration from my dreams as I am at snatching zzzzz’s, then it won’t be long before I’ve come up with the definitive cure for baldness, or perhaps the secret to losing weight on a diet of wine, cheese and chocolate. I just know there’s a solution to the renewable energy issue—perhaps making gasoline from recycled beer (urine). If I eschew caffeine after 6:00 p.m., I’m confident I could come up with a recipe for French bread that results in weight loss. The possibilities are mind-boggling. So, I’m going to pay a lot more attention to my dreams from now on—and not just the lovely ones about me and Liam Neeson or Jon Stewart. The Everley Brothers knew what they were talking about when they sang All I Have to Do Is Dream.