Far from being bizarre and senseless illusions, dreams have long been respected by many to serve an important problem solving function for mankind. (Last week's posts introduced Strategy of the Spirit #3: 10 reasons to take Dream Work seriously + 3 ways to get started )
Nobel Prize winner Neils Bohr dreamt of a pleasant day at the races and realized that the marked lanes of the race track within which the horses are required to run were analogies of the fixed and specific orbit that electrons are required to follow in the circulation around atomic nuclei. This lead to his formulation of Quantum Theory and subsequent winning of the Nobel Prize.
Paul McCartney, musician and former Beatle, states that he composed his song “Yesterday” while sleeping. He feels it is his most perfect composition.
Harriet Tubman claimed that her dreams helped her to locate the routes for the Underground Railroad that rescued hundreds of slaves in the years before the Civil War.
Jack Nicklaus discovered a golf swing in a dream that brought him out of a slump.
Elizabeth Rauscher, a physicist, solved some difficult equations in a dream and published the results in a scientific journal.
Leo Katz, a visionary artist, often uses images of dreams to inspire his paintings.
Rene Descartes had three dreams one night that revealed to him the basis of the philosophy to which he devoted his life work.
John Milton, the British poet, wrote in Paradise Lost that his verse was regularly inspired, even dictated to him, in his sleep.
William Blake, British poet and artist, credited the discovery of his method of illuminated engraving to a dream, and wrote that he received specific instructions in painting in his dreams.
Dmitry Medeleyev, the developer of the scientific periodic table of elements, said he had been struggling with the structure of the periodic table in waking life when he had a dream in which “all the elements were placed as they should be. I woke up and immediately wrote it down. Eventually there was only one place which needed to be corrected.”
Friedrech August Kekule launched the field of organic chemistry when he discovered in half sleeps both the formation of carbon chains and the circular structure of the benzene ring.
Elias Howe invented the lock stitch sewing machine and beat Isaac Singer to the patent thanks to his recalling a frightening dream that gave him the right idea about where to place the eye of the needle.
Mahatma Ghandi stated that the idea for the non-violent strike came to him in a dream. He went on to lead India to independence from Great Britain by developing the strategy of passive resistance—a strategy directly inspired by his dream.
Frederico Fellini, Italian filmmaker, claims that his films always begin with characters that have appeared to him in dreams.
Robert Altman, filmmaker, states that his film Three Women was based on a dream.
Ingmar Bergman’s films Sawdust and Tinsel and Cries and Whispers were both inspired in part by dreams that haunted him.
William Styron awoke from a dream with the idea for his book Sophie’s Choice
Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was inspired by a dream.
Richard Bach, eight years after he had written and shelved the first half of his best seller Jonathan Livingston Seagull, unexpectedly had a dream in which he finished the rest of the story. The dream picked up exactly where he had left off so long ago.
Richard Wagner said of the his opera Tristan un Isolde “I dreamt all this, never could my poor head have invented such a thing purposely.” He also credits the musical idea for the overture to Das Rheingold to a dream he had.
Johannes Brahms credits a dream with the basic idea for his First Piano Concerto.
Paul Webster, the author of“Love is a Many Splendid Thing”, “The Twelfth of Never”, “The Love Theme from dr. Zhivago,” and many other popular songs, never went to bed in his most creative years without a pen and paper. He told his son and others that his dreams were a constant source of inspiration.
August Strindberg, the Swedish playwright, said in an interview, “I believe in dreams for my brain works sharpest when I am asleep.”
Edwin Moses, the Olympic runner, and Toller Cranston the innovative ice-skater, have both used their dreams for ideas and inspiration to improve their performance.
Steve Allen, author, musician, comedian, and developer of the PBS television series The Meeting of the Minds used dreams regularly to enhance his creativity and generate new ideas. His most successful song “This Could Be the Start of Something Big" came directly out of a dream.
The Bible, other Holy Books and Wisdom of Indigenous People everywhere are full of inspired leaders and visionaries who understood that dreams can be important communications from a larger reality.
Notice that the above are scientists, mathemeticians, musicians, artists, social activists, and athletes. What are your dreams trying to help you with? Are you paying attention? Don't miss: How to Incubate a Dream. Have you had a dream give you some helpful or important information?
Don't forget to "Like", Share, Pin, Comment and subscribe to blog below or in sidebar!