Finding your muse in your dreams
"A DREAM WHICH IS NOT INTERPRETED IS LIKE A LETTER WHICH IS NOT READ."
Researchers, Scientists and Philosophers continue to debate the stuff that makes up our dreams. Whether they are products of synoptic misfires or they way we deal with forbidden urges at the edge of our subconscious, dreams have proven to be important sources of creative inspiration throughout the ages. Keeping a dream journal is a great way to gain insight from your nightly meanderings through the dreamscape.
“Perchance to Dream”
There is something about dreaming that is very inspirational. Some experts believe that dreaming is the product of our subconscious: a place where our mind can safely sort through all of our desires and thoughts that we keep bottled up in reality. These Freudian thinkers believe that deciphering our dreams can help awaken us to our inner wants and desires. Activation theorists believe that dreams are mere products of wayward cognitive signals which emanate from the back of our brains. These signals make their way into our cerebral cortex which then reassembles them into a dream sequence. Others believe that dreams are mere products of our daily routines, echoes of what we see, think and feel throughout the day. This is why we often dream about our jobs or whatever we happen to be watching on television when we nod off.
Most likely our dream world is built from material that comes from a plethora of sources that includes subconscious thoughts, reality and other things that cannot be measured. Wherever they come from, it has been scientifically proven that we actually need to dream. Most dreams happen during periods of deep sleep known as REM sleep. Studies in sleep deprivation have shown that people who lack this deep sleep dream cycle end up becoming depressed and less able to function on a cognitive level. Other studies have shown that REM sleep helps improve creativity, allowing people’s minds to take creative leaps and connections.
Throughout time immemorial, people have been looking to their dreams for creative inspiration. Elias Howe, the inventor of the first American sewing machine got his idea for the machine’s needle from a nightmare about cannibals chasing him. Dmitri Mendeleev, the creator of the periodic table of elements also credits his idea to a dream he had. Keeping a dream journal by your bedside and writing down what you remember from your dreams when you awake can be a great source of untapped creativity for you. Like a nightclub stamp on the back of a sweaty hand, most dreams tend to fade away faster than we can recall them, leaving only the most vivid ones behind. However, if you endeavor to write down your dreams immediately upon waking, you will be surprised at what you will recall.
How to keep a dream journal
- Get yourself a notebook specifically for your dreams.
- Keep this notebook by your bedside for easy access upon waking.
- Upon waking, start writing down everything that you can remember from your dreams.
- As you write, more details will probably come back. Get as much detail down as you can remember.
- Even if it is a boring dream that involves everyday routines, write it all down, get every detail that you can.
- Next time you are looking for inspiration, check out your dream journal.