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Blog 10: Being trapped in-between waking and dreaming:  the good news

1st July 2020

Whilst falling asleep and immediately after waking up we are all in this hybrid wake/dream state.  The good news about this is that we can make a dream a reality- in the sense that, for example, Mary Shelley dreamt of a monster made of body parts ignited into life.  She then made this come true through writing Frankenstein.

Creative writing makes your dreams come true

Normally, we can’t access our dreams while awake, so we can’t make them come true.  Also, although we are conscious when we dream, we lack the rationality and judgement of waking consciousness. Consequently, while we dream, we can’t evaluate our dreams for creative insights.  In other words, we can’t have  “Aha!” moments during dreaming. Sadly, many potential scientific inventions and artistic masterpieces may be lost forever, after our dreams enter our unconscious, to form what we may term our “dreamscapes”.

However much you feel like it, you can’t make a dream come true unless you can recall it, evaluate it and work with it.  To do these things you need waking consciousness. But Keats wasn’t either falling asleep or waking up  when he wrote Ode to a Nightingale yet it’s suffused with creative associations- so is all poetry. Take this contemporary poem, “Another Mystery” by Raymond Carver, he associates death with dry-cleaning.

That time that I tagged along with my dad to the dry cleaners-
What’d I know then about Death? Dad comes out carrying
a black suit in a plastic bag. Hangs it up behind the back seat
of the old coupe and says, “This is the suit your grandpa
is going to leave the world in.” What on earth
could he be talking about? I wondered
I touched the plastic, the slippery lapel of that coat
that was going away, along with my grandpa. Those days it was
just another mystery.

Then there was long interval, a time in which relatives departed
this way and that, left and right. Then it was my Dad’s turn.
I sat and watched him rise up in his own smoke. He didn’t own
a suit. So they dressed him gruesomely
in cheap sports coat and tie,
for a occasion. Wired his lips
into a smile as if he wanted to reassure us, Don’t worry, it’s
not as bad as it looks. But we knew better. He was dead,
wasn’t he? What else could go wrong? (His eyelids
were sewn closed, too, so he wouldn’t have to witness
the frightful exhibit.) I touched
his hand. Cold. The cheek where a stubble had
broken through along the jaw. Cold.

 Today I reeled up this clutter from the depths.
Just an hour or so ago when I picked up my own suit
from the dry cleaners and hung it carefully behind the back seat.
I drove home, opened the car door and
lifted it out into the sunlight. I stood there for a minute
in the road, my fingers crimped on the wire hanger. Then
I tore a hole through the plastic to the other side. Took one of
the empty sleeves between my fingers and held it-
the rough palpable fabric.
I reached through to the other side.

Many believe creative people can reach and use their unconscious minds. I think this is because creative people are in a de-differentiated state- in-between dreaming and waking. This makes their dreaming state of mind more accessible while they are awake.

Becoming more creative, through de-differentiation, seems like good news but there is a downside.

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