Dali Ilad Dali Ilad

I’ve always enjoyed Dali’s work on aesthetic grounds and Dali has always been known to me and generally to be attached to surrealism.  I understand the movement of surrealism in a sort of limited fashion.  I won’t claim I’m an expert or anything but with certain surrealists like Dali the influence of dreams in some works is just not that apparent.  The paintings is where I get a bit lost as in Un Chien Andalou and Spellbound it’s easier for me to make a connection. This probably has a lot to do with my relationship to dreaming and my own dreams. For someone like Dali who works with creating images through paintings it seems fit that he would derive such arousing images from his unconscious.  For a person like myself who has practically no skills in that department (three yearolds can probably draw better than me) it just seems like a stretch (although that’s always the allure i feel of surrealism, the fantastical qualities). I guess I’m more attached to surrealist films.  What I’m trying to say is that for especially an artist like Dali, the influence of dreams seems like an overstatement.  I’m sure it is possible that he dreamed these bizarre landscapes, I can’t say for sure he didn’t.  Personally it’s easier to look at Bunuel’s work which is more realistically constructed dream imagery and situation through the  medium of film.  Dali’s melting clocks on a desert landscape (to take his most famous images) is not as akin to dreaming as Bunuel’s bizarre dream recreations, which utilize the same characteristics of surrealism.  I feel that the relation is bounded more in the possibilities of the dream realm and that fact that such images are possible to see in a dream state than in waking state, which is an obvious allusion to discussion of dreams as hallucinations.

Published in: on April 29, 2010 at 3:15 am Comments (0)

Are Dreams Important? (sounds like a silly question to ask thus far)

This silly title more or less refers to the manner in which dreams were interpreted during the Renaissance, primarily the ways dreams are discussed as prophetic and the manner in which dreams are generally perceived now.  This dichotomy is quite strange since back then they had such a limited understanding of physiological dream interpretation, meaning the actual science behind it.  It’s interesting that this distinction actually makes a substantial difference.  Now that we know to some extent how dreams are formed and various theories surrounding the significance of dreams we appreciate dreams less.  The ineffable and mystical manner in which dreams were viewed during the Renaissance sort of makes sense because that which is not understand is always pondered deeper and given greater value.  If we know how something works than it unfortunately subjugates the impact.  No need for any sort of mechanical analogy but take any modern electronic device and its capabilities and relate this to dream interpretation/understanding.  If I show a renaissance man an Ipad, he will shit his pants.  If I show my friend who has seen similar technologies and has understood on at least some level how it works he will say oh that’s pretty cool (maybe with some pompous disposition).  Same goes for dream interpretation.  Without such a knowledge of the science behind dreaming it’s understandable that these profound and rather absurd beliefs were formulated.  Now with all the knowledge of dream understand, the values of dreams as prophetic makes little sense.  Especially since renowned researchers/theorists like Hobson make claims that dreams are literally mental waste.

Published in: on at 2:57 am Comments (0)

Oh What A Night (Futile Long Post)

I’m reluctantly getting out of bed to write this but it’s worth it for this dream is too interesting to neglect.  First let me provide some background.  For pretty much the past year, I’ve been thinking about going to graduate school for cinema/film/media studies (each school has slightly different name/curriculum).  Well anyway it slightly rests upon my consciousness because it’s something I’d like to do but there are a few barriers.  First off if I wanted to stay around here I couldn’t afford to go anywhere worthwhile (NYU and Columbia are way too expensive and if I was going to go on to get a Ph.d it makes no sense to pay out the ass for a M.A.).  Okay so there’s that and the more reasonably priced schools would involve relocation and a year of living to get residency: that involves the stress of moving and attempting to find work outside the mecca of NYC, where I probably won’t get a job anyway.  If this were the case it’d be UCLA or University of Texas at Austin.  Okay this is probably getting a little too informative but you get the point it’s something I’d like to do that has  ifs, buts, either/or’s and problems.  Basically I know it’s probably not going to happen because A.) i want to attempt to work first and B.) as described it’s a arduous process without even worrying about being accepted into a program and the  shitty admission processes (which also bothers me because that alone is a lot of effort).  Okay so now that you have the background, here’s the dream:

I’m not sure what happens first but it’s all school oriented.  I think I’m in another class I have and It’s obvious where this came from: I have to recite lines from a play but I can’t because I’m distracted by flying balloons and I think there’s something going on involving eating a steak.  In this next part things get interesting.  The previous class has ended and I have time to kill, so I’m sitting in on what I take to be a graduate course (this unnerves me and I feel incompetent).  The dream takes on a grotesque and comedic tone as in the classroom, everyone is attempting to prove their mental prowess by talking over one another but at the same time the classroom keeps being disrupted by rogue students.  Kids keep walking in and out and at one point a large man comes in with a bloody face and asks for something while leaning over both me and the professor, subsequently resting upon my shoulder.  What makes this interesting is that I find it weird to dream of such a thing to begin with.  Usually my dreams aren’t so simply focused on an issue I have, typically there is a lot of erratic displacement going on.  Another thing I’d like to mention is that upon waking now, I can so clearly remember the faces of all the “kids” in the class.  Whether or not they were composites of various people I know, they were completely vivid and “new”.  It’s amazing to see how the unconscious mind can create in such as sense.  Well anyway the professor, who is one of my professor’s this semester for a media class is discussing the thesis paper and I don’t know what it’s on but at one point she asserts the makeup of the paper and states that it has to be “5% alcohol, 12% theory and 2% craft) funny that I remember that but what the fuck is this nonsense anyway.  Okay in another part of the dream I’m back at my high school but it’s way nicer and modern than when I went there.  Anyway I’m walking through the halls and I find a box containing a book that I want.  I initially walk past it but then decide that it’s worth stealing as there’s no one but me around anyway.  After this I ascend a staircase and an English teacher I had who I very much liked until she transformed into a megalomaniac vice principle is making a banner on the floor.  She starts asking me to help her and I refuse so she follows me to my locker which I then open all the while trying to conceal the book I stole.  I get the locker open and there’s presents in it that she reveals she bought for me.  I’m delighted and eager to open them but in the process, she notices the book I stole (which had been a biography of an author I’ve read in another class with a odd dedication poem by the professor who teaches the class) and takes it back, putting in a identical box which I then take back anyway.  From here all I remember is a bowl and some popcorn.

Published in: on April 16, 2010 at 9:00 am Comments (2)

Jek me hyde me Blech me

Blechner is definitely an interesting theorist to consider in light of Jekyll and Hyde because of the background to the writing. Robert Louis Stevenson would likely agree with Blechner concerning the contribution of dreams to this “Oneiric Darwinism” and what it entails. Stevenson definitely utilized the extralinguistic thoughts his dreams provided to write this story… i.e. the ineffable appearance of Hyde, the thought of a dual being. The origin itself reflects Blechner’s proposal of the resourcefulness of dreaming. Its obvious that Stevenson quite literary exploited the productivity of the unconscious for its “useful” material. This all ties into other discussions we’ve had; I forget who presented on dreams that changed the world, but it’s through this “Oneiric Darwinism” and what it entails that such a phenomenon is even possible.

Published in: on April 12, 2010 at 11:38 pm Comments (0)

Where Do I Begin?

This is the second night in a row where I’ve had dreams that were bizarre narratives. Possibly reading and discussing Jekyll and Hyde have something to do with this. I’m writing this having finally decided to get out of bed, (I hate my job and stall as long as possible) because I remember enough to write down. The first thing I remember is being in a cafeteria and waiting on line. On the line with me was my girlfriend’s friend and her boyfriend who is also a acquaintance of mine. Well anyway I think I was touching him inappropriately but in a joking way. Nothing too sexual or intimate, I was rubbing his pecks I believe, and saying something along the lines of I forget you’re not a woman. I think he was uncomfortable but he also knew I wasn’t making a pass at him. After this I’m sitting down eating and I had general tso’s chicken or something and it made me feel horrid. There was a Vietnamese girl at the table who I didn’t know but I tried to talk to. This is relevant because later in the dream she is put to death chemically and I attend a service for her. This past Sunday my aunt’s friend was over and she was talking about visiting Vietnam, so some elements of her words got into this dream I believe. At the service I walked up a wooden staircase with other mourners and I got to the room which was decorated extravagantly, the girl was resting upon a chair among a shrine of sorts. I waited in line to get near her and then look down upon a peaceful countenance. She didn’t seem dead to me and if she was she seemed happy to be gone from the world. Later I’m outside by rocks discussing these events with a group of people. Everyone’s emotional about it and i’m trying to be. This part is interesting because in a sense I’m discussing this narrative that i’ve invented in a dream. I run in to a girl that I know but not too well. Although she’s my age and we grew up together I’m more familiar with her younger brother. Anway she tells me she’s on vacation at this place we’re currently at. In another realm of this dreamscape I’m on vacation with my friends and we’re thinking about hopping on a plane to England to go to this “famous” bar but the idea sounds silly to me as I don’t want to spend 900 dollars is what I keep saying. I do want to go however but we keep missing the flights and ultimately decide to go to Barcelona. None of this ever happens and I’m back with the girl and we’re drinking tinted sake. I comment on hers being dark red only to realize mine is a violet color. She tells me she’s here til friday and wants to do something so we go on this ride like a roller coaster that drops down to project out almost like bungee jumping at water. I’m in the front of the ride so I I’m projected furthest and each time, i begin to dip into the water that frightens me a bit. At some point, I notice a body in the water and recognize it to be my friend’s older brother. I try desperately to rescue him but I’m still on the ride. I don’t think I ever succeed. From here the dream takes a departure and I’m at work I believe and I go outside to take a break. Outside is not outside though, it a sort of beautiful yet slummy Parisian street. Across is a church and at some point I make my way over and have to descend from the cross on the top into the church. Inside the church, Louis Farrakhan starts to chase me with a gun and I run into a room to hide but he comes around at another entrance. A deformed man enters and shoots him before he shoots me. This is all highly unreasonable and bizarre and I’m glad I remember enough of this dream because it’s unnerving in a sense what the unconscious mind sometimes produces. My “little people” were busy last night and I don’t even know where to begin analyzing a dream of this nature. Is it beneficial to my psyche or do remembering dreams of this nature harm, well I’m not going to call myself sane but the “sane” mind.

Published in: on April 8, 2010 at 10:53 am Comments (1)

Tropical Paradise Resort Moon Space Jesus Cadbury Eggs

The other night I dreamt that I was on vacation somewhere tropical. The details are a bit fuzzy but I know that I was with my girlfriend and I was on some sort of quest. There was something grotesque about the place and I know that I was involved in some sort of supernatural type mystery. I remember being on top of a building along the beach and I believe I was running away from somebody. Anyway this dream is rather silly and I’m not really sure what was going on but I remember one striking image that I’d like to present. At one point in the dream I was lying on the beach and when I looked up at the sky, what I saw was another beach full of people, not a reflection but a distinct other beach. It was fabulous to look up at a beach and see it on some indescribable dimensional level. The waves were crashing upside down unto the shore and the interesting thing is that on some other plane of sight, there was a sky with a huge blue moon, you saw me standing alone, without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own.  I forget what theorists discussed dreams as considered on a level of life experience and a dream like this full of strange though fabulous images is notable in this discussion.  Dreams sometimes provide experiences be it places or images or the formation of ideas that are simply not possible in waking life due to a consciousness with different traits and limitations.  As long as we can remember our dreams and things we’ve seen in them, it is quite reasonable to incorporate them into this little thing called life.

Published in: on March 27, 2010 at 2:09 pm Comments (0)

Jane Eyre and Hartmann

It’s kind of hard to narrow Jane Eyre down to just one theory or theorist but in my opinion Hartmann seems the most relevant. Jane’s dreams, daydreams reverie etc. are consistently reflective of her emotional concerns and often as in the case of her dream of Thornfield Hall in ruins, there is a striking image that can more or less be read as a metaphor. That being said there is definitely traces of some Jungian compensation and In class we stroke upon the notion of a Victorian theory; dreams carrying over into waking life.

Published in: on at 2:01 pm Comments (1)

Victorian Dream Theories

It’s interesting to see how some of the Victorian Dream Theories hold up to this day and the lack of scientific means to gather the theories makes it all the more remarkable. It’s true that some are nonsensical or exaggerated but quite a bit of the theories are relevant and more or less reflect or at least are traces for some of the dream theorists we’ve been digesting.

Published in: on at 1:32 pm Comments (0)

Some Dreams through Hobson

Hobson discusses dreams in relation to brain function and relates dreams as the mental byproduct of these functions which is not as glamorous as past theories we’ve read.  However looking at dreams as more or less mental waste is interesting because we often have dreams which seem to be utter nonsense without meaning which elude interpretation.  He does note how these mental activities correspond to the psyche yet the dreams themselves are mere wastelands of psychic interaction.  I had a few dreams last night that fits this mold much more than any psychoanalytical theories.  In the dream a friend of mine had been thrown off a building and I’m watching from the ground.  I know the building to be my elementary school which I can see everyday from my house and I’m in the courtyard where i used to play stick ball.  Upon his impact with the ground, I become aware of a bus that I take to be a threat and I place myself as an accessory to the crime.  A woman driving the bus makes her way towards me and i struggle to get in a car full of pink foam.  Because the car is full of foam I struggle desperately to reach the pedals.  The foam is blocking it and eventually I get my foot on the pedal and make my way to the street.  In another dream I am indignant for not having been allowed to utilize a room to study or something of that nature.  I go back to the room and detonate a bomb but don’t worry nobody is hurt.  I then frantically make my way out of the building.  In another dream which is funny and weird, I see my dad laying on a couch in blankets, watching a documentary about Jeff Buckley on FUSE (That’s the funny part).  There’s more to these dreams but I was a little drunk and the other details I remember are nonsensical as well.  While these dreams can possibly be interpreted they seem to be utter nonsense, blending memories and thoughts akin to psychosis together.  Like Hobson stated when analyzing one of his dreams, I don’t believe any of these dreams to be rich in meaning or instrumental to my knowledge of self or psychic balance and therefore can simply overlook dreams of this nature in which meaning is scarce.

Published in: on March 7, 2010 at 6:10 pm Comments (2)

The Two H’s

I found Hobson’s approach to dreaming interesting because he was the first of the theorist to declare  that dreams are erratic mental activity more or less. Whether or not this is true or applies to every dream, I find that there are some dreams that definitely ascribe to this sentiment. I also liked how he didn’t entirely say this as he does believe that dreams can be psychological productive yet ultimately the physiological approach he takes, takes precedent over any psychological interpretation based approach. His evidence for the process of dreaming is indisputably as it is mostly scientific facts that have been researched and tested. While these facts are interesting, I got tired of reading about plain brain science. While I do not entirely agree with Hartmann’s theories, I do enjoy their psychological qualities.  Hartmann has a thesis that he is arguing whereas Hobson thesis is basically science.  Aside from Hobson’s scientific discoveries on the brain’s function during dreaming which can explain the basic qualities of dreaming; his empirical evidence does little to propel his argument.  When he says I dreamed this because of the delusional state of my brain in sleep, it doesn’t adequately explain the connections made within the dream content which I feel must certainly always have a grounds in psychology.  I like to believe that my unconscious is driving my dreams and that they are not just mental waste.  Hobson is unclear about whether he believes this waste to be meaningful – he rather ignores any meaning as his stance is to explain dreaming scientifically.     That said, Hobson is not completely devoid of a psychological outlook as he does note the psychological factors behind brain activity that correspond to psychological disturbance like delirium. In fact he inadvertently overlaps Hartmann about the therapeutic quality of the dreaming brain when he cogitates on going mad in sleep so that we can stay sane in waking life. Hobson, while not dismissing the possible relation among dreams and psychology does effectively reduce dreaming down to mere brain activity that possibly is devoid of any meaning. Overall though as a dream theroists, Hobson may be more profound a contributor because ultimately these physiological findings of brain activity are the basis of dreaming.  I may have contradicted myself but I don’t think too badly, and I’m a fan of confabulation which sounds reminds me of a drunken secondary revision.

Published in: on at 5:24 pm Comments (0)

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