Dream Interpretation Invention | Dream Meanings
New way of looking at things; new idea for problem solving.
You are likely to achieve your dearest wish or highest hope if you dreamed of a new invention or of being or meeting an inventor.
If you design an invention if a dream, it reflects the need to escape from previously set guidelines. The unconscious is trying to tell you that you should inquire about, seek out, other forms of expression, of creativity, and go beyond the conventional. It also expresses your anxieties about being different and leaving behind routine.
A dream that features an invention forecasts a great breakthrough and that you are on the cutting edge of genius, tapping into new and inventive ways to grow, learn and create solutions. Consider the invention in this dream and its practical applications in real life. This might be your million dollar idea. See Processing Dreams and Wish Fulfillment Dreams.
Many inventions take place first in a dream; see “patent”
To dream that you are inventing something, or feel interested in some invention, denotes you will aspire to fortune and will be successful in your designs. ... Ten Thousand Dream Interpretation
The blueprint of one’s life; see “invention”... Dream Dictionary Unlimited
If the statue is built from wood in the dream, it means that one seeks religious arguments or disputes.
If the statue is made of silver in the dream, it means that one elicits sexual relationship with his servant, or with a foreign woman, or perhaps just a friendship.
If the statue is made of gold in the dream, it means that one may commit an abominable action, or a religious inequity, or seeks profits from someone at the expense of displeasing God Almighty and consequently, one will suffer financial losses or health problems.
If the statue combines mixed material of bronze, copper, steel, iron, or lead in the dream, it means that such a person uses his religious garb to make profits, and that he often forgets about his Lord. Astatue in a dream also means travels. Seeing a golden or a silver statue in a dream also could mean prosperity. Seeing a bronze statue of a young woman moving around in a dream means a good harvest, prosperity, or travels.
If the statue is bigger than life-size, then it means a fright. Statues in a dream also represent one’s children, his sexual drive, or his determination.
If one sees himself worshiping a statue in a dream, it means that he is engaged in falsehood, giving preference to his personal desires and passions over obeying his Lord’s commands.
If one sees himself worshiping a golden statue in a dream, it means that he will solicit business from someone who worships God Almighty, though he will also suffer losses from such an association. It also means that he will lose his investment and it will show the weakness of his faith. Ifone sees himselfworshiping a statue made of silver in the dream, it means that he uses his religion to make business out of it, or to betray others through it, or that he will solicit the help of someone to do evil, or that he may sexually abuse a young girl who trusts his religious appearance.
If one sees a statue and does not associate it with worship, or if he does not see anyone worshiping it in his dream, his dream then represents financial gains.
A statue in a dream also means to be enamored with a woman or a boy. Statues in a dream also could mean deafness, idiotic behavior, dumbness, attachment to anything in this world, making an idol out of it, such as one’s love and attachment to his position, status, business, wife, beloved, house, or child, etcetera.
If one owns a statue in a dream, it means that he may marry a deaf, or a dumb, or a non-intelligent woman, or that he maybeget a child who will grow up having one or more of these defects. In whatever condition one sees the statue in his dream, it will reflect on any of the above.
A statue in a dream also represents a generation.
If the statue is missing something in the dream, such defect will definitely manifest in one’s society. Seeing a statue in a dream also could reflect one’s strength and determination.
If one breaks a statue, or lames it, or damages it in a dream, it means that he will vanquish his enemy and earn rank and fame. Ifthe statue in the dream portrays a particular woman, or if it is interpreted to represent a specific woman, then she will be quiet, intelligent and serene, or it could mean that she is stupid and has pride.... Islamic Dream Interpretation
The few exceptions are usually very clear. Example: ‘My mother-in-law died of cancer. I had watched the whole progression of her illness, and was very upset by her death. Shortly after she died the relatives gathered and began to sort through her belongings to share them out. That was the climax of my upset and distress, and I didn’t want any part of this sorting and taking her things. That night I dreamt I was in a room with all the relatives. They were sorting her things, and I felt my waking distress. Then my mother-in-law came into the room. She was very real and seemed happy. She said for me not to be upset as she didn’t at all mind her relatives taking her things. When I woke from the dream all the anxiety and upset had disappeared. It never returned (told to author dunng a talk given to the Housewives Register in Ilfracombe).
Although in any collection of dreams such clearcut problem solving is fairly rare, nevertheless the basic function in dreams appears to be problem solving.
The proof of this lies in research done in dream withdrawal. As explained in the entry science, sleep and dreams, subjects are woken up as they begin to dream, therefore denying them dreams. This quickly leads to disorientation and breakdown of normal functioning, showing that a lot of problem solving occurs in dreams, even though it may not be as obvious as in the example. This feature of dreaming can be enhanced to a marked degree by processing dreams and arriving at insights into the information they contain. This enables old problems to be cleared up and new information and attitudes to be brought into use more quickly. Through such active work one becomes aware of the self, which Carl Jung describes as a centre, but which we might think of as a synthesis of all our experience and being. Gaining insight and allowing the self entrance into our waking affairs, as M L. Von Franz says in Man and His Symbols, gradually produces a wider and more mature personality’ which emerges, and by degrees becomes effective and even visible to others’.
The function of dreams may well be described as an effort on the part of our life process to support, augment and help mature waking consciousness.
A study of dreams suggests that the creative forces which are behind the growth of our body are also inextricably connected with psychological development. In fact, when the process of physical growth stops, the psychological growth continues.
If this is thwarted in any way, it leads to frustration, physical tension and psychosomatic and eventually physical illness.
The integration of experience.
which dreams are always attempting, if successful cannot help but lead to personal growth. But it is often frozen by the individual avoiding the growing pains’, or the discomfon of breaking through old concepts and beliefs.
Where there is any attempt on the pan of our conscious personality to co-operate with this, the creative aspect of dreaming emerges. In fact anything we are deeply involved in, challenged by or attempting, we will dream about in a creative way. Not only have communities like the American Indians used dreams in this manner—to find better hunting, solve community problems, find a sense of personal life direction— but scientists, writers, designers and thousands of lay people have found very real information in dreams After all, through dreams we have personal use of the greatest computer ever produced in the history of the world—the human brain.
1- In Genesis 41, the story of Pharaoh’s dream is told—the seven fat cows and the seven thin cows. This dream was creative in that, with Joseph’s interpretation, it resolved a national problem where famine followed years of plenty. It may very well be an example of gathered information on the history of Egypt being in the mind of Pharaoh, and the dream putting it together in a problem solving way. See dream process as computer.
2- William Blake dreamt his dead brother showed him a new way of engraving copper. Blake used the method successfully.
3- Otto Leowi dreamt of how to prove that nervous impulses were chemical rather than electncal. This led to his Nobel prize.
4- Friedrich Kekule tned for years to define the structure of benzene. He dreamt of a snake with its tail in its mouth, and woke to realise this explained the molecular formation of the benzene ring. He was so impressed he urged colleagues, ‘Gentlemen, leam to dream.’
5- Hilprecht had an amazing dream of the connection between two pieces of agate which enabled him to translate an ancient Babylonian inscription.
6- Elias Howe faced the problem of how to produce an effective sewing machine.
The major difficulty was the needle. He dreamt of natives shaking spears with holes in their points. This led to the invention of the Singer sewing machine.
7- Robert Louis Stevenson claims to have dreamt the plot of many of his stories.
8- Albert Einstein said that during adolescence he dreamt he was riding a sledge. It went faster and faster until it reached the speed of light.
The stars began to change into amazing patterns and colours, dazzling and beautiful. His meditation on that dream throughout the years led to the theory of relativity.
To approach our dreams in order to discover their creativity, first decide what problematic or creative aspect of your life needs ‘dream power’. Define what you have already leamt or know about the problem. Write it down, and from this clarify what it is you want more insight into.
If this breaks down into several issues, choose one at a time. Think about the issue and pursue it as much as you can while awake. Read about it, ask people’s opinions, gather information. This is all data for the dream process.
If the question still needs further insight, before going to sleep imagine you are putting the question to your internal store of wisdom, computer, power centre, or whatever image feels right.
For some people an old being who is neither exclusively man nor woman is a working image.
In the morning note down whatever dream you remember. It does not matter if the dream does not appear to deal with the question; Elias Howe’s native spears were an outlandish image, but nevertheless contained the information he needed. Investigate the dream using the techniques given in the entry dream processing. Some problems take time to define, so use the process until there is a resolution.
If it is a major problem, it may take a year or so; after all, some resolutions need restructuring of the personality, because the problem cannot disappear while we still have the same attitudes and fears. See secret of the universe dreams; dream processing. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
A house is a clear reflection of identity at the time of the dream.
The sense of identity that the dream is trying to express relates directly to the qualities of the house as it appears in the dream.
A house from your past and / or childhood relates to your identity as it was generated at the time you lived there.
A house from your imagination also relates to your sense of self, and you must use the context of the dream to inform you of the meaning to associate with it.
A mansion is an expanded sense of self, while something small or more rundown is asking you to look at issues of self-worth.
A house under construction is the self being built up, whereas one that is being destroyed takes on the view of deconstruction or reinvention.
The same ideas should be applied to any living space, from an apartment to a hotel room, a great big house or a hovel.... Complete Dictionary of Dreams
A dream about lava is connecting you to this primal process of reinvention that is sometimes a part of the evolution of a human life.... Complete Dictionary of Dreams
A dream that takes place in a park reminds you of the part of you that is more connected to nature and therefore love.... Complete Dictionary of Dreams
The first is the creative impulse to capture an element of life unfolding.
The ability to record, pause, fast-forward, and watch at your leisure instills a sense of control in the meaning of video in a dream.... Complete Dictionary of Dreams
The web cam is the new “eyes” of this consciousness. How are you allowing yourself to be seen in this new world that is being created? What is it that you wish to explore in others? These are the questions that a dream that features a web cam is asking you.... Complete Dictionary of Dreams
The functionality of the wheel is thought to have changed civilization more dramatically than any other invention. Through the wheel, travel and connectivity are increased exponentially. In this way, a wheel is the fundamental structure that allows powerful movement through life.
The state of a wheel in a dream is a reflection of how well you are able to progress on the path of creating what you desire.... Complete Dictionary of Dreams
The witch is a creature of relatively modern invention with little, if any, presence in the older mythologies that have shaped Western culture. Today, the witch figures prominently in contemporary fairy tale folklore and is a staple character of Halloween.
The witch no longer heals and ministers to people—now she casts evil spells and eats children. Since this is an archetype, how the witch appears in your dream is important to your understanding of your own personal development.
The areas of life ruled by this archetype are mysticism, healing, and magic, primarily in the feminine principle, which relates to creativity, receptivity, nurturance, and caretaking. Examine your witch for character, skill, and motivation. Her character will inform you of the level of good versus evil within your psyche.
The power of her skills will inform you of your personal access to the magic in the universe. Understanding what inspires her will get you in touch with your own movement toward integration and away from manipulation. Any number of haglike female characters could be considered the witch archetype. Some may in fact be evil, while others may be disenfranchised healers. Given the witch’s origins in mysticism and the history of misunderstandings over the centuries, it is important to consider this duality when interpreting this symbol. Though she may inspire fear and dread, the witch has powerful magic that, if understood and properly used, can be invaluable to the human experience.... Complete Dictionary of Dreams
Just as there are different types of music—classical, rock, jazz—there are different kinds of dreams. Although different types of dream can blend and merge, modern dream researchers tend to break dream types into the following categories:
These can exaggerate certain situations or life attitudes in order to point them out sharply for the dreamer. For example, someone who is very shy may dream that they have become invisible.
ANTICIPATING DREAMSThese are dreams that may alert us to possible outcomes in situations in our waking life; for example, passing or failing an exam.
Such dreams evoke extremely emotional reactions, when the unconscious is urging us to relieve pent-up feelings we may feel unable to express in waking life. For example, you may find yourself bursting into tears on a packed commuter train in your dreams, or you might punch your irritating neighbor or tell your boss exactly what you think of him or her.
CONTRARY OR COMPENSATORY DREAMS
In these types of dreams, the unconscious places the dreaming self in a totally different situation to the one we find ourselves in waking life. For example, if your day has been filled with unhappiness and stress due to the death of a loved one or the end of a relationship, you may dream of yourself spending a carefree, happy day by the seaside. Your unconscious may also give you personality traits that you haven’t expressed in waking life. For example, if you hate being the center of attention you may dream about being a celebrity. Such dreams are thought to provide necessary balance and may also be suggesting to you that you try incorporating some of the characteristics that your dream underlined in your waking life.
DAILY PROCESSING DREAMS
Also known as factual dreams, daily processing dreams are dreams in which you go over and over things that happened during the day, especially those that were repetitive or forced you to concentrate for long periods; dreaming about a long journey or a tough work assignment, for example. These kinds of dreams don’t tend to be laden with meaning, and most dream theorists think of them as bits and pieces of information your brain is processing.
DREAMS OF CHILDHOOD
Dreaming about your childhood may reflect a childhood dynamic which hasn’t been worked out yet and requires a resolution.
It is thought that many reported sightings of ghosts are caused by false awakening, which occurs when you are actually asleep but are convinced in your dream state that you are awake. This is the kind of vivid dream in which you wake up convinced that what happened in your dream really happened.
This is when you set your conscious mind on experiencing a particular kind of dream. For example, you may incubate a dream of a loved one by concentrating on visualizing your loved one’s face before you sleep, or you may ask for a dream to answer your problems immediately before going to sleep. The theory is that your unconscious responds to the suggestion.
Many great works of art, music, literature have allegedly been inspired by dreams, when the unconscious brings a creative idea to the fore. For example, English poet and artist William Blake said that his work was inspired by the visions in his dreams. One night in 1816, Mary Shelley, her husband and a group of friends were challenged to write a ghost story. That night Mary Shelley dreamed of a creature that would later become the monster created by Dr Frankenstein in her yet-to-be-written novel.
These occur when you become aware that you are dreaming when you are dreaming. It takes time and practice to stop yourself waking up, but it is possible to learn how to become a lucid dreamer and control the course of your dreams.
When two people dream the same dream. Such dreams can be spontaneous or incubated, when two people who are close decide on a dream location together and imagine themselves meeting up before going to sleep.
Dreams that terrify us or cause distress in some way by waking us up before the situation has resolved. Nightmares occur during REM sleep and typically arise when a person is feeling anxious or helpless in waking life. Once the dreamer has recognized what is triggering this kind of dream, and worked through any unresolved fears and anxieties, nightmares tend to cease.
These are similar to nightmares, but because they occur in deep sleep (stage four) we rarely remember what terrified us, although we may be left with a lingering feeling of unexplained dread.
Also known as astral travel or projection, out-of-body experiences are thought to occur at times of physical and emotional trauma. Researchers tend to dismiss the idea but those that experience such dreams say that their mind, consciousness or spirit leaves their body and travels through time and space.
If you dream of being in a historical setting some believe this is evidence of past-life recall, although most dream theorists dismiss the existence of past-life or far-memory dreams, or genetic dreams when you assume the identity of an ancestor.
These dreams reflect the state of your body, so, for example, if you have an upset stomach, you may dream that you are being violently sick. These dreams may highlight the progress of serious physical conditions or in some cases predict the onset of them.
Most dream researchers dismiss these dreams but precognitive dreams are thought to predict real-life events of which the dreamer has no conscious awareness. These dreams tend to happen to people with psychic abilities. They are extremely rare but there have been many instances when people claim to have dreamt of things before they happened. For example, many people reported dreaming about 9/11 before it occurred. Other people tell of cancelling trains or flights because of a foreboding dream. There are also reports of people who dreamt the winning numbers of the lottery.
These occur when you have gone to bed mulling over a problem and found the answer in your dreams. This could be because your unconscious has already solved the dream and sleeping on it gives your unconscious a chance to express itself. Many famous inventions were allegedly prompted by a dream. For example, Scottish engineer and inventor of the steam engine James Watt (1736- 1819) dreamed of molten metal falling from the sky in the shape of balls. This dream gave him the idea for drop cooling and ball-bearings. The model of the atom, the M9 analogue computer, the isolation of insulin in the treatment of diabetes, and, as we have seen, the sewing machine, were also ideas that sprung from inspiration in dreams.
These are dreams that bring things we would rather not think about to our attention. They make us face an aspect of ourselves or our life that might be hindering our progress. They are often about our fears, anxieties, resentment, guilt and insecurities. For example, if you dream of yourself running around and around on the wheel of a cage unable to stop, this could suggest that in your waking life you are taking on too much and not giving yourself enough time to relax.
Dreams that reoccur typically happen when the dreamer is worried about a situation that isn’t resolving itself in waking life. When the trigger in waking life is dealt with the dreams usually end. Recurring dreams can also occur when a person is suffering from some kind of phobia or trauma that has been repressed or not resolved. If this is the case the unconscious is urging the dreamer to consciously receive and acknowledge the issue and deal with it.
In dreams, sex can reflect the archetypal pattern which underlies the waking sex life or may represent a hoped-for reunion with another part of ourselves into a whole.
This is the kind of dream when someone you know appears in your dream in acute distress and you later learn that that person was experiencing a real-life crisis at the time, such as extreme unhappiness, an accident or even death. It is thought that telepathic dreams are a meeting of minds between two people who are close to each other emotionally.
These are processing dreams that involve your senses. For example, if your mobile rings or a picture falls to the ground while you are asleep, the sound may be incorporated into your dream but appear as something else, such as a police siren or a broken window. The smell of flowers in your room may also become a garden scene in your dreams.
These are the kind of dreams in which we quite literally live the dream; we might win the lottery, date a celebrity, ooze charisma or simply go on a long holiday. In these kinds of dreams our unconscious is trying to compensate for disappointment or dissatisfaction with our current circumstances in waking life.... Dreampedia
Once upon a time not so long ago, an inventor was struggling with a major problem. His name was Elias Howe, and for years he had been trying to solve this problem, so that he could complete a machine he was building—a machine that would in time change the world. He was missing a small but vital detail, and, try as he would, he just couldn’t figure it out. Needless to say, Howe was a very frustrated man. One night, after another long day of fruitless work on his project, he dreamed he had been captured by fierce savages. These warriors were attacking him with spears. Although in the dream he was terrified he would be killed, he noticed that the spears were unusual looking: each one had an eye- shaped hole at the pointed end. When Howe woke up, it hit him like a brick: he had actually dreamed the answer to his problem. His nightmare was a blessing in disguise. He immediately saw that the eye of the spear could be an eye in a sewing needle, near its point. Elated with the discovery, he rushed to his laboratory and finished the design of his invention: the sewing machine. The rest, as they say, is history.
The list of what dreams can do for you seems endless. We’ve touched on a few of these benefits of dreaming in the preface and introduction. Now let’s go into a bit more detail. I want you to get really excited about your own dream potential. And, once you realize the possibilities, I think you will.
The history of dreams is filled with stories of famous people who have called on their dreams for help, or who have received help unexpectedly from their dreams. Here are a few more interesting stories to illustrate the point:
The physicist Niels Bohr, who developed the theory of the movements of electrons, had a dream in which he saw the planets attached to the sun by strings. This image inspired him to finalize his theory.
The great Albert Einstein reported that the famous theory of relativity came to him while he was napping—a good reason for taking frequent naps!
Author Richard Bach, who wrote the bestseller Jonathan Livingston Seagull, was stuck in a writer’s block after writing the first half of his now-famous novel. It was eight years later that he literally dreamed the second half and was able to complete his book.
Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman told reporters that his classic film Cries and Whispers had been inspired by a dream.
Another writer, the well-loved British author Robert Louis Stevenson, was quite dependent on his dreams for ideas that he could turn into sellable stories. Stevenson has related in his memoirs that after a childhood tortured by nightmares, and his successful efforts to overcome them, he was able to put his dreams to work for profit.
A born storyteller (though he started out as a medical student), he was accustomed to lull himself to sleep by making up stories to amuse himself. Eventually, he turned this personal hobby into a profession, becoming a writer of tales like Treasure Island. He identified his dream-helpers as “little people,” or “Brownies.” Once he was in constant contact with this inner source, his nightmares vanished, never to return. Instead, whenever he was in need of income he turned to his dreams:
At once the little people begin to bestir themselves in the same quest, and labour all night long, and all night long set before him truncheons of tales upon their lighted theatre. No fear of his being frightened now; the flying heart and the frozen scalp are things bygone; applause, growing applause, growing interest, growing exultation in his own cleverness . . . and at last a jubilant leap to wakefulness, with the cry, “I have it, that’ll do!”
Stevenson wrote his autobiography in the third person, not revealing that he was the subject until the end.
Stevenson further states that sometimes when he examined the story his Brownies had provided, he was disappointed, finding it unmarketable. However, he also reported that the Brownies “did him honest service and gave him better tales than he could fashion for himself,” that “they can tell him a story piece by piece, like a serial, and keep him all the while in ignorance of where they aim.”
Stevenson’s Brownies are a perfect example of dream helpers just waiting to be called upon. A particularly famous example of the work of Stevenson’s Brownies is the tale The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. As he explains:
I had long been trying to write a story on this subject, to find a body, a vehicle, for that strong sense of man’s double being, which must at times come in upon and overwhelm the mind of every thinking creature. [After he destroyed an earlier version of the manuscript . . .] For two days I went about racking my brains for a plot of any sort; and on the second night I dreamed the scene at the window, and a scene afterwards split in two, in which Hyde, pursued for some crime, took the powder and underwent the change in the presence of his pursuers. All the rest was made awake, and consciously, although I think I can trace in much of it the manner of my Brownies.
Although Stevenson did the “mechanical work, which is about the worst of it,” writing out the tales with pen and paper, mailing off the stories to publishers, paying the postage, and not incidentally collecting the fees, he gave his Brownies almost total credit for his productions.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a British poet, was accustomed to taking a sedative derived from opium (legal in those days). One afternoon after taking a dose he was reading and fell asleep over his book. The last words he read had been, “Here the Khan Kubla commanded a palace to be built.” When Coleridge awoke some three hours later he had dreamed hundreds of lines of poetry, which he immediately set to writing down. The opening lines of this poem—one of the most famous of all time—are:
Unfortunately for posterity, after writing only fifty-four lines of the two to three hundred he had dreamed, Coleridge was interrupted by a caller, whom he entertained for an hour. When he returned to complete the poem, he had lost all the rest of what he had dreamed! In his diary he noted that it had disappeared “like images on the surface of a stream.” Even so, he had written a masterpiece. This true story, however, emphasizes the need to record dreams upon awakening, a subject we will take up in chapters 5 and 6.
Not only artists and writers give their dreams credit for their ideas and inspirations, but many scientists as well (as we saw in the examples of Bohr and Einstein). Psychologist Eliot D. Hutchinson reports numerous cases of scientists receiving information through dreams and says of dreams that “by them we can see more clearly the specific mechanism of intuitive thought,” and that “a large number of thinkers with whom I have had direct contact admit that they dream more or less constantly about their work, especially if it is exceptionally baffling . . . they often extract useful conceptions.”
I personally can attest to this statement, as it mirrors my own experience writing books. For example, when I began work on this book about dreams, I noticed that my dream production immediately doubled; and I have had Stevenson’s experience of “little people,” whom I call my “elves,” and whom I write about extensively in my book for teens called Teen Astrology, telling about how they came to my rescue when I was quite stuck (see chapter 9, pages 249– 252 in that book).
One of the most astonishing as well as fascinating stories is that of Hermann V. Hilprecht, a professor of Assyrian at the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1800s. It seems to be a characteristic of those who receive dream help that they have recently been working long and hard and are frustrated. In Hilprecht’s case, he was working late one evening in 1893, attempting to decipher the cuneiform characters on drawings of two small fragments of agate. He thought they belonged to Babylonian finger rings, and he had tentatively assigned one fragment to the so-called Cassite period of 1700 B.C.E. However, he couldn’t classify the second fragment. And he wasn’t at all sure about the first either. He finally gave up his efforts at about midnight and went straight to bed—and had the following dream, which was his “astounding discovery.”
Hilprecht dreamed of a priest of pre-Christian Nippur, several thousand years ago, who led the professor into the treasure chamber of the temple and showed him the originals, telling him just how the fragments fitted in, all in great detail. Although the dream was long and involved, Hilprecht remembered it all and in the morning told it to his wife. In his words: “Next morning . . . I examined the fragments once more in the light of these disclosures, and to my astonishment found all the details of the dream precisely verified in so far as the means of verification were in my hands.”
Up until then, Hilprecht had been working only with drawings. Now he traveled to the museum in Constantinople where the actual agate fragments were kept and discovered that they fitted together perfectly, unlocking the secret of a three-thousand-year-old mystery by means of a dream!
How did this happen? Clairvoyance? Magic? Who was the priest? How was it that Hilprecht seemed to make contact in a dream with someone who had lived so long before him? We will never know the answers to these questions; but we do know from the professor’s own words that this is exactly what happened to him. (It makes you wonder whether Professor Hilprecht was in the habit of paying attention to his dreams!)
No doubt one of the most famous dream sources of scientific discovery was experienced by the German chemist Friedrich August Kekulé, when he was attempting to understand and model the molecular structure of benzene. Like Professor Hilprecht, Kekulé had been searching for the answer for many years and was totally immersed in the problem. He told of a dream he had while he napped in front of his fireplace one frigid night in 1865:
Again the atoms were juggling before my eyes:
My mind’s eye, sharpened by repeated sights of a similar kind, could not distinguish larger structures of different forms and in long chains, many of them close together; everything was moving in a snake-like and twisting manner. Suddenly, what was this? One of the snakes got hold of its own tail and the whole structure was mockingly twisting in front of my eyes. As if struck by lightning, I awoke.
This dream led Kekulé directly to the discovery of the structure of benzene, which is a closed carbon ring. A dream had presented a realization that served to revolutionize modern chemistry. Later, reporting his discovery to his colleagues at a scientific convention in 1890, he remarked, “Let us learn to dream, gentlemen, and then we may perhaps find the truth.” Not the sort of comment one generally expects from a scientist!
Here is the story of another scientist. Otto Loewi, who won the 1936 Nobel
Prize in Psychology and Medicine for his discovery of how the human nervous system works, credited this discovery to a dream. Prior to Loewi, scientists had assumed that the body’s nervous impulses were the result of electrical waves. However, in 1903 Loewi had the intuition that a chemical transmission was actually responsible. But he had no way to prove his theory, so he set the idea aside for many years. Then, in 1920, he had the following dream:
The night before Easter Sunday of that year I awoke, turned on the light, and jotted down a few notes on a tiny slip of thin paper. Then I fell asleep again. It occurred to me at six o’clock in the morning that during the night I had written down something most important, but I was unable to decipher the scrawl. The next night, at three o’clock, the idea returned. It was the design of an experiment to determine whether or not the hypothesis of chemical transmission that I had uttered seventeen years ago was correct. I got up immediately, went to the laboratory and performed a simple experiment on a frog’s heart according to the nocturnal design:
Its results became the foundation of the theory of chemical transmission of the nervous impulse.
Interestingly, Loewi had previously performed a similar experiment, which combined in his dreaming mind with the new idea, creating the successful result. This is an excellent example of the ability of dreams to combine with previous dreams, or with actual events, to produce fertile new ground.
These are some of the stories of famous people who have used dreams to solve problems, enhance creativity, and even make money and win important prizes. They are all evidence of the vast human ability to make use of dreams. As you draw upon your own dream life and develop skills in both dreaming and interpreting your dreams, you will become an advanced teen dreamer. Think of your dreams as a school where you are continually learning new skills and developing new aptitudes, reaching ever higher levels of achievement.
As you pay conscious attention to your dreams, and then use your dream symbols in your waking life, you will be integrating yourself, creating the greatest artwork of your life: your whole and unique Self.... Dreampedia