From Dreams to Reality

Recently I found this talk by William Domhoff about dreams. It is always great when researchers talk about such foggy topics with so scientific methods: Just facts, numbers and logic. It’s not only that this helps to get a clearer picture of what is really going on – but exactly this dry approach leads to often very surprising and nearly magical surprises.

(Btw: I found his dream studies after looking at his amazing work about politics – his insights from “Who Rules America?” are just as astonishing.)

I love his ending remarks (watch it first, if you don’t like spoilers) – which start with a quote by Havelock Ellis: “Dreams are real while they last. Can we say more of life?”

An surprising idea – that maybe there is not really more to dreams than we think, but maybe less to reality. I am thinking about this a lot recently, I feel there is something to it.

There are some other things I wonder about. For example why these two worlds seem so different. It is not just replaying life. I dreamed a lot of stories recently, and while I find them amazing, none of them would work in a movie. I also aim at making my pictures more “dreamy” – but dreams don’t seem to give static normal images one could just paint down.
Here is a go at it by Arnold Böcklin (1827 – 1901) that makes me feel its worth trying. He was asked by an old lady to paint a “picture to dream oneself in”. The result is “Die Toteninsel” (“Isle of the Dead”). I took this photo in Berlin, where one of the four existing versions hangs. I can’t quite figure what makes it look like a dream, but it does totally work.

Arnold Böcklin   (1883) - Die Toteninsel (Isle of the Dead)

Arnold Böcklin (1883) - Die Toteninsel (Isle of the Dead)