Dreams and creativity
The Twilight series is among many creative works inspired by dreams. Stephanie Meyer, the author of the Twilight series, dreamt of a strange “sparkly” boy and a girl talking. In her dream the boy was a vampire, and he was explaining to the girl how he cared about her very much, but at the same time wanted to kill her. That dream was the inspiration for the Twilight series.
Other works of art inspired by dreams include including Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The song “Yesterday” came to Paul McCartney in a dream. Keith Richards found “Satisfaction” on a tape recorder near his bedside. He had fallen asleep holding his guitar and accidentally left his tape recorder on. He had no recollection of writing the song. Major scientific discoveries, like August Kekulé’s discovery of the ring structure of carbon and Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, came in dreams. After years of struggle, Dmitri Mendeleev put together the entire Periodic Table of the elements in a few moments after seeing it in a dream.
Such moments of creative inspiration sometimes require tension and preparation ahead of time. Kekule and Mendeleev struggled for years with the scientific problems they faced. Mary Shelley, who was 19 at the time of her dream, went to sleep very worried about presenting a ghost story to her experienced writer friends.
The moment of inspiration is often followed by sustained creative effort. Mary Shelley spent two years crafting her novel after she dreamt the novel’s plot. It took Paul McCartney 18 months to find lyrics for the music he had dreamed. He kept playing the chord progressions for friends, convinced he must have dreamt something he had heard rather than a new creation.
The creative solutions that come to us in dreams often have archetypa elements. Kekule didn’t dream of a carbon ring. He dreamed of an ouroboros, the ancient archetypal image of rebirth and regeneration. He then realized that this image was in fact the solution to his scientific problem; this archetypal image had a sacred place in modern science.
The ouroboros is rebirth, and modern science. It is in fact rebirth through modern science. That is why it forms the logo for this website and this book. That rebirth is what we are trying to achieve through this book and through the sacred art of dream work.