Shame On You
D M I T R I ' S D R E A M
Each of us faces unsolvable
. These mental mazes may be an emotional, financial, artistic or even scientific problem which defies rational solution. (Intelligence has its limits.) Striving to find answers exhausts us... we fall asleep. Dmitri Mendeleyev, a Russian chemist, was trying to group the elements into cohesive tables based on their properties. In 1869 he wrote:
``I saw in a dream a table where all the elements fell into place as required. Awakening, I immediately wrote it down on a piece of paper. Only in one place did a correction later seem necessary."
A dream brought him and the world the
There are two ways to tap this problem-solving resource. #1: do nothing -- it taps you. You are failing, no, flailing in your attempts to think through a particular conundrum. Sleep overtakes and your dream life continues the work. Finally, a vivid image floats in. You wake up. Within that image often lies a clue to your potential solution. The connection is not always obvious. You may need to keep the dream with you for a while before you see the relationship. Or you might get up and solve the problem as if automatically.
Method #2: Dedicate your dreaming to a specific problem. Prepare a nighttime ritual; invoke it as you ready yourself for sleep. You cannot be over exhausted, nor drunk, nor medicated. The more clear and intentional your petition the better. Consider the problem, then submit it to the dream. The response may be a voice, a thought or a dream snippet. Call it a