The Value of Dreams and Dreaming:
Throughout history, certain people have had extraordinary experiences (e.g. certain transformative dreams and illuminative experiences) while asleep or semi- awake. Some of these experiences have marked history, enabled civilizations to advance, and profoundly revolutionized certain academic fields. Such experiences have been, and still are considered to be very important to Business, Science, Medicine, Politics, and to many of life’s endeavors for success.
There are numerous examples of the importance of dreams, here are some examples:
- Sir Frederick Grant Banting: Dreamt of insulin, a well-known treatment for Diabetes.
- Ludwig van Beethoven: Claimed that his inspirations seemed to spring from his dreams.
- Niels Bohr: Dreamt of the planetary system as a model for atoms as well as the celestial bodies. He eventually won the Nobel Prize for this.
- Johannes Brahms: Remarked “when I feel the urge I begin by appealing directly to my maker, and my inspiration comes from dreams and other states of altered awareness”.
- George Elliot: The poet told T. W. Cross that in all of what she considered her best writing, something that was “not herself took possession of her, and she felt herself to be merely the instrument thru which this spirit, as it were, was acting”.
- Carl Friedrich Gauss: In his dreams and altered awareness states, which he compared to a “flash of lightning,” he discovered the law of induction. A very important foundational concept in physics, electronics and magnetism for the generation of electricity and electric current.
- August Kekul: Had been attempting to conceptualize the structural formula of the benzene molecule. He claims that during his dreams and altered awareness states, he experienced how the atoms and molecules came together like a snake seizing its tail to form the benzene ring. This discovery laid the foundation for organic chemistry, bio-chemistry, molecular biology, and pharmacology.
- Otto Loewi: Won the Nobel Prize for physiology and medicine. In 1920 he dreamt about Chemical transmission and nerve impulses. The basis for physiology and medicine.
- Mahatma Gandhi: Used his dream to deal with the United Kingdom Rowlett Act to gain Indian independence. He said that the non-violence concept came in a dream.
- Dmitri Mendeleev: Once went to bed exhausted, following another attempt to categorize the chemical elements. He later reported, “I saw in a dream a table where all the elements fell into place as required!” This is how he created the Periodic Table of the A fundamental concept in science and chemistry.
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Frequently young Mozart would stop and ask his friends to be silent while ideas, and melodies rushed into his head.
- Srinivasa Ramanujan: A poor uneducated boy in India who received dreams of advanced mathematical equations. He had no math training, and his exposure to math was minimal. His story is corroborated by Scientific American and mathematicians from Oxford and Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. He claims that the Goddess Namagiri gave him the formulas in dreams that solved ancient mathematical problems that even the top mathematicians at Cambridge couldn’t solve.
- Richard Wagner: While sleeping, he dreamt of an E-flat major melody. The prelude to the masterpiece Das Rheingold.
Dreams have also influenced military decisions by: Alexander The Great, Hannibal, Ghenghis Khan, and others.
Christians are familiar with biblical accounts of St. Josephs dreams, in which Marys pregnancy was revealed, and another dream where Joseph was warned to take Mary and Jesus to safety because of Herod. The Talamud makes 217 references to dreams. The bibles Old Testament contains references to about 15 dreams.
In Islam, the Holy Prophet Mohammed (Blessed be his name) claimed to have received his mission in a dream as he mentioned in his famous night journey to heaven. The sacred Holy Koran being revealed in a series of dreams to him.
Certain dreams have clearly played a profoundly positive and important role in humanitys history and evolution.
-By Dr. Ranjie Singh