By nature we live a good portion of our lives submerged in the waters of dream. And even in our waking hours we swim in spontaneous fantasy processes. Certain humans feel drawn to also devote waking hours to re-exploring their dreams. This is a form of introversion, turning ones soul-face towards inner experiences versus outer ones.
I have been spending time each day of this year making images in the outer world based on my dreams. Sometimes a painting, sometimes a collage, maybe a drawing or a quick sketch, even a video. The images in this post are from these past months of dream images.
I have been interested in my dreams long before I began to wonder why I was interested in them. As a child and youth, the realm and events of dreams and fantasy seemed as vivid or more so than events in the outer world.
And as an artist, though I practice drawing things I see with my outward-turned eyes, my interest is in making images of the things I see with my inner eye.
Sometimes it is said that dreams arise from the “unconscious “, which etymologically means the “unknown “. Dreams are like an iconostasis: the wall of icons in eastern churches that hide and reveal the sacred incomprehensible mysteries occurring behind the wall of images.
Dreams arise more from our right brain, the brain evolved to explore the as-yet-unknown, what we have not yet adapted to. And the mode this brain has evolved to explore the unknown is symbol and metaphor.
Some things we are already adapted to: we have a good idea what to expect, and things tend to go as expected. There are also areas of experience that we do not understand, and where things do not go as we expect or plan. This is the infinite area of the unknown, the mysterious, the unconscious.
When we meet or enter this realm we usually first tend to flee towards the safer space where things go as we expect. But we might also stay and explore. And the mode of functioning of our right brains for exploring the unknown is creative imagination, fantasy, symbol.
At night in our dreams we explore the unknown; our souls bring together the new and unknown with our personal and evolutionary adaptations.
As the creatures at the forefront of this evolving universe, we live, and are meant to live, in a continual process of exploration and new adaptations, using all the previous adaptations living in us and gathered over countless ages.