As mentioned in the previous chapters, dreams can be a great portal to creativity. The images we see in dreams probably are far more interesting than what we see in waking life. In fact, it is not universal to everybody. Dr. Patricia Garfield mentions, “The power to have interesting dreams comes from the personality of the dreamer. Interesting material must exist in the dreamer before interesting dreams can occur.”(1)
Any dreamer who regards dreams as important and worthwhile is likely to remember and utilize his dreams. In fact, one researcher finds that people in cultures that give dreams importance have dreams that are more consistent with consciously held ideals rather than dreams unacceptable to the self. Dream events in such societies tend to be relevant to waking life events. Thus, if you regard your dreams as nonsense, they are likely to remain so, if recalled at all. But if you regard your dreams as valuable, they are likely to become more and more so. (1)
As we see in chapter IV, the examples in which dreamers could successfully bring images from dreams are possible if only the dreamers remember his or her dream. Most of us usually don’t remember our dreams due to some facts. “If dreaming is not interrupted by awakening, it is rare to have recall. Poor or no dream recall by many people is a function of the abolition of memory during these brain activated phases of sleep. As the chemical systems that are responsible for recent memory are completely turned off when the brain is activated during sleep, it is difficult to have recall unless an awakening occurs to restore the availability of these chemicals to the brain.” (2)
In other words, we usually don’t remember our dream because during asleep, we tend to lose our memory due to the change of brain chemistry. The two neurotransmitters which used to help us make deliberate associations which aid us in remembering things cease firing during sleep. Understanding that loss of memory is one of the facts which avoid us from approaching the realm of dream in order to use it to create, it may lead some people to doubt of the creation ability within us during sleep. However, dreams can be remembered under certain situations. “It is usually easy for a person to recall his or her dreams if he or she tries to think about them and remember them every morning upon awakening.” Once we are awake, we gain back our memory, and it is the moment for us to recall images from our previous night’s dreaming experience.
Moreover, the usual dream content is another reason that people don’t rely on their dreams for creativity. From the questionnaires conducted during September and October, 2006, there is a comment of a graphic designer, Mr. Dextro, from Austria, 24th of September, and he says: “There is another reason why dreams don’t have a direct influence on my work: the fact that they are usually about real situations and people, while my works are always abstract…” Instead, he mentions: “Access to the subconscious by the use of cannabis.”
Furthermore, dreams are illogical, bizarre and metaphorical. Dreams are hard to understand because its language is different from what we use in waking life. “To understand the dream, we must begin with an understanding of the way the two languages differ and what it is we are saying when we speak the language of the dream”, says Dr. Montague Ullman, “While asleep and dreaming, a pictorial figurative sensory language takes over and reflects our feeling states.”
Therefore, it is difficult to totally assume that dream can be a source for creativity to certain people due to the facts that dreams are hard to recall and its metaphor prone language is also difficult to understand in instance, many people do not consider their dreams as great sources for creativity. However, these obstacles can somehow be overcome by some techniques like, putting a small notebook next to the bed and recalling the dream in the moment just awake and write it down on a notebook and take time to interpret the images of dreams in order to unlock the hidden meaning in the dreams. Once the metaphor of the dream is broken, we will realize and appreciate how great it is for us to open up an opportunity to the realm of dreams. The following chapter presents some recent techniques created by psychologists for inducing creative dreams.