25 More Lessons (I've) Learned
50. Fantasize

I’m not sure if this suggestion has any practical application, but I do adamanetly believe that using one’s uninhibited imagination leads to greater things.

For somewhere in the unconscious there is a compromise bubbling between real-life solutions and the libertine ideas dreams are made of, somewhere, sometime, an inkling of your heart’s desire will catch fire and ignite a maelstrom of inspiration that will manifest itself in the here and now.

So dream wayward, expand the realm of what is possible, and break away from the norm. Be delusional if you have to (be), but always return from the beyond with something to fashion life in the four dimensions a little bit better, a little bit whetter, a little bit brighter, a little bit lighter, than those limited by the dark side of “reality.”


In Pursuit of the Photographic Memory

I’ve never had a recurring dream before, but recently I’ve had the same day dream over and over again, so much so that if I don’t write about it, it is bound to haunt me, taunt me until kingdom come.

Essentially, I have this sci-fi fantasy of sorts whereby I can take pictures with my eyes. Albeit, we all essentially already do, they’re just called "memories" instead of pictures, these images would have the clarity of a favorite photograph that one returns to time and time again.

For lately, everywhere I turn, there, congealed in bright or sensuously subtle colour, is a shot that makes me cry “damnation! If only I had my camera!”

Alas, even when I do, circumstance sometimes prescribes discretion, my mortal coil springs or stretches only so far, or someone or something has to get in the way, so that capturing a beautifully puckered face, that trace of emotion gleaming in a summer sun or a plain old moving hue combo that just tickles my fancy—becomes impossible.

And so, I must resign to knowing that although there is beauty all about me everywhere, the best I can do is be better prepared next time or simply gawk in awe a moment longer, hoping that an ogle a second longer might create a few more synapses and emblazon the memory of another elusive moment into this little brain of mine.


The following is excerpted from Creativity, Beyond the Myth of Genius by Robert Weisberg

Friedrich August von Kekule had a dream of whirling snakes, of the structure of benzene - the organic chemical compound made up of a ring of carbon atoms. He reported the dream in the following words many years after it took place, in a speech at a dinner commemorating his discovery.

I turned my chair to the fire [after having worked on the problem for some time] and dozed. Again the atoms were gamboling before my eyes. This time the smaller groups kept modestly to the background. My mental eye, rendered more acute by repeated vision of this kind, could not distinguish larger structures, of manifold conformation; long rows, sometimes more closely fitted together; all twining and twisting in snakelike motion. But look! What was that? One of the snakes had seized hold of its own tail, and the form whirled mockingly before my eyes. As if by a flash of lighting I awoke... Let us learn to dream, gentlemen.

Arthur Koestler (in "The Act of Creation") called this incident "probably the most important dream in history since Joseph's seven fat and seven lean cows."

The story is interesting to students of creativity for two reasons, first, because of the nonconscious state in which it is alleged to have occurred; second, because of the "remote" analogy that Kekule used.

*a marvelous example: Fodd's Clear blue sky

*please note: the photographer and the photograph cited do not necessarily reflect the views of the lesson or any other random thoughts of the writer.

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