Beyond Brushstrokes

The famous Spanish Surrealist Salvador Dali was the ultimate dreamer. He created his melting clocks series, floating objects such as a crystal decanter with water spilling upwards, phallic symbols with sexual undertones. His jewel encrusted gold pieces with flawless rubies, emeralds, and diamonds were magnificent expressions of his dreams.
The Dali Museum in Figueres, Catalonia, has so many paintings and objets d’art. There is an unusual installation — a working shower inside a ’50s vintage car — in the garden. He created giant eggs that were displayed atop the rampart walls. His gigantic portrait with piercing eyes and the signature pointed moustache would transform itself and move — depending on how and where you looked at it.
If one were to think of time in linear and chronological terms, it would be impossible to dream forward.
Time is not necessarily a straight line of past, present, and future. It seems to be cyclical.
All of us dream — in vivid color or dramatic black and white. In deep slumber and when there is Rapid Eye Movement (REM), the mind is free to explore another terrain — the imaginary world and the subconscious.
Dreams are the collective memories of the past and the future. During the Alpha state, when one is between slumber and wakefulness, an automatic switch unlocks the brain’s data bank. Long stored images of forgotten events begin to flash onto the mind’s eye. It is like watching a disjointed, flickering old movie.
In the dream state, an individual with extra sensory perception (ESP) can “remember the future.” That dream is considered clairvoyant or prophetic.
A highly intuitive individual could solve complex problems or discover solutions while asleep. The answer comes in different forms — as seeing a situation with a different perspective, or a Eureka “Aha” moment.
We do not always remember our dreams unless we are suddenly awakened while dreaming during the REM phase.
Creative, imaginative individuals often dream in color. Their dreams are so clear and intense that they can almost see, smell, taste, hear and feel everything.
They have intensely moving dreams that are profoundly sad, frightening, haunting, bewildering or happy, and romantic.
While asleep, they talk, sleepwalk, laugh, cry, punch, wave, and make gestures.
Some people say that they never dream. Other say that when they dream, the recall indistinct forms and vague shadows, abstract flashback film clips.
Psychologists say that keeping a dream journal helps thread the dreams and connect them like chapters of a book, sequences of a movie. Some dreams are “replays” of recent episodes — with surprise twists. Others are projections of the subconscious and surreal fantasies.
Hidden desires and subconscious longings of the psyche appear in symbolic form. Underlying problems, anxieties and fears, pervasive feelings appear in recurring, disturbing dreams.
When people recall their dreams, they relate common experiences such as flying, falling, running after a speeding train and being unable to catch it; swimming against the current, sinking under the splashing waves.
Dreaming of being naked amidst a crowd could indicate a feeling of inadequacy, vulnerability, or guilt. The individual could be afraid of being exposed and he is threatened by the possibility of disclosure.
Confusion is often depicted as being on a Ferris wheel or a spinning carousel. Climbing mountains are performance-anxiety dream related to ambitious goals.
The phenomenon of déjà vu defy logic.
Under hypnosis, some individuals can remember significant or traumatic memories of a previous incarnation. They instantly recognize places or people they have never seen in this lifetime. Sometimes, the process of recognition provokes intense feelings of closeness, attraction or extreme dislike. It is inexplicable.
The accurate recollections of experiences are dreams. They may be valid or not but hey provide insights into an esoteric dimension.
To the lay person, the symbolism and surrealism of a dream is perplexing. What appears to be is not necessarily so. It is like seeing a mirage or an apparition in the desert.
Whenever one has recurring dreams, it means that an important issue or a deep conflict needs resolution. Analyzing the journal would reveal hidden facets.
A career woman often dreamed of a big antique closet filled with lovely lace white and pastel dresses. She longed to try to wear some of the frocks but she would always wake up. It recurred so she tried to draw some in her mind.
By chance, a dream analyst met her at an art event and they talked about that dream. He explained that these outfits were the roles that she had not yet played, things that she had not yet done. She nodded and forgot the comments.
Time went by.
Thirty years later, she had different dreams but that one about the closet was not there anymore. In the meantime, she had accomplished several important things, achieved difficult goals, and surpassed what she had set out to do.
She planted a tree, wrote a book, bore a child, and climbed a small mountain. She traveled to a few exotic places and received a measure of recognition for her achievements. Then one day, as she was meditating and walking by the seashore, she remembered what the analyst had said years ago. It finally made sense.
The blue space, the calm ambience opened yet another vista. A spiritual one.
Dreams may unravel a puzzle or solve a mystery.
By looking inward, one may find that flash of insight or inspiration for a scientific formula or practical invention, a composition, an artwork, a poem, a play.
Who knows what the dreamer can discover beyond the realm of logic?
Maria Victoria Rufino is an artist, writer and businesswoman. She is president and executive producer of Maverick Productions.