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The Dream is a Poem, the Poem is a Dream. An Approach to the Thymophor – A Basic Unit of Creativity. Ernest Hartmann, M.D. June 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "The Dream is a Poem, the Poem is a Dream. An Approach to the Thymophor – A Basic Unit of Creativity. Ernest Hartmann, M.D. June 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Dream is a Poem, the Poem is a Dream. An Approach to the Thymophor – A Basic Unit of Creativity. Ernest Hartmann, M.D. June 2012

2 What is a Dream? Start with the simplest case: The Tidal Wave Dream

3 I was walking along a beach somewhere. It wasn’t exactly like any of the beaches I know, I think my friend Jan was with me. Suddenly, a huge wave reared up out of the ocean and totally engulfed us. I’m not sure what happened after that. I struggled and struggled to get to the surface. There was no one else with me. I’m not sure whether I made it, and I awoke, terrified.

4 Fear, Terror A huge tidal wave is coming at me. A house is burning and no one can get out. A gang of evil men, Nazis maybe, are chasing me.

5 Helplessness, Vulnerability I dreamt about children, dolls — dolls and babies all drowning. He skinned me and threw me in a heap with my sisters; I could feel the pain, I could feel everything. There was a small hurt animal lying in the road.

6 Grief A mountain has split. A large round hill or mountain has split in two pieces, and there are arrangements I have to make to take care of it. A huge tree has fallen down. I’m in this huge barren empty space. There are ashes strewn all about.

7 Dream ID# 1. CI? (Y/N) 2. What is it? 3. Intensity (rate 1-3) 4. What emotion?5. Second emotion? Scoring for the CI (Central Image)

8 I was walking along a beach somewhere. It wasn’t exactly like any of the beaches I know, I think my friend Jan was with me. Suddenly, a huge wave reared up out of the ocean and totally engulfed us. I’m not sure what happened after that. I struggled and struggled to get to the surface. There was no one else with me. I’m not sure whether I made it, and I awoke, terrified.

9 Most Recent Dream Dream that Stands Out Most Recent Daydream Daydream that Stands Out

10 Waking Sleep Onset NREM REM

11 CI Intensity Cases CI Intensity Score Mean of Student Group

12 CI Scores in the Trauma Group (N = 10) Versus Matched Student Control Group (N = 30) (Mean ± S.E.M.)

13 CI Scores in Students Reporting Abuse or No Abuse 1.12 ± ± 1.0 * t = 2.63, p = 0.01

14 Methods: Participants Complete data sets obtained from 44 persons, living in the US who have recorded their dreams every morning for years. 33 women, 11 men. Mean age about 50. 9/11 STUDY

15 Methods Each participant provided 20 dreams — the last ten recorded before 9/11 and the first ten after 9/11, without any selection or alteration.

16 Methods: Scoring All dreams were scored on a blind basis for CI intensity, emotion pictured by the CI, dreamlikeness, and vividness. Dreams were also scored on three ad-hoc scales of content: 1) attacks 2) buildings like WTC or pentagon 3) airplanes, and on a scale of nightmare-likeness

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18 Results: After vs. Before 9/11 Bef Aft Dif t p CI one-tailed Length NS D-like NS Viv NS

19 Results, continued Bef Aft Dif t p Attacks <.01 Bldgs NS Planes NS NM-like <.05

20 Emotions Before and After 9/11

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22 Conclusions: If we can generalize from these 44 dream journalers, our dream imagery overall was more intense after 9/11/01 than before.

23 Conclusions (continued): However, dreams after 9/11/01 were not significantly longer, more dreamlike or more vivid. They did not contain more references to buildings or airplanes. They did contain slightly more references to attacks and they were scored as slightly more nightmare-like.

24 Conclusions (Overall) Consistent with previous studies the intensity of the dream’s central image (CI) appears to be a measure of emotional arousal or emotional power.

25 The Central Image (CI) is what makes “big” dreams big.

26 “Big” Dreams: CI Intensity CI Intensity Student Sample N = 37 (74 Ds) Internet Sample N = 162 (324 Ds) p <.01 p <.001

27 “Big” Dreams: CI Intensity N = 57 (114 Dreams); t (113) = 2.8, p <.01 CI Intensity

28 “Big” Dreams: CI Intensity N = 23 CI Intensity N = 300 X ± S.E.M. N = 57 (114 Dreams); t (113) = 2.8, p <.01

29 “Big” Dreams: CI Intensity CI Intensity N = 34 N = 300 X ± S.E.M.

30 Dreaming is hyperconnective. Dreaming is making connections guided by emotions. –In the simplest case, the CI of the dream actually pictures the emotion. Dreaming always makes new connections: The dream is always a creation, not a replay. Thus, the dream can be considered a work of art or the beginning of one.

31 Art (from the Encyclopedia Britannica) “The creation of a work of art is the bringing together of a new combinations of elements in the medium (tones in music, words in literature paints in painting, and so on). Creation is the re-combination of pre-existing materials.” …. “guided by the artist’s emotion.”

32 The Dream and the Poem Is the Objective Correlative of the poem the same as the Central Image of the dream?

33 T.S. Eliot: “The only way of expressing emotion in the form of art is by finding an ‘objective correlative;’ in other words, a set of objects, a situation, a chain of events which shall be the formula of that particular emotion.” Oxford: The Objective Correlative is “an external equivalent for an internal state of mind; thus any object, scene, event, or situation that may be said to stand for or evoke a given mood or emotion.”

34 “I should have been a pair of ragged claws Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.”

35 And What rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?

36 Ezra Pound: Melopoieia Phanopoieia Logopoieia

37 A “big” short poem is like a “big” short dream. Both depend on one or two powerful CIs.

38 “Big” Short Poems with Clear Central Images T.S. Eliot: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock W.B. Yeats: The Second Coming R. Frost: Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening S. Plath: Tulips W. Stevens: Of Mere Being W. Owen: Strange Meeting M. Arnold: Dover Beach W. Whitman: O Captain, My Captain P.B. Shelley: Ozymandias W. Blake: Tyger

39 Thymophor A basic unit of creating Dreaming Poetry Other arts, music Metaphor Archetypes, myths, stories Language, translation Boundaries

40 Boundaries, Dreams and Poetry People with relatively thin boundaries remember more dreams and have more emotional dreams. ( They also use more metaphor, like poetry more and are more likely to write poetry. )


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