“It was always when I first opened my eyes that the desired ideas thronged upon me.”- Sir Walter Scott, author of Ivanhoe, amongst other classics

“I woke with a start and witnessed, as from a seat in a theatre, three acts which brought to life an epoch and characters about which I had no documentary information and which I regarded moreover as forbidding.”- Jean Cocteau on the dream which inspired him to write the play, The Nights of the Round Table

“When he lay down to prepare himself for sleep, he no longer sought amusement, but printable and profitable tales.” And his dream producers accommodated him. He noticed they became especially industrious when he was under a tight deadline. When “the bank begins to send letters” his “sleepless Brownies” work overtime, turning out marketable stories…And for the Little People, what shall I say they are but just my Brownies, God bless them! who do one-half my work for me while I am fast asleep, and in all human likelihood, do the rest for me as well, when I am wide awake and fondly suppose I do it for myself. That part which is done while I am sleeping is the Brownies’ part beyond contention; but that which is done when I am up and about is by no means necessarily mine, since all goes to show the Brownies have a hand in it even then.”- Robert Louis Stevenson describing how the dream process and his fairy helpers who he called the Brownies, helped inspire him to write his famous works, including The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde

Whether ideas spring from one’s subconsciousness or from outside Muses, it is at this threshold between physical reality and sleep that epiphanies so often arise.

Why is this so? The hypnagogic state (defined by Merriam-Webster as the period of drowsiness preceding sleep) is the time when lights, flashing colors, geometric shapes, familiar and unfamiliar faces and scenes flow before the near-sleeper’s inner eye.

Author Robert Moss in Dreamgates calls this borderland, The Twilight Zone. He further writes, “Active dreamers tend to spend a lot of time in the twilight zone, even whole nights. In everyday life, the easiest way to embark on conscious dream journeys is to practice maintaining full awareness as dream images rise and fall during twilight states…As you spend more time in the twlight zone, you will discover a notable increase in both your creative activity and psychic awareness. Going with the flow of spontaneous imagery in the twilight zone puts you into the stream of the creative process. It puts you in league with your creative source, mediated by mentors who appear to you in the half-dream state.”

Whether it be for artistic endeavors, strategizing business, or scientific breakthroughs (Einstein stated his theory on the relativity of time came to him immediately upon awakening one morning) one of the best things one can do is to learn to utilize this borderland. To do so, get into bed early, before you are so exhausted that you’re bound to fall asleep right when your head touches the pillow. Try to stay awake and watch the colors, the lights, the shapes and scenes flow before your eyes. You need not do anything but try to stay alert as long as possible until you enter a trance-like state. At some point you will either fall asleep, or consciously enter a lucid dream. But that is a post for another day.

-sources. Robert Moss’s, Dreamgates

  1. Hi Harlow:) I have not dream in a long time. Perhaps because lack of sleep or my mind is still on my work to be finish; therefore, I am left restless twisting and turning throughout the night disturbing rem sleep (perhaps). One thing I can say is once my hand touch my pillow and my eyes are closed it take me less then 5 minutes to say hello lala land:)

  2. Hey Lora! 🙂

    Something I do (which may be of help to you as well) is when I lie down, I go over all the things I accomplished during the day. Then I list the things i want/need to do the next day. That helps quiet my mind from further dwelling on those things.

  3. Stephen Thom says:

    Lucid dreaming! You should listen to binaural beats if you like this type of thing 🙂

  4. Hi Stephen,

    I actually do listen. 🙂

    I take it that you are also a practioner?

    • Stephen Thom says:

      I like to listen to binaural beats, less the ones with isochronic tones, or actual bits of music. Always feel like I’ve slept really heavily and have crazy vivid dreams. I get paranoid about my headphones wrapping round my neck though. I don’t know too much about l. Dreaming but I have tried keeping a dream diary, doing the dreaming awareness stuff, trying not to roll over when I’m trying to fall asleep etc 😉 interesting stuff 🙂

  5. Stephen,

    you might like the book I mentioned in the post, Dream Gates. It’s a pretty thorough look on the subject of lucid dreaming, and written in an engaging style.

    Dream diaries are great not only for lucid dreaming, but for understanding your own symbols. Much better than those dream dictionary books that try to give pat answers for everyone.

    and yes, be careful with those headphones. 😉

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