Saturday, January 30, 2016

Beethoven practices dream reentry

Dream reentry is one of the core techniques of Active Dreaming. We use a remembered dream as the portal for a conscious journey. This may be undertaken in reverie or in the shaman's way, with the aid of drumming. The principle is simple. If you have been somewhere in a dream, you can go there again, just as you might revisit a place in the ordinary world.
    Why would you want to do this? Maybe there was something fearful or challenging in a dream, and you know it is time to face that issue and seek to resolve it on the ground where it presented itself. Maybe there was someone in the dream - a departed loved one or a possible inner guide - with whom you would like to have sustained conversation. Maybe there is romance and adventure you would like to continue, or a mystery to be resolved. Maybe you want more information. Perhaps there is treasure in the dream, a creative discovery that you did not manage to bring into waking memory but which you sense may still be there, on the other side of the doorway.
    Beethoven reentered a dream to bring back some music his dream self had composed, but which eluded his waking memory.
    He recounted the episode in a letter from Baden dated September 10, 1821, to his friend Tobias Haslinger, to whom he dedicated the canon.*

Best of friends,
When I was in my carriage yesterday, on the way to Vienna, sleep overpowered me, the more so as I had scarcely ever had a good night's sleep (because of my early rising here). Now, as I was slumbering, I dreamed that I was travelling far away, no less far than Syria, no less far than India and back again; to Arabia, too, and at last I came even to Jerusalem. The Holy City reminded me of the Holy Scriptures; no wonder, then, that I thought of the man Tobias, too, and naturally this led me my thinking also of our little, during my dream journey, the following canon occurred to me :
Yet I had hardly awoken when the canon was gone and I could not recall a single note or word of it to my mind. However, when on the next day I returned here, in the same carriage (that of a poor Austrian musician) and continued my dream journey, though now awake, lo and behold, in accordance with the law of the association of ideas, the same canon occurred to me; now, waking, I held it fast, as once Menelaus held Proteus, and only granted it one last favour, that of allowing it to transform itself into three voices.
Perhaps the rolling rhythm of the horse-drawn carriage, which had drawn him into sleep and creative dreaming on the outward journey, helped Beethoven reenter his dream in a lightly altered state of consciousness, to bring back the music.

* Canon, O Tobias, WoO 182

Source:  Michael Hamburger (trans) Beethoven, Letters, Journals and Conversations (London: Thames and Hudson, 1984) p.177.


James Wilson said...

Dream reentry German style … Thanks for the story Robert. It is interesting to read how Beethoven managed to return to an important dream in this way.

It reminds me of a dream I had in november 2015. I ‘ve tried to go back in that dream but with little result. Nowadays I manage to return in a dream regularly, using a fragment that I remember. Using this fragment as startingpoint I can go back to what preceded before that fragment. This approach does not work on my dream of November.
I’m starting to think it’s because the fragment is not a fragment of a longer dreamstory, but just an isolated image on itself.

In this fragment I see Angela Merkel ( the German Chancellor ) walking into a great hall which is completely black. The floor, walls and ceiling are covered with shiny black tiles. It is not clear where this silver shine comes from, there is no lighting in this hall. There are no joints between the tiles. The tiles connect to each other.
At the end of the hall is a large black throne, made from the same material as the floor and walls. The throne looks 3 to 4 meters wide and high
On the throne sits a man. His skin, clothes and hair are made of the same kind of black stone, with the same shine. He looks like a statue. The man seems to be standing up, there is a space of 15 cm between his buttocks and the throne.
Angela Merking is looking at the throne, her face looks worried and a little older than at present.
On her left, behind her I see a hole in the wall. Through that hole I can see grass and green hills.

When I started to wake up I heard the phrase: “wears no crown, does have a throne, people from the black stone.”

The fragment that I’ve remembered looks like a snapshot. In my effort of returning to the dream, the only thing I managed to do was to walk through the hole in the wall. When I did I came in a green hilly landscape with a blue and sunny sky . It looked like a landscape in northern France, south Belgium or southern England. When Iooked at the place where the hall should stand, I only saw a hole hanging in this scene. Through the hole I only saw darkness.

Do you have any tips or advice of getting more information from just 1 isolated dreamfragment ? As long as it's not a ride in an old carriage :)

James Wilson said...

I forget to write that it's the 2nd time that this black figure appears in my dreams. In August 2012 I visited a museum or exhibition in my dream. At the end of this dream, 2 stone statues were brought inside. It was said that they were statues of the Pope. The first statue was white. The 2nd statue was jet black and looked almost exactly like the statue on the throne. And it had the same silvery shine over it.

Robert Moss said...

Before I comment on any dream, I want to know the feelings around it - especially the feelings right AFTER the experience. These are the best guide to the basic character of the dream, whether it has urgency, and so on. Since you are going back to a dream scene from a couple of months ago, perhaps I may assume that you feel this one is important. So I'll venture an immediate suggestion on that basis.

I would think about how Angela Merkel has the tremendously challenging task of containing the "dark forces" from the 20th century history of the German people, which are enjoying a disturbing revival because the public is deeply divided over the mass immigration of refugees from the Middle East. Since I (Robert) teach in Germany and am actually leading a program centered on ancestral healing in Berlin next June, I would carry this powerful and troubling vignette, suggesting the adamantine weight of the past, in trying to help people who are under the shadow of Germany's history.

James Wilson said...

Hi Robert thank you for your advice. It's true when I woke up from this dream it did feel important.
When I awoke, I felt rested and vivid. And the dream itself felt important. That's why I wrote down my dream in detail from my notes right after my breakfast. While I was writing, the black statue and black hall drew my attention. Seeing the worried look on Angela Merkel her face, I interpreted the statue and hall as a threatening element. But because I couldn’t discover any characteristic elements that could give me a clue ( for example an distinctive hairstyle, clothes, mustache or beard, any kind of emblem, sign or symbol) not on the statue or in the hall, I was not able to get some clarity about this.

The first time I reentered the dream, the shining black reminded me of the cover of the book: Hatred, The Psychological Descent into Violence by Willard Gaylin. I have read this book in 2006. The book's cover is a black glossy cover. Only the word Hatred is in color. In his book Willard Gaylin describes step by step the development into hatred, cultures of hate. And he takes us in his book to the roots of hatred. It’s a very interesting and good book to read.
Thinking of this book made me wonder whether the black statue (in his pose which looks like he is starting to get up from his throne) could be a symbol referring to this process. The beginnings of the process towards a culture of hatred such as W Gaylin describes. So I understand what you refer to in your post.

During another reentry the shining black reminded me of a cloaked spaceship like in the Star Trek series. I remember an episode when they attempted to reveal a cloaked spaceship by letting a torpedo detonated nest to it. The explosion covered the cloaked spaceship with a kind of gloss which made the contours of the spaceship visible for several seconds.
This made me wonder if the shining black of the hall and statue could indicate that they are hidden (cloaked) In order to keep the real picture, or object hidden.
The shocking incident in Cologne in Germany during the New Year celebration, where hundreds of women were assaulted and robbed in a few hours, made me wonder if this dream may have rhymed with this (then future) incident.

An important fact in this incident is that in the days before the incident the perpetrators have used their mobile phones to invite others (from outside of Germany as well ) to come to Cologne during the celebration. Most phones seem glossy black, making them look like the material of the hall and the statue.
And I wondered whether, if this dream was brought by dream guide who is unfamiliar with the phenomenon mobile phone, the device would be described by him or her as a black stone.

Again thanks for your advice. In the time to come I will try to reenter this dream again.