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The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (Reminiscence)

Dreams are one of the most intense and unique conscious experiences. Life as a dream is an idea that has deep spiritual and artistic implications. The famed expression which I used for the title often quoted as … the Dream of Mind Creates Beasts. It is often used to emphasize the negative result of ill-considered actions, somewhat similar to the factor of unintended consistencies. However, the origin of the idiom and artwork which belong to the Spanish painter and printmaker Francisco Goya is entirely different. The artist accompanied the print with the following illumination - When the mind is asleep, the fantasy in lethargic dreams gives a rise to monsters, but in combination with the mind, fantasy becomes the mother of art and all of its miraculous creations. Imagination in blending with an intellect gives birth not to monsters, but wonderful creations of art. Seemingly, monsters are not generated by the imagination itself and not in itself reason, but it is the dream of the latter.

This subject matter of dualism of dreams and reality is however is way more complex and entangled and it requires further clarification. In Goy’s interpretation the mind is called to vigilance, which restrains obsessive fantasies, which immediately take possession of a person's consciousness when the censorship of the mind is over feelings and the imagination is weakened by the state of sleeping. In a dream, a person does not think logically, and this allows us to assert that in a dream you are caught up in a game of your own imagination, the result of which seems to be an alien and dangerous. This interference of some outside forces intrudes upon the sovereignty of rationally structured consciousness. Such a train of thought turned the artistic allegory into an argument in favor of the authority of common sense. Perhaps, all of these assertions could be reasonable for the 17th century enlightenment. However, the contemporary state of neurological science and psychiatric discoveries make this point of views rather oversimplified.

The narrative power of dreams is well known, from spiritually uplifting beliefs, to revelations about the inner self that range from personal insight to pathological insanities. Generally speaking, one is not simply observing subconscious visions but can plan or even build an alternate reality. Rather, dreaming typically involves being deeply under control of the events experienced, without much power to manipulate them or wakeful awareness. Still, consciously attentive dreaming does happen. Lucid dreaming, in which one is aware that one is dreaming, can be described as a type of sustained attention to the manner in which one transitions into a dream state from waking consciousness. Lucid dreaming opens intriguing possibilities for the study of consciousness. If one can attend lucidly to an experience as a dream, what boundaries of such state of mind are? Despite all researches and discoveries we still do not have a good explanation for cognitive purpose or dreaming. Despite of numerous well documented cases, dreams remain as enigmatic as ever. What is the point of being able to see imaginative realities while dreaming and not being able to remember and-or to extract such revelations in the morning?

(Title Rus.) Сон Разума Рождает Чудовищ (реминисценция)
Software used: 3ds Max®, Adobe Photoshop®, Adobe Illustrator®, Photo Stock
George Grie, September 2017
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Dream art, neo-surrealism, romanticism, artwork, woman body, sky, wallpaper, floating, surreal idea, blue, female, underwater, shark, digital, wall cracks, eyes, cloud, bird, fantasy, fiction, fish, shattered, eagle, stones, monsters, ecstasy, flying, sculpture, figurine, space, Francisco Goya concept, dreaming, expression, print, enlightenment , surrealism, compilation, exaltation, person, portrait, romantic, Lorenzo Bernini, angelic, Blessed Ludovica, lucid, sleep, mystical, painting, spiritual, soul, daydreaming, artwork, allegorical, physiological
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