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Reflections and Dreams: An Essay

May 6, 2015 | By

The dream world and the real world become as tenuous as can be, the blurring insignificance of what is and what can be! Who cares?


Enid Blyton’s mythic rabbits and animals. Image source: myth-and-fantasy.com

There is a lot in human nature to complain. In school we read a poem : ‘The Plaint Of The Camel’,  but that was  an imaginary ” complaint”; it was facetious as well. In some way, I think the alter ego of humans are animals. Humans write stories about them, compose poetry right from Enid Blyton’s mythic rabbits and animals, to the Orwellian myth of animals viewing men and women not only warily but with insouciance and a kind of contemptuous nonchalance. Then there are the rollicking ‘ animal ‘ stories of Gerard Durell. Again we have in the novels of William Golding a mythic  vision of man, the thralldom he has created for himself, the warring in him between flesh and body – in fact the shearing away of ‘ innocence ‘. And, what is its polarity, experience of course in the terms of William Blake. Aldous Huxley once said caustically that if William Wordsworth lived in the Tropics, he would not have established his credo of Pantheism in a scale of euphoria.

But cynics will always say something, the need to create a world which is fabulous as opposed to the ‘ real ‘ is an upsurge of creativity and radical thinking. The dream world and the real world become as tenuous as can be, the blurring insignificance of what is and what can be! Who cares? The creative impulse is motivated by a kind of subversion and even iconoclasm.

Carl Jung’s Memories, Dreams And Reflections is a brilliant exposition on the myth of dreams, but to him it was real, so real that he began to interpret every single dream of his- from dark nebulous to that of light, a fugitive resplendence. Is the lit darkness which William Golding spoke of with coherence, the kind of coherence which made to see life not in wholes, but in complex shades of light and darkness?


Carl Jung’s ‘Memories, Dreams, Reflections’. Image source: Goodreads.com

Yet what is creativity? Jung was not writing fiction or poetry, but in trying to grapple with his undying dreams, he was trying to make the fleeting and the evanescence permanent. Temporally and spatially creative artists transcend a blurring world of black and white. Freud’s interpretation of the child as an artist with an inherent wish fulfillment gave psychology a new dawn of truth. Where does the line end and begin- for example, when a child becomes an adult, what happens to the child-likeness and when the superannuated faces death, is there a regressive childhood?

Against this creative writing, painting, performing, the thespian’s world, philosophy, we still dream of a superman. Nietzche did it, but I am not sure he was very confident as he was enslaved into abject decrepitude.

So the moral is: give free fictive imagination  to your dreams. They will sustain you one day, and the day after, and the day after… Human civilization draws all its sustenance from them. And the Hegelian forces of antithesis will find themselves in the eternity of conflagration. Remember Hitler?

More to read

Wodehouse: The Wizard Of Words

Science and Religion

Lord of the Flies: Psychological Insights

Creative Writing

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Ananya S Guha has been born and brought up in Shillong, India and works in India's National Open University, the Indira Gandhi National Open University. His poems in English have been published world wide. He also writes for newspapers and magazines/ web zines on matters ranging from society and politics to education. He holds a doctoral degree on the novels of William Golding. He edits the poetry column of The Thum Print Magazine, and has published seven collections of poetry.
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