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Über dieses Buch

This book demonstrates how analytical thinking and intuition can be systematically connected and trained. It is illustrated by figures and photographs and includes creative and stimulating exercises.

We are living in a world of increasing complexity, in which perceiving reality accurately is increasingly important and difficult. Society’s need to address “global grand challenges” requires that the scientific community initiates inter-disciplinary research programmes. These are often far removed from current programmes, which are usually based on intra-disciplinary science. Improving our understanding of complex problems and communicating this understanding to a large group of people from different backgrounds represents an important educational challenge.

Connecting Analytical Thinking and Intuition stimulates students and scientists to improve their skills in thinking, communicating and learning more about being humans. A guide to connecting analytical thinking and intuition is presented using the “dream group” method developed by Montague Ullman, in which a group of 6–8 people systematically and carefully helps the dreamer to appreciate dreams. The importance of good memory, which can be trained through recalling the dreams, is also discussed in relation to science and literature.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction

Most people know that when struggling with a problem, the answer may come more easily after a good night’s sleep. While we are sleeping, our minds continue to work and organize the impressions gathered in daytime. It is easy to find examples of brilliant scientists who made discoveries inspired by dreams.
Anders Omstedt

Chapter 2. Catch the Dream

When I was around thirty-years old, I felt a strong need to develop a new language that could better express my feelings and ideas. I felt frozen and trapped by many expectations.
Anders Omstedt

Chapter 3. Finding Words for Feelings

I am out sailing in a large modern sailing boat. We have strong winds behind us and all the sails are unfurled. I am on deck tending to the sails. Suddenly, I see my young son climbing up onto the deck and then falling into the sea. I rush to the tiller and turn around the sailing boat. A man helps me to bring my son on board.
Anders Omstedt

Chapter 4. Meaning of Symbols

Dream symbols can illuminate feelings in both dramatic and comic ways. I had the above dream at about the turn of this century, just after I moved from one job in Norrköping, a city near the Baltic Sea coast, to another job in Göteborg, a city on the Kattegat coast. The motor boat symbolizes my situation in life, travelling from one city to another. The symbol of the Nazi military ship seizing my life illustrates the pressure I was experiencing in taking this new job.
Anders Omstedt

Chapter 5. Triggers

Dreams start from feelings generated in our daily lives but do not end there. Certain feelings experienced during the day remain with us and enter into the domain of sleep. These lingering feelings play an important role in dream creation and often obtain energy from important and still-unresolved personal issues. All of us bear the burden of earlier life experiences that make us vulnerable, at the same time as we are facing a future replete with challenges. We often need to suppress feelings of, for example, stress and anger to be able to cope with daily life. This internal stress often triggers dreams expressed in a language of feelings.
Anders Omstedt

Chapter 6. To Be Touched

Dreams, poetry, art, literature, music, religion, and science all engage different parts of the human creative faculty and we can be touched by various aspects of these endeavours. Perhaps one can say that the joy of learning is one of the most important drivers of progress in life.
Anders Omstedt

Chapter 7. Exploring the Unconscious and the Unknown

I am out sailing in an old sailing ship. We are sailing towards a large city and we are in a hurry – maybe someone is following us? We are under full sail, and suddenly the mainmast is breaking. On board are the male crew as well as women and children. The women and children must be rescued first. Three children are inside the ship, and two are weeping because they are surrounded by flying bats, some of which are perching on the children. The third child explains that, because of the light from above, the bats like to stay on the boat and that they are not dangerous.
Anders Omstedt

Chapter 8. Inspiration

I am on the Swedish west coast in an older time. We are staying in a house by the sea, waiting for some people coming from the sea. I ask my brother to prepare for the visit. I see now that the guests are coming—an old sailing ship with two masts is approaching. When the ship comes closer the water level sinks and a large stone becomes visible. The crew sails the ship near the stone. They throw an electric net over the stone and blast it into thousands of pieces that, like a white cloud, disappear in the air. I tell everyone in the house to stay away.
Anders Omstedt

Chapter 9. Searching for the Emotional Context

The dreams described in the previous chapters exemplify also a search for identity. I am an identical twin with a brother who was born shortly after me. We were raised according to the doctrine that one should treat twins equally; today, the belief is that parents should support the development of each person’s personality. We were treated equally and became dependent on each other. We were dressed in similar clothes and were often confused with each other by our neighbours. We had become The Twins. At the age of fifteen years, we started to diverge and began dressing in clothes that did not look the same, though we often failed in this as we tended to choose very similar styles. Identical twins generally share the same DNA, but already in the womb they start to differ due to random events occurring in all cells. For example, twins do not have the same fingerprints or suffer the same illnesses. My awareness grew of the importance of understanding who I was, but it was not until I began working with my dreams that I could strengthen my own identity and gradually realize that my brother and I were two quite different persons. Dream work provided great support in finding my identity, often activating two equally important parts of my inner mind, one brave and one scared. Literature gave me lots of inspiration, and I was now reading in a new way, looking for myself, my brothers, my family, and my colleagues in the texts I read.
Anders Omstedt

Chapter 10. Playback and Meaning

To free myself of feelings of being frozen and trapped by expectations, I started to explore science, literature, and dreams to discover my own feelings and inspiration. I was now seeking the very source of my feelings—to find the Nile River within myself, as it were. Seeking the truth is a journey without a known destination. The philosopher Karl Popper stated that we can know nothing completely; instead, he developed the falsifiability criterion for distinguishing science from non-science. For example, no number of observations of white swans disproves the possibility of black swans—by finding just one black swan, one can easily falsify the statement that all swans are white. By contrast, appreciating the importance of dreams and feelings leads to an “aha” moment. This is not a verifiably true idea but rather a vision or realization that does not follow logical rules. The falsifiability criterion does not apply to dreams, as it is only the dreamer who can interpret their message. In the search for oneself, the memories that surface within dreams and the “aha” moment build our personal identity.
Anders Omstedt

Chapter 11. Strengthen Humanity

Many of us are trying to learn from our unconscious dimension, and we all know that we can never fully understand what is hidden there. Many secrets there can be brought to light and understood in various ways, and many methods are available to advance this exploration. Science, religion, literature, art, music, and dreams all illuminate important aspects of being human. Where our conscious and unconscious dimensions meet is the playground of creativity. Of course, hard work is needed and many scientists who explore their subjects in great depth sooner or later need to work on their own personalities.
Anders Omstedt

Chapter 12. Science and Dreams

We are living in a time of accelerating information flows calling for our attention. Every day our brains must accommodate masses of information and deal with the attendant frustration. Do our lives have to become more fragmented or can we find a way to integrate them? Ullman stated that, in principle, there are two ways of knowing the world and our relationship with it: the first is the way of scientific knowledge and the second is the way discerned in our dreams. He also regarded dreaming as an adaptation concerned primarily with the survival of the species and only secondarily with the individual.
Anders Omstedt

Backmatter

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