THE DREAMISM MANIFESTO
The Creation of Dreamoids
Real-Time Images from the Non-Physical Realms
by Frank Allen Lewis
A New Art Form for the 21st Century
The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. - Albert Einstein
- A new art form is proposed as the next stage in the evolution of the drawn image; it is called Dreamism.
- Whereas many art forms incorporate dream recall, imagination and the subconscious to produce an approximation of non-physical reality in the waking state, dreamism combines lucid dreaming, parasomnia limb movement and reflexive contour drawing to create pure dream images while in a conscious sleep state.
- The dream artist or Dreamist employs dream induction tools and techniques to access the higher frequencies of consciousness, revealing images that manifest the many realms of the cosmic mind and ultimately pure will.
- The body's normal sleep paralysis is by-passed through innate ability and a disciplined practice in focused visualization and auto-suggestion techniques. The drawn images are intuitively expressed by means of the dream eye to corporeal hand reflex arc.
- A unique design in drawing equipment provides for the continuous contact of graphite to paper enabling the creation of live real-time dream images or Dreamoids.
I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me. - Isaac Newton
Surrealism and Dreams
Surrealism represents the art of the subconscious mind, of dreams, fantasies, suppressed fears and desires. It is said to emerge spontaneously as an expression of an alternative state of being that exists beyond normal awareness. Surrealists believe in the power of the dream and describe their creative movement as the resolution of the two states of dreaming and reality. They draw, paint and sculpture dream images from memory and the subconscious.
Surrealism and Drawing
Drawing is the most direct means of communication available to the graphic artist and it is possible through it to release the imagination and make drawings of an inner world. We may notice after doodling on a piece of paper, that a few strokes can suggest something, such as a bird or a flower. Artists look for such accidental effects and try to exploit them.
Surrealists use automatic drawing (automatism) to assist in releasing the subconscious. They believe that if you allow your hand and arm to move freely, without conscious control, you will draw what is in your subconscious. These subconscious impulses guide the hand in matters of line and structure without rational planned interference; thus enabling the artist to express an inner state.
Paul Klee described drawing as "taking a line for a walk". Klee's art of free fantasy allowed him to draw lines on paper that eventually suggested a real or fantastic subject from his imagination. He was convinced that these found images were more real and true to nature than any drawing made from an object.
Salvador Dali used dreams to guide and control artistic creations that he executed in the waking state. Aromas, sounds and lights were used as sensory-neural triggers to generate creative dream images. In order to keep the freshness and accuracy of the dream image intact, the lag time between visualization and execution of the work was kept to a minimum using his "slumber with a key technique". The technique requires the artist to sit in a comfortable chair while suspending a heavy key between the thumb and forefinger directly over a plate placed on the floor. The artist enters a transitional dream-sleep state, the key subsequently falls onto the plate awakening the artist and the visualized images are immediately drawn or painted.
Limitations of Surrealism
The surrealists certainly understand and appreciate that dreams offer a gateway to images of truth and beauty. However, they have not progressed far enough along the dream path to produce an authentic portrayal of non-physical reality. They execute their works in the awakened state and their limited knowledge of dream architecture grants them only partial access to the various consciousness realms; and therefore only a glimpse of our intrinsic nature or "as-is-ness".
The limitations inherent in the surrealist's methodology allow for only an approximation of the various dream states. Random image occurrences, drawing time delays, memory recall difficulties, psychological blocks and filters, consciousness stream chatter, and observer-subject duality produce an inaccurate and unauthentic representation of the dreamscape.
However, there are ways to overcome these limitations and to capture dream images in real time with a conscious dream eye and a responsive corporeal hand. The observation of the dreamed image and the instantaneous drawing of that image produce a purer and more accurate description of the non-physical world. The methods and tools I have developed for this new art form are based on sound theory and practice and create images beyond the scope and capability of surrealism. I call this new art form dreamism and the artist a dreamist.
EVOLUTION & TRANSCENDENCE
Images From Beyond
To see a World in a Grain of a Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the Palm of Your Hand
And Eternity in an Hour.
- William Blake
Many in the creative community believe that this century's artists will stretch, subvert and overturn established limits and consequently will reinvent the immediacy of drawing. In that vein, I believe the next step in the evolution of surrealism to be dreamism. Dreamism is based on the premise that the dream world reveals our connection to the universal consciousness, which is our true nature and original face we had before we were born. Dreamism is a purposeful act of creation in the moment. The dreamist draws the viewed dream image while asleep and consciously dreaming. In a variation of Klee's metaphor on drawing, I liken this technique to "taking a line for a dreamwalk".
Dreamism combines conscious dreaming, parasomnic ability and seeing-drawing processes to capture real-time dreamscape images in their truest form. This new art form produces images that are well beyond the capability of surrealism. It endeavors to accurately capture the purity and authenticity of the dream world by enabling the dreamist to draw these images while in a waking and conscious sleep.
Dreamism relies on three learned and/or intrinsic abilities:
1. Lucid dreaming - a conscious dream control state where one views with the dream eye an image in the dreamscape and simultaneously draws that image with the material world hand/finger. Awake-initiated lucid dream techniques and brainwave entrainment technologies allow the dreamist to go directly and seamlessly from the waking state to the lucid dream state.
2. Parasomnia motion - a sleep abnormality which enables one to overcome normal sleep paralysis and draw while dreaming; usually a genetic attribute, it can be learned and acquired using focused visualization and auto-suggestion exercises.
3. Intuitive Seeing-Reflex Drawing - a process which de-conditions the eye from looking at to seeing an object's true nature. An object is intuitively viewed and automatically drawn. As applied to dreamism, the dreamscape reflects our true nature and the viewed dream eye image is reflexively drawn by the physical world hand.
Accessing Higher Consciousness States of the Non-Physical World
Life is but a dream, it's what you make it - The Harptones
Lucid or conscious dreaming refers to being consciously aware that you are dreaming while the dream is taking place. There are different skill levels of conscious dreaming. They range from simply being aware that you are dreaming, to being able to control your own actions in the dream, to ultimately being able to control dream events and the dream environment.
At the outset, you learn how to recognize when you are dreaming and how to hold onto that conscious awareness throughout the dream. Thereafter, you progress to:
● inducing a lucid dream from the waking state
● programming or incubating dreams about desired events
● controlling your actions within your dream
● controlling events or surroundings within your dream
Lucid dreaming tools and techniques may include auto-suggestion and focused visualization techniques, light and sound brainwave entrainment devices, auditory and visual signal triggers, sensory deprivation and controlled environments. For example, a wake-initiated lucid dream technique combined with binaural sounds can provide a simple yet highly effective method of inducing a conscious dream state and a faster and more direct route to the many realms of the non-physical world.
Wake-Initiated Lucid Dream Induction1
The wake-initiated lucid dream technique requires considerable practice but offers the ability to induce lucid dreams directly from the waking state. The most common strategy to induce lucid dreaming incorporates hypnagogic imagery and proceeds as follows:
● Relax completely with eyes closed; use a sleep mask to block out all light.
● Observe the visual images in the mind field - initially you see simple images, flashes of light, geometric patterns and gradually more complex forms, faces, people and entire scenes.
● Enter the waking dream.
● Develop and maintain a conscious yet unobtrusive observation and be drawn into the dreamscape; resolve to carry out a particular action in the dream to maintain lucidity. Auto-suggestion and auditory/visual cues ensure the drawing of dream images.
Binaural-Assisted Lucid Dream Induction2
Binaural sounds are used to simultaneously create identical wave forms in both left and right brain hemispheres; this process is called hemispherical synchronization. Binaural beats occur when two coherent sounds of nearly similar frequencies are presented one to each ear using headphones. The brain integrates the two signals producing the sensation of a third sound called the binaural beat. It is not the actual sound, but an electrical signal that produces a focused state of consciousness. Select blends and sequences of binaural beats evoke a variety of focused states of awareness along the continuum of consciousness.
Overcoming Sleep Paralysis
Parasomnia & Limb Movement3
The things of the universe are not sliced off from one another with a hatchet, neither the hot from the cold nor the cold from the hot. - Anaxagoras.
Parasomnia is a sleep abnormality which enables us to overcome normal sleep paralysis and accounts for about 10% of sleep disorders. They are generally divided into two categories - those that affect rapid eye movement sleep (REM) and those that stem from non-REM sleep. These sleep disturbances reflect a model of the mind in which waking, sleeping and dreaming are distinct neurodynamic states lying along a continuum and separated by fuzzy boundaries. It is these fuzzy boundaries that permit the dreamist to overcome normal sleep paralysis and draw images of the dreamscape.
An overlap of REM and non-REM behavior disorders is characterized by changes in the nature and range of dreams and a loss of muscle paralysis that allows us to act out our dreams. Parasomnia limb movement is due to genetic factors and chemical imbalances. However, the ability to draw while in a waking sleep can be acquired through a combination of focused imagery and verbalization techniques.
Creating Real-Time Live Images of the Dreamscape
Intuitive Seeing, Contour Drawing and the Reflex Arc4
The Meaning of Life is to See. - Hui Neng, 7th century
Seeing, of course, is the final accomplisment of a man of knowledge, and seeing is attained only when one has stopped the world through the technique of not-doing. Journey to Ixtlan - Carlos Castaneda
Contour drawing involves intuitively seeing the form as it is delineated. In effect, one is "touching" the contours of an object with the eye as the drawing tool moves along its contours freely and without self-consciousness. It is called blind contour drawing when the artist does not look at the drawing for feedback, or is blindfolded, or in the dark and cannot see the drawing.
Abstract expressionist, Willem de Kooning created "blind drawings" and drew with a paper pad on his knees and eyes closed. De Kooning wanted to transcend his knowing hand and find a fresher, rougher, more unexpected truth. He was searching for a new approach to producing works that rely on instinct, feeling and touch and that emerge from somewhere deeper.
Artist and philosopher, Frederick Franck used a similar technique, which he called seeing-drawing, to create his works. Franck's seeing-drawing process relies on direct intuitive contact, heart to heart with the image observed. It aims to de-condition the eye from looking at to actually seeing an object's true nature.
The image traced by the drawing tool acts like a seismograph. The pencil or pen is the seismometer stylus that registers the slightest tremors on the retina. Success in seeing-drawing comes through endless practice in coordinating eye and hand and jotting down whatever one sees. Without tricks, shortcuts or manuals, the artist relies on the innate, the instinctive, and on the inner eye and heart. Every drawing becomes an exercise in the fine-tuned coordination of eye and hand and each new image becomes more sensitive, truthful, pure and authentic.
Blind contour drawing and seeing-drawing create a state of consciousness that allows bits of higher consciousness to slip through the observer-object duality of our physical world existence. At such moments, we get a glimpse of the as-is-ness of things. The dreamist's tools and techniques provide immediate and total access to this pure state where the dream eye can see the universe's true nature and its many realms.
Through an adaptation of the aforementioned processes, it is my objective to stimulate that same awakening in the dream world by focusing full attention on what the dream eye perceives and to allow the physical world drawing instrument to intuitively follow the contours of the dream image. The procedure uses the tools of self-hypnagogic imagery, auto-suggestion, sound frequency induction and audio-visual cues to journey to and capture real-time images of the dreamscape. At the instant seeing-drawing is realized, our will commands the hand to move in obedience to the dream eye and find its own technique. The drawn image is invited to express itself by means of the dream eye to material hand reflex arc. The technique requires continuous and disciplined practice to refine the balance of intention and intuition - of doing and not doing.
Specially designed drawing equipment (finger-tip stylus with wrist-attached drawing paddle) ensures contact of lead to paper to create real-time dream images. The resulting thumbnail drawings are enlarged and reproduced onto canvas or paper. The larger image size emboldens its dignity, purity and authenticity and captures the viewer's total attention.
Drawings of the Dreamscape
There is no large no small, Infinity lies before my eyes
- Seng-T'san, 6th century
New art should be irreverent, different, against the grain and in your face. Consequently, many great artists have had to "unlearn" their formal training in order to create original break-through works. Their goal was to depict through their creations the truth of our existence - our true face and nature in all of its simple beauty.
Likewise, dream drawings are as direct and nakedly truthful as the movement of the hand that obediently records what the dream eye sees. The resulting images are Zen-like in their simplicity with a raw quality that lacks pretense. And their dream likeness earns them the label - Dreamoid.
Early dream drawings usually reflect personal and cosmic karma-influenced imagery. However, as the dreamist progresses to higher frequencies and deeper realms of consciousness, the images manifest as pure representations of the intrinsic quality of the universe. And although it can be said that all dream states and images are truths, disciplined dreamism practice ultimately brings consciousness into the central channel of pure will, free of the dualistic vision of polarities, dichotomies and karmic traces. The journey completed, we see our truest nature - images of pure love, truth and innocence.
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
A New "ism" for the 21st Century
Phaedrus was a master with his knife. With a single stroke of analytic thought he split the whole world into parts of his own choosing, split the parts and split the fragments of the parts, finer and finer until he had reduced it to what he wanted it to be.
- Robert M. Pirzig Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
I am proposing a new art form whose scope surpasses that of surrealism and have developed the theory, tools and techniques needed to create pure and authentic dream images. I call this art form dreamism and the artist, a dreamist. Unlike surrealism, which emanates from the artist's memory, imagination and subconscious, dreamism is created immediately by the dreamist's seeing dream eye and intuitive corporeal hand. An artistic and scientific breakthrough, dreamism opens the gateway between the physical world and the dream world. The dreamist draws real-time images from the various nonphysical realms of consciousness and ultimately from the central channel of the cosmic mind.
In summary, I liken dreamism to drawing the viewed image while on location - an en plein air of the dreamscape or as I have coined it - en plein re've. Dreamism captures the raw depth, purity and authenticity of the non-physical universe.
Artists and scientists are in pursuit of the same goals - beauty and truth. John Keats tells us in his poem Ode on a Grecian Urn - "Beauty is truth, truth beauty - that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know". In this same pursuit, Dreamism offers a pathway to the knowledge and wisdom that is the human will and the universal consciousness. Dreamism reveals images that are all knowing and that reflect the purity and divinity of this truth. It allows for a real-time record of seeing the true nature of the self and the universe and that ultimately we may know the cosmic mind.
As to my personal journey, I see myself as an inner-space explorer sending back images of mysterious worlds and excited to share my discoveries. It is my hope that the process and resulting art work will provoke ideas and emotions as well as help to communicate a greater truth. I leave to you, the art community, these things to think about and to dream about; and I respectfully offer a new "ism" for the 21st century.
- Stephen LaBarge, PhD, Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming, (NewYork: Ballantine, 1990).
- Robert A. Monroe, Far Journeys, (New York: Doubleday, 1985).
- J. Allan Hobson, Dreaming: An Introduction to the Science of Sleep, (USA: Oxford University Press, 2004).
- Frederick Franck, Zen Seeing, Zen Drawing, (New York: Bantam, 1993).