The Science That Came From Dreams

One of the most illogical aspects of materialism has to do with the fact that supposedly unreal inner states of consciousness directly influence the material world. So there are these invisible forces that are creating the external reality we collectively inhabit, but we’ve convinced ourselves they’re “not real” and therefore not significant. Again, we don’t treat the other invisible forces that shape our reality (like say gravity) this way, but we do with things like dreams. Zero logic there whatsoever. Anywho, here’s a great article from Reality Sandwich about scientists who had that that eureka moment in another realm and turned their visions into reality.

“Alfred Nobel should have won a Nobel Prize! Only there wasn’t one yet—he had to endow it himself—and mostly the world does not know that the inspiration for the explosives that made Nobel wealthy emerged from sleep, and in the middle of the night. And we will see that many of the great scientific, humanitarian, and creative inventions for which the innovators received Nobel’s prizes came through the dream portal.

Our first example chronologically preceded the institution of the Nobel Prize, and in fact August von Kekulé, who, as the founder of modern organic chemistry, and received many honors equivalent to the prize, lived in exactly the same era as Nobel. (However, early in the 1900s, Kekulé’s chemistry students Jacobus van t’Hoff (1901), Emil Fischer (1902), and Adolf von Baeyer (1905) did each win the Nobel Prize.)

During the early part of the nineteenth century chemistry had come to a halt—a seemingly insuperable enigma blocked the way. The periodic table of the elements, itself a gift from the dream cauldron to scientist Dmitri Mendeleev, had been largely articulated. As a result of his dream, Mendeleev organized the table to show the relationship between those basic elements—hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, and so on, based on their valencies (their tendency to bond, due to positive or negative charge, based on electrons and protons). But there lay a great unknown beyond—organic compounds: the stuff of living matter, the missing link between chemistry and biology—that still lay shrouded in mystery. For example, the compounds urea and ammonium cyanate each contained equal amounts of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen atoms (in the ratio: 1:4:1:2) but had extremely different chemical properties. Why?

Chemists, around this time “were working in the dark,” suggests science writer Royston Roberts. There was no structural theory of organic compounds, nor how the elements that formed them, held together.

Kekulé, who first wanted to be an architect, was inspired by the chemical pioneer Justus von Liebig. After his graduation from university he gained a position, first at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, then at Ghent, in Belgium. But it was while he was residing in Clapham, England, that the first great vision happened—in some ways more like a daydream than a dream. He was riding on the upper level of a bus, heading toward his residence, when

I fell into a reverie, and lo, the atoms were gamboling before my eyes. Whenever, hitherto, these diminutive beings had appeared to me, they had always been in motion, but, up till that time I had never been able to discern the nature of their motion. Now, however, I saw how the larger ones formed a chain, dragging the smaller ones after them but only at the ends of a chain.

Then the conductor shouted out “Clapham Road!” and awakened Kekulé from dreaming. That was, he said, the beginning of the structural theory for which he became justly famous.

It was when he was in residence in Ghent, Belgium, in an “elegant bachelor’s quarters,” that the sequel occurred: benzene was a volatile aromatic from whale oil, used in lamps and public lighting all over Europe, and which contained carbon and oxygen in equal proportions.22 (The same aromatic compound was also found in the tar distilled from coal.) It was tremendously useful and very ­important—but no one could suggest a structural pattern for the molecule, which contained an equal amount of carbon and oxygen atoms (six of each). Both of the quoted passages herein are from Kekulé’s own lips, in the speech given, at an occasion to honor him and his discovery, in Berlin’s City Hall, in 1890.

I was writing on my own textbook, but the work did not progress, my thoughts were elsewhere. I turned my chair to the fire and dozed.

Again the atoms were gamboling before my eyes. This time the smaller groups kept modestly in the background. My mental eye, rendered more acute by repeated visions of this kind, could now distinguish larger structures of manifold conformation: Long rows sometimes more closely fitted together all twining and twisting in snake-like motion. But look! What was that? One of the snakes had seized hold of its own tail, and the form whirled mockingly before my eyes. As if by a flash of lightning, I awoke; and this time also I spent the rest of the night in working out the consequences of the hypothesis.

Though some scientists have since disputed that there could be anything like a dream at the basis of Kekulé’s profound discovery, the forgoing are his own words.”

Read the rest over at Reality Sandwich. It’s from the new book The Transformational Power of Dreaming by Stephen Larsen and Tom Verner.

I’m partly posting this because my wife had a blatant precognitive dream last weekend and when she brought it up to me I’m like, yep. I’ve documented this stuff publicly now on multiple occasions (support the site and check out my book). When it happens to you once you can dismiss it as chance, but by the 30th time you then have to come to the conclusion that just like at every other point in history, we currently don’t have a clue what we’re talking about really. That’s not a conformist position, it’s a rational one.

Thad McKraken

Thad McKraken

Thad McKraken is a psychedelic writer, musician, visual artist, filmmaker, Occultist, and pug enthusiast based out of Seattle. He is the author of the books The Galactic Dialogue: Occult Initiations and Transmissions From Outside of Time, both of which can be picked up on Amazon super cheap.
Thad McKraken