“The Committee of Sleep: How Artists, Scientists, and Athletes Use Their Dreams for Creative Problem Solving—And How You Can Too” by Deirdre Barrett

"The Committee of Sleep: How Artists, Scientists, and Athletes Use Their Dreams for Creative Problem Solving—And How You Can Too" by Deirdre Barrett

"Taking her title from John Steinbeck's observation that "It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it," Harvard psychologist and world-renowned dream researcher Deirdre Barrett, Ph.D. demonstrates that answers, ideas, and inspiration do indeed come to us in dreams. This rich collection includes examples of how the world’s most creative practitioners in art, music, film, science, literature and other fields have used the revelations of their dream life to inform their work. Dr. Barrett also offers insights showing us how to encourage more lucid, meaningful dreaming, and how to apply the meanings of our dreams to solving problems—from the everyday to the extraordinary.

In the visual arts, Jasper Johns couldn't find his unique artistic vision until he dreamed it in the form of a large American flag. Salvador Dali and his colleagues built the startling new genre of surrealism out of dreams. Kubla Khan dreamed the design for his stately pleasure dome; thousands of years later, Lucy Davis, chief architect at a major firm, continues the tradition of dreaming designs into life in her extraordinary buildings. Film is a particularly fertile avenue for dreams: "Twice I have transferred dreams to film exactly as I had dreamed them," confides director Ingmar Bergman, as have Federico Fellini, Orson Welles, Akira Kurosawa, Robert Altman, and John Sayles. From Mary Shelley's terrible nightmare, which became Frankenstein, to Stephen King’s haunting dream as a little boy, which led to his first bestseller, countless writers have consulted the Committee. Musicians from Beethoven to Billy Joel and Paul McCartney have whistled the Committee’s tunes. In science, many dream of winning a Nobel Prize, but physiologist Otto Loewi dreamed the medical experiment that earned him the prize in real life. In sports, Marion Jones dreamed she'd broken a world record, then brought the dream to life. Gandhi translated his dream of resistance into a movement that changed the world. These are only some of the biggest dreams ever dreamed; many more are described in these pages.

Since Freud, we take it for granted that our dreams tell us something about where we are and where we have been. Now, in The Committee of Sleep, Barrett has gathered a surprisingly diverse and colorful set of examples and vividly reveals how dreams can also tell us where we could possibly go—and how to get there. Read this book, sleep on it, and see what transpires!"