Dream Gates

Dream Gates


Mark Twain on drilling dream memory & dreaming parallel lives

posted by Robert Moss

- Mark Twain A.F.Bradley 1909In one of his later stories, “My Platonic Sweetheart”, Mark Twain wrote, “In our dreams — I know it! — we do make the journeys we seem to make, we do see the things we seem to see.”

He also described a practice for “drilling” the memory in order to catch more dreams and use them to discover the nature of the personality and of reality itself. “Few drill the dream-memory, and no memory can be kept strong without them.” The drill involves writing down dreams when they are fresh, then studying them and revisiting them and trying to figure out “what the source of dreams is, and which of the two or three separate persons inhabiting us is their architect.”

 Mark Twain’s experience was that in dreams we can find ourselves in parallel worlds where we lead a continuous life, usually forgotten after waking. In these parallel lives, we may be following a path from which we departed in ordinary life. We may find ourselves living with a lost love.

As a cub pilot, Sam Clemens (as he then was) was smitten by a lovely fourteen-year-old girl in braids called Laura Wright. He spent two days hours as close to her as he could get, then they were forced to separate and embarked on separate lives. Mark Twain’s notebook entries suggest that he dreamed of Laura, and a parallel life in which they were united, over most of his life.

He wrote enigmatically, in a letter in 1893: “I dreamed I was born, and grew up, and was a pilot on the Mississippi and a miner and journalist and had a wife and children — and this dream goes on and on and on, and sometimes seems so real that I almost believe that it is real. I wonder if it is?”  He wished to be able to migrate to a parallel world where he could be with loved ones from whom he was cruelly separated.

Adapted from The Secret History of Dreaming by Robert Moss. Published by New World Library. All rights reserved.

Photo: Taken in 1909 by A.F.Bradley. Public domain.



Previous Posts

Smellie's school of dreams
He was the first editor of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and his racy style and talent for aphorisms made it an immediate popular success. He was a friend of the poet Robert Burns, who described him as "that old Veteran in Genius, Wit and Bawdry.” Scientist, writer, master printer, natural phil

posted 10:50:13am Aug. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Walking Your Dreams
Janice likes to walk dreams, as you or I might walk the dog. Sometimes she walks her own dreams. As a teacher of Active Dreaming who plays guide for others, she often walks other people’s dreams, like one of those professional dog-walkers you see with half a dozen canines of all sizes on a fistful

posted 11:32:50pm Aug. 17, 2014 | read full post »

William James and the psychic dreamer on the bridge
Bertha Huse, a teenage mill girl, goes out for a walk in the cool morning mist of a New Hampshire fall. This is her habit, but her family worries when she does not return for breakfast and does not show up for work. A few hours later, a full-scale search is in progress. She likes to walk a Shaker br

posted 9:52:31am Aug. 11, 2014 | read full post »

What science tells us - and does not tell us - about dreams
What does science have to tell us about dreaming? One of the most important discoveries is that in modern urban society, few people sleep the way most humans did for all of our evolution before the introduction of artificial lighting. For hundreds of thousands of years, humans thought that what t

posted 1:20:31pm Aug. 06, 2014 | read full post »

Dreaming with the deceased
Many of us yearn for contact with departed loved ones. We miss them; we ache for forgiveness or closure; we yearn for confirmation that there is life beyond physical death. This is one of the main reasons why people go to psychic readers. Here's an open secret: we don't need a go-between to talk

posted 9:22:56pm Aug. 01, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.