Aleksandra Bzdzikot




Salvador Dali, Freud and dreams

Salvador Dali was an eccentric painter of the surreal, who liked to shock and astonish the public. Lately, I had a chance to see one of his paintings live in Madrid, in Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. The Museum houses one of his paintings, the meaning of which is not so easy to decipher. The title of this artwork is as long as the morning queue to get a coffee from John Baker's at Zurich Stadelhofen: "Dream caused by the flight of a bee around a pomegranate about a second before waking up". 


I took this as a great opportunity to share with you some thoughts on where from did he get his inspiration to produce such bizzare paintings. 




One of the explanations for his non-standard lifestyle and the philosophy of dreams that he later followed, may lie with his peculiar childhood. Before he was born, his mother gave birth to his elder brother, who, interestingly enough, was named 'Salvador Dali'. This first Salvador died at just 22 months old, not living even a full year of life.  Exactly nine months later his mother gave birth to our Salvador (second). Since he resembled his dead brother and was born exactly 9 months after his death, his parents believed that he was the reincarnation of his dead brother. 

How fascinating it can be! There are many similar cases, where people were reborn to their families, for example, a mother of a daughter, who died in a car crash, was later reborn as her own daughter's daughter. Anyways, getting back to our Salvador's childhood. When he was 5 his parents took him to the grave of his dead younger brother and told him that he is his reincarnation. Can you imagine what effect telling a young boy, that he actually is his brother incarnated, may have on his psyche?


This might have influenced Dali's vision of himself and the world and make him keen to explore the world of dreams and the mysterious side of life.



Some say that dreams are portals into other worlds or dimensions. Sigismund Freud developed a theory, in which he claimed that dreams play an indispensable and important role in shaping our soul and psyche. A dream is an imagery language of our mind, the way to discover the unconscious. 

I believe that when we dream, our soul goes out for a walk :-) Quite often it discovers and learns things that we somehow push to the nookes and crannies of our mind during the daylight. Sometimes, the dreams can show you something you don't want to look at or you are afraid of. I very much believe that dreams can tell you many things, if only you are open enough to believe them.





Salvador Dali invented his own method to unlock his dreamig potential. You might say that things he portrayed are so bizzare, surreal and odd that he must have drugged himself to be able to create such visions. Well, this was not quite his case.

What he did was he would put a tin plate on the floor and then sit by a chair beside it, holding a spoon over the plate. He would then relax his body and mind, and even begin to fall asleep. Especially after lunch time ;-) The moment that he began to doze, the spoon would slip from his hand and clang on the plate waking him up and allowing him to capture the surreal images of his dreams. The only challenge here was to remember what he dreamt about. 


Dali was fascinated with the images that occur at the boundary between sleeping and waking. They can occur when you fall asleep or when you wake up.


Usually, we don't remember our dreams.  How to change it? 

I advise you to keep a notebook and a pen on your bed table. As soon as you wake up, try remembering your dreams and write them down. It's a great method to explore the unknown of your subconscious. 

As you become more practised in it, you might even experience lucid dreaming. In lucid dreams you know that you are in a dream and you can do everything you want. Fly like a bird, fly to the moon or high up to the sun. It's like being live in a video game, where you're a superhero. There are no limits, and in this kind of dream thanks to your will you can explore the universe in a way you haven't done it before. 




Can you interpret the surreal dream visions of anyone else except yours? Well, this is a tough question with no good answer. 

On this painting we see a naked woman who is lying on a rock, asleep. Out of a pomegranate floating in the air we see the fish coming, and then the two tigers and a bayonet. They all can symbolise the moment just before waking up the woman. Note that the tigers are striped in yellow and black, just like the small bee at the painting. 

If you take a look at the smaller pomegranate, located just beneath the woman, it casts a shadow in the form of a heart. Such a small detail. It is so interesting to interpret and uncover what the painter wanted to say by his painting. 



Dare to watch the paintings with your own eyes and make your own interpretations. Sometimes, it can be a never-ending journey to discover things, which will change your life or your mode of perception. 

Lately, I have published a new video with my interpretation of the great masterpiece "The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci.

Click the link below to check it out. Your comments or questions are always very welcome. 









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