I’ll be sleeping with my keys

I’ve discovered a small exercise that helps bring ideas to fruition and it’s sleep.Well more like a mini nap.

I go through a stage of research loading (Concentration)  the information in and then I get to a point when it feels like my head is shutting down. This is when I experiment with  ‘incubation’ and Salvador Dali’s Sleep Experiment, “slumber with Key’.

John Harman http://www.johnharman.com/welcome.html spoke about creativity and the personal process during week three.

He suggests that the elements of creativity process are Preparation– know your domain, Concentration– intense focus, Incubation– relax and do something the polar opposite, Illumination– breakthrough on the ideas and Verification– test the idea.

Salvador Dali also wrote a book called the ‘Fifty secrets of Magic Craftsmanship'(1948)

In this book Dali discusses some methods that help get the creative juices flowing.

And this is where Dali and Harman unite in the the wonderful idea of ‘taking it easy’ as a simple method of the creative process.

Dali’s experiment of falling asleep then suddenly waking up apparently brings on lucid dreaming.

The idea is to close your eyes and rest while sitting up with a heavy key between your thumb and forefinger of the left hand and a plate on the floor underneath where your hand hangs over. Just as you drift off into deep sleep you relax the muscles and the key drops. The sound is supposed to wake you up just after the first REM stages of sleep.

REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement which usually brings on dreaming and in the first N1 Stages of REM  it can create hypnogagic hallucinations.

This was basically a way for Dali to relax, wake back up and work the idea, (illumination). This process very much influenced Dali’s creative work.

As for me, my experiment does not so much need a key. What I found was that in that first part of relaxation my brain processes the information sub-consciously and with no other distractions, words, images and ideas all start merging in workable orders. My determination to get these ideas down on paper is enough for me to drag myself up of that bed and get back to work. That is my key, determination and a good cup of tea.

I never really occurred to me that a little chill-out time is all apart of good hard work. The does comes a pivot point where the small percentage of conscious living gets over loaded. The 90% of our sub-conscious is really what does all the hard work.

So the theory is ” take a break” or just go to bed and sleep on it.

As for me I’m willing to test Dali’s method a little more and see how far into lucid dream states this experiment can get me.


Barrett D. (2001) In the gallery of the night ( chapter 1). Retrieved from URL  http://www.imageproject.org/psi2002/nightgallery/page4.html

Cherry K. (n.d.) Stages of Sleep. Retrieved (may 2011) from URL http://psychology.about.com/od/statesofconsciousness/a/SleepStages.htm

[Images] Retrieved from images.google.com


This entry was published on June 1, 2011 at 11:24 am and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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