Big dreams project –

In Dreamwork by veronicaLeave a Comment

Help collect, classify, analyse and share the “big dreams” of the world from 2002 to 2012. Help us apply our pattern detection experience on this larger sample. Learn how through developing this community you could hold the key to discover the core problems of the current time.

I am Veronica Blumentals, orginally a mathematician, nowadays I study dreams.  I have done so for the past 25 years looking for meaning and stories in symbols and in their evolution over time. I study how they connect with other symbols, how they cluster different meanings and stories of my life and that of others.  I follow how they change and the patterns they make.  This has become a form of art, one I can practice, that gives meaning and depth to my life.

This form of art sprang from the way I take dreams, very seriously.  Personally, they are the means that allow me to understand my body and my life centered in a sense of who I am.  I enter in dialogue with them and give to dreams, to the best of my possibilities, a way to become actualized in my life.

They make me curious about other interests – interests I would not have found by myself, they make me do things which would not occur to me, with energy and commitment.   This has given me a sense of purpose, but more than that it has been, and is, an adventure, a journey, one that makes me feel alive and creative.

Jose Elffer -making-sense-hilbert

Having been a mathematician, it seemed only natural that math subjects I had struggled with back then would come to my dreams to symbolize my present struggles.  Even the subject of my thesis fitted nicely into this view point.  And being that I do look for order, forms and structures, numbers and measures, patterns in dreams, math was the perfect symbol, one that belongs naturally to dreams and life and to me.

This being said, it was a surpise when David Hilbert, who was one of the great mathematicians at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th, said to me in a dream that I had to collect and study the dreams of the world of the past 10 years.  And a month later, also in a dream,  I was carrying around a book of the Bourbaki group, featuring the work of Jean Dieudonné.

At that time I took Hilbert’s dream as if saying: “to really know patterns in dreams you have to collect the dreams of the past 10 years”. But as I said earlier I take dreams very seriously, so I had to ask: why had I dreamt specifically with Hilbert?  Why Bourbaki and Dieudonné?

Hilbert was the mathematician who in 1900 presented the 23 problems with which mathematicians would have to deal for the next century.  Hilbert’s problems weredesigned to serve as examples for the kinds of problems which solutions would lead to the furthering of disciplines in mathematics.

Symbolically then, the Hilbert dream could mean… “if you collect and study the dreams of the past 10 years, you will find the ‘23 problems’ we face today…”

I invite you to read the first paragraphs of the Address he made to the Congress of Mathematicians at Paris in 1900…  If you change the word Mathematics for Psychology you will have the same picture I had when I read it… then, I understood why it was Hilbert and none other who was in the dream.

Now it was time to answer the question, why was Bourbaki picked out as symbol?  The answer here is two-fold.  Firstly, it is a symbol of a group that would work with the patterns, as Bourbaki was a French group that wrestled with the math of their time, after the Hilbert’s initial proposition to formalize knowledge.  They set to do so for the so-called “set theory.”

Secondly, it symbolizes the particular community way in which the group worked.  They met three times a year in different places around France for one or two weeks.  At each meeting, members were commissioned to produce drafts of the different chapters.  These chapters would be submitted to discussion and criticism, reassigned and revised as many times as needed for rigor and generality.   Every chapter and every volume of a Bourbaki’s treatise is the outcome of arduous collective work.  You could say it was a very early embodiment of something like the open-source movement of today.

Bourbaki then was an image of how the ‘looking for the 23 problems’ should be worked…  the way an online community would work around the subject of big dreams… this is how you came in…

And lastly, Jean Dieudonné… Dieudonné was the speaker of the group!  As if he were telling me …

  “[The] life [of a mathematician] is dominated by an insatiable curiosity, a desire bordering on passion to solve the problems he is studying.”

― Jean Dieudonne

This is the birth story of the Dreamverse project, how the idea of an online community for the study of the big dreams of the past decade was born. This is how your participation became so essential…


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