Primarily a writing exercise, this dream journal-inspired blog is a quiet introspective sojourn into the process that we traverse in going from private dream to public art. I see our dreaming as an internalized mythmaking. As I philosophize and expressively exhibit dreams, both private and public, I encourage and delight in creative language as a way to practice experiential metaphors through a “public dreaming." Writing Theory: Creative Dream Fiction

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Talmud and Dream Interpretation: Thoughts of a Secular-Cultural Jew

Talmud Readers by Adolf Behrman
“Dreams which are not interpreted are like letters which have not been opened.” Talmud

I am a cultural Jew, a secular Jew, an ethnic Jew. As singer Arianne Zuckerman once said, I am "Jew-ish". Yet, I revere the tradition of the Talmud. As far as I know, it is the source of a great wealth of pride in the intellectual strength and heartened closeness to tradition that Jewish people have maintained throughout generations. We have kept our traditions intact because we are flexible. The Talmud is a massive compendium of volumes steeped in argumentation, discussion, rhetoric and criticism on the sacred text of the Torah. The Old Testament is not Old, it is vivified by thousands of years of continuous self-criticical analyses and contemplative thought. The Talmud is the tradition of intellectual meditation on the sacred word. No wonder why dream interpretation is honoured, as the Talmud is one of the oldest forms of imaginative interpretation known in book form. For more in-depth understanding of this quote, see Erich Fromm's work "Forgotten Language."
An old woman sits languorous outside the concert hall entranceway. Her excessive body weight slumps over a barstool with the heaping fatigue of an overworked heart. Yet, in her eye, there is a glint of sound reason, a harmonious vocation towards authentic humanity. I stop for a moment to share a few words with the curious and unseemly woman.

Woman playing a kithara by Anoniem
(Wall painting from Room H of the Villa of P. Fannius Synistor at Boscoreale)
I become so filled with sympathy for her life story. I run out onto the street, looking for a candy that I recently became aware that she enjoys. All I can find is a broken piece of chocolate on a dirty sidewalk. In my nervous frustration, I dust off the candy and walk back into the hallway. As I step cautiously through the alleyway to the concert hall, a man a few years my elder feels he must give a word of advice.

Two women at the street by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
"There is no sense in your sympathy," he affixes his language to my throat like the strangling inexorability of truth. "I've heard too many racial slurs from the mouths of your likening. You'd like to give back, and yet you cry on a pedestal," he musters an incendiary rage, of darkening complexion under the flickering streetlamp. "How many times have I heard your story, I'm Jewish, so I can empathize," he continues unalloyed. "And when you speak of G-d, I am utterly disgusted."
The Italian connection, un-swayed by the prudent fire of tango nights
       stirring wilderness roosts
                in the back hall of some sterling porch façade
                in the mundane sky of an after-party dimming
                       beside alcoholic whiteout praise
                       and the ruined name.

excerpt from "The ruined name"

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