Art, Beauty and the Sublime of Nature -or- In Awe of Starry Night

"It does me good to do difficult things. It does not prevent me from having a terrible need of, shall I say the word - of religion - then I go outside in the night to paint the stars and I dream ever of a picture like this with a group of lively figures of our pals." Vincent van Gogh 

The Numinous -or- The Oceanic Feeling

Many years ago, I spent about two hours viewing the original of Vincent van Gogh's painting "Starry Night", feeling enchanted and in awe. 

Many dreams sent to the International Institute for Dream Research (IIDR) speak of feeling "awe", especially when experiencing the forces of nature. Rudolf Otto called this feeling the "numinous", and Freud called it the "oceanic feeling". On Robert Pluchick's "wheel of emotions"  awe emotionally produces a "sublime" effect. Other dream interpretations posted at the IIDR like "Moonstruck" conveys a similar message. 

Another such dream of awe, is from a person who says that it is one of her "favorite dreams". Here is the dream; 

Lisa, 50 

I was with a lot of other people.  We were very excited watching the night sky.  There were many very very bright stars, and they were moving in formation of an outline of a dark area.  It was extremely beautiful.  People were awed.  It felt biblical. I am not religious but it describes the feeling. I had this dream a few times; it was one of my favorite dreams. 

Mr Hagen's Reply: Stars Moving in Formation -or- Let There Be Light 

If your dream has a biblical "Act of God" connotation, then in this context, the closest reference is Genesis 1:3 "Let there Be Light". As an intellectual metaphor, the idea conveyed is, the dispelling of "ignorance". This was a primary goal of the age of the "Enlightenment". 

I prefer to use the term "spiritual" instead of "religious", which is independent of any "religious" affiliation. From this perspective, the dream reminds me of Vincent van Gogh's "Starry Night". Many dreams sent to the IIDR speak of "religion" and "spirituality". Van Gogh's work can be seen both religiously and spiritually, as a work of visual beauty. 

On a final few notes, we can first turn to Don McLean's sublime classic Vincent song, "Starry, Starry Night" (watch music video). And last, if Vincent van Gogh is quoted as saying; "I dream of painting and then I paint my dream." Then let us turn to Aerosmith's so-called musical words with "power ballad", "Dream On" to provide the lyrical voice to the power of Vincent's art and his dreams.


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