FERNANDO PESSOA: The Art Of Effective Dreaming #1

Make sure, first of all, that you respect nothing, believe nothing, nothing. But while showing disrespect, you should hold on to the desire to respect something; while despising what you don’t love, you should retain the painful longing to love someone; and while disdaining life, you should preserve the idea that it must be wonderful to live and cherish it. Having done this, you’ll have laid the foundations for the edifice of your dreams.

 Remember that you’re embarking on the loftiest task of all. To dream is to find ourselves. You’re going to be the Columbus of your soul. You’re going to set out to discover your own landscapes. Make sure you’re on the right track and that your instruments can’t mislead you.

 The art of dreaming is difficult, because it’s an art of passivity, in which we concentrate our efforts on avoiding all effort. If there were an art of sleeping, it would no doubt be somewhat similar.

 Note that the art of dreaming is not the art of directing our dreams. To direct is to act. The true dreamer surrenders to himself, is possessed by himself.

 Avoid all material stimulants. In the beginning you’ll be tempted to masturbate, to consume alcohol, to smoke opium….. This is all effort and seeking. To be a good dreamer, you have to be nothing but a dreamer. Opium and morphine are purchased in pharmacies – how can you expect to dream through them? Masturbation is a physical thing – how can you expect…..

Now if you dream about masturbating, all fine and good. If you dream about smoking opium or taking morphine, and become intoxicated from the idea of the opium, of the morphine of your  dreams, then you deserve to be praised: you are performing like a perfect dreamer.

 Always think of yourself as sadder and more miserable than you are. There’s no harm in it. It even serves as a kind of trick ladder to the world of dreams.


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