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Peter Mullen

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Have you ever had an idea that came from a day, or night dream, or a poem, that made you a hero, or made a little money?

Looking for examples of how dreams and poetry make ideas come to light. Has this happened to you, Did you start a business big or small from that idea, did you make a few dollars. Did you become a hero in some small way or save the day for a friend, a boss because of that dream or poem. I have listed several talks that are thought provoking above. They skirt the issue in interesting ways. The brain creativity, and inspiration are an endless source of fascination.

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    Jul 19 2013: I have had ideas that struck me, that I managed to convince someone to let me try, and that have worked out well for many people. I haven't been a hero or made a lot of money, but I know I have made a difference through what I have tried to do and what I have managed to do.
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      Jul 20 2013: That's the way many people feel. I would suggest, that you have positively affected the lives of many more people than you imagine. With a giving, cheerful ,smiling, attitude, in my life at least, I know without any equivocation, that I have made a difference in thousands of lives. When you combine that, with my work productivity over 40 years that calculates to a huge impact on many thousands more. Despite many stupid mistakes, the good out weighs the bad by a long shot. I hope you, and millions more, choose to look at their lives that way. It enlarges your world. It makes you feel powerful, and believe me, you are very powerful. Ripples in the pond. You are a hero , like most heroes they don't reccognise it
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    Jul 24 2013: Peter, I was at the end of my rope several years back. I mixed a bottle of poison that I was going to take and end my sadness, my pain, and the burden that my family lead me to believe that I was. I sat on my bed and began to daydream of what would happen after I was gone. What would they think? What would they feel? Would anyone care? Would anyone look into why I did it? The day dream lasted for what seemed like days, although it was about an hour. I imagined that some caring prosecutor would sue my family for wrongful death. I imagined that they would go to court and that their cruelty would be exposed. I dreamed of the jury being asked to punish them all. And then I dreamed of what the Judge would sentence them to and I snapped out of it. I realized at that moment, that no matter what happened to them after I was gone that they were not going to change who they were - that nothing was going to change who they were - and I poured the poison down the drain. I have since thought about writing a book about this daydream, as I remember so much of it, and have written down lots of ideas. But the pain of putting it to words is too painful for me. Instead I now dream of happier things, and have come to terms with that very sad day dream.
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      Jul 24 2013: If I catch your drift, I would say they already poisoned you, but your strong healthy attitude, and spirit survived in spite of it. Pouring the bottle down the drain was really just the end of the toxic effects. The act of pouring it down the drain was merely a symbolic act of recovery , the end of suffering. Luckily for us all, the human spirit, body, and mind are very resilient. Luckily for us all you are here to share that story, and help others who are injured in that way. I loved my family as myself, but they were also victims of a pernicious poison that's been destroying lives and self esteem for thousands of years. It's a poison spread by money grubbers, and manipulators to keep you under their boot. I'm so glad you are here to be with us. Please keep coming back.
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        Jul 24 2013: Thanks so much Peter. And, wow, what insight. I never thought of it like that. I was trying to run from the pain, but the damage was already done. As you put it, they already poisoned me. But, I have worked very hard to let it go. I have found that continuing to hurt only gives them power over me that they simply don't deserve to have. When times were tough in my life my own family ran for the hills, making me feel unworthy, useless and a burden to them - which by the way was all the result of serious illness. In my family, if things are not A okay - you are thrown away. But it is people like yourself that have given me a better way of looking at things, and a deep appreciation for what really matters, my husband, our son, my health. Thanks again for this question and your comments.
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          Jul 24 2013: Congratulations by the way. You are the first one to understand the meaning of my question, which I thought was such a simple question. You have demonstrated the reason I asked the question. That is. Have you ever become a hero because of a dream? You have clearly become a hero because of your dream. When anyone overcomes illness, addiction, poverty, disabilities, ignorance, fear, hatred, prejudice, indoctrination, propaganda,or domestic abuse, they are a hero. Just take your medal, like a good soldier. That's an order. Now go forth and be happy. : )
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    • Jul 22 2013: So true, Chris.
      Our brains are active during subconscious hours, and are 'telling' us this stuff for a reason. It's sometimes like interpreting Shakespeare - if you read too much into it, you miss the point completely.
  • Jul 21 2013: Peter, I love this question!
    I once dreamed a song. It was the best song ever, it gave me such an overwhelming sense of joy and togetherness while I was singing it, in my dream. I remember waking up, with the song in my mind, and thinking: I don't even have to record this or write it down, I will remember it forEVER.
    When I woke up in the morning, I had forgotten it.
    I wrote a new song, inspired by that song. We played it while on tour a few years ago, and for a short time, I felt like a hero. The song reached a lot of people, it inspired many. I dedicated it to those who struggle, fight and work to achieve their own dreams, and help others achieve theirs:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=7u8saolgRc8
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      Jul 21 2013: It's a strange thing the human brain. There's things going on all the time in your brain that might put you a single thought away from the (MaCarthur Genius Grant0. It's those mysterious connections that we're looking for. It's strange, I thought I would have had a million people telling me they've had dream connections. many people seem to misunderstand the question. Thanks Lizanne.
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      • Jul 22 2013: Dreams are so powerful. I have lots of house dreams, also recurring ones, which I understand have to do with re-organizing one's psyche. I guess I do that a lot!

        About the time I had my 'best song in the world' dream, Tenacious D came out with a song based on that very concept! There went my gimmick! ;)

        I keep two notebooks in my house, one next to the toilet and one next to my bed, to write inspirations down. The ones I write in a dream-like state are often, like you say, incomprehensible. Chicken-scratchings. I once drew an amazing 'invention' I dreamed about, and was convinced would save the world, and when I awoke, the page was full of meaningless scribbles and lines, only decipherable in a dream!
      • Jul 23 2013: Definitely!!
        Thanks to a wonderful therapist I had at the time, I was able to interpret the recurring house dream. I never had it again, but I remember it vividly, as if I had actually lived there.
        The house dreams I have now are all different, indeed with 'secret' rooms - one I remember in particular had an entire movie theater hidden behind a door in the attic!
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    Jul 21 2013: Whatever am I today it's actually is result of lots of day dreaming ...:). Still I am dreaming a lot.
  • Jul 20 2013: Yes and no.

    Yes I've woken from a dream, and from that dream an idea was formed, shared and developed with others.

    But no money was made, as that dream was about helping people, not scalping people. Not everything -has- to be about making money, some dreams have, dare I say it, more lofty ideals. Ask the late Martin Luther King.
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      Jul 20 2013: The question, is just a question, nothing more. It hasn't got a single thing to do with scalping anyone. In fact part of my question specifically asked if you thought you had been a hero to someone through the realization coming from a dream or poem. In this twisted media world of hype, and sensationalism, the term (hero) has come to mean the most intense monumental valorous victories. Being a hero is a great deal more than saving a person from a burning building, or dragging a wounded comrade of the battlefield. Often the most incredible heroes achieve their greatness from the most mundane acts. Bringing flowers to a lonely person, fixing a screen door for someone who has difficulty moving, Reading to a child, or simply placing your arms around a suffering person. The value of that heroism is a great as the sea.
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      Jul 20 2013: Have you spent time with the Mahabharata? I'll bet your very familiar. My experience was an intellectual curiosity. As often happens, one makes discoveries about your own life, with each new exploration. I was born into an Irish Catholic family. You can imagine how that affected my introduction to this epic literature. It blew my conception of myth, legend,and metaphor out of the water. I'm a supporter of the concept of other, unseen dimensions, so much so, that to me it's "almost" a certainty. How many have made that statement and been disappointed? The very point of my question here, and in fact all questions that I have ever asked is the pursuit of those dimensions in a way. Right now however, right this second in time, and space we are in one dimension, and all dimensions simultaneously. Even physics, a measured view of the universe ,seems to suggest that we do not end our being, our existence, our energy, our connection to distant forces at the extremities of our skin. There is, 'however obscure" ,a difference in accepting life's eternal implications, and (staying in touch with the moment of our life). Both connected, and distinct. We must be cautious that predestination, pre-determinism, and fatalism doesn't cause us to become the suicidally discordant note that we seek to avoid. Dominion means ,control , to foster, to guard, and to, nurture, to preserve. It doesn't mean destroy. We are not on a trip from point A to point B, we are on an eternal journey in my view. Good pilgrims don't despoil,or desecrate the path as they go. The earth is a temple for 7 billion people each with their own belief. We can only merge when we realize none of us possesses all knowledge, and cannot prescribe the vision for our neighbors. I seek to maintain the temple for the pilgrims on the path behind me. Let us sweep the path together without confusion and without conflict. Let's sit on the rocks by the stream, and be at peace with ourselves and all the universe. It's easy.
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          Jul 20 2013: Unfortunately when one believes he is the privileged interpreter, and messenger of god, the demons of secularism, fundamentalism ,absolutism, and the accompanying horrors of confusion, suspicion retribution,and conflict creep stealthily in. I have no doubt the Taliban, or Al Qaeda, The Pope, Maoist rebels, or Nazis all feel, that they are the exclusive sanctified messengers of god. If one shares a passionate opinion about the nature of life, in dignified respectful tones, and a respectful atmosphere of brotherhood there is seldom a problem. Sadly the tendency as demonstrated by thousands of years of history, and collective experience show a repeated human propensity for harsh resistance, retribution, and violent conflict as a result. It has happened to even the most well meaning evangelizers. For me tolerance, and personal inner spirituality without labels is the path to peace.
          Live a life example you wish others would emulate. As long as sharing does not become indoctrination, and oppressive, dogmatic control I see no problem. The world is full of unending complexities. We humans are inadequate to the task of defining all of it's mysteries in totality. The dog always knows his own master. If one want's someone to listen,one should "whisper". "Peace."
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          Jul 22 2013: Sadly, I can't have a sensible conversation about the Mahabharata, because I have trouble remembering the names, and relationships in the story. I'd have to go back,over it". Complicated for an Irish Guy from Boston. I read Bhagavad Gita years ago. Listened to discussions with scholars, and I enjoyed the PBS presentation that is still available on google videos. Highly recommended. It's a matter of wanting to understand Hindus,and indian history, as well as the seeds of Buddhism. After all Siddhartha was a Hindu, similar to Christ, in that Christ was not a christian, but a Jew, although Siddharhta beat him to the punch by 500 years. Even though it's an allegory one can't understand the country, or the culture unless one get's a picture of the dreams, and myths of the people.The great value of it "for me" is as a (Metaphor) for life ,and the age old nature of human jealousy, conflict, fratricide, war, suspicion,the nature of reality, and self awareness. It, played a roll in developing my attitude on religion. I certainly don't think it makes me an authority.It helped me understand Hindu perspective. I wonder how many poor illiterate people in Mumbai would really have, an understanding of the story the way a pandit would understand it. That's true of any religion. Most people just go along for the ride because it's the thing to do in their culture. Like when I was a kid being forced to go to church. Didn't have a choice. It was either that or the wood shed, I never assume, any story, to be a 100% accurate picture of any subject. I have spent a lifetime piecing together my understanding of my world and my life's journey. The bible is simply an anthology of Jewish authors some good, and some not so good writers. As a Catholic one is not forbidden to read the bible, but certainly not encouraged. That's for the "priest" to interpret for you. That's how they keep their thumb down on the poor ignorant masses. Figured that out early, and rejected theVatican propaganda
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          Jul 22 2013: What you say is absolutely true, sadly. People are very hostile to "many" religious discussions. It's a very personal thing to discuss. It's a subject that can never be satisfied. As you say,it requires endless interpretation. The hostility in my opinion is very well justified "in many cases" because of lunatics Like Osama Ben Laden, the Taliban, fanatical jews, fanatical christians, fanatical muslims, that are doing everything possible to start WWIII so that their twisted view of god will come down from the sky, and make everything pure. Good luck to them with that one. Discussions on religion are best undertaken at the mosque, the temple, your church, a family gathering, or with close friends. It is normally not appropriate due to the high emotions it engenders in people. Aside from that, is an issue of societal norms, and civil consensus. People who base their entire life, and actions on a single book of ancient scripture, disregarding the realities of science that makes your life possible in the modern world, aren't going to be taken seriously by most people. If that's how one wants to live and think, that's great! You can't expect others to just go along with assertions about the world without dealing with the (earthly realities of life). It is highly unlikely, you and I would be conversing on this computer, without the discoveries made by scientists. So you can see the problem. Not only that. Many millions of people in my life time have been slaughtered, tortured , imprisoned, and displaced because of people who think theirs is the only way,and they alone possess the truth, to be enforced by what ever means necessary, cutting off heads and hands, destroying democracy in the US congress, people are really mad about that one. In America the constitution says "congress, shall pass no law regarding the "establishment" of religion, "or" the free exercise there of" No one is telling anyone they can't think or worship how they wish. You just can't force it on others
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    Jul 23 2013: The basics are easy. Obviously the human brain is astronomically complex, a gross understatement, but just getting a feel for how signals are exchanged between cells helps one deal with the way thoughts arise, and disappear as quickly as they come. What happens to those thoughts, are they stored in tact in a quiet back water file to be retrieved or do they dissipate into a soup? You can't be afraid of this stuff. It's tuff but lay people can understand a lot with a little effort. After all we're not trying to be brain surgeons here. We just want to understand as much as we can, to get a feel for our own existence. What makes us tick. The wonderful thing is that it opens up questions of Physics, chemistry, and brain disorders. It forces you to seek answers you thought you'd never ask. The basics include an understanding of (ions) mostly (sodium ions) because sodium is highly reactive chemically, an ingredient of common table salt. Gives new meaning to (the salt of the earth) In case your not familiar, ions are atoms that take up an electron, or give of an electron. there's (cations) (positively) charged and (anions)( negatively) charged atoms (extra electrons). My analogy is to think of the old west movies, when the barn catches fire. They set up a bucket brigade where they pass the water buckets hand to hand , but it's always to slow, to late and the barn burns anyway, with the leading man and leading lady sweating and vowing to rebuild and going after the bad guys who tried to burn them out. Darn sheep herders. You know what I mean. The individual atoms and molecules are rapidly exchanging ions to balance out the charges. See now your into (electro magnetism) OMG where does it end? Make it stop! : ) Kahn academy will help you understand a lot of this stuff. You just have to be willing to spend some time. You may have to watch a video ten times to get over a confusing aspect, but eventually it becomes clear as a bell, stuff you never thought you'd learn
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      Jul 23 2013: I don't know what happened for some reason, I wasn't able access it. Idid see a couple of the individual ones.
      I hope that you will look at anything to do with neurons, and the chemistry that makes them function. There are different types of neurons, and they each operate in a different way. It isn't rocket science believe me, but It is complex. You just have to try a little, and you'll get an understanding of brain function that you never imagined. I got a great first taste when I was fortunate enough to take general psychology about 35 years ago. What has been revealed since then is nothing short of miraculous. If you can take a chart and draw the parts of a neuron it will help you keep the action straight in your head. Even though your head is full of them your not born with a mental picture of one. It helps you visualize the neuron when your reading about the functions. I memorized all the basic structures of the brain and the neurons it really helps when they start talking about the chemical signaling of the sodium ions and that sort of thing. "It's fun!" it's not boring at all at least not to a nurd like me. : )
      • Jul 23 2013: Peter, I'm sure it's mind-boggling and incredible, I'd love to know more about it all, in an attempt to understand where my own creativity comes from! The desire to know about our bodies doesn't make us nerds, it makes us informed!!! ;)
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    Jul 20 2013: It's interesting as always to see how people react to statements, and questions depending on their condition, location, state of mind, education, gender, nationality, time of day or a million other reasons. It makes one appreciate the difficulty of conducting scientific surveys, how you formulate your questions, and experiments. There are days when communication is easy, and flows like water. There's other days, when simply saying hello is enough to start WWIII. We sure don't need that!
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    Jul 20 2013: Theres a lot of things that happen to all of us that are profound, yet we don't realize they're happening. When one looks at the tantalizing evidence of brain science the overwhelming trend is to complex subconscious interactions that have significant effects on our functionality and creativity. Even neuron bundles in the intestines. Shouldn't have been a surprise. How are the chemical quantities enzyme distribution and digestive plan going to be transmitted?
  • Jul 20 2013: I have had so many ideas, but lately they don't seem to make money. Dreams I've sort of lost interest in lucid dreaming, but reverie and day dereams are better than ever.
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      Jul 20 2013: I think I would focus on the day dreams then. Boy do I love to stare out the window, and day dream. I do it with a purpose though. As soon as I figure out what that is i'll let you know. I'm really surprised at you guys. Nobody has connected a dream with success, so far. I'm not talking about starting a silicon valley billion dollar megalith just moderate successes, little moments when you were really proud of making a difference in someones life. Everybody should have one of those. No body motivated by a poem either. "What's up with Dat"
      No biggie the questions only 24hrs old. Thanks george. Keep dreamin.
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      Jul 20 2013: My rudder is happiness, what makes me happy is what is good for the earth that is our home, the community that supports us all. Happiness for me is the sensible, rational, philosophy that recognizes the connection between all life. It's what creates peaceful coexistence, and longevity for all others on this planet human, and non human. Happiness is not the same as addiction, infatuation, indoctrination, or dogmatic beliefs, nor how many toys one can accumulate, it is what makes a pathway for peace amongst all peoples, and for the benefit of all creatures. That is the true source of happiness. In every age, the greatest leaders of civilization understood that. From Confucius to Lao Zi , to Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mandela, and a thousand other compassionate examples. I wish we had what the Bhutanese have instead of GNP, it's GNH, Gross National Happiness.
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    Jul 20 2013: I dreamed that very thing happened, but it never really happened.
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      Jul 20 2013: I hate when that happens Ed. I don't believe for a minute that your not a hero to some people out there somewhere. I have had a thousand little victories, and entrepreneurial successes over the years. It didn't become Google, or Facebook , but it paid the bills from time to time. I also suspect you had ideas that someone else ran away with after you gave it to them, probably without knowing it. Do you think my question is a little esoteric? There a lot of science on this subject. Th connection is pretty clear.
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        Jul 20 2013: Your question certainly provokes reflection. Heroism and profit are fleeting, elusive commodities which generally do not result from deliberate effort, but from doing what seems needful and proper at the time. I don't see dreams or poems playing a big role in either.
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      Jul 20 2013: It's interesting to hear you say that. Most engineers, artists, entrepreneurs and many others that I talk to say they had a moment, however obscure, but a moment when an idea coalesced because of a dream, a poem a song that let them make a breakthrough. Even if the poem or dream had nothing to do with the problem at hand they were trying to solve. The dream, poem song acted as a portal to let the idea materialize abstractly. It may be, that just listening to a poem gave them the neurological time break they needed to let the other part of their brain get to work on the problem subconsciously. The scientific evidence seems to support that to a degree. The brain divides tasks delegating all the time between different sections or compartments, Yet they all seem to pass on triggers of information when the appropriate time comes. Not every brain works the same for sure. Some don't work at all except when the Ben and Jerry's arrives.
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        Jul 20 2013: It is entirely possible that everything you describe happened to me and I did not realize it. My comments are limited to my assessment of my experience. Keep in mind I am an acerbic curmudgeon who is not given to the arts. Thanks for an interesting question!