WHEN our rational brains are all heated up, arguing life’s complexities, that’s usually the best time to kick off our shoes and give it a rest.
“Ever drifting down the stream, lingering in the golden gleam,” Lewis Carroll wondered: “Life — what is it but a dream?”
At times, when we are faced with a critical decision, or stuck on a complex problem, sleeping or napping on it, researchers find, often leads to the right answer.
The notes of a song, the smell of burning leaves, the babbling of a mountain stream, a day-dream—all can open a door to the the non-rational, poetic mind. They can also arouse unexpected vistas when we are children.
In Wordsworth’s haunting poem “Ode on Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood,” those reveries opened for him an unexpected awareness of past lives.
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