A Dreamer’s Guide To Ayurveda And Organic Chemistry
One thousand years before the first known documentation of Traditional Chinese Medicine appeared in the The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon, and three thousand years before Rene Descartes gave us the Scientific Method, a system of medicine known as Ayurveda was documented and shared throughout the Deccan Plateau in the Indian sub-continent.
In the first century BCE, Ayurvedic Medicine had already established surgery, pharmacology and the ability to classify and treat diseases; yet they did not employ the Scientific Method. While ancient texts such as the Rig Veda discuss herbal medicine and specific treatments for specific diseases; there is no evidence that Ayurvedic knowledge was built from formal studies of anatomy, physiology, pathology and pharmacology. Rather, trial and error, observation and compassion seem to be the driving force behind the evolution of Ayurvedic Medicine, and we may also add and emphasize a mystical quality where information and inspiration is passed down through a dream-like state.
Structural chemistry and organic chemistry are two areas of science where the ability to enter the dream state may be of benefit to the empirical minded chemist. Scientists can use hallucinogenic drugs to enter a dream-like state to elucidate complex theoretical structures, the discovery of the DNA double-helix structure is a famous example, yet long before the invention of LSD, scientists were entering dream states and bring back all sort of theories that were proven to be true.
“Let us learn to dream; then perhaps we shall learn the truth”
August Kekule (1829-1896), Organic Chemist
Kekule is a 19th-century Organic Chemist that is credited in part with helping to elucidate the ring structure of organic benzene. He credits his discovery of the 6 carbon ring structure to the night when he dreamed about carbon atoms dancing in groups and afterward wondered if they might join together in complex structures. Also, the entire scientific method is said to have been devised by Descartes in a dream state, so one needs to wonder what would happen if well-trained yogi’s decided to tap into this mysterious source of inspiration that is revealed in the dream state.
Like Descartes, the ancient inventors and seekers that formalized Ayurveda were holy men, unlike Descartes, they believed and invoked INTUITION as a valid pursuit and necessary component of medical practice. Our empirical, rigorously peer reviewed approach to medicine is born from divine inspiration, a dream. Much of what we know to be ‘fact’ dissolves in the dream state, a world that opens to us to infinite inspiration.
Space for new dreams is created by bringing recurring dreams to life and following your intuition. Trusting and ‘reading’ your nightly dreams can provide a valuable source of idea’s to move past stuck points or when you are unsure what path to take; find inspiration in your dreams to solve problems and bring new ideas tot he world.
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