The Nightshirt Sightings, Portents, Forebodings, Suspicions

The Ancient Art of Memory & the Modern Science of Dreaming

artofmemoryCheck out my essay on dreaming and the ancient art of memory (hint: they operate on the same principles), the lead article in this month’s special issue of New Dawn magazine.

You can also read the essay with its graphics by downloading a copy of Special Issue Vol 10 No 4 (PDF version) for US$5.95. The issue also contains articles by Bernardo Kastrup, Ervin Laszlo & Kingsley L. Dennis, Michael Grosso, Micah Hanks, and many others.


I am a science writer and armchair Fortean based in Washington, DC. Write to me at eric.wargo [at]

6 Responses to “The Ancient Art of Memory & the Modern Science of Dreaming”

  • A nice article, Eric, but – a book you’re writing now would be even nicer (and certainly bigger), wouldn’t it? So, can you share some info about this large creative project of yours? How would you call your treatrise? What the contents, topics etc. of it will be? For how long should your potential readers wait? I’m curious…

  • Your article in New Dawn was very resonant for me.In fact, the ideas held within that book caused me to embark on an adventure which changed for all time the way I think about and see the world. Giordano Bruno’s memory theories were just the beginning and soon I found myself looking into the earlier ideas found in writings of Raymond Lull, Giulio Camillo in his posthumously published work L’Idea del Theatro (The Theatre of Memory) and later the works on memory by Giordano Bruno.
    After being mesmerized by these techniques, I came to the same conclusion you did that our cortices are a “vast multidimensional net of illogical interconnections, spanning the length and breath of [our] life experience.” In fact, I would go further in this line of thought because it seems to me that we each house within our minds one of the eyes of Indra’s net. A net that is infinite in dimension and composed of “an infinite number of jewelled eyes. There hang the jewels, glittering stars in the first magnitude, a wonderful sight to behold. If we now arbitrarily select one of these jewels for inspection and look closely at it, we will discover that in its polished surface there are reflected all the other jewels in the net, infinite in number. Not only that, but each of the jewels reflected in this one jewel is also reflecting all the other jewels, so that there is an infinite reflecting process occurring.” (A quote from Frances Cook’s Hua-Yen Buddhism: The Jewel Net of Indra).
    It is sad that in the general disenchantment of the world, we have lost the wisdom to see the world in this way. Unfortunately, this disenchantment explains why AI will never be more than the overly-technological wet dream of soulless engineers.

  • Thanks, Karen! Glad to know others were similarly affected by Yates. Giordano Bruno remains one of my greatest heroes, and his difficult, weird books have yet to be really penetrated and understood by anyone writing today, I don’t think.


  • Thanks, Vortex! It’s way too premature to answer any of your questions, but my blog should give some indication of the themes.

  • Eric, I hope you are still going to comment and/or publish occasionally on the blog while working on the book, aren’t you? It would be a painful loss if you will be silent for all the time – and probably quite a long time – which is necessary to complete the book. You are one of my favourite debate partners, you know.

    I still hope to see your response to my published letter for Titus Rivas: ontology-axiology-epistemology confusions discussed, published as a comment to your previous blog post…

  • Thanks, Vortex. I too appreciate the debate. I’ll get back to posting and responding, don’t worry. But I’ve got to be disciplined. With a baby and extremely demanding “real life” writing job, I only have about an hour every evening to get my own writing done, so I have to prioritize. 🙂