Theodor Adorno’s Dream: Frankfurt, 10 September 1954

27 May

From reading and skimming some of the dreams in Theodor Adorno’s Dream Notes (published in 2005 in Franfurt am Main Germany by Polity Press),  an overcoming macabre feeling overcame me.  Adorno is quoted in a preceding page in the book ” Dreams are as black as death.”  He had some screwed up dreams that were recorded and published in this book. He states often waking up to certain overcoming feelings and thoughts. I dont know about anyone else, but I have never had dreams this overpowering and influential that they effect my daily or even momentary activities and events. The dream I have had that is closest to Adorno’s dreams in this book, is the dream where I am falling infinitely and immediately wake up and jump or spasmodically twitch because I still feel like I am falling and want to do something about it (a few times I jump or move so far I fall off the bed onto the ground and sometimes hit my head on the nightstand). This falling dream is nowhere in comparison to Adorno’s horrific, thought provoking, or weird dreams.

Adorno notes each dream by its date and where he was. The dream I want to talk about occurred to him in Frankfurt (not sure am Main or an der Oder) on the tenth of September 1954. I choose this dream to discuss and analyze because he wakes up with an overcoming urge to prove something. By discussing and analyzing Adorno’s dreams recorded in this book, I am not analyzing and discussing these dreams psychologically. Psychology is not  a field of study I have any knowledge or expertise in and frankly, I dislike psychology. If Im going to analyze the brain and its thoughts, philosophical epistemology is the way I would do it.

This dream is not something I want to relate to epistemology however. The dream ends in an argument over what he says is theology, but I think it is more metaphysical. The dream begins where Adorno is in a philosophical argument with a man named Tillich.  Adorno says that Tillich is saying that there is a distinction between equilibrium and equibrium. He says that equilibrium is defined as balance on the outside. Equibrium is defined in this dream note as balance on the inside. Adorno feels the need to tell Tillich that there is no such thing as equibrium and that balance is all equilibrium. Adorno ends the note by saying he woke up and began  to attempt to prove that there is no such thing as equibrium. I find it fascinating that Adorno had this dream and woke up having the need to prove something immediately.

So, is there such a thing as equibrium? Is there a difference between equibrium and equilibrium?

In this universe (cosmos I should say), do things go out of balance on the outside? We all know things go out of balance on the inside. Psychological illness, stress, anger, sadness, fear, lethargy and other things are the inner imbalances. The key to finding out if there is distinction between inner and outer balance (equilibrium and equibrium) is to find out if the outside goes in and out of balance. It is given that the inside goes in and out of balance, but does the outside? If the outside does kind of go out of balance, are those imbalances from the inside or do they relate to the inside? If a possibility of outer imbalance can occur without having relation to the inner balance, then there is a distinction between equilibrium and equibrium.

I did not wake up from a dream feeling the need to discuss and prove my argument on this issue, but from reading Adorno’s dream note, I feel the need to justify my argument. Adorno believes that no distinction between the inner and outer balance exists. I feel the same way and agree with Theodor Adorno’s dreamed argument.

To prove that no outer imbalance/balance can exist, think about possible outer imbalances. An example that I think is a possible outer imbalance is something like a skin condition (psoriasis, chicken pox, acne, bleeding areas etc). I am merely thinking about imbalances (outer and inner) in people. People have outsides and insides. Particles I do not think could be debated about inner and outer balances, because due to their size and configuration, what is on the inside is the same thing that is on the outside. People are a little different. Our soul/self/mind is different from our physical body. If an outer imbalance occurs where does it come from? How does it get there? A person’s body is operated by the brain and the mind (also soul and self), therefore, it is my premise that because all outer imbalances are directly related and come from the inner imbalances, there is no distinction between equibrium and equilibrium.

P1   All outer imbalances come from/are directly related to the inner imbalances

P2  Outer imbalances are equal to inner imbalances


∴\  Equibrium and equilibrium and its distinction does not exist

I say this without further consideration because I cannot think of any outer imbalance in the cosmos/universe that is not directly related to/caused by inner imbalances.

For example, if there is mutation of cells that mutate to become abnormal cells, this is an inner imbalance because a problem with the cells cause them to mutate to become harmful cancerous cells. These abnormal cells multiply in the skin’s cells.  These abnormal cells build up and become skin cancer or a melanoma. This melanoma can be viewed to be an outer imbalance. This is not an outer imbalance distinct from inner imbalance. The inner imbalance is the mutation of cells to become abnormal and live in the body causing inner and outer problems. One of the outer problems is the skin cancer melanoma that can be seen on the skin. One may view this to be a disturbance on the outside, but this is just another sign of the disturbance of inner balance.

All imbalances are from the inside in the bodies of this universe.

Its amazing that a huge involved argument was attempted just because Theodor Adorno had a dream. This argument influenced Adorno to disprove his dream’s theory and it also is influential to others to further analyze this argument.


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