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Famous Dreams Oraboros
October 31, 2016


In this part of Dream Social’s “Famous Dreams” series, we present another case of dream state problem solving: the story of benzene’s molecular structure.

The Missing Molecular Structure of Benzene

Benzene is a type of organic chemical compound called a hydrocarbon. It is a natural constituent of crude oil, and one of the petrochemicals. In the United States, 1% of gasoline is made up of benzene, which has an anti-knocking effect on combustion engines. With a chemical symbol of C6H6, benzene is made up of six carbon and six hydrogen atoms. The six carbon atoms are joined with each other in the form of a circle.

The Dream

Friedrich August Kekulé von Stradonitz was a prominent German organic/theoretical chemist and one of leading scientists of mid-nineteenth-century Europe. His dream led him to find of the theory of chemical structure, particularly by discovering the ring shape of the benzene molecule.

It is said that in a dream, he saw a snake eating its own tail, like in Ouroboros symbols. This dream was a symbolic representation of the molecular structure of benzene, a ring shape. On waking, he thought about the dream. At first, he did not think much of it, but it was fixed in his subconscious. Some days later, he connected the dots in his mind and found that the chemical structure is in the shape of a ring, just like the Ouroboros.

In order to find meaning in our dreams, we have to be in tune with them. It all starts with a dream journal. Once recorded, our dreams won’t be forgotten, can be reflected upon later, and can be shared with others in the search for meaning.

Aside from that, the Dalai Lama says that “sleep is the best meditation.” A good night’s sleep is paramount to being in touch with one’s dreams and one’s subconscious.




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October 31, 2016