DREAMS IN LIFE & DEATH: David Blum’s Life & Art

“Sooner or later, we will all have to deal with crises and the question of our mortality. We all have deep resources in our own ways, and if we listen and trust in them in difficult times, they can bring us comfort and transcendence.”

Yo Yo Ma

For over thirty years, YoYo Ma’s friend musician David Blum was in continual conversation with his dream life. Drawing his dreams was a way David entered into the living theater of the collective unconscious.
After a diagnosis with cancer, he began to share his drawings. David’s intention was not to create “art” but to give form to the elusive images that arose from the depths of his psyche. He reveals,
“I’m a modern skeptic…but this doesn’t matter when an image from a dream of astonishing power plants its authenticity on me. This process intensified greatly during the last few years since the return of cancer.”
Jungian analyst Marion Woodman has commented about David’s dreamwork,
“I have studied and meditated
 on David Blum’s extraordinary documentation
 of his dreams and inner work – the immense gifts
 that were given to him from his unconscious
 and poured into images and music. We are intrigued
 on all levels – emotional, imaginal, intellectual.
 Our hearts are split open as we watch the process of the inner marriage.”
“In the dream,” said David, “a young woman led me through wheat fields that swayed in the wind to the music of Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony. This soulful woman, whom I call Mairi, first came to me in a dream when I was seventeen. I was then in Paris for the first time, living by myself and quite alone. I felt that it was my fate to be guided by her. I had no idea then what Mairi’s goals were, or the power of consolation she would eventually bring me.
“Over time, I’ve come to realize that this feminine presence is not merely a personal experience. She’s found in legends and literature. For Dante, she was Beatrice, leading him from Purgatory to Paradise. Goethe spoke of the Eternal Feminine; Jung of the Anima, the feminine form of Soul. She’s come to me in dreams, in many different transformations…”

From Appointment with the Wise Old Dog

In the last year of his life David produced his DVD Appointment with the Wise Old Dog, a crystallization of his thirty-year inner journey. In the DVD David describes the meaning of his dream figure Alfonto who originated as a stuffed animal from his childhood.


“This simple frayed and tattered dog, my companion from my sixth year, whom some would think only fit for the dustbin, acts as my guide and protector. He is the non-ego, an uncorrupted essence from within myself. He carries the wisdom of the Old Wise Man in dachshund form.”


                                                                       “The Dachshund Quartet”

The Blum Collection consists of this DVD, along with fifty-one dream drawings, seventeen volumes of diaries, and six volumes of journals that document and analyze 1,670  dreams. To purchase the DVD: “Appointment with the Wise Old Dog”
David also authored Pictures from the Unconscious, an in-depth commentary on each of the fifty-one drawings in the Collection. David Blum’s collection of forty-four dream paintings and commentary are available on the website of Archive for Research of Archetypal Symbolism: http://aras.org

Photo of David Blum

David Blum


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Music: Allegretto (Finale) from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68. Performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult, conducto

Thumbnail photo: Weeper statue, Paris

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