Declaration of Ideas
by Mika Johnson
At present we consider the word to be merely a shadow of reality, its reflection. But the reverse would be more accurate: reality is but a shadow of the word. - Bruno Schulz
Bruno Schulz was a Polish writer and visual artist of Jewish descent. His work is regarded as the most dream-like literature of the 20th century.
Schulz would shed his physical body around noon, on November 19th, 1942, the same day he had planned to escape his hometown, Drohobycz, from the Nazi terror. Murdered in the streets just blocks away from where he grew up, Schulz was buried that night in a local Jewish cemetery that itself would disappear, lost under the bricks and beams of a post-war housing district. In another dimension, Bruno Schulz never died. He lives on, since by coding his memories, dreams, and identity into his work with language, Schulz transcended death. Like a Jewish Mashiach (the title of Schulz’s lost work), he now returns to us in the 21st century, intent on leading us out of the labyrinth of materialism and into the collective dream. This is possible thanks to a virtual space, manifested by Schulz in his lifetime, which now expands with each new mind that makes contact with his work. It is that space, which we call The Republic of Dreams, which this project is devoted to sharing with a wider audience.
While Bruno Schulz is the founder of The Republic, the space itself is composed of the debris of long-dead stars. It dates back to the last expansion of the Universe, the transformation of gases to matter, the emergence of stars into planets, and the manifestation of life on Earth 3.7 billion years ago. We then fast forward to symbol-using apes who evolve reflective consciousness and, later, dreams. The ancestors of this species, known as homo sapiens, form one collective, unified dream, over hundreds of thousands of years. Access to that collective dream, however, is difficult. This is why we celebrate July 12, 1892, the auspicious date of Schulz’s birth, as the opening of a portal to the collective dream, which Schulz would mold and engineer in his lifetime. Like St. Peter, who holds the keys to a Christian heaven, Schulz becomes a cosmic gatekeeper, or anointed architect as it were, to an entire Republic that remains a bridge to the world-dream.
Since entry into The Republic of Dreams can only be achieved through poetry, trance, or other dream-like states, we are launching an online Map, User Instructions, and Sonic Experiences that function as creative keys, making entry to The Republic more accessible. Nevertheless, intention is everything. The linear, day-to-day mind cannot enter, nor can the fully awake rational mind. Reason must be abandoned. Sense must become nonsense. Because of this requirement, entry is not risk-free. Our operating systems, which we call culture, provide us with answers, be they scientific, religious, or ideological. To abandon this operating system is to invite anxiety, even terror. This is why all the works on this site are intended to gently open the access points to Schulz’s Republic, and along with it the collective, unified dream.
The reward of entering Schulz’s Republic of Dreams is pure wonder. Like cartographers lost inside an exotic landscape, bodily transformations, cosmic travel, alien communication, even telepathy becomes possible, if not probable. The illusions of time and space, beginnings and endings, self and other, even the categories of life and death dissolve and are replaced by new questions. But in all cases, what we learn from our visit to Shulz’s Republic is one truth: that the world isn’t made out of atoms, quarks, or electrons. Nor is it composed of spirit. The world is made out of language, and beyond language, dreams.