At the age of 23, Rene Descartes had three dreams which shaped the course of his future pursuits in science and mathematics. In the first, Rene was walking down the city streets when suddenly a strong wind began blowing. He struggled to walk against the wind, when a gust pushed him back and up against the wall of a building. In the distance he heard someone call his name as ask if he wanted a cantaloupe.
The second was less like a dream and more like a waking dream state. Startled by the question regarding the cantaloupe, Rene awoke feverish and sweating. He felt the charge of the air, as if lightning were sparking all around him. This had happened many times before, so he returned to his slumber.
In the third dream, Rene was in a huge library. After pulling an enormous text on mathematics from the shelf, he opened the book to find the pages were full of information that was ungraspable to his eye. The words were all blurred together. Then he opened a book on linguistics and within it was the same blurry, illegible text. He knew that if he could read the text, all the world’s answers could be understood.