Thursday, 28 June 2012

DREAMS; MERE FANTASY OR SURREALISM

No lower can a man descend than to interpret his dreams into gold and silver and surely. Oversleeping will never make one's dreams come true.

Sleeping is as natural as waking; dreams are nearly as frequent as everyday sensations, thoughts, and emotions. But dreams, being familiar, are credible; it is admitted that people do dream; we reach the less credible as we advance to the less familiar.


Our dreams are a second life. I have never been able to penetrate without a shudder those ivory or horned gates which separate us from the invisible world.

For, if we think for a moment, the alleged events of ghostdom apparitions of all sorts bare precisely identical with the every night phenomena of dreaming, except for the avowed element of sleep in dreams.

If one advances confidently in the directions of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

In dreams, time and space are annihilated, and two severed lovers may be made happy. In dreams, amidst a grotesque confusion of things remembered and things forgot, we see the events of the past (Being present at events like Culloden fight and at the siege of Troy); we are present in places remote; we behold the absent.

It is important that man dreams, but it is perhaps equally important that he can laugh at his own dreams.

We converse with the dead, and we may even (let us say by chance coincidence) forecast the future.

All these things, except the last, are familiar to everybody who dreams. It is also certain that similar, but yet more vivid, false experiences may be produced, at the word of the hypnotiser, in persons under the hypnotic sleep. A hypnotised man will take water for wine, and get drunk on it.

I do not know how to distinguish between our waking life and a dream. Are we not always living the life that we imagine we are?

Now, the ghostly is nothing but the experience, when men are awake, or apparently awake, of the every-night phenomena of dreaming. The vision of the absent seen by a waking, or apparently waking, man is called "a wraith"; the waking, or apparently waking, vision of the dead is called "a ghost".

Yet, as St. Augustine says, the absent man, or the dead man, may know no more of the vision, and may have no more to do with causing it, than have the absent or the dead whom we are perfectly accustomed to see in our dreams.

Who so regardeth dreams is like him that catcheth at a shadow, and followeth after the wind.

Moreover, the comparatively rare cases in which two or more waking people are alleged to have seen the same "ghost," simultaneously or in succession, have their parallel in sleep, where two or more persons simultaneously dream the same dream.

That which the dream shows is the shadow of such wisdom as exists in man, even if during his waking state he may know nothing about it....We do not know it because we are fooling away our time with outward and perishing things, and are asleep in regard to that which is real within ourself.