Page:Collected Papers on Analytical Psychology (1916).djvu/66
association would creep in between the perception of the dispersed attention and consciousness. The misreading shows us moreover a certain automatic independence of the psychical elements. This occasionally expands to a more or less fleeting dispersion of attention, although with very slight results and never in any way striking or suspicious; this dispersedness approximates to that of the physiological dream. The misreading can be thus conceived as a prodromal symptom of the later events; especially as its psychology is prototypical for the mechanism of somnambulic dreams, which are indeed nothing but a many-sided multiplication and manifold variation of the elementary processes reviewed above. I never succeeded in demonstrating during my observations similar rudimentary automatisms. It would seem that in course of time, the states of dispersed attention, to a certain extent beneath the surface of consciousness, at first of low degree, have grown into these remarkable somnambulic attacks; hence they disappeared during the waking state, which was free from attacks. So far as concerns the development of the patient’s character beyond a certain not very extensive ripening, no remarkable change could be demonstrated during the observations lasting nearly two years. More remarkable is the fact that in the two years since the cessation (complete?) of the somnambulic attacks, a considerable change in character has taken place. We shall have occasion later on to speak of the importance of this observation.
Semi-Somnambulism.—In S. W.’s case the following condition was indicated by the term semi-somnambulism. For some time after and before the actual somnambulic attack the patient finds herself in a state whose most salient feature can best be described as “preoccupation.” She only lends half an ear to the conversation around her, answers at random, often gets absorbed in all manner of hallucinations; her face is solemn, her look ecstatic, visionary, ardent. Closer observation discloses a far-reaching alteration of the entire character. She is now serious, dignified; when she speaks her subject is always an extremely serious one. In