Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/42

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THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

one even begins to doubt the illusion theory, and the power of the objective impression to form the dream, when one learns that this impression at times experiences the most peculiar and far-fetched interpretations during the sleeping state. Thus B. M. Simon63 tells of a dream in which he saw persons of gigantic stature[1] seated at a table, and heard distinctly the awful rattling produced by the impact of their jaws while chewing. On waking he heard the clacking of the hoofs of a horse galloping past his window. If the noise of the horse's hoofs had recalled ideas from the memory sphere of "Gulliver's Travels," the sojourn with the giants of Brobdingnag and the virtuous horse-creatures—as I should perhaps interpret it without any assistance on the author's part—should not the choice of a memory sphere so uncommon for the stimulus have some further illumination from other motives?

II. Internal (Subjective) Sensory Stimuli.—Notwithstanding all objections to the contrary, we must admit that the rôle of the objective sensory stimuli as a producer of dreams has been indisputably established, and if these stimuli seem perhaps insufficient in their nature and frequency to explain all dream pictures, we are then directed to look for other dream sources acting in an analogous manner. I do not know where the idea originated that along with the outer sensory stimuli the inner (subjective) stimuli should also be considered, but as a matter of fact this is done more or less fully in all the more recent descriptions of the etiology of dreams. "An important part is played in dream illusions," says Wundt36 (p. 363), "by those subjective sensations of seeing and hearing which are familiar to us in the waking state as a luminous chaos in the dark field of vision, ringing, buzzing, &c., of the ears, and especially irritation of the retina. This explains the remarkable tendency of the dream to delude the eyes with numbers of similar or identical objects. Thus we see spread before our eyes numberless birds, butterflies, fishes, coloured beads, flowers, &c. Here the luminous dust in the dark field of vision has taken on phantastic figures, and the many luminous points of which it consists are embodied by the dream in as many single pictures, which are looked upon as moving objects owing to the mobility

  1. Gigantic persons in a dream justify the assumption that it deals with a scene from the dreamer's childhood.