Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/44

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26
THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

food, and heard the rattle made by the diners with their forks. On still another occasion, after falling asleep with irritated and painful eyes, he had the hypnogogic hallucination of seeing microscopically small characters which he was forced to decipher one by one with great exertion; having been awakened from his sleep an hour later, he recalled a dream in which there was an open book with very small letters, which he was obliged to read through with laborious effort.

Just as in the case of these pictures, auditory hallucinations of words, names, &c., may also appear hypnogogically, and then repeat themselves in the dream, like an overture announcing the principal motive of the opera which is to follow.

A more recent observer of hypnogogic hallucinations, G. Trumbull Ladd,40 takes the same path pursued by John Müller and Maury. By dint of practice he succeeded in acquiring the faculty of suddenly arousing himself, without opening his eyes, two to five minutes after having gradually fallen asleep, which gave him opportunity to compare the sensations of the retina just vanishing with the dream pictures remaining in his memory. He assures us that an intimate relation between the two can always be recognised, in the sense that the luminous dots and lines of the spontaneous light of the retina produced, so to speak, the sketched outline or scheme for the psychically perceived dream figures. A dream, e.g., in which he saw in front of him clearly printed lines which he read and studied, corresponded to an arrangement of the luminous dots and lines in the retina in parallel lines, or, to express it in his own words: "The clearly printed page, which he was reading in the dream, resolved itself into an object which appeared to his waking perception like part of an actual printed sheet looked at through a little hole in a piece of paper, from too great a distance to be made out distinctly." Without in any way under-estimating the central part of the phenomenon, Ladd believes that hardly any visual dream occurs in our minds that is not based on material furnished by this inner condition of stimulation in the retina. This is particularly true of dreams occurring shortly after falling asleep in a dark room, while dreams occurring in the morning near the period of awakening receive their stimulation from the objective fight penetrating the eye from the lightened room.