Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/47

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LITERATURE OF THE DREAM

it is established that the bodily organs become in sickness an exciting source of dreams, and if we admit that the mind, diverted during sleep from the outer world, can devote more attention to the interior of the body, we may readily assume that the organs need not necessarily become diseased in order to permit stimuli, which in some way or other grow into dream pictures, to reach the sleeping mind. What in the waking state we broadly perceive as general sensation, distinguishable by its quality alone, to which, in the opinion of the physicians, all the organic systems contribute their shares—this general sensation at night attaining powerful efficiency and becoming active with its individual components—would naturally furnish the most powerful as well as the most common source for the production of the dream presentations. It still remains, however, to examine according to what rule the organic sensations become transformed into dream presentations.

The theory of the origin of dreams just stated has been the favourite with all medical authors. The obscurity which conceals the essence of our being—the "moi splanchnique," as Tissié terms it—from our knowledge and the obscurity of the origin of the dream correspond too well not to be brought into relation with each other. The train of thought which makes organic sensation the inciter of the dream has besides another attraction for the physician, inasmuch as it favours the etiological union of the dream and mental diseases, which show so many agreements in their manifestations, for alterations in the organic sensations and excitations emanating from the inner organs are both of wide significance in the origin of the psychoses. It is therefore not surprising that the theory of bodily sensation can be traced to more than one originator who has propounded it independently.

A number of authors have been influenced by the train of ideas developed by the philosopher Schopenhauer in 1851. Our conception of the universe originates through the fact that our intellect recasts the impressions coming to it from without in the moulds of time, space, and causality. The sensations from the interior of the organism, proceeding from the sympathetic nervous system, exert in the day-time an influence on our mood for the most part unconscious. At