Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 20.djvu/480

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ance between the higher and lower faculties will not be so great as when the incongruities of the dream are unchecked, and yet the pictures and thoughts present to the mind are especially clear and strong in their outline and coloring. Intensity without coherence is, as a rule, worse than an equal amount of vivid dreaming with more connectedness of thought. We now know something, though a very little, in truth, about dreaming, and we may pass to the consideration of our proper subject—dreams and the making of dreams.

Dreams are re-collections, in the strict sense of that word. The pictures which have been put away in the chambers of mental imagery, the thoughts which have been recorded, as all thoughts are recorded, by the molecules of the brain in the act of thinking, the impressions left by perceptions made by the organs of sense, and by conceptions originated by the faculties of mental sensation, impressions of feeling, together composing the records of experience, are brought out of their holes and corners, and, as it were, thrown crudely before the mind. There is seldom any clear evidence of order in the arrangement, but there is no reason why, if the collecting faculty be thoroughly awake, it should not follow beaten tracks, and arrange the pictures and records it reproduces in their natural sequence. Moreover, there is that association of ideas which forms the basis of memory, and this will almost necessitate a certain amount of connection between the elements of the most chaotic dream. All that seems to be original in a dream is due to the kaleidoscopic effect of throwing the materials of which the scene is constituted into new and startling combinations. We know how much of novelty may be produced in the accidental combinations effected by shaking together some dozen particles of colored glass, or other small objects, in a kaleidoscope. The variety will be greater and the new combinations more surprising in the throwing together of memories in a dream, because the natural associations help to give vraisemblance to the effect, and the imagination, which is seldom wholly asleep, gives finishing touches to the panorama as it proceeds. Much less, however, is due to the intervention of fancy in a dream than is commonly supposed. The great majority of the results produced are caused by the overlapping of pictures, the entangling of threads of thought, and the distortion of the original connections between ideas, pictures, and records of impressions which have either been received or put away together, or connected in previous dreams. For dreams are often, wholly or in part, reproductions of former dreams, and in process of years a mind may become expert in, or habituated to, the experience of a particular class of night visions and night-thoughts. Dreams may be roughly divided into four classes: 1. Those of the present; 2. Those of the past; 3. Those of the future; and, 4. Dreams which would appear to be simply heapings together of inchoate ideas and mind-pictures, without either time, order, method, or reason. On each of these classes of dreams there