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and even see plants of distant regions suited to their climates." Some have been known to solve problems, make verses and deliver speeches, while others, will rise from bed asleep, with their eyes closed, and not only walk about the room or house, going up and down stairs, finding their way readily, and avoiding obstacles, but pass safely through very dangerous places, as windows, or on the roofs of houses. Some somnambuli or sleepwalkers will even execute still more difficult feats. They dress themselves, go out of doors, light a fire, undress and bathe, saddle and bridle a horse, write and ex. ecute all the actions of life correctly, and even sometimes acutely. During all this time they are asleep: the eyes are shut, or do not see if opened; and when, they are awakened, which is sometimes not easily effected, they do not remember what they have done. * Now all these facts go to show that there is no operation of the mind of which we are not sometimes capable in sleep. We reason, we recollect, we invent, we will, we put ourselves in motion. These facts tend to prove also that whatever subjects occupied the mind the most deeply when awake, would be most apt to occupy it also in its dreams. This we should expect to be the natural result from the principles before stated by us, in regard to the consentaneous action of the mind and body. For as soon as those actions are produced in our perceptive powers which set the mind to thinking, it would seem natural to expect, that they should be immediately succeeded by those other actions in the bodily organs and mind, to which we were most accustomed. On this account the mathematician, in his dream, will again demonstrate his theorems and problems; the natural philosopher prosecute his arguments from induction; the moralist prescribe the rules of moral duty; the poet indulge his propensity for verse, and the man of business retrace the transactions of his life. Under this view of the subject, nothing could be more natural than that Brutus should have seen either in a sleeping or waking vision, his evil genius, who declared to him, “ I am, brutus, trine evil genius! but thou shalt see me again near Philippi;” or the dream which Shakspeare puts into the mouth of the Duke of Clarence, during his confinement in prison, when with so much beauty and pathos, he represents him as having felt himself to be drowning during the visions of the night. The anxious and perturbed state of mind in which both these persons inust have been at the time, would naturally have given rise to such unpleasant visions.
* See Rees' Cyclopedia, Arts. Dreaming and Sleeping.
The next phenomenon exhibited in dreaming, which is worthy of remark, is, that confused and obscure world into which, on such occasions, we seem to be introduced. The objects and images are, indeed, all such as are taken from those archetypes which are found in this world, but they are transformed, as by the hand of a magician. We seem to be transported into a fairy land, and something like that which the poets have feigned of the regions below, the place of departed heroes and sages. Objects are presented which deeply interest and agitate us, but they fit before the mind in quick succession, and are at best but dimly seen as through a mist. Does not this circumstance definitively show that our dreams are not merely those thoughts of the soul which are recollected, while the soul is alwavs thinking? If this were the case, would there be this distinction between our perceptions in dreams and when waking? Would the one appear so much clearer, more satisfactory, and more coherent than the others? Is it not evident that the state of the mind, when it is thinking amidst its dreams, is entirely different from that in which it is when waking? In what can this difference consist, but in the alteration produced by aleep in those bodily organs by whose means it performs all its operations? The only way in which this appearance of obscurity and dimness in all our perceptions during sleep, can be accountted for, is from the sluggish and inactive state of the body, which renders the mind unable to perform, through its instrumentality, except very inadequately, the operations of thinking
The next singular circumstance in dreaming is, that strange appearance of reality which attends all our thoughts and conceptions. In our moments of waking, we may form ten thousand imaginations in the mind, paint unnumbered scenes, and sport ourselves with figuring imaginary objects and adventures, and never for a moment, be deluded with any sense of their reality. But in our dreams, our most airy and fantastick figures have a real existence, our chimeras, gorgons and hydras live, the wildest fictions are realised, we take part in the most hazarduus adventures, sail in the air, are tossed in tempests upon the ocean, tumble from the tops of houses, and escape with difficulty from volcanoes, earthquakes and inundations. Whence do these airy imaginations derive their impression of reality? May it not be that the same actions and alterations are produced in our bodily organs of perception as if these objects and scenes were really present, and that the reason and judgment, in such cases, are too torpid and inactive to correct the delusions of imagination? In proportion to the feebleness of reason among mankind are they prone to mistake their fantasies for realities. This is one reason why an unenlightened audience is more easily excited and transported out of themselves by the bold figures, and glowing pictures of the orator and the actor, than that which is enlightened. Hence too, when reason, in cases of insanity, is entirely tossed from her throne, the maniac becomes the sport of every wild illusion.
Lastly. We think that the truth of the theory we have stated above, is confirmed by the consideration, that every thing which increases the irritability of the nervous system, increases the tendency of mankind to dreaming. Men of active habits and strong, robust constitutions, unless they be
subject to local disorders, sleep soundly, and are seldom disturbed with dreaming; while the sedentary, the delicate, and the nervous scarcely ever pass a night without this disturbance. This too ought to be expected, if dreams arise, as we have above maintained, in affections of the corporeal organs, because those organs under these circumstances are more easily excited; but if the soul always thinks, and our dreams are merely our recollected thoughts during sleep, why should we be more likely to recollect those ideas which pass through the mind during our repose, when our nervous system is delicate and disordered, than when it is sound and strong?
Alienations of Mind, Deliriums, Ecstacies, &c.
A similar solution may be given of other mental phenomena, such as alienations of mind, deliriums, the excitement which leads to somnambulism, ecstacies and trances, idiocy and madness, together with those idle superstitions about spectres and apparitions that so strongly awaken the popular sensibility, and so egregiously abuse the credulity of the vulgar. Alienations of mind are in many cases very singular. A gentleman from the state of New York who had been for some time indisposed, had some business to perform at Norristown, in the state of Pennsylvania. Setting off from home he went to Norristown, transacted the business which was assigned him, received a sum of money from the bank in behalf of a company with which he had some connection, and was just ready to return to his family, when, on a sudden, his mind became disordered. Without any apparent motive he commenced a journey on horseback to Baltimore, of more than an hundred miles; and after remaining a short time in that city, equally without motive, he went from Baltimore to a small town upon Lake Erie, at a distance of more than two hundred miles, travelling too at an inclement season of the year. Upon his arrival at the town upon Lake Erie, being probably greatly fatigued and exhausted, he obtained a refreshing sleep, and upon waking in the morning, appears to have come to his recollection, and