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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/109

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101
DREAM AND REALITY.

ence of the moral standards of the dream with those of the waking condition; the confusion of temporal duration and sequence; and the transformations of personality and character, concerning which I would ask, however, if the eccentricities betrayed are not rather in the nature of more complete exposure. I have sometimes been surprised at the psychological revelations of dreams; faults and weaknesses that we do not avow when in the normal condition reveal themselves then with inexorable frankness; we yield to temptations that we evaded when awake, though inclined to them; to wickednesses which we kept closely shut up within us; reveal antipathies which we had dissimulated. Base desires break out, latent loves declare themselves, and things take place which, as in a play, bring the farthest depths of our hearts into the light; and when we wake we say: "That is true; it is just what I should have done under like circumstances. I had never thought of it, and I am not proud of it, but it is so."

There is this real distinction between the dream and the waking state: that when awake I know there is another condition, while in the dream I take no thaught of the waking state. Awake, I know that I have been living the fantastic dream life, and have come out of it into a real life completely distinct from the other. I am in a first state, and know there is a second. But when I am dreaming I have no thought of another state that I have come out of and must return to; I do not feel that there is another existence, radically separated from this one; and I never compare the visions of my dreams with my waking world, for I know nothing of it. I have the impression of having always lived the life I am in, which seems natural; and even if I ask whether I am not dreaming, it is a merely verbal expression, with no accompanying sense of the meaning of it. Another distinction, and the only absolutely clear one, is that while we always wake from the dream, we never wake from the reality. This is why we believe in the reality and not in the dream.

These two differences are differences in degree, but they do not necessarily indicate differences in nature. Similar facts are frequent among hypnotics. We may plunge them into a condition of somnambulism which we will call a second state; and then, from that, magnetize them over again into another somnambulism, which we call the third state. Now the curious fact comes to pass that the subject in the third state recollects the second state, but when in the second state again, knows nothing of having been in the third state. "Lucie 3," says M. Pierre Janet, "recollected her normal life perfectly; she also recollected previous somnambulisms, and all that Lucie 2 had said. . . . It was a long and hard task to awaken this