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On Dreams   



1



WE must, in the next place, investigate the subject of the dream,

and first inquire to which of the faculties of the soul it presents

itself, i.e. whether the affection is one which pertains to the

faculty of intelligence or to that of sense-perception; for these

are the only faculties within us by which we acquire knowledge.

If, then, the exercise of the faculty of sight is actual seeing,

that of the auditory faculty, hearing, and, in general that of the

faculty of sense-perception, perceiving; and if there are some

perceptions common to the senses, such as figure, magnitude, motion,

&c., while there are others, as colour, sound, taste, peculiar [each

to its own sense]; and further, if all creatures, when the eyes are

closed in sleep, are unable to see, and the analogous statement is

true of the other senses, so that manifestly we perceive nothing

when asleep; we may conclude that it is not by sense-perception we

perceive a dream.

But neither is it by opinion that we do so. For [in dreams] we not

only assert, e.g. that some object approaching is a man or a horse

[which would be an exercise of opinion], but that the object is

white or beautiful, points on which opinion without sense-perception

asserts nothing either truly or falsely. It is, however, a fact that

the soul makes such assertions in sleep. We seem to see equally well

that the approaching figure is a man, and that it is white. [In

dreams], too, we think something else, over and above the dream

presentation, just as we do in waking moments when we perceive

something; for we often also reason about that which we perceive.

So, too, in sleep we sometimes have thoughts other than the mere

phantasms immediately before our minds. This would be manifest to

any one who should attend and try, immediately on arising from

sleep, to remember [his dreaming experience]. There are cases of

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