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On Dreams   


similarity is required to give rise to these illusory impressions.

Thus too, both in fits of anger, and also in all states of appetite,

all men become easily deceived, and more so the more their emotions

are excited. This is the reason too why persons in the delirium of

fever sometimes think they see animals on their chamber walls, an

illusion arising from the faint resemblance to animals of the markings

thereon when put together in patterns; and this sometimes

corresponds with the emotional states of the sufferers, in such a

way that, if the latter be not very ill, they know well enough that it

is an illusion; but if the illness is more severe they actually move

according to the appearances. The cause of these occurrences is that

the faculty in virtue of which the controlling sense judges is not

identical with that in virtue of which presentations come before the

mind. A proof of this is, that the sun presents itself as only a

foot in diameter, though often something else gainsays the

presentation. Again, when the fingers are crossed, the one object

[placed between them] is felt [by the touch] as two; but yet we deny

that it is two; for sight is more authoritative than touch. Yet, if

touch stood alone, we should actually have pronounced the one object

to be two. The ground of such false judgements is that any appearances

whatever present themselves, not only when its object stimulates a

sense, but also when the sense by itself alone is stimulated, provided

only it be stimulated in the same manner as it is by the object. For

example, to persons sailing past the land seems to move, when it is

really the eye that is being moved by something else [the moving ship.]

3



From this it is manifest that the stimulatory movements based upon

sensory impressions, whether the latter are derived from external

objects or from causes within the body, present themselves not only

when persons are awake, but also then, when this affection which is

called sleep has come upon them, with even greater impressiveness. For

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