Home | Texts by category | | Quick Search:   
Works by Aristotle
Pages of On Dreams

Previous | Next

On Dreams   

by day, while the senses and the intellect are working together,

they (i.e. such movements) are extruded from consciousness or

obscured, just as a smaller is beside a larger fire, or as small

beside great pains or pleasures, though, as soon as the latter have

ceased, even those which are trifling emerge into notice. But by night

[i.e. in sleep] owing to the inaction of the particular senses, and

their powerlessness to realize themselves, which arises from the

reflux of the hot from the exterior parts to the interior, they

[i.e. the above 'movements'] are borne in to the head quarters of

sense-perception, and there display themselves as the disturbance

(of waking life) subsides. We must suppose that, like the little

eddies which are being ever formed in rivers, so the sensory movements

are each a continuous process, often remaining like what they were

when first started, but often, too, broken into other forms by

collisions with obstacles. This [last mentioned point], moreover,

gives the reason why no dreams occur in sleep immediately after meals,

or to sleepers who are extremely young, e.g. to infants. The

internal movement in such cases is excessive, owing to the heat

generated from the food. Hence, just as in a liquid, if one vehemently

disturbs it, sometimes no reflected image appears, while at other

times one appears, indeed, but utterly distorted, so as to seem

quite unlike its original; while, when once the motion has ceased, the

reflected images are clear and plain; in the same manner during

sleep the phantasms, or residuary movements, which are based upon

the sensory impressions, become sometimes quite obliterated by the

above described motion when too violent; while at other times the

sights are indeed seen, but confused and weird, and the dreams

[which then appear] are unhealthy, like those of persons who are

atrabilious, or feverish, or intoxicated with wine. For all such

affections, being spirituous, cause much commotion and disturbance. In

sanguineous animals, in proportion as the blood becomes calm, and as

its purer are separated from its less pure elements, the fact that the

Previous | Next
Site Search