1 Given verbatim as written by the dreamer.
"Suddenly I bethought me of the power I had to rise in the air at will. I concentrated all my thoughts upon escaping in that way. As I went up and up, I looked steadily into the face of the man standing silently in the road watching me until he seemed a mere speck in the road. Then I moved toward the village. I could see the forest and the road and noticed many telegraph wires stretching beneath me. As I reached the ravine at the edge of the town, I thought it best to descend, as the people might wonder at seeing me in the air. I started down, but I went faster than I intended to go and barely missed being stranded on the telegraph wires. I realized that I must reduce my speed or be hurt, so I exerted all my will power and succeeded in alighting safely on my feet. I walked home without doing the errand I started for and went into the house to my mother. Then I awoke."
The discussion of typical dreams leads to another subject of great interest, which has recently attracted the attention of psycho-analysts, namely, the relationship between dreams and myths. In general it may be stated that the psychological structure and meaning of both dreams and myths are the same. A myth is a waking dream, a fantasy. Dreams frequently originate from the emotions common to mankind and thus produce the typical dreams already described, and the same common emotion gives rise to typical myths. An analysis of typical dreams, therefore, furnishes the best standpoint for the analysis of universal myths and legends; for instance, the childhood wish for the death of the father as forming the groundwork for the OEdipus-complex dreams and OEdipus myth or the dreams of nakedness with lack of sense of shame as furnishing the basis for the myth of a Paradise or Garden of Eden. Both these dreams and myths are symbols, and such symbolism has its roots in the unconscious. In the individual this unconscious symbolism leads to dreams; in the race and society, to myths, legends, and fairy tales. The myth is therefore a fragment of the repressed life of the race. Both myths and dreams are activated by unconscious mental processes, particularly the infantile and primitive elements of the unconscious with their consequent repression. We dream, not only in sleep, but also have our artificial dreams. It is these artificial dreams which, as individual products, may enter into the spirit of a race and so give rise to myths and fairy tales. The ultimate origin of all myths is to be found in the creative faculty of the unconscious, a faculty which is equally able to make night dreams or artificial dreams, myths, and fairy tales, the only difference being, not in the fundamental mechanism, which is always identical, but in the use of the material employed and its dramatization. Thus is explained the horror of the dreams of the death of near and dear relatives, which were wished, not in adult life, but in the early, prehistoric period of our childhood and lie deeply buried in our adult unconscious. The wish revealed itself only in dreams when the censor was relaxed or ceased to act, but even here the meaning of the dream can be brought out only through a searching psycho-analysis.
Myths, like dreams, are symbolized, and the myth, which is really the manifest content, contains within itself the latent emotions of the collective race spirit, and thus comes to express something which its outer form does not suggest or signify. Such symbolisms have many dream-like attributes. They are not only highly condensed products of the thought of the race, but like typical dreams they have their roots in the archaic and primitive types of racial thinking. Thus in a more or less modified form they can appear as almost identical myths in various ethnic groups, which may be separated by immense periods of time and under different conditions of cultural advancement.
The symbolisms which are so frequent in art and in ecclesiastical architecture, are also examples of such symbolic thinking applied to the creative imagination. The creative imagination itself, which is really a type of a day-dream, is constantly striving to express its desires and wishes, thus resembling our dreams at night. The artist and the poet, like the dreamer, express their thoughts in symbols whose origin is frequently unknown to the individual, but which can repeatedly be traced to the unconscious mental life. It is there that the motive or creative impulse lies. An excellent example of such a symboliza-tion in popular thought is the mediaeval idea of the devil. Analysis of the conception of the devil shows that it is really the exteriorization of a forbidden and repressed wish. This is well seen in Giotto's painting of the temptation of Judas, where the devil is portrayed as a shadow behind Judas and pushing forward the hand of Judas for the pieces of silver. In "Faust," too, Mephis-topheles is symbolized as the guilty conscience, the forbidden desire projected out-wards in the shape of a devil. As so clearly expressed by Taylor:1
"But how are sins thought to come to men and women in the Middle Ages, and especially to those who were earnestly striving to escape them ? Rather than fruit of the naughtiness of the human heart, they come through the malicious suggestions, the temptations, of a Tempter. They were in fine the machinations of the Devil."
1 "The Mediaeval Mind," vol. I, p. 487.