Kant, Immanuel - Quotes - On dreams and dreaming
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Notes to Dreams of a Spirit Seer
This may be elucidated by a certain double personality which belongs to the soul even in this life. Certain philosophers think that, without fear of the least objection, they can refer to the state of sound sleep when they want to prove the reality of obscure ideas, since nothing can be said about that state with certainty, except that, in the waking state, we do not remember any of the ideas which we might have had in sound sleep.
From this fact, however, follows only this much, that the ideas were not clearly represented while we were waking up, but not that they were obscure also while we slept.
I rather suppose that ideas in sleep may be clearer and broader than even the clearest in the waking state.
This is to be expected of such an active being as the soul when the external senses are so completely at rest.
For man, at such times, is not sensible of his body. When he wakes up his body is not associated with the ideas of his sleep, so that it cannot be a means of recalling this former state of thought to consciousness in such a way as to make it appear to belong to one and the same person.
A confirmation of my idea of sound sleep is found in the activity of some who walk in their sleep, and who, in such a state, betray more intelligence than usual, although in waking up they do not remember anything.
Dreams, however, i.e., the ideas which one remembers in waking up, do not belong here. For then man does not wholly sleep, he perceives to a certain degree clearly, and weaves the actions of his spirit into the impressions of the external senses. He therefore remembers them in part afterwards, but finds in them only wild and absurd chimeras, since ideas of phantasy and of external sensation are intermingled in them