The Free lance. (State College, Pa.) 1887-1904, April 01, 1894, Image 9
eral Alumni Association, there be formed at cen tral points, local organizations, for the purpose of renewing good old college days, furthering the in terests of Alma Mater and of assisting the recent graduates, the members may find it of personal benefit. In the Western cities, are found numer ous local alumni organizations which do a great deal for the advancement of their college. In some cases, the local associations are entrusted with the supervision of examinations for admission at points distant from the college. Some of the sister College Alumni hold informal banquets three times a year, all of which necessarily tends to promote the welfare of the institution repre sented. WNY DO WE DREAM? The old definition of man as composed of "body, soul, and clothes," might well besupple• mented by adding "and dreams." The latter have played 'a significant part in the history of human society. It may be open to, doubt in deed, whether 'the "face" of history would be altered if "Cleopatra's nose had been shorter," but none can deny that if the race had dreamed differently, its life must have been different. Wit ness the fact, that among pre-historic peoples and even subsequently, all actions of grave im port, expeditions for war or peace, the founding of cities, choice of rulers, marriage, etc., all were incited and guided by the revelation of dream states. Waitz, Vogt, Tylor, Lubbock, Spencer, and others have made these things familiar. Again, it is evident that among the Hebrews truth in all forms came almost exclusively by dreams; and men prophesied because the heavens had been opened and visions showered upon the uncon scious soul. So that, were we seeking for a para dox (the stock in trade of some writers), we could affirm with as much truthfulness that civilization is measured by the character of its dreams, as by the "amount of soap" it uses, the "time of re tirement," or the "bulk of sulphuric acid" em ployed. THE FREE LANCE. The significance of dream-consciousness has been appreciated in a measure by the poet: for example, Byron, who sings : "Our life is twofold, Sleep hath its own world, And a wide realm of wild reality, And dreams in their development have breath, And tears, and tortures, and the touch ofjoy; They leave a weight upon our waking thoughts, They take a weight from off our waking tolls, They do divide our being; they become A portion of ourselves as of our time. And look like heralds of eternity." Compare the beautiful picture which the psycho logical poet, Shakespeare, has drawn by the hand of Mercutio, in Romeo and Juliet„ Act I. Scene IV:— Moreover the strange and interesting phe nomena of hypnotism have given a fresh signifi cance to the study of sleep and its children— dreams. The natural approach to the under standing of the states of hypnosis lies in the physi cal and psychical conditions of sleep and dream life. For doubtless, a direct line of continuity can be traced frim ordinary waking conscious ness, through sleep and dreams to the phenomena of hypnotism, genius, artistic and poetic exhalta tion, insanity, etc. Thus Kant affirms, that the "madman is only the dreamer awake," and Pope's "Great wits to madness near allied" is familiar. If we were to make a study of our dreams or in default of that, accept the statement of De Quincey;—"The machinery for dreaming planted in the human brain was not planted for nothing" —the question, why do we dream, urges itself upon one. What is the meaning of all the wierd, ghostly, gay and purple colorings which our dreams cast over our experiences ? Are they merely the play of forces, unconsciously rambling "Sh►e is the fairlee' midwife—Drawn with a team of little atomies—Sometimes she gallops o'er a °our. tier's nose, And then dreams he of smelling out a suit, And sometimes con►es she with a tithe-pig's tail Tickling a parson's nose as he lies asleep, Then dreams he of another benefice: Sometimes she driveth over a soldier's neck, And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats, Of breaches. ambuscades, Spanish blades, Of healths live fathoms deep" ete.