OUT OF THE ORDINARY DREAMS
I have often questioned those who have been born blind as to their dreams. They can, of course, only judge of dreamland by the impression it conveys to their senses of smell, hearing and feeling. One blind man, a musician, told me he had most of the ordinary dreams, such as those of falling, flying, and drowning. “But” he added, “My most common dream is to imagine I can see, and when I awake and find I am still blind, totally blind, the dis- illusion is most cruel. I invariably have this dream before a severe cold in my head. Before financial worries, I have dreamed I am being chased from room to room in a big, empty castle by something that is not a human being, something I have never met in real life but which I can only presume must be a ghost. I cannot describe it, saving that it brings with it a very peculiar atmosphere that suggests to my mind an extremely cold, bizarre, and antagonistic presence. It fills me with the most fearful terror, and I awake trembling from head to foot.”Another blind man told me that, before an illness or death, he invariably dreamed he lost his way out-of-doors, and eventually found himself in a street where everyone was singing and dancing, and that, on his arrival, they joined hands and danced round him in a circle, and would not let him escape, till, for very weariness he sank on the ground, when all became silent and cold as the grave and he awoke shaking with fear.Another blind man told me that prior to a visit from his brother, he nearly always dreamed he was walking in a field full of blind animals that surrounded him on all sides, and felt him all over with their paws. They then suddenly vanished, and he found himself knee deep in water, when he invariably awoke.I once met a blind woman who informed me that, prior to receiving any disappointment, she always dreamed she was tormented by a little boy with a square-shaped head, who bit and pinched her till she shrieked with pain, when someone instantly came running up and shot him, and she always awoke with the report of the gun ringing in her ears.The ordinary dreams, such as I have mentioned in Part I, would seem to have the same significance to the blind as to other people.