in this way i urged myself on to a bold undertaking. i resolved to fix my dream-state and learn its secret. ‘why should i not,’ i asked myself, ‘at last force those mystic gates, armed with all my will-power, and dominate my sensations instead of being subject to them? is it not possible to control this fascinating, dread chimera, to rule the spirits of the night which play with our reason? sleep takes up a third of our lives. it consoles the sorrows of our days and the sorrow of their pleasures; but i have never felt any rest in sleep. for a few seconds i am numbed, then a new life begins, freed from the conditions of time and space, and doubtless similar to the state which awaits us after death. who knows if there is not some link between those two existences and if it is not possible for the soul to unite them now?
from that moment on i devoted myself to trying to find the meaning of my dreams, and this anxiety influenced my waking thoughts. i seemed to understand that there was a bond between the external and internal worlds: that only inattention or spiritual confusion distorted the outward affinities between them, -and this explained the strangeness of certain pictures, which are like grimacing reflections of real objects on a surface of troubled water.