an image diary

"And if he left off dreaming about you, where do you suppose you'd be? ... You'd be nowhere. Why, you're only a sort of thing in his dream! If that there King was to wake you'd go out -- bang! -- just like a candle!"

"Hush! You'll be waking him, I'm afraid, if you make so much noise."

"Well it's no use your talking about waking him when you're only one of the things in his dream. You know very well you're not real."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

. .


The first of Descartes' Olympica dreams:
"Several phantoms presented themselves and frightened Descartes. Walking through the streets he had to turn to the left side to advance to where he wanted to go, because he felt a great feebleness on the right side on which he couldn't support himself. Ashamed of walking this way, he tried to straighten himself, but an impetuous wind carried him in a sort of whirlwind and whirled him about three or four times on his left foot. He thought he would fall at each step, until having seen an open college on the road he entered to find a retreat and a remedy for his sickness. He wished to reach it with the thought first of prayer, but having passed a man he knew without greeting him, he tried to retrace his steps to do so, but was pushed violently by the wind against the Church. In the middle of the college court, he saw another person who called him courteously by name, and told him that if he was looking for Monsieur N., he had something to give him. Descartes imagined it was a melon which had been brought from a foreign country. What surprised him more was to see that those who were gathered around this person stood firm on their feet, while he always remained bent and unsteady. The wind meanwhile subsided. He then awoke, and felt a real pain, which made him fear that some evil genius had wished to seduce him. He had been sleeping on his left side, and turned to the right, praying God to save him from misfortune and punishment of his sins."

Lewis Samuel Feuer, Varieties of Scientific Experience: emotive aims in scientific hypotheses



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