chapter  4
32 Pages

Children's Dreams

DREAMS always have interested mankind. For certain races and individuals they have held a deeper significance than for others. Many primitive peoples regard them as the memory of experiences undergone by the soul while separated from the sleeping body. Frazer * states that when an Indian wakes he is firmly convinced that his soul really has been away hunting, fishing, felling trees or following whatever pursuit he had dreamed. More civilized people have regarded dreams as prophetic of the destinies of the dreamer or, in the case of oracular dreams, of those of the individual for whom the dreamer is proxy. Such dreams, e.g., those of Joseph,2 abound in classical literature. Popular opinion to-day seems largely to hold a similar view as the popularity of dream books testifies. If the man on the street does not subscribe to the prophetic character of dreams he usually dismisses them as curious but totally meaningless occurrences.