Les portes du Monde Intérieur.

Dreams from their origins to the present day :

Totem : Animal considered as the ancestor, and therefore the protector of a clan.

Shaman : Priest-sorcerer, both diviner and therapist in the civilizations of central and northern Asia and, by extension, in other civilizations.

Medium : Person reputed to have the power to communicate with spirits.

Author's note : The spirit : In this study we will deal with the notion of religion many times.
In order to avoid any misunderstanding, I would like to make a distinction between Faith or belief in an inaccessible Truth which seems to animate all human beings without exception and which we will not discuss here, and personal convictions based on principles given as intangible while other convictions can affirm the opposite while remaining just as indisputable.
Thus, if belief seems to have always existed in man, what we will study here will essentially be the evolution of its supports, established to explain it, or even justify it, supports that have varied as human knowledge has developed.

Sigmund Freud : (1856-1939) : Austrian physician, founder of psychoanalysis.

Consciousness : The faculty that man has of knowing his own reality and of judging it.

The conscious mind : The whole of the psychic facts of which the subject is conscious.

The unconscious : Characteristics of phenomena which, by nature, escape consciousness.

Oniric : Relating to dreams. Who evokes a dream, seems to come out of a dream.

Karl Gustav Jung : (1875-1961) Swiss psychiatrist, disciple of Freud. He deviated from the theses of his master and created analytical psychology.

Electro-encephalogram : Tracing obtained by recording the electrical activity of the brain.

Slow wave sleep : A phase of sleep characterized by slow-wave electrical activity in the brain, while maintaining muscle tone.

REM sleep : Phase of sleep characterized by a cerebral electrical activity close to the waking state with total muscular atony contrary to what happens in the states of wakefulness as well as slow wave sleep.

Pr Michel Jouvet : (1925-2017) French neurobiologist.
He is the inventor in 1961 of the concept of REM sleep and the author of the classification of sleep into its different stages:
- slow wave sleep, because of the slow waves that accompany it on EEG tracings, and REM sleep, during which rapid eye movements are recorded.

Varole Bridge :
Varole Bridge

Affect : Emotional charge linked to the satisfaction of an impulse.

Cold-blooded animals : (= poikilotherms) animals whose internal temperature and, consequently, motor activity, is subject to the thermal conditions of the external environment (lower vertebrates, reptiles).

Neo-cortex : area of brain development that appeared most recently during the evolution of species.

Warm-blooded animals : (= homeotherms) that have a thermal regulation allowing the body to keep a constant temperature (mammals).

Marsupial : a primitive type of mammal whose female has a ventral pouch containing the udders and intended to receive the young after birth.

Niels Henrik David Bohr : Danish physicist born on October 7, 1885 in Copenhagen, Denmark, who is best known for his contribution to the development of quantum mechanics.

Atom : - According to the ancient atomists, the constituent element of matter, indivisible and homogeneous.
- Particle of a chemical element that forms the smallest quantity that can be combined.

Normal : Corresponding to a norm, i.e. to a model, a rule.

The appearance and development of thought within life :

Intelligence : The ability to know, to understand.
(Dic. Larousse): Ability to adapt to a situation, to choose according to circumstances.

Evolutionnism : A set of theories explaining the evolution of species over the ages (Lamarckism, Darwinism, Mutationism).
Anthropology, sociology : doctrine according to which the history of societies unfolds progressively and without discontinuity.

Hasard : Unpredictable and often personified cause, attributed to fortuitous or inexplicable events.

Necessary : - Corresponding to a fundamental need, which one can hardly or cannot do without.
- What is indispensable for the needs of life.

NdA : Evolution : Our intention here is not to enter the debate of determinism, but to consider evolution as a succession of stages that respect a chronological order.

Protozoan : Unicellular living being that lacks chlorophyll and develops by cell division or sexual reproduction.

Metazoan : Multi-cellular animal.

Understand : take in, adapt.

Sense (Larousse) : Psychophysiological function through which an organism receives information about certain elements of the external environment, whether physical (sight, hearing, sensitivity to gravity, touch) or chemical (taste, smell).

The five senses : la vue, l'ouïe, l'odorat, le toucher, le goût.

Animalcule (Larousse) : Very small animal, visible only under a microscope.

Animal (Larousse) : Living, organized being ; endowed with mobility, sensitivity, and feeding on organic substances.

DNA (Larousse) : Deoxyribonucleic acid, spiral molecule, essential constituent of the chromosomes in the cell nucleus.

Gregariousness : Tendency to live as a troop.

Prehistory : - Chronological period in the life of mankind from the appearance of man to that of writing.
- All the scientific disciplines concerned with tracing the evolution of human behavior during this period.

Living matter : Carbon-based matter of which living beings are made.

Biology : sciences de la vie et, plus spécialement, étude du cycle reproductif des êtres vivants.

Zoology : branch of the natural sciences concerned with the study of animals.

Human sciences : Disciplines concerned with man and his individual and collective behavior, past and present.

Neurosciences : All the biological or clinical disciplines that study the nervous system and its disorders.

Rupestral : ( rupes=rock) : made on rocks, carved in rock.

Pariétal :( paries=paroi): peint, dessiné ou gravé sur les parois d'une grotte ayant servi d'habitat à l'époque préhistorique.

Abstraction : Action of separating, isolating.

Symbol : Figurative sign, animate being or thing, which represents a concept, which is its image, attribute, emblem.
symbolus= sign of recognition. That which represents something else by virtue of an analogical correspondence.

From images to writing :

Historical : belonging to a period for which there are written documents.

Pictogram : drawing representing a word.

Logogram : graphic sign representing a word.

Phonogram : signe graphique représentant un son ou une suite de sons.

Computer : one who orders, puts in order.

Ordonnateur : person who arranges, puts in order.

Sensible : perceived by the senses.

Thought : manner in which the activity of the mind is expressed.

Les supports nerveux de la pensée :

Paleoencephalon : "Ancient" brain.

Poikilotherm : Refers to animals whose variable body temperature is subject to external environmental conditions.

Origins and functions of dreams :

Neurogenesis : Process of nerve cell multiplication that continues throughout fetal life, and ceases shortly after birth in higher vertebrates. In lower vertebrates, the process lasts throughout life.

Phylogenesis : Mode of formation of species.

Mammalian reptile : the term "mammalian reptile" refers to reptiles, one group of which gave rise to the mammals. Most of them disappeared at the end of the Upper Triassic during a period of mass extinction, with the exception of the line that gave rise to the mammals.

Exceptional cases : some crocodiles may have very short periods of REM sleep.

Homeostasis : Tendency of living organisms to maintain their biological parameters constant in the face of changes in the external environment.

Ontogenesis : Development of the individual, from fertilization of the egg to adulthood.

Seismic sleep : Name given to certain periods of fetal brain activity with similarities to REM sleep, similarities which have led to it being said that the fetus is dreaming.

Affective : concerning states of pleasure or pain.
It is necessary to know that primitive life is governed by a single bipolar mode of reaction: what is good for life is pleasant, and what is bad for it is painful.

In this apprenticeship, the rat is placed in a maze where it must find food. It learns to locate the food and memorize the route after a certain number of trials..

The REM sleep suppression experiment the rodent is placed on a narrow platform above a tank filled with water : it may sleep, its muscle tone persisting during this phase, but as soon as it enters SP, the inhibition of its muscle tone will cause it to fall into the water, waking it up.

E.e.g. (électro-encéphalogram) : trace obtained by recording the electrical activity of neurons using electrodes placed on the scalp.

E.m.g. (électro-myogram) : trace obtained by recording muscular electrical activity.

Exogenous : Occurs outside the body.

Endogenous : Originating within an organism.

Synapse : Zone of contact between two neurons.

Language evolution :

To Tame : To make an animal less wild. To make a person more social, more docile. To make familiar.

Physiological : Concerning the functioning of a living organism.

NdA : Individual life : The word egoistic, charged with a negative meaning, has been discarded in most societies. And yet that's what it's all about : the preservation of one's self, without value judgment, as we'll see later in the analysis of dreams.

Syntax : All the rules governing word order and sentence construction.

NdA : Among chimpanzees, where physical force is the law of the group, females who have discovered food and would otherwise be forced to abandon it to the males, frequently lure the latter in the opposite direction before returning to the scene of their discovery.

Logic : A way of reasoning, as practiced in fact, whether or not in accordance with the rules of formal logic.
Abstract, schematic reasoning, often opposed to the complexity of reality.

Sensitive thinking : Term taken to mean the biological faculty of selecting a reaction in response to one or more items of information.

Dream mechanisms during REM sleep :

Abstract : deprived of concrete reality.

Abstract : to divert, to isolate.

NdA : Animal brain : to understand and accept the use of this term without giving it a negative connotation, we need to relate it to its Latin etymology, the word "anima", which designates breath, life and the principle of life. In order to express and clarify all these different nuances, today's language has had to transform the original word.
Previously, each word had a broader meaning. Today, none of our words is capable of capturing its original richness.

From Myth to Dream :

Darwin : English naturalist and biologist (1809-1882). The original views he developed in his famous work "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection" on the variability of species form a body of transformist doctrine known as Darwinism.

Stanley Miller : American biologist who is considered the father of the chemistry of the origins of life on earth.

NdA : The term "man" seems to have been chosen here as a representative symbol of a new structuring of matter : carbon-based matter now develops independently of the mineral world.
Man is thus taken in the sense of organic life, and not in the sense of a person.

NdA : Man and woman : Organic life has evolved to the animal stage. The term man, completed by that of woman, describes a form of life where logic has been completed by sensitive perception. It was only later that the attainment of consciousness made it possible to speak of human beings in the sense we understand them today.

NdA : God : To understand the varying meanings of this term, see the note on the word "soul" (anima). See above note on "animal brain".

NdA : We'll take the term "sensitive" here in the sense of "ability to react to excitements", and not in the sense of "ability to be moved", which might imply that only women are endowed with sensitivity.
Let's not forget that we interpret this passage from Genesis as a description of the evolution of mental structures within the animal kingdom, with the appearance of a sensitive cerebral hemisphere, complementing an analytical hemisphere (symbolically masculine).

Eden : Delights : Refers to what we feel.

Chérubim : In Mesopotamia, Cherubim were bull - or sphinx - shaped genii who symbolically guarded the entrances to palaces, holy places or even divine thrones.
In the Bible, they are the angels who guard the entrance to God's domain.

Lightning sword : The great god of the West Semites, the god of storms, was depicted brandishing lightning in his hand.

Selfishness : generally used in the sense of "making everything about oneself", it should not be forgotten that such behavior is necessary and complementary to altruism.

Adultery : ad alterum : to turn towards someone else.

The two languages of man :

Orient : one of the four cardinal points, the side of the horizon where the sun rises.
(Symbolically: birth of life).

Babel (TOB) : from "Bab-ilani": Gate of the gods, and "bâlal": to confuse, trouble, confuse.

Concrete : Designating or qualifying a real being. It can be perceived by the senses or imagined.

Abstraction : Separation, isolation.

Idée abstraite : Opposed to concrete representation, reality.

Dream language :

Language (Wikipedia) : Language is a set of signs (vocal, gestural, graphic, tactile, olfactory, etc.) endowed with semantics, and most often with syntax. More commonly, language is a means of communication.

NdA : Language is taken here in the sense of a communication system involving the external world and the structures that interpret it within the brain.
This language, which for higher mammals is a two-way communication between two individuals, is here a one-way language. More precisely, it's a visual language made up of the image (which appears before the gaze of the subject observing it) and the nervous system, which analyzes it to derive meaning.
In this sense, there is a dialogue between the image or situation perceived, and the consciousness of the subject perceiving it.
- The reptile brain perceives the external world, interprets it and reacts accordingly.
- The mammal's social brain perceives instinctive reactions, interprets them and reacts accordingly. But it adapts its behavior according to its own social learning. We'll assume that the dream reproduces these situations.
- In humans, the rational brain perceives instinctive and animal reactions. It interprets them but, because of the pre-eminence of its social prohibitions, reacts only in a very attenuated way. His dream reproduces these situations, but with an amplified instinctive stimulus.

Idea : Intellectual representation, distinguished from phenomena of affectivity or activity.

Pegasus : Winged horse that sprang a fountain from which poetic inspiration was drawn.
NdA : As a horse, he represents the instinctive forces that can carry us, and his wings symbolize the thought that can free us from material contingencies.

Unicorn (Dic. Robert) : A fabulous animal with the body of a horse, the head of a horse or a stag, and a single horn in the middle of its forehead.

Archetype : For Jung, a primitive, universal symbol belonging to the collective unconscious.

Invent : To create, discover, "imagine".

Postulate : Principle of a deductive system that cannot be taken as the basis of a demonstration without the assent of the listener.
An unprovable principle that appears legitimate, incontestable.