Linear Hypnotism

The Dream of Flight p20

Let us agree for a moment with psychoanalysis that oneiric pleasure is satisfied by making the dreamer fly. How could this dull, confused, obscure impression take on the graceful images of flight! In its essential monotony, how could it become so picturesque as to provide endless stories about traveling on wings!


To answer these seemingly specialized questions would be to make a contribution both to the aesthetics of love and to the rationalization of imaginary travels.


The first question allows for a new perspective on the aesthetics of grace. A visual description alone does not suffice for this aesthetics. Any Bergsonian can attest that a gracefully curved trajectory must be followed by a responsive inner movement.


Every graceful line, then, disclose a kind of linear hypnotism: it guides our reverie by giving it the continuity of a line. But beyond the imitative intuition that obeys, there is always an impulse that commands. To one who contemplates a graceful line, dynamic imagination suggests a most unlikely substitution; you, dreamer, you are grace in motion.


Feel graceful power within yourself. Become conscious of being a reservoir of grace, of being a potential for breaking into flight. Understand that within your will are scrolls coiled like the new leaf of a young fern.


With whom, for whom, against whom are you graceful? Is your breaking into flight a deliverance or an abduction: Do you take pleasure in your goodness or your strength?  In your dexterity or in your nature?  When flying, voluptuousness is beautiful. The dream of flight is the dream of a seductive seducer. Love and its images cluster around this theme. By studying it we will see how love produces images.



Air and Dream by Gaston Bachelard 巴舍拉

Translated by Springhero雄伯

The Dream of Flight p21


Air and Dream by Gaston Bachelard 巴舍拉

Translated by Springhero雄伯


To resolve the second question, we must pay attention to the ease with which the dream of flight can be rationalized. Even during the dream itself, this flight receives a tireless commentary from the dreamer’s intelligence, explained in long speeches that the dreamer makes to himself. In the midst of his dream, a person who is flying declares himself the author of his flight.




A clear awareness of being able to fly develops in the dreamer’s soul. This is a wonderful opportunity to study the logical and objective images of a dream while in the very midst of it. Pursuing a dream as well defined as is the dream of flight, we begin to realize that it can have the “ logical consistency of ideas” as well as the emotional obstinacy of its passionate love.



Even at this point, before I have presented my evidence, it should be clear that psychoanalysis has not said all there is to say when it attests to the voluptuous nature of oneiric flight. Like all psychological symbols, oneiric flight requires a multifaceted interpretation: an emotional, aesthetic, and finally rational and objective interpretation.



Explanations of an organic kind are, of course, even less capable of following all of the psychological details of the dream of flight. Isn’t it amazing that a folklorist as learned as P. Saintyves is satisfied with such explanations? In his opinion, the dream of falling is linked with “ very characteristic intestinal contractions” which we feel in daily life” when falling off ladders.” “ Still,” he writes, “ in my adolescence, when I woke up in the middle of a dream of this kind ( imaginary flight), I nearly always felt a sense of well-being connected with my breathing.” A psychological analysis is required to understand this well-being. We must eventually reach a direct psychology of the imagination.

當然,飛翔之夢的心理細節,用有機生命來解釋比較無法道盡其詳。而像P. Saintyres 這樣博學的民俗學者,竟然會滿足於這樣的解釋實在令人驚嘆。依他之見,在日常生活中,當我們從樓梯上掉下來時,我們會感覺到「內臟特有的收縮」,墮落的夢跟它有密切關連。他又寫著:「可是,在我青春期時,當我從這種幻奇的飛翔之夢中間醒來,我幾乎總是領受到一種幸福之感,跟我的呼吸密切相關。」心理學分析被要求瞭解這種幸福。我們最後終需探索到想像的「直接心理學」。



Air and Dream by Gaston Bachelard

Translated by Springhero

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: