The hallucinations of the senses in the insane resemble the voluntarily induced semi-consciousness of the mesmerised. In the mesmeric trance there is the disregard of external agencies that is seen in the maniac who, regardless of suggestions from without, carries out his own wild train of thought in apparent unconsciousness of what is going on around him, or even memory of what has occurred to him, after the trance or the paroxysm has passed away—and so in sleep, dreams prove an active state of the cerebral centres, although no recollection of them may remain on awaking. Sleep has been likened to temporary death, and so dreaming may be compared to temporary insanity. The insane man walks about in a waking dream; he is a veritable somnambulist. The somnambulist, like the maniac, or the ecstatic, has but a confused recollection, or no remembrance at all of what has occurred in the attack of mental disorder, or in their perilous sleeping performances, like Fakirs in their trance-like condition, they become insensible to external influences.
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