Dream and culture. Memory is that function of the brain which is most greatly impaired by sleep--not that it relaxes entirely, but it is brought back to a state of imperfection, as it might have been in everyone, when awake and by day, during mankind's primeval age. 11 Arbitrary and confused as it is, it continually mistakes things on the basis of the most superficial similarities; but it was the same arbitrariness and confusion with which the tribes composed their mythologies, and even now travelers regularly observe how greatly the savage inclines to forgetfulness, how, after he strains his memory briefly, his mind begins to stagger about, and he produces lies and nonsense simply because he is weary. But all of us are like the savage when we dream. Faulty recognitions and mistaken equations are the basis of the poor conclusions which we are guilty of making in dreams, so that when we recollect a dream clearly, we are frightened of ourselves, because we harbor so much foolishness within.
The utter clarity of all dream-ideas, which presupposes an unconditional belief in their reality, reminds us once again of the state of earlier mankind in which hallucinations were extraordinarily frequent, and sometimes seized whole communities, whole nations simultaneously. Thus, in our sleep and dreams, we go through the work of earlier mankind once more.

11. Cf. Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams. In an addendum to the fifth edition of this work 1919 Freud refers to Nietzsche's concept of the dream as a means to knowledge of man's archaic heritage, "of what is psychically innate in him." (Standard Edition, V, p 549).

Friedrich Nietzsche - Human, All Too Human
Section One: Of First and Last Things - Aphorism # 12

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