Dr Neil Stanley Independent Sleep Expert
BACK   William James, ‘A Suggestion about Mysticism’, Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods, 17 Feb. 1910, 90 here  "Then I looked at my watch. Half past twelve! Midnight, therefore. And this gave me another reflective idea. Habitually, on going to bed, I fall into a very deep slumber from which I never naturally awaken until after two. I never awaken, therefore, from a midnight dream, as I did to-night, so of midnight dreams my ordinary consciousness retains no recollection. My sleep seemed terribly heavy as I woke to-night. Dream states carry dream memories- why may not the two succedaneous dreams (whichever two of the three were succedaneous) be memories of twelve o'clock dreams of previous nights, swept in, along with the just-fading dream, into the just-waking system of memory ? Why, in short, may I not be tapping, in a way precluded by my ordinary habit of life, the midnight stratum of my past experiences? "This idea gave great relief - I felt now as if I were in full possession of my anima rationalis. I turned on my light, resolving to read myself to sleep. But I didn't read, I felt drowsy instead, and, putting out the light, soon was in the arms of Morpheus. "I woke again two or three times before daybreak with no dream- experiences, and finally, with a curious, but not alarming, confusion between two dreams, similar to that which I had had the previous morning, I awoke to the new day at seven. "Nothing peculiar happened the following night, so the thing seems destined not to develop any further” Ekirch originally contends that in pre-industrial times people awoke approx. midnight not 2am as he now suggest, what is interesting from the actual quote is that on this particular night William James did actually wake”from a midnight dream” at “Half past twelve! Midnight, therefore.” which actually agrees much closer to Ekirch’s hypothesis.  Charles Davison, ‘The Characteristics of British Earthquakes: a Summary of Twenty-One Years’ Work’, Geological Magazine (September 1910), 413. ‘As the shocks were not recorded instrumentally, it is useless applying the method of overlapping means to these figures. The variations in frequency are no doubt chiefly due to more favourable conditions existing at certain times of the day, as, for example, the early hours of the night (9 to 11) and the hour 1 to 2 a.m., when many persons lie awake after their first sleep. The increase of apparent frequency in these hours is manifest in every earthquake catalogue, but a feature which seems to be peculiar to British earthquakes is the large number felt from 4 to 5 p.m. I am not sure what Ekirch finds “surprising” in this paper. Note that “1 to 2am” are not the only times when “favourable conditions” exist for reporting. I have no idea what relevance Ekirch believes ‘social class’ would have to the frequency of reports of earthquakes, is he perhaps somehow suggesting that different classes of people are affected differently by earthquakes? Table (III) illustrates the hourly distribution of the earthquakes, those which are reported as occurring at the exact hours being divided equally between the hours before and after. BACK
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