Sleep and Its Secrets: The River of Crystal Light

By Michael S.; Aronoff | Go to book overview

Prefatory Note

Wynken, Blynken and Nod one night Set sail in a wooden shoe

Sailed on a river of crystal light Into a sea of dew....

Eugene Field,
Wynken, Blynken & Nod

The wellspring of this book actually derives from two sources. First, the fascination with human behavior and the mechanisms by which it is piloted. Secondly, the joy of adventure and discovery.

With regard to the first, consider this venture a guided expedition ... not through the Amazon Rain Forest, along the Great Barrier Reef, nor round the limitless corridors of space, but closer. Much closer. Within us all, just over the boundary from wakefulness, and occupying fully one-third of our lives, lies a mysterious world both timed and timeless. This realm of sleep, with its rules, mechanisms, and inventions, and with its dreams, soundlessly whispering in our unguarded ears, is subject to vagaries which affect the very pulsing and throbbing of life itself. It is into this dominion that we sail.

Regarding the second fount from which this work springs, we shall be like travelers in a fascinating but foreign land ... sharing the explorers' delights of discovery, carried along by interest and bolstered by the building knowledge about what we observe. Throughout, our curiosity will serve as a beacon to help illuminate the way as we embark on this journey down the "river of crystal light."

-vii-

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