The phantasms of dreaming, of mythology, the favorite images of each man or indeed poetic imagery, are not linked to their meaning by a relation of sign to signified, like the one existing between a telephone number and the name of the subscriber; they really contain their meaning, which is not a notional meaning, but a direction of our existence. When I dream that I am flying or falling, the whole significance of the dream is contained in the flight or the fall, as long as I do not reduce them to their physical appearance in the waking world, and so long as I take them with all their existential implications. The bird which hovers, falls and becomes a handful of ash, does not hover and fall in physical space; it rises and falls with the existential tide running through it, or again it is the pulse of my existence, its systole and diastole. The level of this tide at each moment conditions a space peopled with phantasms, just as, in waking life, our dealings with the world which is offered to us condition a space peopled with realities. There is a determining of up and down, and in general of place, which precedes "perception." Life and sexuality haunt their world and their space.
Primitive peoples, in so far as they live in a world of myth, do not overstep this existential space, and this is why for them dreams count just as much as perceptions. There is a mythical space in which directions and positions are determined by the residence in it of great affective entities. For primitive man, knowing the whereabouts of the tribal encampment does not consist in locating it in relation to some object serving as a landmark---it is to tend towards it as towards the natural abode of a certain peace or a certain joyfulness, just as, for me, to know where my hand is, is to link up with that agile power which is for the moment dormant, but which I can take up and rediscover as my own. For the augur, right and left are the sources of the lawful and the forbidden, just as for me my right hand and my left are respectively the incarnations of my skill and my awkwardness. In dreaming as in myth we learn where the phenomenon is to be found, by feeling that towards which our desire goes out, what our heart dreads, on what our life depends.