The Interpretation of Dreams (Brill translation)  

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{{Template}} This is the A. A. Brill translation of Die Traumdeutung

Contents

Full text of the Brill translation[1]

THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS


BY

Prof. SIGMUND FREUD, LL.D.

AUTHORISED TRANSLATION OF THIRD EDITION WITH INTRODUCTION

BY

A. A. BRILL, Ph.B., M.D.

CHIBF 01" THE NEUROLOGICAL DEPARTMBNT OP THE BRONX HOSPITAL AND DISPBNSART

CLINICAL ASSISTANT IN NEUROLOGY AND PSYCHIATRY, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

FORMBR ASSISTANT PHYSICIAN IN THE CENTRAL ISLIP STATB HOSPITAL

AND IN THS CLINIC OF PSYCHIATRY, ZCBICH


" Flectere si nequeo tuperos, Acheronta moveho "


LONDON: CEORGE ALLEN k UN WIN, LTD. NEW YOUK. THE MACMILLAN COMPANY


First Published in Great Britain, February 1918 Reprinted May 1913

,, November 1913 Revised Edition^ December 1915 Reprinted December 1916

„ May 1919

„ January 1920

„ January 1921

,, April 1922

„ February 1923


Printtd in Great Britain by Turnbui. -V S/>ears, Edtniurj^k


THE INTEUPEETATION OF DKEAMS


ntey 5ult/



'5^


INTRODUCTORY REMARKS

In attempting a discussion of the Interpretation of Dreams, I do not believe that I have overstepped the bounds of neuro- pathological interest. For, on psychological investigation, the dream proves to be the first link in a chain of abnormal psychic structures whose other links, the hysterical phobia, the obsession, and the delusion must, for practical reasons, claim the interest of the physician. The dream (as will appear) can lay no claim to a corresponding practical signi- ficance ; its theoretical value as a paradigm is, however, all the greater, and one who cannot explain the origin of the dream pictures will strive in vain to understand the phobias, obsessive and delusional ideas, and likewise their therapeutic importance.

But this relation, to which our subject owes its importance, is responsible also for the deficiencies in the work before us. The surfaces of fracture which will be found so frequently in this discussion correspond to so many points of contact at which the problem of the dxeam formation touches more comprehensive problems of psychopathology, which cannot be discussed here, and which will be subjected to future elabora- tion if there should be sufficient time and energy, and if further material should be forthcoming.

Peculiarities in the material I have used to elucidate the interpretation of dreams have rendered this publication diffi- cult. From the work itself it will appear why all dreams related in the literature or collected by others had to remain iiseless for my purpose ; for examples I had to choose between /my own dreams and those of my patients who were under / psychoanalytic treatment. I was restrained from utilising the latter material by the fact that in it the dream processes were subjected to an undesirable complication on account of the intermixture of neurotic characters. On the othc^r


vi THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

hand, inseparably connected with my own dreams was the cir- cumstance that I was obhged to expose more of the intimacies of my psychic life than I should like and than generally falls to the task of an author who is not a poet but an investigator of nature. This was painful, but unavoidable ; I had to put up with the inevitable in order not to be obliged to forego altogether the demonstration of the truth of my psycho- logical results. To be sure, I could not at best resist the temp- tation of disguising some of my indiscretions through omissions and substitutions, and as often as this happened it detracted materially from the value of the examples which I employed. I can only express the hope^ that the reader of this work, putting himself in my diflSicult position, will show forbearance, and also that all persons who are incUned to take offence at any of the dreams reported will concede freedom of thought at least to the dream hfe.-


PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION

If there has arisen a demand for a second edition of this rather difficult book before the end of the first decade, I owe no gratitude to the interest of the professional circles to whom I appealed in the preceding sentences. My colleagues in psychiatry, apparently, have made no effort to shake off the first surprise which my new conception of the dream evoked, and the professional philosophers, who are accustomed to treat the problem of dream life as a part of the states of con- sciousness, devoting to it a few — ^for the most part identical — sentences, have apparently failed to observe that in this field could be fomid all kinds of things which would inevit- ably lead to a thorough transformation of our psychological theories. The behaviour of the scientific critics could only justify the expectation that this work of mine was destined to be buried in oblivion ; and the small troop of brave pupils who follow my leadership in the medical appUcation of psycho- analysis, and also follow my example in analysing dreams in order to utihse these analyses in the treatment of neurotics, would not have exhausted the first edition of the book. I therefore feel indebted to that wider circle of intelligent seekers after truth whose co-operation has procured for me the invitation to take up anew, after nine years, the difficult and in so many respects fundamental work.

I am glad to be able to say that I have found little to change. Here and there I have inserted new material, added new views from my wider experience, and attempted to revise certain points ; but everything essential concerning the dream and its interpretation, as well as the psychological proposi- tions derived from it, has remained unchanged : at least, subjectively, it has stood the test of time. Those who are acquainted with my other works on the Etiology and Mechan- ism of the psychoneuroses, know that I have never offered


viii THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

anything unfinished as finished, and that I have always striven to change my assertions in accordance with my advancing views ; but in the realm of the dream fife I have been able to stand by my first declarations. During the long years of my work on the problems of the neuroses, I have been repeatedly confronted with doubts, and have often made mistakes ; but it was always in the " interpretation of dreams " that I found my bearings. My numerous scientific opponents, therefore, show an especially sure instinct when they refuse to follow me into this territory of dream investigation.

Likewise, the material used in this book to illustrate the rules of dream interpretation, drawn chiefly from dreams of my own which have been depreciated and outstripped by events, have in the revision shown a persistence which re- sisted substantial changes. For me, indeed, the book has still another subjective meaning which I could comprehend only after it had been completed. It proved to be for me a part of my self -analysis, a reaction to the death of my father — that is, to the most significant event, the deepest loss, in the life of a man. After I recognised this I felt powerless to efface the traces of this influence. For the reader, however, it makes no difference from what material he learns to value and interpret dreams.


PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION

Whereas a period of nine years elapsed between the first and second editions of this book, the need for a third edition has appeared after little more than a year. I have reason to be pleased with this change ; but, just as I have not considered the earlier neglect of my work on the part of the reader as a proof of its im worthiness, I am unable to find in the interest manifested at present a proof of its excellence.

The progress in scientific knowledge has shown its influ- ence on the Interpretation of Dreams. When I wrote it in 1899 the " Sexual Theories " was not yet in existence, and the analysis of complicated forms of psychoneuroses was still in its infancy. The interpretation of dreams was destined to aid in the psychological analysis of the neuroses, but since then the deeper understanding of the neuroses has reacted on our conception of the dream. The study of dream in- terpretation itself has continued to develop in a direction upon which not enough stress was laid in the first edition of this book. From my own experience, as well as from the works of W. Stekel and others, I have since learned to attach a greater value to the extent and the significance of sym- bohsm in dreams (or rather in the unconscious thinking). Thus much has accumulated in the course of this year which requires consideration. I have endeavoured to do justice to this new material by numerous insertions in the text and by the addition of footnotes. If these supplements occasionally threaten to warp the original discussion, or if, even with their aid, we have been unsuccessful in raising the original text to the niveau of our present views, I must beg indulgence for the gaps in the book, as they are only consequences and indica- tions of the present rapid development of our knowledge. I also venture to foretell in what other directions later edi- tions of the Interpretation of Dreams — ^in case any should be


X THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

demanded — ^will differ from the present one. They will have, on the one hand, to include selections from the rich material of poetry, myth, usage of language, and folklore, and, on the other hand, to treat more profoundly the relations of the dream to the neuroses and to mental diseases.

Mr. Otto Rank has rendered me valuable service in the selection of the addenda and in reading the proof sheets. I am gratefully indebted to him and to many others for their contributions and corrections.


TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE

Since the appearance of the author's Selected Papers on Hysteria and other Psychoneuroses, and Three Contributions to the Sexual Theory* much has been said and written about Freud's works. Some of our readers have made an honest endeavour to test and utilise the author's theories, but they have been handicapped by their inability to read fluently very difficult German, for only two of Freud's works have hitherto been accessible to English readers. For them this work will be of invaluable assistance. To be sure, numerous articles on the Freudian psychology have of late made their appearance in our literature ; f but these scattered papers, read by those unacquainted with the original work, often serve to confuse rather than erdighten. For Freud cannot be mastered from the reading of a few pamphlets, or even one or two of his original works. Let me repeat what I have so often said : No one is really qualified to use or to judge Freud's psychoanalytic method who has not thoroughly mastered his theory of the neuroses— TAe Interpretation of DreamSy Three Contributions to the Sexual Theory, The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, and Wit and its Relation to the Unconscious, and who has not had considerable experience in analysing the dreams and psychopathological actions of himself and others. That there is required also a thorough training in normal and abnormal psychology goes without saying.

The Interpretation of Dreams is the author's greatest and most important work ; it is here that he develops his psycho- analytic technique, a thorough knowledge of which is abso- I lutely indispensable for every worker in this field. The difficult Itafik of making a translation of this work has, therefore, been

  • Translated by A. A. Brill {Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease

Publishing Company).

t Cf. the works of Ernest Jones, James J. Putnam, the present writer, and others.


xii THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS


!


undertaken primarily for the purpose of assisting those who are actively engaged in treating patients by Freud's psycho- analytic method. Considered apart from its practical aim,* the book presents much that is of interest to the psychologist and the general reader. For, notwithstanding the fact that dreams have of late years been the subject of investigation at the hands of many competent observers, only few have contributed anything tangible towards their solution ; it waa Freud who divested the dream of its mystery, and solved its riddles. He not only showed us that the dream is full of meaning, but amply demonstrated that it is intimately con- nected with normal and abnormal mental life. It is in the treatment of the abnormal mental states that we must re- cognise the most important value of dream interpretation. The dream does not only reveal to us the cryptic mechanisms of hallucinations, delusions, phobias, obsessions, and other psychopathological conditions, but it is also the most potent instrument in the removal of these.*

I take this opportunity of expressing my indebtedness to Professor F. C. Prescott for reading the manuscript and for helping me overcome the almost insurmountable difficulties in the translation.

A. A. BRILL.

New York City.

  • For examples demonstrating these facts, t/. my work, Psychoanalysis :

its Thiorie.!i and Practical Application, W. B. SaumieiB' Publishing Company Philadelphia & London.


CONTENTS

CHAP. PAGE

I. The Scientific Literature on the Problems of THE Dream 1

II. Method of Dream Interpretation : The Analysis OF a Sample Dream 80

III. The Dream is the Fulfilment of a Wish , . 103

IV. Distortion in Dreams 113

V. The Material and Sources of Dreams . . . 138

VI. The Dream-Work 260

VII. The Psychology of the Dream Activities . , 403

VIII. Literary Index 494

IKDEX .,....,.. 501


THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

I THE SCIENTIFIC LITEKATURE ON THE PROBLEMS OF THE DREAM

In the foUowing pages I shall prove that there exists a psycho- logical technique by which dreams may be interpreted, and that upon the application of this method every dream wiU show itself to be a senseful psychological sifucture wEch may be Introduced^Tnto an assignable place in the psychic ac tivity of the waldng~^state. '^ 1 shaU furthermore endeaTour to^ explain the~pfocesses which give rise to the strangeness and obscurity of the dream, and to discover through them the nature of the psychic forces which operate, whether in combination or in opposition, to produce the dream. This accomphshed, my investigation wiU terminate, as it wiU have reached the point where the problem of the dream meets with broader problems, the solution of which must be attempted through other material.

I must presuppose that the reader is acquainted with the work done by earHer authors as weU as with the present status of the dream problem in science, since in the course of this treatise I shall not often have occasion to return to them. For, notwithstanding the effort of several thousand years, Httle progress has been made in the scientific understanding of dreams. This has been so universally acknowledged by the authors that it seems unnecessary to quote individual opinions. One wiU find in the writings indexed at the end of this book many stimulating observations and plenty of interesting material for our subject, but httle or nothing

• To the first publication of this book, 1900.

A


\


2 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

that concerns the true nature of the dream or that solves definitively any of its enigmas. Still less of course has been] transmitted to the knowledge of the educated laity.

The first book in which the dream is treated as an objec t of^ psycE oiogv seems to be that of Aristotle _^ {Concerning- Dreams and their Interpretation), Aristotle asserts that the dream is of demoniacal, though not of divine nature, which indeed contains deep meaning, if it be correctly interpreted. He was also acquainted with some of the characteristics of dream Hfe, e.g., he knew that the dream turns slight sensa- tions perceived during sleep into great ones (" one imagines that one walks through fire and feels hot, if this or that part of the body becomes slightly warmed "), which led him to conclude that d reams might easily betray to the physicia n ^ib^fJM iT^flif>a^^'<^Tig nf gn mPipiVrif nhaif] ^^ jp the body passiu g

y / unnoticed „d]aang^th ft day.. I have been unable to go more V ^deeply into the AristoteHan treatise, because of insufficient

f ) preparation and lack of skilled assistance.

As every one knows, the ancients bef Qre_AiT^totle did not consider the dream a product of the dreaming mind, butaT divine inspiration, and in ancient times the two__antagonistic streams,^ which one finds throughout in the estimates of dream life, were already noticeable. They distinguish^ b etween true and valuable dreams, sen t to the dreamer to warn him or to foretell the future, and vain, fraudulent, and empty dreams, the object of which was to misguide or lead him to destruction.* This pre-scientific conception of the dream among the ancients was certainly in perfect keeping with their general view of life, which was wont to project as reality in the outer world that which possessed reahty only within the mind. It, moreover, accounted for the main im-

  • Compare, on the other hand, 0. Gruppe, Griechische Mythologie und

Religionsgeschichte, p. 390. " Dreams were divided into two classes ; the first were influenced only by the present (or past), and were unimportant for the future : they embraced the iviirvi-a, insomnia, which immediately produces the given idea or its opposite, e.g. hunger or its satiation, and the tpavrda-fiara. which elaborates the given idea phantastically, as e.g. the nightmare, ephialtes. The second class was, on the other hand, determinant for the future. To this belong : (1) direct prophecies received in the dream {xp'nfJ-o.Tiafxbs^ oracu- lum) ; (2) the foretelling of a future event (Spafxa)-, (3) the symbolic or the dream requiring interpretation {iveipoi, soranium). This theory has been preserved for many centuries."


i


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 8

pression made upon the waking life by the memory left from the dream in the morning, for in this memory the dream, as compared with the rest of the psychic content, seems some- thing strange, coming, as it were, from another world. It. "Vquld likewise be wrong to suppose that the theory of the /Jjnfrnntnrail origin of drnaims laftk?; followprs in out awn d^y .; for leaving out of consideration all bigoted and mystical authors — who are perfectly justified in adhering to the remnants of the once extensive realm of the supernatural imtil they have been swept away by scientific explanation — one meets even sagacious men averse to anything adven- turous, who go so far as to base their religious behef in the existence and co-operation of superhuman forces on the inexpHcableness of the dream manifestations (Hafeier ^2). The vahdity ascribed to the dream life by some schools of philosophy, e.g, the school of Schelling, is a distinct echo of the undisputed divinity of dreams in antiquity, nor is dis- cussion closed on the subject of the mantic or prophetic power of dreams. This is due to the fact that the attempted psycho- logical explanations are .too inadequate to overcome, the ^cu mu lated^^nateyjal^.ho wever ^tccaigly ...all-thQs^jgyho-^y^tt^ tJiP . mselv es^ to a scieat ific mndp i of t h ought may fee4 ' that suc h aasfirtiona should hf, repndia.tpd -.

To write a history of our scientific knowledge of dream problems is so difficult because, however valuable some parts of this knowledge may have been, no progress in definite directions. JaaiS^l^een diccerniblo.- There has been no con- struction of a foundation of assured results upon which future investigators could continue to build, but every new author takes up the same problems afresh and from the very beginning. Were I to follow the authors in chronological order, and give a review of the opinions each has held concerning the problems of the dream, I should be prevented from dra\\dng a clear and complete picture of the present state of knowledge on the subject. I have therefore preferred to base the treatment upon themes rather than upon the authors, and I shall cite for each problem of the dream the material found in the literature for its solution.

But as I have not succeeded in mastering the entire Hterature, which is widely disseminated and interwoven with


4 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS




that on other subjects, I must ask my readers to rest conten provided no fundamental fact or unportant viewpoint be lost^ in my description.

Until recently most authors have been led to treat the subjects of sleep and dream in the same comiection, and with them they have also regularly treated analogous states of psychopathology, and other dreamlike states like hallucina- tions, visions, &c. In the more recent works, on the other hand, there has been a tendency to keep more closely to the theme, and to take as the subject one single question of the dream life. This change, I beheve, is an expression of the conviction that enlightenment and agreement in such obscure matters can only be brought about by a series of detailed investigations. It is such a detailed investigation and one of a special psychological nature, that I would offer here. I have little occasion to study the problem of sleep, as it is essentially a psychological problem, although the change of functional determinations for the mental apparatus must be included in the character of sleep. The Hterature of sleep will therefore not be considered here.

A scientific interest in the phenomena of dreams as such leads to the following in part interdependent inquiries :

(a) The Relation of the Dream to the Waking State. — ^The naive judgment of a person on awakening assumes that the dream — if indeed it does not originate in another world — at any rate has taken the dreamer into another world. The old physio- logist, Burdach,® to whom we are indebted for a careful and discriminating description of the phenomena of dreams, ex- pressed this conviction in an often-quoted passage, p. 474 : " The waking life never repeatj^tself with its trials and joys, its"preasures and j)auis, butloELthe-oontrary^ tliedream, aims to relieve us of these. Even when our whole mind is filled with one subject, when profound sorrow has torn our hearts or when a task has claimed the whole power of our mentality, the dream either gives us something entirely strange, or it takes for its combinations only a few elements from reahty, or it only enters into the strain of our mood and symbolises reahty."

L. Striimpell ^^ expresses himself to the same effect in his Nature and Origin of Dreams (p. 16), a study which is every- where justly held in high respect : " He who dreaios turns


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 5

his back upon the world of waking consciousness " (p. 17). ** In the dieam the memory of the orderly content of the waking consciousness and its normal behaviour is as good as entirely lost " (p. 19). " The almost complete isolation of the mind in the dream from the regular normal content and course of the waking state . . ."

But the overwhelming majoritj^ of the authors have assumed a contrary view of the relation of the dream to waking life. Tlius Halfnor «" (p. 19) : First of all the dreai is the continuation of the waking ntate. Cur dreams always unite'themselves^ -with- tiiose ideas which have shortly before beenMn our consciousness. Careful examination will nearly always find a thread by which the dream has connected itself with the experience of the previous day." Weygandt "^ (p. 6), flatly contradicts the above cited statement of Burdach " For it may often be observed, apparently in the great majority of dreams, that they lead us directly back into everyday life, instead of releasing us from it." Maury *^ (p. 56), says in a concise formula : " Nous revons de ce que nous avons vu, dit, desire ou fait." Jessen, ^® in his Psychologyy ^ pubUshed in 1855 (p. 530), is somewhat more expHcit : " The "^""^^ content of dreams is more or less determined by the individual personality, by age, sex, station in life, education, habits, and by events and experiences of the whole past hfe." _

The ancients had the same idea about the dependence of the dream content upon life. I cite Radestock ^* (p. 139) : " 'When Xerxes, before his march against Greece, was dis- suaded from this resolution by good counsel, but was again and again incited by dreams to imdertake it, one of the old rational dream-interpreters of the Persians, Artabanus, told him very appropriately that dream pictures mostly contain that of which one has been thinking while awake."

In the didactic poem of Lucretius, De Rerwn Natura (IV, V. 959), occurs this passage : —

" Et quo quisque fere studio devinctus adhaeret, aut quibus in rebus multum sumus ante morati atque in ea ratione fiiit contenta magis mens, in somnis eadem plerumque videmur obire ; causidici causas agere et componere leges, induperatores pugnare ac proelia obire," <tec., <&e.


6 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

Cicero (De Divinatione, II) says quite similarly, as does also Maury much later : —

" Maximeque reliquiae earum rerum moventur in animis at agitantur, de quibus vigilantes aut cogitavimus aut egimus."

The contradiction expressed in these two views as to the relation between dream Hfe and waking life seems indeed insoluble. It will therefore not be out of place to mention the description of F. W. Hildebrandt ^^ (1875), who believes that the peculiarities of the dream can generally be described only by calling them a " series of contrasts which apparently shade off into contradictions " (p. 8). " The first of these contrasts is formed on the one hand by the strict isolation or seclusion of the dream from true and actual life, and on the. other hand by the continuous encroachment of the one updh the other, and the constant dependency of one upon the other. The dream is something absolutely separated from the reality experienced during the waking state ; one may call it an existence hermetically sealed up and separated from real life by an unsurmountable chasm. It frees us from reaUty, extinguishes normal recollection of reahty, and places us in another world and in a totally different life, which at bottom has nothing in common with reahty. ..." Hildebrandt then asserts that in falling asleep our whole being, with all its forms of existence, disappears " as through an invisible trap door." In the dream one is perhaps making a voyage to St. Helena in order to offer the imprisoned Napoleon something exquisite in the way of MoseUe wine. One is most amicably received by the ex-emperor, and feels almost sorry when the interesting illusion is destroyed on awakening. But let us now compare the situation of the dream with reahty. The dreamer has never been a wine merchant, and has, no desire to become one. He has never made a sea voyage, and St. Helena is the last place he would take as destination for such a voyage. The dreamer entertains no sympathetic feeliug for Napoleon, but on the contrary a strong patriotic hatred. And finally the dreamer was not yet among the hving when Napoleon died on the island ; so that it was beyond the reach of possibihty for j him to have had any personal relations with Napoleon. The' dream experience thus appears as something strange, inserted between two perfectly harmonising and succeeding periods. '


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 7

" Nevertheless," continues Hildebrandt, " the opposite is seemingly just as true and correct. I beHeve that hand in hand with this seclusion and isolation there can still exist the most intimate relation and connection. We may justly say that no matter what the dream offers, it finds its material in reahty and in the psychic life arrayed around this reality. However strange the dream may seem, it can never detach itself from reaUty, and its most sublime as well as its most farcical structures must always borrow their elementary material either from what we have seen with our eyes in the outer world, or from what has previously found a place some- where in our waking thoughts ; in other words, it must be taken from what we had already experienced either objectively or subjectively."

(h) The Material of the Dream. — Memory in the Dream. — That all the material composing the content of the dream in some way originates in experience, that it is reproduced in the dream, or recalled, — this at least may be taken as an indisputable truth. Yet it would be wrong to assume that such connection between dream content and reahty will be readily disclosed as an obvious product of the instituted com- parison. On the contrary, the connection must be carefully sought, and lq many cases it succeeds in eluding discovery for a long time. The reason for this is to be found in a number of peculiarities evinced by the memory in dreams, which, though universally known, have hitherto entirely eluded explanation. It will be worth while to investigate exhaustively these characteristics.

It often happens that matter appears in the dream content which one cannot recognise later in the waking state as be- longing to one's knowledge and experience. One remembers weU enough having dreamed about the subject in question, but cannot recall the fact or time of the experience. The dreamer is therefore in the dark as to the source from which the dream has been drawing, and is even tempted to beHeve an iadependently productive activity on the part of the dream, until, often long afterwards, a new episode brings back to recollection a former experience given up as lost, and thus reveals the source of the dream. One is thus forced to admit that something has been known and remembered in the dream


8 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS


that has been withdrawn from memory during the waking state.

Delboeuf ^® narrates from his own experience an especially impressive example of this kind. He saw in his dream the courtyard of his house covered with snow, and found two little Hzards half-frozen and buried in the snow. Being a lover of animals, he picked them up, warmed them, and put them back into a crevice in the wall which was reserved for them. He also gave them some small fern leaves that had been growing on the wall, which he knew they were fond of. In the dream he knew the name of the plant : Asplenium ruta muralis. The dream then continued, returning after a digression to the lizards, and to his astonishment Delboeuf saw two other Kttle animals falling upon what was left of the ferns. On turning his eyes to the open field he saw a fifth and a sixth Hzard running into the hole in the wall, and finally the street was covered with a procession of Hzards, all wander- ing in the same direction, &c.

In his waking state Delboeuf knew only a few Latin names of plants, and nothing of the Asplenium. To his great surprise he became convinced that a fern of this name reaUy existed and that the correct name was Asplenium ruta muraria, which the dream had slightly disfigured. An accidental coincidence could hardly be considered, but it remained a mystery for Delboeuf whence he got his knowledge of the name Asplenium in the dream.

The dream occurred in 1862. Sixteen years later, while at the house of one of his friends, the philosopher noticed a small album containing dried plants resembling the albums that are sold as souvenirs to visitors in many parts of Switzer- land. A sudden recollection occurred to him ; he opened the herbarium, and discovered therein the Asplenium of his dream, and recognised his own handwriting in the accom- panying Latin name. The connection could now be traced. WhUe on her weddiug trip, a sister of this friend visited Delboeuf in 1860 — two years prior to the Hzard dream. She had with her at the time this album, which was intended for her brother, and Delboeuf took the trouble to write, at the dictation of a botanist, under each of the dried plants the Latin name.

The favourable accident which made possible the report of




LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 9

this valuable example also permitted Delboeuf to trace another portion of this dream to its forgotten source. One day in 1877 he came upon an old volume of an illustrated journal, in which he found pictured the whole procession of Uzards just as he had dreamed it in 1862. The volume bore the date of 1861, and Delboeuf could recall that he had subscribed to the journal from its first appearance.

That the dream has at its disposal recollections which are inaccessible to the waking state is such a. remarkable and theoretically important fact that I should like to urge more attention to it by reporting several other " Hypermnesic Dreams." Maury *^ relates that for some time the word Mussidan used to occur to his mind during the day. He knew it to be the name of a French city, but nothing else. One night he dreamed of a conversation with a certain person who told him that she came from Mussidan, and, in answer to his question where the city was, she rephed : " Mussidan is a principal country town in the Departement de La Dordogne." On waking, Maury put no faith in the information received in his dream ; the geographical lexicon, however, showed it to be perfectly correct. In this case the superior knowledge of the dream is confirmed, but the forgotten source of this knowledge has not been traced.

Jessen ^s tells (p. 55) of a quite similar dream occurrence, from more remote times. " Among others we may here mention the dream of the elder Scaliger (Hennings, I.e., p. 300), who wrote a poem in praise of celebrated men of Verona, and to whom a man, named Brugnolus, appeared in a dream, complaining that he had been neglected. Though Scaliger did not recall ever having heard of him, he wrote some verses in his honour, and his son later discovered at Verona that a Brugnolus had formerly been famous there as a critic.

Myers is said to have published a whole collection of such hypermnesic dreams in the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, which are unfortunately inaccessible to me. I beheve every one who occupies himself with dreams will recognise as a very common phenomenon theJa£t_that the dreaiii,gijv^s proof of knowing and recollecting matters unknown to the walong person. In my psychoanalytic investigations of nervous x>atients> of which I shall speak later, I am every


/I


10 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS




week more than once in position to convince my patients from their dreams that they are well acquainted with quotations, obscene expressions, &c., and that they make use of these in their dreams, although they have forgotten them in the waking state. I shall cite here a simple case of dream hypermnesia because it was easy to trace the source which made the know- ledge accessible to the dream.

A patient dreamed in a lengthy connection that he ordered a " Kontussowka " in a cafe, and after reporting this inquired what it might mean, as he never heard the name before. I was able to answer that Kontussowka was a Polish hquor which he could not have invented in his dream, as the nam»e had long been familiar to me in advertisements. The patient would not at first beHeve me, but some days later, after he had reahsed his dream of the cafe, he noticed the name on a sign- board at the street comer, which he had been obhged to pass for months at least twice a day.

I have learned from my own dreams howjargely^the dis- covery of theongin_ji£_£Qme_dLthe dceam elements depends on^^ident. Thus, for years before writing this book, I was haunted lyj^ the picture of a very simply formed church tower which I could not recall having seen. I then suddenly re- cognised it with absolute certainty at a smaU station between Salzburg and Reichenhall. This was in the later nineties, and I had travelled over the road for the first time in the year 1886. In later years, when I was already busily engaged in the study of dreams, I was quite annoyed at the frequent re- currence of the dream picture of a certain pecuHar locality. I saw it in definite local relation to my person — ^to my left, a dark space from which many grotesque sandstone figures stood out. A glimmer of recollection, which I did not quite credit, told me it was . the entrance to a beer-cellar, but I could explain neither the meaning nor the origin of this dream picture. In 1907 I came by chance to Padua, which, to my regret, I had been unable to visit since 1895. My first visit to this beautiful university city was unsatisfactory ; I was unable to see Giotto's frescoes in the church of the Madonna dell' Arena, and on my way there turned back on being in- formed that the Httle church was closed on the day. On my second visit, twelve years later, I thought of compensating


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 11

myself for this, and before everything else I started out for Madonna dell' Arena. On the street leading to it, on my left, probably at the place where I had turned in 1895, I discovered the locahty which I had so often seen in the dream, with its sandstone figures. It was in fact the entrance to a restaurant garden.

One of the sources from which the dream draws material for reproduction — material which in part is not recalled or employed in waking thought — is to be found in childhood. I shall merely cite some of the authors who have observed and emphasized this.

Hildebrandt ^5 (p. 23) : " It has already been expressly admitted that the dream sometimes brings back to the mind with wonderful reproductive abiHty remote and even forgotten experiences from the earhest periods."

Striimpell ^^ (p. 40) : " The subject becomes more inter- esting when we remember how the dream sometimes brings forth, as it were, from among the deepest and heaviest strata which later years have piled upon the earhest childhood ex- periences, the pictures of certain places, things, and persons, quite uninjured and with their original freshness. This is not limited, merely to such impressions as have gained vivid con- sciousness during their origin or have become impressed with strong psychic vahdity, and then later return in the dream as actual reminiscences, causing pleasure to the awakened con- sciousness. On the contrary, the depths of the dream memory comprise also such pictures of persons, things, places, and early experiences as either possessed but httle consciousness and no psychic value at all, or have long ago lost both, and there- fore appear totally strange and unkhown both in the dream and in the waking state, until their former origin is revealed."

Volkelt ^2 (p. 119) : " It is essentially noteworthy how easily infantile and youthful reminiscences enter into the dream. What we have long ceased to think about, what has long since lost for us all importance, is constantly recalled by the dream."

The sway of the dream over the infantile material, which, as is well known, mostly occupies the gaps in the conscious memory, causes the origin of interesting hypermnestic dreams, a few of which I shall here report.


12 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

Maury ** relates (p. 92) that as a child he often went from his native city, Meaux, to the neighbouring Trilport, where his father superintended the construction of a bridge. On a certain night a dream transported him to Trilport, and he was again playing in the city streets. A man approached him wearing some sort of uniform. Maury asked him his name,

and he introduced himself, sa3dng that his name was C ,

and that he was a bridge guard. On waking, Maury, who still doubted the reality of the reminiscence, asked his old servant, who had been with him in his childhood, whether she remembered a man of this name. " Certainly," was the answer, " he used to be watchman on the bridge which your father was building at that time."

Maury _j:eporta -another example demonstrating just as nicelythe reliabilityLjiL-infajitile-jreniirdscances appearing in dreams^ MrTlF— — , who had Uved as a child in MontBrison, decided to visit his home and old friends of his family after an absence of twenty-five years. The night before his de- parture he dreamt that he had reached his destination, and that he met near Montbrison a man, whom he did not know by sight, who told him he was Mr. F., a friend of his father. The dreamer remembered that as a child he had known a gentle- man of this name, but on waking he could no longer recall his features. Several days later, having reaUy arrived at Mont- brison, he found the supposedly unknown locality of his dream, and there met a man whom he at once recognised as the Mr. F. of his dream. The real person was only older than the one in the dream picture.

I may here relate one of my own dreams in which the remembered impression is replaced by an association. In my dream I saw a person whom I recognised, while dreaming, as the physician of my native town. The features were indistinct and confused with the picture of one of my colleague teachers, whom I still see occasionally. What association there was between the two persons I could not discover on awakening. But upon questioning my mother about the physician of my early childhood, I discovered that he was a one-eyed man. My teacher, whose figure concealed that of the physician in the dream, was also one-eyed. I have not seen the physician for thirty-eight years, and I have not to my knowledge thought




LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 13

of him in my waking state, although a scar on my chin might have reminded me of his help.

As if to comiterbalance the immense role ascribed to the infantile impressions in the dream, many authors assert that the majority of dreams show elements from the most recent time. Thus Robert ^^ (p. 46) declares that the normal dream generally occupies itself only with the impressions of the recent days. We learn indeed that the theory of the dream advanced by Robert imperatively demands that the old im- pressions should be pushed back, and the recent ones brought to the front. Nevertheless the fact claimed by Robert really exists ; I can confirm this from my own investigations. Nelson,^° an American author, thinks that^e impressions most frequently found jn_the_dreaT^ ^^^o frr^^ tf]g^_or-_tV^£/^ffyff

be fore, as if th p- iTnprp.Rsior>s of thp; dfl.yJmmprlifl.t,p.ly prppftding the dream were not sufficiently weakened and remote.

Mairpaut hor s who are conv inced of the intimate connec- tion between the dream content and the waking state are im- pressed by the fact that irupr^ssionsuJwMch^.iaye intensely occupied the waking mind^ appear in^tbfL dream only afto they have^been. to some extent pushed aside from the elaboration of the waEhg~tEQught: ThusTaFa ruIeTwe do noFdream of a dead beloved person while we are still overwhelmed with sorrow. StiQ IVIiss Hallam,^^ one of the latest observers, has collected examples showing the very opposite behaviour, and claims for the point the right of individual psychology.

The third and the most remarkable and incomprehensible peculiarity -ofJJie memory in dreams, is shown in the selection of the reproduced material, for stress_is Jaid^npt only on the most_significant, but a,lso on the most indifferent and super- ficial reminiscences. On this point I shall quote those authors who have expressed their surprise in the most emphatic manner.

Hildebrandt ^5 (p. H) ; " For it is a remarkable fact that dreams do not, as a rule, take their elements from great and deep-rooted events or from the powerful and urgent interests of the preceding day, but from uninrpoxtantjiLatteFSpfrom the most worthless fragments of recent experience or of a more remote past. , The most shocking death Lq our family, the impressions of which keep us awake long into the night, be- comes obhterated from our memories, until the first moment


14 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

of awakening brings it back to us with depressing force. On I the other hand, the wart on the forehead of a passing stranger, of whom we did not think for a second after he was out of sight, plays its part in our dreams." I . Striimpell ®^ (p. 39) : "... such cases where the analysis of a dream brings to light elements which, although derived from events of the previous day or the day before the last, yet prove to be so unimportant and worthless for the waking state that they merge into forgetfulness shortly after coming to Hght. Such occurrences may be statements of others heard accidentally or actions superficially observed, or fleeting perceptions of things or persons, or single phrases from books, &c."'

Havelock Ellis ^3 (p. 727): "The profound emotions of waking life, the questions and problems on which we spread our chief voluntary mental energy, are not those which usuaUy present themselves at once to dream-consciousness. It is, so far as the immediate past is concerned, mostly tte trifling, the incidental, the^ jorgotten " impressions of daily life which reappear ^ in our_dreams. The psychic activities that are~~awakeZjiiQst-JBtenselyJ^e~ those that sleep most profoundly."

Binz * (p. 46) takes occasion from the above-mentioned characteristics of the memory in dreams to express his dis- satisfaction with explanations of dreams which he Wimself has approved of : " And the normal dream raises similar questions. Why do we not always dream of memory im- pressions from the preceding days, instead of going back to the almost forgotten past lying far behind us without any perceptible reason ? Why in a dream does consciousness so often revive the impression of indifferent memory pictures while the cerebral cells bearing the most sensitive records of experience remain for the most part inert and numb, unless an acute revival during the waking state has shortly before excited them ? "

We can readily understand how the strange preference of the dream memory for the indifferent and hence the unnoticed details of daily experience must asually lead us to overlook altogether the dependence of th*^ dream on the waking state, or at least make it difficult to prove this


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 15

dependence in any individual case. It thus happened that in the statistical treatment of her own and her friend's dreams, IVIiss Whiton Calkins ^^ found 11 per cent, of the entire number that showed no relation to the waking state. Hildebrandt was certainly correct in his assertion that aU our dream pictures ^ould_be^eneticall^^

time and material to the tracing of their origip. To be sure, he calls this " a most tedious and thankless job." For it would at most lead us to ferret out all kinds of quite worthless psychic material from the most remote corners of the memory chamber, and to bring to hght some very indifferent moments from the remote past which were perhaps buried the next hour after their appearance." I must, however, express my regret that this discerning author refrained from following the road whose beginning looked so unpromising ; it would have led him directly to the centre of the dream problem.

The behaviour of the memory in dreams is surely most significant for every theory of memory in general. It teaches us that " nQihJng which we have once psychicanx possessed is^eyer_ entirely lost " (ScHoIz^^f ; of asT)elboeuf puts it, " que toute impression meme la plus insignifiante, laisse ime trace inalterable, indefiniment susceptible de reparaitre au jour," a conclusion to which we are urged by so many of the other pathological manifestations of the psychic life. Let us now bear in mind this extraordinary capability of the memory in the dream, in order to perceive vividly the contradictions which must be advanced in certain dream theories to be mentioned later, when they endeavour to explain the absurdities and incoherence of dreams through a partial forgetting of what we have known during the day.

One might even think of reducing the phenomenon of dreaming to that of memory, and of regarding the dream as the manifestation of an activity of reproduction which does not rest even at night, and which is an end in itself. Views like those expressed by Pilcz ^^ would corroborate this, according to which intimate relations are demonstrable between the time of dreaming and the contents of the dream from the fact that_the_impressions reproduced by the dream in sound sleep belongto jthe remotest past_wMe_ihQse. reproduced towards morning are of TecmVongm. But such a conception is rendered


16 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

improbable from the outset by the mamier of the dream' behaviour towards the material to be remembered. Striimpell justly calls our attention to the fact that repetitions of ex-l periences do not occur in the dream. To be sure the dream makes an effort in that direction, but the next link is wanting, or appears in changed form, or it is replaced by something entirely novel. The dream shows^onlj^ Jragmjenta.-Ol repro- duction ; this is so often^tEe^rule that it admits of theoretical apphcation. Still there are exceptions in which the dream repeats an episode as thoroughly as our memory would in its waking state. Delboeuf tells of one of his university colleagues who in his dream repeated, with all its details, a dangerous wagon ride in which he escaped accident as if by miracle. Miss Calkins ^^ mentions two dreams, the contents of which exactly reproduced incidents from the day before, and I shall later take occasion to report an example which came to my notice, showing a childish experience which returned un- changed in a dream.*

(c) Dream Stimuli and Dream Sources. — What is meant by dream stimuli and dream sources may be explained by referring to the popular saying, " Dreams come from the stomach." This notion conceals a theory which conceives the dream as a result of a disturbance of sleep. We should not have dreamed if some disturbing element had not arisen in sleep, and the dream is the reaction from this disturbance.

The discussion of the exciting causes of dreams takes up the most space in the descriptions of the authors. That this problem could appear only after the dream had become an object of biological investigation is self-evident. The ancients who conceived the dream as a divine inspiration had no need of looking for its exciting source ; to them the dream resulted from the will of the divine or demoniacal powers, and its content was the product of their knowledge or intention. Science, however, soon raised the question whether the stimulus to the dream is always the same, or whether it might be manifold, and thus led to the question whether the causal

  • From subsequent experience I am able to state that it is not at all rare

to find in dreams repetitions of harmless or unimportant occupatious of the waking state, such as packing trimks, preparing food, work in the kitchen, &c. but in such dreams the dreamer himself emphasizes not the character but the reality of the memory, " 1 have really done all this in the day time."


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 17

explanation of the dream belongs to psychology or rather to physiology. Most authors seem to assume that the causes of the disturbance of sleep, and hence the sources of the dream, might be of various natures, and that physical as well as mental irritations might assume the role of dream iri^tersT Opinions differgreatly in preferring^this or that one of the dream sources, in ranking them, and indeed as to their importance for the origin of dreams. Wherever the enumeration of dream sources is complete we ultimately find four forms, which are also utihsed for the division of dreams : —

I. External (objective) sensory stimuli. II. Internal (subjective) sensory stimuli.

III. Internal (organic) physical excitations,

IV. Purely psychical exciting sources.

I. The Ex ternal Seri^pry StimvU. — The younger Striimpell, son of the philosopher whose writings on the subject have already more than once served us as a guide in the problem of dreams, has, as is well known, reported his observations on a patient who was afflicted with general anaesthesia of the skin and with paralysis of several of the higher sensory organs. This man merged into sleep when his few remaining sensory paths from the outer world were shut off. When we wish to sleep we are wont to strive for a situation resembling the one in Striimpell's experiment. We close the most important sensory paths, the eyes, and we endeavour to keep away from the other senses every stimulus and every change of the stimuli acting upon them. We then fall asleep, although we are never perfectly successful in our preparations. We can neither keep the stimuli away from the sensory organs altogether, nor can we fully extinguish the irritabihty of the sensory organs. That we may at any time be awakened by stronger stimuli should prove to us " that the mind has re- mained_Ja^_constant cormnunication wit^E the material world evendiiring^leep .^ "^Iligjens ery^imul rTdiich rea^^ during sleep may easily become the source of dr^ms.

There are^aTgfearl many'stimuli of such nature, ranging from those that are vmavoidable, being brought on by the sleeping state or at least occasionally induced by it, to the accidental waking stimuli which are adapted or calculated to put an end to sleep, llius a strong light may force itself

B


18 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

into the eyes, a noise may become perceptible, or some odori-j ferous matter may irritate the mucous membrane of the nose. In the spontaneous movements of sleep we may lay bare parts of the body and thus expose them to a sensation of cold, or through change of position we may produce sensations of pressure and touch. A fly may bite us, or a slight accident at night may simultaneously attack more than one sense. Ob- servers have called attention to a whole series of dreams in which the stimulus verified on waking, and a part of the dream content corresponded to such a degree that the stimulus could be recognised as the source of the dream.

I shall here cite a number of such dreams collected by Jessen ^^ (p. 527), traceable to more or less accidental objective sensory stimuli. " Every indistmctlyjerceived_ noise gives rise to corresponding dream pictures ; the rolling of thunder takes us-4Bt5~tEe thick of battle7 the crowing of aTcock may be transformed mto human shrieks of terror ,"lbnd the creaking of a door may cbiijure up dreaSoT^hurglars breaking into the house. When one-ef our"1blanketsr sKps-off-at night we may dream that we are walking about naked or falling into the water. If we he diagonally across the bed with our feet extending beyond the edge, we may dream of standing on the brink of a terrifying precipice, or of faUing from a steep height. Should our head accidentally get under the pillow we may then imagine a big rock hanging over us and about to crush us under its weight. Accumulation of semen produces voluptuous dreams, and local pain the idea of suffering ill treatment, of hostile attacks, or of accidental bodily injuries."

"Meier {Versuch einer Frkldrung des Nachtwanddns, Halle, 1758, p. 33), once dreamed of being assaulted by several persons who threw him flat on the ground and drove a stake into the ground between his big and second toes. While imagining this in his dream he suddenly awoke and felt a blade of straw sticking between his toes. The same author, accord- ing to Hemmings (Von den Traumen und Nachtwandelriy Weimar, 1784, p. 258) dreamed on another occasion that he was being hanged when his shirt was pinned somewhat tight around his neck. Hauffbauer dreamed in his youth of having fallen from a high waU and found upon waking that the bed- stead had come apart, and that he had actually fallen to the


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 19

floor. . . . Gregory relates that he once applied a hot-water bottle to his feet, and dreamed of taking a trip to the summit of Mount Mtnsb, where he found the heat on the ground almost unbearable. After having applied a blistering plaster to his head, a second man dreamed of being scalped by Indians ; a third, whose shirt was damp, dreamed of being dragged through a stream. An attack of gout caused the patient to beUeve that he was in the hands of the Inquisition, and suffering pains of torture (Macnish)."

The argument based upon the resemblance between stimulus and dream content is reinforced if through a sys- tematic induction of stimuli we succeed in producing dreams corresponding to the stimuli. According, to Macnish such experiments have already been made by Giron de Buzareingues. " He left his knee exposed and dreamed of travelling in a mail coach at night. He remarked in this connection that travellers would weU know how cold the knees become in a coach at night. Another time he left the back of his head uncovered, and dreamed of taking part in a rehgious ceremony in the open air. In the country where he Hved it was customary to keep the head always covered except on such occasions."

Maury *^ reports new observations on dreams produced in himseK. (A number of other attempts produced no results.)

1. He was tickled with a feather on his lips and on the tip of his nose. He dreamed of awful torture, viz. that a mask of pitch was stuck to his face and then forcibly torn off, taking the skin with it.

2. Scissors were sharpened on pincers. He heard bells ringing, then sounds of alarm which took him back to the June days of 1848.

3. Cologne water was put on his nose. He found himself in Cairo in the shop of John Maria Farina. This was followed by mad adventures which he was unable to reproduce.

4. His neck was Ughtly pinched. He dreamed that a blistering plaster was put on him, and thought of a doctor who treated him in his childhood.

5. A hot iron was brought near his face. He dreamed that chauffeurs * broke into the house and forced the occupants

  • Chauffeurs were bands of robbers in the Vendue who resorted to this

form of torture.


20 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

to give up their money by sticking their feet into burning coals. The Duchess of Abrantes, whose secretary he imagined himself in the dream, then entered.

6. A drop of water was let fall on his forehead. He imagined himself in Italy perspiring heavily and drinking white wine of Orvieto.

7. When a burning candle was repeatedly focussed on him through red paper, he dreamed of the weather, of heat, and of a storm at sea which he once experienced in the English Channel.

D'Hervey,^* Weygandt,'^ and others have made other attempts to produce dreams experimentally.

Many have observed the striking skill of the dream in interweaving into its structure sudden impressions from the outer world in such a manner as to present a gradually pre- pared and initiated catastrophe (Hildebrandt) ^^, "In former years," this author relates, " I occasionally made use of an alarm clock in order to wake regularly at a certain hour in the morning. It probably happened hundreds of times that the sound of this instrument fitted into an ap- parently very long and connected dream, as if the entire dream had been especially designed for it, as if it found in this sound its appropriate and logically indispensable point, its inevitable issue."

I shall cite three of these alarm-clock dreams for another purpose.

Volkelt (p. 68) relates : " A composer once dreamed that he was teaching school, and was just explaining something to his pupils. He had almost finished when he turned to one of the boys with the question : ' Did you understand me ? * The boy cried out like one possessed * Ya.' Annoyed at this, he reprimanded him for shouting. But now the entire class was screaming * Orya,' then * Euryo,' and finally * Feueryo.' He was now aroused by an actual alarm of fire in the street."

Gamier (Traits des Facvlt^ de VAme, 1865), reported by Radestock,^* relates that Napoleon I., while sleeping in a carriage, was awakened from a dream by an explosion which brought back to him the crossing of the Tagliamento and the bombarding of the Austrians, so that he started up crying, " We are undermined ! "

The following dream of Maury ^ has become celebrated.


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 21

He was sick, and remained in bed ; his mother sat beside him. He then dreamed of the reign of terror at the time of the Revolution. He took part in terrible scenes of murder, and finally he himself was summoned before the Tribunal. There he saw Robespierre, Marat, Fouquier-Tinville, and all the sorry heroes of that cruel epoch ; he had to give an account of himseK, and, after all sort of incidents which did not fix themselves in his memory, he was sentenced to death. Accom- panied by an enormous crowd, he was led to the place of execution. He mounted the scaffold, the executioner tied him to the board, it tipped, and the knife of the guillotine fell. He felt his head severed from the trunk, and awakened in terrible anxiety, only to find that the top piece of the bed had fallen down, and had actually struck his cervical vertebra in the same manner as the knife of a guillotine.

This dream gave rise to an interesting discussion introduced by Le Lorrain *^ and Egger ^^ in the Revue Philosophique. The question was whether, and how, it was possible for the dreamer to crowd together an amount of dream content apparently so large in the short space of time elapsing between the perception of the waking stimulus and the awakening.

Examples of this nature_make rt^pesr^thatjthe objective stimjoli during sleep are the most firmly^ j^staWished j^ all the dream sourcesT~ifldeed, it^is the only stimulus which plays any part in tlSe layman's~Kowtedge: if we ask an educated person, who is, however, unacquainted with the Hterature of dreams, how dreams originate, he is sure to answer by referring to a case famihar to him in which a dream has been explained after walking by a recognised objective stimulus. Scientific investigation cannot, however, stop here, but is incited to further research by the observation that the stimulus in- fluencing the senses during sleep does not appear in the dream at all in its true form, but is replaced by some other presenta- tion which is in some way related to it. But the relation existing between the stimulus and the result of the dream is, according to Maury,*' " une affinite quelconque mais qui n'est pas unique et exclusive " (p. 72). If we read, e.g., three of Hildebrandt's " Alarm Clock Dreams," we wiU then have to inquire why the same stimulus evoked so many different results, and why just these results and no others.


22 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

(P. 37). " I am taking a walk on a beautiful spring morning. I saunter through the green fields to a neighbouring village where I see the natives going to church in great numbers wearing their hoHday attire and carrying their hynm-booke under their arms. I remember that it is Sunday, and thai the morning service will soon begin. I decide to attend it, but as I am somewhat overheated I also decide to cool oi in the cemetery surrounding the church. While reading the various epitaphs, I hear the sexton ascend the tower and see the small village bell in the cupola which is about to give signal foi the beginning of the devotions. For another short while hangs motionless, then it begins to swing, and suddenly i1 notes resound so clearly and penetratingly that my sleep comes to an end. But the sound of bells comes from the alarm clock."

" A second combination. It is a clear day, the streets are covered with deep snow. I have promised to take part in a sleigh-ride, but have had to wait for some time before it was announced that the sleigh is in front of my house. The preparations for getting into the sleigh are now made. I put on my furs and adjust my muff, and at last I am in my place. But the departure is still delayed, until the reins give the impatient horses the perceptible sign. They start, and the sleigh bells, now forcibly shaken, begin their fanuHar janizary music with a force that instantly tears the gossamer of my dream. Again it is only the shrill soimd of my alarm clock."

StOl a third example. " I see the kitchen-maid walk along the corridor to the dining-room with several dozen plates piled up. The porcelain column in her arms seems to me to be in danger of losing its equihbrium. ' Take care,' I ex- claim, * you wiU drop the whole pile.' The usual retort is naturally not wanting — ^that she is used to such things. Mean- while I continue to follow her with my worried glance, and behold ! at the door-step the fragile dishes faU, tumble, and roll ac'ross the floor in hundreds of pieces. But I soon notice that the noise continuing endlessly is not really a rattUng but a true ringing, and with this ringing the dreamer now becomes aware that the alarm clock has done its duty."

CThe question wh y_the dre aming mind misjudges the nature of the objective "sensory SmauHs^HasT "Been ~ answered by


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 23

Striimpell,®* and almost identically by WundtJJjfcOL,tlie-efiect that the ^^eactioff of the rrmTdT to thejitta^Mag* stimuli jn_s^^ is detemrinEdrbyjtheJformatiS ol- illusions. I A sensory im- pression is recognised by us and conectlylSterpreted, i.e. it is classed with the memory group to which it belongs according to all previous experience, if the impression is strong, clear, and long enough, and if we have the necessary time at our disposal for this reflection. If these conditions are not fulfilled, we mistake the objects which give rise to the impression, and on its basis we form an illusion. " If one takes a walk in an open field and perceives indistinctly a distant object, it may happen that he will at first take it for a horse." On closer inspection the image of a cow resting may obtrude itself, and the presentation may finally resolve itself with certainty into a group of people sitting. The impressions which the mind receives during sleep through outer stimuH are of a similar indistinct nature ; they give rise to illusions because the impression evokes a greater or lesser number of memory pictures through which the impression receives its psychic value. In which of the many spheres of memory to be taken into consideration the corresponding pictures are aroused, and which of the possible association connections thereby come into force, this, even according to Striimpell, remains indeterminable, and is left, as it were, to the caprice of the psychic life.

We may here take our choice. We may admit that the laws of the.--dream, formation cannot^^eaUy^ Jia_jtraced any further J ti.j\^_fhf^r^fnr ^ rp.frfl.in frn^ ^jgdTT^ whether or not the interpretation of the illusion evoked^byJ:he sensory impression depends up on still t 3tfaer^con^Ion3j.xaL-we_inay: suppose that the objective~^ensory~stimulus encroaching upon sleep plays only a modest part as a dream source, and that other factors determine the choice of the memory picture to be evoked. Indeed, on carefully examining Maury's experimentally produced dreams, which I have purposely reported in detail, one is apt to think that the experiment really explains the origin of only one of the dream elements, and that the rest of the dream content appears in fact too independent, too much determined in detail, to be explained by the one demand, viz. that it must agree with the element experimentally introduced. Indeed


24 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS




one even begins to doubt the illusion theory, and the power of the objective impression to form the dream, when one learns that this impression at times experiences the most peculiar and far-fetched interpretations during the sleeping state. Thus B. M. Simon ^^ tells of a dream in which he saw persons of gigantic stature * seated at a table, and heard distinctly the awful rattling produced by the impact of their jaws while chewing. On waking he heard the clacking of the hoofs of a horse galloping past his window. If the noise of the horse's hoofs had recalled ideas from the memory sphere of " Gulliver's Travels," the sojourn with the giants of Brobdingnag and the virtuous horse-creatures — as I should perhaps interpret it without any assistance on the author's part — should not the choice of a memory sphere so imcommon for the stimulus have some further illumination from other motives ?

II. Internal {Subjective) Sensory Stimuli. — ^Notwithstanding aU objections to the contrary, we must admit that the role of the objective sensory stimuli as a producer of dreams has been indisputably established, and if these stimuli seem perhaps insufficient in their nature and frequency to explain aU dream pictures, we are then directed to look for other dream sources acting in an analogous manner. I do not know where the idea originated that along with the outer sensory stimuh the inner (subjective) stimuli should also be considered, but a;S a matter of fact this is done more or less fully in all the more recent descriptions of the etiology of dreams. " An important part is played in dream illusions," says Wundt ^^ (p. 363), " by those subjective sensations of seeing and hearing which are familiar to us in the waking state as a luminous chaos in the dark field of vision, ringiag, buzzing, &c., of the ears, and especially irritation of the retina. This explains the remark- able tendency of the dream to delude the eyes with numbers of similar or identical objects. Thus we see spread before our eyes numberless birds, butterffies, fishes, coloured beads, flowers, &c. Here the lummous dust in the dark field of vision has taken on phantastic figures, and the many luminous points of which it consists are embodied by the dream in as many single pictures, which are looked upon as moving objects owing to the mobihty

  • Gigantic persons in a dream justify the assumption that it dcula with

a scene from the dreamer's childhood.


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 25

of the luminous chaos. This is also the root of the great fondness of the dream for the most complex animal figures, the multiphcity of forms readily following the form of the subjective light pictures."

The subjective sensory stimuli as a source of the dream have the obvious advantage that unlike the objective stimuU they are independent of e xternal accid ents. They are, so to speak, at the disposal of the explanation as often as it needs them. They are, however, in so far inferior to the objective sensory stimuli that the role of dream inciter, which observa- tion and experiment have proven for the latter, can be verified in their case only with difficulty or not at all. The main proof for the dream-inciting power of subjective sensory excitements is offered by the so-called h3^nogogic hallucinations, which have been described by John Miiller as "^phantastic visual manifestations." They are those very vivid and changeable pictures which occur regularly in many people during the period of falling asleep, and which may remain for awhile even after the eyes have been opened. Maury,*^ who was consider- ably troubled by them, subjected them to a thorough stud}'-, and maintained that they are related to or rather identical with dream pictures — this has already been asserted by John Miiller. Maury states that a certain psychic passivity is necessary for their origin ; it requires a relaxation of the tension of attention (p. 59). But in any ordinary disposition a hypno- gogic hallucination may be produced by merging for a second into such lethargy, after which one perhaps awakens until this oft-repeated process terminates in sleep. According to Maurj^ if one awakens shortly thereafter, it is often possible to demon- strate the same pictures in the dream which one has perceived as hypnogogic hallucinations before falling asleep (p. 134). Thus it once happened to Maury with a group of pictures of grotesque figures, with distorted features and strange head- dresses, which obtruded themselves upon him with incredible importunity during the period of falling asleep, and which he recalled having dreamed upon awakening. On another occasion, while suffering from hmiger, because he kept himself on a rather strict diet, he saw hypnogogically a plate and a hand armed with a fork taking some food from the plate. In his dream he found himseff at a table abundantly supplied with


26 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

food, and heard the rattle made by the diners with their forksi On still another occasion, after falling asleep with irritated and painful eyes, he had the hypnogogic hallucination of seeing microscopically small characters which he was forced to decipher one by one with great exertion ; having been awakened from his sleep an hour later, he recalled a dream in which there was an open book with very smaU letters, which he was obliged to read through with laborious effort.

Just as in the case of these pictures, auditory hallticinationa of words, names, &c., may also appear hypnogogically, and then repeat themselves in the dream, like an overture announc- ing the principal motive of the opera which is to follow.

A more recent observer of hjrpnogogic hallucinations, G. TrumbuU Ladd,*^ takes the same path pursued by John Miiller and Maury. By dint of practice he succeeded in acquiring the faculty of suddenly arousing himself, without opening his eyes, two to five minutes after having gradually fallen asleep, which gave him opportunity to compare the sensations of the retina just vanishing with the dream pictures remaining in his memory. He assures us that an intimate relation between the two can always be recognised, in the sense that the luminous dots and lines of the spontaneous Hght of the retina produced, so to speak, the sketched outline or scheme for the psychically perceived dream figures. A dream, e.g.y in which he saw in front of him clearly printed fines which he read and studied, corresponded to an arrangement of the luminous dots and lines in the retina in parallel lines, or, to express it m. his own words : " The clearly printed page, which he was reading in the dream, resolved itself iato an object which appeared to his waking perception Hke part of an actual priated sheet looked at through a Httle hole in a piece of paper, from too great a distance to be made out distinctly." Without in any way under-estimatiag the central part of the phenomenon, Ladd believes that ^ardly any visual dream occurs in our minds that Js not based j)n^ material furnished by this inner condition of stimulation injbhe retina. This is particularly true of dreams occurring shortly after falling asleep in a dark room, while dreams occurring in the morning near the period of awakening receive their stimulation from the ob- jective hght penetrating the e3^e from the lightened room.


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 2?

The shifting and endlessly variable character of the spon- taneous luminous excitation of the retina corresponds exactly to the fitful succession of pictures presented to us in our dreams. If we attach any importance to Ladd's observations, we cannot underrate the productiveness of this subjective source of excitation for the dream ; for visual pictures ap- parently form the principal constituent of our dreams. The share furnished from the spheres of the other senses, beside the sense of hearing, is more insignificant and inconstant.

III. Internal {Organic) Physical Excitation. — If we are dis- posed to seeE"3ream"sources not outside, but inside, the organism, we must remember that almost all our internal organs, which in their healthy state hardly remind us of their existence, may, in states of excitation — as we call them — or in disease, become for us a source of the most painful sensa- tions, which must be put on an equahty with the external excitants of the pain and sensory stimuli. It is on the strength of very old experience that, e,g., Striimpell ** declares that " during sleep the mind becomfis_faiLjnore_deeply and broadly con§cio urTtfiLts~cQhne ction_ with the bod j_thflJiJ|n7theIwaking state, and_ilL_i§_compfiILBd_toreceive and be influenced by stimulating impressions originating^ln parts "and'changes of the body of wMcT^^^unconsciotls^ inri;he- waking s Even

Aristotle^ declares it quite 'possiBIe^'that^the dream should draw our attention to incipient morbid conditions which we have not noticed at all in the waking state (owing to the exaggeration given by the dream to the impressions ; and some medical authors, who were certainly far from beUeving in any prophetic power of the dream, have admitted this significance of the dream at least for the foretelling of disease. (Compare M. Simon, p. 31, and many older authors.)

Even in our times there seems to be no lack of authenticated examples of such diagnostic performances on the part of the dream. Thus Tissie ^® cites from Artigues (Essai sur la Valeur sdrndiologique des Reves), the history of a woman of forty-three years, who, during several years of apparently perfect health, was troubled with anxiety dreams, and in whom medical examination later disclosed an incipient affection of the heart to which she soon succumbed.

Serious disturbances of the internal organs apparently act


28 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS


as inciters of dreams in a considerable number of persons, Attention is quite generally called to the frequency of anxiety dreams in the diseases of the heart and lungs ; inSeed this relation of the dream Hfe is placed so conspicuously in the foregroimd by many authors that I shall here content myself with a mere reference to the literature. (Radestock,^* Spitta,®* Maury, M. Simon, Tissie.) Tissie even assumes that the diseased organs impress upon the dream content their char- acteristic features. The dreams of persons suffering from diseases of the heart are generally very brief and terminate in a terrified awakening ; the situation of death imder terrible cu'cumstances almost always plays a part in their content. Those suffering from diseases of the lungs dream of suffocation, of being crowded, and of flight, and a great many of them are subject to the well-known nightmare, which, by the way, Boemer has succeeded in producing experimentally by lying on the face and closing up the openings of the respiratory organs. In digestive disturbances the dream contains ideas from the sphere of enjoyment and disgust. Finally, the influence of sexual excitement on the dream content is per- ceptible enough in every one's experience, and lends the strongest support to the entire theory of the dream excitation through organic sensation.

Moreover, as we go through the Hterature of the dream, it becomes quite obvious that some of the authors (Maury,** Weygandt ^^) have been led to the study of dream problems by the influence of their own pathological state on the content of their dreams.

The addition to dream sources from these undoubtedly estabUshed facts is, however, not as important as one might be led to suppose ; for the dream is a phenomenon which occurs in healthy persons — perhaps in all persons, and every night — and a pathological state of the organs is apparently not one of its indispensable conditions. For us, however, the question is not whence particiilar dreams originate, but what may be the exciting source for the ordinaiy dreams of normal persons.

But we need go only a step further to find a dream source which is more prolific than any of those mentioned above, which indeed promises to be inexhaustible in every case. If




LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 29

it is established that the bodily organs become in sickness an exciting source of dreams, and if we admit that the mind, diverted daring sleep from the outer world, can devote more attention to the interior of the body, we may readily assume that the organs need not necessarily become diseased in order to permit stimuli, which in some way or other grow into dream pictures, to reach the sleeping mind. What in the waking state we broadly perceive as general sensation, distin- guishable by its quahty alone, to which, in the opinion of the physicians, all the organic systems contribute their shares — this general sensation at night attaining powerful efficiency and becoming active with its individual components — would naturally furnish the most powerful as well as the most common source for the production of the dream presentations. It stiU remains, however, to examine according to what rule the organic sensations become transformed into dream presenta- tions.

The theory of the origin of dreams just stated has been the favourite with all medical authors. The obscurity which conceals the essence of our being — the " moi splanchniquey as Tissi6 terms it — from our knowledge and the obscurity of the origin of the dream correspond too well not to be brought into relation with each other. The train of thought which makes organic sensation the inciter of the dream has besides another attraction for the physician, inasmuch as it favours the etio- logical union of the dream and mental diseases, which show so many agreements in their manifestations, for alterations in the organic sensations and excitations emanating from the inner organs are both of wide significance in the origin of the psychoses. It is therefore not surprising that the theory of bodily sensation can be traced to more than one originator who has propounded it independently.

A number of authors have been influenced by the train of ideas developed by the philosopher Schopenhauer in 1851. Our conception of the universe originates through the fact that our intellect recasts the impressions coming to it from without in the moulds of time, space, and causahty. The sensations from the interior of the organism, proceeding from the sympathetic nervous system, exert in the day-time an influence on our mood for the most part unconscious. At


30 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

night, however, when the overwhehning influence of the day's impressions is no longer felt, the impressions pressij upward from the interior are able to gain attention — just in the night we hear the rippling of the spring that was rendere inaudible by the noise of the day. In what other way, then, could the intellect react upon these stimuli than by performing its characteristic function ? It will transform the stimuli into figures, filling space and time, which move at the beginning of causaHty ; and thus the di'eam originates. Schemer, ^^ and after him Volkelt,'^ attempted to penetrate into closer relations between physical sensations and dream pictures ; but we shall reserve the discussion of these attempts for the chapter on the theory of the dream.

^ In a study particularly logical in its development, the psychiatrist Krauss ^^ found the origin of the dream as weU as of dehria and delusions in the same element, viz. the organically determined sensation. According to this author there is hardly a place in the organism which might not become the starting point of a dream or of a delusion. Now organically determined sensations " may be divided into two classes : (1) those of the total feeling (general sensations), (2) specific sensations which are inherent in the principal systems of the vegetative organism, which may be divided into five groups : (a) the muscular, (6) the pneumatic, (c) the gastric, (d) the sexual, (e) the. peripheral sensations (p. 33 of the second article)." The origin of the dream picture on the basis of the physical sensations is conceived by Kjauss as follows : The awakened sensation evokes a presentation related to it in accordance with some law of association, and combines with this, thus forming an organic structure, towards which, however, con- sciousness does j;iot maintain its normal attitude. For it does not bestow any attention on the sensation itself, but concerns itself entirely wdth the accompanying presentation ; this is hkewise the reason why the state of affairs in question should have been so long misunderstood (p. 11, &c.). Krauss finds for this process the specific term of '* transubstantiation of the feeling into dream pictures " (p. 24).

That the organic bodily sensations exert some influence on the formation of the dream is nowadays almost universally acknowledged, but the question as to the law underlying the


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 81

relation between the two is answered in various ways and often in obscure terms. On the basis of the theory of bodily excitation the special task of dream interpretation is to trace back the content of a dream to the causative organic stimulus, and if we do not recognise the rules of interpretation advanced by Schemer, ^^ we frequently find ourselves confronted with the awkward fact that the organic excitmg source reveals itself in the content of the dream only.

A certain agreement, however, is manifested in the inter- pretation of the various forms of dreams which have been designated as " typical " because they recur in so many persons with almost the same contents. Among these are the well- known dreams of falling from heights, of the falling out of teeth, of flying, and of embarrassment because of being naked or barely cLd. This last dream is said to be caused simply by the perception felt in sleep that one has thrown o£E the bed- cover and is exposed. The dream of the falling out of teeth is explained by " dental irritation," which does not, however, of necessity imply a morbid state of excitation in the teeth. According to Striimpell,^^ the flying dream is the adequate picture used by the mind to interpret the sum of excitation emanating from the rising and sinking of the pulmonary lobes after the cutaneous sensation of the thorax has been reduced to insensibihty. It is this latter circumstance that causes a sensation related to the conception of flying, falling from -aJieight in a dream is said to have its cause in the fact that when unconsciousness of the sensation of cutaneous pressure has set in, either an arm falls away from the body or a flexed knee is suddenly stretched out, causing the feeling of cutaneous pressure to return to consciousness, and the transition to consciousness embodies itself psychically as a dream of falling. (Striimpell, p. 118). The weakness of these plausible attempts at explanation evidently Hes in the fact that without any further elucidation they aUow this or that group of organic sensations to disappear from psychic perception or to obtrude themselves upon it until the constellation favourable for the explanation has been established. I shall, however, later have occasion to recur to typical dreams and to their origin.

From comparison of a series of similar dreams, M. Simon ^ endeavoured to formulate certain rules for the influence of the


32 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

organic sensations on the determination of the resulting dream He says (p. 34) : "If any organic apparatus, which during sleep normally participates in the expression of an affect, fo] any reason merges into the state of excitation to which it usually aroused by that affect, the dream thus produced wil contain presentations which fit the affect."

Another rule reads as foUows (p. 35) : *' If an organic apparatus is in a state of activity, excitation, or disturbance during sleep, the dream will bring ideas which are related tc the exercise of the organic fimction which is performed b] that apparatus."

Hourly Void '^ has imdertaken to prove experimentallj the influence assumed by the theory of bodily sensation for single territory. He has made experiments in altering th< positions of the sleeper's limbs, and has compared the resulting dream with his alterations. As a result he reports the following theories : —

1. The position of a limb in a dream corresponds approxi- mately to that of reality, i.e. we dream of a static condition of the limb which corresponds to the real condition.

2. When one dreams of a moving limb it always happens that one of the positions occurring in the execution of this movement corresponds to the real position.

3. The position of one's own limb may be attributed in the dream to another person.

4. One may dream further that the movement in question is impeded.

5. The limb in any particular position may appear in the dream as an animal or monster, in which case a certain analogy between the two is established.

6. The position of a limb may incite in the dream ideas which bear some relation or other to this limb. Thus, e.g,, if we are employed with the fingers we dream of numerals.

Such results would lead me to conclude that even the theory of bodily sensation cannot fully extinguish the apparent freedom in the determination of the dream picture to be awakened.*

  • Tlie first volume of this Norwegian author, containing a complete de-

scription of dream?, has recently appeared in German. See Index of Literature, No. 74 a.


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 33

IV. Psychic Exciting Sources, — In treating the relations of the dream to the waking Kfe and the origin of the dream material, we learned that the earliest as well as the latest investigators agreed that men dream of what they are doing in the day-time, and of what they are interested in during the waking state. This interest continuing from waking life into sleep, besides being a psychic tie joining the dream to life, also furnishes us a dream source not to be under-estimated, wliich, taken with those stimuli which become interesting and active during sleep, suffices to explain the origin of all dream pictures. But we have also heard the opposite of the above assertion, viz. that the dream takes the sleeper away from the interests of the day, and that in most cases we do not dream of things that have occupied our attention duriag the day until after they have lost for the waking life the stimulus of actuahty. Hence in the analysis of the dream life we are reminded at every step that it is iuadmissible to frame general rules without making provision for quah'fications expressed by such terms as " frequently," " as a rule," " in most cases," and without preparing for the vahdity of the exceptions.

If the conscious interest, together with the inner and outer sleep stimuh, sufficed to cover the etiology of the dreams, we ought to be in a position to give a satisfactory account of the origin of all the elements of a dream ; the riddle of the dream sources would thus be solved, leaving only the task of separat- ing the part played by the psychic and the somatic dream stimuli in individual dreams. But as a matter of fact no such com- plete solution of a dream has ever been accomphshed in any case, and, what is more, every one attempting such solution has found that in most cases there have remained a great many components of the dream, the source of which he was unable to explain. The daily interest as a psychic source of dreams is evidently not far-reaching enough to justify the confident assertions to the efiect that we all continue our waking affairs in the dream.

Other psychic sources of dreams are unknown. Hence, mth the exception perhaps of the explanation of dreams given by Schemer,^^ which will be referred to later, all explanations formd in the litei-ature show a large gap when we come to the derivation of the material for the presentation pictures, which

c


34 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS


is most characteristic for the dream. In this dilemma the majority of authors have developed a tendency to depreciate as much as possible the psychic factor in the excitations of dreams which is so difficult to approach. To be sure, they distinguish as a main division of dreams the nerve-exciting and the association dreams, and assert that the latter has its source exclusively in reproduction (Wundt,'® p. 365), but they cannot yet dismiss the doubt whether " they do not appear without being impelled by the psychical stimulus " (Volkelt,'^ p. 127). The characteristic quaHty of the pure association dream is also found wanting. To quote Volkelt (p. 118) : " In the association dreams proper we can no longer speak of such a firm nucleus. Here the loose grouping penetrates also into the centre of the dream. The ideation which is already set free from reason and intellect is here no longer held together by the more important psychical and mental stimuH, but is left to its own aimless shifting and complete confusion." Wundt, too, attempts to depreciate the psychic factor in the stimulation of dreams by declaring that the " phantasms of the dream certainly are unjustly regarded as pure hallucina- tions, and that probably most dream presentations are reaUy illusions, inasmuch as they emanate from sHght sensory im- pressions which are never extinguished during sleep " (p. 338, &c.). Weygandt '^ agrees with this view, but generalises it. He asserts that " the first source of aU dream presentations is a sensory stimulus to which reproductive associations are then joined " (p. 17). Tissie ^^ goes still further in repressing the psychic exciting sources (p. 183) : " Les reves d'origine absolument psychique n'existent pas " ; and elsewhere (p. 6), " Les pensees de nos reves nous viennent de dehors ..."

Those authors who, like the influential philosopher Wundt, adopt a middle course do not fail to remark that in most dreams there is a co-operation of the somatic stimuli with the psychic instigators of the dream, the latter being either unknown or recognised as day interests.

We shall learn later that the riddle of the dream formation can be solved by the disclosure of an unsuspected psycMc source of excitement. For the present we shall not be surprised at the over-estimation of those stimuli for the formation of the dream which do not originate from psychic life. It is




LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 85

not merely because they alone can easily be found and even confirmed by experiment, but the somatic conception of the origin of dreams thoroughly corresponds to the mode of thinking in vogue nowadays in psychiatry. Indeed, the mastery of the brain over the organism is particularly e.n- phasized ; but everything that might prove an independence of the psychic life from the demonstrable organic changes, or a spontaneity in its manifestations, is alarming to the psychiatrist nowadays, as if an acknowledgment of the same were bound to bring back the times of natural philosophy and the meta- physical conception of the psychic essence. The distrust of the psychiatrist has placed the psyche under a guardian, so to speak, and now demands that none of its feelings shall divulge any of its own faculties ; but this attitude shows slight confidence in the stabihty of the causal concatenation which extends between the material and the psychic. Even where on investigation the psychic can be recognised as the primary course of a phenomenon, a more profound penetration will some day succeed in finding a continuation of the path to the organic determination of the psychic. But where the psychic must be taken as the terminus for our present knowledge, it should not be denied on that account.

(d) Why the Dream is Forgotten after Awakening. — ^That the dream " fades away " in the morning is proverbial. To be sure, it is capable of recollection. For we know the dream only by recalling it after awakening ; but very often we believe that we remember it only incompletely, and that during the night there was more of it ; we can observe how the memory of a dream which has been still vivid in the morning vanishes in the course of the day, leaving only a few small fragments ; we often know that we have been dreaming,, but we do not know what ; and we are so well used to the fact that the dream is liable to be forgotten that we do not reject as absurd the possibility that one may have been dreaming even when one knows nothing in the morning of either the contents or the fact of dreaming. On the other hand, it happens that dreams manifest an extraordinary retentive- ness in the memory. I have had occasion to analyse with my patients dreams which had occurred to them twenty-five years or more previously, and I can remember a dream of my


86 TilE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

own which is separated from the present day by at least thirty- seven years, and yet has lost nothing of its freshness in my memory. All this is very remarkable, and for the present incomprehensible.

The forgetting of dreams is treated in the most detailed manner by Striimpell.®^ This forgetting is evidently a complex phenomenon ; for Striimpell does not explain it by a single reason, but by a considerable number of reasons.

In the first place, all those factors which produce forgetful- ness in the waking state are also determinant for the forgetting of dreams. When awake we are wont soon to forget a large number of sensations and perceptions because they are too feeble, and because they are connected with a sHght amoimt of emotional feeling. This is also the case with many dream pictures ; they are forgotten because they are too weak, while stronger pictures in proximity will be remembered. Moreover, the factor of intensity in itself is not the only determinant for the preservation of the dream pictures ; Striimpell, as well as other authors (Calkins), admits that dream pictures are often rapidly forgotten, although they are known to have been vivid, whereas among those that are retamed in memory there are many that are very shadowy and hazy. Besides, in the waking state one is wont to forget easily what happened only once, and to note more easily things of repeated occurrence. But most dream pictures are single experiences,* and this peculiarity equally contributes towards the forgettmg of all dreams. Of greater significance is a third motive for forgetting. In order that feelings, presentations, thoughts and the Hke, should attain a certain degree of memory, it is important that they should not remain isolated, but that they should enter into connections and associations of a suitable kind. If the words of a short verse are taken and mixed together, it wiU be very difficult to remember them. " \^Tien well arranged in suitable sequence one word will help another, and the whole remains as sense easily and firmly in the memory for a long time. Contradictions we usually retain with just as much difficulty and rarity as things confused and disarranged. Now dreams in most cases lack sense and order. Dream

  • Periodically recurrent dreams have been observed repeatedly. Gf.

the collection of Chabaneix.*^


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 37

compositions are b}- their very nature incapable of being remembered, and they are forgotten because they usually crumble together the very next moment. To be sure, these conclusions are not in full accord with the obsei-vaticn of Radestock ^* (p. 168), that we retain best just those dreams which are most peculiar.

According to Striimpell, there are still other factors effective in the forgetting of dreams which are derived from the relation of the dream to the waking state. The forgetfulness of the waking consciousness for dreams is evidently only the counter- part of the fact already mentioned, that the dream (almost) never takes over successive memories from the waking state, but only certain details of these memories which it tears away from the habitual psychic connections in which they are re- called while we are awake. The dream composition, therefore, has no place in the company of psj^chic successions which fill the mind. It lacks all the aids of memory. '* In this mamier the dream structure rises, as it were, from the soil of our psychic life, and floats in psychic space like a cloud in the sky, which the next breath of air soon dispels " (p. 87). This is also aided by the fact that, upon awakening, the attention is immediately seized by the inrushing sensory world, and only very few dream pictures can withstand this power. They fade away before the impressions of the new day like the glow of the stars before the sunKght.

As a last factor favouring the forgetting of dreams, we may mention the fact that most people generally take Httle interest in their dreams. One who investigates dreams for a time, and takes a special interest in them, usually dreams more during that time than at any other ; that is, he remembers his dreams more easily and more frequently.

Two other reasons for the forgetting of dreams added by Bonatelli (given by Benini ^) to those of Striimpell have already been mcluded in the latter ; namely, (1) that the change of tho general feeUng between the sleeping and waking states is un- favourable to the mutual reproductions, and (2) that the different arrangement of the presentation material in the dream makes the dream untranslatable, so to speak, for the waking conscior.sness.

It is the more remarkable, as Striimpell observes, that, in


38 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

spite of all these reasons for forgetting the dream, so many dreams are retained in memory. The continued efforts of the authors to formulate laws for the remembering of dreams amounts to an admission that here too there is something puzzling and unsolved. Certain peculiarities relating to the memory of dreams have been particularly noticed of late, e.g., that a dream which is considered forgotten in the morning may be recalled in the course of the day through a perception which accidentally touches the forgotten content of the dream (Radestock,^* Tissi6 ^^). The entire memory of the dream is open to an objection calculated to depreciate its value very markedly in critical eyes. One may doubt whether our memory, which omits so much from the dream, does not falsify what it retained.

Such doubts relating to the exactness of the reproduction of the dream are expressed by Striimpell when he says : "It therefore easily happens that the active consciousness in- voluntarily inserts much in recollection of the dream ; one imagines one has dreamt all sorts of things which the actual dream did not contain."

Jessen ^^ (p. 547) expresses himself very decidedly : " More- over we must not lose sight of the fact, hitherto Httle heeded, that in the investigation and interpretation of orderly and logical dreams we almost always play with the truth when we recall a dream to memory. Unconsciously and unwittingly we jQll up the gaps and supplement the dre'diD pictures. Rarely, and perhaps never, has a connected dream been as connected as it appears to us in memory. Even the most truth-loving person can hardly relate a dream without exaggerating and embeUishing it. The tendency of the human mind to conceive everything in connection is so great that it unwittingly supplies the deiSciencies of connection if the dream is recalled somewhat disconnectedly."

The observations of V. Eggers,^^ though surely inde- pendently conceived, sound almost like a translation of Jessen 's words : " . . . L'observation des reves a ses difficultes speciales et le seul moyen d'6viter toute erreur en pareille matifere est de coniSer au papier sans le moindre retard ce que Ton vient d'^prouver et de remarquer ; sinon, I'oubli vient vite ou total ou partiel ; I'oubli total est sans gravite ; mais Foubli partiel


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 39

est perfide ; car si Ton se met ensuite k raconter ce que Ton n'a pas oublie, on est expos6 k completer par imagination les fragments incoherents et disjoints fourni par la memoire . . . ; on devient artiste a son insu, et le recit, periodiquement repete s'impose k la creance de son auteur, qui, de bonne foi, le presente comme un fait authentique, diiment 6tabli selon les bonnes methodes ..."

Similarly Spitta,^* who seems to think that it is only in our attempt to reproduce the dream that we put in order the loosely associated dream elements : "To make connection out of disconnection, that is, to add the process of logical con- nection which is absent in the dream."

As we do not at present possess any other objective control for the rehability of our memory, and as iadeed such a control is impossible in examining the dream which is our own ex- perience, and for which our memory is the only source, it is a question what value we may attach to our recollections of dreams.

(e) The Psychological Peculiarities of Dreams. — In the scientific investigation of the dream we start with the assump- tion that the dream is an occurrence of our own psychic activity ; nevertheless the finished dream appears to us as something strange, the authorship of which we are so Uttle forced to recognise that we can just as easily say " a dream appeared to me," as " I have dreamt." Whence this " psychic strangeness " of the dream ? According to our discussion of the sources of dreams we may suppose that it does not depend on the material reaching the dream content ; because this is for the most part common to the dream life and waking life. One may ask whether in the dream it is not changes in the psychic processes which call forth this impression, and may so put to test a psychological characteristic of the dream.

No one has more strongly emphasized the essential difference between dream and waking life, and utilised this difference for more far-reaching conclusions, than G. Th. Fechner ^^ in some observations in his Elements of Psychophysic (p. 520, part 11). He believes that " neither the simple depression of conscious psychic fife under the main threshold," nor the distraction of attention from the influences of the outer world, suffices to explaia the peculiarities of the dream life as compared with


40 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

the waking life. He rather believes that the scene of dreams is laid elsewhere than in the waking presentation hfe. " If the scene of the psychophysical activity were the same during the sleeping and the waldng states, the dream, in my opinion, could only be a continuation of the waking ideation maintain- ing itself at a lower degree of intensity, and must moreover share ^vith the latter its material and form. But the state of affairs is quite different."

What Fechner really meant has never been made clear, nor has anybody else, to my knowledge, followed further the road, the clue to which he indicated in this remark. An anatomical interpretation in the sense of physiological brain localisations, or even in reference to histological sections of the cerebral cortex, will surely have to be excluded. The thought may, however, prove ingenious and fruitful if it can be referred to a psychic apparatus which is constructed out of many instances placed one behind another.

Other authors have been content to render prominent one or another of the tangible psychological peculiarities of the dream life, and perhaps to take these as a starting point for more far-reaching attempts at explanation.

It has been justly remarked that one of the main pecu- liarities of the dream hfe appears even in the state of falling asleep, and is to be designated as the phenomenon inducing sleep. According to Schleiermacher ^^ (p. 351), the char- acteristic part of the waking state is the fact that the psychic activity occurs in ideas rather than in pictures. But the dream thinks in pictures, and one may observe that with the approach of sleep the voluntary activities become difficult in the same measure as the involuntary appear, the latter belonging wholly to the class of pictures. The inability for such presentation work as we perceive to be intentionally desired, and the appearance of pictures which is regularly connected with this distraction, these are two quahties which are constant in the dream, and which in its psychological analysis we must recognise as essential characters of the dream life. Concerning the pictures — the hjrpnogogic hallucinations — we have discovered that even in their content they are identical with the dream pictures.

Tlie dream therefore thinks preponderate^, but not


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 41

exclusively, in visual pictures. It also makes use of auditory pictures, and to a lesser extent of the impressions of the other senses. Much is also simply thought or imagined (probably represented by remnants of word presentations), just as in the waking state. But still what is characteristic for the dream is only those elements of the content which act Uke pictures, i.e. which resemble more the perceptions than the memory presentations. Disregarding all the discussions concerning the nature of hallucinations, familiar to every psychiatrist, we can say, with all well-versed authors, that the dream hallucinates, that is, replaces thoughts through hallucina- tions. In this respect there is no difference between visual and acoustic presentations ; it has been noticed that the memory of a succession of sounds with which one falls asleep becomes transformed while sinking into sleep into an hallucina- tion of the same melody, so as to make room again on awaken- ing, which may repeatedly alternate with falling into a slumber, for the softer memory presentations which are differently formed in quaHty.

The transformation of an idea into an hallucination is not the only deviation of the dream from a waldng thought wliich perhaps corresponds to it. From these pictures the dream forms a situation, it presents something in the present, it dramatises an idea, as Spitta ^^ (p. 145) puts it.* But the characteristic of this side of the dream life becomes complete only when it is remembered that while dreaming we do not — as a rule ; the exceptions require a special explanation — imagine that we are thinking, but that we are Kving through an experience, i.e., we accept the hallucination with full belief. The criticism that this has not been experienced but only thought in a peculiar mamier — dreamt — comes to us only on awakening. This character distinguishes the genuine sleeping dream from day dreaming, which is never confused with reahty.

The characteristics of the dream life thus far considered have been summed up by Burdach ^ (p. 476) in the following sentences : "As characteristic features of the dream we may

  • Silbcrerhas shown by nice examples how in the state of sleepiness even

abstract thoughts may be changed into illustrative plastic pictures which exprpss the same thing {Jahrlmch von Bleuler-Fieud, vol, i. 1900).


42 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

add (a) that the subjective activity of our mind appears as objective, inasmuch as our faculty of perception perceives the products of phantasy as if they were sensory activities . . . (6) sleep abrogates one's self-command, hence falling asleep necessitates a certain amount of passivity. . . . The slumber pictures are conditioned by the relaxation of one's self- command."

It is a question now of attempting to explain the credulity of the mind in reference to the dream hallucinations, which can only appear after the suspension of a certain arbitrary activity. Striimpell ^^ asserts that the mind behaves in this respect correctly, and in conformity with its mechanism. The dream elements are by no means mere presentations, but true and" real esfperiences of the mind, similar to those that appear in the waking state as a result of the senses (p. 34). Whereas in the waking state the mind represents and thinks in word pictures and language, in the dream it represents and thuiks in real tangible pictures (p. 35). Besides, the dream manifests a consciousness of space by transferring the sensa- tions and pictures, just as in the waking state, into an outer space (p. 36). It must therefore be admitted that the mind in the dream is in the same relation to its pictures and per- ceptions as in the waking state (p. 43). If, however, it is thereby led astray, this is due to the fact that it lacks in sleep the criticism which alone can distinguish between the sensory perceptions emanating from within or from without. It cannot subject its pictures to the tests which alone can prove their objective reahty. It furthermore neglects to di£Ferentiate between pictures that are arbitrarily interchanged and others where there is no free choice. It errs because it cannot apply to its content the lav/ of causaHty (p. 68). In brief, its aliena- tion from the outer world contains also the reason for its behef in the subjective dream world.

Delboeuf ^« reaches the same conclusion through a some- what different Une of argument. We give to the dream pictures the credence of reahty because in sleep we have no other impressions to compare them with, because we are cut off from the outer world. But it is not perhaps because we are unable to make tests in our sleep, that we believe in the truth of our hallucinations. The dream may delude us with


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 43

all these tests, it may make us believe that we may touch the rose that we see in the dream, and still we only dream. Ac- cording to Delbceuf there is no valid criterion to show whether something is a dream or a conscious reahty, except — and that only in practical generaHty — the fact of awakening. " I declare delusional everything that is experienced between the period of falling asleep and awakening, if I notice on awakening that I lie in my bed undressed " (p. 84). "I have considered the dream pictures real during sleep in consequence of the mental habit, which cannot be put to sleep, of perceiving an outer world with which I can contrast my ego." *

As the deviation from the outer world is taken as the stamp for the most striking characteristics of the dream, it will be worth while mentioning some ingenious observations of old Burdach ^ which will throw Hght on the relation of the sleeping mind to the outer world and at the same time serve to prevent us from over-estimating the above deductions. " Sleep results only under the condition," says Burdach, " that the mind is

  • Haffner'^ made an attempt similar to Delbceuf 'e to explain the dream

activity on the basis of an alteration which must result in an introduction of an abnormal condition in the otherwise correct function of the intact psychic apparatus, but he described this condition in somewhat different words. He states that the first distinguishing mark of the dream is the absence of time and space, i.e. the emancipation of the presentation from the position in the order of time and space which is common to the individual. Allied to this is the second fundamental character of the dream, the mis- taking of the hallucinations, imaginations, and phantasy-combinations for objective perceptions. The sum total of the higher psychic forces, especially formation of ideas, judgment, and argumentation on the one hand, and the free self-determination on the other hand, connect themselves with the sensory phantasy pictures iMid at all times have them as a substratum. These activities too, therefore, participate in the irregularity of the dream presentation. We say they participate, for our faculties of judgment and will power are in themselves in no way altered during sleep. In reference to activity, wo are just as keen and just as free as in the waking state. A man cannot act contrary to the laws of thought, even in the dream, i.e. he is unable to harmonise with that which represents itself as contrary to him, &c. ; he can only desire in the dream that which he presents to himself as good (suh ratione honi). But in this application of the laws of thinking and willing the human mind is led astray in the dream through mistaking one presentation for another. It thus happens that we form and commit in the dream the greatest contradictions, while, on the other hand, we display the keenest jud«^ments and the most coti sequential chains of reasoning, and can make the most virtuous and sacred resolutions. Lack of orientation is the whole secret of the flight by which our phantasy moves m Ihe dream, and lack of critical reflection and mutual understanding with others is the main source of the reckless extravagances of our judgments, hopes, and wiiihea in the dream " (p. 18).


U THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

not excited by sensory stimuli . . . but it is not the lack of sensory stimuli that conditions sleep, but rather a lack of interest for the same ; some sensory impressions are even necessary in so far as they serve to cahn the mind ; thus the miller can faU asleep only when he hears the ratthng of his mill, and he who finds it necessary to burn a light at night, as a matter of precaution, cannot faU asleep in the dark " (p. 457).

" The psyche isolates itself during sleep from the outer world, and withdraws from the periphery. . . . Nevertheless, the connection is not entirety interrupted ; if one did not hear and feel even during sleep, but only after awakening, he would certainly never awake. The continuance of sensation is even more plainly shown by the fact that we are not always awakened by the mere sensory force of the impression, but by the psychic relation of the same ; an indifferent word does not arouse the sleeper, but if called by name he awakens . . . : hence the psyche differentiates sensations during sleep. . . . It is for this reason that we may be awakened by the lack of a sensory stimulus if it relates to the presentation of an important thing ; thus one awakens when the light is extinguished, and the miller when the mill comes to a sta^ndstill ; that is, the awakening is due to the cessation of a sensory activity, which presupposes that it has been perceived, and that it has not disturbed the mind, being indifferent or rather gratifying " (p. 460, &c.).

If we are willing to disregard these objections, which arc not to be taken hghtly, we still must admit that the quahtiea of the dream life thus far considered, w^hich originate by withdrawing from the outer world, cannot fully explain the strangeness of the dream. For otherr^'ise it would be possible to change back the hallucinations of the dream into presenta- tions and the situations of the dream into thoughts, and thus to perform the task of dream interpretation. Now this is what we do when we reproduce the dream from memory after awakening, and wh3ther we are fully or only partially success- ful in this back translation the dream stiU retains its mysterious- ness undiminished.

Furthermore all the authors assume unhesitatingly that still other more far-reaching alterations take place in the presentation material of waking life. One of them, StriinipeU/*


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 45

expresses himself as follows (p. 17) : " With the cessation of the objectively active outlook and of the normal consciousness, the psyche loses the foundation in which were rooted the feelings, desires, interests, and actions. Those psychic states, feelings, interests, estimates which cling in the waking state to the memory pictures also succumb to ... an obscure pressure, in consequence of which their connection with the pictures becomes severed ; the perception pictures of things, persons, locahties, events, and actions of the vv^aking state are singly very abundantly reproduced, but none of these brings along its psychic value. The latter is removed from them, and hence they float about in the mind dependent upon their own resources. ..."

This deprivation the picture suffers of its psychic value, which again goes back to the derivation from the outer world, is according to Striimpell mainly responsible for the impression of strangeness with which the dream is confronted in our memory.

We have heard that even falling asleep carries with it the abandonment of one of the psychic activities — namely, the voluntary conduct of the presentation course. Thus the supposition, suggested also by other grounds, obtrudes itself, that the sleeping state may extend its influence also over the psychic functions. One or the other of these functions is perhaps entirely suspended ; whether the remaining ones continue to work undisturbed, whether they can furnish normal work under the circumstances, is the next question. The idea occurs to us that the pecuharities of the dream may be explained through the inferior psychic activity during the sleeping state, but now comes the impression made by the dream upon our waking judgment which is contrary to such a conception. The dream is disconnected, it unites without hesitation the worst contradictions, it allows impossibihties, it disregards our authoritative knowledge from the day, and evinces ethical and moral duiness. He who would behave in the waking state as the dream does in its situations would be considered msane. He who in the waking state would speak in sucii manner or report such things as occur in the dream content, would impress us as confused and weak-minded. Thus we believe that we are only finding words for the fact


46 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

when we place but little value on the psychic activity in the dream, and especially when we declare that the higher in- tellectual activities are suspended or at least much impaired in the dream. ^ '• With unusual unanimity — the exceptions wiU be dealt with elsewhere — the authors have pronounced their judgments on the dream — such judgments as lead immediately to a definite theory or explanation of the dream life. It is time that I should supplement the rSsum^ which I have just given with a collection of the utterances of different authors — philosophers and physicians — on the psychological character of the dream.

According to Lemoine,*^ the incoherence of the dream picture is the only essential character of the dream.

Maury ^ agrees with him ; he says (p. 163) : " H n'y a pas des reves absolument raisonnables et qui ne contiennent quelque incoherence, quelque anachronisme, quelque absurdity.'*

According to Hegel, quoted by Spitta,^* the dream lacks all objective and comprehensible connection.

Dugas ^^ says : " Le reve, c'est Tanarchie psychique, affective et mentale, c'est le jeu des fonctions livrees a eUes- memes et s'exergant sans contr61e et sans but ; dans le r6ve Tesprit est un automate spirituel."

" The relaxation, solution, and confusion of the presenta- tion life which is held together through the logical force of the central ego " is conceded even by Volkelt ^^ (p. 14)^ according to whose theory the psychic activity during sleep seems in no way aimless.

The absurdity of the presentation connections appearing in the dream can hardly be more strongly condemned than it was by Cicero (De Divin, II.) : " Nihil tam praepostere, tam in- condite, tam monstruose cogitari potest, quod non possimus somniare."

Fechner ^^ says (p. 522) : " It is as if the psychological activity were transferred from the brain of a reasonable being into the brain of a fool."

Radestock ^^ (p. 145) says : " It seems indeed impossible to recognise in this absurd action any firm law. Having with- drawn itself from the strict poUce of the rational will guiding the waking presentation Hfe, and of the attention, the dream whirls everything about kaleidoscopically in mad play."


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 47

Hildebrandt ^ (p. 45) says : " What wonderful jumps the dreamer allows himself, e.g., in his chain of reasoning ! With what unconcern he sees the most familiar laws of experience turned upside down 1 What ridiculous contradictions he can tolerate in the orders of nature and society before things go too far, as we say, and the overstraining of the nonsense brings an awakening ! We often multiply quite unconcernedly : three times three make twenty ; we are not at all surprised when a dog recites poetry for us, when a dead person walks to his grave, and when a rock swims on the water ; we go in all earnestness by high command to the duchy of Bernburg or the principahty of Lichtenstein in order to observe the navy of the country, or we allow ourselves to be recruited as a volunteer by Charles XII. shortly before the battle of Poltawa."

Binz * (p. 33) points to a dream theory resulting from the impressions. " Among ten dreams nine at least have an absurd content. We unite in them persons or things which do not bear the sHghtest relation to one another. In the next moment, as in a kaleidoscope, the grouping changes, if possible to one more nonsensical and irrational than before ; thus the changing play of the imperfectly sleeping brain continues until we awaken, and put our hand to our forehead and ask ourselves whether we reaUy still possess the faculty of rational imagina- tion and thought."

Maury ^ (p. 50) finds for the relation of the dream picture to the waking thoughts, a comparison most impressive for the physician : "La production de ces images que chez I'homme 6veille fait le plus souvent naltre la volonte, correspond, pour rintelligence, a ce que cont pour la motiHte certains mouvements que nous offrent la choree et les affections paralytiques. ..." For the rest, he considers the dream " toute une s6rie de degra- dation de la faculte peasant et raisonant " (p. 27).

It is hardly necessary to mention the utterances of the authors which repeat Maury's assertion for the individual higher psychic activities.

According to Striimpell,®^ some logical mental operations based on relations and connections disappear in the dream — naturally also at points where the nonsense is not obvious (p. 26). According to Spitta,^* (p. 148) the presentations in the dream are entirely withdra^vn from the laws of causality


48 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

Radestock ^* and others emphasize the weakness of judgment and decision in the dream. According to Jodl ^^ (p. 123), there is no critique in the dream, and no correcting of a series of perceptions through the content of the sum of consciousness. The same author states that " all forms of conscious activity occur in the dream, but they are imperfect, inhibited, and isolated from one another." The contradictions manifested in the dream towards our conscious knowledge are explained by Strieker ^^ "^ (and many others), on the ground that facts are forgotten in the dream and logical relations between pre- sentations are lost (p. 98), &c., &c.

The authors who in general speak thus unfavourably about the psychic capacities m the dream, nevertheless admit that the dream retains a certain remnant of psychic activity. Wundt,^^ whose teaching has influenced so many other workers in the dream problems, positively admits this. One might inquire as to the kind and behaviour of the remnants of the psychic hfe which manifest themselves in the dream. It is now quite universally acknowledged that the reproductive capacity, the memory in the dream, seems to have been least affected ; indeed it may show a certain superiority over the same function in the waking life {vid. supra^ p. 10), although a part of the absurdities of the dream are to be explained by just this forgetfulness of the dream life. According to Spitta,** it is the emotional life of the psyche that is not overtaken by sleep and that then directs the dream. " By emotion [" Gemiith "] we understand the constant comprehension of the feelings as the inmost subjective essence of man " (p. 84).

Scholz 5^ (p. 37) sees a psychic activity manifested in the dream in the " allegorising interpretation " to which the dream material is subjected. Siebeck ^^ verifies also in the dream the " supplementary interpretative activity " (p. 11) which the mind exerts on all that is perceived and viewed. The judgment of the apparently highest psychic function, the consciousness, presents for the dream a special difficulty. As we can know anything orJy through consciousness, there can be no doubt as to its retention ; Spitta, however, beheves that only consciousness is retained in the d^-eam, and not self- consciousness. Delboeiif ^^ confesses that he is unable to conceive this differentiation.


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 49

The laws of association which govern the connection of ideas hold true also for the dream pictures ; indeed, their domination evinces itself in a purer and stronger expression in the dream than elsewhere. Striimpell ^^ (p. 70) says : " The dream follows either the laws of undisguised presentations as it seems exclusively or organic stimuh along with such pre- sentations, that is, without being influenced by reflection and reason, aesthetic sense, and moral judgment." The authors whose views I reproduce here conceive the formation of the dream in about the following manner : The sum of sensation stimuli affecting sleep from the various sources, discussed elsewhere, at first awaken in the mind a sum of presentations which represent themselves as hallucinations (according to Wundt, it is more correct to say as illusions, because of their origin from outer and inner stimuh). These unite with one another according to the known laws of association, and, following the same rules, in turn evoke a new series of pre- sentations (pictures). This entire material is then elaborated as well as possible by the still active remnant of the organising and thinking mental faculties (c/. Wundt '^ and Weygandt '^). But thus far no one has been successful in finding the motive which would decide that the awakening of pictures which do not originate objectively follow this or that law of association.

But it has been repeatedly observed that the associations which connect the dream presentations with one another are of a particular kind, and different from those found in the waking mental activity. Thus Volkelt '^ gays : " In the dream, the ideas chase and hunt each other on the strength of acci- dental similarities and barely perceptible connections. All dreams are pervaded by such loose and free associations." Maury *^ attaches great value to this characteristic of connec- tion between presentations, which allows him to bring the dream hfe in closer analogy to certain mental disturbances. He recognises two main characters of the dSlire : " (1) une action spontanee et comme automatique de I'esprit ; (2) une association vicieuse et irreguhere des idees " (p. 126). Maury gives us two excellent examples from his own dreams, in which the mere similarity of sound forms the connection of the dream presentations. He dreamed once that he undertook a pilgrimage (pelerinage) to Jerusalem or Mecca. After many


50 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

adventures he was with the chemist Pelletier ; the latter after some talk gave him a zinc shovel (pelle) which became his long battle sword in the dream fragment which followed (p. 137), On another occasion he walked in a dream on the highway and read the kilometres on the milestones ; presently he was with a spice merchant who had large scales with which to weigh Mamy ; the spice merchant then said to him : *' You are not in Paris ; but on the island Gilolo." This was followed by many pictures, in which he saw the flower Lobeha, then the General Lopez, of whose demise he had read shortly before. He finally awoke while playing a game of lotto.

We are, however, quite prepared to hear that this de- preciation of the psychic activities of the dream has not remained without contradiction from the other side. To be sure, con- tradiction seems difficult here. Nor is it of much significance that one of the depreciators of dream life, Spitta ^^ (p. 118), assures us that the same psychological laws which govern the waking state rule the dream also, or- that another (Dugas ^®) states : " Le reve n'est pas deraison ni m^me irraison pure," as long as neither of them has made any effort to bring this estimation into harmony with the psychic anarchy and dis- solution of all functions in the dream described by them. Upon others, however, the possibility seems to have dawned that the madness of the dream is perhaps not without its method — ^that it is perhaps only a sham, hke that of the Danish prince, to whose madness the inteUigent judgment here cited refers. These authors must have refrained from judging by appearances, or the appearance which the dream showed to them was quite different.

Without wishing to hnger at its apparent absurdity, Havelock EUis ^3 considers the dream as "an archaic world of vast emotions and imperfect thoughts," the study of which may make us acquainted with primitive stages of development of the psychic life. A thinker hke Delboeuf ^^ asserts — to be sure without adducing proof against the contradictory material, and hence indeed unjustly : " Dans le sommeU, hormis la perception, toutes les facultes de I'esprit, iuteUigence, imagina- tion, memoire, volonte, morahte, restant intactes dans leur essence ; seulement, elles s'apphquent a des objets imaginaires et mobiles. Le songeur est un acteur qui joue a volonte lea


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 51

fous et les sages, les bourreaus et les victimes, les nains et les geants, les demons et les anges " (p. 222). The Marquis of Hervey, who is sharply controverted by Maury,*® and whose work I could not obtain despite all effort, seems to combat most energetically the under-estimation of the psychic capacity in the dream. Maury speaks of him as follows (p. 19) : " M. le Marquis d'Hervey prete a TinteUigence, durant le sommeil toute sa Ubert6 d'action et d'attention et il ne semble faire consister le sommeil que dans I'occlusion des sens, dans leur fermeture au monde exterieur ; en sorte que I'homme qui dort ne se distingue gu^re, selon sa manifere de voir, de I'homme qui laisse vaguer sa pensee en se bouchant les sens ; toute la difference qui separe alors la pensee ordinaire du celle du dormeur c'est que, chez celui-ci, I'idee prend une forme visible, objective et ressemble, a s'y meprendre, a le sensation deter- minee par les objets exterieurs ; le souvenir revet Tapparence du fait present."

Maury adds, however ; *' Qu*il y a une difference de plus et'capitale a savoir que les facultes intellectuelles de Fhomme endormi n'offrent pas I'equilibre qu'elles gardent chez Thomme I'eveiHe."

The scale of the estimation of the dream as a psychic product has a great range in the Hterature ; it reaches from the lowest under-estimation, the expression of wliich we have come to know, through the idea of a value not yet revealed to the over-estimation which places the dream far above the capacities of the waking life. Hildebrandt,^^'^ who, as we know, sketches the psychological characteristics into three anti- nomies, sums up in the third of these contradistinctions the extreme points of this series as follows (p. 19) : ** It is between a climax, often an involution which raises itself to virtuosity, and on the other hand a decided diminution and weakening of the psychic life often leading below the human niveau."

" As for the first, who could not confirm from his own experience that, in the creations and weavings of the genius of the dream, there sometimes comes to fight a profundity and sincerity of emotion, a tenderness of feehng, a clearness of view, a fineness of observation, and a readiness pf wit, aD which we should modestly have to deny that we possess as a constant property during the waking life ? The dream has a


52 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

wonderful poetr3% an excellent allegory, an incomparable humour, and a charming irony. It views the world under the guise of a pecuhar idealisation, and often raises the effect of its manifestations into the most ingenious understanding of the essence lying at its basis. It represents for us earthly beauty in true heavenly radiance, the sublime in the highest majesty, the actually frightful in the most gruesome figure, and the ridiculous in the indescribably drastic comical ; and at times we are so full of one of these impressions after awakening that we imagine that such a thing has never been offered to us by the real world."

One may ask, is it really the same object that the de- preciating remarks and these inspired joraises are meant for ? Have the latter overlooked the stupid dreams and the former the thoughtful and ingenious dreams ? And if both kinds do occur — that is, dreams that merit to be judged in this or that manner — does it not seem idle to seek the psychological character of the dream ? would it not suffice to state that everything is possible in the dream, from the lowest depreciation of the psychic life to a raising of the same which is miusual in the w^aking state ? As convenient as this solution would be it has this against it, that behind the efforts of aU dream investigators, it seems to be presupposed that there is such a definable character of the dream, which is universally valM in its essen- tial features and which must efiminate these contradictions.

It is unquestionable that the psychic capacities of the dream have found quicker and warmer recognition in that intellectual period wliich now Hes behind us, when philosophy rather than exact natural science ruled intelligent minds. Utterances like those of Schubert, that the dream frees the mind from the power of outer nature, that it liberates the soul from the chains of the sensual, and similar opinions expressed by the younger Fichte,* and others, who represent the dream as a soaring up of the psychic life to a higher stage, hardly seem conceivable to us to-day ; they are only repeated at present by mystics and devotees. With the advance of the scientific mode of thinking, a reaction took place in the estima- tion of the dream. It is really the medical authors who are most prone to undenate the psycliic activity in the dre^m,

  • Gf. Haffner"- and Spitta**.


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 53

as being insigniiScant and invaluable, whereas, philosophers and unprofessional observers — amateur psychologists — whose contributions in this realm can surely not be overlooked, in better agreement with the popular ideas, have mostly adhered to the psychic value of the dream. He who is inclined to under- rate the psychic capacity in the dream prefers, as a matter of course, the somatic exciting sources in the etiology of the dream ; he who leaves to the dreaming mind the greater part of its capacities, naturally has no reason fc* not also admitting independent stimuh for dreaming.

Among the superior activities which, even on sober com- parison, one is tempted to ascribe to the dream life, memory is the most striking ; we have fully discussed the frequent experiences which prove this fact. Another superiority of the dream hfe, frequently extolled by the old authors, viz. that it can regard itself supreme in reference to distance of time and space, can be readily recognised as an illusion. This superiority, as observed by BQldebrandt,^^ is only illusional ; the dream takes as much heed of time and space as the waldng thought, and this because it is only a form of thinking. The dream is supposed to enjoy still another advantage in reference to time ; that is, it is independent in still another sense of the passage of time. Dreams hke the guillotine dream of Maury,*^ reported above, seem to show that the dream can crowd together more perception content in a very' short space of time than can be controlled by our psychic activity in the waking mind. These conclusions have been controverted,, however, by many arguments ; the essays of Le Lorrain ^^ and Egger ^o " Concerning the apparent duration of dreams " gave rise to a long and interesting discussion which has probably not said the last word upon this delicate and far-reaching question.

That the dream has the abihty to take up the intellectual work of the day and bring to a conclusion what has not been settled during the day, that it can solve doubt and problems, and that it may become the source of new inspiration in poets and composers, seems to be indisputable, as is shown by many reports and by the collection compiled by Chabaneix.^^ But even if there be no dispute as to the facts, nevertheless their interpretation is open in principle to a great many doubts.

Finally the asserted divinatory power of the dream forms


54 THE INTERniETATION OF DREAMS

an object of contention in which hard unsurmountable reflec- tion encounters obstinate and continued faith. It is indeed just that we should refrain from denying all that is based on fact in this subject, as there is a possibility that a number of such cases may perhaps be explained on a natural psychological basis.

(/) The Ethical Feelings in the Dream. — For reasons which will be understood only after cognisance has been taken of my own investigations of the dream, I have separated from the psychology of the dream the partial problem whether and to what extent the moral dispositions and feehngs of the waking life extend into the dreams. The same contradictions which we were surprised to observe in the authors' descriptions of all the other psychic capacities strike us again here. Some affirm decidedly that the dream knows nothing of moral obligationb ; others as decidedly that the moral nature of man remains even in his dream life.

A reference to our dream experience of every night seems to raise the correctness of the first assertion beyond doubt. Jessen ^^ says (p. 553) : " Nor does one become better or more virtuous in the dream ; on the contrary, it seems that con- science is silent in the dream, inasmuch as one feels no com- passion and can commit the worst crimes, such as theft, murder, and assassination, with perfect indifference and without subsequent remorse."

Radestock ^* (p. 146) says : "It is to be noticed that in the dream the associations terminate and the ideas unite without being influenced by reflection and reason, aesthetic taste, and moral judgment ; the judgment is extremely weak, and etliical indifference reigns supreme."

Volkelt ^2 (p. 23) expresses himself as follows : " As every one knows, the sexual relationship in the dream is especially unbridled. Just as the dreamer himself is shameless in the extreme, and whoHy lacking moral feeling and judgment, so also he sees others, even the most honoured persons, engaged in actions which even in thought he would blush to associate with them in his waking state."

Utterances like those of Schopenhauer, that in the dream every person acts and tall^s in accordance with his character, form the sharpest contrast to those mentioned above. B. P.


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 55

Fischer * maintains that the subjective feelings and desires or affects and passions manifest themselves in the wilfulness of the dream life, and that the moral characteristics of a person are mirrored in his dream.

Haffner ^2 (p. 25) : " With rare exceptions ... a virtuous person will be virtuous also in his dreams ; he will resist temptation, and show no sympathy for hatred, envy, anger, and all other vices ; while the sinful person will, as a rule, also find in his dreams the pictures which he has before him while awake."

Scholz ^* (p. 36) : "In the dream there is truth ; despite all masking in pride or humihty, we still recognise our own self. . . . The honest man does not commit any dishonourable offence even in the dream, or, if this does occur, he is terrified over it as if over something foreign to his nature. The Roman emperor who ordered one of his subjects to be executed because he dreamed that he cut off the emperor's head, was not wrong in justifying his action on the ground that he who has such dreams must have similar thoughts while awake. About a thing that can have no place in our mind we therefore say significantly : * I would never dream of such a thing.' "

Pfaffjt varying a famihar proverb, says : " Tell me for a time your dreams, and I will tell you what you are mthin."

The short work of Hildebrandt,^^ from which I have already taken so many quotations, a contribution to the dream problem as complete and as rich in thought as I found in the hterature, places the problem of morahty in the dream as the central point of its interest. For Hildebrandt, too, it is a strict rule that the purer the life, the purer the dream ; the impurer the former, the impurer the latter.

The moral nature of man remains even in the dream : " But while we are not offended nor made suspicious by an arithmetical error no matter how obvious, by a reversal of science no matter how romantic, or by an anachronism no matter how witty, we nevertheless do not lose sight of the difference between good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice. No matter how much of \7hat follows us during the

♦ Grundziige des Systems der Anthropologie. Erlaugen, 1850 (quoted hj Spitta).

t Dcu Traumleben und seine Deuhing, 1868 (cited by Spitta, p. 192).


56 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

day may vanish in our hours of sleep — Kant's categorical imperative sticks to our heels as an inseparable companion from whom we cannot rid ourselves even in slumber. . . . This can be explained, however, only by the fact that the fundamental in human nature, the moral essence, is too firmly fixed to take part in the activity of the kaleidoscopic shaking up to which phantasy, reason, memory, and other faculties of the same rank succumb in the dream " (p. 45, &c.).

In the further discussion of the subject we find remarkable distortion and inconsequence in both groups of authors. Strictly speaking, interest in immoral dreams would cease for all those who assert that the moral personaUty of the person crumbles away in the dream. They could just as calmly reject the attempt to hold the dreamer responsible for his dreams, and to draw inferences from the badness of his dreams as to an evil strain in his nature, as they rejected the ap- parently similar attempt to demonstrate the insignificance of his intellectual life in the waking state from the absurdity of his dreams. The others for whom *' the categorical im- perative " extends also into the dream, would have to accept full responsibility for the immoral dreams ; it would only be desirable for their own sake that their own objectionable dreams should not lead them to abandon the otherwise firmly held estimation of their own morality.

Still it seems that no one knows exactly about himself how good or how bad he is, and that no one can deny the recollection of his own immoral dreams. For besides the opposition already mentioned in the criticism of the morality of the dream, both groups of authors display an effort to explain the origin of the immoral dream and a new opposition is developed, depending on whether their origin is sought in the functions of the psycliic life or in the somatically deter- mined injuries to this hfe. The urgent force of the facts then permits the representatives of the responsibihty, as weU as of the irresponsibility of the dream hfe, to agree in the re- cognition of a special psychic source for the immorahty of dreams.

AQ those who aUow the continuance of the moraHty in the dream nevertheless guard against accepting full responsi- bihty for their dreams. Haffner ^^ gays (p. 24) : " We are not


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 57

responsible for dreams because the basis upon which alone our life has truth and reahty is removed from our thoughts. . . . Hence there can be no dream wishing and dream acting, no virtue or sin." Still the person is responsible for the sinful dream in so far as he brings it about indirectly. Just as in the waking state, it is his duty to cleanse his moral mind, particular!}^ so before retiring to sleep.

The analysis of this mixture of rejection and recognition of responsibility for the moral content of the dream is followed much further by Hildebrandt. After specifying that the dramatic maimer of representation in the dream, the crowding together of the most comphcated processes of dehberation in the briefest period of time, and the depreciation and the confusion of the presentation elements in the dream admitted by him must be recognised as unfavourable to the immoral aspect of dreams ; he nevertheless confesses that, jdelding to the most earnest reflection, he is inclined simply to deny all responsibihty for faults and dream sins.

(P. 49) : " If we wish to reject very decisively any unjust accusation, especially one that has reference to our intentions and convictions, we naturally make use of the expression : 1 should never have dreamed of such a thing. By this we mean to say, of course, that we consider the realm of the dream the last and remotest place in which we are to be held responsible for our thoughts, because there these thoughts are only loosely and incoherently connected with our real being, so that we should hardly still consider them as our own ; but as we feel impelled expressly to deny the existence of such thoughts, even in this realm, we thus at the same time indirectly admit that our justification will not be complete if it does not reach to that point. And I beheve that, though unconsciously, we here speak the language of truth."

(P. 52) : '* No dream thought can be imagined whose first motive has not already moved through the mind while awake as some wish, desire, or impulse." Concerning this original impulse we must say that the dream has not discovered it — it has only imitated and extended it, it has only elaborated a bit of historical material which it has found in us, into dramatic form ; it enacts the words of the apostle : He who hates his brother is a murderer. And whereas, after we


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awaken and become conscious of our moral strength, we may smile at the boldly executed structure of the depraved dream, the original formative material, nevertheless, has no ridicu- lous side. One feels responsible for the transgressions of the dreamer, not for the whole sum, but still for a certain percentage.

    • In this sense, which is difficult to impugn, we understand the

words of Christ : Out of the heart come evil thoughts — for we can hardly help being convinced that every sin committed in the dream brings with it at least a vague minimum of guilt."

Hildebrandt thus finds the source of the immoraUty of dreams in the germs and indications of evil impulses which pass through our minds during the day as tempting thoughts, and he sees fit to add these immoral elements to the moral estimation of the personahty. It is the same thoughts and the same estimation of these thoughts, which, as we know, have caused devout and holy men of aU times to lament that they are evil sinners.

There is certainly no reason to doubt the general occurrence of these contrasting presentations — in most men and even also in other than ethical spheres. The judgment of these at times has not been very earnest. In Spitta ^* we find the follow- ing relevant expression from A. Zcller (Article " Irre " in the Allgemeinen Encyklopddie der Wissenchaften of Ersch and Griiber, p. 144) : " The mind is rarely so happily organised as to possess at aU times power enough not to be disturbed, not only by unessential but also by perfectly ridiculous ideas running counter to the usual clear trend of thought ; indeed, the greatest thinkers have had cause to complain of this dream- like disturbing and painful rabble of ideas, as it destroys their profoundest reflection and their most sacred and earnest mental work."

A clearer Hght is thrown on the psychological status of this idea of contrast by another observation of Hildebrandt, that the dream at times allows us to glance into the deep and inmost recesses of our being, which are generally closed to us in our waking state (p. 55). The same knowledge is revealed by Kant in his Anthropology, when he states that the dream exists in order to lay bare for us our hidden dispositions and to reveal to us not what we are, but what we might have been if


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 59

we had a different education. Radestock ^* (p. 84) says that the dream often only reveals to us what we do not wish to admit to ourselves, and that we therefore unjustly condemn it as a Mar and deceiver. That the appearance of impulses which are foreign to our consciousness is merely analogous to the already famiHar disposition which the dream makes of other material of the presentation, which is either absent or plays only an insignificant part in the waking state, has been called to our attention by observations hke those of Benini,^ who says : '* Certe nostre inclinazione che si credevano suffocate a spente da un pezzo, si ridestano ; passioni vecchie e sepolto rivivono ; cose e persone a cui non pensiamo mai, ci vengono dinanzi " (p. 149). Volkelt '^ expresses himself in a similar way : " Even presentations which have entered into our consciousness almost unnoticed, and have never perhaps been brought out from obHvion, often amiounce through the dream their presence in the mind (p. 105). Finally, it is not out of place to mention here that, according to Schleiermacher,®^ the state of falling asleep is accompanied by the appearance of undesirable presentations (pictures).

We may comprise under " undesirable presentations " this entire material of presentations, the occurrence of which excites our wonder in immoral as well as in absurd dreams. The only important difference consists in the fact that our undesirable presentations in the moral sphere exhibit an opposition to our other feeUngs, whereas the others simply appear strange to us. Nothing has been done so far to enable us to remove this difference through a more penetrating knowledge.

But what is the significance of the appearance of un- desirable presentations in the dream ? What inferences may be drawn for the psychology of the waking and dreaming mind from these nocturnal manifestations of contrasting ethical impulses ? We may here note a new diversity of opinion, and once more a different grouping of the authors. The stream of thought followed by Hildebrandt, and by others who represent his fundamental view, cannot be con- tinued in any other way than by ascribing to the immoral impulses a certain force even in the waking state, which, to be sure, is inhibited from advancing to action, and asserting


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that something falls oQ durmg sleep, which, having the effect of an inhibition, has kept us from noticing the existence of such an impulse. The dream thus shows the real, if not the entire nature of man, and is a means of making the hidden psychic life accessible to our understanding. It is only on such assumption that Hildebrandt can attribute to the dream the role of monitor who calls our attention to the moral ravages in the soul, just as in the opinion of physicians it can announce a hitherto unobserved physical ailment. Spitta^^^ too, cannot be guided by any other conception when he refers to the stream of excitement which, e.g., flows in upon the psyche during puberty, and consoles the dreamer by saying that he has done every- thing in his power when he has led a strictly virtuous life duriag his waking state, when he has made an effort to suppress the SLQful thoughts as often as they arise, and has kept them from maturing and becoming actions. According to this con- ception, we might designate the " midesirable " presentations as those that are " suppressed " during the day, and must recognise in their appearance a real psychic phenomenon.

If we followed other authors we would have no right to the last inference. For Jessen ^^ the undesirable presentations in the dream as in the waking state, in fever and other deliria, merely have " the character of a voluntary activity put to rest and a somewhat mechanical process of pictures and presentations produced by inner impulses " (p. 360). An immoral dream proves nothing for the psychic hf e of the dreamer except that he has in some way become cognizant of the ideas in question ; it is surely not a psj^cliic impulse of his own. Another author, Maury,^^ makes us question whether he, too, does not attribute to the dream state the capacity for dividing the psychic activity into its components instead of destroying it aimlessly. He speaks as follows about dreams in which one goes beyond the bounds of morahty : " Ce sont nos penchants qui parlent et qui nous font agir, sans que la conscience nous retienne, bien que parfoit elle nous avertisse. J'ai mes defauts et mes penchants vicieux ; d I'etat de veille, je tache de lutter centre eux, et U m'arrive assez souvent de n'y pas succomber. Mais dans mes songes j'y succombe tou jours ou pour mieux dire j'agis, par leur impulsion, sans crainte et sans remords. . . . Evidement les visions qui se deroulent devant ma pensee ct


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 61

qui constituent le reve, me sont suggereea par les incitations que je lessens et que ma volonte absente ne cherclie pas a refouler" (p. 113).

If one believes in the capacity of the dream to reveal an actually existing but repressed or concealed immoral dis- position of the dreamer, he could not emphasize his opinion more strongly than with the words of Maury (p. 115) : "En reve I'homme se revele done tout entier a soi-meme dans sa nudite et sa misere natives. Des qu'il suspend I'exercice de sa volonte, il devient le jouet de toutes les passions contre les- quelles, a I'etat de veille, la conscience, le sentiment d'honneur, la crainte nous defendent." In another place he finds the following striking words (p. 462) : " Dans le reve, c'est surtout I'homme instinctif que se revele. . . . L'homme revient pour ainsi dire a I'etat de nature quand il reve ; mais moins les idees acquises ont penetre dans son esprit, plus les penchants en disaccord avec eUes conservent encore sur lui d'influence dans le reve." He then mentions as an example that his dreams often show him as a victim of just those superstitions which he most violently combats in his writing.

The value of all these ingenious observations for a psycho- logical knowledge of the dream life, however, is marred by Maury through the fact that he refuses to recognise in the phenomena so correctly observed by him any proof of the

    • automatisme psychologique " which in his opinion dominates

the dream life. He conceives this automatism as a perfect contrast to the psycliic activity.

A passage in the studies on consciousness by Strieker reads : " The dream does not consist of delusions merely ; if, e.g., one is afraid of robbers in the dream, the robbers are, of course, imaginary, but the fear is real. One's attention is thus called to the fact that the efiective development in the dream does not admit of the judgment which one bestows upon the rest of the dream content, and the problem arises what part of the psychic processes m the dream may be real, i.e, what part of them maj^ demand to be enrolled among the psychic processes of the waldng state ? "

(g) Dream Theories and Functions of the Bream. — A statement concerning the dream which as far as possible attempts to explain from one point of view many of its noted characters, and


62 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

which at the same time determines the relation of the dream to a more comprehensive sphere of manifestations, may be called a theory of dreams. Individual theories of the dream will be distinguished from one another through the fact that they raise to prominence this or that characteristic of the dream, and connect explanations and relations with it. It will not be absolutely necessary to derive from the theory a function, i.e. a use or any such activity of the dream, but our expecta- tion, which is usually adjusted to teleology, will nevertheless welcome those theories which promise an understanding of the function of the dream.

We have already become acquainted with many concep- tions of the dream which, more or less, merit the name of dream theories in this sense. The behef of the ancients that the dream was sent by the gods in order to guide the actions of man was a complete theory of the dream giving information concerning everything in the dream worth knowing. Since the dream has become an object of biological investigation we have a greater number of theories, of which, however, some are very incomplete.

If we waive completeness, we may attempt the following loose grouping of dream theories based on their fundamental conception of the degree and mode of the psychic activity in the dream : —

1. Theories, Like those of Delboeuf,^® which allow the full psychic activity of the waking state to continue into the dream. Here the mind does not sleep ; its apparatus remains intact, and, being placed under the conditions different from the waking state, it must in normal activity furnish results different from those of the waking state. In these theories it is a question whether they are in position to derive the distinctions between dreaming and waking thought altogether from the determinations of the sleeping state. They moreover lack a possible access to a function of the dream ; one cannot understand why one dreams, why the comphcated mechanism of the psychic apparatus continues to play even when it is placed under conditions for which it is not apparently adapted. There remain only two expedient reactions — to sleep dream- lessly or to awake when approached by disturbui-^ stimuh — instead of the third, that of dreaming.


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 63

2. Theories which, on the contrary, assume for the dream a diminution for the psychic activity, a loosening of the con- nections, and an impoverishment in available material. In accordance with these theories, one must assume for sleep a psychological character entirely different from the one given by Delbceuf. Sleep extends far beyond the mind — it does not consist merely in a shutting off of the mind from the outer world ; on the contrary, it penetrates into its mechanism, causing it at times to become useless. If I may draw a comparison from psychiatrical material, I may say that the first theories construct the dream like a paranoia, while the second make it after the model of a dementia or an amentia.

The theory that only a fragment of the psychic activity paralysed by sleep comes to expression is by far the favourite among the medical writers and in the scientific world. As far as one may presuppose a more general interest in dream interpretation, it may well be designated as the ruling theory of the dream. It is to be emphasized with what facihty tliis particular theory escapes the worst rock threatening every dream interpretation, that is to say, being shipwrecked upon one of the contrasts embodied in the dream. As this theory considers the dream the result of a partial waking (or as Herbart's Psychology of the dream says, " a gradual, partial, and at the same time very anomalous waking "), it succeeds in covering the entire series of inferior activities in the dream which reveal themselves in its absurdities, up to the fuU con- centration of mental activity, by following a series of states which become more and more awake imtil they reach full awakening.

One who finds the psychological mode of expression indis- pensable, or who thinks more scientifically, will find this theory of the dream expressed in the discussion of Binz ^ (p. 43) : —

" This state [of numbness], however, gradually approaches its end in the early morning hours. The accumulated material of fatigue in the albumen of the brain gradually becomes less. It is gradually decomposed or carried away by the constantly flowing circulation. Here and there some masses of cells can be distinguished as awake, while all around everything still remains in a state of torpidity. The isolated work of the individual groups now appears before our clouded


64 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

consciousness, which lacks the control of other parts of the brain governing the associations. Hence the pictures created, which mostly correspond to the objective impressions of the recent past, fit with each other in a wild and irregular manner. The number of the brain cells set free becomes constantly greater, the irrationaUty of the dream constantly less."

The conception of the dream as an incomplete, partial waking state, or traces of its influence, can surely be found among all modern physiologists and philosophers. It is most completely represented by Maury.*^ It often seems as if this author represented to himself the state of being awake or asleep in anatomical regions ; at any rate it appears to him that an anatomical province is connected with a definite psychic function. I may here merely mention that if the theory of partial waking could be confirmed, there would remain much to be accompHshed in its elaboration.

Naturally a function of the dream cannot be found in this conception of the dream life. On the contrary, the criticism of the status and importance of the dream is consistently uttered in tliis statement of Binz (p. 357) : " All the facts, as we see, urge us to characterise the dream as a physical process in all cases useless, in many cases even morbid,"

The expression " physical " in reference to the dream, which owes its prominence to this author, points in more than one direction. In the first place, it refers to the etiology of the dream, which was especially clear to Binz, as he studied the experimental production of dreams by the administration of poisons. It is certainly in keeping with this kind of dream theory to ascribe the incitement of the dream exclusively to somatic origin whenever possible. Presented in the most extreme form, it reads as follows : After we have put ourselves to sleep by removing the stimuli, there would be no need and no occasion for dreaming until morning, when the gradual awakening through the incoming stimuli would be reflected in the phenomenon of dreaming. But as a matter of fact, it is not possible to keep sleep free from stimuli ; just as Mephisto complains about the germs of life, so stimufi reach the sleeper from every side — from without, from within, and even from certain bodfly regions which never give us any concern during the waking state. Thus sleep is disturbed ; the mind is


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 65

aroused, now by this, now by that little thing, and functionates for a while with the awakened part only to be glad to fall asleep again. The dream is a reaction to the stimulus causing a disturbance of sleep — to be sure, it is a purely superfluous reaction.

To designate the dream as a physical process, which for all that remains an activity of the mental organ, has still another sense. It is meant to dispute the dignity of a psychic process for the dream. The application to the dream of the very old comparison of the " ten fingers of a musically ignorant person running over the keyboard of an instrument," perhaps best illustrates in what estimation the dream activity has been held by the representatives of exact science. In this sense it becomes something entirely untranslatable, for how could the ten fingers of an unmusical player produce any music ?

The theory of partial wakefulness has not passed without objection even in early times. Thus Burdach,® in 1830, says : " If we say that the dream is a partial wakefulness, in the first place, we explain thereby neither the waking nor the sleeping state ; secondly, this expresses nothing more than that certain forces of the mind are active in the dream while others are at rest. But such irregularities take place throughout life . . ." (p. 483).

Among extant dream theories which consider the dream a " physical " process, there is one very interestiag conception of the dream, first propounded by Robert ^^ in 1866, which is attractive because it assigns to the dream a function or a useful end. As a basis for this theory, Robert takes from observa- tion two facts which we have already discussed in our con- sideration of the dream material (see p. 13). These facts are : that one very often dreams about the insignificant impressions of the day, and that one rarely carries over into the dream the absorbing interests of the day. Robert asserts as exclusively correct, that things which have been fully settled never become dream inciters, but only such things as are incomplete in the mind or touch it fleetingly (p. 11). "We cannot usually explain our dreams because their causes are to be found in sensory impressions of the preceding day which have not attained sufficient recognition by the dreamer. The conditions allowing an impression to reach the dream are therefore, either that


66 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

this impression has been disturbed in its elaboration, or that being too insignificant it has no claim to such elaboration.

Robert therefore conceives the dream "as a physical process of elimination which has reached to cognition in the psychic manifestation of its reaction." Dreams are elimina- tions of thoughts nipped in the hud. " A man deprived of the capacity for dreaming would surely in time become mentally unbalanced, because an immense number of unfinished and unsolved thoughts and superficial impressions would accumu- late in his brain, under the pressure of which there would be crushed all that should be incorporated as a finished whole into memory." The dream acts as a safety-valve for the over- burdened brain. Dreams possess healing and unburdening properties (p. 32).

It would be a mistake to ask Robert how representation in the dream can bring about an unburdening of the mind. The author apparently concluded from those two pecuHarities of the dream material that during sleep such ejection of worthless impressions is effected as a somatic process, and that dreaming is not a special psychic process but only the knowledge that we receive of such ehmination. To be sure an elimination is not the only thing that takes place in the mind during sleep, Robert himself adds that the incitements of the day are also elaborated, and " what cannot be eliminated from the un- digested thought material lying in the mind becomes con- nected by threads of thought borrowed from the phantasy into a finished whole, and thus enrolled in the memory as a harmless phantasy picture " (p. 23).

But it is in his criticism of the dream sources that Robert appears most bluntly opposed to the ruling theory. Whereas according to the existing theory there would be no dream if the outer and inner sensory stimuli did not repeatedly wake the mind, according to Robert the impulse to dream hes in the mind itself. It Hes in the overcharging which demands discharge, and Robert judges with perfect consistency when he maintains that the causes determining the dream which depend on the physical state assume a subordinate rank, and could not incite dreams in a mind containing no material for dream formation taken from waking consciousness. It is admitted, however, that the phantasy pictures originating in


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 67

the depths of the mind can be influenced by the nervous stimuli (p. 48). Thus, according to Robert, the dream is not quite so dependent on the somatic element. To be sure, it is not a psychic process, and has no place among the psychic processes of the waking state ; it is a nocturnal somatic process in the apparatus devoted to mental activity, and has a function to perform, viz. to guard this apparatus against overstraining, or, if the comparison may be changed, to cleanse the mind.

Another author, Yves Delage,^^ bases his theory on the same characteristics of the dream, which become clear in the selection of the dream material, and it is instructive to observe how a shght turn in the conception of the same things gives a final result of quite different bearing.

Delage, after having lost through death a person very dear to him, found from his own experience that we do not dream of what occupies us intently during the day, or that we begin to dream of it only after it is overshadowed by other interests of the day. EQs investigations among other persons corro- borated the universaHty of this state of affairs. Delage makes a nice observation of this kind, if it turn out to be generally true, about the dreaming of newly married people : " S'Hs ont et6 fortement 6pris, uresque jamais ils n'ont reve Tun de Tautre avant le mariage ou pendant la lune de miel ; et s'ils ont reve d'amour c'est pour ^tre iufid^es avec quelque personne indifferente ou odieuse." But what does one dream of ? Delage recognises that the material occurring in our dreams consists of fragments and remnants of impressions from the days preceding and former times. All that appears in our dreams, what at first we may be inclined to consider creations of the dream life, proves on more thorough investiga- tion to be unrecognised reproductions, " souvenir inconscient." But this presentation material shows a common character ; it originates from impressions which have probably affected our senses more forcibly than our mind, or from which the attention has been deflected soon after their appearance. The less conscious, and at the same time the stronger the impression, the more prospect it has of playing a part in the next dream.

These are essentially the same two categories of impressions, the insignificant and the unadjusted, which were emphasized


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by Robert,^^ but Delage changes the connection by assuming that these impressions become the subject of dreams, not because they are indifferent, but because they are unadjusted. The insignificant impressions, too, are in a way not fully ad- justed ; they, too, are from their nature as new impressions " autant de ressorts tendus," which will be relaxed during sleep. Still more entitled to a role in the dream than the weak and almost unnoticed impression is a strong impression which has been accidentally detained in its elaboration or intentionally repressed. The psychic energy accumulated during the day through inhibition or suppression becomes the main-spring of the dream at night.

Unfortunately Delage stops here in his train of thought ; he can ascribe only the smallest part to an independent psychic activity in the dream, and thus in his dream theory reverts to the ruling doctrine of a partial sleep of the brain : " En somme le reve est le produit de la pensee errante, sans but et sans direction, se fixant successivement sur les souvenirs, qui ont gard6 assez d'intensite pour se placer sur sa route et I'arreter au passage, etabUssant entre eux un lien tantot faible et indecis, tantot plus fort et plus serre, selon que I'activite actuelle du cerveau est plus ou moins abohe par le sommeil."

In a third group we may include those dream theories which ascribe to the dreaming mind the capacity and pro- pensity for a special psychic activity, which in the waking state it can accomplish either not at all or only in an imperfect manner. From the activity of these capacities there usually results a useful function of the dream. The dignity bestowed upon the dream by older psychological authors falls chiefly in this category. I shall content myself, however, with quoting, in their place, the assertions of Burdach,^ by virtue of which the dream "is the natural activity of the mind, which is not Hmited by the force of the individuaKty, not disturbed by self- consciousness and not directed by self-determination, but is the state of life of the sensible central point indulging in free play " (p. 486).

Burdach and others apparently consider this revelling in the free use of one's own powers as a state in which the mind refreshes itself and takes on new strength for the day work, Bometliing after the manner of a vacation hohday. Burdach,


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 69

therefore, cites with approval the admirable words in which the poet Novalis lauds the sway of the dream : " The dream is a bulwark against the regularity and commonness of life, a free recreation of the fettered phantasy, in which it mixes together all the pictures of life and interrupts the continued earnestness of grown-up men with a joyous children's play. Without the dream we should surely age earlier, and thus the dream may be considered perhaps not a gift directly from above, but a dehghtful task, a friendly companion, on our pilgrimage to the grave."

The refreshing and curative activity of the dream is even more impressively depicted by Purkinje.^^ *' The productive dreams in particular would perform these fimctions. They are easy plays of the imagination, which have no connection with the events of the day. The mind does not wish to con- tinue the tension of the waking life, but to release it and re- cuperate from it. It produces, in the first place, conditions opposed to those of the waking state. It cures sadness through joy, worry through hope and cheerfully distracting pictures, hatred through love and friendliness, and fear through courage and confidence ; it calms doubt through conviction and firm belief, and vain expectations through reahsation. Many Bore spots in the mind, which the day keeps continually open, sleep heals by covering them and guarding against fresh excitement. Upon this the curative effect of time is partially based." We all feel that sleep is beneficial to the psychic life, and the vague surmise of the popular consciousness ap- parently cannot be robbed of the notion that the dream is one of the ways in which sleep distributes its benefits.

The most original and most far-reaching attempt to explain the dream as a special activity of the mind, which can freely display itself only in the sleeping state, was the one under- taken by Schemer ^^ in 1861. Schemer's book, written in a heavy and bombastic style, inspired by an almost intoxicated enthusiasm for the subject, wliich must repel us unless it can carry us away with it, places so many difficulties in the way of an analysis that we gladly resort to the clearer and shorter description in which the philosopher Volkelt ^^ presents Schemer's theories : " From the mystic conglomerations and from all the gorgeous and magnificent billows there indeed


70 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

flashes and irradiates an ominous light of sense, but the path of the philosopher does not thereby become clearer." Such is the criticism of Schemer's description from one of his own adherents.

Schemer does not belong to those authors who allow the mind to take along its undiminished capacities into the dream nfe. He indeed explains how in the dream the centraHty and the spontaneous energy of the ego are enervated, how cogni- tion, feeling, will, and imagination become changed through this decentrahsation, and how no true mental character, but omy the nature of a mechanism, belongs to the remnants of these psychic forces. But instead, the activity of the mind designated as phantasy, freed from all rational domination and hence completely uncontrolled, rises in the dream to absolute supremacy. To be sure, it takes the last building stones from the memory of the waking state, but it bmlds with them constructions as different from the structures of the waJdng state as day and night. It shows itself in the dream not only reproductive, but productive. Its peculiarities give to the dream life its strange character. It shows a preference for the unlimited, exaggerated, and prodigious, but because freed from the impeding thought categories, it gains a greater flexibUity and agUity and new pleasure ; it is extremely sensitive to the dehcate emotional stimuli of the mind and to the agitating affects, and it rapidly recasts the inner life into the outer plastic clearness. The dream phantasy lacks the language of ideas ; what it wishes to say, it must clearly depict ; and as the idea now acts strongly, it depicts it with the richness, force, and immensity of the mode in question. Its language, however simple it may be, thus becomes circumstantial, cumbersome, and heavy. Clearness of language is rendered especially difficult by the fact that it shows a dislike for ex- pressing an object by its own picture, but prefers a strange picture, if the latter can only express that moment of the object which it wishes to describe. This is the symbolising activity of the phantasy. ... It is, moreover, of great significance that the dream phantasy copies objects not in detail, but only in outline and even this in the broadest manner. Its paintings, therefore, appear ingeniously hght and graceful. The dream phantasy, however, does not stop at




LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 71

the mere representation of the object, but is impelled from within to mingle with the object more or less of the dream ego, and in this way to produce an action. The visual dream, e.g., depicts gold coins in the street ; the dreamer picks them up, rejoices, and carries them away.

According to Schemer, the material upon which the dream phantasy exerts its artistic activity is preponderate^ that of the organic sensory stimuli which are so obscure during the day (comp. p. 29) ; hence the phantastic theory of Schemer, and the perhaps over-sober theories of Wundt and other physio- logists, though otherwise diametrically opposed, agree perfectly in their assumption of the dream sources and dream excitants. But whereas, according to the physiological theory, the psychic reaction to the inner physical stimuli becomes exhausted with the awakening of any ideas suitable to these stimuli, these ideas then by way of association calling to their aid other ideas, and with this stage the chain of psychic processes seeming to terminate according to Schemer, the physical stimuh only supply the psychic force with a material which it may render subservient to its phantastic intentions. For Schemer the formation of the dream only conmaences where in the con- ception of others it comes to an end.

The treatment of the physical, stimuli by the dream phantasy surely cannot be considered purposeful. The phantasy plays a tantalising game with them, and represents the organic source which gives origin to the stimuli in the correspondent dream, in any plastic symbohsm. Indeed Schemer holds the opinion, not shared by Volkelt and others, that the dream phantasy has a certain favourite representation for the entire organism ; this representation would be the house. Fortu- nately, however, it does not seem to Hmit itseK in its presenta- tion to this material ; it may also conversely employ a whole series of houses to designate a single organ, e.g., very long rows of houses for the intestinal excitation. On other occasions particular parts of the house actually represent particular parts of the body, as e.g., in the headache-dream, the ceihng of the room (which the dream sees covered with disgusting reptile- like spiders) represents the head.

Quite irrespective of the house symbolism, any other suitable object may be employed for the representation of


72 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

these parts of the body which excite the dream. " Thus the breathing lungs find their symbol in the flaming stove with its gaseous roaring, the heart in hollow boxes and baskets, the bladder in round, bag-shaped, or simply hollowed objects. The male dream of sexual excitement makes the dreamer find in the street the upper portion of a clarinette, next to it the same part of a tobacco pipe, and next to that a piece of fur The clarinette and tobacco pipe represent the approximate shape of the male sexual organ, while the fur represents the pubic hair. In the female sexual dream the tightness of the closely approximated thighs may be syruboHsed by a narrow courtyard surroiuided by houses, and the vagina by a very narrow, sHppery and soft footpath, leading through the court- yard, upon which the dreamer is obhged to walk, in order perhaps to carry a letter to a gentleman " (Volkelt, p. 39). It is particularly noteworthy that at the end of such a physically exciting dream, the phantasy, as it were, unmasks by repre- senting the exciting organ or its function unconcealed. Thus the " tooth-exciting dream " usually ends with the dreamer taking a tooth out of his mouth.

The dream phantasy may, however, not only direct its atten- tion to the shape of the exciting organ, but it may also make the substance contained therein the object of the symbohsation. Thus the dream of intestinal excitement, e.g., may lead us through muddy streets, the bladder-exciting dream to foaming water. Or the stimulus itself, the manner of its excitation, and the object it covets, are represented symbohcally, or the dream ego enters into a concrete combination with the symbohsation of its own state, as e.g., when, in the case of painful stimuH, we struggle desperately with vicious dogs or raging bulls, or when in the sexual dream the dreamer sees herself pursued by a naked man. Disregarding all the possible prohxity of elaboration, a symbohsing phantastic activity remains as the central force of every dream. Volkelt,'^ m his finely and fervently written book, next attempted to penetrate further into the character of this phantasy and to assign to the psychical activity thus recognised, its position in a system of philosophical ideas, which, however, remains altogether too difficult of comprehension for any one who is not prepared by previous schooling for the sympathetic comprehension of philosophical modes of thinking.


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 73

Schemer connects no useful function with the activity of the sjonbohsing phantasy in dreams. In the dream the psyche plays with the stimuH at its disposal. One might presume that it plays in an improper manner. One might also ask us whether our thorough study of Schemer's dream theory, the arbitrariness and deviation of which from the rules of aU investigation are only too obvious, can lead to any useful results. It would then be proper for us to forestall the rejection of Schemer's theory without examination by saying that this would be too arrogant. This theory is built up on the im- pression received from his dreams by a man who paid great attention to them, and who would appear to be personally very well ^tfed to trace obscure psychic occurrences. Furthermore it treats a subject wliich, for thousands of years, has appeared mysterious to humanity though rich in its contents and re- lations ; and for the elucidation of which stem science, as it confesses itself, has contributed nothing beyond attempting, in entire opposition to popular sentiment, to deny the substance and significance of the object. Finally, let us frankly admit that apparently we cannot avoid the phantastical in our attempts to elucidate the dream. There are also phantastic gangha cells ; the passage cited on p. 63 from a sober and exact investigator like Binz,* which depicts how the aurora of awakening flows along the dormant cell masses of the cerebrum, is not inferior in fancifulness and in improbabihty to Schemer's attempts at interpretation. I hope to be able to demonstrate that there is something actual underljdng the latter, though it has only been indistinctly observed and does not possess the character of universahty entithng it to the claim of a dream theory. For the present. Schemer's theory of the dream, in its contrast to the medical theory, may perhaps lead us to reahse between what extremes the explanation of dream life is still unsteadily vacillating.

(h) Relations between the Dream and Mental Diseases. — When we speak of the relation of the dream to mental disturbances, we may think of three different things : (1) Etiological and clinical relations, as when a dream represents or initiates a psychotic condition, or when it leaves such a condition behind it. (2) Changes to which the dream life is subjected in mental diseases. (3) Inner relations between the dream and the


74 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

psychoses, analogies indicating an intimate relationship. These manifold relations between the two series of phenomena have been a favourite theme of medical authors in the earHer periods of medical science — ^and again in recent times — as we learn from the literature on the subject gathered from Spitta,®* Radestock,^* Maury,*^ and Tissie.^^ Sante de Sanctis has lately directed his attention to this relationship. For the purposes of our discussion it wiU suffice merely to glance at this important subject.

In regard to the clinical and etiological relations between the dream and the psychoses, I will report the following observations as paradigms. Hohnbaum asserts (see Krauss, p. 39), that the first attack of insanity frequently originates in an anxious and terrifying dream, and that the ruling idea has connection with this dream. Sante de Sanctis adduces similar observations in paranoiacs, and declares the dream to be, in some of them, the " vraie cause determinante de la foHe." Tlie psychosis may come to Hfe aU of a sudden with the dream causing and containing the explanation for the mental disturbances, or it may slowly develop through further dreams that have yet to struggle against doubt. In one of de Sanctis's cases, the affecting dream was accompanied by Hght hysterical attacks, which in their turn were foUowed by an anxious, melanchoHc state. Fere (cited by Tissi6) refers to a di'eam which caused an hysterical paralysis. Here the dream is offered us as an etiology of mental disturbance, though we equally consider the prevailing conditions when we declare that the mental disturbance shows its first manifestation in dream life, that it has its first outbreak in the dream. In other instances the dream life contained the morbid symp- toms, or the psychosis was limited to the dream life. Thus Thomayer ^^ calls attention to anxiety dreams which must be conceived as equivalent to epileptic attacks. AUison has described nocturnal insanity (cited by Radestock), in which the subjects are apparently perfectly well in the day-time, while hallucinations, fits of frenzy, and the like regularly appear at night. De Sanctis and Tissie report similar ob- servations (paranoiac dream-equivalent in an alcoholic, voices accusing a wife of infidefity). Tissie reports abundant ob- servations from recent times in which actions of a pathological




LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 75

character (based on delusions, obsessive impulses) had their origin in drea,ms. Guislain describes a case in which sleep was replaced by an intermittent insanity.

There is hardly any doubt that along with the psychology of the dream, the physician will one day occupy himseK with the psychopathology of the dream.

In cases of convalescence from insanity, it is often especially obvious that, while the functions of the day are normal, the dream life may still belong to the psychosis. Gvegory is said first to have called attention to such cases (cited by Krauss ^^). Macario (reported by Tissie) gives account of a maniac who, a week after his complete recovery again experienced in dreams the flight of ideas and the passionate impulses of his disease.

Concerning the changes to which the dream hfe is sub- jected in chronic psychotic persons, very few investigations have so far been made. On the other hand, timely attention has been called to the inner relationship between the dream and mental disturbance, which shows itself in an extensive agreement of the manifestations occurring to both. According to Maury,*"' Cubanis, in his Rapports du physique et du moral, first called attention to this ; following him came Lelut, J. Moreau, and more particularly the philosopher Maine de Biran. To be sure, the comparison is still older. Radestock ^* begins the chapter dealing with this comparison, by giving a collection of expressions showing the analogy between the dream and insanity. Kant somewhere says : " The lunatic is a dreamer in the waking state." According to Krauss " Insanity is a dream with the senses awake." Schopenhauer terms the dream a short insanity, and insanity a long dream. Hagen describes the deUrium as dream life which has not been caused by sleep but by disease. Wundt, in the Physio- logical Psychology, declares : " As a matter of fact we may in the dream ourselves live through almost all symptoms which we meet in the insane asylums."

The specific agreements, on the basis of which such an identification commends itseK to the understanding, are enumerated by Spitta.^* And indeed, very similarly, by Maury in the following grouping : *' (1) Suspension or at least re- tardation, of self -consciousness, consequent ignorance of the


76 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

condition as such, and hence incapability of astonishment and lack of moral consciousness. (2) Modified perception of the sensory organs ; that is, perception is diminished in the dream and generally enhanced in insanity. (3) Combination of ideas with each other exclusively in accordance with the laws of association and of reproduction, hence automatic formation of groups and for tliis reason disproportion in the relations between ideas (exaggerations, phantasms). And as a result of all this : (4) Changing or transformation of the personaHty and at times of the pecuharities of character (perversities)."

Radestock gives some additional features or analogies in the material : " Most hallucinations and illusions are found in the sphere of the senses of sight and hearing and general sensation. As in the dream, the smallest number of elements is supphed by the senses of smell and taste. The fever patient, like the dreamer, is assaulted by reminiscences from the remote past ; what the waking and healthy man seems to have forgotten is recollected in sleep and in disease." The analogy between the dream and the psychosis receives its full value only when, hke a family resemblance, it is extended to the finer mimicry and to the individual pecuharities of facial expression.

" To him who is tortured by physical and mental sufferings the dream accords what has been denied him by reahty, to wit, physical well-being and happiness ; so the insane, too, see the bright pictures of happiness, greatness, subHmity, and riches. The supposed possession of estates and the imaginary fulfilment of wishes, the denial or destruction of which have just served as a psychic cause of the insanity, often form the main content of the delirium. The woman who has lost a dearly beloved child, in her dehrium experiences maternal joys ; the man who has suffered reverses of fortune deems himself immensely wealthy ; and the jilted girl pictures herself in the bhss of tender love."

The above passage from Radestock, an abstract of a keen discussion of Griesinger ^i (p. ill), reveals with the greatest clearness the wish fulfilment as a characteristic of the imagina- tion, common to the dream and the psychosis. (My own investigations have taught me that here the key to a


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 77

psychological theory of the dream and of the psychosis is to be found.)

" Absurd combinations of ideas and weakness of judgment are the main characteristics of the dream and of insanity.'* The over-estimation of one's own mental capacity, which appears absurd to sober judgment, is fomid alike both in one and the other, and the rapid course of ideas in the dream corresponds to the flight of ideas in the psychosis. Both are devoid of any measure of time. The dissociation of personality in the dream, which, for instance, distributes one's own know- ledge between two persons, one of whom, the strange one, corrects in the dream one's own ego, fully corresponds to the well-known sphtting of personahty in hallucinatory paranoia ; the dreamer, too, hears his own thoughts expressed by strange voices. Even the constant delusions find their analogy in the stereotyped recurring pathological dreams (rSve obsedant). After recovering from a delirium, patients not infrequently declare that the disease appeared to them like an imcomfort- able dream ; indeed, they inform us that occasionally, even during the course of their sickness, they have felt that they were only dreaming, just as it frequently happens in the sleeping dream.

Considering all this, it is not surprising that Radestock condenses his own opinion and that of many others into the following : " Insanity, an abnormal phenomenon of disease, is to be regarded as an enhancement of the periodically recurring normal dream states " (p. 228).

Krauss ^^ attempted to base the relationship between the dream and insanity upon the etiology (or rather upon the exciting sources), perhaps making the relationship even more intimate than was possible through the analogy of the pheno- mena they manifest. According to him, the fundamental element common to both is, as we have learned, the organically determined sensation, the sensation of physical stimuli, the general feeling produced by contributions from all the organs. Cf. Peise, cited by Maury ^ (p. 60).

The incontestable agreement between the dream and mental disturbance, extending into characteristic details, constitutes one of the strongest supports of the medical theory of dream life, according to which the dream is represented as a


78 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

useless and disturbing process and as the expression of a reduced psychic activity. One cannot expect, however, to derive the final explanation of the dream from the mental disturbances, as it is generally known in what unsatisfactory state our understanding of the origin of the latter remains. It is very probably, however, that a modified conception of the dream must also influence our views in regard to the inner mechanism of mental disturbances, and hence we may say that we are engaged in the elucidation of the psychosis when we endeavour to clear up the mystery of the dream.

I shall have to justify myself for not extending my summary of the hterature of the dream problems over the period be- tween the first appearance of this book and its second edition. If this justification may not seem very satisfactory to the reader, I was nevertheless influenced by it. The motives which mainly induced me to summarise the treatment of the dream in the Hterature have been exhausted with the foregoing introduction ; to have continued with this work would have cost me extraordinary effort and would have afforded Httle advantage or knowledge. For the period of nine years referred to has yielded nothing new or valuable either for the conception of the dream in actual material or in points of view. In most of the pubHcations that have since appeared my work has remained unmentioned and unregarded ; naturally least attention has been bestowed upon it by the so-called " investi- gators of dreams," who have thus afforded a splendid example of the aversion characteristic of scientific men to learning something new. " Les savants ne sont pas curieux," said the scoffer Anatole France. If there were such a thing in science as right to revenge, I in turn should be justified in ignoring the Hterature since the appearance of this book. The few accounts that have appeared in scientific journals are so full of foUy and misconception that my only possible answer to my critics would be to request them to read this book over again. Perhaps also the request should be that they read it as a whole.

In the works of those physicians who make use of the psychoanalytic method of treatment (Jung, Abraham, RikHn, Muthmann, Stekel, Rank, and others), an abundance of dreams have been reported and interpreted in accordance with my


LITERATURE OF THE DREAM 79

instructions. In so far as these works go beyond the con- firmation of my assertions I have noted their results in the context of my discussion. A supplement to the Hterary index at the end of this book brings together the most im- portant of these new pubHcations. The voluminous book on the dream by Sante de Sanctis, of which a Grerman translation appeared soon after its pubhcation, has, so to speak, crossed with mine, so that I could take as Httle notice of him as the ItaHan author could of me. Unfortunately, I am further obhged to declare that this laborious work is exceedingly poor in ideas, so poor that one could never divine from it the existence of the problems treated by me.

I have finally to mention two pubHcations which show a near relation to my treatment of the dream problems. A younger philosopher, H. Swoboda, who has undertaken to extend W. FHesse's discovery of biological periodicity (in groups of twenty-three and twenty-eight days) to the psychic field, has produced an imaginative work,* in which, among other things, he has used this key to solve the riddle of the dream. The interpretation of dreams would herein have fared badly ; the material contained in dreams would be explained through the coincidence of all those memories which during the night complete one of the biological periods for the first or the n-th time. A personal statement from the author led me to assume that he himself no longer wished to advocate this theory earnestly. But it seems I was mistaken in this conclusion ; I shall report in another place some ob- servations in reference to Swoboda's assertion, concerning the conclusions of which I am, however, not convinced. It gave me far greater pleasure to find accidentally, in an unexpected place, a conception of the dream in essentials fully agreeing with my own. The circumstances of time preclude the possi- biHty that this conception was influenced by a reading of my book ; I must therefore greet this as the only demonstrable concurrence in the Hterature with the essence of my dream theory. The book which contains the passage concerning the dream which I have in mind was published as a second edition in 1900 by Lynkus under the title Phayitasien eines Realisten,

  • H. Swoboda, Die Perioden des Menschlichen Organismus, 1 904,


II METHOD OF DREAM INTERPRETATION THE ANALYSIS OF A SAMPLE DREAM

The title which I have given my treatise indicates the tradition which I wish to make the starting-point in my discussion of dreams. I have made it my task to show that dreams are capable of interpretation, and contributions to the solution of the dream problems that have just been treated can only be yielded as possible by-products of the settlement of my own particular problem. With the hypothesis that dreams are interpretable, I at once come into contradiction with the prevailing dream science, in fact with aU dream theories except that of Schemer, for to '* interpret a dream " means to declare its meaning, to replace it by something which takes its place in the concatenation of our psychic activities as a link of fuU importance and value. But, as we have leamt, the scientific theories of the dream leave no room for a problem of dream interpretation, for, in the first place, according to these, the dream is no psychic action, but a somatic process which makes itself known to the psychic apparatus by means of signs. The opinion of the masses has always been quite different. It asserts its privilege of proceeding iUogicaliy, and although it admits the dream to be incomprehensible and absurd, it cannot summon the resolution to deny the dream all significance. Led by a dim intuition, it seems rather to assume that the dream has a meaning, albeit a hidden one ; that it is intended as a substitute for some other thought process, and that it is only a question of reveaHng this substitute correctly in order to reach the hidden signification of the dream.

The laity has, therefore, always endeavoured to *' interpret " the dream, and in domg so has tried two es entially different methods. The first of these procedures regards the dream content as a whole and seeks to replace it by another content


METHOD OF INTERPRETATION 81

which is intelligible and in certain respects analogous. This is symbolic dream interpretation ; it naturally goes to pieces at the outset in the case of those dreams which appear not only unintelligible but confused. The construction which the biblical Joseph places upon the dream of Pharaoh furnishes an example of its procedure. The seven fat kine, after which came seven lean ones which devour the former, furnish a symboHc substitute for a prediction of seven years of famine in the land of Egypt, which wiU consume all the excess which seven fruitful years have created. Most of the artificial dreams contrived by poets are intended for such symboHc interpreta- tion, for they reproduce the thought conceived by the poet in a disguise found to be in accordance with the characteristics of our dreaming, as we know these from experience.* The idea that the dream concerns itself chiefly with future events whose course it surmises in advance — a relic of the prophetic -significance with which dreams were once credited — now becomes the motive for transplanting the meaning of the dream, found by means of symbolic interpretation, into the future by means of an " it shall."

A demonstration of the way in which such symboHc inter- pretation is arrived at cannot, of course, be given. Success remains a matter of ingenious conjecture, of direct intuition, and for this reason dream interpretation has naturally been elevated to an art, which seems to depend upon extraordinary gifts. t The other of the two popular methods of dream interpretation entirely abandons such claims. It might be

  • In a novel, Gradiva, of the poet W. Jensen, I accidentally discovered

several artitlcial dreams which were formed with perfect correctness and which could be interpreted as though they had not been invented, but had been dreamt by actual persons. The poet declared, upon my inquiry, that he was unacquainted with my theory of dreams. I have made use of this correspondence between my investigation a.ivi the creative work of the poet as a proof of the correctness of mj method of drcan\ analysis ('* Der Wahn und die Traume," in W. Jensen's Ciadiva, ]So. 1 of the Schriften zur angewandten Seelenkunde, 19<'6. edited by me). Dr. Alfred Robitsek has since shown that the drean. of the hero in Goethe's Zgmurit may be inter- preted as correctly as an »^i aaJ ly experienced dream (" Die Analyse von Egmont's Traume," Jahrbuch, cdi-ed by F-^'juhr- Freud, vol. ii., 1910.)

+ After the completion or my manuscript, k pi) er "oy -Stiimpf (^^) came to my notice which agrees w':h my work in atteinptiTg to prove that the dream is full of meaning and ripible of interpretation. i3nt the interpre- tation is undertaken by means of an allegorising symbob'sm, without warrant for the universal applicability of the r rocedure.

F


82 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

designated as the " cipher method," since it treats the dream as a kind of secret code, in which every sign is translated into another sign of known meaning, according to an estabUshed key. For example, I have dreamt of a letter, and also of a funeral or the Hke ; I consult a " dream book," and find that " letter " is to be translated by " vexation," and ** funeral " by " marriage, engagement." It now remains to estabHsh a connection, which I again am to assume pertains to the future, by means of the rigmarole which I have deciphered. An interesting variation of this cipher procedure, a variation by which its character of purely mechanical transference is to a certain extent corrected, is presented in the work on dream interpretation by Artemidoros of Daldis.^ Here not only the dream content, but also the personality and station in Hfe of the dreamer, are taken into consideration, so that the same dream content has a significance for the rich man, the married man, or the orator, which is different from that for the poor man, the unmarried man, or, saj^ the merchant. [ The essential point, then, in this procedure is that the work of interpretation is n6t directed to the entirety of the dream, but to each portion of the dream content by itseK, as though the dream were a conglomeration, in which each fragment demands a particular disposal. Incoherent and confused dreams are certainly the ones responsible for the invention of the cipher method.*

  • Dr. Alfred Robitsek calls my attention to the fact that Oriental dream

books, of which ours are pitiful plagiarisms, undertake the interpretation of dream elements, mostly according to the assonance and similarity of the words. Since these relationships must be lost by translation into our language, the incomprehensibility of the substitutions in our popular " dream books " may have its origin in this fact. Information as to the extraordinary significance of puns and punning in ancient Oriental systems of culture may be found in the writings of Hugo Winckler. The nicest example of a dream interpretation which has come down to us from antiquity is based on a play upon words. Artemidoros ^ rehiles the following (p. 225) : " It seems to me that Aristandros gives a happy interpretation to Alexander of Macedon. When the latter held Tyros shut in and in a state of siege, and was angry and depressed over the great loss of time, he dreamed that he saw a Sa tyros dancing on his shioid. It happened that /'rittandros was near Tyros and in the convoy of the king, who was waging war on the Syrians. By disjoining' the word Satyro^ into <ra and .t/'pu, he iirduced the king to l)ecome more aggressive in the siuge, and thus he becanif^ master of the city. (Sa rvpoi — thine is Tyros.) Ihe dream, indeed, is so intimately connected with verbal expression that Feienczi^' may justly temark that every tongue has its own dream language. Dreams are, ba a rule, not translatable into other languages.


METHOD OF INTERPRETATION 83

The worthlessness of both these popular interpretation procedures for the scientific treatment of the subject cannot be questioned for a moment. The symboHc method is Kmited in its apphcation and is capable of no general demonstration. In the cipher j nethod everything depends upon whether the key, the dream book, is rehable, and for that all guarantees are lacking. One might ^be tempted to grant the contention of the philosophers and psychiatrists and to dismiss the problem of dream interpretation as a fanciful one.

I have come, however, to think differently. I have been forced to admit that here once more we have one of those not infrequent cases where an ancient and stubbornly retained popular behef seems to have come nearer to the truth of the matter than the judgment of the science which prevails to-day. I must insist that the dre^i-m actuaUy has significance, and that a scientific procedure in dream interpretation is possible. I have come upon the knowledge of this procedure in the follow- ing manner : —

For several years I have been occupied with the solution of certain psychopathological structures in hysterical phobias, compulsive ideas, and the like, for therapeutic purposes. I have been so occupied since becoming famiUar with an import- ant report of Joseph Breuer to the effect that in those struc- tures, regarded as morbid sjnnptoms, solution and treatment go hand in hand.* Where it has been possible to trace such a pathological idea back to the elements in the psychic life of the patient to which it owes its origin, this idea has crumbled away, and the patient has been reheved of it. In view of the failure of our other therapeutic efforts, and in the face of the mysteriousness of the^e conditions, it seems to me tempting, in spite of all difficulties, to press forward on the path taken by Breuer until the subject has been fully understood. We shall have elsewhere to make a detailed report upon the form wliich the technique of this procedure has finally assumed, and the results of the efforts which have been made. In the course of these psychoanalytical studies, I happened upon dream interpretation. My patients, after I had obliged them to inform me of aU the ideas and thoughts which came to them in connection with the given theme, related their dreams, and

♦ Breuer and Freud, Studien iiber Hysterie, Vieiina, 1895 ; 2nd ed. 1909.


84 THE INTERPRETATION OF BREAMS

thus taught me that a dream may be linked into the psychic concatenation which must be followed backwards into the memory from the pathological idea as a starting-point. The next step was to treat the dream as a symptom, and to apply to it the method of interpretation which had been worked out for such symptoms.

For this a certain psychic preparation of the patient is necessary. The double effort is made with him, to stimulate his attention for his psychic perceptions and to ehminate the critique with which he is ordinarily in the habit of viewing the thoughts which come to the surface in him. For the pur- pose of self-observation with concentrated attention, it is advantageous that the patient occupy a restful position and

^ close his eyes ; he must be exphcitly commanded to resign

ij the critique of the thought-formations which he perceives.

^ He must be told further that the success of the psychoanalysis depends upon his noticing and telling everything that passes through his mind, and that he must not allow himself to

«> suppress one idea because it seems to him unimportant or ij-^ irrelevant to the subject, or another because it seems non-

• sensical. He must maintain impartiahty towards his ideas ; for it would be owing to just this critique if he were unsuccessful in finding the desired solution of the dream, the obsession, or the like.

I have noticed in the course of my psychoanalytic work that the state of mind of a man in contemplation is entirely different from that of a man who is observing his psychic processes. In contemplation there is a greater play of psychic action than in the most attentive self -observation ; this is also shown by the tense attitude and wrinkled brow of contemplation, in contrast with the restful features of self- observation. In both cases, there must be concentration of attention, but, besides this, in contemplation one exercises a critique, in consequence of which he rejects some of the ideas which he hay perceived, and cuts short others, so that he does not follow the trains of thought which they would open ; toward still other thoughts he may act in such a manner that they do not become conscious at aU — that is to say, they are suppressed before they are perceived. In self-observation, on the other hand, one has only the task of suppressing the


^


METHOD OF INTERPRETATION es« 

critique ; if he succeeds in this, an unHmited number 'of ideas, which otherwise would have been impossible for him to grasp, come to his consciousness. With the aid of this material, newly secured for the purpose of self-observation, the inter- pretation of pathological ideas, as well as of dream images, can be accomphshed. As may be seen, the point is to bring about a psychic state to some extent analogous as regards the appor- tionment of psychic energy (transferable attention) to the state prior to faUing asleep (and indeed also to the hypnotic state). In falling asleep, the " undesired ideas " come into prominence on account of the slackening of a certain arbitrary (and certainly also critical) action, which we allow to exert an influence upon the trend of our ideas ; we are accustomed to assign " fatigue " as the reason for this slackening ; the emerging undesired ideas as the reason are changed into visual and acoustic images. (0/. the remarks of Schleiermacher *^) and others, p. 40.) In the condition v^hich is used for the analysis of dreams and pathological ideas, tu's activity is purposely and arbitrarily dispensed with, and the psychic energy thus saved, or a part of it, is used for the attentive following of the imdesired thoughts now coming to the surface, which retain their identity as ideas (this is the difference from the condition of falling asleep). " Undesired ideas " are thus changed into " desired " ones.

The suspension th's required of the critique for these apparently " freely ri.' iig " ideas, which is here demanded and which is usually v ^^ercised on them, is not easy for some persons. The " undesired ideas " are in the habit of starting the most violent resistance, which seeks to prevent them from coming to the surface. But if we may credit our great poet- philosopher Friedrich Schiller, a very similar tolerance must be the condition of poetic production. At a point in his correspondence with Koerner, for the noting of which we are indebted to Mr. Otto Rank, Schiller answers a friend who complains of his lack of creativeness in the following words : " The reason for your complaint Hes, it seems to me, in the constraint which your intelligence imposes upon your imagina- tion. I must here make an observation and illustrate it by an allegory. It does not seem beneficial, and it is harmful for the creative work of the mind, if the intelligence inspects too


86 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

closely the ideas already pouring in, as it were, at the gates. Regarded by itself, an idea may be very trifling and very ad- venturous, but it perhaps becomes important on account of one which follows it ; perhaps in a certain connection with others, which may seem equally absurd, it is capable of forming a very useful construction. The intelligence cannot judge all these things if it does not hold them steadily long enough to see them in connection with the others. In the case of a creative mind, however, the intelligence has withdrawn its watchers from the gates, the ideas rush in pell-mell, and it is only then that the great heap is looked over and critically examined. Messrs. Critics, or whatever else you may call yourselves, you are ashamed or afraid of the momentary and transitory madness wliich is foimd in all creators, and whose longer or shorter duration distinguishes the thinking artist from the dreamer. Hence your complaints about barrenness, for you reject too soon and discrimmate too severely " (Letter of December 1, 1788).

And yet, " such a withdrawal of the watchers from the gates of intelligence," as Schiller calls it, such a shifting into the condition of uncritical self-observation, is in no way difficult.

Most of my patients accomphsh ifc after the first instructions ; I mj'^seK can do it very perfectly, if I assist the operation by writing down my notions. The amount, in terms of psychic energy, by which the critical activity is in this manner reduced, and by which the intensity of the self-observation may be increased, varies widely according to the subject matter upon which the attention is to be fi:s:ed.

The first step in the apphcation of tliis procedure now teaches us that not the dream as a whole, but only the parts of its contents separately, may be made the object of our attention. If I ask a patient who is as yet unpractised : " What occurs to you in connection with this dream ? " as a rule he is unable to fix upon anything in his psychic field of vision. I must present the dream to him piece by piece, then for every fragment he gives me a series of notions, which may be designated as the " background thoughts " of this part of the dream. In this first and important condition, then, the method of dream interpretation which I employ avoids


METHOD OF INTERPRETATION 87

the popular, traditional method of interpretatiop. by symboHsm famous in the legends, and approaches the second, the " cipher method." Like this one it is an interpretation in detail, not en masse ; like this it treats the dream from the beginning as something put together — as a conglomeration of psychic images. In the course of my psychoanalysis of neurotics, I have indeed already subjected many thousand dreams to inter- pretation, but I do not now wish to use this material in the introduction to the technique and theory of dream interpreta- tion. Quite apart from the consideration that I should expose myself to the objection that these are dreams of neuropathic subjects, the conclusions drawn from which would not admit of reapphcation to the dreams of healthy persons, another reason forces me to reject them. The theme which is naturally always the subject of these dreams, is the history of the disease which is responsible for the neurosis. For this purpose there would be required a very long introduction and an investiga- tion into the nature and logical conditions of psychoneuroses, things which are in themselves novel and unfamiliar in the highest degree, and which would thus distract attention from the dream problem. My purpose hes much more in the direction of preparing the ground for a solution of difficult problems in the psychology of the neuroses by means of the solution of dreams. But if I eliminate the dreams of neurotics, I must not treat the remainder too discriminatingly. Only those dreams still remain which have been occasionally related to me by healthy persons of my acquaintance, or which I find as examples in the literature of dieam hfe. Unfortunately in all these dreams the analysis is lacking, without which I cannot find the meaning of the dream. My procedure is, of course, not as easy as that of the po|)ular cipher method, which trans- lates the given dream content according to an estabhshed key ; I am much more prepared to find that the same dream may cover a different meaning in the case of different persons, and in a different connection I must then resort to my own dreams, as an abundant and convenient material, furnished by a person who is about normal, and having reference to many incidents of everyday life. I shall certainly be confronted with doubts as to the trustworthiness of these " self-analyses."" Arbitrari- ness is here in no way avoided. In my opinion, conditions are


88 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

more likely to be favourable in self-observation than in the observation of others ; in any case, it is permissible to see how much can be accomplished by means of self -analysis. I must overcome further difficulties arising from inner self. One has a readily understood aversion to exposing so many intimate things from one's own psychic life, and one does not feel safe from the misinterpretation, of strangers. But one must be able to put one's self beyond tliis. " Toute psychologiste," wiites Delboeuf,26 " est obHge de faire I'aveu meme de ses faiblesses s'il croit par 1^ jeter du jour sur quelque probleme obscure." And I may assume that in the case of the reader, the immediate interest in the indiscretions which I must commit will very soon give way to exclusive engrossment in the psychological problems which are illuminated by them.

I shall, therefore, select one of my own dreams and use it to elucidate my method of interpretation. Every such dream necessitates a prehminary statement. I must now beg the reader to make my interests his own for a considerable time, and to become absorbed with me in the most trifling details of my life, for an interest in the hidden significance of dreams imperatively demands such transference.

Preliminaiy statement : Li the summer of 1895 I had psychoanalytically treated a young lady who stood in close friendship to me and those near to me. It is to be understood that such a comphcation of relations may be the source of manifold feelings for the physician, especially for the psycho- therapist. The personal interest of the physician is greater, his authority is less. A failure threatens to undermine the friendship with the relatives of the patient. The cure ended with partial success, the patient got rid of her hysterical fear, but not of all her somatic symptoms. I was at that time not yet sure of the criteria marking the final settlement of a hysterical case, and expected her to accept a solution which did not seem acceptable to her. In this disagreement, we cut short the treatment on account of the summer season. One day a younger colleague, one of my best friends, who had v^ited the patient — Irma — and her family in their country resort, came to see me. I asked him how he found her, and received the answer : " She is better, but not altogether well." I reahse that those words of my friend Otto, or the tone cf


METHOD OF INTERPRETATION S9

voice in which they were spoken, made me angry. I thought I heard a reproach in the words, perhaps to the effect that I had promised the patient too much, and rightly or ^Tongly I traced Otto's supposed siding against me to the influenqe of the relatives of the patient, who, I assume, had never approved of my treatment. Moreover, my disagreeable im- pression did not become clear to me, nor did I give it ex- pression. The very same evening, I wrote down the history of Irma's case, in order to hand it, as though for my justifica- tion, to Dr. M., a mutual friend, who was at that time a leading figure in our circle. During the night following this evening (perhaps rather in the morning) I had the following drei^m, which was registered immediately after waking : —

Dream of July 23-24, 1895

A great hall — ma^iy guests whom we are receiving — among them Irma^wEom I immediately take aside, as though to answer her letter, to reproach her for not yet acceptir^g the " solution.'* I say to her : *' If you still have paitis, it is really only your own fault. She answers : If you only knew what pains I now have in the neck, stomach, and abdomen ; I am drawn together.'^ I am frightened and look at her. She looks pale and bloated ; 1 think that after all I must he overlooking some organic affection, I take her to the window and look into her throat. She sJwws some resistance to this, like a woman who has a false set of teeth, I think anyway she does not need them. The mouth then really opens without difficulty and I find a large white spot to the right, and at another place I see extended grayish-white scabs attached to curious curling formations, which have obviously been formed like the turbinated bone — / quickly call Dr. M., who repeats the examination and confirms it. . . . Dr. M.'s looks are altogether unusual ; he is very pale, limps, and has no beard on his chin. . . . My friend Otto is now also standing next to her, and my friend Leopold percusses her small body and says : " She has some dulness on the left below," and also calls attention to an infiltrated portion of the skin on the left shoulder (something which I feel as he does, in spite of the dress). , . . M. says : "No doubt it is an infection, but it does not matter ; dysentery will develop too, and the poison will he excreted, , . • PFe also have


90 THE INTERPllETATION OF DREAMS

wimediate knowledge of the origin of the infection. My friend Otto has recently given her an injection with a propyl preparation when she felt ill, propyls, . . . Propionic acid . . . Trimethy- lamine {the formula of which I see printed before me in heavy type). . . . Such injections are not made so rashly. . . . Pro- bably also the syringe was not clean.

This dream has an advantage over many others. It is at once clear with what events of the preceding day it is con- nected, and what subject it treats. The prehminary statement gives information on these points. The news about Irma's health which I have received from Otto, the history of the iUness upon which I have written until late at night, have occupied my psychic activity even during sleep. In spite of all this, no one, who has read the prehminary report and has knowledge of the content of the dream, has been able to guess what the dream signifies. Nor do I myself know. I wonder about the morbid symptoms, of which Irma complains in the dream, for they are not the same ones for which I have treated her. I smile about the consultation with Dr. M. I smile at the nonsensical idea of an injection with propionic acid, and at the consolation attempted by Dr. M. Towards the end the dream seems more obscure and more terse than at the be- ginning. In order to learn the significance of aU this, I am compelled to undertake a thorough analysis.

Analysis

The hall — many guests, whom we are receiving.

We were living this summer at the Bellevue, in an isolated house on one of the hills which He close to the Kahlenberg. This house was once intended as a place of amusement, and on this account has unusually high, hall-Hke rooms. The dream also occurred at the Bellevue, a few days before the birthday of my wife. During the day, my wife had expressed the expectation that several friends, among them Irma, would come to us as guests for her birthday. My dream, then, anticipates this situation : It is the birthday of my wife, and many people, among them Irma, are received by us as guests in the great haU of the Bellevue.

/ reproach Irma for not having accepted the solution. I say ; •* // you still liave pains, it is your own fault".


METHOD OF mTEKPRETATION 91

I might have said this also, or did say it, while awake. At that time I had the opinion (recognised later to be incorrect) that my task was Hmited to informing patients of the hidden meanicg of their symptoms. Whether they then accepted or did not accept the solution upon which success depended — for that I was not responsible. I am thankful to this error, which fortunately has now been overcome, for making life easier for me at a tin . when, with all my unavoidable ignorance, I was to produce successful cures. But I see in the speech which I make to Irma in the dream, that above all things I do not want to be to blame for the pains which she still feels. If it is Irma's own fault, it camiot be mine. Should the purpose of the dream be looked for in this quarter ? ->- Irma^s complaints ; 'pains in the neck, abdomen, and stomach ; she is drawn together.

Pains in the stomach belonged to the symptom-complex of my patient, but they were not very prominent ; she com- plained rather of sensations of nausea and disgust. Pains in the neck and abdomen and constriction of the throat hardly played a part in her case. I wonder why I decided upon this choice of symptoms, nor can I for the moment find the reason. "^She looks pale and bloated.

My patient was always ruddy. I suspect that another person is here being substituted for her.

/ am frightened at the thought that I must liave overlooked some organic affection.

This, as the reader will readily beheve, is a constant fear with the specialist, who sees neurotics ahnost exclusively, and who is accustomed to ascribe so many manifestations, which other physicians treat as organic, to hysteria. On the other hand, I am haunted by a faint doubt — I know not whence it comes — as to whether my fear is altogether honest. If Irma's pains are indeed of organic origin, I am not bound to cure them. My treatment, of course, removes only hysterical pains. It seems to me, in fact, that I wish to find an error in the diagnosis ; in that case the reproach of being unsuccessful would be removed.

I take her to the window in order to look into her throat. She resists a little, like a woman wlu) has false teeth. 1 think she does not need them anyuny.


92 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

I had never had occasion to inspect Irma's oral cavity. The incident in the dream reminds me of an examination, made some time before, of a governess who at first gave an impression of youtliful beauty, but who upon opening her mouth took certain measures for conceahng her teeth. Other memories of medical examinations and of Kttle secrets which are discovered by them, unpleasantly for both examiner and examined, comiect themselves with this case. She does not need them anyway," is at first perhaps a comphment for Irma ; but I suspect a different meaning. In careful analysis one feels whether or not the " background thoughts " which are to be expected have been exhausted. The way in which Irma stands at the window suddenly reminds me of another experience. Irma possesses an intimate woman friend, of whom I think very highly. One evening on paying her a visit I found her in the position at the window reproduced in the dream, and her physician, the same Dr. M., declared that she had a diphtheritic membrane. The person of Dr. M. and the membrane return in the course of the dream. Now it occurs to me that during the last few months, I have been given every reason to suppose that this lady is also hysterical. Yes, Irma herself has betrayed this to me. But what do I know about her condition ? Only the one thing, that like Irma she suffers from hysterical choking in dreams. Thus in the dream I have replaced my patient by her friend. Now I remember that I have often trified with the expectation that this lady might likewise engage me to reheve her of her symptoms. But even at the time I thought it improbable, for she is of a very shy nature. She resists, as the dream shows. Another explanation might be that she does not need it ; in fact, until now she has shown herself strong enough to master her condition without outside help. Now only a few features remain, which I can assign neither to Irma nor to her friend : Pale, bloated, false teeth. The false teeth lead me to the governess ; I now feel inclined to be satisfied with bad teeth. Then another person, to whom these features may aUude, occurs to me. She is not my patient, and I do not wish her to be my patient, for I have noticed that she is not at her ease with me, and I do not consider her a docile patient. She is generally pale, and once, when she had a particularly


METHOD OF INTERPRETATION 93

good spell, she was bloated.* I have thus compared my patient Irma with two others, who would Hkewise resist treatment. What can it mean that I have exchanged her for her friend in the dream ? Perhaps that I wish to exchange her ; either the other one arouses in me stronger sympathies or I have a higher opinion of her intelligence. For I consider Irma foolish because she does not accept my solution. The other one would be more sensible, and would thus be more likely to yield. The mouth then really opens without difficulty ; she would teU more than Irma.-f J^What I see in the throat ; a white spot and scabby nostrils.

The white spot recalls diphtheria, and thus Irma's friend, but besides this it recalls the grave iUness of my eldest daughter two years before and all the anxiety of that unfortunate time. The sc ab on the n ostrils.rfiniincls me of a concern about my own health. At that time I often used cocai ne in o rder to suppress annoying swellings in the nose^ a,nd_had heard a*£ew "days~T)efbfe that~"a~la;dy"paEfenFwho did Likewise Ead "contracted an ex- tensive necrosis of the nasal mucbus'^m.effibi'ane.ThB^ re- commendation of cocaine, which I had made in 1885, had also brought grave reproaches upon me. A dear friend, already dead in 1895, had hastened his end through the misuse of this remedy.

I quickly call Dr, M., who repeats the examination. This would simply correspond to the position which M. occupied among us. But the word " quickly " is striking enough to demand a special explanation. It reminds me of a sad medical experience. By the continued prescription of a remedy (sulfonal) which was stiU at that time considered harmless, I had once caused the severe intoxication of a woman patient, and I had turned in great haste to an older,

  • The complaint, as yet unexplained, of paina in the abdomen, may also

be referred to this third person. It is my own wife, of course, who is in question ; the abdominal pains remind me of one of the occasions upon which her shyness became evident to me. I must myself admit that 1 do not treat Irma and my wdfe very gallantly in this dream, but let it be said for my excuse that I am judging both of them by the standard of the courageous, docile, female patient.

t I suspect that the interpretation of this portiim has not been carried far enough to follow every hidden meaning. If I were to continue the comparison of the three women, I would go far afield. Every dream has at least one point at which it is unfathomable, a central point, as it were, con- uectiag it with the unkno^vn.


94 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

more experienced colleague for assistance. The fact that I really had this case in mind is confirmed by an accessory circumstance. The patient, who succumbed to the intoxica- tion, bore the same name as my eldest daughter. I had never thought of this until now ; now it seems to me almost like a retribution of fate — as though I ought to continue the replace- ment of the persons here in another sense ; this Matilda for that Matilda ; an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. It is as though I were seeking every opportunity to reproach myself with lack of medical conscientiousness.

Dr. M. is pale, without a heard on his chin, and he limps. Of this so much is correct, that his unhealthy appearance often awakens the concern of his friends. The other two characteristics must belong to another person. A brother Uving abroad occurs to me, who wears his chin clean-shaven, and to whom, if I remember aright, M. of the dream on the whole bears some resemblance. About him the news arrived some days before that he was lame on account of an arthritic disease in the hip. There must be a reason why I fuse the two persons into one in the dream. I remember that in fact I was on bad terms with both of them for similar reasons. Both of them had rejected a certain proposal which I had recently made to them.

V My friend Otto is now standing next to the sick ivoman, and my friend Leopold examines her and calls attention to a dvlness on the left below.

My friend Leopold is also a physician, a relative of Otto. Since the two practise the same specialty, fate has made them competitors, who are continually being compared with each other. Both of them assisted me for years, while I was stiU directiQg a pubHc dispensary for nervous children. Scenes like the one reproduced in the dream have often taken place there. While I was debating with Otto about the diagnosis of a case, Leopold had examined the child anew and had made an unexpected contribution towards the decision. For there was a difference of character betv/een the two similar to that between Inspector Brassig and his friend Charles. The one was distinguished for his brightness, the other was slow, thoughtful, but thorough. If I contrast Otto and the careful Leopold in the dream, 1 do it, apparently, in order to extol


METHOD OF INTERPRETATION 95

Leopold. It is a comparison similar to the one above between the disobedient patient Irma and her friend who is thought to be more sensible. I now become aware of one of the tracks along which the thought association of the dream progresses ; from the sick child to the children's asylum. The dulness to the left, below, recalls a certain case corresponding to it, in every detail in which Leopold astonished me by his thorough- ness. Besides this, I have a notion of something hke a metastatic affection, but it might rather be a reference to the lady patient whom I should like to have instead of Irma. For this lady, as far as I can gather, resembles a woman suffering from tuber- culosis.

An infiltrated portion of shin on the left shoulder.

I see at once that this is my own rheumatism of the shoulder, which I always feel when I have remained awake until late at night. The turn of phrase in the dream also sounds ambiguous ; something which I feel ... in spite of the dress. " Feel on my own body " is intended. Moreover, I am struck with the unusual sound of the term " infiltrated portion of skin." " An infiltration behind on the upper left " is what we are accus- tomed to ; this would refer to the lung, and thus again to tuberculosis patients.

In spite of the dress.

This, to be sure, is only an interpolation. We, of course, examine the children in the clinic undressed ; it is some sort of contradiction to the manner in which grown-up female patients must be examined. The story used to be told of a prominent clinician that he always examined his patients physically only through the clothes. The rest is obscure to me ; I have, frankly, no inchnation to follow the matter further.

Dr. M. says : " It is an infection, hut it does not matter Dysentery will develop, and the poison will he excreted.

This at first seems ridiculous to me ; still it must be care- fully analysed Hke eveiything else. Observed more closely, it seems, however, to have a kind of meaning. What I had found in the patient was local diphtheritis. I remember the discussion about diphtheritis and diphtheria at the time of my daughter's illness. The latter is the general infection which proceeds from local diphtheritis. Leopold proves the


96 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

existence of such general infection by means of the duhiess, which thus suggests a metastatic lesion. I believe, however, that just this kind of metastasis does not occur in the case of diphtheria. It rather recalls pyaemia.

It does not matter, is a consolation. I believe it fits in as follows : The last part of the dream has yielded a content to the effect that the pains of the patient are the result of a serious organic affection. I begin to suspect that with this I am only trying to shift the blame from myself. Psychic treatment cannot be held responsible for the continued presence of diphtheritic affection. But now, in turn, I am disturbed at inventing such serious suffering for Irma for the sole purpose of exculpating myseK. It seems cruel. I need (accordingly) the assurance that the result will be happy, and it does not seem ill-advised that I should put the words of consolation into the mouth of Dr. M. But here I consider myself superior to the dream, a fact which needs explanation.

But why is this consolation so nonsensical ?

Dysentery :

Some sort of far-fetched theoretical notion that pathological material may be removed through the intestines. Am I in this way trying to make fun of Dr. M.'s great store of far- fetched explanations, his habit of finding curious pathological relationships ? Dysentery suggests something else. A few months ago I had in charge a young man suffering from re- markable pains during evacuation of the bowels, a case which colleagues had treated as " anaemia with malnutrition." I reaUsed that it was a question of hysteria ; I was unwilling to use my psychotherapy on him, and sent him off on a sea voyage. Now a few days before I had received a despairing letter from him from Egj^pt, saying that while there he had suffered a new attack, which the physician had declared to be dysentery. I suspect, indeed, that the diagnosis was only an error of my ignorant colleague, who allows hysteria to make a fool of him ; but still I cannot avoid reproaching myself for putting the invahd in a position where he might contract an organic affection of the bowels in addition to his hysteria. Furthermore, dysentery sounds like diphtheria, a word which does not occur in the dream.

Indeed it must be that, with the consoling prognosis :


METHOD OF INTERPRETATION 97

"Dysentery will develop, &c.," I am making fmi of Dr. M., for I recollect that years ago he once jokingly told a very similar story of another colleague. He had been called to consult with this colleague in the case of a woman who was very seriously ill and had felt obliged to confront the other phy- sician, who seemed very hopeful, with the fact that he found albumen in the patient's urine. The colleague, however, did not let this worry him, but answered calmly : " That does not matter, doctor ; the albumen will without doubt be excreted." Thus I can no longer doubt that derision for those colleagues who are ignorant of hysteria is contained in this part of the dream. As though in confirmation, this question now arises in my mind : " Does Dr. M. know that the symptoms of Ins patient, of our friend Irma, which give cause for fearing tuberculosis, are also based on hysteria ? Has he recognised this hysteria, or has he stupidly ignored it ? "

But what can be my motive in treating this friend so badly ? This is very simple : Dr. M. agrees with my solution as httle as Irma herself. I have thus already in this dream taken revenge on two persons, on Irma in the words, " If you still have pains, it is your own fault," and on Dr. M. in the wording of the nonsensical consolation which has been put into his mouth.

We have immediate knowledge of the origin of the infection.

This immediate knowledge in the dream is very remarkable. Just before we did not know it, since the infection was first demonstrated by Leopold.

3Iy frieyid Otto has recently given her an injection when she felt ill.

Otto had actually related that in the short time of his visit to Irma's family, he had been called to a neighbouring hotel in order to give an injection to some one who fell suddenly ill. Injections again recall the unfortimate friend who has poisoned himself with cocaine. I had recommended the remedy to him merely for internal use during the withdrawal of morphine, but he once gave himself injections of cocaine.

With a propyl preparation . . . propyls . . . propionic acid. How did this ever occur to me ? On the same evening on which I had written psirt of the history of the disease before having the dream, ti.^. wife opened a bottle of cordial labelled


98 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

" Ananas," * (which was a present from our friend Otto. For he had a habit of making presents on every possible occasion ; I hope he will some day be cured of this by a wife).t Such a smell of fusel oil arose from this cordial that I refused to taste it. My wife observed : " We wlQ give this bottle to the servants," and I, still more prudent, forbade it, with the philanthropic remark : " They mustn't be poisoned either." The smell of fusel oil (amyl . . .) has now apparently awakened in my memory the whole series, propyl, methyl, &c., which has furnished the propyl preparation of the dream. In this, it is true, I have employed a substitution ; I have dreamt of propyl, after smelling amyl, but substitutions of this kind are perhaps permissible, especially in organic chemistry.

Trimeihylamin. I see the chemical formula of this substance in the dream, a fact which probably gives evidence of a great effort on the part of my memory, and, moreover, the formula is printed in heavy type, as if to lay special stress upon something of particular importance, as distinguished from the context. To what does this trimethylamin lead, which has been so forcibly called to my attention ? It leads to a conversation with another friend who for years has known all my germinating activities, as I have his. At that time he had just informed me of some of his ideas about sexual chemistry, and had mentioned, among others, that he thought he recognised in tri- methylamin one of the products of sexual metaboHsm. This substance thus leads me to sexuahty, to that factor which I credit with the greatest significance for the origin of the nervous affections which I attempt to cure. My patient Irma is a young widow ; if I am anxious to excuse the failure of her cure, I suppose I shall best do so by referring to this condition, which her admirers would be glad to change. How remarkably, too, such a dream is fashioned ! The other woman, whom I take as my patient in the dream instead of Irma, is also a young widow.

I suspect why the formula of trimethylamin has made

  • " Ananas," moreover, has a remarkable assonance to the family name of

my patient Irma.

t In this the dream did not turn out to be prophetic. But in another sense, it proved correct, for the " unsolved " stomach pains, for which 1 did not want to be to blame, were the forerunners of a serious illness caused by gall stones.


METHOD OF INTERPRETATION 99

itself so prominent in the dream. So many important things are gathered up in this one word : Trimethylamin is not only an allusion to the overpowering factor of sexuality, but also to a person whose sympathy I remember with satisfaction when I feel myself forsaken in my opinions. Should not this friend, who plays such a large part in my life, occur again in the chain of thoughts of the dream ? Of course, he must ; he is par- ticularly acquainted with the results which proceed from affections of the nose and its adjacent cavities, and has re- vealed to science several highly remarkable relations of the turbinated bones to the female sexual organs (the three curly formations in Irma's throat). I have had Irma examined by him to see whether the pains in her stomach might be of nasal origin. But he himself suffers from suppurative rhinitis, which worries him, and to this perhaps there is an allusion in pyaemia, which hovers before me in the metastases of the dream.

Such injections are not made so rashly. Here the reproach of carelessness is hurled directly at my friend Otto. I am under the impression that I had some thought of this sort in the afternoon, when he seemed to indicate his siding against me by word and look. It was perhaps : " How easily he can be iufluenced ; how carelessly he pronounces judgment." Furthermore, the above sentence agaiu points to my deceased friend, who so Hghtly took refuge in cocaine injections. As I have said, I had not intended injections of the remedy at all. I see that in reproaching Otto I again touch upon the story of the imfortunate Matilda, from which arises the same reproach against me. Obviously I am here collecting examples of my own conscientiousness, but also of the opposite.

Probably also the syringe was not clean. Another reproach directed at Otto, but originating elsewhere. The day before I happened to meet the son of a lady eighty-two years of age whom I am obliged to give daily two injections of morphine. At present she is in the country, and I have heard that she is suffering from an inflammation of the veins. I immediately thought that it was a case of infection due to contamination from the syringe. It is my pride that in two years I have not given her a single infection ; I am constantly concerned, of course, to see that the pyringe is perfectly clean. For I am


100 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

conscientious. From the inflammation of the veins, I return to my wife, who had suffered from emboh during a period of pregnancy, and now three related situations come to the surface in my memory, involving my wife, Irma, and the deceased Matilda, the identity of which three persons plainly justifies my putting them in one another's place.

I have now completed the interpretation of the dream.* In the course of this interpretation I have taken great pains to get possession of all the notions to which a comparison between the dream content and the dream thoughts hidden behind it must have given rise. Meanwhile, the " meaning " of the dream has dawned upon me. I have become conscious of a purpose which is realised by means of the dream, and which must have been the motive for dreaming. The dream fulfils several wishes, which have been actuated in me by the events of the preceding evening (Otto's news, and the writing down of the history of the disease). For the result of the dream is that I am not to blame for the suffering which Irma stiU has, and that Otto is to blame for it. Nov/ Otto has made me angry by his remark about Irma's imperfect cure ; the dream avenges me upon him by turning the reproach back upon himself. The dream acquits me of responsibility for Irma's condition by referring it to other causes, which indeed furnish a great number of explanations. The dream represents a certain condition of affairs as I should wish it to be ; the content of the dream is thus the fulfilment of a wish ; its motive is a wish.

This much is apparent at first sight. But many things in the details of the dream become intelligible when regarded from the point of view of wish-fulfilment. I take revenge on Otto, not only for hastily taking part against me, ia that I accuse him of a careless medical operation (the injection), but I am also avenged on him for the bad cordial which smells Hke fusel oil, and I find an expression in the dream which unites both reproaches ; the injection with a preparation of propyl. Still I am not satisfied, but continue my revenge by comparing him to his more rehable competitor. I seem to say by this : " I hke him better than you." But Otto is not the only one who must feel the force of my anger. I take revenge on the

  • Even if I have not, as may be understood, gi\ en account of everytliing

which occurred to me in connection with the ■^ork of interpretation.


METHOD OF INTERPRETATION 101

disobedient patient by exclianging her for a more sensible, more docile one. Nor do I leave the contradiction of Dr. M. mmoticed, but express my opinion of him in an obvious allusion, to the effect that his relation to the question is that of an ignoramics (" dysentery mill develop/' d;c.).

It seems to me, indeed, as though I were appealing from him to some one better informed (my friend, who has told me about trimethylamin) ; just as I have turned from Irma to her friend, I turn from Otto to Leopold. Rid me of these three persons, replace them by three others of my own choice, and I shall be released from the reproaches which I do not wish to have deserved ! The unreasonableness itself of these re- proaches is proved to me in the dream in the most elaborate way. Irma's paias are not charged to me, because she herself is to blame for them, in that she refuses to acctpt my solution. Irma's pains are none of my business, for they are of an organic nature, quite impossible to be healed by a psychic cure. Irma's sufferings are satisfactorily explained by her widowhood (trimethylamin !) ; a fact which, of course, I cannot alter. Irma's illness has been caused by an incautious Injection on the part of Otto, with an ill-suited substance — in a way I should never have made an injection. Irma's suffering is the result of an mjection made with an unclean sjoinge, just like the inflammation of the veins in my old lady, while I never do any such mischief with my injections. I am aware, indeed, that these explanations of Irma's illness, which unite in acquitting me, do not agree with one another ; they even exclude one another. The whole pleading — ^this dream is nothing else — recalls vividly the defensive argument of a man who was accused by his neighbour of having returned a kettle to him in a damaged condition. In the first place, he. said, he had returned the kettle undamaged ; in the second, it already had holes in it when he borrowed it ; and thirdly, he had never borrowed the kettle from his neighbour at all. But so much the better ; if even one of these three methods of defence is recognised as valid, the man must be acquitted.

StiQ other subjects mingle in the dream, whose relation to my release from responsibility for Irma's illness is not so transparent : the illness of my daughter and that of a patient of the same name, the harmfulness of cocaine, the iUness of


102 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

my patient travelling in Egypt, concern about the health of my wife, my brother, of Dr. M., my own bodily troubles, and concern about the absent friend who is suffering from sup- purative rhinitis. But if I keep all these things in view, they combine into a single train of thought, labelled perhaps : Concern for the health of myself and others — professional con- scientioasness. I recall an undefined disagreeable sensation as Otto brought me the news of Irma's condition. I should like to note finally the exiDression of this fleeting sensation, which is part of the train of thought that is mingled into the dream. It is as though Otto had said to me : " You do not take your physician's duties seriously enough, you are not conscientious, do not keep your promises." Thereupon this train of thought placed itself at my service in order that I might exhibit proof of the high degree in which I am con- scientious, how intimately I am concerned with the health of my relatives, friends, and patients. Curiously enough, there are also in this thought material some painful memories, which correspond rather to the blame attributed to Otto than to the accusation against me. The material has the appearance of being impartial, but the connection between this broader material, upon which the dream depends, and the more limited theme of the dream which gives rise to the wish to be innocent of Irma's illness, is nevertheless unmistakable.

I do not wish to claim that I have revealed the meaning of the dream entirely, or that the interpretation is flawless.

I could still spend much time upon it ; I could draw further explanations from it, and bring up new problems which it bids us consider. I even know the points from which further thought associations might be traced ; but such considerations as are connected with every dream of one's own restrain me from the work of interpretation. Wlioever is ready to con- demn such reserve, may himself try to be more straightforward than I. I am content with the discovery which has been just made. If the method of dream interpretation here indicated is followed, it will be found that the dream really has meaning, and is by no means the expression of fragmentary brain activity, wliich the authors would have us believe. When the work of interpretation has been completed the dream may be recognised as the fulfilment of a wish.


III THE DREAM IS THE FULFILMENT OF A WISH

When after passing a defile one has reached an eminence where the ways part and where the view opens out broadly in different directions, it is permissible to stop for a moment and to consider where one is to turn next. Something like this happens to us after we have mastered this first dream ^ interpretation. We find ourselves in the open hght of a sudden cognition. The dream is not comparable to the irregular sounds of a musical instrument, which, instead of being touched by the hand of the musician, is struck by some outside force ; the dream is not senseless, not absurd, does not presuppose that a part of our store of ideas is dormant while another part begins to awaken. It is a psychic phenomenon of full value, and indeed the fulfilment of a wish ; it takes its place in the concatenation of the waking psychic actions which are intelli- gible to us, and it has been built up by a highly complicated intellectual activity. But at the very moment when we are inclined to rejoice in this discovery, a crowd of questions over- whelms us. If the dream, according to the interpretation, represents a wish fulfilled, what is the cause of the pecuhar and unfamihar manner in which this fulfilment is expressed ? What changes have occurred in the dream thoughts before they are transformed into the manifest dream which we remember upon awaking ? In what manner has this transformation taken place ? Whence comes the material which has been worked over into the dream ? What causes the peculiarities which we observe in the dream thoughts, for example, that they may contradict one another ? (The analogy of the kettle, p. 87). Is the dream capable of teaching us something new about our inner psychic processes, and can its content correct opinions which we have held during the day ? I suggest that for the present all these questions be laid aside, and that a single path be pursued. We have found that the dream

103


104 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

represents a wi sh as fulj&lle d. It will be our next interest to ascertain whether this is a universal characteristic of the dream, or only the accidental content of the dream (" of Irma's injection ") with which we have begun our analysis, for even if we make up our minds that every dream has a meaning and psychic^value^ we must neverthele^^TTow forThe possibiHty that this meanin g i s_ not , the, same m every jjiea-m. The first dream we have considered was the fulfilment of a wish ; another may turn out to be a reahsed apprehension ; a third may have a reflection as to its content ; a fourth may simply reproduce a reminiscence. Are there then other wish dreams ; or are there possibly nothing but wish dreams ?

It is easy to show that the character of wish-fulfilment in_ dreams is often undisguised and recognisable^ so that one may wonder why the language of dreams has not long since been understood. There is, for example, a dream which I can cause as often as I like, as it were experimentally. If in the evening I eat anchovies, oHves, or other strongly salted foods, I become thirsty at night, whereupon I waken. The awakening, however, is preceded by a dream, which each time has the same content, namely, that I am drinking. I quaS water in long draughts, it tastes as sweet as only a cool drink can taste when one's throat is parched, and then I awake and have an actual desire to drink. The occasion for this dream is thirst, which I perceive when I awake. The wish to drink originates from this sensation, and the dream shows me this wish as fulfilled. It thereby serves a function the nature of which I soon guess. I sleep well, and am not accus- tomed to be awakened by a bodily need. If I succeed in assuaging my thirst by means of the dream that I am drinking, I need not wake up in order to satisfy it. It is thus a dream of convenience. nPhft^ drpfl.pi Rnbi=itit"tfts itRft] t for a ction, as elsewhere in jyife. Unfortunately the need of water for quench- ing thirst cannot be satisfied with a dream, like my thirst for revenge upon Otto and Dr. M., but the intention is the same. This same dream recently appeared in modified form. On this occasion I became thirsty before going to bed, and emptied the glass of water which stood on the httle chest next to my bed. Several hours later in the night came a new attack of thirst, accompanied by discomfort. In order to obtain water,


THE FULFILMENT OF A WISH 105

I should have had to get up and fetch the glass which stood on the night-chest of my wife. I thus quite appropriately dreamt that my wife was giving me a drink from a vase ; this vase was an Etruscan cinerary urn which I had brought home from an ItaHan journey and had since given away. But the water in it tasted so salty (apparently from the ashes) that I had to wake. It may be seen how conveniently the dream is capable of arranging matters ; since the fulfilment of a wish is its only purpose, it may be perfectly egotistic. Love of comfort is really not compatible with consideration for others. The introduction of the cinerary urn is probably again the fulfilment of a wish ; I am sorry that I no longer possess this vase ; it, like the glass of water at my wife's side, is inaccessible to me. The cinerary urn is also appropriate to the sensation of a salty taste which has now grown stronger, and which I know will force me to wake up.*

Such conv^ence dreams were very frequent with me in the years of my youth. Accustomed as I had always been to work until late at night, early awakening was always a matter of difficulty for me. I used then to dream that I was out of bed and was standing at the wash-stand. After a while I could not make myseK admit that I have not yet got up, but meanwhile I had slept for a time. I am acquainted with the same dream of laziness as dreamt by a young colleague of mine, who seems to share my propensity for sleep. The lodging-house keeper with whom he was fiving in the neigh- bourhood of the hospital had strict orders to wake him on time every morning, but she certainly had a lot of trouble when she tried to carry out his orders. One morning sleep was particularly sweet. The woman called into the room : " Mr. Joe, get up ; you must go to the hospital." Whereupon the

  • The facts about d reams of thirst were known also to Weygandt,"^ who

expresses himself about them (p. 11) as follows : "It is just the sensation of thirst which is most accurately registered of all ; it always causes a repre- sentation of thirst quenching. The manner iu which the dream pictures the act of thirst quenching is manifold, and is especially apt to be formed accord- ing to a recent reminiscence. Here also a universal phenomenon is that disappointment in the slight efficacy of the supposed refreehments sets in immediately after the idea that thirst has been quenched. But he over- looks the fact that the reaction of the dream to the stimulus is universal. If other persons who are troubled by thirst at night awake without dreaming beforehand, this does not constitute an objection to my experiment, but characterises those others as persona who sleep poorly.


106 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

Bleeper dreamt of a room in the hospital, a bed in which he was lying, and a chart pinned over his head reading : " Joe H. . . . cand. med. 22 years old." He said to himself in the dream : ** If I am already at the hospital, I don't have to go there," turned over and slept on. He had thus frankly admitted to himself his motive for dreaming.

Here is another dream, the stimulus for which acts during sleep itself : One of my women patients, who had had to undergo an unsuccessful operation on the jaw, was to wear a cooling apparatus on the affected cheek, according to the orders of the physicians. But she was in the habit of throwing it off as soon as she had got to sleep. One day I was asked to reprove her for doing so ; for she had again thrown the apparatus on the floor. The patient defended herself as follows : " This time I really couldn't help it ; it was the result of a dream which I had in the night. In the dream, I was in a box at the opera and was taking a Hvely interest in the performance. But Mr. Karl Meyer was lying in the sana- torium and complaining pitifuUy on account of pains in his jaw. I said to myself, * Since I haven't the pains, I don't need the apparatus either,' that's why I threw it away." This dream of the poor sufferer is similar to the idea in the expression which comes to our hps when we are in a disagree- able situation : "I know something that's a great deal more fun." The dream presents this great deal more fun. Mr. Karl Meyer, to whom the dreamer attributed her paias, was the most indifferent young man of her acquaintance whom she could recaU.

It is no more difficult to discover the fulfilment of wishes in several dreams which I have collected from healthy persons. A friend who knew my theory of dreams and had imparted it to his wife, said to me one day : " My wife asked me to teU you that she dreamt yesterday that she was having her menses. You will know what that means." Of course I know : if the young wife dreams that she is having her menses, the menses have stopped. I can understand that she would have liked to enjoy her freedom for a time longer before the discomforts of motherhood b^an. It was a clever way of giving notice of her first pregnancy. Another friend writes that his wife had recently dreamt that she noticed milk stains on the bosom of


THE FULFILMENT OF A WISH 107

her waist. This is also an indication of pregnancy, but this time not of the first one ; the young mother wishes to have more nourishment for the second child than she had for the first.

A young woman, who for weeks had been cut off from company because she was nursing a child that was suffering from an infectious disease, dreams, after its safe termination, of a company of people in which A. Daudet, Bourget, M. Prevost, and others are present, all of whom are very pleasant to her and entertain her admirably. The different authors in the dream also have the features which their pictures give them. M. Prevost, with whose picture she is not famihar, looks like — the disinfecting man who on the previous day had cleaned the sick rooms and had entered them as the first visitor after a long period. Apparently the dream might be perfectly translated thus : " It is about time now for something more entertaining than this eternal nursing."

. Perhaps this selection will suffice to prove that often and ^ under the most complex conditions dreams are found which can be understood omy as iuiiimients of wishes, and which present their contents without concealment. In most cases these are short and simple dreams, which stand in pleasant contrast to the confused and teeming dream compositions which have mainly attracted the attention of the authors. But it will pay to spend some time upon these simple dreams. The mostjBimgle^dreams of all, I suppose, are to be expected in the case of children, whose psychic activities are certainly less comphcated than those of adults. The psychology of children, in my opinion, is to be called upon for services similar to those which a study of the anatomy and development of the lower animals renders to the investigation of the structure of the highest classes of animals. Until now only a few conscious efforts have been made to take advantage of the psychology of children for such a purpose.

The dreams of httle children are simple fulfilpients of wishes, and as compareiJ,' tfiereloir^^PTith the dreams of adults, are not at all interesting. They present no problem to be solvedj tut are~ natu^^ as .affgxding,jprQQf that the dream

in its essence signifies the fulfilment_of a^w^^hu^ I have been able to collect several examples of such dreams from the material furnished by my own children.


108 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

For two dreams, one of my daughters, at that time eight and a half years old, the other of a boy five and a quarter years oi age, I am indebted to an excursion to the beautiful Hallstatt in the summer of 1896. I must make the prehminary statement that during this summer we were living on a hill near Aussee, from which, when the weather was good, we enjoyed a splendid view of the Dachstein from the roof of our house. The Simony Hut could easily be recognised with a telescope. The little ones often tried to see it through the telescope — I do not know with what success. Before the excursion I had told the children that Hallstatt lay at the foot of the Dachstein. They looked forward to the day w^ith great joy. From Hall- statt we entered the valley of Eschern, which highly pleased the children with its varying aspects. One of them, however, the boy of five, gradually became discontented. As often as a mountain came in view, he would ask : "Is that the Dach- stein ? " whereupon I would have to answer : " No, only a foot-hill." After this question had been repeated several times, he became altogether silent ; and he was quite unwilling to come along on the flight of steps to the waterfall. I thought he was tired out. But the next morning, he approached me radiant with joy, and said : " Last night I dreamt that we were at Simony Hut." I understood him now ; he had expected, as I was speaking of the Dachstein, that on the excursion to Hallstatt, he would ascend the mountain and would come face to face with the hut, about which there had been so much discu.^sion at the telescope. When he learned that he was expected to be regaled with foot-hills and a waterfalJ, he was disappointed and became discontented. The dream com- pensated him for this. I tried to learn some details of the dream ; they were scanty. " Steps must be climbed for six hours," as he had heard.

On this excursion wishes, destined to be satisfied only in dreams, had arisen also in the mind of the girl of eight and a half years. We had taken with us to Halstatt the twelve- year-old boy of our neighbour — an accomphshed cavalier, who, it seems to me, already enjoyed the full sympathy of the Uttle woman. The next morning, then, she related the follow- ing dream : " Just think, I dreamt that Emil was one of us, that he said papa and mamma to you, and slept at our house


THE FULFILMENT OF A WISH 109

in the big room like our boys. Then mamma came into the room and threw a large handful of chocolate bars under our beds." The brothers of the girl, who evidently had not in- herited a familiarity with dream interpretation, declared just like the authors : " That dream is nonsense." The girl defended at least a part of the dream, and it is worth while, from the point of view of the theory of neuroses, to know which part : " That about Emil belonging to us is nonsense, but that about the bars of chocolate is not." It was just this latter part that was obscure to me. For this mamma furnished me the explanation. On the way home from the railway station the children had stopped in front of a slot machine, and had desired exactly such chocolate bars wrapped in paper with a metallic lustre, as the machine, according to their experience, had for sale. But the mother had rightly thought that the day had brought enough wish-fulfilment, and had left this wish to be satisfied in dreams. This Httle scene had escaped me. I at once understood that portion of the dream which had been con- demned by my daughter. I had myself heard the well-behaved guest enjoining the children to wait until papa or mamma had come up. For the httle one the di'eam made a lasting adoption based on this temporary relation of the boy to us. Her tender nature was as yet unacquainted with any form of being together except those mentioned in the dream, which are taken from her brothers. Why the chocolate bars were thrown under the bed could not, of course, be explained without questioning the child. From a friend I have learnt of a dream very similar to that of my boy. It concerned an eight-year-old girl. The father had undertaken a walk to Dombach with the children, intending to visit the Rohrerhiitte, but turned back because it had grown too late, and promised the children to make up for their disappointment some other time. On the way back, they passed a sign which showed the way to the Hameau. The childien now asked to be taken to that place also, but had to be content, for the same reason, with a postponement to another day. The next morning, the eight-year-old girl came to the father, satisfied, saying : *' Papa, I dreamt last night that you were with us at the Rohrerhiitte and on the Hameau." Her impatience had thus in the dream anticipated the fulfil- ment of the promise made by her father.


110 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

Another dream, which the picturesque beauty of the Aussee inspired in my daughter, at that time three and a quarter years old, is equaUy straightforward. The Httle one had crossed the lake for the first time, and the trip had passed too quickly for her. She did not want to leave the boat at the landing, and cried bitterly. The next morning she told us : *' Last night I was sailing on the lake." Let us hope that the dura- tion of this dream ride was more satisfactory to her.

My eldest boy, at that time eight years of age, was already dreaming of the reahsation of his fancies. He had been riding in a chariot with Achilles, with Diomed as charioteer. He had, of course, on the previous day shown a Hvely interest in the Myths of Greece, which had been given to his elder sister.

If it be granted that the talking of children in sleep likewise belongs to the category of dreaming, I may report the following as one of the most recent dreams in my collection. My youngest girl, at that time nineteen months old, had vomited one morn- ing, and had therefore been kept without food throughout the day. During the night which followed upon this day of hunger, she was heard to call excitedly in her sleep : " Anna Feud, strawberry, huckleberry, omelette, pap ! " She used her name in this way in order to express her idea of property ; the menu must have included about everything which would seem to her a desirable meal ; the fact that berries appeared in it twice was a demonstration against the domestic sanitary regulations, and was based on the circumstance, by no means Qverlooked by her, that the nurse ascribed her indisposition to an over-plentiful consumption of strawberries ; she thus in the dream took revenge for this opinion which was distaste- ful to her.*

If we caU childliood happy because it does not yet know

sexual desire, we must not forget how abundant a source ol,

disappointment and self-denial, and thus of dream stimulation,

  • The dream afterwards accoraplislied the same purpose in the case of

the grandmother, who is older than the child by about seventy years, as it did in the case of the granddaughter. After she had been forced to go hungry for several days on account of the restlessness of her floating kidney, she dreamed, apparently with a transference into the happy time of her flowering maidenhood, that she had been " asked out," invited as a guest for both the important meals, and each time had been served with the most delicious morsels.


THE FULFILMENT OF A WISH 111

the other of the grea t life-impulses may become for it.* Here is" a second example showmg tliis"^y nephew of twenty-two months had been given the task of congratulating me upon my birthday, and of handing me, as a present, a Uttle basket of cherries, which at that time of the year were not yet in season. It seemed difficult for him, for he repeated again and again : " Cherries in it," and could not be induced to let the Httle basket go out of his hands. But he knew how to secure his compensation. He had, until now, been in the habit of telling his mother every morning that he had dreamt of the " white soldier," an officer of the guard in a white cloak, whom he had once admired on the street. On the day after the birthday, he awakened joyfully with the information which could have had its origin only in a dream : " He(r)man eat up all the cherries ! " f

  • A more searching investigation into the psychic life of the child

teaches us, to be sure, that sexual motive powers in infantile forms, which have, been JxDo lon^ j)yer]^!^d,..p]i^ in the psychic

activity of the c hild. This raises some doubt as to the happiness of the child, as imagined later by the adults. Of. the author's " Three Contribu- tions to the Sexual Theory ,"~translated by A. A. Brill, Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases Publishing Company.

t It should not be left unmentioned that children sometimes ^ow com- plex and moTe. obscure dreams, -vhile. on the other handj adults will often under certain conditions ^^how dieaiiis of an infantile character. How rich in unsuspected material the dreams of children of from four to five years might be is shown by examples in my " Analyse der Phobic eines fiinfjahr- igf-.n Knaben" (Jahrhuch, ed. by Bleuler & Freud, 1909), and in Jung's "Ueber Konflikte der kindlichcn Seele" (ebda. ii. vol., 1910). On the other hpnd, it seems that dreams of an infantile type reappear especiary often in adults if they are transferrea tp unusual conaitions ot lite. Thus Utto l^ofdenskjold, in his Dooit Antarctic (1904), writes as follows about the crew who passed the winter with him. "Very characteristic for th& trend, of. aux inmost thoughts were our dreams,, which wove never more vivid an^ numerous than at present. Even those of our comrades with whom dream- ing had formerly been an' 'Exception had long stories to tell in the morning when we exchanged our experiences in the world of phantasies. They all referred to that outer world which was now so far from us, but they often fitted into our present relations. An especially characteristic dream was the one in which one of our comrades believed himself back on the bench at school, where the task was assigned him of skinning miniature seals which were especially made for the purposes of instruction. Eating and drinking formed the central point around which most of our dreams were grouped. One of UP, who was fond of going to big dinner parties at night, was exceed- ingly glad if he could report in the morning * that he had had a dinner con- sisting of three courses.' Another dreamed of tobacco — of whole mountains of tobacco; still another dreamed of a ship approaching on the open sea under full sail. Still another dream deserves to be mentioned. The letter carrier brought the mail, and gave a long explanation cf why he had had to wait so long for it; he had delivered it at the wrong place, and only after


112 THE INTETIPRETATION OF DREAMS

What animals dream of I do not know. A proverb for which I am indebted to one of my readers claims to know, for it raises the question : " What does the goose dream of ? " the answer being : "Of maize ! " The whole theory that the dream is the fulfilment of a wish is contained in these sentences.*

We now perceive that we should have reached our theory of the hidden meaning of the dream by the shortest road if we had merely consulted colloquial usage. The wisdom of proverbs, it is true, sometimes speaks contemptuously enough of the dream — it apparently tries to justify science in expressing the opinion that " Preams are mere bubbles ; " but still for colloquial usage the dream is the gracious fulfiller of wishes. " I should never have fancied that in the wildest dream," exclaims one who finds his expectations surpassed in reaUty.

great eflfoit had been able to get it back. To be sure, we occupied ourselves ia sleep with still more impossible things, but the lack of phantasy in almost all the dreams which I myself dreamed or heard others relate was quite striking. It would surely have been of great psychological interest if all the dreams could have been noted. But one can readily understand how we longed for sleop. It alone could afford us everything that we all most ardently desired."

  • A Hungarian proverb referred to by Ferenczi ^' states more explicitly

tiiat " tbs pig dreams of acorns, the goose of maizs."


IV DISTORTION IN DREAMS

If I make the assertion tha t wish fulfi lment is the meaning of every dream, that, accordingly, there can be no dreamsT except wish" dreams, I arcTsure" at the outset to meet with the most emphatic contradiction. Objections wiU be made to this effect : " The fact that there are dreams which must be under- stood as fulfilments of wishes is not new, but, on the contrary, has long since been recognised by the authors. Cf. Radestock ^* (pp. 137-138), Volkelt'2 (pp. 110-111), Tissie «8 (p. 70), M. Simon ^^ (p. 42) on the hunger dreams of the imprisoned Baron Trenck), and the passage in Griesinger ^^ (p. 11). The assump- tion that there can be nothing but dreams of wish fulfilment, however, is another of those unjustified generaHsations by which you have been pleased to distinguish yourself of late. Indeed dreams which exhibit the most painful content, but not a trace of wish fulfilment, occur plentifully enough. The pessimistic philosopher, Edward von Hartman, perhaps stands furthest from the theory of wish fulfilment. He ex- presses himself in his Philosophy of the Unconscious, Part II. (stereotyped edition, p. 34), to the following effect : —

" ' As regards the dream, all the troubles of waking fife are transferred by it to the sleeping state ; only the one thing, which can in some measure reconcile a cultured person to life-scientific and artistic enjoyment is not transferred. . , .' But even less discontented observers have laid emphasis on the fact that in dreams pain and disgust are more frequent than pleasure; so Scholz ^^ (p. 39), Volkelt '^ (p. 80), and others. Indeed two ladies, Sarah Weed and Florence HaUam,^^ have found from the elaboration of their dreams a mathe- matical expression for the preponderance of displeasure in dreams. They designate 58 per cent, of the dreams as dis- agreeable, and only 28*6 per cent, as positively pleasant. Besides those dreams which continue the painful sensations of life

ui H


114 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

during sleep, there are ako dreams of fear, in which this most terrible of all disagreeable sensations tortures us until we awake, and it is with just these dreams of fear that children are so often persecuted {Cf. Debacker ^' concerning the Pavor Nocturnus), though it is in the case of children that you have found dreams of wishing undisguised."

Indeed it is the anxiety dreams which seem to prevent a generahsation of the thesis that the dream is a wish-fulfilment, which we have established by means of the examples in the last section ; they seem even to brand this thesis as an ab- surdity.

It is not difficult, however, to escape these apparently conclusive objections. Please observe that our doctrine does not rest upon an acceptance of the manifest dream content, but has reference to the thought content which is found to lie behind the dream by the process of interpretation. Let us contrast the manifest and the lateiit dream content. It is true that there are dreams whose content is of the most painful nature. But has anyone ever tried to interpret these dreams, to disclose their latent thought content ? If not, the two objections are no longer valid agaiust us ; there always remains the possibility that even painful and fearful dreams may be discovered to be wish fulfilments upon interpretation.*

In scientific work it is often advantageous, when the solu- tion of one problem presents difficulties, to take up a second problem, just as it is easier to crack two nuts together instead of separately. Accordingly we are confronted not merely with the problem : How can painful and fearful dreams be the fulfilments of wishes ? but we may also, from our discussion so far, raise the question : Why do not the dreams which show an indifferent content, but turn out to be wish-fulfilments, show this meaning undisguised ? Take the fNlly reported dream of Irma's injection ; it is in no way painful in its nature, and can be recognised, upon interpretation, as a striking wish- fulfilment. Why, in the first place, is an interpretation necessary ? Why does not the dream say directly what it means ? As a matter of fact, even the dream of Irma's in-

  • It is quite incredible with what stubLcrnness readers and critics

exclude this consideration, ann leave unheeded the fundamental differentia- tion betv/een the manifest and the latent dream content.


DISTORTION IN DREAMS 115

jection does not at first impress us as representing a wish of the dreamer as fulfilled. The reader will not have received this impression, and even I myself did not know it until I had undertaken the analysis. If we call this peculiarity of the dream of needing an explanation the fact of the distortion of dreams, then a second question arises : What is the origin of this disfigurement of dreams ?

If one's first impressions on this subject were consulted, one might happen upon several possible solutions ; for example, that there is an inability during sleep to find an adequate expression for the dream thoughts. The analysis of certain dreams, however, compels us to give the disfigurement of dreams another explanation. I shall show this by employing a second dream of my own, which agam involves numerous indiscretions, but which compensates for this personal sacrifice by afiording a thorough elucidation of the problem.

Preliminary Statement. — In the spring of 1897 I learnt that two professors of our university had proposed me for appointment as Professor extraord. (assistant professor). This news reached me unexpectedly and pleased me con- siderably as an expression of appreciation on the part of two eminent men which could not be explained by personal in- terest. But, I immediately thought, I must not permit myself to attach any expectation to this event. The university government had during the last few years left proposals of this kind unconsidered, and several colleagues, who were ahead of me in years, and who were at least my equals in merit, had been waiting in vain during this time for their appoint- ment. I had no reason to suppose I should fare better. I resolved then to comfort myself. I am not, so far as I know, ambitious, and I engage in medical practice 'wdth satisfying results even without the recommendation of a title. Moreover, it was not a question whether I considered the grapes sweet or sour, for they undoubtedly hiuig much too high for me.

One evening I was visited by a friend of mine, one of those coUeagaes whose fate I had taken as a warning for myself. As he had long been a candidate for promotion to the position of professor, which in our society raises the physician to a demigod among his patients, and as he was less resigned than I, he was in the habit of making representations from time to


116 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

time, at the ofl&ces of the university government, for the pur- pose of advancing his interests. He came to me from a visit of that kind. He said that this time he had driven the exalted gentleman into a comer, and had asked him directly whether considerations of creed were not really responsible for the deferment of his appointment. The answer had been that to be sure — ^in the present state of pubhc opinion — ^Hjs Ex- cellency was not in a position, &c. "Now I at least know what I am at," said my friend in closing his narrative, which told me nothing new, but which was calculated to confirm me in my resignation. For the same considerations of creed applied to my own case.

On the morning after this visit, I had the following dream, which was notable on account of its form. It consisted of two thoughts and two images, so that a thought and an image alternated. But I here record only the first half of the dream, because the other half has nothing to do with the purpose which the citation of the dream should serve.

I. Friend R. is my uncle — / feel great affection for him,

II. / see before me his face somewhat altered.

It seems to he ekmgated ; a yellow heard, which surrounds it, is emphasised with peculiar distinctness.

Then follow* the other two portions, again a thdGght and an image, which I omit.

The interpretation of this dream was accomphshed in the following manner :

As the dream occurred to me in the course of the forenoon, I laughed outright and said : " The dream is nonsense." But I could not get it out of my mind, and the whole day it pursued me, until, at last, in the evening I reproached myself with the words : " If in the course of dream interpretation one of your patients had nothing better to say than * That is nonsense,' you would reprove him, and would suspect that behind the dream there was hidden some disagreeable affair, the exposure of which he wanted to spare himself. Apply the same thing in your own case ; your opinion that the dream is nonsense probably signifies merely an inner resistance to its interpretation. Do not let yourself be deterred." I then proceeded to the interpretation,

    • R. is my uncle," What does that mean. I have had


DISTORTION IN DREAMS 117

only one uncle, my uncle Joseph.* His story, to be sure, was a sad one. He had yielded to the temptation, more than thirty years before, of engaging in dealings which the law punishes severely, and which on that occasion also it had visited with punishment. My father, who thereupon became grey from grief in a few days, always used to say that Uncle Joseph was never a wicked man, but that he was indeed a simpleton ; so he expressed himself. If, then, friend R. is my uncle Joseph, that is equivalent to saying : " R. is a simpleton." Hardly credible and very unpleasant ! But there is that face which I see in the dream, with its long features and its yellow beard. My uncle actually had such a face — long and surrounded by a handsome blond beard. My friend R. was quite dark, but when dark-haii'ed persons begin to grow grey, they pay for the glory of their youthful years. Their black beard undergoes an unpleasant change of color, each hair separately ; first it becomes reddish brown, then yellowish . brown, and then at last definitely grey. The beard of my friend R. is now in this stage, as is my own moreover, a fact which I notice with regret. The face which I see in the dream is at once that of my friend R. and that of my uncle. It is like a composite photograph of Galton, who, in order to emphasise family resemblances, had several faces photo- graphed on the same plate. No doubt is thus possible, I am really of the opinion that my friend R. is a simpleton — hke my uncle Joseph.

I have still no idea for what purpose I have constructed this relationship, to which I must unconditionally object. But it is not a very far-reaching one, for my uncle was a criminal, my friend R. is innocent — perhaps with the exception of having been punished for knocking down an apprentice with his bicycle. Could I mean this offence ? That would be making ridiculous comparisons. Here I recollect another conversation which I had with another colleague, N., and indeed upon the same subject. I met N. on the street. He likewise has been nominated for a professorship, and having

  • It is remarkable how my memory narrows here for the purposes of

analysis — while I am awake. I have known five of my uncles, and have loved and honoured one of them. But at the moment when I overcame my resistance to the interpretation of the dream I said to myself, " I have only one uncle, the one who is intended in the dream."


118 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

heard of my being honoured, congratulated me upon it. I dechned emphatically, saying, *' You are the last man to make a joke hke this, because you have experienced what the nomi- nation is worth in your own case." Thereupon he said, though probably not in earnest, " You cannot be sure about that. Against me there is a very particular objection. Don't you know that a woman once entered a legal complaint against me ? I need not assure you that an inquiry was made ; it was a mean attempt at blackmail, and it was all I could do to save the plaintiff herself from punishment. But perhaps the affair will be pressed against me at the office in order that I may not be appointed. You, however, are above reproach." Here I have come upon a criminal, and at the same time upon the interpretation and trend of the dream. My uncle Joseph represents for me both colleagues who have not been appointed to the professorship, the one as a simpleton, the other as a criminal. I also know now for what purpose I need this re- presentation. If considerations of creed are a determining factor in the postponement of the appointment of my friends, then my own appointment is also put in question : but if I can refer the rejection of the two friends to other causes, which do not apply to my case, my hope remains undisturbed. This is the procedure of my dream ; it makes the one, R., a simpleton, the other, N., a criminal ; since, however, I am neither the one nor the other, our community of interest is destroyed, I have a right to enjoy the expectation of being appointed a professor, and have escaped the painful appHca- tion to my own case of the information which the high official has given to R.

I must occupy myself still further with the interpretation of this dream. For my feelings it is not yet sufficiently cleared up. I am still disquieted by the ease with which I degrade two respected colleagues for the purpose of clearing the way to the professorship for myself. My dissatisfaction with my procedure has indeed diminished since I have learnt to evaluate statements made in dreams. I would argue against anyone who urged that I really consider R. a simpleton, and that I do not credit N.'s account of the blackmail affair. I do not beUeve either that Irma has been made seriously ill by an injection given her by Otto with a preparation of propyl.


DISTORTION IN DREAMS 111)

Here, as before, it is only the wish that the case 7nay be as the dream expresses it. The statement in which my wish is realised sounds less absurd in the second dream than in the first ; it is made here with a more skilful utilisation of facts as points of attachment, something Kke a well-constructed slander, where " there is something in it." For my friend R. had at that time the vote of a professor from the department against him, and my friend N. had himself unsuspectingly furnished me with the material for slander. Nevertheless, I repeat, the dream seems to me to require further elucidation.

I remember now that the dream contains still another portion which so far our interpretation has not taken into account. After it occurs to me that my friend R. is my uncle, I feel great affection for him. To whom does this feeling belong ? For my uncle Joseph, of course, I have never had any feehngs of affection. For years my friend R. has been beloved and dear to me ; but if I were to go to him and ex- press my feehngs for him in terms which came anywhere near corresponding to the degree of affection in the dream, he would doubtless be surprised. My affection for him seems untrue and exaggerated, something like my opinion of his psychic quahties, which I express by fusing his personahty with that of my uncle ; but it is exaggerated in an opposite sense. But now a new state of affairs becomes evident to me. The affection in the dream does not belong to the hidden content, to the thoughts behind the dream ; it stands in opposition to this content ; it is calculated to hide the informa- tion which interpretation may bring. Probably this is its very purpose. I recall with what resistance I apphed myself to the work of interpretation, how long I tried to postpone it, and how I declared the dream to be sheer nonsense. I know from my psychoanalytical treatments how such condemna- tion is to be interpreted. It has no value as affording in- formation, but only as the registration of an affect. If my Uttle daughter does not like an apple which is offered her, she asserts that the apple has a bitter taste, without even having tasted it. If my patients act like the Httle girl, I know that it is a question of a notion which they want to suppress. The same apphes to my dream. I do not want to interpret it because it contains something to which I object. After the


120 THE INTERPRETATIOI^ OF DREAMS

interpretation of the dream has been completed, I find out what it was I objected to ; it was the assertion that R. is a simpleton. I may refer the affection which I feel for R. not to the hidden dream thoughts, but rather to this unwillingness of mine. If my dream as compared with its hidden content is disfigured at this point, and is disfigured, moreover, into something opposite, then the apparent affection in the dream serves the purpose of disfigurement ; or, in other words, the disfigurement is here shown to be intended : it is a means of dissimulation. My dream thoughts contain an unfavourable reference to R. ; in order that I may not become aware of it, its opposite, a feeling of affection for him, makes its way into the dream.

The fact here recognised might be of universal applica- bihty. As the examples in Section III. have shown, there are dreams which are undisguised wish-fulfilments. Wherever a wish-fulfilment is unrecognisable and concealed, there must be present a feeling of repulsion towards this wish, and in consequence of this repulsion the wish is unable to gain ex- pression except in a disfigured state. I shall try to fiind a case in social life which is parallel to this occurrence in the inner psychic life. Where in social life can a similar disfigurement of a psychic act be found ? Only where two persons are in question, one of whom possesses a certain power, while the other must have a certain consideration for this power. This second person will then disfigure his psychic actions, or, as we may say, he will dissimulate. The poUteness which I practise every day is largely dissimulation of this kind. If I interpret my dreams for the benefit of the reader I am forced to make such distortions. The poet also complains about such disfigurement :

" You may not tell the best that you know to the youngsters. "

The political writer who has unpleasant truths to teU to the government finds himself in the same position. If he tells them without reserve, the government will suppress them — subsequently in case of a verbal expression of opinion, preventatively, if they are to be published in print. The writer must fear censure; he therefore modifies and disfigures the expression of his opinion. He finds himself compelled.


DISTORTION IN DREAMS 121

according to the sensitiveness of this censure, either to re- strain himself from certain particular forms of attack or to speak in allusion instead of direct designations. Or he must disguise his objectionable statement in a garb that seems harmless. He may, for instance, tell of an occurrence between two mandarins in the Orient, while he has the officials of his own country in view. The stricter the domination of the censor, the more extensive becomes the disguise, and often the more humorous the means employed to put the reader back on the track of the real meaning.

The correspondence between the phenomena of the censor and those of dream distortion, which may be traced in detail, justifies us in assuming similar conditions for both. We should then assume in each human being, as the primary cause of dream formation, two psychic forces (streams, systems), of which one constitutes the wish expressed by the dream, while the other acts as a censor upon this dream wish, and by means of this censoring forces a distortion of its expression. The only question is as to the basis of the authority of this second instance * by virtue of which it may exercise its censor- ship. If we remember that the hidden dream thoughts are not conscious before analysis, but that the apparent dream content is remembered as conscious, we easily reach the assumption that admittance to consciousness is the privilege of the second instance. Nothing can reach consciousness from the first system which has not first passed the second instance, and the second instance lets nothing pass without exercising its rights and forcing such alterations upon the candidate for admission to consciousness as are pleasant to itself. We are here forming a very definite conception of the " essence " of consciousness ; for us the state of becomiug conscious is a particular psychic act, different from and independent of becoming fixed or of being conceived, and consciousness appears to us as an organ of sense, which per- ceives a content presented from another source. It may be shown that psychopathology cannot possibly dispense with these fundamental assumptions. We may reserve a more thorough examination of these for- a later time.

  • The word is here used in the original Latin sense instantia, meaning

energy, continuance or persistence in doing. (Translator.)


122 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

If I keep in mind the idea of the two psychic instances and their relations to consciousness, I find in the sphere of pohtics a very exact analogy for the extraordinary affection which I feel for my friend R., who suffers such degradation in the course of the dream interpretation. I turn my attention to a pohtical state in which a ruler, jealous of his rights, and a Uve pubhc opinion are in conflict with each other. The people are indignant against an official whom they hate, and demand his dismissal ; and in order not to show that he is compelled to respect the pubHc wish, the autocrat will expressly confer upon the official some great honour, for which there would otherwise have been no occasion. Thus the second instance referred to, which controls access to consciousness, honours my friend R. with a profusion of extraordinary tenderness, because the wish activities of the first sj^stem, in accordance with a particular interest which they happen to be pursuing, are inclined to put him down as a simpleton.*

Perhaps we shall now begin to suspect that dream inter- pretation is capable of giving us hints about the structure of our psychic apparatus which we have thus far expected in vain from philosophy. We shall not, however, follow this track, but return to our original problem as soon as we have cleared up the subject of dream-disfigurement. The question has arisen how dreams with disagreeable content can be analysed as the fuffilments of wishes. We see now that this is possible in case dream-disfigurement has taken place, in case the disagreeable content serves only as a disguise for what is wished. Keeping in mind our assumptions in regard to the two psychic instances, we may now proceed to say : disagreeable dreams, as a matter of fact, contain something

  • Such hypocritical dreams are not unusual occurrences with me or

with others. "While I am working up a certain scientific problem, I am v?.sited for many nights in rapid succession by a somewhat confusing dream which has as its content reconciliation with a friend long ago dropped. After three or four attempts, I finally succeeded in grasping the meaning of this dream. It was in the nature of an encouragement to give up the little con- sideration still left for the person in question, to drop him completely, but it disguised itself shamefacedly in the opposite feeling. I have reported a " hypocritical oedipus dream " of a person, in which the hostile feelings and the wishes of death of the dream thoughts were replaced by manifest tender- ness. ("Typischea Beispiel eines verkappten Oedipustraumes," Zentralblatt fur Psychoanalyse, Bd. 1, Heft 1-11, 1910.) Another class of hypocritical dreams will be reported in another place.


DISTORTION IN DREAMS 123

which is disagreeable to the second instance, but which at the same time fulfils a wish of the first mstance. They are wish dreams in the sense that every dream originates in the first instance, while the second instance acts towards the dream only in a repelling, not in a creative manner. If we limit ourselves to a consideration of what the second instance contributes to the dream, we can never understand the dream. If we do so, aU the riddles which the authors have found in the dream remain unsolved.

That the dream actually has a secret meaning, which turns out to be the fulfilment of a wish, must be proved afresh for every case by means of an analysis. I therefore select several dreams which have painful contents and attempt an analysis of them. They are partly dreams of hysterical subjects, which require long preHminary statements, and now and then also an examination of the psychic processes which occur in hysteria. I cannot, however, avoid this added dijBficulty in the exposition.

When I give a psychoneurotic patient analytical treatment, dreams are always, as I have said, the subject of our dis- cussion. It must, therefore, give him all the psychological explanations through whose aid I myself have come to an understanding of his symptoms, and here I undergo an un- sparing criticism, which is perhaps not less keen than that I must expect from my colleagues. Contradiction of the thesis that aU dreams are the fulfilments of wishes is raised by my patients with perfect regularity. Here are several examples of the dream material which is offered me to refute this position.

" You always tell me that the dream is a wish fulfilled," begins a clever lady patient. " Now I shall tell you a dream in which the content is quite the opposite, in which a wish of mine is not fulfilled. How do you reconcile that with your theory ? The dream is as follows : —

" / want to give a supper, but having nothing at hand except sonie smoked salmon, I think of going tnarketing, but I remember that it is Sunday afternoon, when all the shops are closed. I next try to telephone to some caterers, but the telephone is out of order. Thus I must resign my wish to give a supper.

I answer, of course, that only the analysis can decide the meaning of this dream, although I admit that at first sight


124 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

it seems sensible and coherent, and looks like the opposite of a wish-fulfilment. " But what occurrence has given rise to this dream ? " I ask. " You know that the stimulus for a dream always hes among the experiences of the preceding day."

Analysis. — The husband of the patient, an upright and conscientious wholesale butcher, had told her the day before that he is growing too fat, and that he must, therefore, begin treatment for obesity. He was going to get up early, take exercise, keep to a strict diet, and above all accept no more invitations to suppers. She proceeds laughingly to relate how her husband at an inn table had made the acquaintance of an artist, who insisted upon painting his portrait because he, the painter, had never found such an expressive head. But her husband had answered in his rough way, that he was very thankful for the honour, but that he was quite convinced that a portion of the backside of a pretty young girl would please the artist better than his whole face.* She said that she was at the time very much in love with her husband, and teased him a good deal. She had also asked him not to send her any caviare. What does that mean ?

As a matter of fact, she had wanted for a long time to eat a caviare sandwich every forenoon, but had grudged herself the expense. Of course, she would at once get the caviare from her husband, as soon as she asked him for it. But she had begged him, on the contrary, not to send her the caviare, in order that she might tease him about it longer.

This explanation seems far-fetched to me. Unadmitted motives are in the habit of hiding behind such unsatisfactory explanations. We are reminded of subjects hypnotised by Bernheim, who carried out a posthypnotic order, and who, upon being asked for their motives, instead of answering : " I do not know why I did that," had to invent a reason that was obviously inadequate. Something similar is probably the case with the caviare of my patient. I see that she is com- pelled to create an unfulfilled wish in life. Her dream also shows the reproduction of the wish as accompHshed. But why does she need an unfulfilled wish ?

  • To sit for the painter. Goethe : " And if he has no backside, how can

the nobleman eit ] "


DISTORTION IN DREAMS 125

The ideas so far produced are insufficient for the inter- pretation of the dream. I beg for more. After a short pause, which corresponds to the overcoming of a resistance, she reports further that the day before she had made a visit to a friend, of whom she is really jealous, because her husband is always praising this woman so much. Fortunately, this friend is very lea^n and thin, and her husband likes well-rounded figures. Now of what did this lean friend speak ? Naturally of her wish to become somewhat stouter. She also asked my patient : " When are you going to invite us again ? You always have such a good table."

Now the meaning of the dream is clear. I may say to the patient : " It is just as though you had thought at the time of the request : * Of course, I'll invite you, so you can eat yourself fat at my house and become still more pleasing to my husband. I would rather give no more suppers.' The dream then tells you that you cannot give a supper, thereby fulfilling your wish not to contribute anything to the rounding out of your friend's figiure. The resolution of your husband to refuse invitations to supper for the sake of getting thin teaches you that one grows fat on the things served in com- pany." Now only some conversation is necessary to confirm the solution. The smoked salmon in the dream has not yet been traced. " How did the salmon mentioned in the dream occur to you ? " " Smoked salmon is the favourite dish of this friend," she answered. I happen to know the lady, and may corroborate this by saying that she grudges herself the salmon just as much as my patient grudges herself the caviare.

The dream admits of still another and more exact inter- pretation, which is necessitated only by a subordinate circum- stance. The two interpretations do not contradict one another, but rather cover each other and furnish a neat example of the usual ambiguity of dreams as well as of aU other psychopathological formations. We have seen that at the same time that she dreams of the denial of the wish, the patient is in reahty occupied in securing an unfulfilled wish (the caviare sandwiches). Her friend, too, had expressed a wish, namely, to get fatter, and it would not surprise us if our lady had dreamt that the wish of the friend was not being fulfilled. For it is her own wish that a wish of her friend's — -


126 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

for increase in weight — should not be fulfilled. Instead of this, however, she dreams that one of her own wishes is not fulfilled. The dream becomes capable of a new interpretation, if in the dream she does not intend herself, but her friend, if she has put herself in the place of her friend, or, as we may say, has identified herseK with her friend.

I think she has actually done this, and as a sign of this identification she has created an unfulfilled wish in reahty. But what is the meaning of this hysterical identification ? To clear this up a thorough exposition is necessary. Identi- fication is a highly important factor in the mechanism of hysterical symptoms ; by this means patients are enabled in their symptoms to represent not merely their own experi- ences, but the experiences of a great number of other persons, and can suffer, as it were, for a whole mass of people, and fill aU the parts of a drama by means of their own personahties alone. It will here be objected that this is well-known hysterical imitation, the ability of hysteric subjects to copy aU the symptoms which impress them when they occur in others, as though their pity were stimulated to the point of repro- duction. But this only indicates the way in which the psychic process is discharged in hj^sterical imitation ; the way in which a psychic act proceeds and the act itself are two different things. The latter is slightly more compHcated than one is apt to imagine the imitation of hysterical subjects to be : it corresponds to an unconscious concluded process, as an example will show. The physician who has a female patient with a particular kind of twitching, lodged in the company of other patients in the same room of the hospital, is not surprised when some morning he learns that this pecuhar hysterical attack lias found imitations. He simply says to himseff : The others have seen her and have done Hkewise : that is psychic infection. Yes, but psychic infection proceeds in somewhat the following manner : As a rule, patients know more about one another than the physician knows about each of them, and they are concerned about each other when the visit of the doctor is over. Some of them have an attack to-day : soon it is known among the rest that a letter from home, a return of love- sickness or the like, is the cause of it. Their sympathy is aroused, and the following syllogism, which does not reach conscious-


DISTORTION IN DREAMS 127

ness, is completed in them : " If it is possible to have this kind of an attack from such causes, I too may have this kind of an attack, for I have the same reasons. If this were a cycle capable of becoming conscious, it would perhaps express itseK in fear of getting the same attack ; but it takes place in another psychic sphere, and, therefore, ends in the reahsa- tion of the dreaded symptom. Identification is therefore not a simple imitation, but a sympathy based upon the same etiological claim ; it expresses an " as though," and refers to some common quahty which has remaiued in the unconscious.

Identification is most often used in hysteria to express sexual community. An hysterical woman identifies herself most readily — although not exclusively — with persons with whom she has had sexual relations, or who have sexual inter- course with the same persons as herself. Language takes such a conception into consideration : two lovers are "one." In the hysterical phantasy, a,s well as in the dream, it is sufii- cient for the identification if one thinks of sexual relations, whether or not they become real. The patient, then, only follows the rules of the hysterical thought processes when she gives expression to her jealousy of her friend (which, moreover, she herself admits to be unjustified, in that she puts herself in her place and identifies herself with her by creating a symptom — the denied wish). I might further clarify the process speci- fically as follows : She puts herself in the place of her friend in the dream, because her friend has taken her own place in relation to her husband, and because she would like to take her friend's place in the esteem of her husband.*

The contradiction to my theory of dreams in the case of another female patient, the most witty among all my dreamers, was solved in a simpler manner, although according to the scheme that the non-fulfilment of one wish signifies the fulfil- ment of another. I had one day explained to her that the dream is a wish-fulfilment. The next day she brought me a dream to the effect that she was traveUing with her mother-in-

  • I myself regret the introduction of such passages from the psycho-

pathology of hysteria, "which, because of their fragmeutaiy representation and of being torn from all connection with the subject, cajmot have a very enlightening influence. If these passages are capable of throwing light upon the intimate relations between the dream and the psychoneuroses, they have served the purpose for which I have taken them up.


128 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

law to their common summer resort. Now I knew that she had struggled violently against spending the summer in the neighbourhood of her mother-in-law. I also knew that she had luckily avoided her mother-in-law by renting an estate in a far-distant country resort. Now the dream reversed this wished-for solution ; was not this in the flattest contradiction to my theory of wish-fulfihnent in the dream ? Certainly, it was only necessary to draw the inferences from this dream in order to get at its interpretation. According to this dream, I was in the wrong. It was thus her wish that I should he in the wrong, and this wish the dream showed her as fulfilled. But the wish that I should be in the wrong, which was fulfilled in the theme of the country home, referred to a more serious matter. At that time I had made up my mind, from the material furnished by her analysis, that something of significance for her illness must have occurred at a certain time in her life. She had denied it because it was not present in her memory. We soon came to see that I was in the right. Her wish that I should be in the wrong, which is transformed into the dream, thus corresponded to the justifiable wish that those things, which at the time had only been suspected, had never occurred at all.

Without an analysis, and merely by means of an assumption, I took the liberty of interpreting a httle occurrence in the case of a friend, who had been my colleague through the eight classes of the Gymnasium. He once heard a lecture of mine dehvered to a small assemblage, on the novel subject of the dream as the fulfilment of a wish. He went home, dreamt that he had lost all his suits — he was a lawyer — and then com- plained to me about it. I took refuge in the evasion : " One can't win all one's suits," but I thought to myself : " If for eight years I sat as Primus on the first bench, while he moved around somewhere in the middle of the class, may he not naturally have had a wish from his boyhood days that I, too, might for once completely disgrace myself ? "

In the same way another dream of a more gloomy character was offered me by a female patient as a contradiction to my theory of the wish-dream. The patient, a young girl, began as follows : " You remember that my sister has now only one boy, Charles : she lost the elder one, Otto, while I was stiU at her house. Otto was my favourite ; it was I who really


DISTORTION IN DREAMS 129

brought him up. I Uke the other little fellow, too, but of course not nearly as much as the dead one. Now I dreamt last night that / saw Charles lying dead before me. He was lying in his little coffin, his hands folded : there were candles all about, and, in short, it was just like the time of little Otto's death, which shocked me so profoundly. Now tell me, what does this mean ? You know me : am I really bad enough to wish my sister to lose the only child she has left ? Or does the dream mean that I wish Charles to be dead rather than Otto, whom I like so much better ? " \

I assured her that this interpretation was impossible. After some reflection I was able to give her the interpretation of the dream, which I subsequently made her confirm.

Having become an orphan at an early age, the girl had been brought up in the house of a much older sister, and had met among the friends and visitors who came to the house, a man who made a lasting impression upon her heart. It looked for a time as though these barely expressed relations were to end in marriage, but this happy culmination was frustrated by the sister, whose motives have never found a complete explanation. After the break, the man who was loved by our patient avoided the house : she herseK became independent some time after httle Otto's death, to whom her affection had now turned. But she did not succeed in freeing herself from the inclination for her sister's friend in which she had become involved. Her pride commanded her to avoid him ; but it was impossible for her to transfer her love to the other suitors who presented themselves in order. Whenever the man whom she loved, who was a member of the hterary profession, annoimced a lecture anywhere, she was sure to be found in the audience ; she also seized every other opportunity to see him from a distance unobserved by him. I remembered that on the day before she had told me that the Professor was going to a certain concert, and that she was also going there, in order to enjoy the sight of him. This was on the day of the dream ; and the concert was to take place on the day on which she told me the dream. I could now easily see the correct interpretation, and I asked her whether she could think of any event which had happened after the death of Httle Otto. She answered immediately :

I


130 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

  • ' Certainly ; at that time the Professor returned after a long

absence, and I saw him once more beside the coffin of little Otto." It was exactly as I had expected. I interpreted the dream in the following manner : If now the other boy were to die, the same thing would be repeated. You would spend the day with your sister, the Professor would surely come in order to offer condolence, and you would see him again under the same circumstances as at that time. The dream signifies nothing but this wish of yours to see him again, against which you are fighting inwardly. I know that you are carrying the ticket for to-day's concert in your bag. Your dream is a dream of impatience ; it has anticipated the meeting which is to take place to-day by several hours."

In order to disguise her wish she had obviously selected a situation in which wishes of that sort are commonly sup- pressed — a situation which is so filled with sorrow that love is not thought of. And yet, it is very easily probable that even in the actual situation at the bier of the second, more dearly loved boy, which the dream copied faithfully, she had not been able to suppress her feelings of affection for the visitor whom she had missed for so long a time.

A different explanation was found in the case of a similar dream of another female patient, who was distinguished in her earlier years by her quick wit and her cheerful demeanours and who still showed these quahties at least in the notion, which occurred to her in the course of treatment. In con- nection with a longer dream, it seemed to this lady that she saw her fifteen-year-old daughter lying dead before her in a box. She was strongly inclined to convert this dream-image into an objection to the theory of wish-fulfilment, but herself suspected that the detail of the box must lead to a different conception of the dream.* In the course of the analysis it occurred to her that on the evening before, the conversation of the company had turned upon the Enghsh word " box," and upon the numerous translations of it into German, such as box, theatre box, chest, box on the ear, &c. From other components of the same dream it is now possible to add that the lady had guessed the relationship between the English word " box " and the German Bilchse, and had then been ♦ Something like the smoked salmon in the dream of the deferred supper.


DISTORTION IN DREAMS 131

haunted by the memory that Buchse (as well as " box ") is

used in \rulgar speech to designate the female genital organ.

It was therefore possible, maldng a certain allowance for her

notions on the subject of topographical anatomy, to assume

that the child in the box signified a child in the womb of the

mother. At this stage of the explanation she no longer denied

that the picture of the dream really corresponded to one of

her wishes. Like so many other young women, she was by

no means happy when she became pregnant, and admitted to

me more than once the wish that her child might die before its

birth ; in a fit of anger following a violent scene with her

husband she had even struck her abdomen with her fists in

order to hit the child within. The dead child was, therefore,

really the fulfilment of a wish, but a wish which had been

put aside for fifteen years, and it is not surprising that the

fulfilment of the wish was no longer recognised after so long

an interval. For there had been many changes meanwhile.

The group of dreams to which the two last mentioned

belong, having as content the death of beloved relatives, will

be considered again under the head of " Typical Dreams." I

shall there be able to show by new examples that in spite of

their undesirable content, all these dreams must be interpreted

as wish-fulfilments. For the following dream, which again

was told me in order to deter me from a hasty generaHsation of

the theory of wishing in dreams, I am indebted, not to a

patient, but to an intelligent jurist of my acquaintance. " I

dream" my informant tells me, " that I am walking in front

of my house with a lady on my arm. Here a closed wagon is

waiting, a gentleman steps up to me, gives his authority as an

agent of the police, and demands that I should follow him. I

only ask for time in which to arrange my affairs. Can you

possibly suppose this is a wish of mine to be arrested ? "

" Of course not," I must admit. " Do you happen to know

upon what charge you were arrested ? " " Yes ; I believe for

infanticide." " Infanticide ? But you know that only a

mother can commit this crime upon her newly born child ? "

  • ' That is true." * " And under what circumstances did you
  • It often happens that a dream is told incompletely, and that a recollec-

tion of the omitted portions appears only in the course of the analysis. These portions subsequently fitted in, reixularly furnish the key to the interpretation. Cf. below, about forgetting in dreams.


132 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

dream ; what happened on the evening before 1 " *' I would rather not tell you that ; it is a dehcate matter." " But I must have it, otherwise we must forgo the interpretation of the dream." " Well, then, I will tell you. I spent the night, not at home, but at the house of a lady who means very much to me. When we awoke in the morning, something again passed between us. Then I went to sleep again, and dreamt what I have told you." " The woman is married ? " " Yes." " And you do not wish her to conceive a child ? " " No ; that might betray us." " Then you do not practise normal coitus 1 " "I take the precaution to withdraw before ejacu- lation." " Am I permitted to assume that you did this trick several times during the night, and that in the morning you were not quite sure whether you had succeeded ? " " That might be the case." " Then your dream is the fulfilment of a wish. By means of it you secure the assurance that you have not begotten a child, or, what amounts to the same thing, that you have killed a child. I can easily demonstrate the connecting links. Do you remember, a few days ago we were talking about the distress of matrimony (Ehenot), and about the inconsistency of permitting the practice of coitus as long as no impregnation takes place, while every delinquency after the ovum and the semen meet and a foetus is formed is punished as a crime ? In connection with this, we also re- called the mediaeval controversy about the moment of time at which the soul is really lodged in the foetus, since the concept of murder becomes admissible only from that point on. Doubt- less you also know the gruesome poem by Lenau, which puts infanticide and the prevention of children on the same plane." " Strangely enough, I had happened to think of Lenau during the afternoon." " Another echo of your dream. And now I shall demonstrate to you another subordinate wish-fulfilment in your dream. You walk in front of your house with the lady on your arm. So you take her home, instead of spending the night at her house, as you do in actuaUty. The fact that' the wish-fuMlment, which is the essence of the dream, disguises itseK in such an unpleasant form, has perhaps more than one reason. From my essay on the etiology of anxiety neuroses, you will see that I note interrupted coitus as one of the factors which cause the development of neurotic fear. It would be


DISTORTION IN DREAMS 133

consistent with this that if after repeated cohabitation of the kind mentioned you should be left in an uncomfortable mood, which now becomes an element in the composition of your dream. You also make use of this unpleasant state of mind to conceal the wish-fulfilment. Furthermore, the mention of infanticide has not yet been explained. Why does this crime, which is pecuHar to females, occur to you 1 " "I shall confess to you that I was involved in such an affair years ago. Through my fault a girl tried to protect herself from the consequences of a liaison with me by securing an abortion. I had nothing to do with carrying out the plan, but I was naturally for a long time worried lest the affair might be discovered." " I understand ; this recollection furnished a second reason why the supposition that you had done your trick badly must have been painful to you."

A young physician, who had heard this dream of my colleague when it was told, must have felt impHcated by it, for he hastened to imitate it in a dream of his own, applying its mode of thinking to another subject. The day before he had handed in a declaration of his income, which was perfectly honest, because he had Httle to declare. He dreamt that an acquaintance of his came from a meeting of the tax commission and informed him that aU the other declarations of income had passed uncontested, but that his own had awakened general suspicion, and that he would be punished with a heavy fine. The dream is a poorly-concealed fulfilment of the wish to be known as a physician with a large income. It likewise recalls the story of the young girl who was advised against accepting her suitor because he was a man of quick temper who would surely treat her to blows after they were married. The answer of the girl was : "I wish he would, strike me 1 " Her wish to be married is so strong that she takes into the bargain the discomfort which is said to be connected with matrimony, and which is predicted for her, and even raises it to a wish.

If I group the very frequently occurring dreams of this sort, which seem flatly to contradict my theory, in that they contain the denial of a wish or some occurrence decidedly unwished for, under the head of " counter wish-dreams," I observe that they may all be referred to two principles, of


134 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

which one has not yet been mentioned, although it plays a large part in the dreams of human beings. One of the motives inspiring these dreams is the wish that I should appear in the wrong. These dreams regularly occur in the course of my treatment if the patient shows a resistance against me, and I can count with a large degree of certainty upon causing such a dream after I have once explained to the patient my theory that the dream is a wish-fulfilment.* t may even expect this to be the case in a dream merely in order to fulfil the wish that I may appear in the wrong. The last dream which I shall tell from those occurring in the course of treatment again shows this very thing. A young girl who has struggled hard to continue my treatment, against the will of her re- latives and the authorities whom she has consulted, dreams as follows : She is forbidden at home to come to me any more. She then reminds me of the promise I made her to treat her for nothing if necessary, and I say to her : "I can show no consideration in money matters.

It is not at all easy in this case to demonstrate the fulfilment of a wish, but in all cases oi this kind there is a second problem, the solution of which helps also to solve the first. Where does she get the words which she puts into my mouth ? Of oourse I have never told her anything Hke that, but one of her brothers, the very one who has the greatest influence over her, has been kind enough to make this remark about me. It is then the purpose of the dreaih that this brother should remain in the right ; and she does not try to justify this brother merely in the dream ; it is her purpose in life and the motive for her being ill.

The other motive for counter wish-dreams is so clear that there is danger of overlooking it, as for some time happened in my own case. In the sexual make-up of many people there is a masochistic component, which has arisen through the con- version of the aggressive, sadistic component into its opposite. Such people are called " ideal " masochists, if they seek pleasure not in the bodily pain which may be inflicted upon them, but in humiUation and in chastisement of the soul.

  • Similar " counter wish-dreams " have been repeatedly rep«jrted to me

within the lasi few years by my pupila who thus reacted to their first en- counter with the " wish theory of the dream."


DISTORTION IN DREAMS 135

It is obvious that such persons can have counter wish-dreams and disagreeable dreams, which, however, for them are nothing but wish-fulfilments, affording satisfaction for their masochistic inchnations. Here is such a dream. A young man, who has in earher years tormented his elder brother, towards whom he was homosexually inclined, but who has undergone a complete change of character, has the following dream, which consists of three parts : (!) He is insulted " by his brother. (2) Two adults are caressing each other with homosexual intentions. (3) His brother has sold the enterprise whose management the young man reserved jar his own future. He awakens from the last- mentioned dream with the most mipleasant feelings, and yet it is a masochistic wish-dream, which might be translated : It would serve me quite right if my brother were to make that sale against my interest, as a punishment for all the torments which he has suffered at my hands.

I hope that the above discussion and examples will suffice — until further objection can be raised — to make it seem credible that even dreams with a painful content are to be analysed as the fulfilments of wishes. Nor will it seem a matter of chance that in the course of interpretation one always happens upon subjects of which one does not like to speak o*: think. The -disagreeable sensation which such dreams arouse is simply identical with the antipathy which endeavours — usually with success — ^to restrain us from the treatment or discussion of such subjects, and which must be overcome by all of us, if, in spite of its unpleasantness, we find it necessary to take the matter in hand. But this disagreeable sensation, which occurs also in dreams, does not preclude the existence of a wish ; everyone has wishes which he would not like to tell to others, which he does not want to admit even to himself. We are, on other grounds, justified in connecting the disagreeable character of all these dreams with the fact of dream disfigure- ment, and in concluding that these dreams are distorted, and that the wish-fulfilment in them is disguised until recognition is impossible for no other reason than that a repugnance, a will to suppress, exists in relation to the subject-matter of the dream or in relation to the wish which the dream creates. Dream disfigurement, then, turns out m reafity to be an act of the censor. We shall take into consideration everything


136 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

which the analysis of disagreeable dreams has brought to hght if we reword our formula as follows : The dream is the (disguised) fulfilment of a (suppressed^ repressed) wish*

Now there still remain as a particular species of dreams with painful content, dreams of anxiety, the inclusion of which under dreams of wishing will find least acceptance with the uninitiated. But I can settle the problem of anxiety dreams in very short order ; for what they may reveal is not a new aspect of the dream problem ; it is a question in their case of understanding neurotic anxiety in general. The fear which we experience in the dream is only seemingly explained by the dream content. If we subject the content of ^ the dream to analysis, we become aware that the dream fear is no more justified by the dream content than the fear in a phobia is justified by the idea upon which the phobia depends. For example, it is true that it is possible to fall out of a window, and that some care must be exercised when one is near a ^\dndow, but it is inexpHcable why the anxiety in the corre- sponding phobia is so great, and why it follows its victims to an extent so much greater than is warranted by its origin. The same explanation, then, which applies to the phobia appHes also to the dream of anxiety. In both cases the anxiety is only superficially attached to the idea which accom- panies it and comes from another source.

On account of the intimate relation of dream fear to neurotic fear, discussion of the former obHges me to refer to the latter. In a httle essay on " The Anxiety Neurosis," t I maintained that neurotic fear has its origin in the sexual life, and corre- sponds to a libido which has been turned away from its object and has not succeeded in being appHed. From this formula, which has since proved its vaHdity more and more clearly, we may deduce the conclusion that the content of anxiety dreams is of a sexual na.ture, the libido belonging to which

  • We may mention here the simplification and modification of this

fundamental formula, propounded by Otto Rank : " On the basis and with the help of repressed infantile sexual material, the dream regularly repre- sents as fulfilled actual, and as a rule also erotic, wishes, in a disguised and symbolic form." ("Ein Traum, der sich selbst deutet," Jahrbuch, v., Bleuler- Freud, II. B., p. 519, 1910.)

t See Selected Papers on Hysteria and other Psychoneuroses, p. 133, trans- lated by A. A. Brill, Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases^ Monograph Series.


DISTORTION IN DREAMS 137

content has been transformed into fear. Later on I shall have opportunity to support this assertion by the analysis of several dreams of neurotics. I shall have occasion to revert to the determinations in anxiety dreams and their com- patibility with the theory of wish-fulfilment when I again attempt to approach the theory of dreams.


THE MATERIAL AND SOURCES OF DREAMS

After coming to realise from the analysis of the dream of Irma's injection that the dream is the fulfilment of a wish, our interest was next directed to ascertaining whether we had thus discovered a universal characteristic of the dream, and for the time being we put aside every other question which may have been aroused in the course of that interpretation. Now that we have reached the goal upon one of these paths, we may turn back and select a new starting-point for our excursions among the problems of the dream, even though we may lose sight for a time of the theme of wish-fulfilment, which has been as yet by no means exhaustively treated.

Now that we are able, by applying our process of inter- pretation, to discover a lat ent dr^ m__coatfint which far sur- passes the mani fest dream con tend in point of significance, we are impelled to take up the individual dream problems afresh, in order to see whether the riddles and contradictions which seemed, when we had only the manifest content, beyond our reach may not be solved for us satisfactorily.

The statements of the authors concerning the relation of the dream to waking life, as well as concerning the source. of the dream material, have been given at length in the intro- ductory^ chapter. We may recall that there are three pecu- liarities of recollection in the dreams, which have been often remarked but never explained :

l.'That the dream distinctly prefers impressions of the few days preceding (Robert,^^ Striimpell,^^ Hildebraudt,^^ ^j^q Weed-HaUam ^s).

^ 2. That it makes its selection according to principles other than those of our waking memory, in that it recalls not what is essential and important, but what is subordinate and dis- regarded (c/. p. 13).


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 139

(^^jThskt it has at its disposal the earlies4c.^impressions of our childhood, and brings to hght details from this period of life %hich again seem trivial to us, and which in waking life were considered long ago forgotten.*

These pecuharities in the selection of the dream material have of course been observed by the authors in connection with the manifest dream content.


a


(a) Recent and Indifferent Impressions in the Dream J

If I now consult my own experience concerning the source of the elements which appear in the dream, I must at once express the opinion that some reference to the experiences of the day which has most recenUii _^as§£d,^ to be found in every dream. Whatever dream I take up, whether my own or another's, this experience is always re-afiirmed. Knowing this fact, I_ pan usuaPy b egin the work of interp retationjby^ tryinjor to 1ftfl.m thpi expftnenne of ^he previou s day which has stimulated the dreamj^ for many cases, indeed, this is the quickest way. In the case of the two dreams which I have subjected to close analysis in the preceding chapter (of Irma's injection, and of my uncle with the yellow beard) the reference to the previous day is so obvious that it needs no further elucidation. But in order to show that this reference may be regularly demonstrated, I shall examine a portion of my own dream chronicle. I shall report the dreams only so far as is necessary for the discovery of the dream stimulus in question.

1. I make a visit at a house where I am admitted only with difficulty, &c., and meanwhile I keep a woman waiting for me.

Source. — A conversation in the evening with a female relative to the effect that she would have to wait for some aid which she demanded until, &c.

2. I have written a monograph about a certain (obscure) species of plant.

Source. — I have seen in the show-window of a book store a monograph upon the genus cyclamen.

  • It is clear that the conception of Robert, that the dream is intended to

rid our memory of the useless impresaiona which it has received during the day, is no longer tenable, if indifierent memories of childhood appear in the dream with some degree of frequency. The conclusion would have to be drawn that the dream ordinarily performs very inadequately the duty which !• prescribed for it.


140 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

3. I see two women on the street, mother and datighter, the latter of whom is my patient.

Source. — ^A female patient who is under treatment has told me v/hat difficulties her mother puts in the way of her continu- ing the treatment.

4. At the book store of S. and R. I subscribe to a periodical which costs 20 florins annually.

Source. — During the day my wife has reminded me that I still owe her 20 florins of her weekly allowance.

6. I receive a communication, in which I am treated as a member, from the Social Democratic Committee.

Source. — I have received cmnmunications 8im.ultB,neo}isly from the Liberal Committee on Elections and from the president of the Humanitarian Society, of which I am really a member.

6. A man on a steep rock in the middle of the ocean, after the manner of Boeckhn.

Source. — Dreyfus on Devil's Island ; at the same time news from my relatives in England, &c.

The question might be raised, whether the dream is in- variably connected with the events of the previous day, or whether the reference may be extended to impressions from a longer space of time in the immediate past. Probably this matter cannot claim primary importance, but I should like to decide in favour of the exclusive priority of the day before the dream (the dream-day). As often as I thought I had found a case where an impression of two or three days before had been the source of the dream, I could convince myself, after careful investigation, that this impression had been remembered the day before, that a demonstrable reproduction had been interpolated between the day of the event and the time of the dream, and, furthermore, I was able to point out the recent occasion upon which the recollection of the old im- pression might have occurred. On the other hand, I was unable to convince myself that a regular interval (H. Swoboda calls the first one of this kind eighteen hours) of biological significance occurs between the stimulating impression of the day and its repetition in the dream.*

♦ As mentioned in the first chapter, p. 67. H. Swoboda applies broadly to the psychic activity, the biological intervals of twenty-three and twenty- eight days discovered by W. Fliess, and lays especial emphasis upon the fact that these periods are determinant for the appearance of the dream elements


THi^. MATERIAL OF DREAMS 141

I am, theiefore, of the opinion that the stimulus for i' every dream is to JDe found among those experiences |* upon "^ which one has not yet slept " for a night.

Thus the impressions of the immediate pa.st (with the exception of the day before the night of the dream) stand in no different relation to the xiream content from those of times- which are as far removed in the past as you please. The dream may select its material from all times of Ufe, provided only,

in dreams. There would be no material change in dream interpretation if this could be proven, but it would result in a new source for the origin of the dream material. I have recently undertaken some examination of my own dreams in order to test the applicability of the " Period Theory " to the dream material, and I have selected for this purpose especially striking elements of the dream content, whose origin could be definitely ascertained : —

t.— Dream from October 1-2, 1910

(Fragment) . . . Somewhere in Italy. Three daughters show me small costly objects, as if in an antiquity shop. At the same time they sit down on my lap. Of one of the pieces I remark : "Why, you' got this from me." I also see distinctly a small profile mask with the angular features of Savonarola.

When have I last seen a picture of Savonarola ? According to my travel- ling diary, I was in Florence on the fourth and fifth of September, and while there thought of showing my travelling companion the plaster medallion of the features of the fanatical monk in the Piazza Signoria, the same place where he met his death by burning. I believe that I called his attention to it at 3 A.M. To be sure, from this impression, until its return in the dream, there was an interval of twenty-seven and one days — a " feminine period," according to Fliess. But, unfortunately for the demonstrative force of this example, I must add that on the very day of the dream I was visited (the first time after my return) by the able but melancholy-looking colleague whom I had already years before nicknamed " Rabbi Savonarola." He brought me a patient who had met with an accident on the Pottebba rail- road, on which I had myself travelled tv^t days before, and my thoughts were thus turned to my last Italian journey. The appearance in the dream content of the striking element of Savonarola is explained by the visit of my colleague on the day of the dream ; the twenty-eight day interval had np significance in its origin.

II. — Dream from October 10-11

I am again studying chemistry in the University laboratory. Court Councillor L. invites me to come to another place, and walks before me in the corridor carrying in front of him in his uplifted hand a lamp or some other instrument, and assuming a peculiar attitude, his head stretched for- ward. We then come to an open space . . . (rest forgotten).

In this dream content, the most striking part is the manner in which Court Councillor L. carries the lamp (or lupe) in front of him, his gaze directed into the distance. I have not seen L. for many years, but I now know that he is only a substitute for another greater person — for Archimedes near the Arethusa fountain in Syracuse, who stands there exactly like L. in the dream, holding the burning mirror and gazing at the besieging army


142 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

that a chain of thought starting from one of the experiences of the day of the dream (one of the " recent " impressions) reaches back to these earher ones.

But why this preference for recent impressions ? We shall reach some conjectures on this point if we subject one of the dreams akeady mentioned to a more exact analysis. I select the dream about the monograph.

Content of the dream. — / have written a monograph upon a

of the Romans. When had I first (and last) seen this monument? Accord- ing to my notes, it was on the seventeenth day of September, in the evening, and from this date to the dream there really passed 13 and 10, equals 23, days — according to Fliess, a " masculine period."

But I regret to say that here, too, this connection seems somewhat less inevitable when we enter into the interpretation of this dream. The dream was occasioned by the information, received on the day of the dream, that the lecture-room in the clinic in which I was invited to deliver my lectures had been changed to some other place. I took it for granted that the new room was very inconveniently situated, and said to myself, it is as bad as not having any lecture-room at"^ my disposal. My thoughts must have then taken me back to the time when I first became a docent, when I really had no lecture-room, and when, in my efforts to get one, I met with little en- couragement from the very influential gentlemen councillors and professors. In my distress at that time, I appealed to L., who then had the title of dean, and whom I considered kindly disposed. He promised to help me, but that was all I ever heard from him. In the dream he is the Archimedes, who gives me the tttJcttw and leads me into the other room. That neither the desire for revenge nor the consciousness of one's own importance is absent in this dream will be readily divined by those familiar with dream inter- pretation. I must conclude, however, that without this motive for the dream, Archimedes would hardly have got into the dream that night. I am not certain whether the strong and still recent impression of the statue in Syracuse did not also come to the surface at a different interval of time.

III.— Dream from October 2-3, 1910.

(Fragment) . . . Something about Professor Oser, who himself prepared the menu for me, which served to restore me to great peace of mind (rest forgotten).

The dream was a reaction to the digestive disturbances of this day, which made me consider asking one of my colleagues to arrange a diet for me. That in the dream I selected for this purpose Professor Oser, who had died in the summer, is based on the recent death (October 1) of another university teacher, whom I highly revered. But when did Oser die, and when did I hear of his death ? According to the newspaper notice, he died on the 22nd of August, but as I was at the time in Holland, whither my Vienna newspapers were regularly sent me, I must have read the obituary notice on the 24th or 25th of August. This interval no longer corresponds to any period. It takes in 7 and 30 and 2, equals 39, days, or perhaps 38 days. I cannot recall having spoken or thought of Oser during this interval.

Such intervals as were not available for the " period theory " v/ithout further elaboration, were shown from my dreams to be far more frequent than the regular ones. As maintained in the text, the only thing constantly found is the relation to an impression of the day of the dream itself.


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 143

certain plant. The book lies before me, I am just turning over a folded coloured plate. A dried specimen of the plant is bound with every copy, as though from a herbarium.

Analysis. — In the forenoon I saw in the show-window of a book store a book entitled, The Genus Cyclamen, apparently a monograph on this plant.

The cyclamen is the favourite flower of my wife. I re- proach myself for so seldom thinking to bring her flowers, as she wishes. In connection with the theme " bringing flowers," I am reminded of a story which I recently told in a circle of friends to prove my assertion that forgetting is very often the purpose of the unconscious, and that in any case it warrants a conclusion as to the secret disposition of the person who forgets. A young woman who is accustomed to receive a bunch of flowers from her husband on her birthday, misses this token of affection on a festive occasion of this sort, and thereupon bursts into tears. The husband comes up, and is unable to account for her tears until she telLs him, " To-day is my birthday." He strikes his forehead and cries, " Why, I had completely forgotten it," and wants to go out to get her some flowers. But she is not to be consoled, for she sees in the forgetfulness of her husband a proof that she does not play the same part in his thoughts as formerly. This Mrs. L. met my wife two days before, and told her that she was feeHng well, and asked about me. She was under my treatment years ago.

Supplementary facts : I once actually wrote something like a monograph on a plant, namely, an essay on the coca plant, which drew the attention of K. Koller to the anaesthetic properties of cocaine. I had hinted at this use of the alkaloid in my pubHcation, but I was not sufficiently thorough to pursue the matter further. This suggests that on the forenoon of the day after the dream (for the interpretation of which I did not find time imtil the evening) I had thought of cocaine in a kind of day phantasy. In case I should ever be afflicted with glaucoma, I was going to go to Berlin, and there have myself operated upon, incognito, at the house of my Berlin friend, by a physician whom he would recommend to me. The surgeon, who would not know upon whom he was operating, would boast as usual how easy these operations had become


144 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

since the introduction of cocaine ; I would not betray by a single sign that I had had a share in making this discovery. With this phantasy were connected thoughts of how difficult it really is for a doctor to claim the medical services of a colleague for his own person. I should be able to pay the Berlin eye specialist, who did not know me, like anyone else. Only after recalling this day-dream do I reahse that the recollection of a definite experience is concealed behind it. Shortly after KoUer's discovery my father had, in fact, become ill with glaucoma ; he was operated upon by my friend, the eye specialist. Dr. Koenigstein. Dr. Roller attended to the cocaine ansesthetisation, and thereupon made the remark that aU three of the persons who had shared in the intro- duction of cocaine had been brought together on one case.

I now proceed to think of the time when I was last re- minded of this affair about the cocaine. This was a few days before, when I received a Festschrift^ with whose pubhcation grateful scholars had commemorated the anniversary of their teacher and laboratory director. Among the honours ascribed to persons connected with the laboratory, I found a notice to the effect that the discovery of the anaesthetic pro- perties of cocaine had been made there by K. KoUer. Now I suddenly become aware that the dream is^^coimefited^wi^^^aiL experience of the previous evening. I had just accompanied Dr. Koenigstein to his home, and had spoken to him about a matter which strongly arouses my interest whenever it is mentioned. While I was talking with him in the vestibule, Professor Gartner and his young wife came up. I could not refrain from congratulating them both upon their healthy appearance. Now Professor Gartner is one of the authors of the Festschrift of which I have just spoken, and may well have recalled it to me. Likewise iVIrs. L., whose birthday disappointment I have referred to, had been mentioned, in another connection, to be sure, in the conversation with Dr. Koenigstein.

I shall now try to explain the other determinations of the dream content. A dried specimen of the plant accompanies the monograph as though it were a herbarium. A recollection of the gymnasium (school) is connected with the herbarium. The director of our gymnasium once caDed the scholars of the


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 145

higher classes together m order to have them inspect and clean the herbarium. Small worms had been fomid — book- worms. The director did not seem to have much confidence in my help, for he left only a few leaves for me. I know to this day that there were crucifers on them. My interest in botany was never very great. At my preHminary examination in botany, I was required to identify a crucifer, and did not recognise it. I would have fared badly if my theoretical knowledge had not helped me out. Crucifers suggest com- posites. The artichoke is really a composite, and the one which I might call my favourite flower. My wife, who is more thoughtful than I, often brings this favourite flower of mine home from the market.

I see the monograph which I have written lying before me. This, too, is not without its reference. The friend whom I pictured wrote to me yesterday from Berlin : "I think a great deal about your dream book. / see it lying before me finished^ and am turning over its leaves How I envied him this prophetic power ! If I could only see it lying already finished before me !

The folded Coloured Plate, — While I was a student of medicine, I suffered much from a fondness for studjdng in monographs exclusively. In spite of my hmited means, I subscribed to a number of the medical archives, in which the coloured plates gave me much dehght. I was proud of this inclination for thoroughness. So, when I began to pubHsh on my own account, I had to draw the plates for my ovm. treatises, and I remember one of them turned out . so badly that a kindly-disposed col- league ridiculed me for it. This suggests, I don't know exactly how, a very early memory from my youth. My father once thought it would be a joke to hand over a book with coloured plates (Description of a Journey in Persia) to me and my eldest sister for destruction. This was hardly to be justified from an educational point of view. I was at the time five years old, and my sister three, and the picture of our bhssfully tearing this book to pieces (like an artichoke, I must add, leaf by leaf) is almost the only one from this time of life which has remained fresh in my memory. When I afterwards became a student, I developed a distinct fondness for collecting and possessing books (an analogy to the incHnation for studying from mono-


146 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

graphs, a hobby which occurs m the dream thoughts with reference to cyclamen and artichoke). I became a book- worm (c/. herbarium). I have always referred this first passion of my life — since I am engaging in retrospect — ^to this childhood impression, or rather I have recognised in this childish scene a " concealing recollection " for my subsequent love of books.* Of course I also learned at an early age that our passions are often our sorrows. When I was seventeen years old I had a very respectable bill at the book store, and no means with which to pay it, and my father would hardly accept the excuse that my inclination had not been fixed on something worse. But the mention of this later youthful experience immediately brings me back to my conversation that evening with my friend Dr. Koenigstein. For the talk on the evening of the dream-day brought up the same old reproach that I am too fond of my hobbies.

For reasons which do not belong here, I shall not continue the interpretation of this dream, but shall simply indicate the path which leads to it. In the course of the interpretation, I was reminded of my conversation with Dr. Koenigstein, and indeed of more than one portion of it. If I consider the subjects touched upon in this conversation, the meaning of the dream becomes clear to me. All the thought associations which have been started, about the hobbies of my wife and of myself, about the cocaine, about the difficulty of securing medical treatment from one's colleagues, my preference for monograpliic studies, and my neglect of certain subjects such, as botany — aU this continues and connects with some branch of this widely ramified conversation. The dream again takes on the character of a justification, of a pleading for my rights, like the first analysed dream of Irma's injection ; it even continues the theme which that dream started, and discusses it with the new subject matter which has accrued in the interval between the two dreams. Even the apparently indifferent manner of expression of the dream receives new importance. The meaning is now : "I am indeed the man who has written that valuable and successful treatise (on cocaine)," just as at that time I asserted for my justification : " I am a thorough

  • Of. mj essay, " Ueber Deckerinnerungen," in the Monatschrift filr

Psychiatrie und Neurologie, 1899.


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 147

and industrious student ; " in both cases, then : " I can afford to do that." But I may dispense with the further inter- pretation of the dream, because my only purpose in reporting it was to examine the relation of the dream content to the experience of the previous day which arouses it. As long as I know only the manifest content of this dream, but one relation to a day impression becomes obvious ; after I have made the interpretation, a second source of the dream becomes evident in another experience of the same day. The first of these impressions to which the dream refers is an indifferent one, a subordinate circumstance. I see a book in a shop window whose title holds me for a moment, and whose contents could hardly interest me. The second experience has great psychic value ; I have talked earnestly with my friend, the eye specialist, for about an hour, I have made allusions in this conversation which must have touched both of us closely, and which awakened memories revealing the most diverse feelings of my inner self. Furthermore, this conversation was broken off unfinished because some friends joined us. What, now, is the relation of these two impressions of the day to each other and to the dream which followed during the next night ?

I find in the manifest content merely an allusion to the indifferent impression, and may thus reaffirm that the dream preferably takes up into its content non-essential experiences. In the dream interpretation, on the contrary, everything con- verges upon an important event which is justified in demanding attention. If I judge the dream in the only correct way, according to the latent content which is brought to light in the analysis, I have unawares come upon a new and important fact. I see the notion that the dream deals only with the worthless fragments of daily experience shattered ; I am compelled also to contradict the assertion that our waking psychic life is not continued in the dream, and that the dream instead wastes psychic activity upon a trifling subject matter. The opposite is true ; what has occupied our minds during the day also dominates our dream thoughts, and we take pains to dream only of such matters as have given us food for thought during the day.

Perhaps the most obvious explanation for the fact that I dream about some indifferent impression of the day, while


148 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

the impression which is justifiably stirring furnishes the occasion for dreaming, is that this again is a phenomenon of the dream-disfigurement, which we have above traced to a psychic power acting as a censor. The recollection of the monograph on the genus cyclamen is employed as though it were an allusion to the conversation with my friend, very much as mention of the friend in the dream of the deferred supper is represented by the allusion " smoked salmon." The only question is, by what intermediate steps does the im- pression of the monograph come to assume the relation of an allusion to the conversation with the eye speciaHst, since such a relation is not immediately evident. In the example of the deferred supper, the relation is set forth at the outset ; " smoked salmon," as the favourite dish of the friend, belongs at once to the series of associations which the person of the friend would call up in the lady who is dreaming. In our new example we have two separated impressions, which seem at first glance to have nothing in common except that they occur on the same day. The monograph catches my attention in the forenoon ; I take part in the conversation in the evening. The answer suppHed by the analysis is as follows : Such re- lations between the two impressions do not at first exist, but are estabUshed subsequently between the presentation content of the one impression and the presentation content of the other. I have recently emphasised the components in this relation in the course of recording the analysis. With the notion of the monograph on cyclamen I should probably associate the idea that cyclamen is my wife's favourite flower only under some outside influence, and this is perhaps the further recollection of the bunch of flowers missed by Mrs. L. I do not beheve that these underljdng thoughts would have been sufiicient to caU forth a dream.

" There needs no ghost, my lord, come from the grave To tell us this,"

as we read in Hamlet. But behold ! I am reminded in the analysis that the name of the man who interrupted our conversation was Gartner (Gardener), and that I found his wife in blooming health ; * I even remember now that one of

♦ Ger,, hliihend.


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 149

my female patients, who bears the pretty name of Flora, was for a time the main subject of our conversation. It must have happened that I completed the connection between the two events of the day, the indifferent and the exciting one, by means of these links from the series of associations belonging to the idea of botany. Other relations are then estabUshed, that of cocaine, which can with perfect correctness form a go- between connecting the person of Dr. Koenigstein with the botanical monograph which I have written, and strengthen the fusion of the two series of associations into one, so that now a portion of the first experience may be used as an allusion to the second.

I am prepared to find this explanation attacked as arbitrary or artificial. What would have happened if Professor Gartner and his blooming wife had not come up, and if the patient who was talked about had been called, not Flora, but Anna ? The answer is easy, however. If these thought-relations had not been present, others would probably have been selected. It is so easy to establish relations of this sort, as the joking questions and conundrums with which we amuse ourselves daily suffice to show. The range of wit is unlimited. To go a step further : if it had been impossible to estabhsh inter- relations of sufficient abundance between the two impressions of the day, the dream would simply have resulted differently ; another of the indifferent impressions of the day, such as come to us in multitudes and are forgotten, would have taken the place of the monograph in the dream, would have secured a connection with the content of the talk, and would have repre- sented it in the dream. SiQce it was the impression of the monograph and no other that had this fate, this impression was probably the most suitable for the establishment of the connection. One need not be astonished, like Lessing's Hanschen Schlau, because " it is the rich people of the world who possess the most money."

Still the psychological process by which, according to our conception, the indifferent experience is substituted for the psychologically important one, seems odd to us and open to question. In a later chapter we shall undertake the task of making this seemingly incorrect operation more intelHgible. We are here concerned only with consequences of this pro-


150 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

cedure, whose assumption we have been forced to make by the regularly recurring experiences, of dream analysis. But the process seems to be that, in the course of those inter- mediate steps, a displacement — ^let us say of the psychic accent — has taken place, until ideas that are at first weakly charged with intensity, by taking over the charge from ideas which have a stronger initial intensity, reach a degree of strength, which enables them to force their way into consciousness. Such displacements do not at all surprise us when it is a question of the bestowal of affects or of the motor actions in general. The fact that the woman who has remained single transfers her affection to animals, that the bachelor becomes a passionate collector, that the soldier defends a scrap of colour*^ cloth, his flag, with his hfe-blood, that in a love affair a momen- tary clasping of hands brings bliss, or that in Othello a lost handkerchief causes a burst of rage — all these are examples of psychic displacement which seem unquestionable to us. But if, in the same manner and according to the same funda- mental principles, a decision is made as to what is to reach our consciousness and what is to be withheld from it, that is to say, what we are to think — this produces an impression of morbidity, and we call it an error of thought if it occurs in waking life. We may here anticipate the result of a dis- cussion which will be undertaken later — ^namely, to the effect that the psychic process which we have recognised as dream displacement proves to be not a process morbidly disturbed, but a process differing from the normal merely in being of a more primitive nature.

We thus find in the fact that the dream content takes up remnants of trivial experiences a manifestation of dream disfigurement (by means of displacement), and we may recall that we have recognised this dream disfigurement as the work of a censor which controls the passage between two psychic instances. We accordingly expect that dream analysis will regularly reveal to us the genuine, significant source of the dream in the life of the day, the recollection of which has transferred its accent to some indifferent recollection. This conception brings us into complete opposition to Robert's ^^ theory, which thus becomes valueless for us. The fact which Robert was trying to explain simply doesn't exist ; its assump-"


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 151

tion is based upon a misunderstanding, upon the failure to substitute the real meaning of the dream for its apparent content. Further objection may be made to Robert's doctrine : If it were really the duty of the dream, by means of a special psychic activity, to rid our memorg of the " slag " of the re- collections of the day, our sleep would have to be more troubled and employed in a more strained effort than we may suppose it to be from our waking life. For the number of indifferent impressions received during the day, against which we should have to protect our memory, is obviously infinitely large ; the night would not be long enough to accomplish the task. It is very much more probable that the forgetting of indifferent impressions takes place without any active interference on the part of our psychic powers.

Still something cautions us against taking leave of Robert's idea without further consideration. We have left unex- plained the fact that one of the indifferent day-impressions — one from the previous day indeed — regularly furnished a contribution to the dream-content. Relations between this impression and the real source of the dream do not always exist from the beginning ; as we have seen, they are estab- lished only subsequently, in the course of the dream-work, as though in order to serve the purpose of the intended dis- placement. There must, therefore, be some necessity to form connections in this particular direction, of the recent, although indifferent impression ; the latter must have special fitness for this purpose because of some property. Otherwise it would be just as easy for the dream thoughts to transfer their accent to some inessential member of their own series of associations.

The following experiences will lead us to an explanation. If a day has brought two or more experiences which are fitted to stimulate a dream, then the dream fuses the mention of both into a single whole ; it obeys an impulse to fashion a vjJwle out of them ; for instance : One summer afternoon I entered a railroad compartment, in which I met two friends who were unknown to each other. One of them was an influential col- league, the other a member of a distinguished family, whose physician I was ; I made the two gentlemen acquainted with each other ; but during the long ride I was the go-between


152 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

in the conversation, so that I had to treat a subject of con- versation now with the one, now with the other. I asked my colleague to recommend a common friend who had just begun his medical practice. He answered that he was con- vinced of the young man*s thoroughness, but that his plain appearance would make his entrance into households of rank difficult. I answered : *' That is just why he needs recom- mendation." Soon afterwards I asked the other fellow- traveller about the health of his aunt — ^the mother of one of my patients — ^who was at the time prostrated by a serious illness. During the night after this journey I dreamt that the young friend, for whom I had asked assistance, was in a splendid salon, and was making a funeral oration to a select company with the air of a man of the world — the oration being upon the old lady (now dead for the purposes of the dream) who was the aunt of the second fellow-traveller. (I confess frankly that I had not been on good terms with this lady.) My dream had thus found connections between the two im- pressions of the day, and by means of them composed a unified situation.

In view of many similar experiences, I am driven to conclude that a kind of compulsion exists for the dream function, forcing it to bring together in the dream all the available sources of dream stimulation into a unified whole.* In a subsequent chapter (on the dream function) we shall become acquainted with this impulse for putting together as a part, of condensation another primary psychic process.

I shall now discuss the question whether the source from which the dream originates, and to which our analysis leads, must always be a recent (and significant) event, or whether a subjective experience, that is to say, the recollection of a psychologically valuable experience — a chain of thought — can take the part of a dream stimulus. The answer, which results most unequivocally from numerous analyses, is to the following effect. The stimulus for the d^^m may be a subjective occurrence, which has been made recent, as it were, by the

  • The tendency of the dream function to fuse everything of interest

which is present into simultaneous treatment has already been noticed by several authors, for instance, by Delage,'* p. 41, Delboeuf,^^ Rapprochement Forc^^ p. 236.


THE MATERIAL OF BREAMS 153

mental activity during the day. It will probably not be out of place here to give a synopsis of various conditions which may be recognised as sources of dreams. _ [Vhe source of a dream may be : j

/^.A recent and psychologically significant experience whigg is directly represented in the dream.*

(6) Several recent, significant experiences, which are united by"^^ dream into a whole.f

(c) One or more recent and significant experiences, which are represented in the dream by the mention of a contem- por^jy but indifferent experience. {

((d)^ A subjective significant experience (a recollection, train of thought), which is regularly represented in the dream by the mention of a recent but indifferent impression. §

As may be seen, in dream interpretation the condition Js firmly adhered to throughout that each component of the dream repeats a recent impression of the. _day. The element which is destined to representation in the dream may either belong to the presentations surrounding the actual dream stimulus itself — and, furthermore, either as an essential or an inessential element of the same — or it may originate in the neighbourhood of an indifferent impression, which, through associations more or less rich, has been brought into relation with the thoughts surrounding the dream stimulus. The apparent mult iphcit y of the conditions Jiere is produced bjl^ the alternative according to wJieiher ddsjiace^ne7d lias or has.. not. taken place, and we may note that this alternative serves to explain the contrasts of the dream just as readily as the ascending series from partially awake to fully awake brain , cells in the medical theory of the dream (c/. p. 64).

Concerning this series, it is further notable that the element which is psychologically valuable, but not recent (a train of thought, a recollection) may be replaced, for the purposes of dream formation, by a recent, but psychologically indifferent, element, if only these two conditions be observed : (J,.> That the dream shall contain a reference to something which has

  • 'ihe dream of Trma's injection; the dream of the friend who is my

uncle.

t The dream of the funeral oration of the young physician. "^

i The dream of the botanical monograph, y ^

§ The dreams of my patients during analysis are mostly of this kind.*^


154 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

been recently experienced ^2^ That the dream stimulus shall rem? in a psychologically valuable train of thought. In a single case (a) both conditions are fulfilled by the same im- pression. If it be added that the same indifferent impressions which are used for the dream, as long as they are recent, lose this availability as soon as they become a day (or at most several days) older, the assumption must be made that the very freshness of an impression gives it a certain psychological value for dream formation, which is somewhat equivalent to the value of emotionally accentuated memories or trains of thought. We shall be able to see the basis of this value of recent impressions for dream formation only with the help of certain psychological considerations which will appear later.*

Incidentally our attention is called to the fact that im- portant changes in the material comprised by our ideas and our memory may be brought about unconsciously and at night. The injunction that one should sleep for a night upon any affair before making a final decision about it is obviously fully justified. But we see that at this point we have pro- ceeded from the psychology of dreaming to that of sleep, a step for which there will often be occasion.

Now there arises an objection threatening to invahdate the conclusions we have just reached. If indifferent impressions oan get into the dream only in case they are recent, how does it happen that we find also in the dream content elements from earher periods in our Hves, which at the time when they were recent possessed, as Striimpell expresses it, no psychic value, which, therefore, ought to have been forgotten long ago, and which, therefore, are neither fresh nor psychologically significant ?

This objection can be fully met if we rely upon the results furnished by psychoanalysis of neurotics. The solution is as follows : The process of displacement which substitutes in- different material for that having psychic significance (for dreaming as well as for thinking) has aheady taken place in those earher periods of life, and has since become fixed in the memory. Those elements which were originally indifferent are in fact no longer so, since they have acquired the value of

  • Of, Chap. VII. upon " Transference."


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 155

psychologically significant material. That which has actually remained indifferent can never be reproduced in the dream.

It will be correct to suppose from the foregoing discussion that I maintain that there are no indifferent dream stimuh, and that, accordingly, ^here are no harmless dreamij This I beheve to be the case, thoroughly and exch:sively, allowance being made for the dreams of children and perhaps for short dream reactions to nocturnal sensations. Whatever one may dream, it is either manifestly recognisable as psychically significant or it is disfigured, and can be judged correctly only after a complete interpretation, when, as before, it may be recognised as possessing psychic significance. Ihe,„dream never concerns itself with trifles ; we do not allow ourselves to be disturbed in'^ur~sleep'by~matters of shght importance. Dreams which are apparently harmless turn out to be sinister if one takes pains to interpret themj if I may be permitted the expression, they all have " the mark of the beast." As this is another point on which I may expect opposition, and as I am glad of an opportunity to show dream - disfigurement at work, I shall here subject a number of dreams from my collection to analysis.

1. An intelligent and refined young lady, who, however, in conduct, belongs to the class we call reserved, to the *' still waters," relates the following dream : —

Her husband asks : " Should not the 'piano he tuned ? " She answers : ** It won't pay ; the hammers would have to he newly hufed too This repeats an actual event of the previous day. Her husband had asked such a question, and she had answered something similar. But what is the significance of her dreaming it ? She tells of the piano, indeed, that it is a disgusting old hox which has a bad tone ; it is one of the things which her husband had before they were manied,* &c., but the key to the true solution Has in the phrase : It won't pay. This originated in a visit made the day before to a lady friend. Here she was asked to take off her coat, but she decUned, saying, " It won't pay. I must go in a moment." At this point, I recall that during yesterday's analysis she suddenly took hold of her coat, a button of which had opened. It is,

  • Substitution of the opposite, as w'U become clear to us after inter-

pretation.


156 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

therefore, as if she had said, " Please don't look in this direc- tion ; it won't pay." Thus " box " develops into " chest,'\ or breast-box (" bust "), and the interpretation of the dream leads directly to a time in her bodily development when she was dissatisfied with her shape. It also leads to earher periods, if we take into consideration *' disgusting " and " had tone," and remember how often in allusions and in dreams the two small hemispheres of the feminine body take the place — ^as a substitute and as an antithesis — of the large ones.

II. I may interrupt this dream to insert a brief harmless dream of a young man. He dreamt that he was putting on his winter overcoat again^ which was terrible. The occasion for this dream is apparently the cold weather, which has recently set in again. On more careful examination we note that the two short portions of the dream do not fit together well, for what is there " terrible " about weaiing a heavy or thick coat in the cold ? Unfortunately for the harmlessness of this dream, the first idea educed in analysis is the recollection that on the previous day a lady had secretly admitted to him that her last child owed its existence to the bursting of a condom. He now reconstructs his thoughts in accordance with this suggestion : A thin condom is dangerous, a thick one is bad. The condom is an " overcoat " (Ueberzieher), for it is put over something ; Ueberzieher is also the name given in German to a thin overcoat. An experience like the one related by the lady would indeed be " terrible " for an unmarried man. — We may now return to our other harmless dreamer.

III. She puts a candle into a candlestick ; but the candle is broken, so that it does not stand straight. The girls at school say she is clumsy ; the young lady replies that it is not her fault.

Here, too, there is an actual occasion for the dream ; the day before she had actually put a candle into a candlestick ; but this one was not broken. A transparent symbohsm has been employed here. The candle is an object which excites the feminine genitals ; its being broken, so that it does not Btand straight, signifies impotence on the man's part ("it is not her fault "). But does this yoimg woman, carefully brought up, and a stranger to all obscenity, know of this appHcation of the candle ? She happens to be able to teU how she came by this information. Wlule riding in a boat on the


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 157

Rhine, another boat passes containing students who are singing or rather yeUing, with great delight : " When the Queen of Sweden with closed shutters and the candles of Apollo. . ."

She does not hear or understand the last word. Her husband is asked to give her the required explanation. These verses are then replaced in the dream content by the harmless recollection of a command wliioh she once executed clumsily at a girls' boarding school, this occurring by means of the common features closed shutters. The connection between the theme of onanism and that of impotence is clear enough. " Apollo " in the latent dream content connects this dream with an earHer one in which the virgin Pallas figured. All this is obviously not harmless.

IV. Lest it may seem too easy a matter to draw con- clusions from dreams concerning the dreamer's real circum- stances, I add another dream coming from the same person which likewise appears harmless. " / dreamt of doing some- thing, she relates, " ivhich I actually did during the day, that 18 to say, I filled a little trunk so full of books tJmt I had difficulty in closing it. My dream was just like the actvxil occurrence,'^ Here the person relating the dream herself attaches chief im- portance to the correspondence between the dream and reaHty. All such criticisms upon the dream and remarks about it, although they have secured a place in waking thought, re- gularly belong to the latent dream content, as later examples will further demonstrate. We are told, then, that what the dream relates has actually taken place during the day. It would take us too far afield to tell how we reach the idea of using the EngHsh language to help us in the interpretation of this dream. Suffice it to say that it is again a question of a httle box (cf, p. 130, the dream of the dead child in the box) which has been filled so full that nothing more can go into it. Nothing in the least sinister this time.

In all these " harmless " dreams tlie sexual factor as a motive for the exercise of the censor receives striking pro- minence. But this is a matter of primary importance, which we must postpone.

J (6) Infantile Experiences as the Source of Dreams I

As the third of the pecuharities of the dieam content, we


158 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

have cited from all the authors (except Robert) the fact that impressions from the earliest times of our Uves, which seem not to be at the disposal of the waking memory, may appear in the dream. It is, of course, difficult to judge how often or how seldom this occurs, because the respective elements of the dream are not recognised according to their origin after waking. The proof that we are dealing with childhood impressions must thus be reached objectively, and the conditions necessary for this happen to coincide only in rare instances. The story is told by A. Maury,*® as being particularly conclusive, of a man who decided to visit his birthplace after twenty years' absence. During the night before his departure, he dreams that he is in an altogether strange district, and that he there meets a strange man with whom he has a conversation. Having afterward returned to his home, he was able to convince himself that this strange district really existed in the neighbourhood of his home town, and the strange man in the dream turned out to be a friend of his dead father who lived there. Doubtless, a conclusive proof that he had seen both the man and the dis- trict in his childhood. The dream, moreover, is to be inter- preted as a dream of impatience, like that of the girl who carries her ticket for the concert of the evening in her pocket (p. 110), of the child whose father had promised him an ex- cursion to the Hameau, and the like. The motives explaining why just this impression of childhood is reproduced for the dreamer cannot, of course, be discovered without an analysis. One of the attendants at my lectures, who boasted that his dreams were very rarely subject to disfigurement, told me that he had sometime before in a dream seen his former tutor in bed with his nurse, who had been in the household until he was eleven years old. The location of this scene does not occur to him in the dream. As he was much interested, he told the dream to his elder brother, who laughingly confirmed its reahty. The brother said he remembered the affair very well, for he was at the time six years old. The lovers were in the habit of making him, the elder boy, drunk with beer, whenever circumstances were favourable for nocturnal re- lations. The smaller child, at that time three years old — our dreamer — ^who slept in the same room as the nurse, was not considered an obstacle.


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 159

In still another case it may be definitely ascertained, without the aid of dream interpretation, that the dream contains elements^ ^ra childhood ; that is, if it be a so-called perennial dream , which bemg first dreamt in childhood, later appears again and again after adult age has been reached. I may add a few examples of this sort to those already familiar, although I have never made the acquaintance of such a perennial dream in my own case. A physician in the thirties tells me that a yellow Hon, about which he can give the most detailed in- formation, has often appeared in his dream-hfe from the earhest period of his childhood to the present day. This Kon, known to him from his dreams, was one day discovered in natura as a long-forgotten object made of porcelain, and on that occasion the young man learned from his mother that this object had been his favourite toy in early childhood, a fact which he himself could no longer remember.

If we now turn from the manifest dream content to the dream thoughts which are revealed only upon analysis, the co-operation of childhood experiences may be found to exist even in dreams whose content would not have led us to suspect anything of the sort. I owe a particiilarly dehghtful and instructive example of such a dream to my honoured colleague of the ** yellow Uon." After reading Nansen's account of his polar expedition, he dreamt that he was giving the bold ex- plorer electrical treatment in an ice field for an ischaemia of which the latter complained ! In the analysis of this dream, he remembered a story of his childhood, without which the dream remains entirely unintelligible. When he was a child, three or four years old, he was hstening attentively to a con- versation of older people about trips of exploration, and presently asked papa whether exploration was a severe illness. He had apparently confused " trips " with " rips," and the ridicule of his brothers and sisters prevented his ever forgetting the humiliating experience.

The case is quite similar when, in the analysis of the dream of the monograph on the genus cyclamen, I happen upon the recollection, retained from childhood, that my father allowed me to destroy a book embellished with coloured plates when I was a Httle boy five years old. It will perhaps be doubted whether this recollection actually took part in the composition


160 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

of the dream content, and it will be intimated that the process of analysis has subsequently estabUshed the connection. But the abundance and intricacy of the ties of association vouch for the truth of my explanation : cyclamen — ^favourite flower — ^favourite dish — artichoke ; to pick to pieces like an arti- choke, leaf by leaf (a phrase which at that time rang in our ears a propos of the dividing up of the Chinese Empire) — herbarium — bookworm, whose favourite dish is books. I may state further that the final meaning of the dream, which I have not given here, has the most intimate connection with the content of the childhood scene.

In another series of dreams we learn from analysis that the wish itself, which has given rise to the dream, and whose fulfilment the dream turns out to be, has originated in child- hood — ^until one is astonished to find that the child with all its impulses Kves on in the dream.

I shall now continue the interpretation of a dream which has already proved instructive — I refer to the dream in which friend R. is my uncle (p. 116). We have carried its interpreta- tion far enough for the wish-motive, of being appointed pro- fessor, to assert itself tangibly ; and we have explained the affection displayed in the dream for friend R. as a fiction of opposition and spite against the aspersion of the two col- leagues, who appear in the dream thoughts. The dream was my own ; I may, therefore, continue the analysis by stating that my feelings were not quite satisfied by the solution reached. I know that my opinion of these colleagues who are so badly treated in the dream thoughts would have been expressed in quite different terms in waking life ; the potency of the wish not to share their fate in the matter of appoint- ment seemed to me too shght to account for the discrepancy between my estimate in the dream and that of waking. If my desire to be addressed by a new title proves so strong it gives proof of a morbid ambition, wliich I did not know to exist in me, and which I beheve is far from my thoughts. I do not know how others, who think they know me, would judge me, for perhaps I have reaUy been ambitious ; but if this be true, my ambition has long smce transferred itself to other objects than the title and rank of assistant-professor.

Whence, then, the ambition which the dream has ascribed


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 161

to me ? Here I remember a story which I heard often in my childhood, that at my birth an old peasant's wife had pro- phesied to my happy mother (I was her first-bom) that she had given to the world a great man. Such prophecies must occur very frequently ; there are so many mothers happy in ex- pectation, and so many old peasant wives whose influence on earth has waned, and who have therefore turned their eyes towards the future. The prophetess was not likely to suffer for it either. Might my hunger for greatness have originated from this source ? But here I recollect an impression from the later years of my childhood, which would serve still better as an explanation. It was of an evening at an inn on the Prater,* where my parents were accustomed to take me when I was eleven or twelve years old. We noticed a man who went from table to table and improvised verses upon any subject that was given to him. I was sent to bring the poet to our table and he showed himself thankful for the message. Before asking for his subject he threw off a few rhymes about me, and declared it probable, if he could trust his inspiration, that I would one day become a " minister." I can still distinctly remember the impression made by this second prophecy. It was at the time of the election for the municipal ministry ; my father had recently brought home pictures of those elected to the ministry — Herbst, Giskra, Unger, Berger, and others — and we had illuminated them in honour of these gentlemen. There were even some Jews among them ; every industrious Jewish schoolboy therefore had the making of a minister in him. Even the fact that imtil shortly before my enrolment in the University I wanted to study jurisprudence, and changed my plans only at the last moment, must be connected with the impressions of that time. A minister's career is under no circumstances open to a medical man. And now for my dream ! I begin to see that it transplants me from the sombre present to the hopeful time of the municipal election, and fulfils my wish of that time to the fullest extent. In treating my two estimable and learned colleagues so badly, because they are Jews, the one as a simpleton and the other as a criminal — in doing this I act as though I were the minister of education, I put myself in his place. Wliat thorough revenge ♦ The Prater la the principal drive of Vienna. (Transl."i

L


162 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

I take upon his Excellency ! He refuses to appoint me pro- fessor extraordinarius, and in return I put myself in his place in the dream.

Another case establishes the fact that although the wish which actuates the dream is a present one, it nevertheless draws great intensification from childhood memories. I refer to a series of dreams which are based upon the longing to go to Rome. I suppose I shall still have to satisfy this longing by means of dreams for a long time to come, because, at the time of year which is at my disposal for travelling, a stay at Rome is to be avoided on account of considerations of health.* Thus I once dreamt of seeing the Tiber and the bridge of St. Angelo from the window of a railroad compartment ; then the train starts, and it occurs to me that I have never entered the city at all. The view which I saw in the dream was modelled after an engraving which I had noticed in passing the day before in the parlour of one of my patients. On another occasion some one is leading me upon a hdll and showing me Rome half enveloped in mist, and so far in the distance that I am astonished at the distinctness of the view. The content of this dream is too rich to be fully reported here. The motive, " to see the promised land from afar," is easily recognisable in it. The city is Liibeck, which I first saw in the mist ; the original of the hill is the Gleichenberg. In a third dream, I am at last in Rome, as the dream teUs me. To my disappointment, the scenery which I see is anjiihing but urban. A little river with black water, on one side of which are black rocks, on the other large ivhite flowers. I notice a certain Mr, Zucker (with whom I am superficially acquainted), and make up my mind to ask him to show me the way into the city. It is apparent that I am trying in vain to see a city in the dream which I have never seen in waking life. If I resolve the landscape into its elements, the white flowers indicate Ravenna, which is known to me, and which, for a time at least, deprived Rome of its leading place as capital of Italy. In the swamps around Ravenna we had seen the most beautiful water-hlies in the middle of black pools of water ; the dream makes them grow on meadows, like the narcissi of our o^vn Aussee, because at

  • I have long since learned that it only requires a little courage to fulfil

even such unattainable wishes.


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Ravenna it was such tedious work to fetch them out of the water. The black rock, so close to the water, vividly recalls the valley of the Tepl at Karlsbad. " Karlsbad " now enables me to account for the peculiar circumstance that I ask Mr. Zucker the way. In the material of which the dream is com- posed appear also two of those amusing Jewish anecdotes, which conceal so much profound and often bitter worldly wisdom, and which we are so fond of quoting in our conversa- tion and letters. One is the story of the " constitution," and tells how a poor Jew sneaks into the express train for Karlsbad without a ticket, how he is caught and is treated more and more unkindly at each call for tickets by the conductor, and how he tells a friend, whom he meets at one of the stations during his miserable journey, and who asks him where he is travelling : "To Karlsbad, if my constitution will stand it." Associated with this in memory is another story about a Jew who is ignorant of French, and who has express instructions to ask in Paris for the way to the Rue RicheHeu. Paris was for many years the object of my own longing, and I took the great Batisfaction with which I first set foot on the pavement in Paris as a warrant that I should also attain the fulfilment of other wishes. Asking for the way is again a direct allusion to Rome, for of course all roads lead to Rome. Moreover, the name Zucker (English, sugar) again points to Karlsbad, whither we send all persons afflicted with the constitutional disease, diabetes (ZucJcerJcrankheit, sugar-disease). The oc- casion for this dream was the proposal of my Berlin friend that we should meet in Prague at Easter. A further allusion to sugar and diabetes was to be found in the matters which I had to talk over with him.

A fourth dream, occiuring shortly after the last one men- tioned, brings me back to Rome. I see a street-comer before me and am astonished to see so many Grerman placards posted there. On the day before I had written my friend with prophetic vision that Prague would probably not be a comfort- able resort for Grerman travellers. The dream, therefore, simultaneously expressed the wish to meet him at Rome instead of at the Bohemian city, and a desire, which probably originated during my student days, that the German language might be accorded more tolerance in Prague. Besides I must


164 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

have understood the Czech language in the first three years of my childhood, because I was bom in a small village of Moravia, inhabited by Slavs. A Czech nursery rhyme, which I heard in my seventeenth year, became, without effort on my part, so imprinted upon my memory that I can repeat it to this day, although I have no idea of its meaning. There is then no lack in these dreams also of manifold relations to impressions from the first years of my life.

It was during my last journey to Italy, which, among other places, took me past Lake Trasimenus, that I at last foimd whskt re-enforcement my longing for the Eternal City had received from the impressions of my youth ; this was after I had seen the Tiber, and had turned back with painful emotions when I was within eighty kilometers of Rome. I was just broaching the plan of travelling to Naples via Rome the next year, when this sentence, which I must have read in one of our classical authors, occurred to me : " It is a question which of the two paced up and down in his room the more im- patientty after he had made the plan to go to Rome — Assistant- Headmaster Winckelman or the great general Hannibal." I myself had walked in Hannibal's footsteps ; hke him I was destined never to see Rome, and he too had gone to Campania after the whole world had expected him in Rome. Hannibal, with whom I had reached this point of similarity, had been my favourite hero during my years at the Gymnasium ; like so many boys of my age, I bestowed my sympathies during the Punic war, not on the Romans, but on the Carthaginians. Then, when I came finally to understand the consequences of belonging to an alien race, and was forced by the anti-semitic sentiment among my class-mates to assume a definite attitude, the figure of the Semitic commander assumed still greater pro- portions in my eyes. Hannibal and Rome symboHsed for me as a youth the antithesis between the tenaciousness of the Jews and the organisation of the CathoHc Church. The signi- ficance for our emotional life which the anti-semitic movement has since assumed helped to fijs: the thoughts and impressions of that earher time. Thus the wish to get to Rome has become the cover and symbol in my dream-life for several warmly cherished wishes, for the reahsation of which one might work with the perseverance and single-mindedness of the Punio


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 165

general, and whose fulfilment sometimes seems as little favoured by fortune as the wish of Hannibal's life to enter Rome.

And now for the first time I happen upon the youthful experience which, even to-day, still manifests its power in all these emotions and dreams, I may have been ten or twelve years old when my father began to take me with him on his walks, and to reveal to me his views about the things of this world in his conversation. In this way he once told me, in order to show into how much better times I had been born than he, the following : " While I was a young man, I was walking one Saturday on a street in the village where you were bom ; I was handsomely dressed and wore a new fur cap. Along comes a Christian, who knocks my cap into the mud with one blow and shouts : " Jew, get off the sidewalk." " And what did you do V ** I went into the street and picked up the cap," was the calm answer. That did not seem heroic on the part of the big strong man, who was leading me, a httle fellow, by the hand. I contrasted this situation, which did not please me, with another more in harmony with my feehngs — the scene in which Hannibal's father, Hamilcar * Barka made his boy swear at the domestic altar to take vengeance on the Romans. Since that time Hannibal has had a place in my phantasies.

I think I can foUow my enthusiasm for the Carthaginian general still further back into my childhood, so that possibly we have here the transference of an already formed emotional relation to a new vehicle. One of the first books which feU into my childish hands, after I learned to read, was Thiers' Konsulat und Kaiserreich (Consulship and Empire) ; I re- member I pasted on the flat backs of my wooden soldiers Httle labels with the names of the Imperial marshals, and that at that time Massena (as a Jew Menasse) was already my avowed favourite. Napoleon himself follows Hannibal in crossing the Alps. And perhaps the development of this martial ideal can be traced still further back into my childhood, to the wish which the now friendly, now hostile, intercourse during my

♦ In the first edition there was printed here the name Hasdrubal, a con- fusing error, the explanation of which I have given in my Psychopathologii dKs AlltagaUbeTU.

4


166 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

first three years with a boy a year older than myself must have actuated in the weaker of the two playmates.

The deeper one goes in the analysis of dreams, the more often one is put on the track of childish experiences which play the part of dream sources in the latent dream content.

We have learned (p. 16) that the dream very rarely repro-^ duces" experiences in such a manner that they constitute the sole manifest dream content, unabridged .and unchanged!.. Still some authentic examples showing this process have been reported, and I can add some new ones which again refer to infantile scenes. In the case of one of my patients, a dream Dnce gave a barely disfigured reproduction of a sexual occur- rence, which was immediately recognised as an accurate recollection. The memory of it indeed had never been lost in waking Hfe, but it had been greatly obscured, and its revivi- fication was a result of the preceding work of analysis. The dreamer had at the age of twelve visited a bed-ridden school- mate, who had exposed himself by a movement in bed, pro- bably only by chance. At the sight of the genitals, he was seized by a kind of compulsion, exposed himself and took hold of the member belonging to the other boy, who, however, looked at him with surprise and indignation, whereupon he became embarrassed and let go. A dream repeated this scene twenty-three years later, with all the details of the emotions occurring in it, changing it, however, in this respect, that the dreamer took the passive part instead of the active one, while the person of the school-mate was replaced by one belonging to the present.

As a rule, of course, a childhood scene is represented in the manifest dream content only by an allusion, and must be extricated from the dream by means of interpretation. The citation of examples of this kind cannot have a very con- vincing effect, because every guarantee that they are experi- ences of childhood is lacking ; if they belong to an earher time of fife, they are no longer recognised by our memory. Justification for the conclusion that such childish experiences generally exist in dreams is based upon a great number of factors which become apparent in psychoanalytical work, and which seem reliable enough when regarded as a whole. But


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when, for the purposes of dream interpretation, such re- ferences of dreams to childish experiences are torn from their context, they will perhaps not make much impression, especially since I never give all the material upon which the interpretation depends. However, I shall not let this prevent me from giving some examples.

I. The following dream is from another female patient : She is in a large room, in which there are all kinds of machines, perhaps, as she imagines, an orthopaedic institute. She hears that I have no time, and that she must take the treatment along with five others. But she resists, and is unwilling to lie down on the bed — or whatever it is — which is intended for her. She stands in a corner and waits for me to say " It is not true. The others, meanwhile, laugh at her, saying it is all foolishness on her part. At the same time it is as if she were called upon to make many small squares.

The first part of the content of this dream is an allusion to the treatment and a transference on me. The second contains an allusion to a childhood scene ; the two portions are con- nected by the mention of the bed. The orthopaedic institute refers to one of my talks in which I compared the treatment as to its duration and nature with an orthopaedic treatment. At the beginning of the treatment I had to tell her that for the present I had httle time for her, but that later on I would devote a whole hour to her daily. This aroused in her the old sensitiveness, which is the chief characteristic of children who are to be hysterical. Their desire for love is insatiable. My patient was the youngest of six brothers and sisters (hence, " with five others "), and as such the favourite of her father, but in spite of that she seems to have found that her beloved father devoted too Httle time and attention to her. The detail of her waiting for me to say "It is not true," has the following explanation : A tailor's apprentice had brought her a dress, and she had given him the money for it. Then she asked her husband whether she would have to pay the money again if the boy were to lose it. To tease her, her husband answered

  • ' Yes " (the teasing in the dream), and she asked again and

again, and waited for him to say *' It is not true. The thought of the latent dream-content may now be construed as follows : Will she have to pasr me the double amount if I devote twice


168 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

the time to her ? a thought which is stingy or filthy. (The unclearJiness of childhood is often replaced in the dream by greediness for money ; the word filthy here suppKes the bridge.) If all that about waiting until I should say, &c., serves as a dream circumlocution for the word ** filthy," the standing-in-a-comer and not lying down-on-the-bed are in keeping ; for these two features are component parts of a scene of childliood, in which she had soiled her bed, and for punishment was put into a comer, with the warning that papa would not love her any more, and her brothers and sisters laughed at her, &c. The Httle squares refer to her young niece, who has shown her the arithmetical trick of writing figures in nine • squares, I beheve it is, in such a way that upon being added together in any direction they make fifteen.

II. Here is the dream of a man : Ee sees two hoys tussling with each other, and they are cooper s hoys, as he concludes from the implements which are lying about ; one of the boys has thrown the other down, the prostrate one wears ear-rings with blue stones. He hurries after the lorongdoer with lifted cane, in order to chastise him. The latter takes refuge with a wom/in who is standing against a wooden fence, as though it were his mother. She is the wife of a day labourer, and she turns her back to the man who is dreamAng. At last she faces about and stares at him with a horrible look, so that he runs away in fright ; in her eyes the red flesh of the lower lid seems to stand out.

The dream has made abundant use of trivial occurrences of the previous day. The day before he actually saw two boys on the street, one of whom threw the other one down. When he hurried up to them in order to settle the quarrel, both of them took flight. Coopers' boys : this is explained only by a subsequent dream, in the analysis of which he used the ex- pression, *' To knock the bottom out of the barrel.' Ear-rings with blue stones, according to his observation, are chiefly worn by prostitutes. Furthermore, a familiar doggerel rhyme about two boys comes up : " The other boy, his name was Mary " (that is, he was a girl). The woman standing up : after the scene with the two boys, he took a walk on the bank of the Danube, and took advantage of being alone to urinate against a wooden feiice. A little later during


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 169

his walk, a decently dressed elderly lady smiled at him very pleasantly, and wanted to hand him her card with her address.

Since in the dream the woman stood as he had whUe urinating, it is a question of a woman urinating, and this explains the " horrible look," and the prominence of the red flesh, which can only refer to the genitals which gap in squat- ting. He had seen genitals in his childhood, and they had appeared in later recollection as " proud flesh " and as " wound." The dream unites two occasions upon which, as a young boy, the dreamer had had opportunity to see the genitals of httle girls, in throwing one down, and while another was urinating ; and, as is shown by another association, he had kept in memory a punishment or threat of his father's, called forth by the sexual curiosity which the boy manifested on these occasions.

III. A great mass of childish memories, which have been hastily united in a phantasy, is to be found behind the follow- ing dream of a young lady.

She goes out in trepidation^ in order to do some shopping. On the Graben * she sinks to her knees as though broken down. Many people collect around her, especially the hackney-coach drivers ; but no one helps her to get up. She makes many un- availing attempts; finally she must have succeeded, for she is put into a hackney-coach which is to take her home, A large^ heavily laden basket (something like a 7narket-basket) is thrown after her through the window.

Tliis is the same woman who is always harassed in her dreams as she was harassed when a child. The first situation of the dream is apparently taken from seeing a horse that had fallen, just as " broken down " points to horse-racing. She was a rider in her early years, still earlier she was probably also a horse. Her first childish memory of the seventeen- year-old son of the porter, who, being seized on the street by an epileptic fit, was brought home in a coach, is connected with the idea of falling down. Of this, of course, she has only heard, but the idea of epileptic fits and of falling down has obtained great power over her phantasies, and has later in- fluenced the form of her own hysterical attacks. When a

  • A Btreet in Vi^iuns.


170 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

person of the female sex dreams of falling, this almost re- gularly has a sexual significance ; she becomes a " fallen woman," and for the purpose of the dream under considera- tion this interpretation is probably the least doubtful, for she falls on the Graben, the place in Vienna which is known as the concourse of prostitutes. The market-basket admits of more than one interpretation ; in the sense of refusal (German, Korb = basket — snub, refusal), she remembers the many snubs which she first gave her suitors, and which she later, as she thinks, received herself. Here belongs also the detail that no one will help her up, which she herseK interprets as being disdained. Furthermore, the market-basket recalls, phantasies that have already appeared in the course of analysis, in which she imagines she has married far beneath her station, and now goes marketing herself. But lastly the market-basket might be interpreted as the mark of a servant. This suggests further childhood memories — of a cook who was sent away because she stole ; she, too, sanli to her knees and begged for mercy. The dreamer was at that time twelve years old. Then there is a recollection of a chamber-maid, who was dismissed because she had an affair with the coachman of the household, who, incidently, married her afterwards. This recollection, therefore, gives us a clue to the coachman in the dream (who do not, in contrast with what is actually the case, take the part of the fallen woman). But there still remains to be explained the throwing of the basket, and the throwing of it through the window. This takes her to the transference of baggage on the railroad, to the Fensterln* in the country, and to minor impressions received at a country resort, of a gentleman throwing some blue plums to a lady through her window, and of the dreamer's Kttle sister being frightened because a cretin who was passing looked in at the window. And now from behind this there emerges an obscure recollection, from her tenth year, of a nurse who made love at the country resort with a servant of the household, of which

  • Fensterln is the practice, now falling into disuse, found in rural dis-

tricts of the German Schwarzwald, of lovers wooing at the windows of their sweethearts, bringing ladders with them, and becoming so intimate that they practically enjoy a system of trial marriages. The reputation of the young woman never suffers on account of fensterln^ unless she becomes intimate with too many suitors. (Translator.)


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 171

the child had opportunity to see something, and who was " fired " (thrown out) (in the dream the opposite : " thrown into "), a story which we had also approached by several other paths. The baggage, moreover, or the trunk of a servant, is disparagingly referred to in Vienna as " seven plums." " Pack up your seven plums and get out."

My collection, of course, contains an abundant supply of such patients' dreams, whose analysis leads to childish im- pressions that are remembered obscurely or not at all, and that often date back to the first three years of hfe. But it is a mistake to draw conclusions from them which are to apply to the dream in general ; we are in every case dealing with neurotic, particularly with hysterical persons ; and the part played by childhood scenes in these dreams might be con- ditioned by the nature of the neurosis, and not by that of the dream. However, I am struck quite as often in the course of interpreting my own dreams, which I do not do on account of obvious symptoms of disease, by the fact that I unsuspectingly come upon a scene of childhood in the latent dream content, and that a whole series of dreams suddenly falls into line with conclusions drawn from childish experiences. I have already given examples of this, and shaU give still more upon various occasions. Perhaps I cannot close the whole chapter more fittingly than by citing several of my own dreams, in which recent happenings and long-forgotten experiences of child- hood appear together as sources of dreams.

I. After I have been, travelling and have gone to bed hungry and tired, the great necessities of life begin to assert their claims in sleep, and I dream as follows : / go into a kitchen to order some pastry. Here three women are standing, one of whom is the hostess, and is turning something in her hand as though she were making dumplings. She answers that I must wait until she Ims finished (not distinctly as a speech). / become impatient and go away insulted. I put on an overcoat ; hut the first one which I try is too long. I take it off, and am somewhat astonished to find that it has fur trimming. A second one has sewn into it a long strip of cloth with Turkish drawings. A stranger with a long face and a short pointed heard comes up and prevents me from putting it on, declaring tlmt it belongs to him, I now sfiow him that it is embroidered all over in Turkish


172 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

fashion. He asks, " What business are the Turkish (draunngs, strips of cloth . . . ) of yours ? But we then become quite friendly with each other.

In the analysis of this dream there occurs to me quite unexpectedly the novel which I read, that is to say, which I began with the end of the first volume, when I was perhaps thirteen years old. I have never known the name of the novel or of its author, but the conclusion remains vividly in my memory. The hero succumbs to insanity, and continually calls the names of the three women that have signified the greatest good and ill fortune for him during life. Pelagic is one of these names. I still do not know what to make of this name in the analysis. A propos of the three women there now come to the surface the three ParcsB who spin the fate of man, and I know that one of the three women, the hostess in the dream, is the mother who gives life, and who, moreover, as in my case, gives the first nourishment to the Hving creature. Love and hunger meet at the mother's breast. A young man — so runs an anecdote — who became a great admirer of womanly beauty, once when the conversation turned upon a beautiful wet nurse who had nourished him as a child, expressed himself to the effect that he was sorry that he had not taken better advantage of his opportunity at the time. I am in the habit of using the anecdote to illustrate the factor of subsequence in the mechanism of psychoneuroses. . . . One of the Parcae, then, is rubbing the palms of her hands together as though she were making dumplings. A strange occupation for one of the Fates, which is urgently in need of an explanation ! This is now found in another and earKer childhood memory. When I was six years old, and was receiving my first instructions from my mother, I was asked to beUeve that we are made of earth, and that therefore we must return to earth. But this did not suit me, and I doubted her teaching. Thereupon my mother rubbed the palms of her hands together — just as in making dumplings, except that there was no dough between them — and showed me the blackish scales of epidermis which were thus rubbed ofE as a proof that it is earth of which we are made. My astonishment at this demonstration ad oculos was without hmit, and I acquiesced in the idea which I was later to hear expressed in words : *' Thou owest nature a


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 173

death." * Thus the women are really Parcae whom I visit in the kitchen, as I have done so often in my childhood years when I was hungry, and when my mother used to order me to wait until lunch was ready. Aad now for the dumplings ! At least one of my teachers at the University, the very one to whom I am indebted for my histological knowledge (epidermis), might be reminded by the name Knoedl (Grerman, £"7106^6^ = dumplings) of a person whom he had to prosecute for committing a plagiarism of his writings. To commit plagiarism, to appropriate anything one can get, even though it belongs to another, obviously leads to the second part of the dream, in which I am treated like a certaia overcoat thief, who for a time phed his trade in the auditoria. I wrote down the expression plagiarism — without any reason — because it presented itself to me, and now I perceive that it must belong to the latent dream-content, because it will serve as a bridge between different parts of the manifest dream-content. The chain of associations — Pelagie — plagiarism — plagiostomi f (sharks) — fish bladder — connects the old novel with the affair of Kjioedl and with the overcoats (German, Dberzieher = thing drawn over — overcoat or condom), which obviously refer to an object belonging to the teclmique of sexual Hfe.J This, it is true, is a very forced and irrational connection, but it is nevertheless one which I could not estabhsh in waking life if it had not been already estabhshed by the activity of the dream. Indeed, as though nothing were sacred for this impulse to force connections, the beloved name, Bruecke (bridge of words, see above), now serves to remind me of the institution in which I spent my happiest hours as a student, quite without any cares ("So you will ever find more pleasure at the breasts of knowledge without measure "), in the most complete contrast to the urgent desires which vex me while I dream. And finally there comes to the surface the recollec- tion of another dear teacher, whose name again sounds like

  • Both the emotions which belong to these childish scenes — astonishment

and resignation to the inevitable — had appeared in a dream shortly before, which was the first thing that brought back the memory of this childhood experience.

t I do not elaborate plagiostomi pui'posely ; they recall an occasion of angry disgrace before the same teacher.

X Cf. Maury's dream about kilo-lotto, p. 50.


174 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

something to eat fFleischl — German, Fleisch = meat — ^like Knoedl), and of a pathetic scene, in which the scales of epidermis play a part (mother — hostess), and insanity (the novel), and a remedy from the Latin kitchen which numbs the sensation of hunger, to wit, cocaine.

In this manner I could follow the intricate trains of thought still further, and could fully explain the part of the dream which is missing in the analysis ; but I must refrain, because the personal sacrifices which it would require are too great. I shall merely take up one of the threads, which will serve to lead us directly to the dream thoughts that Ue at the bottom of the confusion. The stranger, with the long face and pointed beard, who wants to prevent me from putting on the overcoat, has the features of a tradesman at Spalato, of whom my wife made ample purchases of Turkish cloths. His name was Popovic, a suspicious name, which, by the way, has given the humorist Stettenheim a chance to make a significant remark : "He told me his name, and blushingly shook my hand." * Moreover, there is the same abuse of names as above with Pelagic, Knoedl, Bruecke, Fleischl. That such playing with names is childish nonsense can be asserted without fear of contradiction ; if I indulge in it, this indulgence amounts to an act of retribution, for my own name has numberless times fallen a victim to such weak- minded attempts at humour. Goethe once remarked how sensitive a man is about his name with which, as with his skin, he feels that he has grown up, whereupon Herder composed the following on his name :

" Thou who art born of gods, of Goths, or of Kot (mud) — Thy godlike images, too, are dust."

I perceive that this digression about the abuse of names was only intended to prepare for this complaint. But let us stop here. . . . The purchase at Spalato reminds me of another one at Cattaro, where I was too cautious, and missed an opportunity for making some desirable acquisitions. (Missing an opportunity at the breast of the nurse, see above.) Another dream thought, occasioned in the dreamer by the sensation of hunger, is as follows : One should let nothing ♦ Pope = backside in Grerman nursery language.


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 175

which one can have escape, even if a little wrong is done; no opportunity should he missed, life is so short, death inevitable. Owing to the fact that this also has a sexual significance, and that desire is unwilhng to stop at a wrong, this philosophy of carpe diem must fear the censor and must hide behind a dream. This now makes articulate counter-thoughts of all kinds, recollections of a time when spiritual food alone was sufficient for the dreamer ; it suggests repressions of every kind, and even threats of disgusting sexual punishments.

II. A second dream requires a longer prehminary state- ment :

I have taken a car to the West Station in order to begin a vacation journey to the Aussee, and I reach the station in time for the train to Ischl, which leaves earher. Here I see Count Thun, who is again going to see the Emperor at Ischl. In spite of the rain, he has come in an open carriage, has passed out at once through the door for local trains, and has motioned back the gate-keeper, who does not know him and who wants to take his ticket, with a httle wave of his hand. After the train to Ischl has left, I am told to leave the platform and go back into the hot waiting-room ; but with difficulty I secure permission to remain. I pass the time in watching the people who make use of bribes to secure a compartment ; I make up my mind to insist on my rights — that is, to demand the same privilege. Meanwhile I sing something to myself, which I afterwards recognise to be the aria from Figaro's Wedding :

" If my lord Count wishes to try a, dance, Try a dance, Let him but say so, I'll play him a tune."

(Possibly another person would not have recognised the song.)

During the whole afternoon I have been in an insolent, combative mood ; I have spoken roughly to the waiter and the cabman, I hope without hurting their feehngs ; now aU kinds of bold and revolutionary thoughts come into my head, of a kind suited to the words of Figaro and the comedy of Beaumarchais, which I had seen at the Comedie Franyaise.


176 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

The speech about great men who had taken the trouble to be bom ; the aristocratic prerogative, which Count Ahnaviva wants to apply in the case of Susan ; the jokes which our mahcious joumaHsts of the Opposition make upon the name of Count Thun (German, thun =: doing) by calling him Count Do-No thing. I really do not envy him ; he has now a difficult mission with the Emperor, and I am the real Count Do-Nothing, for I am taking a vacation. With this, all kinds of cheerful plans for the vacation. A gentleman now arrives who is known to me as a representative of the Government at the medical examinations, and who has won the flattering nick- name of " Governmental bed-fellow " by his activities in this capacity. By insisting on his official station he secures half of a first-class compartment, and I hear one guard say to the other : " Where are we going to put the gentleman with the first-class half -compartment ? " A pretty favouritism ; I am paying for a whole first-class compartment. Now I get a whole compartment for myself, but not in a through coach, so that there is no toilet at my disposal during the night. My complaints to the guard are without result ; I get even by proposing that at least there be a hole made in the floor of this compartment for the possible needs of the travellers. I really awake at a quarter of three in the morning with a desire to urinate, having had the following dream :

Crowd of people, meeting of students. . . , A certain Count (Thun or Taafe) is making a speech. Upon being asked to say something about the Germans, he declares with contemptuous mien that their favourite flower is CoWs-joot, and then puts some- thing like a torn leaf, really the crumpled skeleton of a leaf, into his buttonliole. I tnake a start, I make a start then,* but I am surprised at this idea of mine. Then more indistinctly : It seems as though it were the vestibide (Aula), the exits are jammed, as though it were necessary to flee. I yiiake my way through a suite of handsomely furnished rooms, apparently governmental chambers, with furniture of a colour which is between brown and violet, and at last I come to a passage where a housekeeper, an elderly, fat woman (Frauenzimmer), is seated. I try to avoid

♦ This repetition haa insinuated itself into the text of the dream appa- rently through my absent-mindedness, and I allow it to remain because the analysis shows that it has its significance.

\


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 177

talking to her, but apparently she thinks I have a right to pass because she asks whether she shall accompany me with the lamp. I signify to her to tell her that she is to remain standing on the stairs, and in this I appear to myself very clever, for avoiding being watched at last. I am downstairs now, and I find a narrow, steep way along which I go.

Again indistinctly . . . It is as if my second task were to get away out of the city, as my earlier was to get out of the house. I am riding in a one-horse carriage, and tell the driver to take me to a railway station. " / cannot ride with you on the tracks I say, after he hus made the objection that I liave tired him out. Here it seems as though I had already driven with him along a course which is ordinarily traversed on the railroad. The stations are crowded ; I consider whether I sJiall go to Krems a\to Znaim, but I think that the court will be there, and I decide in favour of Graz or something of the sort. Now I am seated in the coach, which is some- thing like a street-car, and I have in my buttonhole a long braided thing, on which are violet-broum violets of stiff material, which attracts the attention of many people. Here the scene breaks off.

I am again in front of the railroad station, but I am with a elderly gentleman. I invent a scheme for remaining unrecognised, but I also see this plan already carried out. Thinking and experiencing are here, as it were, the same thing. He pretends to be blind, at least in one eye, and I hold a male urinal in front of him {which we have had to buy in the city or did buy), I am thus a sick attendant, and have to give him the urinal because he is blind. If the conductor sees us in this position, he must pass us by without drawing atten- tion. At the same time the attitude of the person mentioned is visually observed. Then I awake with a desire to urinate.

The whole dream seems a sort of phantasy, which takes the dreamer back to the revolutionary year 1818, the memoiy of which had been renewed by the anniversary year 1898, as weU as by a httle excursion to Wachau, where I had become ac- quainted with Emmersdorf, a town which I wrongly supposed to be the resting-place of the student leader Fischof, to whom several features of the dream content might refer. The thought associations then lead me to England, to the house of my brother, who was accustomed jokingly to tell his wife of '* Fifty years ago," according to the title of a poem by Lord Tennyson, whereupon the children were in the habit of


178 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

correcting : " Fifteen years ago." This phantasy, however, which subtilely attaches itself to the thoughts which the sight of the Count Thun has given rise to, is only hke the facade of ItaUan churches wliich is superimposed without being organically connected with the building behind it ; urdike these fa9ades, however, the phantasy is filled with gaps and confused, and the parts from within break through at many places. The first situation of the dream is concocted from several scenes, into wliich I am able to separate it. The arrogant attitude of the Count in the dream is copied from a scene at the Gymnasium which took place in my fifteenth year. We had contrived a conspiracy against an unpopular and ignorant teacher, the leading spirit in which was a schoolmate who seems to have taken Henry VIII. of England as his model. It fell to me to carry out the coup-d'dtat, and a discussion of the importance of the Danube (German Donau) for Austria (Wachau !) was the occasion upon wliich matters came to open indignation. A fellow-conspirator was the only aristocratic schoolmate whom we had — he was called the " giraffe " on account of his conspicuous longitudinal development — and he stood just like the Count in the dream, while he was being reprimanded by the tyrant of the school, the Professor of the German language. The explanation of the favourite flower and the putting into the buttonhole of something which again must have been a flower (which recalls the orchids, which I had brought to a lady friend on the same day, and besides that the rose of Jericho) prominently recalls the scene in Shakespeare's his- torical plays which opens the civil wars of the Red and the White Roses ; the mention of Henry VIII. has opened the way to this reminiscence. It is not very far now from roses to red and white carnations. Meanwhile two httle rhymes, the one German, the other Spanish, insinuate themselves into the analysis : " Roses, tiihps, carnations, all flowers fade," and "Isabehta, no llores que se marchitan las flores." The Spanish is taken from Figaro. Here in Vienna white car- nations have become the insignia of the Anti-Semites, the red ones of the Social Democrats. Behind this is the recollec- tion of an anti-Semitic challenge during a railway trip in beautiful Saxony (Anglo-Saxon). The third scene contribut- ing to the formation of the first situation in the dream takes


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 179

place in my early student life. There was a discussion in the German students' club about the relation of philosophy to the general sciences. A green youth, full of the materiahstic doctrine, I thrust myself forward and defended a very one- sided view. Thereupon a sagacious older school-fellow, who has since shown his capacity for leading men and organising the masses, and who, moreover, bears a name belonging to the animal kingdom, arose and called us down thoroughly ; he too, he said, had herded swine in his youth, and had come back repentant to the house of his father. I started up (as in the dream), became very uncivil, and answered that since I knew he had herded swine, I was not surprised at the tone of his discourse. (In the dream I am surprised at my national German sentiment.) There was great commotion ; and the demand came from all sides that I take back what I had said, but I remained steadfast. The man who had been insulted was too sensible to take the advice, which was given him, to send a challenge, and let the matter drop.

The remaining elements of this scene of the dream are of more remote origin. What is the meaning of the Count's proclaiming the colt's foot ? Here I must consult my train of associations. Colt's-foot (German : Huflattich) — lattice — lettuce — salad-dog (the dog that grudges others what he cannot eat himself). Here plenty of opprobrious epithets may be discerned : Gir-aSe (German Affe = monkey, ape), pig, sow, dog ; I might even find means to arrive at donkey, on a detour by way of a name, and thus again at contempt for an academic teacher. Furthermore I translate colt's-foot (Huflattich) — I do not know how correctly — by " pisse-en-ht." I got this idea from Zola's Germinal, in which children are ordered to bring salad of this kind. The dog — ohien — has a name sound- ing Hke the major function (chier, as pisser stands for the minor one). Now we shall soon have before us the indecent in aU three of its categories ; for in the same Germinal, which has a lot to do with the future revolution there is described a very peculiar contest, depending upon the production of gaseous excretions, called flatus.* And now I must remark

  • Not in Germinal, but in La Terre — a mistake of which I became aware

only in the analysis. I may call attention also to the identity of the letters in Huflattich and Flatus.


180 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

how the way to this flatus has been for a long while preparing, beginning with the flowers, and proceeding to the Spanish rhyme of IsabeHta to Ferdinand and Isabella, and, by way of Henry VIII., to English history at the time of the expedition of the Armada against England, after the victorious termina- tion of which the English struck a medal with the in- scription : " Afflavit et dissipati sunt," for the storm had scattered the Spanish fleet. I had thought of taking this phrase for the title of a chapter on " Therapeutics " — ^to be meant half jokingly — ^if I should ever have occasion to give a detailed account of my conception and treatment of hysteria.

I cannot give such a detailed solution of the second scene of the dream, out of regard for the censor. For at this point I put myself in the place of a certain eminent gentleman of that revolutionary period, who also had an adventure with an eagle, who is said to have suffered from incontinence of the bowels, and the like ; and I beheve I should not be justified ai this point in passing the censor, although it was an aulic councillor (aula, consilarius aulicus) who told me the greater part of these stories. The allusion to the suite of rooms in the dream relates to the private car of his Excellency, into which I had opportunity to look for a moment ; but it signifies, as so often in dreams, a woman (Frauenzimmer ; German Zimmer — ^room is appended to Frauen — woman, in order to imply a slight amount of contempt).* In the person of the housekeeper I give scant recognition to an intelligent elderly lady for the entertainment and the many good stories which I have enjoyed at her house. . . . The feature of the lamp goes back to GriUparzer, who notes a charming experience of a similar nature, which he afterwards made use of in " Hero and Leander " (the billows of the ocean and of love — ^the Armada and the storm ).t

I must also forgo detailed analysis of the two remaining portions of the dream ; I shall select only those elements

  • Translator's note.

t In his significant work (" Phantasie und Mythos," Jahrhuchfur Psycho- analyse, Bd. ii., 1910), H. Silberer has endeavoured to show from this part of the dream that the dreamwork is able to reproduce not only the latent dream thoughts, but also the psychic processes in the dream formation " Das functionale Phiinomen ").


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 181

which lead to two childhood scenes, for the sake of which alone I have taken up the dream. The reader will guess that it is sexual matter which forces me to this suppression ; but he need not be content with this explanation. Many things which must be treated as secrets in the presence of others are not treated as such with one's self, and here it is not a question of considerations inducing me to hide the solution, but of motives of the inner censor concealing the real content of the dream from myself. I may say, then, that the analysis shows these three portions of the dream to be impertinent boasting, the exuberance of an absurd grandiose idea which has long since been suppressed in my waking life, which, however, dares show itself in the manifest dream content by one or two pro- jections (/ seem clever to myself), and which makes the arrogant mood of the evening before the dream perfectly inteUigible. It is boasting, indeed, in all departments ; thus the mention of Graz refers to the phrase : What is the price of Graz ? which we are fond of using when we feel over-supphed with money. Wlioever will recall Master Rabelais's unexcelled description of the " Life and Deeds of Gargantua and his Son Pantagruel," will be able to supply the boastful content inti- mated in the first portion of the dream. The following belongs to the two childhood scenes which have been promised. I had bought a new trimk for this journey, whose colour, a brownish violet, appears in the dream several times. (Violet-brown violets made of stiff material, next to a thing which is called " girl-catcher " — ^the furniture in the governmental chambers). That something new attracts people's attention is a well- known behef of children. Now I have been told the following story of my childhood ; I remember hearing the story rather than the occurrence itself. I am told that at the age of two I still occasionally wetted my bed, that I was often reproached on this subject, and that I consoled my father by promising to buy him a beautiful new red bed in N. (the nearest large city). (Hence the detail inserted in the dream that we bought the urinal in the city or had to buy it; one must keep one's promises. Attention is further called to the identity of the male urinal and the feminine trunk, box). All the megalo- mania of the child is contained in this promise. The signi- ficance of the dream of difficulty in urinating in the case of the


182 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

child has been already considered in the interpretation of an earUer dream (c/. the dream on p. 145).

Now there was another domestic occurrence, when I was seven or eight years old, which I remember very well. One evening, before going to bed I had disregarded the dictates of discretion not to satisfy my wants in the bedroom of my parents and in their presence, and in his reprimand for this deUnquenoy my father made the remark : " That boy wiU never amomit to an3rthing." It must have terribly mortified my ambition, for allusions to this scene return again and again in my dreams, and are regularly coupled with enumerations of my accomphshments and successes, as though I wanted to say : " You see, I have amounted to something after aU." Now this childhood scene furnishes the elements for the last image of the dream, in which of course, the roles are inter- changed for the sake of revenge. The elderly man, obviously my father, for the bhndness in one eye signifies his glaucoma * on one side is now urinatmg before me as I once urinated before him. In glaucoma I refer to cocaine, which stood my father in good stead in liis operation, as though I had thereby fulfilled my promises. Besides that I make sport of him ; since he is blind I must hold the urinal in front of him, and I gloat over allusions to my discoveries in the theory of hysteria, of which I am so proud. -j*

♦ Another interpretation: He is one-eyed like Odin, tlie father of the gods . . . Odin's consolation. The consolation in the childish scene, that I will buy him a new bed,

t I here add some material for interpretation. Holding the urinal recalls the story of a peasant who tries one glass afttr another at the opticians, but still cannot read (peasant-catcher, like girl-catcher in a portion of the dream). The treatment among the peasants ot the father who has become weak-minded in Zola's La Terre. The pathetic atonement that in his last days the father soils his bed like a child ; hence, also, I am his sick-attendant in the dream. Thinking and experiencing are here, as it were ; the same thing recalls a highly revolutionary closet drama by Oscar Panizza, in which the Godhead is treated quite contemptuously, as though he were a paralytic old man. There occurs a passage : " Will and deed are the same thing with him, and he must be prevented by his archangel, a kind of Ganymede, from scolding and swearing, because these curses would immediately be fultilled." Making plans is a reproach against my father, dating from a later period in the development of my critical faculty ; just as the whole rebellious, sovereign- offending dream, with its scoff at high authority, originates in a revolt against my father. The sovereign is called father of the land (Landesvater), and the father is the oldest, first and only authority for the child, from the absolutism of which the other social authorities have developed in the


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 183

If the two childhood scenes of urinating are otherwise closely connected with the desire for greatness, their rehabilita- tion on the trip to the Aussee was further favoured by the accidental circumstance that my compartment had no water- closet, and that I had to expect embarrassment on the ride as actually happened in the morning. I awoke with the sensation of a bodily need. I suppose one might be inclined to credit these sensations with being the actual stimulus of the dream ; I should, however, prefer a different conception — ^namely, that it was the dream thoughts which gave rise to the desire to urinate. It is quite unusual for me to be disturbed in sleep by any need, at least at the time of this awakening, a quarter of four in the morning. I may forestall further objection by remarking that I have hardly ever felt a desire to urinate after awakening early on other journeys made under more comfortable circumstances. Moreover, 1 can leave this point undecided without hurting my argument.

Since I have learned, further, from experience in dream anatysis that there always remain important trains of thought proceeding from dreams whose interpretation at first seems complete (because the sources of the dream and the actuation of the wish are easily demonstrable), trains of thought reaching back into earhest childhood, I have been forced to ask myself whether tins feature does not constitute an essential condition of dreaming. If I were to generaUse this thesis, a connection with what has been recently experienced would form a part

course of the history of human civilisation (in so far as the "mother's right" does not force a qualification of this thesis). The idea in the dream, " think- ing and experiencing are the same tJiing," refers to the explanation of hysterical symptoms, to which the male urinal (glass) also has a relation. I ni-ed not explain the principle of the " Gschnas " to a Viennese ; it consists in constructing objects of rare and costly appearance out of trifles, and pre- ferably out of comical and worthless material — for example, making suits of armour out of cooking utensils, sticks and " salzstan.^^eln (elongated rolls), as our artists like to do at their jolly parties. I had now learned that hysterical subjects do the same thing ; besides v/hat has actually occurred to them, they unconsciously conceive horribh^ or extravagant fantastic images, which they construct from the most harmlei,s and commonplace things they have ex- perienced. The symptoms depend solely upon these phantasies, not upon the memory of their real experiences, be they serious or harmless. This explanation helped me to overcome many difficulties and gave me much pleasure. I was able to allude to it in the dream element " male urinal " (glass) because I had been told that at the last "Gtchnas " evening a poison chalice of Lucretia Borgia had been exhibited, the chief constituent of which had consisted of a glass urinal for men, such as is used in hospitals.


184 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

of the manifest content of every dream and a connection with what has been most remotely experienced, of its latent content ; and I can actually show in the analysis of hysteria that in a true sense these remote experiences have remained recent up to the present time. But this conjecture seems stHl very difficult to prove ; I shall probably have to return to the part played by the earHest childhood experiences, in another con- nection (Chapter VII.).

Of the three peculiarities of dream memory considered at the beginning, one — ^the preference for the unimportant in the dream content — ^has been satisfactorily explained by tracing it back to dream disfigurement. We have been able to estab- lish the existence of the other two — ^the selection of recent and of infantUe material — ^but we have found it impossible to explain them by the motive of dream. Let us keep in mind these two characteristics, which stUl remain to be explained or evaluated ; a place for them wUl have to be found else- where, either in the psychology of the sleeping state, or in the discussion of the structure of the psychic apparatus which we shall undertake later, after we have learned that the inner nature of the apparatus may be observed through dream interpretation as though through a window.

Just here I may emphasize another result of the last few dream analyses. The dream often appears ambiguous ; not only may several wish-fulfilments, as the examples show, be imited in it, but one meaning or one wish-fulfilment may also conceal another, until at the bottom one comes upon the fulfilment of a wish from the earHest period of childhood ; and here too, it may be questioned whether " often " in this sentence may not more correctly be replaced by " regularly."

(c) Somatic Sources of Dreams

If the attempt be made to interest the cultured layman in the problems of dreaming, and if, with this end in view, he be asked the question from what source dreams originate according to his opinion, it is generally found that the person thus interro- gated tliinks himself in assured possession of a part of the solution. He immediately thinks of the influence which a disturbed or impeded digestion (" Dreams come from the


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 185

stomach "), accidental bodily position, and little occurrences during sleep, exercise upon the formation of dreams, and he seems not to suspect that even after the consideration of all these factors there still remains something unexplained.

We have explained at length in the introductory chapter (p. 16), what a role in the formation of dreams the scientific literature credits to the ace omit of somatic exciting sources, so that we need here only recall the results of this investiga- tion. We have seen that three kinds of somatic exciting sources are distinguished, objective sensory stimuli which proceed from external objects, the inner states of excitation of the sensory organs having only a subjective basis, and the bodily stimuh which originate internally ; and we have noticed the inclination on the part of the authors to force the psychic sources of the dream into the background or to disregard them altogether in favour of these somatic sources of stimulation (p. 32).

In testing the claims which are made on behalf of these classes of somatic sources of stimulation, we have discovered that the significance of the objective stimuli of the sensory organs — whether accidental stimuli during sleep or those stimuh which cannot be excluded from our dormant psychic life— has been definitely established by numerous observations and is confirmed by experiments (p. 18) ; we have seen that the part played by subjective sensory stimuli appears to be demonstrated by the return of hypnogogic sensory images in dreams, and that although the referring of these dream images and ideas, in the broadest sense, to internal bodily stimulation is not demonstrable in every detail, it can be supported by the well-known iniluence wliich an exciting state of the digestive, urinary, and sexual organs exercise upon the contents of our dreams.

" Nerve stimulus " and " bodily stimulus," then, would be the somatic sources of the dream — that is, the only sources whatever of the dream, according to several authors.

But we have already found a number of doubts, which seem to attack not so much the correctness of the som.atic theory of stimulation as its adequacy.

However certain all the representatives of this theory may have felt about the actual facts on which it is based — especially


186 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

in case of the accidental and external nerve stimuli, which may be recognised in the content of the dream without any trouble — ^nevertheless none of them has been able to avoid the admission that the abundant ideal content of dreams does not admit of explanation by external nerve-stimuh alone. Miss Mary Whiton Calkins ^^ has tested her own dreams and those of another person for a period of six weeks with this idea in mind, and has found only from 13*2 per cent, to 6- 7 per cent, in which the element of external sensory perception was demonstrable ; only two cases in the collection could be re- ferred to organic sensations. Statistics here confirm what a hasty glance at our own experience might have led us to suspect.

The decision has been made repeatedly to distinguish the " dream of nerve stimulus " from the other forms of the dream as a well-estabhshed sub-species. Spitta ^* divided dreams into dreams of nerve stimulus and association dreams. But the solution clearly remained unsatisfactory as long as the link between the somatic sources of dreams and their ideal content could not be demonstrated.

Besides the first objection, of the inadequate frequency of external exciting sources, there arises as a second objection the inadequate explanation of dreams offered by the introduction of this sort of dream sources. The representatives of the theory accordingly must explain two things, in the first place, why the external stimulus in the dream is never recognised according to its real nature, but is regularly mistaken for something else (c/. the alarm-clock dreams, p. 22), and secondly, why the reaction of the receiving mind to this misrecognised stimulus should result so indeterminately and changefully. As an answer to these questions, we have heard from Striimpell *® that the mind, as a result of its being turned away from the outer world during sleep, is not capable of giving correct inter- pretation to the objective sensory stimulus, but is forced to form illusions on the basis of the indefinite incitements from many directions. As expressed in his own words (p. 108) :

" As soon as a sensation, a sensational complex, a feeling, or a psychic process in general, arises in the mind during sleep from an outer or inner nerve-stimulus, and is perceived by the mind, this process calls up sensory images, that is to say,


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earlier perceptions, either unembellished or with the psychic values belonging to them, from the range of waldng experi- ences, of which the mind has remained in possession. It seems to collect about itself, as it were, a greater or less number of such images, from which the impression which originates from the nerve-stimulus receives its psychic value. It is usually said here, as the idiom does of waking thought, that the mind interprets impressions of nerve-stimuh in sleep. The result of this interpretation is the so-called nerve-stimulus dream — ^that is to say, a dream whose composition is con- ditioned by the fact that a nerve-stimulus brings about its efEect in psychic life according to the laws of reproduction."

The opinion of Wundt '^ agrees in all essentials with this theory. He says that the ideas in the dream are probably the result, for the most part, of sensory stimuH, especially of those of general sensation, and are therefore mostly phantastic illusions — probably memory presentations which are only partly pure, and which have been raised to hallucinations. Striimpell has found an excellent simile (p. 84). It is as " if the ten j&ngers of a person ignorant of music should stray over the keyboard of an instrument " — to illustrate the relation between dream content and dream stimuM, which follows from this theory. The implication is that the dream does not appear as a psychic phenomenon, originating from psychic motives, but as the result of a physiological stimulus, which is expressed in psychic symptomologj'", because the apparatus which is affected by the stimulus is not capable of any other expression. Upon a similar assumption is based, for example, the explanation of compulsive ideas which Mejnaert tried to give by means of the famous simile of the dial on which in- dividual figures are prominent because they are in more marked rehef.

However popular this theory of somatic dream stimuli may have become, and however seductive it may seem, it is nevertheless easy to show the weak point in it. Every somatic dream stimulus which provokes the psychic apparatus to interpretation through the formation of illusions, is capable of giving rise to an incalculable number of such attempts at interpretation ; it can thus attain representation in the dream content by means of an extraordinary number of


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different ideas. But the theory of Striimpell and Wundt is incapable of instancing any motive which has control over the relation between the external stimulus and the dream idea which has been selected to interpret it, and therefore of explaining the " pecuHar choice " which the stimuli " often enough make in the course of their reproductive activity " (Lipps, Orundtatsachen des Seelenlebens, p. 170), Other ob- jections may be directed against the fundamental assumption of the whole theory of illusions — ^ihe assumption that during sleep the mind is not in a condition to recognise the real nature of the objective sensory stimuli. The old physiologist Burdach ® proves to us that the mind is quite capable even during sleep of interpreting correctly the sensory in^pressions which reach it, and of reacting in accordance \^ith the correct interpretation. He establishes this by showing that it is possible to exempt certain impressions which seem important to the individuals, from the neglect of sleeping (nurse and child), and that one is more surely awakened by one's own name than by an in- different auditory impression, all of which presupposes, of course, that the mind distinguishes among sensations, even in sleep (Chapter I., p. 41). Burdach infers from these observa- tions that it is not an incapabihty of interpreting sensory stimuli in the sleeping state which must be assumed, but a lack of interest in them. The same arguments which Burdach used in 1830, later reappear unchanged in the works of Lipps in the year 1883, where they are employed for the purpose of attacJdng the theory of somatic stimuh. According to this the mind seems to be like the sleeper in the anecdote, who, upon being asked, " Are you asleep ? " answers " No," and upon being again addressed with the words, " Then lend me ten florins," takes refuge in the excuse : " I am asleep."

The inadequacy of the theory of somatic dream stimuli may also be demonstrated in another manner. Observations show that I am not urged to dream by external stimulations, even if these stimulations appear in the dream as soon as, and in case that, I dream. In response to the tactile or pressure stimulus which I get while sleeping, various reactions are at my disposal. I can overlook it and discover only upon awaken- ing that my leg has been uncovered or my arm under pressure ; pathology shows the most numerous examples where power-


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fully acting sensoiy and motor stimuli of different sorts remain without effect during sleep. I can perceive a sensation during sleep through and through sleep, as it were, which happens as a rule with painful stimuh, but mthout weaving the pain into the texture of the dream ; thirdly, I can awaken on account of the stimulus in order to obviate it. Only as a fourth possible reaction, I may be impelled to dream by a nerve stimulus ; but the other possibilities are realised at least as often as that of dream formation. This could not be the case if the motive for dreaming did not lie outside of the somatic sources of dreams.

Taking proper account of the defect in the explanation of dreams by somatic stimuH which has just been shown, other authors — Schemer,^® who was joined by the philosopher Volkelt '2 — have tried to determine more exactly the psychic activities which cause the variegated dream images to arise from the somatic stimuli, and have thus transferred the essential nature of dreams back to the province of the mind, and to that of psychic activity. Schemer not only gave a poetically appreciative, glo^ving and vivid description of the psychic peculiarities which develop in the course of dream formation ; he also thought he had guessed the principle according to which the mind proceeds with the stimuh that are at its disposal. The dream activity, according to Schemer — after phantasy has been freed from the shackles imposed upon it during the day, and has been given free rein — strives to represent symbohcally the nature of the organ from which the stimulus proceeds. Thus we have a kind of dream-book as a guide for the interpretation of dreams, by means of which bodily sensations, the conditions of the organs and of the stimuli may be inferred from dream images. " Thus the image of a cat expresses an angry discontented mood, the image of a hght-coloured bit of smooth pastry the nudity of the body. The human body as a whole is pictured as a house by the phantasy of the dream, and each individual organ of the body as a part of the house. In ' toothache-dreams ' a high vaulted vestibule corresponds to the mouth and a stair to the descent of the gullet to the alimentary canal ; in the

  • headache-dream ' the ceiling of a room which is covered

with disgusting reptile-like spiders is chosen to denote the


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upper part of the head " (Volkelt, p. 39). " Several different symbols are used by the dream for the same organ, thus the breathing lungs find their symbol in an oven filled with flames and with a roaring draught, the heart in hollow chests and baskets, and the bladder in round, bag-shaped objects or anything else hollow. It is especially important that at the end of a dream the stimulating organ or its function be repre- sented undisguised and usually on the dreamer's own body. Thus the ' toothache-dream ' usually ends by the dreamer drawing a tooth from his own mouth " (p. 35). It cannot be said that this theory has found much favour with the authors. Above all, it seems extravagant ; there has been no inclination even to discover the small amount of justification to which it may, in my opinion, lay claim. As may be seen, it leads to a revival of the dream interpretation by means of symbolism, which the ancients used, except that the source from which the interpretation is to be taken is Umited to the human body. The lack of a technique of interpretation which is scientifically comprehensible must seriously hmit the apphcability of Schemer's theory. Arbitrariness in dream interpretation seems in no wise excluded, especially since a stimulus may be expressed by several representations in the content of the dream ; thus Schemer's associate, Volkelt, has already found it impossible to confirm the representation of the body as a house. Another objection is that here again dream activity is attributed to the mind as a useless and aimless activity, since according to the theory in question the mind is content with forming phantasies about the stimulus with which it is concerned, without even remotely contemplating anything like a discharge of the stimulus.

But Schemer's theory of the symbolisation of bodily stimuli by the dream receives a heavy blow from another objection. These bodily stimuli are present at aU times, and according to general assumption the mind is more accessible to them during sleep than in waking. It is thus incomprehensible why the mind does not dream continually throughout the night, and why it does not dream every night and about all the organs. If one attempts to avoid this objection by making the condition that especial stimuli must proceed from the eye, the ear, the teeth, the intestines in order to arouse dream activity, one is


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confronted by the difficulty of proving that this increase of stimulation is objective, which is possible only in a small number of cases. If the dream of flying is a symbolisation of the upward and downward motion of the pulmonary lobes, either this dream, as has already been remarked by Striimpell, would be dreamt much oftener, or an accentuation of the function of breathing during the dream would have to be demonstrable. Still another case is possible — ^the most probable of all — ^that now and then special motives directing attention to the visceral sensations which are universally present are active, but this case takes us beyond the range of Schemer's theory.

The value of Schemer's and Volkelt's discussions lies in the fact that they call attention to a number of characteristics of the dream content which are in need of explanation, and which seem to promise new knowledge. It is quite true that symbohsations of organs of the body and of their functions are contained in dreams, that water in a dream often signifies a desire to urinate, that the male genital may often be repre- sented by a stai^ standing erect or by a pLQar, &c. In dreams which show a very animated field of vision and briUiant colours, in contrast to the dimness of other dreams, the inter- pretation may hardly be dismissed that they are " dreams of visual stimulation," any more than it may be disputed that there is a contribution of illusory formations in dreams which contain noise and confusion of voices. A dream hke that of Schemer, of two rows of fair handsome boys standing opposite to each other on a bridge, attacking each other and then taking their places again, until finally the dreamer himself sits down on the bridge and pulls a long tooth out of his jaw ; or a similar one of Volkelt's, in which two rows of drawers play a part, and which again ends in the extraction of a tooth ; dream formations of this sort, which are related in great numbers by the authors, prevent our discarding Schemer's theory as an idle fabrication without seeking to find its kernel of truth. We are now confronted by the task of giving the supposed symbohsation of the dental stimulus an explanation of a different kind.

Throughout our consideration of the theory of the somatic sources ot dreams, I have refrained from urging the argument


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which is inferred from our dream analyses. If we have suc- ceeded in proving, by a procedure which other authors have not apphed in their investigation of dreams, that the dream as a psychic action possesses value pecuhar to itself, that a wish supphes the motive for its formation, and that the experi- ences of the previous day furnish the immediate material for its content, any other theory of dreams neglectiag such an important method of investigation, and accordingly causing the dream to appear a useless and problematic psychic reaction to somatic stimuli, is dismissible without any particular comment. Otherwise there must be — which is highly im- probable — two entirely different kinds of dreams, of which only one has come under our observation, while only the other has been observed by the earlier connoisseurs of the dream. It still remains to provide a place for the facts which are used to support the prevailing theory of somatic dream- stimuh, within our own theory of dreams.

We have already taken the first step in this direction in setting up the thesis that the dream activity is under a com- pulsion to elaborate aU the dream stimuH which are simul- taneously present into a unified whole (p. 151). We have seen that when two or more experiences capable of making an impression have been left over from the previous day, the wishes which result from them are united into one dream ; similarly, that an impression possessmg psychic value and the indifferent experiences of the previous day are united in the dream material, provided there are available connecting ideas between the two. Thus the dream appears to be a reaction to everything which is simultaneously present as actual in the sleeping mind. As far as we have hitherto analysed the dream material, we have discovered it to be a collection of psychic remnants and memory traces, which we were obUged to credit (on account of the preference shown for recent and infantile material) with a character of actuahty, though the nature of this was not at the time determinable. Now it wiH not be difficult to foretell what wUl happen when new material in the form of sensations is added to these actuaHties of memory. These stimuli Likewise derive importance for the dream because they are actual ; they are united with the other psychic actuaUties in order to make up the material for


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dream formation. To express it differently, the stimuli which appear during sleep are worked over into the fulfilment of a wish, the other component parts of which are the remnants of daily experience with which we are familiar. This union, however, is not inevitable ; we have heard that more than one sort of attitude towards bodily stimuli is possible during sleep. Wherever this union has been brought about, it has simply been possible to find for the dream content that kind of pre-

/ Mentation material which will give representation to both classes of dream sources, the somatic as well as the psychic. The essential nature of the dream is not changed by this addition of somatic material to the psychic sources of the dream ; it remains the fulfilment of a wish without reference to the way in which its expression is determined by the actual material.

I shall gladly find room here for a number of pecuHarities, which serve to put a different face on the significance of exter- nal stimuli for the dream. I imagine that a co-operation of individual, physiological, and accidental factors, conditioned by momentary circumstances, determines how one will act in each particular case of intensive objective stimulation during sleep ; the degree of the profoundness of sleep whether habitual or accidental in connection with the intensity of the stimulus, will in one case make it possible to suppress the stimulus, so that it will not disturb sleep ; in another case they will force an awakening or will support the attempt to overcome the stimulus by weaviag it into the texture of the dream. In correspondence with the multipKcity of these combiaations, external objective stimuU will receive expression more frequently in the case of one person than in that of another. In the case of myself, who am an excellent sleeper, and who stubbornly resists any kind of disturbance in sleep, this intermixture of external causes of irritation into my dreams is very rare, while psychic motives apparently cause me to dream very easily. I have indeed noted only a siQgle dream in which an objective, painful source of stimulation is demonstrable, and it will be highly iustructive to see what effect the external stimulus had in this very dream.

1 am riding on a grey horse, at first timidly and awkwardly, as though I were only leaning against something. I meet a

N


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colleague P., who is mounted on a horse and is wearing a heavy woollen suit ; he calls my attention to something (probably to the fact that my riding position is bad). Now I become more and more expert on the horse, which is most intelligent; I sit com- fortably, and I notice that I am already quite at home in the saddle. For a saddle I have a kind of padding, which completely fills the space between the neck and the rump of the horse. In this manner I ride with difficulty between two lumber-wagons. After having ridden up the street for some distance, I turn around and want to dismount, at first in front of a little open chapel, which is situated close to the street. Then I actually dismount in front of a chapel which stands near the first ; the hotel is in the same street, I could let the horse go there by itself, but I prefer to lead it there. It seems as if I should be ashamed to arrive there on horseback. In front of the hotel is standing a hall-boy who shows me a card of mine which has been found, and who ridicules me on account of it. On the card is wtitten, doubly underlined, " Eat nothing, and then a second sentence {indistinct) something like " Do not work " ; at the same time a hazy idea that I am in a strange city, in which I do no work.

It will not be apparent at once that this dream originated under the influence, or rather under the compulsion, of a stimulus of pain. The day before I had suffered from furuncles, which made every movement a torture, and at last a furuncle had grown to the size of an apple at the root of the scrotum, and had caused me the most intolerable pains that accom- panied every step ; a feverish lassitude, lack of appetite, and the hard work to wliich I had nevertheless kept myself during the day, had conspired with the pain to make me lose my temper. I was not altogether in a condition to discharge my duties as a physician, but in view of the nature and the location of the malady, one might have expected some performance other than riding, for which I was very especially unfitted. It is this veiy activity, of riding into which I am plunged by the dream ; it is the most energetic denial of the suffering which is capable of being conceived. In the first place, I do not know how to ride, I do not usually dream of it, and I never sat on a horse but once — without a saddle — and then I did not feel comfortable. But in this dream I ride as though I had no furuncle on the perineum, and why ? just because I


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don't want any. According to the description my saddle is the poultice which has made it possible for me to go to sleep. Probably I did not feel anything of my pain — ^as I was thus taken care of — during the first few hours of sleeping. Then the painful sensations announced themselves and tried to wake me up, whereupon the dream came and said soothingly : " Keep on sleeping, you won't wake up anyway ! You have no furuncle at all, for you are riding on a horse, and with a furuncle where you have it ridingis impossible!" And the dream was successful ; the pain was stifled, and I went on sleeping.

But the dream was not satisfied with " suggesting away " the furuncle by means of tenaciously adhering to an idea incompatible with that of the malady, in doing which it behaved like the hallucinatory insanity of the mother who has lost her child, or like the merchant who has been deprived of his fortune by losses.* In addition the details of the denied sensation and of the image which is used to displace it are employed by the dream as a means to connect the material ordinarily actually present in the mind with the dream situa- tion, and to give this material representation. I am riding on a grey horse — ^the colour of the horse corresponds exactly to the pepper-and-salt costume in which I last met my colleague P. in the country. I have been warned that highly seasoned food is the cause of furunculosis, but in any case it is preferable as an etiological explanation to sugar which ordinarily suggests furunculosis. My friend P. has been pleased to " ride the high horse " with regard to me, ever since he superseded me in the treatment of a female patient, with whom I had performed great feats (in the dream I first sit on the horse side-saddle fashion, Hke a circus rider), but who really led me wherever she wished, Hke the horse in the anecdote about the Sunday equestrian. Thus the horse came to be a symbolic representa- tion of a lady patient (in the dream it is most intelligent). " I feel quite at home up here," refers to the position which I occupied in the patient's household until I was replaced by my colleague P. "I thought you were securely seated in the

♦ Cf. the passage in Griesinger'^ and the remarks in my second ei^say on the " defence-neuroDsvcho8e3 " — Selected Papers on Hysteria, translated by A. A. Brill. ' ' /- i/ . J


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saddle," one of my few well-wishers among the great physicians of this city recently said to me with reference to the same household. And it was a feat to practise psychotherapy for ten hours a day with such pains, but I know that I cannot continue my particularly difficult work for any length of time without complete physical health, and the dream is full of gloomy allusions to the situation which must in that case result (the card such as neurasthenics have and present to doctors) : No work and no food. With further interpretation I see that the dream activity has succeeded in finding the way from the wish-situation of riding to very early infantile scenes of quarrelling, which must have taken place between me and my nephew, who is now Hving in England, and who, moreover, is a year older than I. Besides it has taken up elements from my journeys to Italy ; the street in the dream is composed of impressions of Verona and Siena. Still more exhaustive interpretation leads to sexual dream-thoughts, and I recall what significance dream allusions to that beautiful country had in the case of a female patient who had never been in Italy (Itlay — German gen Italien — Genitalien — genitals). At the same time there are references to the house in which I was physician before my friend P., and to the place where the furuncle is located.

Among the dreams mentioned in the previous chapter there are several which might serve as examples for the elabora- tion of so-called nerve stimuU. The dream about drinking in fuU draughts is one of this sort ; the somatic excitement in it seems to be the only source of the dream, and the wish resulting from the sensation — thirst — the only motive for dreaming. Something similar is true of the other simple dreams, if the somatic excitement alone is capable of forming a wish. The dream of the sick woman who throws the cooling apparatus from her cheek at night is an instance of a peculiar way of reacting to painful excitements with a wish-fulfilment ; it seems as though the patient had temporarily succeeded in making herself analgesic by ascribing her pains to a stranger.

My dream about the three Parcse is obviously a dream of hunger, but it has found means to refer the need for food back to the longing of the child for its mother's breast, and to make the harmless desire a cloak for a more serious one, which is


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not permitted to express itseK so openly. In the dream about Comit Thun we have seen how an accidental bodily desire is brought into connection with the strongest, and Hkewise the most strongly suppressed emotions of the psychic life. And when the First Consul incorporates the sound of an exploding bomb into a dream of battle before it causes him to wake, as in the case reported by Gamier, the purpose for which psychic activity generally concerns itself with sensations occurring during sleep is revealed with extraordinary clearness. A young lawyer, who has been deeply preoccupied with his first great bankruptcy proceeding, and who goes to sleep during the afternoon following, acts just like the great Napoleon. He dreams about a certain G. Reich in Hussiatyn (German husten — to cough), whom he knows in connection with the bankruptcy proceeding, but Hussiatyn forces itself upon his attention still further, with the result that he is obhged to awaken, and hears his wife — ^who is suffering from bronchial catarrh — coughing violently.

Let us compare the dream of Napoleon I., who, incidentally, was an excellent sleeper, with that of the sleepy student, who was awakened by his landlady v/ith the admonition that he must go to the hospital, who thereupon dreams himself into a bed in the hospital, and then sleeps on, with the following account of his motives : If I am already in the hospital, I shan't have to get up in order to go there. The latter is obviously a dream of convenience ; the sleeper frankly admits to himself the motive for his dreaming ; but he thereby reveals one of the secrets of dreaming in general. In a certain sense all dreams are dreams of convenience ; they serve the purpose of continuing sleep instead of awakening. The dream is the guardian of sleep, not the disturber of it. We shall justify this conception with respect to the psychic factors of awakening elsewhere ; it is possible, however, at this point to prove its apphcabihty to the influence exerted by objective external excitements. Either the mind does not concern itself at aU with the causes of sensations, if it is able to do this in spite of their intensity and of their significance, which is well understood by it ; or it employs the dream to deny these stimuli ; or thirdly, if it is forced to recognise the stimulus, it seeks to find that interpretation of the stimulus which shaU represent the


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actual sensation as a component part of a situation which is desired and which is compatible with sleep. The actual sen- Bation is woven into the dream in order to deprive it of its reality. Napoleon is permitted to go on sleeping ; it is only a dream recollection of the thunder of the cannon at Arcole which is trying to disturb him.*

The wish to sleep, by which the conscious ego has been sus- pended and which along with the drearrt-censor contributes its share to the dreamy must thus always be taken into account as a motive for the formation of dreams, and every successful dream is a fulfilment of this wish. The relation of this general, re- gularly present, and invariable sleep-wish to the other wishes, of which now the one, now the other is fulfilled, will be the subject of a further explanation. In the wish to sleep we have discovered a factor capable of supplying the deficiency in the theory of StriimpeU and Wundt, and of explaining the perversity and capriciousness in the interpretation of the outer stimulus. The correct interpretation, of which the sleeping mind is quite capable, would imply an active interest and would require that sleep be terminated ; hence, of those interpretations which are possible at aU, only those are ad- mitted which are agreeable to the absolute censorship of the somatic wish. It is something like this : It's the nightingale and not the lark. For if it's the lark, love's night is at an- end. From among the interpretations of the excitement which are at the moment possible, that one is selected which can secure the best connection with the wish-possibihties that are lying in wait in the mind. Thus everything is definitely determined, and nothing is left to caprice. The misinter- pretation is not an illusion, but — ^if you wiQ — ^an excuse. Here again, however, there is admitted an action which is a modification of the normal psychic procedure, as in the case where substitution by means of displacement is effected for the purposes of the dream-censor.

If the outer nerve stimuH and inner bodily stimuH are sufficiently intense to compel psychic attention, they represent — that is, in case they result in dreaming and not in awakening — ^a definite point in the formation of dreams, a nucleus in the

  • In the two sources from which I am acquainted with this dream, the

report of its contents do not agree.


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dream material, for which an appropriate wish-fulfilment is sought, in a way similar (see above) to the search for connecting ideas between two dream stimuli. To this extent it is true for a number of dreams that the somatic determines what their content is to be. In this extreme case a wish which is not exactly actual is aroused for the purpose of dream formation. But the dream can do nothing but represent a wish in a situa- tion as fulfilled ; it is, as it were, confronted by the task of seeking what wish may be represented and fulfilled by means of the situation which is now actual. Even if this actual material is of a painful or disagreeable character, stUl it is not useless for the purposes of dream formation. The psychic life has control even over wishes the fulfilment of which brings forth pleasure — a statement which seems contradictory, but which becomes iateUigible if one takes into account the presence of two psychic instances and the censor existing between them.

There are in the psychic fife, as we have heard, repressed wishes which belong to the first system, and to whose fulfilment the second system is opposed. There are wishes of this kiod — and we do not mean this in an historic sense, that there have been such wishes and that these have then been destroyed — but the theory of repression, which is essential to the study of ps^choneurosis, asserts that such repressed wishes still exist, contemporaneously with an inhibition weighing them down. Language has hit upon the truth when it speaks of the " sup- pression " of such impulses. The psychic contrivance for bringing such wishes to realisation remaias preserved and in a condition to be used. But if it happens that such a suppressed wish is fulfilled, the vanquished inhibition of the second system (which is capable of becoming conscious) is then ex- pressed as a painful feeliag. To close this discussion ; if sensations of a disagreeable character which origiuate from somatic sources are presented during sleep, this constellation is taken advantage of by the dream activity to represent the fulfilment — with more or less retention of the censor — of an otherwise suppressed wish.

This condition of affairs makes possible a number of anxiety dreams, while another series of the dream formations which are unfavourable to the wish theory exhibits a different


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mechanism. For anxiety in dreams may be of a psycho- neurotic nature, or it may originate in psychosexual excite- ments, in which case the anxiety corresponds to a repressed libido. Then this anxiety as well as the whole anxiety dream has the significance of a neurotic symptom, and we are at the dividing-Hne where the wish-fulfilling tendency of dreams disappears. But in other anxiety-dreams the feehng of anxiety comes from somatic sources (for instance in the case of persons suffering from pulmonary or heart trouble, where there is occasional diJOSiculty in getting breath), and then it is used to aid those energetically suppressed wishes in attaining fulfil- ment in the form of a dream, the dreaming of which from psychic motives would have resulted in the same release of fear. It is not difficult to unite these two apparently dis- crepant cases. Of two psychic formations, an emotional incKnation and an ideal content, which are intimately con- nected, the one, which is presented as actual, supports the other in the dream ; now anxiety of somatic origin supports the suppressed presentation content, now the ideal content, which is freed from suppression, and which proceeds with the impetus given by sexual emotion, assists the discharge of anxiety. Of the one case it may be said that an emotion of somatic origin is psychically interpreted ; in the other case everything is of psychic origin but the content which has been suppressed is easily replaced by a somatic interpretation which is suited to anxiety. The difficulties which He in the way of understanding aU this have Httle to do with the dream ; they are due to the fact that in discussing these points we are touching upon the problems of the development of anxiety and of repression.

Undoubtedly the aggregate of bodily feelings is to be included among the commanding dream stimuli which originate rntemaUy. Not that it is able to furnish the dream content, but it forces the dream thoughts to make a choice from the material destined to serve the purpose of representation in the dream content ; it does this by putting within easy reach that part of the material which is suited to its own character, while withholding the other. Moreover this general feeling, which is left over from the day, is probably connected with the psychic remnants which are significant for the dream.


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 201

li somatic sources of excitement occurring during sleep — that is, the sensations of sleep — are not of imusual intensity, they play a part in the formation of dreams similar, in my judgment, to that of the impressions of the day which have remained recent but indifferent. I mean that they are drawn into the dream formation, if they are quahfied for being united with the presentation content of the psychic dream-source, but in no other case. They are treated as a cheap ever-ready material, which is utihsed as often as it is needed, instead of prescribing, as a precious material does, the manner in which it is to be utihsed. The case is similar to that where a patron of art brings to an artist a rare stone, a fragment of onyx, in order that a work of art may be made of it. The size of the stone, its colour, and its marking help to decide what bust or what scene shall be represented in it, while in the case where there is a uniform and abundant supply of marble or sandstone the artist follows only the idea which takes shape in his mind. Only in this manner, it seems to me, is the fact exphcable that the dream content resulting from bodily excitements that have not been accentuated to a usual degree, does not appear in all dreams and during every night.

Perhaps an example, which takes us back to the interpreta- tion of dreams, will best illustrate my meaning. One day I was trying to understand the meaning of the sensations of being impeded, of not being able to move from the spot, of not being able to get finished, &c., which are dreamt about so often, and which are so closely allied to anxiety. That night I had the following dream : / am very incompletdy dressed, and I go from a dwelling on the ground floor up a flight of stairs to an upper story. In doing this I jump over three steps at a time, and I am glad to find I can mount the steps so quickly. Suddenly I see that a servant girl is coming doum the stairs, that is, towards me, I am asJmmed and try to hurry away, and now there appears that sensation of being impeded; I am glued to the steps and cannot move from the spot.

Analysis : The situation of the dream is taken from every- day reaHty. In a house in Vienna I have two apartments, which are connected only by a flight of stairs outside. My consultation-rooms and my study are on an elevated portion of the ground floor, and one story higher are my living-rooms.


202 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

When I have finished my work downstairs late at night, I go up the steps into my bedroom. On the evening before the dream I had actually gone this short distance in a somewhat disorderly attire — that is to say, I had taken off my collar, cravat, and cuffs ; but in the dream this has changed into a somewhat more advanced degree of undress, which as usual is mdefinite. Jumping over the steps is my usual method of mounting stairs ; moreover it is the fulfilment of a wish that has been recognised in the dream, for I have reassured myself about the condition of my heart action by the ease of this accomplishment. Moreover the manner in which I chmb the stairs is an effective contrast to the sensation of being impeded which occurs in the second half of the dream. It shows me — something which needed no proof — that the dream has no difficulty in representing motor actions as carried out fuUy and completely ; think of flying in dreams !

But the stairs which I go up are not those of my house ; at first I do not recognise them ; only the person coming toward me reveals to me the location which they are intended to signify. This woman is the maid of the old lady whom I visit twice daily to give hypodermic injections ; the stairs, too, are quite similar to those which I must mount there twice daily.

How do this flight of stairs and this woman get into my dream ? Being ashamed because one is not fully dressed, is undoubtedly of a sexual character ; the servant of whom I dream is older than I, sulky, and not in the least attractive. These questions call up exactly the following occurrences : When I make my morning visit at this house I am usually seized with a desire to clear my throat ; the product of the expectoration falls upon the steps. For there is no spittoon on either of these floors, and I take the view that the stairs should not be kept clean at my expense, but by the provision of a spittoon. The housekeeper, likewise an elderly and sulky person, with instincts for cleanliness, takes another view of the matter. She Hes in wait for me to see whether I take the Hberty referred to, and when she has made sure of it, I hear her growl distinct^. For days thereafter she refuses to show me her customary regard when we meet. On the day before the dream the position of the housekeeper had been


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 203

strengthened by the servant girl. I had just finished my usual hurried visit to the patient when the servant confronted me in the ante-room and observed : " You might as well have wiped your shoes to-day, doctor, before you came into the room. The red carpet is aU dirty again from your feet." This is the whole claim which the flight of stairs and the servant-girl can make for appearing in my dream.

An intimate connection exists between my flying over the stairs and my spitting on the stairs. Pharyngitis and diseases of the heart are both said to be punishments for the vice of smoking, on account of which vice, of course, I do not enjoy a reputation for great neatness with my housekeeper in the one house any more than in the other, both of wtdch the dream fuses into a single image.

I must postpone the further interpretation of this dream 7 until I can give an account of the origin of the typical dream of incomplete dress. I only note as a preHminary result from the dream which has just been cited that the dream sensation of inhibited action is always aroused at a point where a certain connection requires it. A pecuhar condition of my motility during sleep cannot be the cause of this dream content, for a moment before I saw myself hurrying over the steps with ease, as though in confirmation of this fact.

(d) Typical Dreams

In general we are not in a position to interpret the dream of another person if he is unwilling to furnish us with the uncon- scious thoughts which He behind the dream content, and for this reason the practical appUcability of our method of dream interpretation is seriously curtailed.* But there are a certain number of dreams — in contrast with the usual freedom dis- played by the individual in fashioning his dream world with characteristic pecuUarity, and thereby making it uninteUigible — which almost every one has dreamed in the same manner, and of which we are accustomed to assume that they have the same significance in the case of every dreamer. A pecuhar

  • An exception is furnished by those cases in which the dreamer utiHses

in the expression of his latent dream thoughts the symbols which are familiar to us.


204 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

interest belongs to these typical dreams for the reason that they probably all come from the same sources with every person, that they are thus particularly suited to give us information upon the sources of dreams.

Typical dreams are worthy of the most exhaustive investi- gation. I shall, however, only give a somewhat detailed con- sideration to examples of this species, and for this purpose I shall j&rst select the so-called embarrassment dream of naked- ness, and the dream of the death of dear relatives.

The dream of being naked or scantily clad in the presence of strangers occurs with the further addition that one is not at all ashamed of it, &c. But the dream of nakedness is worthy of our interest only when shame and embarrassment are felt in it, when one wishes to flee or to hide, and when one feels the strange inhibition that it is impossible to move from the spot and that one is incapable of altering the disagreeable situation. It is only in this connection that the dream is typical ; the nucleus of its content may otherwise be brought into all kinds of relations or may be replaced by individual amplifications. It is essentially a question of a disagreeable sensation of the nature of shame, the wish to be able to hide one's nakedness, chiefly by means of locomotion, without being able to accom- plish this. I beheve that the great majority of my readers will at some time have found themselves in this situation in a dream.

Usually the nature and manner of the experience is indis- tinct. It is usually reported, " I was in my shirt," but this is rarely a clear image ; in most cases the lack of clothing is so indeterminate that it is designated in the report of the dream by a set of alternatives : "I was in my chemise or in my petticoat." As a rule the deficiency in the toilet is not serious enough to justify the feeling of shame attached to it. For a person who has served in the army, nakedness is often replaced by a mode of adjustment that is contrary to regulations. " I am on the street without my sabre and I see officers coming," or " I am without my necktie," or " I am wearing checkered civihan's trousers," &c.

The persons before whom one is ashamed are almost always strangers with faces that have been left undetermined. It never occurs in the tj^ical dream that one is reproved or even


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 205

noticed on account of the dress which causes the embarrass- ment to one's self. Quite on the contrary, the people have an air of indifference, or, as I had opportunity to observe in a particularly clear dream, they look stiffly solemn. This is worth thinking about.

The shamed embarrassment of the dreamer and the in- difference of the spectators form a contradiction which often occurs in the dream. It would better accord with the feelings of the dreamer if the strangers looked at him in astonishment and laughed at him, or if they grew indignant. I think, however, that the latter impleasant feature has been obviated by the tendency to wish-fulfilment, while the embarrassment, being retained on some account or other, has been left standing, and thus the two parts fail to agree. We have interesting evidence to show that the dream, whose appearance has been partially disfigured by the tendency to wish-fulfilment, has not been properly understood. For it has become the basis of a fairy tale famihar to us all in Andersen's version,* and it has recently received poetic treatment by L. Fulda in the Talisman. In Andersen's fairy tale we are told of two impostors who weave a costly garment for the Emperor, which, however, shall be visible only to the good and true. The Emperor goes forth clad in this invisible garment, and, the fabric serving as a sort of touchstone, all the people are frightened into acting as though they did not notice the nakedness of the Emperor.

But such is the situation in our dream. It does not require great boldness to assume that the uninteUigible dream content has suggested the invention of a state pf undress in which the situation that is being remembered becomes significant. This situation has then been deprived of its original meaning, and placed at the service of other purposes. But we shall see that such misunderstanding of the dream content often occurs on account of the conscious activity of the second psychic system, and is to be recognised as a factor in the ultimate formation of the dream ; furthermore, that in the develop- ment of the obsessions and phobias similar misunderstandings, hkewise within the same psychic personaHty, play a leading part. The source from which in our dream the material for this transformation is taken can also be explained. The ♦ " The Emperor's New Clothes."


206 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

impostor is the dream, the Emperor is the dreamer himself, and the moraHsing tendency betrays a hazy knowledge of the fact that the latent dream content is occupied with forbidden wishes which have become the victims of repression. The connection in which such dreams appear during my analysis of neurotics leaves no room for doubting that the dream is based upon a recollection from earhest childhood. Only in our childhood was there a time when we were seen by our relatives as well as by strange nurses, servant girls, and visitors, in scanty clothing, and at that time we were not ashamed of our nakedness.*

It may be observed in the case of children who are a little older that being undressed has a kind of intoxicating effect upon them, instead of making them ashamed. They laugh, jump about, and strike their bodies ; the mother, or whoever is present, forbids them to do this, and says : " Fie, that is shameful — ^you mustn't do that." Children often show ex- hibitional cravings ; it is hardly possible to go through a village in our part of the country without meeting a two or three-year-old tot who lifts up his or her shirt before the traveller, perhaps in his honour. One of my patients has reserved in his conscious memory a scene from the eighth year of his hfe in which he had just undressed previous to going to bed, and was about to dance into the room of his httle sister in his undershirt when the servant prevented his doing it. In the childhood history of neurotics, denudation in the presence of children of the opposite sex plays a great part ; in paranoia the desire to be observed while dressing and im- dressing may be directly traced to these experiences ; among those remaining perverted there is a class which has accen- tuated the childish impulse to a compulsion — they are the exhibitionists.

This age of childhood in which the sense of shame is lacking seems to our later recollections a Paradise, and Paradise itseK is nothing but a composite phantasy from the childhood of the individual. It is for this reason, too, that in Paradise human beiags are naked and are not ashamed untU the moment arrives when the sense of shame and of fear are aroused ; ex-

  • The child also appears in the fairy tale, for there a child suddenly

calls : " Why, he hasn't anything on at all."


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 207

pulsion follows, and sexual life and cultural development begin. Into this Paradise the dream can take us back every night ; we have already ventured the conjecture that the impressions from earhest childhood (from the prehistoric period until about the end of the fourth year) in themselves, and independently of everything else, crave reproduction, perhaps without further reference to their content, and that the repetition of them is the fulfilment of a wish. Dreams of nakedness, then, are exhibition dreams.*

One's own person, which is seen not as that of a child, but as belonging to the present, and the idea of scanty clothing, which became buried beneath so many later nigligde recollec- tions or because of the censor, turns out to be obscure — ^these two things constitute the nucleus of the exhibition dream. Next come the persons before whom one is ashamed. I know of no example where the actual spectators at those infantile exhibitions reappear in the dream. For the dream is hardly ever a simple recoUection. Strangely enough, those persons who are the objects, of our sexual interest during child- hood are omitted from aU the reproductions of the dream, of hysteria, and of the compulsion neurosis ; paranoia alone puts the spectators back into their places, and is fanatically convinced of their presence, although they remain invisible. What the dream substitutes for these, the " many strange people," who take no notice of the spectacle which is presented, is exactly the wish-opposite of that single, intimate person for whom the exposure was intended. " Many strange people," moreover, are often found m the dream in any other favourable connection ; as a wish-opposite they always signify " a secret." f It may be seen how the restoration of the old condition of affairs, as it occurs in paranoia, is subject to this antithesis. One is no longer alone. One is certainly being watched, but the spectators are " many strange, curiously indeterminate people."

Furthermore, repression has a place in the exhibition

  • Ferenczi has reported a number of interesting dreams of nakedness

in women which could be traced to an infantile desire to exhibit, but which differ in some features from the typical " dream of nakedness discussed above.

t For obvious reasons the presence of the " whole family " in the dream has the same significance.


208 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

dream. For the disagreeable sensation of the dream is the reaction of the second psychic instance to the fact that the exhibition scene which has been rejected by it has in spite of this succeeded in securing representation. The only way to avoid this sensation would be not to revive the scene.

Later on we shall again deal with the sensation of being inhibited. It serves the dream excellently in representing the conflict of the will, the negation. According to our im- conscious purpose exhibition is to be continued ; according to the demands of the censor, it is to be stopped.

The relation of our typical dreams to fairy tales and to other poetic material is neither a sporadic nor an accidental one. Occasionally the keen insight of a poet has analytically recognised the transforming process — of which the poet is usually the tool — and has followed it backwards, that is to say, traced it to the dream. A friend has called my attention to the following passage in G. Keller's Der Gh'une Heinrich : " I do not wish, dear Lee, that you should ever come to realise from experience the pecuhar piquant truth contained m the situation of Odysseus, when he appears before Nausikaa and her playmates, naked and covered with mud ! Would you like to know what it means ? Let us consider the incident closely. If you are ever separated from your home, and from everything that is dear to you, and wander about in a strange country, when you have seen and experienced much, when you have cares and sorrows, and are, perhaps, even miserable and forlorn, you wiU some night inevitably dream that you are approaching your home ; you will see it shining and beaming in the most beautiful colours ; charming, delicate and lovely figures will come to meet you ; and you will suddenly discover that you are going about in rags, naked and covered with dust. A nameless feeling of shame and fear seizes you, you try to cover yourself and to hide, and you awaken bathed in sweat. As long as men exist, this will be the dream of the care-laden, fortune-battered man, and thus Homer has taken his situation from the profoundest depths of the eternal character of humanity."

/^ This profound and eternal character of humanity, upon the touching of which in his listeners the poet usually calculates^


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 209

is made up of the stirrings of the spirit which are rooted in childhood, in the period which later becomes prehistoric. Suppressed and forbidden wishes of childhood break forth under cover of those wishes of the homeless man which are unobjectionable and capable of becoming conscious, and for that reason the dream which is made objective in the legend of Nausikaa regularly assumes the form of a dream of anxiety.

My own dream, mentioned on p. 201, of hurrying up the stairs, which is soon afterward changed into that of being glued to the steps, is likewise an exhibition dream, because it shows the essential components of such a dream. It must thus permit of being referred to childish experiences, and the possession of these ought to tell us how far the behaviour of the servant girl towards me — her reproach that I had soiled the carpet — whelped her to secure the position which she occupies in the dream. I am now able to furnish the desired explana- tion. One learns in psychoanalysis to interpret temporal proximity by objective connection ; two thoughts, apparently without connection, which immediately follow one another, belong to a unity which can be inferred ; just as an a and a t, which I write down together, should be pronounced as one syllable, at. The same is true of the relation of dreams to one another. The dream just cited, of the stairs, has been taken from a series of dreams, whose other members I am famihar with on account of having interpreted them. The dream which is included in this series must belong to the same comiection. Now the other dreams of the series are based upon the recol- lection of a nurse to whom I was entrusted from some time in the period when I was suckling to the age of two and a half years, and of whom a hazy recollection has remained in my consciousness. According to information which I have re- cently obtained from my mother, she was old and ugly, but very intelligent and thorough ; according to inferences which I may draw from my dreams, she did not always give me the kindest treatment, and said hard words to me when I showed insufficient aptitude for education in cleanliness. Thus by attempting to continue this educational work the servant girl develops a claim to be treated by me, in the dream, as an incarnation of the prehistoric old woman. It is to be assumed

o


210 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

that the child bestowed his love upon this governess in spite of her bad treatment of him.*

Another series of dreams which might be called typical are those which have the content that a dear relative, parent, brother, or sister, child or the like, has died. Two classes of these dreams must immediately be distinguished — those in which the dreamer remains unaffected by sorrow while dream- ing, and those in which he feels profound grief on account of the death, in which he even expresses this grief during sleep by fervid tears.

We may ignore the dreams of the first group ; they have no claim to be reckoned as typical. If they are analysed, it is found that they signify something else than what they contain, that they are intended to cover up some other wish. Thus it is with the dream of the aunt who sees the only son of her sister Ijdng on a bier before her (p 129). This does not signify that she wishes the death of her little nephew ; it only con- ceals, as we have learned, a wish to see a beloved person once more after long separation — the same person whom she had seen again after a similar long intermission at the funeral of another nephew. TMs wish, which is the real content of the dream, gives no cause for sorrow, and for that reason no sorrow is felt in the dream. It may be seen in this case that the emotion which is contained in the dream does not belong to the manifest content of the dream, but to the latent one, and that the emotional content has remained free from the disfigurement which has befallen the presentation content.

It is a different story with the dreams in which the death of a beloved relative is imagined and where sorrowful emotion is felt. These signify, as their content says, the wish that the person in question may die, and as I may here expect that the feehngs of all readers and of aU persons who have dreamt anything similar wiU object to my interpretation, I must strive to present my proof on the broadest possible basis.

We have already had one example to show that the wishes

  • A supplementary interpretation of this dream : To spit on the stairs,

led me to ** esprit d'escalier " by a free translation, owing to the fact that " tipucken " (Engli&h ; spit, and also to act like a spook, to haunt) is an occu- pation of ghosts. " Stair-wit" is equivalent to lack of quickness at repartee (German : Schlagerfertigkeit — readiness to hit back, to strike), with which I must really lejjroach myself. Is it a question, hov>'ever, whether the nurse Vf as lacking in " readiness to hit " ' ,


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 211

represented in the dream as fulfilled are not always actual wishes. They may also be dead, discarded, covered, and re- pressed wishes, which we must nevertheless credit with a sort of continuous existence on account of their reappearance in the dream. They are not dead hke persons who have died in our sense, but they resemble the shades in the Odyssey which awaken a certain kind of life as soon as they have drunk blood. In the dream of the dead child in the box (p. 130) we were concerned vnth. a wish that had been actual fifteen years before, and which had been frankly admitted from that time. It is, perhaps, not unimportant from the point of view of dream theory if I add that a recollection from earhest childhood is at the basis even of this dream. While the dreamer was a little child — it cannot be definitely determined at what time — she had heard that during pregnancy of which she was the fruit her mother had fallen into a profound depression of spirits and had passionately wished for the death of her child before birth. Having grown up herself and become pregnant, she now follows the example of her mother.

If some one dreams with expressions of grief that his father or mother, his brother or sister, has died, I shall not use the dream as a proof that he wishes them dead now. The theory of the dreams does not require so much ; it is satisfied with concluding that the dreamer has wished them dead — at some one time in childhood. I fear, however, that this Hmitation will not contribute much to quiet the objectors ; they might just as energetically contest the possibihty that they have ever had such thoughts as they are sure that they do not cherish such wishes at present. I must, therefore, reconstruct a part of the submerged infantile psychology on the basis of the testimony which the present still furnishes.*

Let us at first consider the relation of children to their brothers and sisters. I do not know why we presuppose that it must be a loving one, since examples of brotherly and sisterly enmity among adults force themselves upon every one's ex- perience, and since we so often know that this estrangement originated even during childhood or has always existed. But

♦ Cf. " Analyse der Phobic eines fiinfjahrigen Knaben " in the Jahrbuch fiir psychoanalytische und psychopathologische Forschungen, vol. i., 1909, and " Ubere infantile Sexnaltheorien," in Sexualprobleme, vol. i., 1908.


212 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

many grown-up people, who to-day are tenderly attached to thek brothers and sisters and stand by them, have lived with them during childhood in almost uninterrupted hostility. The older child has ill-treated the younger, slandered it, and deprived it of its toys ; the younger has been consumed by helpless fury against the elder, has envied it and feared it, or its first impulse toward hberty and first feelings of injustice have been directed against the oppressor. The parents say that the children do not agree, and cannot find the reason for it. It is not difficult to see that the character even of a well- behaved child is not what we wish to firid in a grown-up person. The child is absolutely egotistical ; it feels its wants acutely and strives remorselessly to satisfy them, especially with its competitors, other children, and in the first instance with its brothers and sisters. For doing this we do not call the child wicked — we call it naughty ; it is not responsible for its evil deeds either in our judgment or in the eyes of the penal law. And this is justifiably so ; for we may expect that within this very period of life which we caU childhood, altruistic impulses and moraHty will come to life in the httle egotist, and that, in the words of Meynert, a secondary ego will overlay and restrain the primary one. It is true that moraHty does not develop simultaneously in all departments, and further- more, the duration of the unmoral period of childhood is of different length in different individuals. In cases where the development of this morahty fails to appear, we are pleased to talk about " degeneration " ; they are obviously cases of arrested development. Where the primary character has already been covered up by later development, it may be at least partially uncovered again by an attack of hysteria. The correspondence between the so-called hysterical character and that of a naughty child is strikingly evident. A com- pulsion neurosis, on the other hand, corresponds to a super- morahty, imposed upon the primary character that is again asserting itself, as an increased check.

Many persons, then, who love their brothers and sisters, and who would feel bereaved by their decease, have evil wishes towards them from earlier times in their unconscious wishes, which are capable of being reaUsed in the dream. It is particularly interesting to observe Httle children up to three


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 213

years old in their attitude towards their brothers and sisters. So far the child has been the only one ; he is now informed that the stork has brought a new child. The younger surveys the arrival, and then expresses his opinion decidedly : " The stork had better take it back again." *

»^I subscribe in all seriousness to the opinion that the child knows enough to calculate the disadvantage it has to expect on account of the new-comer. I know in the case of a lady of my acquaintance who agrees very well with a sister four years younger than herself, that she responded to the news of her younger sister's arrival with the following words : " But I shan't give her my red cap, anyway." If the child comes to this realisation only at a later time, its enmity will be aroused at that point. I know of a case where a girl, not yet three years old, tried to strangle a suc'lvling in the cradle, because its continued presence, she suspected, boded her no good. Children are capable of envy at this time of life in all its in- tensity and distinctness. Again, perhaps, the little brother or sister has really soon disappeared ; the child has again drawn the entire affection of the household to itself, and then a new child is sent by the stork ; is it then unnatural for the favourite to wish that the new competitor may have the same fate as the earlier one, in order that he may be treated as well as he was before during the interval ? Of course this attitude of the child towards the younger uifant is under* normal circum- stances a simple function of the difference of age. After a certain time the maternal instincts of the girl will be excited towards the helpless new-born child.

CFeelings of enmity towards brothers and sisters must occur far more frequent!}' during the age of childhood than is noted by the dull observation of adults.

In case of my own children, who followed one another rapidly, I missed the opportunity to make sueh observations ; I am now retrieving it through my Uttle nephew, whose com- plete domination was disturbed after fifteen months by the

  • The three-and-a-half-year-old Hans, whose phobia is the subject of

analysis in the above-mentioned publication, cries during fever shortly after the birth of his sister: "I doti't want a little sister." In his neurosis, one and a half years later, he frankly confesses the wish that the mother should drop the little one into the bath-tub while bathing it, in order that it may die. With all this, Hans is a good-natured, affectionate child, who soon becomes fond of his sister, and likes especially to take her under his protection.


214 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

arrival of a female competitor. I hear, it is true, that the young man acts very chivalrously towards his little sister, that he kisses her hand and pets her ; but in spite of this I have convinced myself that even before the completion of his second year he is using his new faciUty in language to criticise this person who seems superfluous to him. Whenever the conversation turns upon her, he chimes in and cries angrily :

  • ' Too (l)ittle, too (l)ittle." During the last few months, since

the child has outgrown this unfavourable criticism, owing to its splendid development, he has found another way of justify- ing his insistence that she does not deserve so much attention. On all suitable occasions he reminds us, " She hasn't any teeth." * We have all preserved the recollection of the eldest daughter of another sister of mine — ^how the child which was at that time six years old sought assurance from one aunt after another for an hour and a half with the question : " Lucy can't understand that yet, can she ? " Lucy was the com- petitor, two and a half years yomiger.

I have never failed in any of my female patients to find this dream of the death of brothers and sisters denoting exaggerated hostility. I have met with only one exception, which could easily be reinterpreted into a confirmation of the rule. Once in the course of a sitting while I was explaining this condition of affairs to a lady, as it seemed to have a bear- ing upon the symptoms under consideration, she answered, to my astonishment, that she had never had such dreams. How- ever, she thought of another dream which supposedly had nothing to do with the matter — a dream which she had first dreamed at the age of four, w^hen she was the youngest child, and had since dreamed repeatedly. " A great number of children, all of them the dreamer's brothers and sisters, and male and female cousins, were romping about in a meadow. Suddenly they aU got wings, flew up, and were gone." She had no idea of the significance of the dream ; but it will not be difficult for us to recognise it as a dream of the death of all the brothers and sisters, in its original form, and httle in- fluenced by the censor. I venture to insert the following interpretation : At the death of one out of a large number of

  • The three-and-a-half-year old Hans embodies liis crushing criticism of

his little sister in the identical word (see previous notes). He assumes that she is uualjle to 3]>t:ak on account of her lack of teeth.


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 215

children — in this case the children of two brothers were brought up in common as brothers and sisters — is it not probable that our dreamer, at that time not yet four years old, asked a wise, grown-up person : " What becomes of children when they are dead ? " The answer probably was : " They get wings and become angels." According to this explanation all the brothers and sisters and cousins in the dream now have wings like angels and — this is the important thing — ^they fly away. Our Httle angel-maker remains alone, think of it, the only one after such a multitude ! The feature that the children are romping about on a meadow points with Httle ambiguity to butterflies, as though the child had been led by the same association which induced the ancients to conceive Psyche as having the wings of a butterfly.

Perhaps some one will now object that, although the inimical impulses of children towards their brothers and sisters may well enough be admitted, how does the childish disposition arrive at such a height of wickedness as to wish death to a competitor or stronger playmate, as though all transgressions could be atoned for only by the death-punishment ? ^^Vhoever talks in this manner forgets that the childish idea of " being dead " has little else but the words in common with our own. The child knows nothing of the horrors of decay, of shivering in the cold grave, of the terror of the infinite Nothing, which the grown-up person, as all the myths concerning the Great Beyond testify, finds it so hard to bear in his conception. Fear of death is strange to the child ; therefore it plays with the horrible word and threatens another child : If you do that again you will die, as Francis died," whereat the poor mother shudders, for perhaps she cannot forget that the great majority of mortals do not succeed in Hving beyond the years of child- hood. It is still possible, even for a child eight years old, on returning from a museum of natural history, to say to its mother : " Mamma, I love you so ; if you ever die, I am going to have you stuffed and set you up here in the room so I can always, always see you ! " So Httle does the childish conception of being dead resemble our own.*

  • I heard the following idea expressed by a gifted boy of ten, after the

sudden death of his father : " I understand that father is dead, but I cannot see why lie does not come home for supper."


216 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

Being dead means for the child, which has been spared the scenes of suffering previous to dying, the same as " being gone," not distuxbrng^tjie. ,siiryivom,,ajxy-more. The child does not liistinguish the manner and means by which this absence is brought about, whether by travelling, estrangement, or death. If, during the prehistoric years of a child, a nurse has been sent away and its mother has died a short while after, the two experiences, as is revealed by analysis, overlap in his memory. The fact that the child does not miss very intensely those who are absent has been reahsed by many a mother to her sorrow, after she has returned home after a summer journey of several weeks, and has been told upon inquiry : " The children have not asked for their mother a single time." But if she really goes to that " undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveller returns," the children seem at first to have forgotten her, and begin only subsequently to remember the dead mother.

If, then, the child has motives for wishing the absence of another child, every restraint is lacking which would prevent it from clothing this wish in the form that the child may die, and the psychic reaction to the dream of wishing death proves that, in spite of all the differences in content, the wish in the case of the child is somehow or other the same as it is with adults.

If now the death- wish of the child towards its brothers and sisters has been explained by the childish egotism, which causes the child to regard its brothers and sisters as competitors, how may we account for the same wish towards parents, who bestow love on the child and satisfy its wants, and whose pre- servation it ought to desire from these very egotistical motives ?

In the solution of this difficulty we are aided by the experi- ence that dreams of the death of parents predominantly refer to that member of the parental couple which shares the sex of the dreamer, so that the man mostly dreams of the death of his father, the woman of the death of her mother. I caimot claim that this happens regularly, but the predominatiug occurrence of this dream in the manner indicated is so evident that it must be explaiued tlirough some factor that is uni- versally operative. To express the matter boldly, it is as though a sexual preference becomes active at an early period,


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 217

as though the boy regards his father as a rival in love, and as though the girl takes the same attitude toward her mother — a rival by getting rid of whom he or she cannot but profit.

Before rejecting this idea as monstrous, let the reader consider the actual relations between parents and children. What the requirements of culture and piety demand of this relation must be distinguished from what daily observation shows us to be the fact. More than one cause for hostile feeling is concealed within the relations between parents and children ; the conditions necessary for the actuation of washes which cannot exist in the presence of the censor are most abundantly provided. Let us dwell at first upon the relation between father and son. I believe that the sanctity which we have ascribed to the injunction of the decalogue dulls our perception of reality. Perhaps we hardly dare to notice that the greater part of humanity neglects to obey the fifth commandment. In the lowest as well as in the highest strata of human society, piety towards parents is in the habit of receding before other interests. The obscure reports which have come to us in mythology and legend from the primeval ages of human society give us an unpleasant idea of the power of the father and the ruthlessness with which it was used. Kronos devours his children, as the wild boar devours the brood of the sow ; Zeus emasculates his father * and takes his place as a ruler. The more despotically the father ruled in the ancient family, the more must the son have taken the position of an enemy, and the greater must have been his impatience, as designated successor, to obtain the mastery himself after his father's death. Even in our own middle-class family the father is accustomed to aid the development of the germ of hatred which naturally belongs to the paternal relation by refusing the son the disposal of his own destiny, or the means necessary for this. A physician often has occasion to notice that the son's grief at the loss of his father cannot suppress his satisfaction at the Hberty which he has at last obtained. Every father trantically holds on to whatever of the sadly antiquated potestas

  • At least a certain number of luythological representations. According

to others, emasculation is only practised by Kronos on his father.

With regard to mythological significance of this motive, cf. Otto Rank's "Der Mythus von der Geburt des Helden," fifth number of Schriften zur angew. .^eelenkunde, 1909.


218 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

pairis still remains in the society of to-day. and every poet who, like Ibsen, puts the ancient strife between father and son in the foreground of his fiction is sure of his effect. The causes of conflict between mother and daughter arise when the daughter grows up and finds a guardian in her mother, while she desires sexual freedom, and when, on the other hand, the mother has been warned by the budding beauty of her daughter that the time has come for her to renounce sexual claims.

All these conditions are notorious and open to everyone's inspection. But they do not serve to explain dreams of the death of parents found in the case of persons to whom piety towards their parents has long since come to be inviolable. We are furthermore prepared by the preceding discussion to find that the death-wish towards parents is to be explained by reference to earliest childhood.

This conjecture is reafiirmed with a certainty that makes doubt impossible in its appHcation to psychoneurotics through the analyses that have been undertaken with them. It is here found that the sexual wishes of the child — in so far as they deserve this designation in their embryonic state — awaken at a very early period, and that the first inclinations of the girl are directed towards the father, and the first childish cravings of the boy towards the mother. The father thus becomes an annojdng competitor for the boy, as the mother does for the girl, and we have already shown in the case of brothers and sisters how Uttle it takes for this feeling to lead the child to the death-wish. Sexual selection, as a rule, early becomes evident in the parents ; it is a natural tendency for the father to indulge the little daughter, and for the mother to take the part of the sons, while both work earnestly for the education of the Uttle ones when the magic of sex does not prejudice their judgment. The child is very weU aware of any partiaHty, and resists that member of the parental couple who discourages it. To find love in a grown-up person is for the child not only the satisfaction of a particular craving, but also means that the child's will is to be yielded to in other respects. Thus the child obeys its own sexual impulse, and at the same time re-enforces the feeling which proceeds from the parents, if it makes a selection among the parents that corresponds to theirs.


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 219

Most of the signs of these infantile inclinations are usually overlooked ; some of them may be observed even after the first years of childhood. An eight-year-old girl of my ac- quaintance, when her mother is called from the table, takes advantage of the opportunity to proclaim herseK her suc- cessor. " Now I shall be Mamma ; Charles, do you want some more vegetables ? Have some, I beg you," &c. A particu- larly gifted and vivacious girl, not yet four years old, with whom this bit of child psychology is unusually transparent, says outright : " Now mother can go away ; then father must marry me and I shall be his wife." Nor does this wish by any means exclude from child life the possibihty that the child may love his mother affectionately. If the little boy is allowed to sleep at his mother's side whenever his father goes on a journey, and if after his father's return he must go back to the nursery to a person whom he Hkes far less, the wish may be easily actuated that his father may always be absent, m order that he may keep his place next to his dear, beautiful mamma ; and the father's death is obviously a means for the attainment of this wish ; for the child's experience has taught him that

    • dead " folks, like grandpa, for example, are always absent ;

they never return.

Although observations upon little children lend them- selves, without being forced, to the proposed interpretation, they do not carry the full conviction which psychoanalyses of adult neurotics obtrude upon the physician. The dreams in question u,re here cited with introductions of such a nature that their interpretation as wish-dreams becomes unavoidable. One day I find a lady sad and weeping. She says : " I do not want to see my relatives any more ; they must shudder at me." Thereupon, almost without any transition, she tells that she remembers a dream, whose significance, of course, she does not know. She dreamed it four years before, and it is as follows : A fox or a lynx is taking a walk on the roof ; then something falls down, or she falls down, and after that her mother is carried out of the house dead — whereat the dreamer cries bitterly. No sooner had I informed her that this dream must signify a wish from her childhood to see her mother dead, and that it is because of this dream that she thinks that her relatives must shudder at her, than she furnished some material for explauiing


220 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

the dream. " Lynx-eye " is an opprobrious epithet which a street boy once bestowed on her when she was a very small child ; when she was three years old a brick had fallen on her mother's head so that she bled severely.

I once had opportunity to make a thorough study of a young girl who underwent several psychic states. In the state of frenzied excitement with which the illness started, the patient showed a very strong aversion to her mother ; she struck and scolded her as soon as she approached the bed, while at the same time she remained loving and obedient to a much ol der siat si.^ Then there followed a clear but somewhat apathetic state with very much disturbed sleep. It was in this phase that I began to treat her and to analyse her dreams. An enormous number of these dealt in a more or less abstruse manner with the death of the mother ; now she was present at the funeral of an old woman, now she saw her sisters sitting at the table dressed in mourning ; the meaning of the dreams could not be doubted. During the further progress of the convalescence hysterical phobias appeared ; the most tortur- ing of these was the idea that something happened to her mother. She was always having to hurry home from wherever she happened to be in order to convince herself that her mother was still aUve. Now this case, in view of my other experiences, was very instructive ; it showed in polyglot translations, as it were, the dilSerent ways in which the psychic apparatus reacts to the same exciting idea. In the state of excitement which I conceive as the overpowering of the second psychic instance, the unconscious enmity towards the mother became potent as a motor impulse ; then, after calmness set in, following the suppression of the tumult, and after the domination of the censor had been restored, this feeling of enmity had access only to the province of dreams in order to reahse the wish that the mother might die ; and after the normal condition had been still further strengthened, it created the excessive concern for the mother as a hysterical counter-reaction and manifesta- tion of defence. In the Hght of these considerations it is no longer inexplicable why hysterical girls are so often extrava- gantly attached to their mothers.

On another occasion I had opportunity to get a profound insight into the unconscious psycliic life of a young man for


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 221

whom a compulsion-neurosis made life almost unendurable, so that he could not go on the street, because he was harassed by the obsession that he would kill every one he met. He spent his days in arranging evidence for an ahbi in case he should be charged with any murder that might have occurred in the city. It is superfluous to remark that this man was as moral as he was highly cultured. The analysis — ^which, moreover, led to a cure — discovered murderous impulses toward the young man's somewhat over-strict father as the basis of these disagreeable ideas of compulsion — ^impulses which, to his great surprise, had received conscious expression when he was seven years old, but which, of course, had originated in much earher years of childhood. After the painful illness and death of the father, the obsessive reproach transferred to strangers in the form of the afore-mentioned phobia, appeared when the yoimg man was thirty-one years old. Anyone capable of wishing to push his own father from a mountain-top into an abyss is certainly not to be trusted to spare the hves of those who are not so closely bound to him ; he does well to lock himself into his room.

According to my experience, which is now large, parents play a leading part in the infantile psychology of aU later neurotics, and falling in love with one member of the parental couple and hatred of the other help to make up that fateful sum of material furnished by the psychic impulses, which has been formed during the infantile period, and which is of such great importance for the symptoms appearing in the later neurosis. But I do not think that psychoneurotics are here sharply distinguished from norma.1 human beings, in that they are capable of creating something absolutely new and peculiar to themselves. It is far more probable, as is shown also by occasional observation upon normal children, that in their loving or hostile wishes towards their parents psycho- neurotics only show in exaggerated form feeHngs which are present less distinctly and less intensely in the minds of most children. Antiquity has furnished us with legendary material to confirm this fact, and the deep and universal effectiveness of these legends can only be explained by granting a similar universal apphcabiUty to the above-mentioned assumption in Infantile psychology.


222 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

I refer to the legend of Eang Oedipus and the drama of the same name by Sophocles. Oedipus, the son of Laius, king of Thebes, and of Jocasta, is exposed while a suckUng, because an oracle has informed the father that his son, who is still unborn, will be his murderer. He is rescued, and grows up as the king's son at a foreign court, until, bemg uncertain about his origin, he also consults the oracle, and is advised to avoid his native place, for he is destined to become the murderer of his father and the husband of his mother. On the road leading away from his supposed home he meets King Laius and strikes him dead in a sudden quarrel. Then he comes to the gates of Thebes, where he solves the riddle of the Sphjnix who is barring the way, and he is elected king by the Thebans in gratitude, and is presented with the hand of Jocasta. He reigns in peace and honour for a long time, and begets two sons and two daughters upon his unknown mother, until at last a plague breaks out which causes the Thebans to consult the oracle anew. Here Sophocles' tragedy begins. The mes- sengers bring the advice that the plague wiU stop as soon as the murderer of Laius is driven from the country. But where is he hidden ?

" Where are they to be found ? How shaU we trace the perpetrators of so old a crime where no conjecture leads to discovery ? " *

The action of the play now consists merely in a revelation, which is gradually completed and artfully delayed — ^resembling the work of a psychoanalysis — of the fact that Oedipus himself is the murderer of Laius, and the son of the dead man and of Jocasta. Oedipus, profoundly shocked at the mon- strosities which he has unknowingly committed, blinds himself and leaves his native place. The oracle has been fulfilled.

The Oedipus Tyrannus is a so-called tragedy of fate ; its tragic effect is said to be found in the opposition between the powerful will of the gods and the vain resistance of the human beings who are threatened with destruction ; resignation to the will of God and confession of one's own helplessness is the lesson which the deeply-moved spectator is to learn from the tragedy. Consequently modem authors have tried to obtain a similar tragic effect by embodying the same opposition in a ♦ Act. i. sc. 2. Translated by George Somera Clark.


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 223

Btory of their own invention. But spectators have sat unmoved while a curse or an oracular sentence has been fulfilled on blameless human beings in spite of all their struggles ; later tragedies of fate have all remained without effect.

If the Oedipus Tyrannus is capable of moving modem men no less than it moved the contemporary Greeks, the explana- tion of this fact cannot lie merely in the assumption that the effect of the Greek tragedy is based upon the opposition be- tween fate and human will, but is to be sought in the pecuHar nature of the material by which the opposition is shown. There must be a voice within us which is prepared to recognise the compelling power of fate in Oedipus, while we justly con- denm the situations occurring in Die Ahnfrau or in other tragedies of later date as arbitrary inventions. And there must be a factor corresponding to this inner voice in the story of King Oedipus. His fate moves us only for the reason that it migjit have been ours, for the oracle has put the same curse upon us before our birth as upon him. Perhaps we are aU destined to direct our first sexual impulses towards our mothers, and our first hatred and violent wishes towards our fathers ; our dreams convince us of it. King Oedipus, who has struck his father Laius dead and has married his mother Jocasta, is nothing but the reaHsed wish of our childhood. But more fortunate than he, we have since succeeded, unless we have become psychoneurotics, in withdrawing our sexual impulses from our mothers and in forgetting our jealousy of our fathers. We recoil from the person for whom this primitive wish has been fulfilled with all the force of the repression which these wishes have suffered within us. By his analysis, showing us the guilt of Oedipus, the poet urges us to recognise our own inner self, in which these impulses, even if suppressed, are still present. The comparison with which the chorus leaves us —

"... Behold ! this Oedipus, who unravelled the famous riddle and who was a man of eminent virtue ; a man who trusted neither to popularity nor to the fortune of his citizens ; see how great a storm of adversity hath at last overtaken him " (Act V. sc. 4).

This warning applies to ourselves and to our pride, to us, who have grown so wise and so powerful in our own estimation


224 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

since the years of our childhood. Like Oedipus, we live in ignorance of the wishes that offend morality, wishes which nature has forced upon us, and after the revelation of which we want to avert every glance from the scenes of our childhood.

In the verj text of Sophocles' tragedy there is an unmis- takable reference to the fact that the Oedipus legend originates in an extremely old dream material, which consists of the painful disturbance of the relation towards one's parents by means of the first impulses of sexuahty. Jocasta comforts Oedipus — ^who is not yet enHghtened, but who has become worried on account of the oracle — by mentioning to him the dream which is dreamt by so many people, though she attaches no significance to it —

" For it hath already been the lot of many men in dreams to think themselves partners of their mother's bed. But he passes most easily through Hfe to whom these circumstances are trifles " (Act iv. sc. 3).

The dream of having sexual intercourse with one's mothei occurred at that time, as it does to-day, to many people, who ^eil it with indignation and astonishment. As may be under- stood, it is the key to the tragedy and the complement to the dream of the death of the father. The story of Oedipus is the reaction of the imagination to these two tj^ical dreams, and just as the dream when occurring to an adult is experienced with feelings of resistance, so the legend must contain terror and self -chastisement. The appearance which it further assumes is the result of an uncomprehending secondary elab- oration which tries to make it serve theological purposes (c/. the dream material of exhibitionism, p. 206). The at- tempt to reconcile divine omnipotence with human responsi- bihty must, of course, fail with this material as with every other.*

  • Another of tlie great creations of tragic poetry, Shakespeare's Eamlet,

is founded on the same basis as the Oedipus. But the whole difference in the psychic life of the two widely separated periods of civilisation — the age- long progress of repression in the emotional life of humanity — is made manifest in the changed treatment of the identical material. In Oedipus the basic wish-phantasy of the child is brought to light and realised as it is in the dream ; in Hamlet it remains reuressed, and we learn of its existence — somewhat as in the case of a neurosis — only by the inhibition which results from it. The fact that it is possible to remain in complete darkness


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 225

I must not leave the typical dream of the death of dear relatives without somewhat further elucidating the subject

concerning the character of the hero, has curiously shown itself to be consistent with the overpowering effect of the modern drama. The play is based upon Hamlet's hesitation to accomplish the avenging task which has been assigned to him ; the text does not avow the reasons or motives of this hesitation, nor have the numerous attempts at interpretation succeeded in giving them. According to the conception which is still current to-day, and which goes back to Goethe, Hamlet represents the type of man whose prime energy 13 paralysed by over-development of thought activity. (" Sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought.") According to others the poet has attempted to portray a morbid, vacillating character who is subject to neurasthenia. The plot of the story, however, teaches us that Hamlet is by no means intended to appear as a person altogether incapable of action. Twice we see him asserting himself actively, once in headlong passion, where he stabs the eavesdropper behind the arras, and on another occasion where he sends the two courtiers to the death which has been intended for himself — doing this deliberately, even craftily, and with all the lack of compunction of a prince of the Renaissance. What is it, then, that restrains him in the accomplish- ment of the task which his father's ghost has set before him ? Here the explanation offers itself that it is the peculiar nature of this task. Hamlet can do everything but take vengeance upon the man who has put his father out of the way, and has taken his father's place with his mother — upon the man who shows him tlie realisation of his repressed childhood wishes. The loathing which ought to drive him to revenge is thus replaced in him by self-reproaches, by conscientious scruples, which represent to him that he himself is no better than the murderer whom he is to punish. I have thus translated into consciousness what had to remain unconscious in the mind of the hero ; if some one wishes to call Hamlet a hysteric subject I cannot but recognise it as an inference from my interpretation. The sexual dis- inclination which Hamlet expresses in conversation with Ophelia, coincides very well with this view — it is the same sexual disinclination which was to take possession of the poet more and more during the next few years of his life, until the climax of it is expressed in Tiinon of Athens. Of course it can only be the poet's own psychology with which we are confronted in Hamlet; from a work on Shakespeare by George Brandes (1896), I take the fact that the drama was composed immediately after the death of Shakespeare's father — that is to say, in the midst of recent mourning for him — during the revival, we may assume, of his childhood eir.otion towards his father. It is also known that a son of Shakespeare's, who died early, bore the name of Hamnft (identical with Hamlet). Just as Hamlet treats of the relation of the son to his pari.->ts, Macbeth, which appears subse- quently, is based upon the theme of childlessness. Just as every neurotic symptom, just as the dream itself, is capable of re-interpretation, and even requires it in order to be perfectly intelligible, so every genuine poetical creation must have proceeded from more than one motive, more than one impulse in the mind of the poet, and must admit of more than one inter- pretation. I have here attempted to interpret only the most profound group of impulses in the mind of the creative poet. The conception of the Hamlet problem contained in these remarks has been later confirmed in a detailed work based on many new arguments by Dr. Ernest Jones, of Toronto (Canada). The connection of the Hamlet material with the " Mythus von der Geburt des Helden" has also been demonstrated by 0. Rank. — "The Oedipus Complex as an Explanation of Hamlefs Mystery : a Study in Motive " (American Journal of Psychology, January 1910, vol. xxi.).


226 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

of their significance for the theory of the dream in general. These dreams show us a reaHsation of the very imusual case where the dream thought, which has been created by the repressed wish, completely escapes the censor, and is transferred to the dream without alteration. There must be present pecuUar conditions making possible such an outcome. I find circumstances favourable to these dreams in the two following factors : First, there is no wish which we beUeve further from us ; we beheve such a wish " would never occur to us in a dream " ; the dream censor is therefore not prepared for this monstrosity, just as the legislation of Solon was incapable of estabUshing a punishment for patricide. Secondly, the re- pressed and unsuspected wish is in just this case particularly often met by a fragment of the day's experience in the shape of a concern about the life of the beloved person. This con- cern cannot be registered in the dream by any other means than by taking advantage of the wish that has the same content ; but it is possible for the wish to mask itself behind the concern which has been awakened during the day. If one is inclined to think all this a more simple process, and that one merely continues during the night and in dreams what one has been concerned with during the day, the dream of the death of beloved persons is removed from all connection with dream explanation, and an easily reducible problem is uselessly retained.

It is also instructive to trace the relation of these dreams to anxiety dreams. In the dream of the death of dear persons the repressed wish has found a way of avoiding the censor, and the distortion which it causes. In this case the inevitable concomitant manifestation is that disagreeable sensations are felt in the dream. Thus the dream of fear is brought about only when the censor is entirely or partially overpowered, and, on the other hand, the overpowering of the censor is made easier when fear has already been furnished by somatic sources. Thus it becomes obvious for what purpose the censor performs its office and practises dream distortion ; it does this in order to 'prevent the development of fear or other forms of disagreeable emotion.

I have spoken above of the egotism of the infantile mind, and I may now resume this subject in order to suggest that


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 227

dreams preserve this characteristic — ^thus showing their con- nection with infantile Hfe. Every dream is absolutely egotis- tical ; in every dream the beloved ego appears, even though it may be in a disguised form. The wishes that are realised in dreams are regularly the wishes of this ego ; it is only a de- ceptive appearance if interest in another person is thought to have caused the dream. I shall subject to analysis several examples which appear to contradict this assertion.

I. A boy not yet four years old relates the following : He saiv a large dish garnished, and upon it a large piece of roast meat, and the meat was all of a sudden — not cut to pieces — hut eaten up. He did not se£ ihe person who ate it*

Who may this strange person be of whose luxurious repast this httle fellow dreams ? The experiences of the day must give us the explanation of this. For a few days the boy had been Hving on a diet of milk according to the doctor's pre- scription ; but on the evening of the day before the dream he had been naughty, and as a punishment he had been deprived of his evening meal. He had already undergone one such hunger- cure, and had acted very bravely. He knew that he would get nothing to eat, but he did not dare to indicate by a word that he w^s hungry. Education was beginning to have its influence upon him ; this is expressed even in the dream which shows the beginnings of dream disfigurement. There is no doubt that he himself is the person whose wishes are directed toward this abundant meal, and a meal of roast meat at that. But since he knows that this is forbidden him, he does not dare, as children do in the dream (c/. the dream about strawberries of my little Anna, p. 110), to sit down to the meal himself. The person remains anonymous.

II. Once I dream that I see on the show-table of a book store a new number in the Book-lovers' Collection — ^the collec- tion which I am in the habit of buyuig (art monographs, mono- graphs on the history of the world, famous art centres, Sec).

  • Likewise, anything large, over-abundant, enormous, and exaggerated,

may be a childish characteristic. The child knows no more intense wish than to become big, and to receive as much of everything as grown-ups ; the child is hard to satisfy ; it knows no enough, and insatiably demands the repetition of whatever has pleased it or tasted good to it. It learns to practise moderation, to be modest and resigned, only through culture and education. As is well known, the neurotic is also inclined toward im- moderation and excess.


228 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

The new collection is colled Famous Orators (or Orations), and the first number hears the name of Doctor Lecher.

In the course of analysis it appears improbable that the fame of Dr. Lecher, the long-winded orator of the German Opposition, should occupy my thoughts wliile I am dreaming. The fact is that, a few days before, I undertook the psychic cure of some new patients, and was now forced to talk for from ten to twelve hours a day. Thus I myself am the long- winded orator.

III. Upon another occasion I dream that a teacher of my acquaintance at the university says : My son, the Myopic, Then there follows a dialogue consisting of short speeches and repHes. A third portion of the dream follows in which I and my sons appear, and as far as the latent dream content is concerned, father, son, and Professor M. are alike only lay figures to represent me and my eldest son. I shall consider this dream again further on because of another pecuharity.

IV. The following dream gives an example of really base egotistical feelirxgs, which are concealed behind affectionate concern :

My friend Otto holes ill, his face is brown and his eyes bulge.

Otto is my family physician, to whom I owe a debt greater than I can ever hope to repay, since he has guarded the health of ray children for years. He has treated them successfully when they were taken sick, and besides that he has given them presents on aU occasions which gave him any excuse for doing so. He came for a visit on the day of the dream, and my wife noticed that he looked tired and exhausted. Then comes my dream at night, and attributes to him a few of the symptoms of Basedow's disease. Any one disregarding my rules for dream interpretation would understand this dream to mean that I am concerned about the health of my friend, and that this concern is loaUsed in the dream. It would thus be a contradiction not only of the assertion that the ^eamjs a wish-fulfilment, but also of the assertion that it is accessible only to egQtisticIljDapiiiges.~^But^t the person '^^^ interprets the dream in this manner explain to me why I fear that Otto has Basedow's disease, for which diagnosis his appearance does not give the slightest justification ? As opposed to this, my analysis furnishes the following material., taken from an


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 229

occurrence which happened six years ago. A small party of us, including Professor R., were driving in profound darkness through the forest of N., which is several hours distant from our country home. The coachman, who was not quite sober, threw us and the wagon down a bank, and it was only by a lucky accident that we all escaped unhurt. But we were forced to spend the night at the nearest inn, where the news of our accident awakened great sympathy. A gentleman, who showed unmistakable signs of the morbus Basedowii — nothing but a brownish colour of the skin of the face and bulging eyes, no goitre — placed himself entirely at our disposal and asked what he could do for us. Professor R. answered in his decided way : " Nothing but lend me a night-shirt." Whereupon our generous friend repHed : " I am sorry but I cannot do that," and went away.

In continuing the analysis, it occurs to me that Basedow is the name not only of a physician, but also of a famous educator. (Now that I am awake I do not feel quite sure of this fact.) My friend Otto is the person whom I have a^sked to take charge of the physical education of my children — especially during the age of puberty (hence the night-shirt) — in case anything should happen to me. By seeing Otto in the dream with the morbid symptoms of our above-mentioned generous benefactor, I apparently mean to say, " If anything happens to me, just as Httle is to be expected for my children from him as was to.be expected then from Baron L., in spite of his well-meaning offers." The egotistical turn of this dream ought now to be clear.*

But where is the wish-fulfilment to be found ? It is not in the vengeance secured upon my friend Otto, whose fate it seems to be to receive ill-treatment in my dreams, but in the following circumstances : In representing Otto in the dream as Baron L., I have at the same time identified myself with some one else, that is to say, with Professor R., for I have asked something of Otto, just as R. asked something of Baron L.

  • While Dr. Jones was delivering a lecture before an American scientific

society, and speaking of egotism m dreams, a learned lady took exception to this unscientific generalisation. She thought that the lecturer could only pronounce such judgment on the dreams of Austrians, and had no right to include the dreams of Americans. As for herself she was sure that all her dreams were strictly altruistic.


230 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

at the time of the occurrence which has been mentioned. And that is the point. For Professor R. has pursued his way independently outside the schools, somewhat as I have done, and has only in later years received the title which he earned long ago. I am therefore again wishing to be a professor 1 The very phrase " in later years " is the fuliSlment of wish, for it signifies that I shall Uve long enough to pilot my boy through the age of puberty myself.

I gave only a brief account of the other forms of typical dreams in the first edition of this book, because an insufficient amount of good material was at my disposal. My experience, which has since been increased, now makes it possible for me to divide these dreams into two broad classes — first, those which really have the same meaning every time, and secondly, those which must be subjected to the most widely different interpretations in spite of their identical or similar content. Among the typical dreams of the first sort I shaU closely consider the examination dream and the so-called dream of dental irritation.

Every one who has received his degree after having passed the final college examination, complains of the ruthlessness with which he is pursued by the anxiety dream that he wiU fail, that he must repeat his work, &c. For the holder of the university degree this typical dream is replaced by another, which represents to him that he has to p^s the examination for the doctor's degree, and against which he vainly raises the objection in his sleep that he has already been practising for years — that he is already a university instructor or the head of a law firm. These are the ineradicable memories of the punishments which we suffered when we were cMdren for misdeeds which we had committed — memories which v/ere revived in us on that dies irae, dies ilia of the severe exami- nation at the two critical junctures in our studies. The " examination-phobia " of neurotics is also strengthened by this childish fear. After we have ceased to be schoolboys it is no longer our parents and guardians as at first, or our teachers as later on, who see to our punishment ; the inexorable chain of causes and effects in life has taken over our further education. Now we dream of examinations for graduation


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 231

or for the doctor's degree — and who has not been faint-hearted in these tests, even though he belonged to the righteous ? — whenever we fear that an outcome will punish us because we have not done something, or because we have not accompMshed something as we should — in short whenever we feel the weight of responsibihty.

I owe the actual explanation of examination dreams to a remark made by a well-informed colleague, who once asserted in a scientific discussion that in his experience the examination dream occurs only to persons who have passed the examina- tion, never to those who have gone to pieces on it. The anxiety dream of the examination, which occurs, as is being more and more corroborated, when the dreamer is looking forward to a responsible action on his part the next day and the possibility of disgrace, has therefore probably selected an occasion in the past where the great anxiety has shown itself to have been without justification and has been contra- dicted by the result. This would be a very striking example of a misconception of the dream content on the part of the waking instance. The objection to the dream, which is con- ceived as the indignant protest, " But I am already a doctor," &c., would be in reality a consolation which the dreams offer, and which would therefore be to the following effect : "Do not be afraid of the morrow ; think of the fear which you had before the final examination, and yet nothing came of it. You are a doctor this minute," &c. The fear, however, which we attribute to the dream, originates in the remnants of daily experience.

The tests of this explanation which I was able to make in my own case and in that of others, although they were not sufficiently numerous, have been altogether successful. I failed, for example, in the examination for the doctor's degree in legal medicine ; never once have I been concerned about this matter in my dreams, while I have often enough been examined in botany, zoology, or chemistry, in which subjects I took the examinations with well-founded anxiety, but escaped punishment through the clemency of fortune or of the examiner. In my dreams of coUege examination, I am regularly examined in history, a subject which I passed brilliantly at the time, but only, I must admit, because my


232 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

good-natured professor — my one-eyed benefactor in another dream (c/. p. 12) — did not overlook the fact that on the list of qaestions I had crossed out the second of tliree questions as an indication that he should not insist on it. One of my patients, who withdrew before the final coUege examinations and made them up later, but who failed in the officer's exami- nation and did not become an officer, tells me that he dreams about the former examination often enough, but never about the latter.

The above-mentioned colleague (Dr. Stekel of Vienna) calls attention to the double meaning of the word " Matura " {Matura — examination for college degree : mature, ripe), and claims that he has observed that examination dreams occur very frequently when a sexual test is set for the following day, in v/hich, therefore, the disgrace which is feared might consist in the manifestation of shght potency. A German colleague takes exception to this, as it appears, justly, on the ground that this examination is denominated in Germany the Abiturium and hence lacks this double meaning.

On account of their similar affective impression dreams of missing a train deserve to be placed next to examination dreams. Their explanation also justifies this relationship. They are consolation dreams directed against another feeling of fear perceived in the dream, the fear of dying. " To depart " is one of the most frequent and one of the most easily reached symbols of death. The dream thus says consolingly : " Compose yourself, you are not going to die (to depart)," just as the examination dream calms us bj saying " Fear not, nothing will happen to you even this time." The difficulty in understanding both kinds of dreams is due to the fact that the feeling of anxiety is directly connected with the expression of consolation. Stekel treats fuUy the symbolisms of death in his recently pubHshed book Die Sprache des Traumes.

The meaning of the " dreams of dental irritation," which I have had to analyse often enough with my patients, escaped me for a long time, because, much to my astonishment, resistances that wore altogether too great obstructed their interpretation.

At last overwhelming evidence convinced me that, in the case of men, nothing else than cravings for masturbation from


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 233

the time of puberty furnishes the motive power for these dreams. I shall analyse two such dreams, one of which is likewise " a dxeam of flight." The two dreams are of the same person — a young man with a strong homosexuahty, which, however, has been repressed in life.

He is witnessing a performance of Fideho from the parquette of the opera house ; he is sitting next to L., whose personality is congenial to him-, and whose friendship he woidd like to Jiave. He svddeidy flies diagonally clear across the parquette ; he then puts his hand in his mouth and draws out two of his teeth.

He himself describes the flight by saying it was as if he were " thrown " into the air. As it was a performance of Fidelio he recalls the poet's words :

" He who a charming wife acquired **

But even the acquisition of a charming wife is not among the wishes of the dreamer. Two other verses would be more appropriate :

" He who succeeds in the lucky (big) throw, A friend of a friend to be ... "

The dream thus contains the " lucky (big) throw," which is not, however, a wish-fulfilment only. It also conceals the painful reflection that in his striving after friendship he has often had the misfortune to be " thrown down," and the fear lest this fate may be repeated in the case of the young man next whom he has enjoyed the performance of Fiddio. This is now followed by a confession which quite puts :liis refined dreamer to shame, to the efrect that once, after such a rejection on the part of a friend, out of burning desire he merged into sexual excitement and masturbated twice in succession.

Tlie other dream is as foUows : Two professors of the uni- versity who are known to him are treating him in rp/y stead. One of them does something with his penis ; he fears an operation. The other one thrusts an iron bar at his mouth so that he loses two teeth. He is hound with four silken cloths.

The sexual significance of this dream can hardly be doubted. ITie silken clotlis are equivalent to an identification with a


234 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

homosexual of his acquaintance. The dreamer, who has never achieved coition, but who has never actually sought sexual intercourse with men, conceives sexual intercourse after the model of the masturbation which he was once taught during the time of puberty.

I beheve that the frequent modifications of the tj^ical dream of dental irritation — ^that, for example, of another person drawing the tooth from the dreamer's mouth, are made intelligible by means of the same explanation. It may, however, be difficult to see how " dental irritation " can come to have this significance. I may then call attention to a transference from below to above which occurs very frequently. This transference is at the service of sexual repression, and by means of it all kinds of sensations and intentions occurring in hysteria which ought to be enacted in the genitals can be realised upon less objectionable parts of the body. It is also a case of such transference when the genitals are replaced by the face in the symbohsm of unconscious thought. This is assisted by the fact that the buttocks resemble the cheeks, and also by the usage of language which calls the nymphae " hps," as resembling those that enclose the opening of the mouth. The nose is compared to the penis in numerous aUusions, and in one place as in the other the presence of hair completes the resemblance. Only one part of the anatomy — ^the teeth — are beyond all possibility of being compared with anything, and it is just this coincidence of agreement and disagreement wh\ch makes the teeth suitable for representation under pressure of sexual repression.

I do not wish to claim that the interpretation of the dream of dental irritation as a dream of masturbation, the justifica- tion of which I cannot doubt, has been freed of all obscurity.* I carry the explanation as far as I am able, and must leave the rest unsolved. But I must also refer to another connection revealed by an idiomatic expression. In our country there is in use an indehcate designation for the act of masturbation, namely : To pull one out, or to pull one down.t I am unable to say whence these coiloquiahsms originate, and on what

  • According to C. G. Jung, dreams of dental irritation in the case of

won)en have the significance of parturition dreams, t GJ. the " biographic " dreain on p. 235.


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 235

Bymbolisms they are based, but the teeth would well fit in with the first of the two.* \

Dreams in which one is flying or hovering, falling, swimming, or the like, belong to the second group of typical di-eams. What do these dreams signify ? A general statement on this point cannot be made. They signify something different in each case,

♦ As the dreams of pulling teeth, and teeth falling out, are interpreted in popular belief to mean the death of a close friend, and as psychoanalysis can at most only admit of such a meaning in the above indicat«^d parodical sense, I insert here a dream of dental irritation placed at my disposal by Otto Kank ^^\

" Upon the subject of dreams of dental irritation I have received the following report from a colleague who has for some time taken a lively interest in the problems of dream interpretation :

/ recently dreamed that I went to the dentist who drilled out one of my back teeth in the lower jaw. He worked so long at it thai the tooth became useless. He then grasped it with the forceps, and pulled it out with such perfect ease that it astonished me. He said that I should not care about it, as this was not really tlie tooth that had been treated; and he put it on the table vjhere the tooth [as it seems to me now an upper incisor) fell apart into many strata. I arose from the operating chair, stepped inquisitively nearer, and, full of interest, "put a medical question. While the doctor separated the individual pieces of the strikingly white tooth and ground them up {pulverised them) with an instrument, he explained to me that this had some connection ivith puberty, and that the teeth come out so easily only before puberty ; the decisive moment for this in women is the birth of a child. I then noticed {as I believe half awake) that this dream was accompanied by a pollution which I cannot however definitely place at a particular point in the dream; I am i^iclined to think that it began with the pulling out of the tooth.

I then continued to dream something which I can no longer remember, which ended with the fact that I had^ left my hat and coat somewhere {perhaps at the dentisVs), hoping that they would he brought after me, and dressed only in my overcoat I hastened to catch a departing train. I succeeded at the last moment in jumping upon the last car, where someone was already standing. I could not, however, get inside the car, but was compelled to make the journey in an un- comfortable position, from which I attempted to escape with final success. We journeyed through a long tunnel, in which two trains from the opposite direction passed through our own train as if it were a tunnel. I looked in as from the outside throv.gh a car window.

As material for the interpretation of this dream, we obtained the follow- ing experiences and thoughts of the dreamer : —

I. For a short time I had actually been under dental treatment, and at the time of the dream I was suffering from continual pains in the tooth of my lower jaw, which was drilled out in the dream, and on which the dentist had in. fact worked longer than I liked. On the forenoon of the day of the dream I had again gone to the doctor's on account of the pain, and he had suggested that I should allow him to pull out another tooth than the one treated in the same jaw, from which the pain probably came. It was a 'wisdom tooth' which was just breaking through. On this occasion, and in this connection, I had put a question to his conscience as a physician,

II. On the afternoon of the same day I was obliged to excuse myself to a lady for my irritable disposition on account of the toothache, upon which


236 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

as we shall hear : only the sensational material which they contain always comes from the same source.

It is necessary to conclude, from the matarial obtained in psychoanalysis, that these dreams repeat impressions from childhood — that is, that they refer to the movement games which have such extraordmary attractions for the child. What

she told me that she was afraid to have one of her roots pulled, though the crown was almost completely gone. She thought that the pulling out of eye teeth wag especially painful and dangerous, although some acquaintance had told her that this was much easier when it was a tooth of the lower jaw. It was such a tooth in her case. The same acquaintance also told her that while under an anaesthetic one of her false teeth had been pulled — a statement which increased her fear of the necessary operation. She then asked me whether by eye teeth one was to understand molars or canines, aud what was known about them. I then called her attention to the vein of superstitions in all these meanings, without however, emphasising the real sigaiticance of some of the popular views. She knev.^ from her own experience, a very old and general popular belief, according to which if a 'pregnant woman lias toothache she will give birth to a boy.

III. This saying interested me in its relation to the typical significance of dicams of dental irritation as a substitute for onanism as maintained by Freud in his Traumdeutung (2nd edition, p. 193), for the teeth and the male genital (Bub-boy) are brought in certain relations even in the popular saying. On the evening of the same day I therefore read the passage in question in the Traumdeutung, and found there among other things the statements v/hich will be quoted in a moment, the influence of which on my dream is as plainly recognisable as the influence of the two above-mentioned experiences. Fieud writes concerning dreams of dental irritation that 'in the case of men nothing else than cravings for masturbation from the time of puberty furnishes the motive power for these dreams,' p. 193. Further,

  • I am of the opinion that the frequent modifications of the typical dream

of dental irritation — that e.g. of another person drawing the tooth from the dreamer's mouth — are made intelligible by means of the same explanation. It may seem problematic, however, how "dental irritation " can arrive at this significance. I here call attention to the transference from below to above (in the dream in question from the lower to the upper jav/), which occurs .^o frequently, which is at the service of sexual repression, and by means of which all kinds of sensations and intentions occurring in hysteria which ought to be enacted in the genitals can be realised upon less objectionable parts of the body,' p. 194. ' But I must also refer to another connection contained in an idiomatic expression. In our countiy there is in use an indelicate designation for the act of masturbation, nan)ely : To pull one out, or to pull one down,' p. 195, 2nd edition. This expression had been familiar to me in early youth as a designation for onanism, and from here on it will not be difficult for the experienced drtam interpreter to get access to the infantile material which may lie at the basis of this dream. I only wish to add that the facility with which the tooth in the dream came out, and the fact that it became transformed after coming out into an upper incisor, recalls to me an experience of childhood when I myself easily and painlessly pulled out one of my wobbling front teeth. This episode, which I can still to this day distinctly remember with all its details, happened at the same early period in which my first conscious attempts at onanism began — (Concealing Memory).


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 237

uncle has never made a child fly by running across the room with it with arms outstretched, or has never played falling with it by rocking it on his knee and then suddenly stretching out his leg, or by lifting it up high and then pretending to withdraw support. At this the children shout with joy, and demand more imtiringly, especially if there is a httle fright

The reference of Freud to an assertion of C. G. Jung that dreams of dental irritation in women signify parturition (footnote p. 194), together with the popular belief in the significance of toothache in pregnant v/omen, has e.-rtablished an opposition between the feminine significance and the masculine (puberty). In this connection I recall an earlier dream which I dreamed soon after I was discharged by the dentist after the treatment, that the gold crowns which had just been put in fell out, whereupon I was greatly chagrined in the dream on account of the considerable expense, concerning which I had not yet stopped worrying. In view of a certain experience this dream now becomes comprehensible as a commendation of the material advantages of masturbation when contrasted with every form of the economi- cally less advantageous object-love (gold crowns are also Austrian gold coins).

Theoretically this case seems to show a double interest. First it verifies the connection revealed by Freud, inasmuch as the ejaculation in the dream takes place during the act of tooth-pulling. For no matter in what form a pollution may appear, we are obliged to look upon it as a masturbatic gratification which takes place without the help of mechanical excitation. Moreover the gratification by pollution in this case does not take place, as is usually the case, through an imaginary object, but it is without an object ; and, if one may be allowed to say so, it is purely autoerotic, or at most it perhaps shows a slight homosexual thread (the dentist).

The second point which seems to be worth mentioning is the following : The objection is quite obvious that we are seeking here to validate the Freudian conception in a quite superfluous manner, for the experiences of the reading itself are perfectly sufficient to explain to us the content of the dream. The visit to the dentist, the conversation with the lady, and the reading of the Tratmideutung are sulficient to explain why the sleeper, who was also disturbed during the night by toothache, should dream this dream, it may even explain the removal of the sleep-disturbing pain (by means of the presentation of the removal of the painful tooth and simultaneous over- accentuation of the dreaded painful sensation through libido). But no matter how much of this assumption we may admit, we cannot earnestly maintain that the readings of Freud's explanations have produced in the dreamer the connection of the tooth-pulling with the act of masturbation ; it could not even have been made effective had it not been for the fact, as the dreamer himself admitted ('to pull one off') that this association had already been formed long ago. What may have still more stimulated this association in connection with the conversation with the lady is shown by a later assertion of the dreamer that while reading the Traumdeutung he could not, for obvious reasons, believe in this typical meaning of dreams of dental irritfition, and entertained the avij h to know v/hether it held true for all dreams of this nature. The dream now confirms this at least for his own person, and shows him why he had to doubt it. The dream is therefore also in this respect the fulfilment of a w ish ; namely, to be convinced of the importance and stability of this conception of Freud,"


238 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

and dizziness attached to it ; in after years they create a repetition of this in the dream, but in the dream they omit the hands which have held them, so that they now freely float and fail. The fondness of all small children for games like rocking and see-sawing is well known ; and if they see gym- nastic tricks at the circus their recollection of this rocking is refreshed. With some boys the hysterical attack consists simply in the reproduction of such tricks, which they accom- phsh with great skill. Not infrequently sexual sensations are excited by the^e movement games, harmless as they are in themselves.* To express the idea by a word which is current among us, and which covers aU of these matters : It is the wild playing ('* Hetzen ") of childhood which dreams about flying, falling, vertigo, and the like repeat, and the voluptuous feelings of which have now been turned into fear. But as every mother knows, the wild playing of children has often enough culminated in quarrelling and tears.

I therefore have good reason for rejecting the explanation that the condition of our dermal sensations during sleep, the sensations caused by the movements of the lungs, and the like, give rise to dreams of flying and falling. I see that these very sensations have been reproduced from the memory with which the dream is concerned — that they are, therefore, a part of the dream content and not of the dream sources.

This material, similar in its character and origin consisting of sensations of motion, is now used for the representation of the most manifold dream thoughts. Dreams of flying, for the most part characterised by delight, require the most widely different interpretations — altogether special interpretations in the case of some persons, and even interpretations of a typical nature in that of others. One of my patients was in the habit of dreaming very often that she was suspended above the

  • A young colleague, vrlio is entirely free from nervousness, tells me in

this connection : " I know from my own experience that while swinging, and at the moment 'at which the downward movement had the greatest impetus, I used to get a curious feeling in my genitals, which I must desig- nate, although it was not really pleasaut to me, as a voluptuous feeling." I have often heard from patients that their first erections accompanied by voluptuous sensations had occurred in boyhood while they were climbing. It is established with complete certainty by psychoanalyses that the first sexual impulses have often originated in the scufilings and wrestlings of childhood.


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 239

street at a certain height, without touching the ground. She had grown only to a very small stature, and shunned every kind of contamination which accompanies intercourse with human beings. Her dream of suspension fulfilled both of her wishes, by raising her feet from the ground and by allowing her head to tower in the upper regions. In the case of other female dreamers the dream of flying had the significance of a longing : If I were a httle bird ; others thus become angels at night because they have missed being called that by day. The intimate connection between flying and the idea of a bird make^ it comprehensible that the dream of flying in the case of men usually has a significance of coarse sensuaHty.* We shall also not be surprised to hear that this or that dreamer is always very proud of his ability to fly.

Dr. Paul Fedem (Vienna) has propounded the fascinating theory that a great many fljnng dreams are erection dreams, siuce the remarkable phenomena of erection which so con- stantly occupy the human phantasy must strongly impress upon it a notion of the suspension of gravity (c/. the wiaged phalli of the ancients).

Dreams of falling are most frequently characterised by fear. Their interpretation, when they occur in women, is subject to no difficulty because women always accept the symbohc sense of falling, which is a circumlocution for the indulgence of an erotic temptation. We have not yet ex- hausted the infantile sources of the dream of falling ; nearly aU children have fallen occasionally, and then been picked up and fondled ; if they fell out of bed at night, they were picked up by their nurse and taken into her bed.

People who dream often of swimming, of cleaving the waves, with great enjoyment, &c., have usually been persons who wetted their beds, and they now repeat in the dream a pleasure which they have long since learned to forgo. We shall soon learn from one example or another to what representation the dreams of swimming easily lend themselves.

The interpretation of dreams about fire justifies a pro- hibition of the nursery which forbids children to bum matches in order that they may not wet the bed at night. They too are

♦ This naturally holds true only for German-speaking dreamers who are acquainted with the vulgarism voyeln.^^


240 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

based on the reminiscence of enuresis nocturnus of childhood. In the Bruchstuck einer Hysterieandlyse, 1905,* I have given the complete analysis and synthesis of such a fire-dream in connection with the infantile history of the dreamer, and have shown to the representation of what emotions this infantile material has been utilised in maturer years.

It would be possible to cite a considerable number of other " typical '" dreams, if these are understood to refer to the frequent recurrence of the same manifest dream content in the case of different dreamers, as, for example : dreams of passing through narrow alleys, of walldng through a whole suite of rooms ; dreams of the nocturnal burglar against whom nervous people direct precautionary measures before going to sleep ; dreams of being chased by wild animals (bulls, horses), or of being threatened with knives, daggers, and lances. The last two are characteristic as the manifest dream content of persons suffering from anxiety, &c. An investigation deahng especially with this material would be well worth while. In lieu of this I have two remarks to offer, which, however, do not apx^ly exclusively to typical dreams.

I. The more one is occupied with the solution of dreams, the more willing one must become to acknowledge that the majority of the dreams of adults treat of sexual material and give expression to erotic wishes. Only one who really analyses dreams, tLat is to say, who pushes forv/ard from their manifest content to the latent dream thoughts, can form an opinion on this subject — ^never the person who is satisfied with registering the manifest content (as, for example, Nacke in his works on sexual dreams). Let us recognise at once that this fact is not to be wondered at, but that it is in complete harmony with the fundamental assumptions of dream explanation. No other impulse has had to undergo so much suppression from the time of childhood as the sex impulse in its numerous com- ponents,t from no other impulse have survived so many and such intense unconscious wishes, which now act m. the sleeping state in such a manner as to produce dreams. In dream iuterpretation, this significance of sexual comx:)lexes must never

  • Sammlung Id. Schriften zur Neurosenlehre, zvveifce Folge, 1909.

t Cf. the author's Three Gontributions to tlie Sexual Theory, translated by A. A. BrilL


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 241

be forgotten, nor must they, of course, be exaggerated to the point of being considered exclusive.

Of many dreams it can be ascertained by a careful inter- pretation that they are even to be taken bisexually, inasmuch as they result in an irrefutable secondary interpretation in which they realise homosexual feelings — that is, feelings that are common to the normal sexual activity of the dreaming person. But that all dreams are to be interpreted bisexually, as main- tained by W. Stekel,* and Alf. Adler,f seems to me to be a generalisation as indemonstrable as it is improbable, which I should not Like to support. Above all I should not know how to dispose of the apparent fact that there are many dreams satisfying other than — in the widest sense — erotic needs, as dreams of hunger, thirst, convenience, &c. Likewise the similar assertions " that behind every dream one finds the death sentence " (Stekel), and that every dream shows " a continuation from the feminine to the masculine line " (Adler), seem to me to proceed far beyond what is admissible in the interpretation of dreams.

We have already asserted elsewhere that dreams which are conspicuously innocent invariably embody coarse erotic wishes, and we might confirm this by means of numerous fresh examples. But many dreams which appear indifferent, and which would never be suspected of any particular significance, can be traced back, after analysis, to unmistakably sexual wish-feelings, winch are often of an unexpected nature. For example, who would suspect a sexual wish in the following dream until the interj)retation had been worked out ? The dreamer relates : Between two stately palaces stands a little house, receding somewhat, whose doors are closed. My wife leads me a little way along the street up to the little house, and pushes in the door, and then I slip quickly and easily into the interior of a courtyard that slants obliquely upwards.

Anyone who has had experience in the translating of dreams will of course, immediately perceive that penetrating into narrow spaces, and opening locked doors, belong to the

Alf. Adler, "Der Psychische Hermaphroditismus im Leben und in der Neurose," Fortschrifte der Medizin, 1910, No. 16, and later works in the Zentralblatt für Psychoanalyse, 1, 1910–1911.


242 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

commonest sexual symbolism, and will easily find in this dream a representation of attempted coition from behind (between the two stately buttocks of the female body). The narrow slanting passage is of course the vagina ; the assistance attributed to the wife of the dreamer requires the interpretation that in reality it is only consideration for the wife which is responsible for the detention from such an attempt. Moreover, inquiry shows that on the previous day a young girl had entered the household of the dreamer who had pleased him, and who had given him the impression that she would not be altogether opposed to an approach of this sort. The Httle house between the two palaces is taken from a reminiscence of the Hradschin in Prague, and thus points again to the girl who is a native of that city.

If with my patients I emphasise the frequency of the Oedipus dream — of having sexual intercourse with one's mother — I get the answer : "I cannot remember such a dream." Immediately afterwards, however, there arises the recollection of another disguised and indifferent dream, which has been dreamed repeatedly by the patient, and the analysis shows it to be a dream of this same content — that is, another Oedipus dream. I can assure the reader that veiled dreams of sexual intercourse with the mother are a great deal more frequent than open ones to the same effect.*

There are dreams about landscapes and localities in which emphasis is always laid upon the assurance : "I have been there before." In this case the locaUty is always the genital organ of the mother ; it can indeed be asserted with such

♦ I have published a typical example of such a veiled Oedipus dream in

No. 1 of the Zentralhlatt fur Psychoanalyse ; another with a detailed analysis was reported in the same journal, No. IV., by Otto Eank. Indeed the ancients were not unfamiliar with the symbolic interpretation of the open Oedipus dream (see 0. Eank,-°* p. 534) ; thus a dream of sexual relations with the mother has been transmitted to us by Julius Caesar which the oneiroscopists interpreted as a favourable omen for taking possession of the earth (Mother-earth). It is also known that the oracle declared to the Tarquinii that that one of them would become ruler of Eome who should first kiss the mother {osculum matri tulerit), wh]<;h Brutus concei^'ed as referring to the mother-earth (terrain osculo co^itigit, scilicet quod ea communia maier omnium mortalium esset^ Livius, I., Ixi.). These mytlis and interpreta- tions point to a correct psychological knowledge. 1 have found that persons who consider themselves preferred or favoured by their mothera manifest in life that confidence in themselves ai^d that firm optimism \^ hich often seems heroic and brings about real success by force=


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 243

certainty of no other locality that one " has been there before."

A large number of dreams, often full of fear, which are con- cerned with passing through narrow spaces or with staying in the water, are based upon fancies about the embryonic life, about the sojourn in the mother's womb, and about the act of birth. The following is the dream of a young man who in his fancy has already while in embryo taken advantage of bis opportunity to spy upon an act of coition between his parents.

" He is in a deep shaft, in which there is a window, as in the Semmering Tunnel. At first he sees an empty landscape through this window, and then he cmnposes a picture into it, which is immediately at hand and which fills out the empty space. The p^icture represents a field which is being thoroughly harrowed by an implement, and the delightful air, the accompanying idea of hard work, and the bluish-black clods of earth make a pleasant im- pression. He then goes on and sees a primary school opened . . . and he is surprised that so much attention is devoted in it to the sexual feelings of the child, which makes him think of me."

Here is a pretty water-dream of a female patient, which was turned to extraordinary account in the course of treat- ment.

At her summer resort at the . . . Lake, she hurls herself into the dark water at a place where the jxde moon is reflected in the water.

Dreams of this sort are parturition dreams ; their inter- pretation is accompHshed by reversing the fact reported in the manifest dream content ; thus, instead of " throwing one's self into the water," read " coming out of the water," that is, " being bom." The place from which one is bom is recognised if one thinks of the bad sense of the French " la lune." The pale moon thus becomes the white " bottom " (Popo), which the child soon recognises as the place from which it came. Now what can be the meaning of the patient's wishing to be bom at her summer resort ? I asked the dreamer this, and she answered without hesitation : " Hasn't the treatment miide me as though I were bom again ? " Thus the dream becomes an invitation to contmue the cure at this summer resort, that is, to visit her there ; perhaps it also contains


244 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

a very bashful allusion to the wish to become a mother herself.*

Another dream of parturition, with its interpretation, I take from the work of E. Jones.^^ " She stood at the seashore watching a small hoy, who seemed to he hers, wading into the water. This he did till the water covered him, and she could only see his head hohhing up and down near the surface. The scene then chavjged to the crowded hall of a hotel. Her hushand left her, and she ' entered' into conversation with ' a stranger. The second half of the dream was discovered in the analysis to represent a flight from her husband, and the entering into inti- mate relations with a third person, behind whom was plainly mdicated IVIr. X.'s brother mentioned in a former dream. The first part of the dream was a fairly evident birth phantasy. In dreams as in mythology, the deUvery of a child from the uterine waters is commonly presented by distortion as the entry of the child into water ; among many others, the births of Adonis, Osiris, Moses, and Bacchus are well-known illustrations of this. The bobbing up and down of the head in the water at once recalled to the patient the sensation of quickening she had experienced in her only pregnancy. Thinking of the boy going into the water induced a reverie in which she saw herseK taking him out of the water, carrying him into the nursery, washing him and dressing him, and installing him in her household.

The second half of the dream, therefore, represents thoughts concerning the elopement, which belonged to the first half of the underlying latent content ; the first half of the dream cor- responded with the second half of the latent content, the birth phantasy. Besides this inversion in order, further inversions took place in each half of the dream. In the first half the cliild entered the water, and then his head bobbed ; in the underlying dream thoughts fii'st the quickeniag occurred, and then the child left the water (a double inversion). In the second half her husband left her ; in the dream thoughts she left her husband.

  • It is only of late that I have learned to value the significance of fancies

and unconscious thoughts about life in the womb. They contain the ex- planation of the curious fear felt by so many people of being buried alive, as well as the proiouiidest unconscious reason for the belief in a life after death which represents nothing but a projection into the future of this mysterious life before birth. The act of hirth, moreover, i<i the H,rst expp.ne.rvGe mtk fear, and is thv^<> the source and model 'of the emotion of fear.


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 245

Another parturition dream is related by Abraham "^^ of a young woman looking forward to her first confinement (p. 22) : From a place in the floor of the house a subterranean canal leads directly into the water (parturition path, amniotic liquor). She lifts up a trap in the floor, and there immediately appears a creature dressed in a brownish fur, which almost resembles a seal. This creature changes into the younger brother of the dreamer, to whom she has always stood in maternal relationship.

Dreams of " saving " are connected with parturition dreams. To save, especially to save from the water, is equivalent to giving birth when dreamed by a woman ; this sense is, however, modified when the dreamer is a man.*

Robbers, burglars at night, and ghosts, of which we are afraid before going to bed, and which occasionally even disturb our sleep, originate in one and the same childish reminiscence. They are the nightly visitors who have awakened the child to set it on the chamber so that it may not wet the bed, or have lifted the cover in order to see clearly how the child is holding its hands while sleeping. I have been able to induce an exact recollection of the nocturnal visitor in the analysis of some of these anxiety dreams. The robbers were always the father, the ghosts more probably corresponded to feminine persons with white night-gowns.

II. When one has become familiar with the abundant use of symbohsm for the representation of sexual material in dreams, one naturally raises the question whether there are not many of these sj^mbols which appear once and for all with a firmly estabhshed significance like the signs in stenography ; and one is tempted to compile a new dream-book according to the cipher method. In this connection it may be remarked that this symboHsm does not belong pecuharly to the dream, but rather to unconscious thinking, particularly that of the masses, and it is to be found in greater perfection in the folk- lore, in the myths, legends, and manners of speech, in the

  • For such a dieaui see Piister : '• Ein Fali von Psychanalytisclier Seelen-

sorge und Seelenheilung," Evangelisdie Freiheit, 1909. Concerning the symbol of "sa\'ing" see my lecture, "Die Zuklinftigen Chancen der psychoanaly- tischen Therapie," Zentralhlatt liir Psychoanalyse, No I., 1910. Also "Beit- rage ziir Psychologic des Liebeslebens, I. Ueber eineii besonderen Typus der objektwahl beim Manne," Jahrbuch, Bleuler-Freud, vol. ii., 1910.


246 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

proverbial sayings, and in the current witticisms of a nation than in its dreams.*

The dream takes advantage of this sjnnboHsm m order to give a disguised representation to its latent thoughts. Among the symbols wliich are used in this manner there are of course man}^ wliich regularly, or almost regularly, mean the same thing. Only it is necessary to keep in mind the curious plasticity of psychic material. Now and then a symbol in the dream content may have to be interpreted not symboHcally, but according to its real meaning ; at another time the dreamer, owing to a peculiar set of recollections, may create for himself the right to use anything whatever as a sexual sjrmbol, though it is not o^narily used in that way. Nor are the most frequently v4«3d sexual symbols unambiguous every time.

After these limitations and reservations I may call attention to the following : Emperor and Empress (King and Queen) in most cases really represent the parents of the dreamer ; † the dreamer himself or herself is the prince or princess. All elongated objects, sticks, tree-trunks, and umbrellas (on account of the stretching-up which might be compared to an erection ![2] all elongated and sharp weapons, knives, daggers, and pikes, are intended to represent the male member. A frequent, not very intelligible, symbol for the same is a nail-file (on account of the rubbing and scraping ?). Little cases, boxes, caskets, closets, and stoves correspond to the female part. The symbolism of lock and key has been very gracefully employed by Uhland in his song about the " Grafen Eberstein," to make a common smutty joke. The dream of walking through a row of rooms is a brothel or harem dream. Staircases, ladders, and flights of stairs, or climbing on these, either upwards or downwards, are symbolic representations of the sexual act.‡ Smooth

♦ Gf. the works of Bleuler and of his pupils Maeder, Abraham, and others of the Zurich school upon symbolism, and of those authors who are not physicians (Kleinpaul and others), to which they refer.

t In this country the President, the Governor, and the Mayor often represent the father in the dream. (Translator.)

X I may here repeat what I have said in another place ("Die Zukiinftigen Chancen der psychoanalytischen Therapie," Zentralhlatt fur Psychoanalyse, I., No. 1 and 2, 1910) : " Some time ago I learned that a psychologist who is unfamiliar with our work remarked to one of my friends that we are surely over-estimating the secret sexual significance of dreams. He stated that his most frequent dream was of climbing a stairway, and that there was surely nothing sexual behind this. Our attention having been called


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 20

walls over which one is climbing, façades of houses upon which one is letting oneself down, frequently under great anxiety, correspond to the erect human body, and probably repeat in the dream reminiscences of the upward climbing of little children on their parents or foster parents. " Smooth " walls are men. Often in a dream of anxiety one is holding on firmly to some projection from a house. Tables, set tables, and boards are women, perhaps on account of the opposition which does away with the bodily contours. Since " bed and board " (mensa et thorus) constitute marriage, the former are often put for the latter in the dream, and as far as practicable the sexual presentation complex is transposed to the eating complex. Of articles of dress the woman's hat may frequently be definitely interpreted as the male genital. In dreams of men one often finds the cravat as a symbol for the penis ; this indeed is not only because cravats hang down long, and are characteristic of the man, but also because one can select them at pleasure, a freedom which is prohibited by nature in the original of the symbol. Persons who make use of this symbol in the dream are very extravagant with cravats, and possess regular collections of them.* All complicated machines and apparatus in dream are very probably genitals, in the description of which dream symbolism shows itself to be as tireless as the activity of wit. Likewise many landscapes in dreams, especially with bridges or with wooded mountains, can be readily recognised as descriptions of the genitals. Finally where one finds incomprehensible neologisms one may think of combinations made up of components having a sexual to this objection, we directed our investigations to the occurrence of stairways, stairs, and ladders in the dream, and we soon ascertained that stairs (or anything analogous to them) represent a definite symbol of coitus. The basis for this comparison is not difficult to find ; under rhythmic intervals and with increasing difficulty in breathing one reaches to a height, and may come down again in a few rapid jumps. Thus the rhythm of coitus is recognisable in climbing stairs. Let us not forget to consider the usage of language. It show us that the "climbing" or "mounting" is, without further addition, used as a substitutive designation of the sexual act. In French the step of the stairway is called "la marche" ; * "un vieux marcheur" corresponds exactly to our "an old climber."

  • In this country where the word "necktie" is almost exclusively used,

the translator has also found it to be a symbol of a burdensome woman from whom the dreamer longs to be freed — -"necktie — something tied to my neck like a heavy weight — my fiancee," are the associations from the dream of a man who eventually broke his marriage engagement.

248 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

significance. Children also in the dream often signify the genitals, as men and women are in the habit of fondly referring to their genital organ as their " Httle one." As a very recent symbol of the male genital may be mentioned the flying machine, utilisation of which is justified by its relation to flying as well as occasionally by its form. To play with a little child or to beat a httle one is often the dream's representation of onanism. A number of other symbols, in part not sufficiently verified, are given by Stekel,^^* who illustrates them with examples. Right and left, according to him, are to be conceived in the di'eam in an ethical sense. " The right way always signifies the road to righteousness, the left the one to crime. Thus the l^ft may signify homosexuality, incest, and perversion, while the right signifies marriage, relations with a prostitute, &c. The meaning is always determined by the individual moral view-point of the dreamer " (I.e., p. 466). Relatives in the dream generally play the role of genitals (p. 473). Not to be able to catch up with a wagon is interpreted by Stekel as regret not to be able to come up to a difference in age (p. 479). Baggage with wliich one travels is the burden of sin by which one is oppressed (ibid.). Also numbers, which frequently occur in the dream, are assigned by Stekel a fixed symboHcal meaning, but these interpretations seem neither sufficiently verified nor of general vahdity, although the interpretation in individual cases can generally be recognised as probable. In a recently pubhshed book by W. Stekel, Die Sprache des Traumes, which I was unable to utilise, there is a fist (p. 72) of the most common sexual symbols, the object of which is to prove that all sexual symbols can be bisexuaUy used. He states : "Is there a symbol which (if in any way permitted by the phantasy) may not be used simultaneously in the masculine and the feminine sense ! " To be sure the clause in parentheses takes away much of the absoluteness of this assertion, for this is not at all permitted by the phantasy. I do not, however, think it superfluous to state that in my experience StekeFs general statement has to give way to the recognition of a greater manifoldness. Besides those symbols, wliich are just as frequent for the male as for the female genitals, there are others which preponderately, or almost exclusively, designate one of the sexes, and there are stUl others of which only the


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 249

male or only the feraale signification is known. To use long, firm objects and weapons as symbols of the female genitals, or hollow objects (chests, boxes, pouches, &c.), as symbols of the male genitals, is indeed not allowed by the fancy.

It is true that the tendency of the dream and the imcon- scious fancy to utilise the sexual symbol bisexually betrays an archaic trend, for in childhood a difference in the genitals is unknown, and the same genitals are attributed to both


These very incomplete suggestions may suffice to stimulate others to make a more careful collection.*

I shall now add a few examples of the appHcation of such symbolisms in dreams, which will serve to show how im- possible it becomes to interpret a dream without taking into account the symboHsm of dreams, and how imperatively it obtrudes itself in many- cases.

1. The hat as a symbol of the man (of the male genital) : j (a fragment from the dream of a young woman who suffered from agoraphobia on account of a fear of temptation).

" I am walking in the street in summer, I wear a straw hat of peculiar shape, the middle piece of which is bent upwards and the side pieces of which hang downwards (the description became here obstructed), and in such a fashion that one is lower than the other. I am cheerful and in a confidential mood, and as I pass a troop of young officers I think to myself : None of you can have any designs upon me."

As she could produce no a^^sociations to the hat, I said to her : " The hat is really a Fiale genital, with its raised middle piece and the two downward hanging side pieces." I inten- tionally refrained from interpreting those details concerning the unequal downward hangiag of the two side pieces, although just such individuahties in the determiaations lead the way to the interpretation. I continued by saying that if she only had a man with such a virile genital she would not have to fear the

  • In spite of all the dif3'ereiif:es between Schemer's conception of dream

symbolism and the one developed here, I must still assert thst Schemer ^^ should be recoguised as the true discoverer of symbolism in dreams, and that the experience of psychoanalysis has brought hia book into honourable repute after it had been considered fantastic for about fifty years.

+ From *' Xachtrage zur Traumdeutuug," Zentralhlatt fur Psychounalyse^ I., Xo. 5 and 6, 1011.


250 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

officers — that is, she would have nothing to wish from them, for she is mainly kept from gomg without protection and company by her fancies of temptation. This last explanation of her fear I had already been able to give her repeatedly on the basis of other material.

It is quite remarkable how the dreamer behaved after this inter}-)retation. She withdrew her description of the hat, and claimed not to have said that the two side pieces were hanging downwards. I was, however, too sure of what I had heard to allow myself to be misled, and I persisted in it. She was quiet for a while, and then found the courage to ask why it was that one of her husband's testicles was lower than the other, and whether it was the same in all men. With this the pecuUar detail of the hat was explained, and the whole interpretation was accepted by her. The hat symbol was familiar to me long before the patient related this dream. From other but less transparent cases I beheve that the hat may also be taken as a female genital.

2. The little one as the genital — ^to be run over as a symbol of sexual intercourse (another dream of the same agoraphobic patient).

" Her mother sends away her Uttle daughter so that she must go alone. She rides with her mother to the raUroad and sees her Httle one walking directly upon the tracks, so that she cannot avoid being run over. She hears the bones crackle. (From tliis she experiences a feehng of discomfort but no real horror.) She then looks out through the car window to see whether the parts cannot be seen behind. She then reproaches her mother for allowing the little one to go out alone." Analysis. It is not an easy mattev to give here a complete interpretation of the dream. It forms part of a cycle of dreams, and can be fully understood only in connection vdth the others. For it is not easy to get the necessary material sufficiently isolated to prove the symbohsm. The patient at tirst finds that the railroad journey is to be interpreted historically as an Eillusion to a departure from a sanitorium for nervous diseases, with the superintendent of which she naturally was in love. Kor mother took her away from this place, and the physician came to the railroad station and handed her a bouquet of flowers on leaving ; she felt uncomfortable because her mother


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 251

witnessed this homage. Here the mother, therefore, appears as a disturber of her love affairs, which is the role actually played by this strict woman during her daughter's girJliood. The next thought referred to the sentence : " She then looks to see whether the parts can be seen behind," In the dream facade one would natm^ally be compelled to think of the parts of the little daughter run over and ground up. The thought, however, turns in quite a different direction. She recalls that she once saw her father in the bath-room naked from behind ; she then begins to talk about the sex differentiation, and asserts that in the man the genitals can be seen from behind, but in the woman they cannot. In this connection she now herseK offers the interpretation that the little one is the genital, her little one (she has a four-year-old daughter) her own genital. She reproaches her mother for wanting her to Hve as though she had no genital, and recognises this re- proach in the introductory sentence of the dream ; the mother sends away her httle one so that she must go alone. In her phantasy going alone on the street signifies to have no man and no sexual relations (coire = to go together), and this she does not like. According to all her statements she really suffered as a girl on accoimt o- the jealousy of her mother, because she showed a preference for her father.

The " Httle one " has been noted * as a symbol for the male or the female genitals by Stekel, who can refer in this connec- tion to a very widespread usage of language.

The deeper interpretation of this dream depends upon another dream of the same night in which the dreamer identifies herself with her brother. She was a "tomboy," and was always being told that slie should have been bom a boy. This identification with the brother shows with special clearness that " the httle one " signifies the genital. The mother threatened him (her) with castration, which could only be understood as a punishment for playing with the parts, and the identification, therefore, shows that she herseK had masturbated as a child, though this fact she now retained only

  • " Beitrage zur Traumdeutung," Jahrbuch fur Psychoanalyt. und psychop.

Forsch., Bd. I., 1909, p. 473. Here also (p. 475) a dream is reported in which a hat with a feather standing obliquely iu the middle symboliiies the (impotent) man.


252 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

in a memory concerning her brother. An early knowledge of the male genital which she later lost she must have acquired at that time according to the assertions of this second dream. Moreover the second dream points to the infantile sexual theory that girls originate from boys through castration. After I had told her of this clnldish belief, she at once confirmed it with an anecdote lq which the boy asks the giii : " Was it out off ? " to which the girl rephed, " No, it's always been so."

The sending away of the Httle one, of the genital, in the first dream therefore also refers to the threatened castration. Finally she blames her mother for not having been born a boy.

That " being run over " symbofises sexual intercourse would not be evident from this dream if we were not sure of it from many other sources.

3. Representation of the genital by structures, stairways, and shafts. (Dream of a young man inhibited by a father complex.)

He is taking a walk mth his father in a place which is surely the Prater, for the Rotunda may be seen in front of which there is a small front structure to which is attached a captive balloon ; the balloon, however, seems quite collapsed. His father asks him what this is all for ; he is surprised at it, but he explams it to his father. They come into a court in which hes a large sheet of tin. His father wants to pull off a big piece of this, but first looks around to see if anyone is watching. He tells his father that all he needs to do is to speak to the watchman, and then he can take without any further difficulty as much as be wants to. From this court a stairway leads down intC' a. shaft, the walls of which are softly upholstered something like a leather pocketbook. At the end of this shaft there is a longer platform, and then a new shaft begins . . ,"

Analysis. Tliis dream belongs to a type of patient which is not favourable from a therapeutic point of view. They follow in the analysis without offering any resistances whatever up to a certain point, but from that point on they remain almost inaccessible. This dream he almost analysed himself. " The Rotunda," he said, " is my genital, the captive baUoon in front is my penis, about the weakness of which I have worried. We must, however, interpret in greater detail ; the Rotunda is the buttuck which is regul?vrly associated by the


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 253

child with the genital, the smaller front structure is the scrotum. In the dream his father asks him what this is all for — that is, he asks him about the purpose and arrangement of the genitals. It is quite evident that this state of affairs should be turned around, and that he should be the questioner. As such a questioning on the side of the father has never taken place in reality, we must conceive the dream thought as a wish, or take it conditionally, as follows : " If I had only asked my father for sexual enlightenment." The continuation of this thought we shall soon find in another place.

The court in which the tin sheet is spread out is not to be conceived symboHcally in the first instance, but originates from his father's place of business. For discretionary reasons I have inserted the tin for another material in which the father deals, without, however, changing anything in the verbal ex- pression of the dream. The dreamer had entered his father's business, and had taken a terrible dishke to the questionable practices upon which profit mainly depends. Hence the con- tinuation of the above dream thought ("if I had only asked him *') would be : " He would have deceived me just as he does his customers." For the pulling off, which serves to represent commercial dishonesty, the dreamer himself gives a second explanation — namely, onanism. This is not only entirely famihar to us (see above, p. 234), but agrees very well with the fact that the secrecy of onanism is expressed by its opposite (" Why one can do it quite openly "). It, moreover, agrees entirely with our expectations that the onanistic activity is again put off on the father, just as was the questioning in the first scene of the dream. The shaft he at once interprets as the vagina by referring to the soft upholstering of the walls. That the act of coition in the vagina is described as a going down instead of in the usual way as a going up, I have also found true in other instances.*

The details that at the end of the first shaft there is a longer platform and then a new shaft, he himself explains biographically. He had for some time consorted with women sexually, but had then given it up because of inhibitions and now hopes to be able to take it up again with the aid of the treatment. Tbe dream, however, becomes indistinct toward • Ci Zentralhlatt fur psychoa/nalyse^ L


254 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

the end, and to the experienced interpreter it becomes evident that in the second scene of the dream the influence of another subject has begun to assert itself ; in this his father's business and his dishonest practices signify the first vagina represented as a shaft so that one might think of a reference to the mother.

4. The male genital symboHsed by persons and the female by a landscape.

(Dream of a woman of the lower class, whose husband is a policeman, reported by B. Dattner.)

. . . Then someone broke into the house and anxiously called for a policeman. But he went with two tramps by mutual consent into a church,* to which led a great many stairs ; t behind the church there was a mountain, J on top of which a dense forest. § The poHceman was furnished with a helmet, a gorget, and a cloak. II The two vagrants, who went along with the pohceman quite peaceably, had tied to their loins sack-like aprons.lf A road led from the church to the mountain. This road was overgrown on each side with grass and brushwood, which became thicker and thicker as it reached the height of the mountain, where it spread out into quite a forest.

5. A stairway dream.

(Reported and interpreted by Otto Rank.) For the following transparent pollution dream, I am in- debted to the same colleague who furnished us with the dental-iiritation dream reported on p. 235.

" I am running down the stairway in the stair-house after a little girl, whom I wish to pimish because she has done some- thing to me. At the bottom of the stairs some one lield the child for me. (A grown-up woman ?) I grasp it, but do not knoT7 whether I have hit it, for I suddenly find myself in the middle of the stairway where I practise coitus with the child (in the air as it were). It is really no coitus, I only rub my genital on her external genital, and in doing this I see it very distinctly, as distinctly as I see her head which is lying

-" Or chapel — vagina.

t Symbol of coitAis. % Mons veneris. § Orines pubis.

11 Demons in cloaks and capucines are, according to the explanation of a man versed in the subject, of a phallic nature. Il The two halves of the scrotum.


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 255

sideways. During the sexual act I see hanging to the left and above me (also as if in the air) two small pictures, landscapes^ representing a house on a green. On the smaller one my surname stood in the place where the painter's signature should be ; it seemed to be intended for my birthday present. A small sign hung in front of the pictures to the effect that cheaper pictures could also be obtained. I then see myself very indistinctly lying in bed, just as I had seen myself at the foot of the stair?, and I am awakened by a feehng of dampness which came from the pollution."

Interpretation. The dreamer had been m a book-store on the evening of the day of the dream, where, while he was wait- ing, he examined some pictures which were exhibited, which represented motives similar to the dream pictures. He stepped nearer to a small picture which particularly took his fancy in order to see the name of the artist, which, however, was quite unknown to him.

Later in the same evening, in company, he heard about a Bohemian servant-girl who boasted that her illegitimate child " was made on the stairs." The dreamer inquired about the details of this unusual occurrence, and learned that the servant- girl went with her lover to the home of her parents, where there was no opportunity for sexual relations, and that the excited man performed the act on the stairs. In wicty allu- sion to the mischievous expression used about wine-adulterers, the dreamer remarked, ** The child really grew on the cellar steps."

These experiences of the day, which are quite prominent in the dream content, were readily reproduced by the dreamer. But he just as readily reproduced an old fragment of infantile recollection which was also utiHsed by the dream. The stair- house was the house in which he had spent the greatest part of his cliildhood, and in which he had first become acquainted with sexual problems. In this house he used, among other things, to sHde down the banister astride which caused him to become sexually excited. In the dream he also comes down the stairs very rapidly — so rapidly that, according to his own distinct assertions, he hardly touched the individual stairs, but rather " flew " or " shd down," as we used to say. Upon reference to this infantile experience, the beginning of the


256 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

dream seems to represent the factor of sexual excitement. In the same house and in the adjacent residence the dreamer used to play pugnacious games with the neighbouring children, in wliich he satisfied himself just as he did in the dream.

If one recalls from Freud's investigation of sexual sym- bohsm * that in the dream stairs or chmbing stairs almost regularly symbolises coitus, the dream becomes clear. Its motive power as well as its effect, as is shown by the pollu- tion, is of a purely libidinous nature. Sexual excitement became aroused during the sleeping state (in the dream this is represented by the rapid running or sHding down the stairs) and the sadistic thread in this is, on the basis of the pugnacious playing, indicated in the pursuing and overcoming of the child. The libidinous excitement becomes enhanced and urges to sexual action (represented in the dream by the grasping of the child and the conveyance of it to the middle of the stair- v/ay). Up to this point the dream would be one of pure sexual symbolism, and obscure for the unpractised dream interpreter. But this symbohc gratification, which would have insured undisturbed sleep, was not sufficient for the powerful hbidinous excitement. The excitement leads to an orgasm, and thus the whole stairway symbolism is unmasked as a substitute for coitus. Freud laj^s stress on the rhythmical character of both actions as one of the reasons for the sexual utih'sation of the stairway symbohsm, and this dream especi- ally seems to corroborate this, for, according to the express assertion of the dreamer, the rhj^hm of a sexual act was the most pronounced feature in the whole dream.

Still another remark concerning the two pictures, which, aside from their real significance, also have the value of " Weibs- bilder " (literally woman-pictures, but idiomatically women). This is at once shown by the fact that the dieam deals with a big and a little picture, just as the dream content presents a big (grown up) and a httle girl. That cheap pictures could also be obtainq^d points to the prostitution complex, just as the dreamer's surname on the little picture and the thought that it was intended for his birthday, point to the parent complex (to be bom on the stairway — to be conceived in coitus).

• See Zentralblatt fiir Psychoanalyse , vol i,, p. 2,


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 257

The indistinct final scene, in which the dreamer sees him- self on the staircase landing lying in bed and feeling wet, seems to go back into childhood even beyond the infantile onanism, and manifestly has its prototype in similarly pleasur- able scenes of bed- wetting.

6. A modified stair-dream.

To one of my very nervous patients, who was an abstainer, whose fancy was fixed on his mother, and who repeatedly di-eamed of cHmbing stairs accompanied by his mother, I once remarked that moderate masturbation would be less harmful to him than enforced abstinence. This influence provoked the following dream :

" His piano teacher reproaches him for neglecting his piano- playing, and for not practising the Etudes of Moscheles and dementi's Gradus ad Parnassum." In relation to this he remarked that the Gradus is only a stairway, and that the piano itseK is only a stairway as it has a scale.

It is correct to say that there is no series of associations which cannot be adapted to the representation of sexual facts. I conclude with the dream of a chemist, a young man, who has been trjdng to give up his habit of masturbation by replacing it with intercourse with women.

Preliminary statement. — On the day before the dream he had given a student instruction concerning Grignard's reaction, in which magnesium is to be dissolved in absolutely pure ether under the catatytic influence of iodine. Two days before, there had been an explosion in the course of the same reaction, in which the investigator had burned his hand.

Dream I. He is to make phenylmagnesiumhromid ; he sees the apparatiis with particular clearness, hut he has substituted himself for the magnesium. He is noiv in a curious swaying attitude. He keeps repeating to himself, *' This is the right thing, it is working, my feet are beginning to dissolve and my knees are getting soft. Then he reaches down and feels for his feet, and meanwhile (he does not know how) he takes his legs out of the crucible, atid then again he says to himself, " That cannot he. . , . Yes, it must he so, it Ms been done correctly. Then he partially awakens, and repeats the dream to himself, because he wants to tdl it to me. He is distinctly afraid of the analysis

B


258 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

of the dream. He is much excited during this semi-sleeping siatet and repeats continually, " Phenyl, phenyl.

II. He is ill . . . ing with his whole family ; at half -past eleven. He is to he at the Schottenthor for a rendezvous with a certain lady, hut he does not wake up until half-past eleven. He says to himself, " It is too late now ; when you get there it will he Jialf-past twelve."" The next instant he sees the whole family gathered ahout the tahle — his mother and the servant girl with the soup-tureen with ^ particular clearness. Then he says to himself, *' Well, if we are eating already, I certainly can't get away."

Analysis : He feels sure that even the first dream contains a reference to the lady whom he is to meet at the rendezvous (the dream was dreamed during the night before the expected meeting). The student to whom he gave the instruction is a particularly unpleasant fellow ; he had said to the chemist : " That isn't right," because the magnesium was still unaffected, and the latter answered as though he did not care anything about it : " It certainly isn't right." He himself must be this student ; he is as indifferent towards his analysis as the student is towards his sjnithesis ; the He in the dream, however, who accomplishes the operation, is myself. How unpleasant he must seem to me with his indifference towards the success achieved !

Moreover, he is the material with which .fhejanaly sis (syii^^ thesis) is made. For it is a question of the success of the treatment. The legs in the dream recall ^n impression of th^ previous eveniug. He met a lady at a danchig lesson whom he wished to conquer ; he pressed her to him so closely that she once cried out. After he had stopped pressing against her legs, he felt her firm responding pressure against his lower tliighs as far as just above his knees, at the place mentioned in the dream. In this situation, then, the woman is the magnesium in the retort, which is at last working. He is feminine towards me, as he is masculine towards the woman. If it will work with the woman, the treatment will also work. Feeling and becoming aware of himself in the region of liis knees refers to masturbation, and corresponds to his fatigue of the previous day. . . . The rendezvous had actually been set for half -past eleven. His \^dsh to over-sleep and to remain


THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS 259

with his usual sexual objects (that is, with masturbation) corresponds with his resistance.

In relation to the repetition of the name phenyl, he gives the following thoughts : All these radicals ending in yl have always been pleasing to him ; they are very convenient to use : benzyl, azetyl, &c. That, however, explained nothing. But when I proposed the radical Schlemihl * he laughed heartily, and related that during the summer he had read a book by Prevost which contained a chapter : " Les exclus de I'amour," the description in which made him think of the Schlemihls, and he added, " That is my case." He would have again acted the Schlemihl if he had missed the rendezvous.

  • This Hebrew word is well known in German-speaking countries, even

among non-Jews, and signifies an unlucky, awkward person. (Translator.)


VI

THE DREAM- WORK

Att. previous attempts to solve the problems of the dream have been based directly upon the manifest dream content as it is retained in the memory, and have undertaken to obtain an interpretation of the dream from this content, or, if inter- pretation was dispensed with, to base a judgment of the dream upon the evidence furnished by this content. We alone are in possession of new data ; for us a new psychic material inter- venes between the dream content and the results of our investigations : and this is the latent dream content or the dream thoughts which are obtained by our method. We develop a solution of the dream from this latter, and not from the manifest dream content. We are also confronted for the first time with a problem which has not before existed, that of examiiiingjm4. tracm£_th^_r^ between the latent

dream thoup^hts' and the manifest _dream^dntent, and the process^_throu^__which the former have grown into the latter.

We regard the dream thoughts and the dream content as two representations of the same meaning in two different languages ; or to express it better, the dream content appears to us as a translation of the dream thoughts into another form of expression, whose signs and laws of composition we are to learn by comparing the original with the translation. The dream thoughts are at once intelligible to us as soon as we have ascertained them. The dream content is, as it were, presented in a picture-writing, whose signs are to be trans- lated one by one into the language of the dream thoughts. It would of course be incorrect to try to read these signs according to their values as pictures instead of r.ccording to their significance as signs. For instance, I have before me a picture-puzzle (rebus) : a house, upon whose roof there is a boat ; then a running figure whose head has been

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THE DREAM-WORK 261

apostrophised away, and the like. I might now be tempted as a critic to consider this composition and its elements non- sensical. A boat does not belong on the roof of a house and a person without a head cannot run ; the person, too, is larger than the house, and if the whole tiling is to represent a land- scape, the single letters of the alphabet do not fit into it, for of course they do not occur in pure nature. A correct judg- ment of the picture-puzzle results only if I make no such objections to the whole and its parts, but if, on the contrary, I take pains to replace each picture by the syllable or word which it is capable of representing by means of any sort of reference, the words which are thus brought together are no longer meaningless, but may constitute a most beautiful and sensible expression. Now the dream is a picture-puzzle of this sort, and our predecessors in the field of dream inter- pretation have made the mistake of judging the rebus as an artistic composition. As such it appears nonsensical and worthless.

{a) The Condensation Work

The first thing which becomes clear to the investigator in the comparison of the dream content with the dream thoughts is that a tremendous worjk of condensation has taken place. The dream is reserved, paltr\% and laconic when compared with the range and copiousness of the dream thoughts. The dream when written down fills half a page ; the analysis, in which the dream thoughts are contained, requires six, eight, twelve times as much space. The ratio varies with different dreams ; it never changes , its essential meaning, as far as I have been able to observe. As a rule the extent of the com- pression which has taken place is under-estimated, owing to the fact that the dream thoughts which are brought to light are considered the complete material, while continued work of interpretation may reveal new thoughts which are con- cealed behind the dream. We have already mentioned that one is really never sure of having interpreted a dream com- pletely ; even if the solution seems satisfying and flawless, it still alwaj^s remains possible that there is a further meaning which is manifested by the same dream. Thus the amount of condensation is — strictly speaking — indeterminable. An objec-


26^ THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

tion, which at first sight seems very plausible, might be raised against the assertion that the disproportion between dream content and dream thought justifies the conclusion that an abundant condensation of psychic material has taken place in the formation of dreams. For we so often have the im- pression that we have dreamed a great deal throughout the night and then have forgotten the greater part. The dream which we recollect upon awakening would thus be only a remnant of the total dream-work, which would probably equal the dream thoughts in range if we were able to remember the former completely. In part this is certainly true ; there can be no mistake about the observation that the dream is most accurately reproduced if one tries to remember it im- mediately after awakening, and that the recollection of it becomes more and more defective towards evening. On the other hand, it must be admitted that the impression that we have dreamed a good deal more than we are able to reproduce is often based upon an illusion, the cause of which will be explained later. Moreover, the assumption of condensation in the dream activity is not affected by the possibility of forgetting in dreams, for it is proved by groups of ideas belong- ing to those particular parts of the dream which have remained in the memory. If a large part of the dream has actually been lost to memory, we are probably deprived of access to a new series of dream thoughts. It is altogether unjustifiable to expect that those portions of the dream which have been lost also relate to the thoughts with which we are already acquainted from the analysis of the portions which have been preserved. j

In view of the great number of ideas which analysis fur- nishes for each individual element of the dream content, the chief doubt with many readers will be whether it is permissible to count everything that subsequently comes to mind during analysis as a part of the dream thoughts — ^to assume, in other words, that all these thoughts have been active in the sleeping state and have taken part in the formation of the dream. Is it not more probable that thought connections are developed in the course of analysis which did not participate in the formation of the dream ? I i» have just done with mine ! " said the friend.

"That is certainly not an easy task, but the dreamer himself ought always to succeed in doing it with a little concentration of attention. . . . You ask why it is generally impossible ? Your dreams seem to conceal something secret, something unchaste of a peculiar and higher nature, a certain mystery in your nature which cannot easily be revealed by thought ; and it is for that reason that your dreaming seems so often to be without meaning, or even to be a contradiction. But in the profoundest sense this » by no means the case ; indeed it cannot be true at all, for it is always the same person, whether he is asleep or awake."


288 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

displacement as an unquestionable fact in the interpretation of dreams.

(c) Means of Representation in the Dream

Besides the two factors of dream condensation and dream displacement which we have found to be active in the trans- formation of the latent dream material into the manifest content, we shall come in the course of this investigation upon two other conditions which exercise an unquestionable influence upon the selection of the material which gets into the dream. Even at the risk of seeming to stop our progress, I should like to glance at the processes by which the inter- pretation of dreams is accompHshed. I do not deny that I should succeed best in making them clear, and in showing that they are sufficiently rehable to insure them against attack, by taking a single dream as a paradigm and develop- ing its interpretation, as I have done in Chapter II. in the dream of " Irma's Injection," and then putting together the dream thoughts which I have discovered, and reconstructing the formation of the dream from them — that is to say, by supplementing the analysis of dreams by a synthesis of them. I have accomplished this with several specimens for my own instruction ; but I cannot undertake to do it here because I am prevented by considerations, which every right-minded person must approve of, relative to the psychic material necessary for such a demonstration. In the analj^'sis of dreams these considerations present less difficulty, for an analysis may be incomplete and still retain its value even if it leads only a short way into the thought labyrinth of the dream. I do not see how a synthesis could be anything short of com- plete in order to be con incing. I could give a complete synthesis only of the dreams of such persons as are unknown to the reading public. Since, however, only neurotic patients furnish me with the means for doing this, this part of the description of the dream must be postponed until I can carry the psychological explanation of neuroses far enough — else- where — to be able to show their connection with the subject matter under consideration.*

  • I have since given the complete analysis and synthesis of two dreams in

the Briichshieck eiiier Hysterieanalyse, 1905.


THE DREAM- WORK 289

From my attempts synthetically to construct dreams from the dream thoughts, I know that the material which is ob- tained from interpretation varies in value, ^or a part of it consists of the essential dream thoughts which would, therefore, completely replace the dream, and which would in themselves be sufficient for this replacement if there were no censor for the dream. The other part may be summed up under the term " collaterals " ; taken as a whole they represent the means by which the real wish that arises from the dream thoughts is transformed into the dream-wish. A first part of these " collaterals " consists of allusions to the actual dream thoughts, which, considered schematically, correspond to displacements from the essential to the non-essential. A second part comprises the thoughts which connect these non- essential elements, that have become significant through displacement with one another, and which reach from them into the dream content. Finally a third part contains the ideas and thought connections which (in the work of inter- pretation) conduct us from the dream content to the inter- mediary collateral 8, all of which need not necessarily have participated in the formation of the dream.

At this point we are interested exclusively in the essential dream thoughts. These are usually found to be a complex of thoughts and memories of the most intricate possible con- struction, and to possess all the properties of the thought processes which are known to us from waking life. Not infrequently they are trains of thought which proceed from more than one centre, but which do not lack points of con- nection ; almost regularly a chain of thought stands next to its contradictory correlative, being connected with it by contrast associations.

The individual parts of this complicated structure naturally stand in the most manifold logical relations to one another. They constitute a foreground or background, digressions, illustrations, conditions, chains of argument, and objections. When the whole mass of these dream thoughts is subjected to the pressure of the dream activity, during which the parts are turned about, broken up, and pushed together, something like drifting ice, there arises the question, what becomes of the logical ties which until now had given form to the struc-

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290 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

ture ? What representation do " if ," " because," " as though," " although," " either — or," and all the other conjunctions, without which we cannot understand a phrase or a sentence, receive in the dream ?

At first we must answer that the dream has at its disposal no means for representing these logical relations among the dream thoughts. In most cases it disregards all these con- junctions, and undertakes the elaboration only of the ob- jective content of the dream thoughts. It is left to the interpretation of the dream to restore the coherence which the activity of the dream has destroyed.

If the dream lacks ability to express these relations, the psychic material of which the dream is wrought must be responsible. The descriptive arts are limited in the same manner — painting and the plastic arts in comparison with poetry, which can employ speech ; and here too the reason for this impotence is to be found in the material in the treatment of which the two arts strive to give expression to something. Before the art of painting had arrived at an understanding of the laws of expression by which it is bound, it attempted to escape this disadvantage. In old paintings httle tags were hung from the mouths of the persons represented giving the speech, the expression of which in the picture the artist despaired of.

Perhaps an objection will here be raised challenging the assertion that the dream dispenses with the representation of logical' relations. There are dreams in which the most complicated intellectual operations take place, in which proof and refutation are offered, puns and comparisons made, just as in waking thoughts. But here, too, appearances are deceitful ; if the interpretation of such dreams is pursued, it is found that all of this is dream material, not the representation of intellectvnl activity in the dream. The content of the dream thoughts is reproduced by the apparent thinking of the dream, not the relations of the dream thoughts to one another, in the determina- tion of which relations thinking consists. I shall give examples of tliis. But the thesis which is most easily established is that all speeches which occur in the dream, and which are expressly designated as such, are unchanged or only slightly modified copies of speeches which are likewise to be found in


THE DREAM-WORK 291

the recollections of the dream material. Often the speech is only an allusion to an event contained in the dream thoughts ; the meaning of the dream is a quite different one.

I shall not deny, indeed, that there is also critical thought activity which does not merely repeat material from the dream thoughts and which takes part in the formation of the dream. I shall have to explain the influence of this factor at the close of this discussion. It will then become clear that this thought activity is evoked not by the dream thoughts, but by the dream itself after it is already finished in a certain sense.

We shall, therefore, consider it settled for the present that the logical relations among the dream thoughts do not enjoy any particular representation in the dream. For instance, where there is a contradiction in the dream, this is either a contradiction directed against the dream itself or a contra- diction derived from the content of one of the dream thoughts ; a contradiction in the dream corresponds to a contradiction among the dream thoughts only in a highly indirect manner.

But just as the art of painting finally succeeded in de- picting in the represented persons, at least their intention in speaking — ^their tenderness, threatening attitude, warning mien, and the like — by other means than the dangling tag, so also the dream has found it possible to render account of a few of the logical relations among its dream thoughts by means of an appropriate modification of the peculiar method of dream representation. It will be found by experience that difierent dreams go to different lengths in taking this into consideration ; while one dream entirely disregards the logical coherence of its material, another attempts to indicate it as completely as possible. In so doing the dream departs more or less widely from the subject-matter which it is to elaborate. The dream also takes a similarly varying attitude towards the temporal coherence of the dream thoughts, if such coherence has been estabUshed in the unconscious (as for example in the dream of Irma's injection).

But what are the means bj?^ which the dream activity is enabled to indicate these relations in the dream material which are so difficult to represent ? I shall attempt to enumerate these separately.


292 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

In the first place, the dream renders account of the con- nection which is undeniably present between all the parts of the dream thoughts by uniting this material in a single composition as a situation or process. It reproduces logical connection in the form of simultaneousness ; in this case it acts something like the painter who groups together all the philo- sophers or poets into a picture of the school of Athens or of Parnassus, although these were never at once present in any hall or on any mountain top — ^though they do, however, form a unity from the point of view of reflective contemplation.

The dream carries out this method of representation in detail. Whenever it shows two elements close together, it vouches for a particularly intimate connection between those elements which correspond to them in the dream thoughts. It is as in our method of writing : to signifies that the two letters are to be pronounced as one syllable, while t with o after a free space shows that t is the last letter of one word and o the first letter of another. According to this, dream combinations are not made of arbitrary, completely incon- gnieut elements of the dream material, but of elements that also have a somewhat intimate relation to one another in the dream thoughts.

For representing causal relation the dream has two methods, which are essentially reducible to one. The more frequent method, in cases, for example, where the dream thoughts are to the effect : " Because this was so and so, this and that must happen," consists in making the premise an introductory dream and joining the conclusion to it in the form of the main dream. If my interpretation is correct, the sequence may also be reversed. That part of the dream which is more completely worked out always corresponds to the conclusion.

A female patient, whose dream I shall later give in full, once furnished me with a neat example of such a representa- tion of causal relationship. The dream consisted of a short prologue and of a very elaborate but well organised dream composition, which might be entitled : " A flower of speech." The prologue of the dream is as follows : She goes to the two maids in the kitchen and scolds them for taking so long to prepare " a little bite of food She also sees a great many coarse dishes standing in the kitchen, inverted so that the water may drop off


THE DREAM-WORK 293

ihemy and heaped up in a pile. The two maids go to fetch water, and must, as it were, step into a river, which reaches up to the house or into the yard.

Then follows the main dream, which begins as follows : She is descending from a high place, over balustrades that are curiously fashioned, and she is glad that her dress doesn't get caught anywhere, &c. Now the introductory dream refers to the house of the lady's parents. Probably she has often heard from her mother the words which are spoken in the kitchen. The piles of unwashed dishes are taken from an unpretentious earthenware shop which was located in the same house. The second part of this dream contains an allusion to the dreamer's father, who always had a great deal to do with servant girls, and who later contracted a fatal disease during a flood — ^the house stood near the bank of a river. The thought which is concealed behind the intro- ductory dream, then, is to this effect : " Because I was bom in this house, under such limited and unlovely circumstances." The main dream takes up the same thought, and presents it in a form that has been altered by the tendency to wish-fulfil- ment : "I am of exalted origin." Properly then : " Because I was bom in such low circumstances, my career has been so and so."

As far as I can see, the partition of a dream into two unequal portions does not always signify a causal relation between the thoughts of the two portions. It often appears as though the same material were being presented in the two dreams from different points of view ; or as though the two dreams have proceeded from two separated centres in the dream material and their contents overlap, so that the object which is the centre of one dream has served in the other as an allusion, and vice versa. But in a certain number of cases a division into shorter fore-dreams and longer subsequent dreams actually signifies a causal relation between the two portions. The other method of representing causal relation is used with less abundant material and consists in the change of one image in the dream, whether a person or a thing, into another. It is only in cases where we witness this change taking place in the dream that any causal relation is asserted to exist, not where we merely notice that one thing has taken


294 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

the place of another. I said that both methods of repre- senting causal relation are reducible to the same thing ; in both cases causation is represented by a succession, now by the sequence of the dreams, now by the immediate transforma- tion of one image into another. In the great majority of cases, of course, causal relation is not expressed at all, but is obUterated by the sequence of elements which is unavoidable in the dream process.

The dream is altogether unable to express the alternative,

    • either — or "; it is in the habit of taking both members of

this alternative into one context, as though they were equally privfleged. A classic example of this is contained in the dream of Irma's injection. Its latent thoughts obviously mean : I am innocent of the continued presence of Irma's pains ; the fault rests either with her resistance to accepting the solution, or with the fact that she is Uving under un- favourable sexual conditions, which I am unable to change, or her pains are not of a hysteric nature at all, but organic. The dream, however, fulfils all these possibihties, which are almost exclusive, and is quite ready to extract from the dream-wish an additional fourth solution of this kind. After interpreting the dream I have therefore inserted the either — or in the sequence of the dream thoughts.

In the case where the dreamer finds occasion in telling the. dream to use either — or : " It was either a garden or a Hving- room," &c., it is not really an alternative which occurs in the dream thoughts, but an " and," a simple addition. When we use either — or we are usually describing a characteristic of indistinctness belonging to an element of the dream which is still capable of being cleared up. The rule of interpretation for this case is as follows : The separate members of the alternative are to be treated as equals and connected by " and." For instance, after waiting for a long time in vain for the address of my friend who is living in Italy, I dream that I receive a telegram which tells me this address. Upon the strip of telegraph paper I see printed in blue the following ; the first word is blurred :

perhaps via,,

or villa, the second is distinctly : Sezerno or perhaps {Casa).


THE DREAM-WORK 295

The second word, which sounds like an Italian name and which reminds me of our etymological discussions, also ex- presses my displeasure on account of the fact that my friend has kept his place of residence secret from me for so long a time ; every member of the triple suggestion for the first word may be recognised in the course of analysis as a self-sufficient and equally well-justified starting point in the concatenation of ideas.

During the night before the funeral of my father I dreamed of a printed placard, a card or poster — perhaps something like signs in railway waiting-rooms which announce the pro- hibition of smoking — which reads either :

It is requested to shut the eyes

or It is requested to shut an eye

which I am in the habit of representing in the following form :

the It is requested to shut eye (s),

an

Each of the two variations has its own particular meaning, and leads us along particular paths in the interpretation of the dream. I had made the simplest kind of funeral arrangements, for I knew how the deceased thought about such matters. Other members of the family, however, did not approve of such puritanic simphcity ; they thought we would have to be ashamed before the mourners. Hence one of the wordings of the dream requests the " shutting of one eye," that is to say, that people should show consideration. The significance of the blurring, which we describe with an either — or, may here be seen with particular ease. The dream activity has not succeeded in constructing a unified but at the same time ambiguous wording for the dream thoughts. Thus the two main trains of thought are already distinguished even in the dream content.

In a few cases the division of the dream into two equal parts expresses the alternative which the dream finds it so difficult to represent.

The attitude of the dream towards the category of anti- thesis and contradiction is most striking. This category is


296 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

unceremoniously neglected ; the word "No " does not seem to exist for the dream. Antitheses are with pecuUar preference reduced to unity or represented as one. The dream also takes the liberty of representing any element whatever by its desired opposite, so that it is at first impossible to tell about any element capable of having an opposite, whether it is to be taken negatively or positively, in the dream thoughts.* In one of the last-mentioned dreams, whose introductory portion we have already interpreted (" because my parentage is such "), the dreamer descends over a balustrade and holds a blossom- ing twig in her hands. Since this picture suggests to her the angel in paintings of the Annunciation (her own name is Mary) carrying a lily stem in his hand, and the white-robed girls marching in the procession on Corpus Christi Day when the streets are decorated with green bows, the blossoming twig in the dream is very certainly an allusion to sexual innocence. But the twig is thickly studded with red blossoms, each one of which resembles a camelia. At the end of her walk, so the dream continues, the blossoms have already fallen considerably apart ; then unmistakable allusions to menstruation follow. But this very twig which is carried like a lily and as though by an innocent girl, is also an allusion to Camille, who, as is known, always wore a white camelia, but a red one at the time of her menstruation. The same blossoming twig (" the flower of maidenhood " in the songs about the miller's daughter by Goethe) represents at once sexual innocence and its opposite. The same dream, also, which expresses the dreamer's joy at having succeeded in passing through life unsullied, hints in several places (as at the falling-off of the blossom), at the opposite train of thought — ^namely, that she had been guilty of various sins against sexual purity (that is in her childhood). In the analj^sis of

  • From a work of K. Abel, Der Gegensinn der Urworte, 1884 (see iny

review of it in the Bleuler- Freud Jahrhuch, 11., 1910), I learned with surprise a fact which is con'drmed by other philologists, that the oldest languages behaved in this regard quite like the dream. They originally had only one word for both extremes in a series of qualities or activities (strong — weak, old — young, far — near, to tie — to separate), and formed separate designa- tions for the two extremes only secondarily through slight modifications of the common primitive word. Abel demonstrated these relationships with rare exceptions in the old Egyptian, and he was able to show distinct remnants of the same development in the Semitic and Indo-Germanic languages.


THE DREAM-WORK 297

the dream we may clearly distinguish the two trains of thought, of which the comforting one seems to be superficial, the re- proachful one more profound. The two are diametrically opposed to each other, and their Hke but contrasting elements have been represented by the identical dream elements.

The mechanism of dream formation is favourable in the highest degree to only one of the logical relations. This relation is that of similarity, correspondence, contiguity, " as though," which is capable of being represented in the dream as no other can be, by the most varied expedients. The corre- spondences occurring in the dream, or cases of "as though," are the chief points of support for the formation of dreams, and no inconsiderable part of the dream activity consists in creating new correspondences of this sort in cases where those which are already at hand are prevented by the censor of resistance from getting into the dream. The effort towards condensation shown by the dream activity assists in the representation of the relation of similarity.

Similarity y agreement y community, are quite generally ex- pressed in the dream by concentration into a unity, which is either already found in the dream material or is newly created. The first case may be referred to as identification, the second as composition. Identification is used where the dream is concerned with persons, composition where things are the objects of unification ; but compositions are also made from persons. Localities are often treated as persons.

Identification consists in giving representation in the dream content to only one of a number of persons who are connected by some common feature, while the second or the other persons seem to be suppressed as far as the dream is concerned. This one representative person in the dream enters into all the relations and situations which belong to itself or to the persons who are covered by it. In cases of composition, however, when this has to do with persons, there are already present in the dream image features which are characteristic of, but not common to, the persons in question, so that a new unity, a composite person, appears as the result of the union of the^e features. The composition itself may be brought about in various ways. Either the dream person bears the name of one of the persons to whom


298 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

it refers — and then we know, in a manner which is quite analogous to knowledge in waking life, that this or that person is the one who is meant — while the visual features belong to another person ; or the dream image itself is composed of visual features which in reality are shared by both. Instead of visual features, also, the part played by the second person may be represented by the mannerisms which are usually ascribed to him, the words which he usually speaks, or the situations in which he is usually imagined. In the latter method of characterisation the sharp distinction between identification and composition of persons begins to disappear. But it may also happen that the formation of such a mixed personality is unsuccessful. The situation of the dream is then attributed to one person, and the other — as a rule the more important one — ^is introduced as an inactive and uncon- cerned spectator. The dreamer relates something like " My mother was also there " (Stekel).

The common feature which justifies the union of the two persons — that is to say, which is the occasion for it — may either be represented in the dream or be absent. As a rule, identification or composition of persons simply serves the purpose of dispensing with the representation of this common feature. Instead of repeating : " A is ill disposed towards me, and B is also," I make a composite person of A and B in the dream, or I conceive A as doing an unaccustomed action which usually characterises B. The dream person obtained in this way appears in the dream in some new connection, and the fact that it signifies both A and B justifies me in inserting that which is common to both — ^their hostility towards me — at the proper place in the interpretation of the dream. In this manner I often achieve a very extraordinary degree of condensation of the dream content ; I can save myself the direct representation of very compHcated relations belonging to a person, if I can find a second person who has an equal claim to a part of these relations. It is also obvious to what extent this representation by means of identification can circumvent the resisting censor, which makes the dream activity conform to such harsh conditions. That which offends the censor may lie in those very ideas which are con- nected in the dream material with the one person ; I now find


THE DREAM-WORK 299

a second person, who likewise has relation to the objectionable material, but only to a part of it. The contact in that one point which offends the censor now justified me in forming a composite person, which is characterised on either hand by indifferent features. This person resulting from composition or identification, who is unobjectionable to the censor, is now suited for incorporation in the dream content, and by the appUcation of dream condensation I have satisfied the demands of the dream censor.

In dreams where a common feature of two persons is repre- sented, this is usually a hint to look for another concealed common feature, the representation of which is made im- possible by the censor. A displacement of the common feature has here taken place partly in order to facilitate repre- sentation. From the circumstance that the composite person appears to me with an indifferent common feature, I must infer that another common feature which is by no means indifferent exists in the dream thoughts.

According to what has been said, identification or com- position of persons serves various purposes in the dream ; in the first place, to represent a feature common to the two persons ; secondly, to represent a displaced common feature ; and thirdly, even to give expression to a community of features that is merely wished for. As the wish for a community •between two persons frequently coincides with the exchanging of these persons, this relation in the dream is also expressed through identification. In the dream of Irma's injection I wish to exchange this patient for another — that is to say, I wish the latter to be my patient as the foimer has been ; the dream takes account of this wish by showing me a person who is called Irma, but who is examined in a position such as I have had the opportunity of seeing only when occupied with the other person in question. In the dream about my uncle this substitution is made the centre of the dream ; I identify myself with the minister by judging and treating my colleague as shabbily as he does.

It has been my experience — and to this I have found no exception — that every dream treats of one's own person. Dreams are absolutely egotistic. In cases where not my ego, but only a strange person occurs in the dream content, I may


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safely assume that my ego is concealed behind that person by means of identification. I am permitted to supplement my ego. On other occasions when my ego appears in the dream, I am given to understand by the situation in which it is placed that another person is conceahng himself behind the ego. In this case the dream is intended to give me notice that in the interpretation I must transfer something which is connected with this person — the hidden common feature — to myself. There are also dreams in which my ego occurs along with other persons which the resolution of the identification again shows to be my ego. By means of this identification I am instructed to unite in my ego certain ideas to whose acceptance the censor has objected. I may also give my ego manifold representation in the dream, now directly, now by means of identification with strangers. An extraordinary amount of thought material may be condensed by means of a few such identifications.*

The resolution of the identification of locahties designated under their own names is even less difficult than that of persons, because here the disturbing influence of the ego, which is all-powerful in the dream, is lacking. In one of my dreams about Rome (p. 164) the name of the place in which I find myself is Rome ; I am surprised, however, at the great number of German placards at a street comer. The latter is a wish-fulfilment, which immediately suggests Prague ; the wish itself probably originated at a period in my youth when I was imbued with a German nationahstic spirit which is sup- pressed to-day. At the time of my dream I was looking forward to meeting a friend in Prague ; the identification of Rome and Prague is thus to be explained by means of a desired common feature ; I would rather meet my friend in Rome than in Prague, I should like to exchange Prague for Rome for the purpose of this meeting.

The possibility of creating compositions is one of the chief

causes of the phantastic character so common in dreams, in

that it introduces into the dream elements which could never

have been the objects of perception. The psychic process

which occurs in the formation of compositions is obviously

  • If I do not know behind wliicli of the persons which occur in the

dream I am to look for my ego, I observe the following rule : That person in the dream who is subject to an emotion which I experience while asleep is the one that conceals my e^ j.


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the same which we employ in conceiving or fashioning a centaur or a dragon in waking life. The only difference is that in the phantastic creations occurring in waking life the intended impression to be made by the new creation is itself the deciding factor, while the composition of the dream is deter- mined by an influence — ^the common feature in the dream thoughts — which is independent of the form of the image. The composition of the dream may be aocompHshed in a great many different ways. In the most artless method of execu- tion the properties of the one thing are represented, and this representation is accompanied by the knowledge that they also belong to another object. A more careful technique unites the features of one object with those of the other in a new image, while it makes skilful use of resemblance between the two objects which exist in reahty. The new creation may turn out altogether absurd or only phantasti- cally ingenious, according to the subject-matter and the wit operative in the work of composition. If the objects to be condensed into a unity are too incongruous, the dream activity is content with creating a composition with a comparatively distinct nucleus, to which are attached less distinct modifica- tions. The unification into one image has here been unsuccess- ful, as it were ; the two representations overlap and give rise to something like a contest between visual images. If attempt were made to construct an idea out of individual images of perception, similar representations might be obtained in a drawing.

Dreams naturally abound in such compositions ; several examples of these I have given in the dreams already analysed ; I shall add more. In the dream on p. 296, which describes the career of my patient "in flowery language," the dream ego carries a blossoming twig in her hand, which, as we have seen, signifies at once innocence and sexual transgression. Moreover, the twig recalls cherry-blossoms on account of the manner in which the blossoms are clustered ; the blossoms themselves, separately considered, are camehas, and finally the whole thing also gives the impression of an exotic plant. The common feature in the elements of this composition is shown by the dream thoughts. The blossoming twig is made up of allusions to presents by which she was induced or should have


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been induced to show herself agreeable. So it was with the cherries in her childhood and with the stem of cameUas in her later years ; the exotic feature is an illusion to a much- travelled naturaUst, who sought to win her favour by means of a drawing of a flower. Another female patient creates a middle element out of bath-houses at a bathing resort, rural outside water-closets, and the garrets of our city dwellings. The reference to human nakedness and exposure is common to the two first elements ; and we may infer from their con- nection with the third element that (in her childhood) the garret was likewise the scene of exposure. A dreamer of the male sex makes - a composite locahty out of two places in which " treatment " is given — my office and the pubHc hall in which he first became acquainted with his wife. Another female patient, after her elder brother has promised to regale her with caviare, dreams that his legs are covered thick with black caviare pearls. The two elements, " contagion " in a moral sense and the recollection of a cutaneous eruption in childhood which made her legs look as though studded over with red dots instead of black ones, have here been united with the caviare pearls to form a new idea — the idea of " what she has inherited from her brother." In this dream parts of the human body are treated as objects, as is usually the case in dreams. In one of the dreams reported by Ferenczi ^^ there occurred a composition made up of the person of a physician and a horse, over which was spread a nightshirt. The common feature in these three components was shown in the analysis after the nightshirt had been recognised as an allusion to the father of the dreamer in an infantile scene. In each of the three cases there was some object of her sexual inquisitiveness. As a child she had often been taken by her nurse to the mihtary breeding station, where she had the amplest opportunity to satisfy her curiosity, which was at that time uninhibited.

I have already asserted that the dream has no means for expressing the relation of contradiction, of contrast, of nega- tion. I am about to contradict this assertion for the first time. A part of the cases, which may be summed up under the word " contrast," finds representation, as we have seen, simply by means of identification — that is, when an interchange or


THE DREAM- WORK 308

replacement can be connected with the contrast. We have given repeated examples of this. Another part of the con- trasts in the dream thoughts, which perhaps falls into the category ** turned into the opposite," is represented in the dream in the following remarkable manner, which may almost be designated as witty. The " inversion " does not itself get into the dream content, but manifests its presence there by means of the fact that a part of the already formed dream content which hes at hand for other reasons, is — as it were subsequently — inverted. It is easier to illustrate this process than to describe it. In the beautiful " Up and Down " dream (p. 267) the representation of ascending is an inversion of a prototype in the dream thoughts, that is to say, of the introductory scene of Daudet's Sappho ; in the dream cHmb- ing is difficult at first, and easy later on, while in the actual scene it is easy at first, and later becomes more and more difficult. Likewise '* above " and " below " in relation to the dreamer's brother are inverted in the dream. This points to a relation of contraries or contrasts as obtaining between two parts of the subject-matter of the dream thoughts and the relation we have found in the fact that in the childish fancy of the dreamer he is carried by his nurse, while in the novel, on the contrary, the hero carries his beloved. My dream about Goethe's attack upon Mr. M. (p. 345) also contains an " inversion " of this sort, which must first be set right before the interpretation of the dream can be accompHshed. In the dream Groethe attacks a yoimg man, Mr. M. ; in reahty, according to the dream thoughts, an eminent man, my friend, has been attacked by an unknown young author. In the dream I reckon time from the date of Groethe's death ; in reahty the reckoning was made from the year in which the paralytic was bom. The thought determining the dream material is shown to be an objection to the treatment of Goethe as a lunatic. " The other way around," says the dream ; "if you cannot miderstand the book, it is you who are dull-witted, not the author." Furthermore, all these dreams of inversion seem to contain a reference to the contemptuous phrase, " to turn one's back upon a person " (German : " einen die Kehrseite zeigen " ; c/. the inversion in respect to the dreamer's brother in the Sappho dream). It is also remarkable how


304 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

frequently inversion becomes necessary in dreams which are inspired by repressed homosexual feelings.

Moreover, inversion or transformation into an opposite is one of the favourite methods of representation, and one of the methods most capable of varied application which the dream activity possesses. Its first function is to create the fulfilment of a wish with reference to a definite element of the dream-thoughts. "If it were only just the other way 1 " is often the best expression of the relation of the ego to a dis- agreeable recollection. But inversion becomes extraordinarily useful for the purposes of the censor, for it brings about in the material represented a degree of disfiguration which all but paralyses our understanding of the dream. For this reason it is always permissible, in cases where the dream stubboml}^ refuses to yield its meaning, to try the inversion of definite portions of its manifest content, whereupon not infrequently everything becomes clear.

Besides this inversion, the subject-matter inversion in temporal relation is not to be overlooked. A frequent device of dream disfigurement consists in presenting the final issue of an occurrence or the conclusion of an argument at the beginning of the dream, or in suppljdng the premises of a conclusion or the causes of an effect at the end of it. Any one who has not considered this technical method of dream disfigurement stands helpless before the problem of dream interpretation . *

Indeed in some cases we can obtain the sense of the dream only by subjecting the dream content to manifold inversion in different directions. For example, in the dream of a young patient suffering from a compulsion neurosis, the memory of an infantile death- wish against a dreaded father was hidden behind

  • The hysterical attack sometimes uses the same device — the inversion of

time-relations — for the purpose of concealing its meaning from the spectator. The attack of a hysterical girl, for example, consists in enacting a little romance, which she has unconsciously fancied in connection with an en- counter in the street car. A man, attracted bj the beauty of her foot, addresses her while she is reading, whereupon she goes with him and experiences a stormy love scene. Her attack begins with the representation of this scene in writhing movements of the body (accompanied by motions of the lips to signify kissing, entviuing of the arras for embraces), whereupon she hurries into another room, sits down in a chair, lifts her skirt in order to show her foot, acts as though she were about to read a book, and speaks to me (answers me).


THE DREAM-WORK 305

the following words : His father upbraids him because he arrives so late. But the context in the psychoanalytic treatment and the thoughts of the dreamer alike go to show that the sentence must read as follows : He is angry at his father, and, further, that his father is always coming home too early (i.e. too soon). He would have preferred that his father should not come home at all, which is identical with the wish (see page 219) that his father should die. As a Httle boy the dreamer was guilty of sexual aggression against another person while his father was away, and he was threatened with punishment in the words : " Just wait until father comes home."

If we attempt to trace the relations between dream content and dream thoughts further, we shall do this best by making the dream itself our starting-point and by asking ourselves the question : What do certain formal characteristics of dream representation signify with reference to the dream thoughts ? The formal characteristics which must attract our attention in the dream primarily include variations in the distinctness of individual parts of the dream or of whole dreams in relation to one another. The variations in the intensity of individual dream images include a whole scale of degrees ranging from a distinctness of depiction which one is inclined to rate as higher — ^without warrant, to be sure — than that of reality, to a provoking indistinctness which is declared to be character- istic of the dream, because it cannot altogether be compared to any degree of indistinctness which we ever see in real objects. Moreover, we usually designate the impression which we get from an indistinct object in the dream as " fleeting," while we think of the more distinct dream images as remain- ing intact for a longer period of perception. We must now £isk ourselves by what conditions in the dream material these differences in the vividness of the different parts of the dream content are brought about.

There are certain expectations which will inevitably arise at this point and which must be met. Ov/ing to the fact that real sensations during sleep may form part of the material of the dream, it will probably be assumed that these sensations or the dream elements resulting from them are emphasized by pecuUar intensity, or conversely, that what turns out to be


306 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

particularly vivid in the dream is probably traceable to such real sensations during sleep. My experience has never con- firmed this. It is incorrect to say that those elements of the dream which are the derivatives of impressions occurring in sleep (nervous excitements) are distinguished by their vivid- ness from others which are based on recollections. The factor of reality is of no accoimt in determining the intensity of dream images.

Furthermore, the expectation will be cherished that the sensory intensity (vividness) of individual dream images has a relation to the psychic intensity of the elements correspond- ing to them in the dream-thoughts. In the latter intensity is identical with psychic value ; the most intense elements are in fact the most significant, and these are the central point of the dream. We know, however, that it is just these elements which are usually not accepted in the dream content owing to the censor. But still it might be possible that the elements immediately following these and representing them might show a higher degree of intensity, without, however, for that reason constituting the centre of the dream represen- tation. This expectation is also destroyed by a comparison of the dream and the dream material. The intensity of the elements in the one has nothing to do with the intensity of the elements in the other ; a complete " trans valuation of all psychic values " takes place between the dream-material and the dream. The very element which is transient and hazy and which is pushed into the background by more vigorous images is often the single and only element in which may be traced any direct derivative from the subject which entirely dominated the dream-thoughts.

The intensity of the elements of the dream shows itself to be determined in a different manner — that is, by two factors which are independent of each other. It is easy to see at the outset that those elements by means of v/hich the wish- fulfilment is expressed are most distinctly represented. But then analysis also teaches us that from the most vivid elements of the dream, the greatest num^ber of trains of thought start, and that the most vi\dd are at the same time those wiiich are best determined.. No change of sense is involved if we express the latter empirical the^sis in the following form : the greatest


THE DREAM- WORK 307

intensity is shown by those elements of the dream for which the most abundant condensation activity was required. We may therefore expect that this condition and the others im- posed ^y the wish-fulfilment can be expressed in a single formula.

The problem which I have just been considering — the causes of greater or less intensity or distinctness of individual elements of the dream — ^is one which I should like to guard against being confused with another problem, which has to do with the varying distinctness of whole dreams or sections of dreams. In the first case, the opposite of distinctness is blurredness ; in the second, confusion. It is of course unmis- takable that the intensities rise and fall in the two scales in unison. A portion of the dream which seems clear to us usually contains vivid elements ; an obscure dream is com- posed of less intense elements. But the problem with which we are confronted by the scale, ranging from the apparently clear to the indistinct or confused, is far more complicated than that formed by variations in the vividness of the dream elements ; indeed the former will be dropped from the dis- cussion for reasons which wiU be given later. In isolated cases we are astonished to find that the impression of clear- ness or indistinctness produced by the dream is altogether without significance for its structure, and that it originates in the dream material as one of its constituents. Thus I remember a dream which seemed particularly well constructed, flawless, and clear, so that I made up my mind, while I was still in the somnolent state, to recognise a new class of dreams — those which had not been subject to the mechanism of con- densation and displacement, and which might thus be desig- nated " Fancies while asleep." A closer examination proved that this rare dream had the same breaches and flaws in its construction as every other ; for this reason I abandoned the category of dream fancies. The content of the dream, re- duced to its lowest terms, was that I was reciting to a friend a difficult and long-sought theory of bisexuahty, and the wish- fulfilling power of the dream was responsible for the fact that this theory (which, by the way, was not stated in the dream) appeared so clear and flawless. What I considered a judgment upon the finished dream was thus a part of the


308 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

dream content, and the essential one at that. The dream activity had extended its operations, as it were, into waking thought, and had presented to me in the form of a judgment that part of the dream material which it had not succeeded in reproducing with exactness. The exact opposite of this once came to my attention in the case of a female patient who was at first altogether unwilling to tell a dream which was necessary for the analysis, " because it was so obscure and confused," and who declared, after repeatedly den3ring the accuracy of her description, that several persons, herself, her husband, and her father, had occurred in the dream, and that it seemed as though she did not know whether her husband was her father, or who her father was anyway, or something of that sort. Upon considering this dream in connection with the ideas that occurred to the dreamer in the course of the sitting, it was found unquestionably to be concerned with the story of a servant girl who had to confess that she was expecting a child, and v/ho was now confronted with doubts as to " who was really the father." * The obscurity mani- fested by the dream, therefore, is again in this case a portion of the material which excited it. A part of this material was represented in the form of the dream. The form of the dream or of dreaming is used with astonishing frequency to represent the concealed content.

Comments on the dream and seemingly harmless observa- tions about it often serve in the most subtle maimer to conceal — although they usually betray — a part of what is dreamed. Thus, for example, when the dreamer says : Here the dream is vague, and the analysis gives an infantile reminiscence of listening to a person cleaning himseK after defecation. An- other example deserves to be recorded in detail. A young man has a very distinct dream which recalls to him phan- tasies from his infancy which have remained conscious to him : he was in a summer hotel one evening, he mistook the number of his room, and entered a room in which an elderly lady and her two daughters were undressing to go to bed. He continues : " Then there are some gaps in the dream ; then something is missing ; and at the end there was a man in the

  • Accorapanviug hysterical symptoms : Failure to menstruate and pro-

found depression, which was the chief ailment of the patient.


THE DREAM-WORK 309

room who wished to throw me out with whom I had to wrestle." He endeavoured in vain to recall the content and purpose of the boyish fancy to which the dream apparently alludes. But we finally become aware that the required content had already been given in his utterances concerning the indistinct part of the dream. The " gaps " were the openings in the genitals of the women who were retiring : " Here something is missing " described the chief character of the female genitals. In those early years he burned with curiosity to see a female genital, and was still inclined to adhere to the infantile sexual theory which attributes a male genital to the woman.

All the dreams which have been dreamed in the same night belong to the same whole when considered with respect to their content ; their separation into several portions, their grouping and number, all these details are full of meaning and may be considered as information coming from the latent dream content. In the interpretation of dreams consisting of many principal sections, or of dreams belonging to the same night, one must not fail to think of the possibiHty that these different and succeeding dreams bring to expression the same feelings in different material. The one that comes first in time of these Ijomologous dreams is usually the most disfigured and most bashful, while the succeeding is bolder and more distinct.

Even Pharaoh's dream in the Bible of the ears and the kine, which Joseph interpreted, was of this kind. It is reported by Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews, bk. ii. chap, iii.) in greater detail than in the Bible. After relating the first dream, the King said : " When I had seen this vision I awaked out of my sleep, and being in disorder, and considering with myseK what this appearance should be, I fell asleep again, and saw another dream much more wonderful than the first, which did still more affright and disturb me." After hstening to the report of the dream, Joseph said, ** This dream, 'King, although seen under two forms, signifies one and the same issue of things."

Jung,^^ who, in his Beitrag zur Psychologie des Geruchtea relates how the veiled erotic dream of a school-girl was under- stood by her friends without interpretation and continued by them with variations, remarks in connection \7ith reports


310 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

of this dream, " that the last of a long series of dream pictures contained precisely the same thought whose representation had been attempted in the first picture of the series. The censor pushed the complex out of the way as long as possible, through constantly renewed symbohc concealments, dis- placements, deviations into the harmless, &c/' (I.e. p. 87). Schemer ^^ was well acquainted with the pecuHarities of dream disfigurement and describes them at the end of his theory of organic stimulation as a special law, p. 166 : " But, finally, the phantasy observes the general law in all nerve stimuh .emanating from symbolic dream formations, by representing at the beginning of the dream only the remotest and freest allusions to the stimulating object ; but towards the end, when the power of representation becomes exhausted, it pre- sents the stimulus or its concerned organ or its function in unconcealed form, and in the way this dream designates its organic motive and reaches its end."

A new confirmation of Schemer's law has been furnished by Otto Rank '^^^ in his work, A Self Interpretation Dream, This dream of a girl reported by him consisted of two dreams, separated in time of the same night, the second of which ended with pollution. This pollution dream could be interpreted in aU its details by disregarding a great many of the ideas contributed by the dreamer, and the profuse relations be- tween the two dream contents indicated that the first dream expressed m bashful language the same thing as the second, so that the latter — ^the pollution dream — helped to a full explanation of the former. From this example, Rank, with perfect justice, draws conclusions concerning the significance of pollution dreams in general.

But in my experience it is only in rare cases that one is in a position to interpret clearness or confusion in the dream as certainty or doubt in the dream material. Later I shall try to discover the factor in the formation of dreams upon whose influence this scale of quaHties essentially depends.

In some dreams, which adhere for a time to a certain situation and scenery, there occur interruptions dsecribed in the following words : " But then it seemed as though it were at the same time another place, and there such and such a thing happened." What thus intermpts the main trend


THE DREAM-WORK 311

of the dream, which after a while may be continued again, turns out to be a subordinate idea, an interpolated thought in the dream material. A conditional relation in the dream- thoughts is represented by simultaneousness in the dream (wenn — wann ; if — when).

What is signified by the sensation of impeded movement, which so often occurs in the dream, and which is so closely aUied to anxiety ? One wants to move, and is unable to stir from the spot ; or one wants to accompUsh something, and meets one obstacle after another. The train is about to start, and one cannot reach it ; one's hand is raised to avenge an insult, and its strength fails, &c. We have already encountered this sensation in exhibition dreams, but have as yet made no serious attempt to interpret it. It is convenient, but inade- quate, to answer that there is motor paralysis in sleep, which manifests itself by means of the sensation alluded to. We may ask : ** Why is it, then, that we do not dream continually of these impeded motions 1 " And we are justified in suppos- ing that this sensation, constantly appearing in sleep, serves some purpose or other in representation, and is brought about by a need occurring in the dream material for this sort of representation.

Failure to accompHsh does not always appear in the dream as a sensation, but also simply as a part of the dream content. I beheve that a case of this sort is particularly well suited to enlighten us about the significance of this characteristic of the dream. I shall give an abridged report of a dream in which I seem to be accused of dishonesty. The scene is a mixture, consisting of a 'private sanatorium and several other buildings. A lackey appears to call me to an examination. I know in the dream that something has been missed, and that the examination is taking place because I am suspected of having appropriated the lost article. Analysis shows that examination is to be taken in two senses, and also means medical examijiationn Being conscious of my innocence, and of the fact that I have been called in for consultation, I calmly follow the lackey. We are received at the door by another lackey, who says, pointing to me, " Is that the person whom you have brought ? Why, he is a respectable man. Thereupon, unthout any lackey, I enter a great hall in which machines are standing, and which reminds me


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of an Inferno with its hellish modes of punishment. I see a colleague strapped on to one apparatus who has every reason to he concerned about me ; hut he takes no notice of me. Then I am given to understand that I muy now go. Then I cannot find my hat, and cannot go after all.

The wish wliich the dream fulfils is obviously that I may be acknowledged to be an honest man, and may go ; all kinds of subject-matter containing a contradiction of this idea must therefore be present in the dream-thoughts. The fact that I may go is the sign of my absolution ; if, then, the dream furnishes at its close an event which prevents me from going, we may readily conclude that the suppressed subject-matter of the contradiction asserts itself in this feature. The cir- cumstance that I cannot find my hat therefore means : " You are not an honest man after all." Failure to accomplish in the dream is the expression of a contradiction, a '* No " ; and therefore the earlier assertion, to the effect that the dream is not capable of expressing a negation, must be revised accordingly.*

In other dreams which involve failure to accomphsh a thing not only as a situation but also as a sensation, the same contradiction is more emphatically expressed in the form of a volition, to which a counter voKtion opposes itself. Thus the sensation of impeded motion represents a conflict of will. We shall hear later that this very motor paralysis belongs to the fundamental conditions of the psychic process in dream- ing. Now the impulse which is transferred to motor channels is nothing else than the will, and the fact that we are sure to find this impulse impeded in the dream makes the whole process extraordinarily well suited to represent vohtion and the " No " which opposes itself thereto. From my explanation of anxiety,

  • A reference to a childhood experience is after complete analysis shown

to exist by the following intermediaries : " The Moor has done his duty, the Moor may go." And then follows the waggish question : " How old is the Moor when he has done his duty ? One year. Then he may go." (It is said that 1 came into the world with so much black curly hair that my young mother declared me to be a Moor.) The circumstance that I do not tind my hat is an experience of the day which has been turned to account with various significations. Our servant, who is a genius at Htowing away things, had hidden the hat. A suppression of sad thoughts about death is also concealed behind the conclusion of the dream : " I have not nearly done my duty yet ; I may not go yet." Birth and death, as in the dream that occurred shortly before about Goethe and the paralytic (p. 346).


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it is easy to understand why the sensation of thwarted will is so closely allied to anxiety, and why it is so often connected with it in the dream. Anxiety is a hbidinous impulse which emanates from the unconscious, and is inhibited by the fore- conscious. Therefore, when a sensation of inhibition in the dream is accompanied by anxiety, there must also be present a vohtion which has at one time been capable of arousing a libido ; there must be a sexual impulse.

What significance and what psychic force is to be ascribed to such manifestations of judgment as " For that is only a dream," which frequently comes to the surface in dreams, I shall discuss in another place {vide infra, p. 390). For the present I shall merely say that they serve to depreciate the value of the thing dreamed. An interesting problem allied to this, namely, the meaning of the fact that sometimes a cer- tain content is designated in the dream itself as " dreamed " — the riddle of the " dream within the dream " — has been solved in a similar sense by W. Stekel ^^* through the analysis of some convincing examples. The part of the dream

    • dreamed " is again to be depreciated in value and robbed

of its reahty ; that which the dreamer continues to dream after awakening from the dream within the dream, is what the dream-wish desires to put in place of the extinguished reahty. It may therefore be assumed that the part " dreamed " contains the representation of the reahty and the real reminiscence, while, on the other hand, the continued dream contains the representation of what the dreamer wished. The inclusion of a certain content in a " dream within the dream " is therefore equivalent to the wish that what has just been designated as a dream should not have occurred. The dream-work utilises the dream itself as a form of deflection.

(d) Regard for Presentahility

So far we have been attempting to ascertain how the dream represents the relations among the dream-thoughts, but we have several times extended our consideration to the further question of what alterations the dream material undergoes for the purposes of dream formation. We now know that the dream material, after being stripped of the groater parts


314 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

of its relations, is subjected to compression, while at the same time displacements of intensity among its elements force a psychic revaluation of this material. The displacements which we have considered were shown to be substitutions of one idea for another, the substitute being in some way con- nected with the original by associations, and the displacements were put to the service of condensation by virtue of the fact that in this manner a common mean between two elements took the place of these two elements in the formation of the dream. We have not yet mentioned any other kind of dis- placement. But we learn from the analyses that another exists, and that it manifests itself in a change of the verbal expression employed for the thought in question. In both cases we have displacement following a chain of associations, but the same process takes place in different psychic spheres, and the result of this displacement in the one case is that one element is substituted for another, while in the other case an element exchanges its verbal expression for another.

This second kind of displacement occurring in dream formation not only possesses great theoretical interest, but is also peculiarly well fitted to explain the semblance of phan- tastic absurdity in which the dream disguises itself. Dis- placement usually occurs in such a way that a colourless and abstract expression in the dream-thought is exchanged for one that is visual and concrete. The advantage, and consequently the purpose, of this substitution is obvious. Whatever is visual is capable of representation in the dream, and can be wrought into situations where the abstract ex- pression would confront dream representation with diffi- culties similar to those which would arise if a pohtical editorial were to be represented in an illustrated journal. But not only the possibihty of representation, but also the interests of condensation and of the censor, can be furthered by this change. If the abstractly expressed and unwieldy dream- thought is recast into figurative language, this new expression and the rest of the dream material are more easily furnished with those identities and cross references, which are essential to the dream activity and which it creates whenever they are not at hand, for the reason that in every language concrete terms, owing to their evolution, are more abundant in associa-


THE DREAM-WORK 315

tions than conceptual ones. It may be imagined that in dream formation a good part of the intermediary activity, which tries to reduce the separate dream-thoughts to the tersest and simplest possible expression in the dream, takes pla<3e in the manner above described — that is to say, in providing suitable paraphrase for the individual thoughts. One thought whose expression has already been determined on other grounds will thus exert a separating and selective influence upon the means available for expressing the other, and perhaps it will do this constantly throughout, somewhat after the manner of the poet. If a poem in rhyme is to be composed, the second rhyming line is bound by two conditions ; it must express the proper meaning, and it must express it in such a way as to secure the rhyme. The best poems are probably those in which the poet's effort to find a rhyme is unconscious, and in which both thoughts have from the beginning exercised a mutual influence in the selection of their verbal expressions, which can then be made to rhyme by a means of shght remodification.

In some cases change of expression serves the purposes of dream condensation more directly, in making possible the invention of a verbal construction which is ambiguous and therefore suited to the expression of more than one dream- thought. The whole range of word-play is thus put at the service of the dream activity. The part played by words in the formation of dreams ought not to surprise us. A word being a point of junction for a number of conceptions, it possesses, so to speak, a predestined ambiguity, and neuroses (obsessions, phobias) take advantage of the conveniences which words offer for the purposes of condensation and dis- guise quite as readily as the dream.* That dream conception also profits by this displacement of expression is easily de- monstrated. It is naturally confusing if an ambiguous word is put in the place of two ambiguous ones ; and the employ- ment of a figurative expression instead of the sober everyday one thwarts our understanding, especially since the dream never tells us whether the elements which it shows are to be inter- preted Hterally or figuratively, or whether they refer to the

• Of..Z>er Witz und seine Beziehung zum Unhevmssten, 2iid edit. 1912, and "word-bidge8,"r in the solutions of neurotic symptoms.


316 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

dream material directly or only through the agency of inter- polated forms of speech.* Several examples of representations in the dream which are held together only by ambiguity have already been cited (" her mouth opens without difficulty," in the dream of Irma's injection ; *' I cannot go yet," in the last dream reported, p. 312), &c. I shall now cite a dream in the analysis of which the figurative expression of abstract thought plays a greater part. The difference between such dream interpretation and interpretation by symboUsm may again be sharply distinguished ; in the symboHc interpreta- tion of dreams the key to the symboUsm is arbitrarily chosen by the interpreter, while in our own cases of verbal disguise all these keys are universally known and are taken from estab- lished customs of speech. If the correct notion occurs at the right opportunity, it is possible to solve dreams of this sort completely or in part, independently of any statements made by the dreamer.

A lady, a friend of mine, dreams : She is in the opera- house. It is a Wagnerian performance which Ivas lasted till 7A5 in the morning. In the parquette and parterre there are tables, around which people dine and drink. Her cousin and his young wife, who have jtist returned from their honeymoon, sit 7iext to her at one of these tables, and next to them sits one of the aristocracy. Concerning the latter the idea is that the young wife has brought him hack with her from the wedding journey. It is quite above hoard, just as if she were bringing back a hat from her trip. In the midst of the parquette there is a high tower, on the top of which is a platform surrounded by an iron grating. There, high up, stands the conducUyr with the features of Hans Richter ; he is continually running around behind the grating, perspiring awfully, and from this position conducting the orchestra,

  • In general it is doubtful in the interpretation of every element of the

dream whether it —

{a) is to be regarded as having a negative or a positive sense (relation of opposition) ;

0)) is to be interpreted historically (as a reminiscence) j

(c) is symbolic ; or whether

{d) its valuation is to be based upon the sound of its verbal expression. In spite of this manifold signification, it may be said that the representation of the dream activity does not impose upon the translator any greater difficulties than the ancient writers of hieroglyphics imposed upon their readers.


THE DREAM-WORK 817

which is arranged around the base of the tower. She herself sits in a box with a lady friend {known to me). Her youngest sister tries to hand her from the parquette a big piece of coal with the idea that she did not know that it ivould last so long and that she must by this time be terribly cold. (It was a little as if the boxes had to be heated during the long performance.)

The dream is senseless enough, though the situation is well developed too — the tower in the midst of the parquette from which the conductor leads the orchestra ; but, above all, the coal which her sister hands her ! I purposely asked for no analysis of this dream. With the knowledge I liave of the personal relations of the dreamer, I was able to interpret parts of it independently. I knew that she had entertained warm feelings for a musician whose career had been prematurely blasted by insanity. I therefore decided to take the tower in the parquette verbally. It was apparent, then, that the man whom she wished to see in the place of Hans Richter towered above all the other members of the orchestra. This tower must, therefore, be designated as a composite picture formed by an apposition ; with its pedestal it represents the greatness of the man, but with its gratings on top, behind which he runs around like a prisoner or an animal in a cage (an allusion to the name of the unfortunate man), it represents his later fate. ** Lunatic-tower " is perhaps the word in which both thoughts might have met.

Now that we have discovered the dream's method of re- presentation, we may try with the same key to open the second apparent absurdity, — ^that of the coal which her sister hands her. " Coal " must mean " secret love."

" No eoalf no fire so hotly glows As the secret love which no one knows."

She and her friend remain seated while her younger sister, who still has opportunities to marry, hands her up the coal " because she did not know it would last so long." What would last so long is not told in the dream. In relating it we would supply " the performance " ; but in the dream we must take the sentence a^ it is, declare it ambiguous, and add " until she marries." The interpretation " secret love " is then confirmed by ttie mention of the cousin who sits with


818 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

his wife in the parquette, and by the open love-affair attri- buted to the latter. The contrasts between secret and open love, between her fire and the coldness of the young wife, dominate the dream. Moreover, here again there is a person " in high position " as a middle term between the aristocrat and the musician entitled to high hopes.

By means of the above discussion we have at last brought to light a third factor, whose part in the transformation of the dream thoughts into the dream content is not to be con- sidered trivial ; it is the regard for presentability {German : Darstellbarkeit) in the peculiar psychic material which the dream makes use of, — that is fitness for representation, for the most part by means of visual images. Among the various subor- dinate ideas associated with the essential dream thoughts, that one will be preferred which permits of a visual repre- sentation, and the dream-activity does not hesitate promptly to recast the inflexible thought into another verbal form, even if it is the more unusual one, as long as this form makes dramatisation possible, and thus puts an end to the psycho- logical distress caused by cramped thinking. This pouring of the thought content into another mould may at the same time be put at the service of the condensation work, and may establish relations with another thought which would other- wise not be present. This other thought itseK may perhaps have previously changed its original expression for the purpose of meeting these relations half-way.

In view of the part played by puns, quotations, songs, and proverbs in the intellectual life of educated persons, it would be entirely in accordance with our expectation to find disguises of this sort used with extraordinary frequency. For a few kinds of material a universally applicable dream symbolism has been established on a basis of generally known allusions and equivalents. A good part of this symbolism, moreover, is possessed by the dream in common with the psychoneuroses, and with legends and popular customs.

Indeed, if we look more closely, we must recognise that in employing this method of substitution the dream is gene- rally doing nothing original. For the attainment of its purpose, which in this case is the possibility of dramatisation without interference from the censor, it simply follows the paths


THE DREAM-WORK 319

which it finds akeady marked out in unconscious thought, and gives preference to those transformations of the suppressed material which may become conscious also in the form of wit and allusion, and with which all the fancies of neurotics are filled. Here all at once we come to understand Schemer's method of dream interpretation, the essential truth of which I have defended elsewhere. The occupation of one's fancy with one's own body is by no means peculiar to, or character- istic of the dream alone. My analyses have shown me that this is a regular occurrence in the imconscious thought of neurotics, and goes back to sexual curiosity, the object of wliich for the adolescent youth or maiden is found in the genitals of the opposite sex, or even of the same sex. But, as Schemer and Volkelt very appropriately declare, the house is not the only group of ideas which is used for the symbolisation of the body — either in the dream or in the unconscious fancies of the neurosis. I know some patients, to be sure, who have steadily adhered to an architectural symboHsm for the body and the genitals (sexual interest certainly extends far beyond the region of the external genital organs), to whom posts and pillars signify legs (as in the " Song of Songs "), to whom every gate suggests a bodily opening (" hole "), and every water-main a urinary apparatus, and the like. But the group of associations belonging to plant Hfe and to the kitchen is just £is eagerly chosen to conceal sexual images ; in the first case the usage of speech, the result of phantastic comparisons dating from the most ancient times, has made abundant pre- paration (the " vineyard " of the Lord, the " seeds," the " garden " of the girl in the " Song of Songs "). The ughest as well as the most intimate details of sexual life may be dreamed about in apparently harmless allusions to culinary operations, and the symptoms of hysteria become practically unintelligible if we forget that sexual symbolism can conceal itself betund the most commonplace and most iQconspicuous matters, as its best hiding-place. The fact that some neurotic children cannot look at blood and raw meat, that they vomit at the sight of eggs and noodles, and that the dread of snakes, which is natural to mankind, is monstrously exaggerated iQ neurotics, all of this has a definite sexual meaning. Wher- ever the neurosis employs a disguise of this sort, it treads the


320 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

paths once trodden by the whole of humanity in the early ages of civilisation — paths of whose existence customs of speech, superstitions, and morals still give testimony to this day.

I here insert the promised flower dream of a lady patient, in which I have italicised everything which is to be sexually interpreted. This beautiful dream seemed to lose its entire charm for the dreamer after it had been interpreted.

(a) Prehminary dream : She goes to the two maids in the kitchen and scolds them for taking so long to prepare a little bite of food. She also sees a great many coarse dishes stand- in^f in the kitchen inverted so that the water may drip off them, and heaped up in a pile. Later addition : The two maids go to fetch water, and must, as it were, step into a river which reaches up into the house or into the yard.^

(b) Main dream f : ^^e is descending from a high place J over balustrades that are curiously fashioned or fences which are united into big squares and, consist of a corhglomeration of little squares. § It is really not intended for climbing upon ; she is worried about finding a place for her foot, and she is glad her dress doesn't get caught anywhere, and that she remains so re- spectable while she is going. \\ She is also carrying a large bough in her harid,^^ really a hough of a tree, which is thickly studded with red blossoms; it has many branches, and spreads out."^^ With this is connected the idea of cherry blossoms, but they look like full-bloom camelias, -which of course do not grow on trees. While she is descending, she first has one, then s-iiddenly two, and later again only one.f'f When she arrives at the bottom of

  • For the interpretation of this prehminary dream, which is to be re-

garded as " casual," see p. 292.

t Her career.

X High birth, the wigh contrast to the preliminary dream.

§ A composite image, which unites two localities, the so-called garret (Geiman Boden — floor, garret) of her father's house, in which she played with her brother, the object of her later fancies, and the garden of a malicious uncle, who used to tease her.

II Wish contrast to an actual memory of her uncle's garden, to the effect that she used to expose herself while she was asleep.

^ Just as the angel bears a lily stem in the Annunciation.

    • For the explanation of this composite image, see p. 296 ; innocence,

menstruation, Camille.

t+ Referring to the plurality of the persona who serve the purpose of her fancy.


THE DREAM- WORK 321

the lower blossoms they have already fallen off to a consideraUe extent. Now that she is at the bottom, she sees a porter wJio is combing — as she would like to express it — jzist such a tree — that is, who is plucking thick bunches of hair from it, which hang from it like moss. Other workmen have chopped off such boughs in a garden, and have thrown them upon the street, where they lie about, so that many people take some of them. But she asks whether that is right, whether anybody may take one.* In the garden there stands a young man (having a personality with which she is acquainted, not a member of her family) up to whom she goes in order to ask him how it is possible to transplant such boughs into her own garden.-\ He embraces her, whereat she resists and asks him what he means, whether it is permissible to embrace her in such a manner. He says that there is no wrong in it, that it is permitted. J He then declares himself willing to go unth her into the other garden, in order to show her the transplanting, and he says something to her which she does not correctly understand : " Besides this three metres — (later on she says : square metres) or three fathoms of ground are lacking." It seems as thcmgh the man were trying to ask her something in return for his affability, as though he had the intention of indemni- fying himself in her garden, as though he wanted to evade some law or other, to derive some advantage from it without causing her an injury. She does 'not know whether or not he really shows her anything. §

I must mention still another series of associations which often serves the purpose of concealing sexual meaning both in dreams and in the neurosis, — I refer to the change of residence series. To change one's residence is readily replaced by " to remove," an ambiguous expression which may have reference to clothing. If the dream also contains a " lift " (elevator), one may think of the verb *' to lift," hence of lifting up the clothing.

  • Whether it is permitted to " pull one off," i.e. to masturbate.

t The bough has long since been used to repre ent the male genital, and besides that it contains a very distinct allusion to the family name of the dreamer.

X Refers to matrimonial precautions, as does that which follows.

§ An analogous " biographical " dream was reported on p. 252, as the third of the examples of dream symbolism ; a second example is the one fully reported by Pvank i"* under the title " Traum der sich selbst deutet" ; for another one which must be read in the " opposite direction," see Stekel ^**, p. 486.

X


322 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

I have naturally an abundance of such material, but a report of it would carry us too far into the discussion of neurotic conditions. Everything leads to the same conclu- sion, that no special symbolising activity of the mind in the formation of dreams need be gissumed ; that, on the contrary, the dream makes use of such symboHsations as are to be found ready-made in unconscious thought, because these bettei satisfy the requirements of dream formation, on account of their dramatic fitness, and particularly on account of their exemption from the censor.


(e) Examples — Arithmetic Speeches in the Dream

Before I proceed to assign to its proper place the fourth of the factors which control the formation of the dream, I shall cite several examples from my collection of dreams for the purpose partly of illustrating the co-operation of the three factors with which we are acquainted, and partly of supply- ing proof for assertions which have been made without de- monstration or of drawing irrefutable inferences from them. For it has been very difficult for me in the foregoing account of the dream activity to demonstrate my conclusions by means of examples. Examples for the individual thesis are con- vincing only when considered in connection with a dream interpretation ; when they are torn from their context they lose their significance, and, furthermore, a dream interpreta- tion, though not at all profound, soon becomes so extensive that it obscures the thread of the discussion which it is intended to illustrate. This technical motive may excuse me for now mixing together all sorts of things which have nothing in common but their relation to the text of the foregoing chapter.

We shall first consider a few examples of very peculiar or unusual methods of representation in the dream. The dream of a lady is as follows : A servant girl is standing on a ladder as though to clean the windows, and has with her a chimpanzee and a gorilla cat (later corrected — angora cat). She throws the animals at the dreamer; the chimpanzee cuddles up to her, and this is disgusting to her. This dream has accompUshed its purpose by the simplest possible means, namely by taking


THE DREAM- WORK 323

a mere mode of speech literally and representing it according to the meaning of its words. " Ape," like the names of ani- mals in general, is an epithet of opprobrium, and the situation of the dream means nothing but " to hurl invectives." This same collection will soon furnish us with further examples of the use of this simple artifice.

Another dream proceeds in a very similar manner : A woman with a child that has a conspiciumsly deformed cranium; the dreamer has heard that the child got into this condition owing to its position in its mother's womb. The doctor says that the cranium might be given a better shape by means of compression, but that would harm the brain. She thinks that because it is a boy it won't suffer so much from deformity. This dream contains a plastic representation of the concept : " Childish impres- sions" which the dreamer has heard of in the course of explanations concerning the treatment.

In the following example, the dream activity enters upon a different path. The dream contains a recollection of an excursion to the Hilmteich, near Graz : There is a terrible storm outside; a miserable hotel — the water is dripping from the walls, and the beds are damp. (The latter part of the content is less directly expressed than I give it.) The dream signifies " super flu/)us. The abstract idea occurring in the dream thoughts is first made equivocal by a certain straining of language ; it has, perhaps, been replaced by " overflowing " or by " fluid " and " super-fluid (-fluous) " and has then been given representation by an accumulation of like impressions. Water within, water without, water in the beds in the form of dampness — everything fluid and " super " fluid. That, for the purposes of the dream representation, the spelling is much less regarded than the sound of words ought not sur- prise us when we remember that rhyme exercises similar privileges.

The fact that language has at its disposal a great number of words which were originally intended in a picturesque and concrete sense but are at present used in a faded abstract sense has in other cases made it very easy for the dream to represent its thoughts. The dream need only restore to these words their full significance, or follow the evolution of their meaning a little way back. For example, a man dreams that


324 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

his friend, who is struggling to get out of a very tight place, caUs upon him to help him. The analysis shows that the tight place is a hole, and that the dream uses symboUcally his very words to his friend, " Be careful, or you'll get yourself into a hole." * Another dreamer chmbs upon a mountain from which he sees a very extraordinary broad view. He identifies himself with his brother who is editing a " review " which deals with relations to the Farthest East.

It would be a separate undertaking to collect such methods of representation and to arrange them according to the prin- ciples upon which they are based. Some of the representa- tions are quite witty. They give the impression that they would have never been divined if the dreamer himself had not reported them.

1. A man dreams that he is asked for a name, which, however, he cannot recaU. He himself explains that this means : It does not occur to me in the dream.

2. A female patient relates a dream in which aU the persons concerned were especially big. " That means," she adds, " that it must deal with an episode of my early childhood, for at that time all grown up people naturally seemed to me immensely big."

The transference into childhood is also expressed differ- ently in other dreams by translating time into space. One sees the persons and scenes in question as if at a great distance, at the end of a long road, or as if looked at through the wrong end of the opera-glass.

3. A man, who in waking life shows an inclination to ab- stract and indefinite expressions, but who is otherwise endowed with wit enough, dreams in a certain connection that he is at a railroad station while a train is coming in. But then the station platform approaches the train, which stands still ; hence an absurd inversion of the real state of affairs. This detail is again nothing but an index to remind one that some- thing else in the dream should be turned about. The analysis of the same dream brings back the recollection of a picture- book in which men are represented standing on their heads and walking on their hands.

4. The same dreamer on another occasion relates a short

  • Given by translator as author's example could not be translated.


THE DREAM-WORK 325

dream which almost recalls the technique of a rebus. His uncle gives him a kiss in an automobile. He immediately adds the interpretation, which I should never have found : it means Autoerotism. This might have been made as a joke in the waking state.

The dream work often succeeds in representing very awkward material, such as proper names, by means of the forced utihsation of very far-fetched references. In one of my dreams the elder Bruecke lias given me a task. I com- pound a preparation, and skim something from it which looks like crumpled tinfoil. (More of this later on.) The notion cor- responding to this, which was not easy to find, is " stanniol," and now I know that I have in mind the name of the author Stannius, which was borne by a treatise on the nervous system of fishes, which I regarded with awe in my youthful years. The first scientific task which my teacher gave me was actually concerned with the nervous system of a fish — the Ammoccetes. Obviously the latter name could never have been used in a picture puzzle.

I shall not omit here to insert a dream having a curious content, which is also remarkable as a child's dream, and which is very easily explained by the analysis. A lady relates : "I can remember that when I was a child I repeatedly dreamed, that the dear Lord had a pointed paper hat on his head. They used to make me wear such a hat at table very often, so that I might not be able to look at the plates of the other children and see how much they had received of a particular dish. Since I have learned that Grod is omniscient, the dream signifies that I know everything in spite of the hat which I am made to wear."

Wherein the dream work consists, and how it manages its material, the dream thoughts, can be shown in a very instruc- tive manner from the numbers and calculations which occur in dreams. Moreover, numbers in dreams are regarded as of especial significance by superstition. I shall therefore give a few more examples of this kind from my own collection.

1. The following is taken from the dream of a lady shortly before the close of her treatment :

She wants to pay for something or other ; her daughter takes 3 florins and 65 kreuzer from her pocket-book ; but


326 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

the mother says : " What are you doing ? It only costs 21 kreuzer." This bit of dream was immediately intelhgible to me without further explanation from my knowledge of the dreamer's circumstances. The lady was a foreigner who had provided for her daughter in an educational institution in Vienna, and who could continue my treatment as long as her daughter stayed in the city. In three weeks the daughter's school year was to end, and with that the treatment also stopped. On the day before the dream the principal of the institute had urged her to make up her mind to allow her child to remain with her for another year. She had then obviously worked out this suggestion to the conclusion that in this case she would be rble to continue the treatment for one year more. Now, this is what the dream refers to, for a year is equal to 365 days ; the three weeks that remain before the close of the school year and of the treatment are equivalent to 21 days (though the hours of treatment are not as many as that). The numerals, which in the dream thoughts referred to time, are given money values in the dream, not without also giving expression to a deeper meaning for " time is money." 365 kreuzer, to be sure, are 3 florins and 65 kreuzer. The small- ness of the sums which appear in the dream is a self-evident wish-fulfilment ; the wish has reduced the cost of both the treatment and the year's instruction at the institution.

II. The numerals in another dream involve more compli- cated relations. A young lady, who, however, has already been married a number of years, learns that an acquaintance of hers of about her own age, Elsie L., has just become en- gaged. Thereupon she dreams : She is sitting in the theatre with her husband, and one side of the orchestra is quite unoccupied. Her husband tells her that Elsie L. and her husband had also wanted to go, but that they had been able to get nothing but poor seats, three for 1 flx)rin and 60 kreuzer, and of course they could not take those. She thinks that they didn't lose much either.

Where do the 1 florin and 50 kreuzer come from ? From an occurrence of the previous day which is really indifferent. The dreamer's sister-in-law had received 150 florins as a present from her husband, and had quickly got rid of them by buying some jewelry. Let us note that 150 florins is 100 times more than 1 florin and 50 kreuzer. Whence the 3 which


THE DREAM- WORK 32?

stands before the theatre seats ? There is only one associa- tion for this, namely, that the bride is that many months — three — ^younger than herself. Information concerning the significance of the feature that one side of the orchestra re- mains empty leads to the solution of the dream. This feature is an undisguised allusion to a Uttle occurrence which has given her husband good cause for teasing her. She had de- cided to go to the theatre during the week, and had been careful to get tickets a few days before, for which she had to pay the pre-emption charge. When they got to the theatre they found that one side of the house was almost empty ; she certainly did not need to be in such a hurry.

I shall now substitute the dream thoughl^ for the dream : " It sure!} was nonsense to marry so early ; there was no need for my being in such a hurry. From the case of Elsie L., I see that I should have got a husband just the same — and one who is a hundred times better (husband, sweetheart, treasure) — if I had only waited (antithesis to the haste of her sister-in- law). I could have bought three such men for the money (the dowry !). Our attention is drawn to the fact that the numerals in this dream have changed their meanings and relations to a much greater extent than in the one previously considered. The transforming and disfiguring activity of the dream has in this case been greater, a fact which we in- terpret as meaning that these dream thoughts had to over- cpme a particularly great amount of inner psychic resistance up to the point of their representation. We must also not overlook the circumstance that the dream contains an absurd element, namely, that two persons take three seats. We digress to the interpretation of the absurdity of dreams when we remark that this absurd detail of the dream content is intended to represent the most strongly emphasized detail of the dream thoughts : " It was nonsense to marry so early." The figure 3 belonging to a quite subordinate relation of the two compared persons (three months' difference in age) has thus been skilfully used to produce the nonsense demanded by the dream. The reduction of the actual 150 florins to 1 florin and 50 kreuzer corresponds to her disdain of her husband in the suppressed thoughts of the dreamer.

III. Another example displays the arithmetical powers of


328 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

the dream, which have brought it into such disrepute. A

man dreams : He is sitting at B '5 (a family of his earlier

acquaintance) and says, " It was nonsense for you not to give me Amy in murriageJ' Thereupon he asks the girl, " How old are you ? " Answer : " / was born in 1882." " Ah, then you are 28 years old.

Since the dream occurs in the year 1898, this is obviously poor arithmetic, and the inabiUty of the dreamer to calculate may be compared to that of the paralytic, if there is no other way of explaining it. My patient was one of those persons who are always thinking about every woman they see. The person who followed him in my office, regularly for several months, was a young lady, whom he used to meet, about whom he used to ask frequently, and to whom he was very anxious to be poUte. This was the lady whose age he estimated at 28 years. So much for explaining the result of the apparent calculation. But 1882 was the year in which he had married. He had been unable to refrain from engaging in conversation with the two females whom he met at my house — ^two girls, by no means youthful, who alternately opened the door for him, and as he did not find them very responsive, he had given himself the explanation that they probably considered him an elderly " settled " gentleman.

IV. For another number dream with its interpretation, — a dream distinguished by its obvious determination, or rather over-determination, I am indebted to B. Dattner :

My host, a policeman in the municipal service, dreamed that he was standing at his post in the street, which was a wish-realisation. The inspector then came over to him, having on his gorget the numbers 22 and 62 or 26 — at all events there were many two's on it. Division of the number 2262 in the reproduction of the dream at once points to the fact that the components have separate meanings. It occurs to him that the day before, while on duty, they were discussing the duration of their time of service. The occasion for this was furnished by an inspector who had been pensioned at 62 years. The dreamer had only completed 22 years of service, and still needed 2 years and 2 months to make him eligible for a 90 per cent, pension. The dream first shows him the fulfilment of a long wished for wish, the rank of


\


THE DREAM-WORK 329

inspector. The superior with 2262 on his collar is himself ; he takes care to do his duty on the street, which is another preferred wish ; he has served his 2 years and 2 months, and can now be retired from the service with full pension, like the 62-year-old inspector.

If we keep in mind these examples and similar ones (to follow), we may say : Dream activity does not calculate at all, whether correctly or incorrectly ; it joins together in the form of a calculation numerals which occur in the dream thoughts, and which may serve as allusions to material which is incapable of being represented. It thus utilises numerals as material for the expression of its purposes in the same manner as it does names and speeches known as word presenta- tions.

For the dream activity cannot compose a new speech. No matter how many speeches and answers may occur in dreams, which may be sensible or absurd in themselves, analysis always shows in such cases that the dream has only taken from the dream thoughts fragments of speeches which have been deUvered or heard, and dealt with them in a most arbitrary manner. It has not only torn them from their context and mutilated them, taken up one piece and rejected another, but it has also joined them together in a new way, so that the speech which seems coherent in the dream falls into three or four sections in the course of analysis. In this new utilisation of the words, the dream has often put aside the meaning which they had in the dream thoughts, and has derived an entirely new meaning from them.* Upon closer inspection the more distinct and compact constituents of the dream speech may be distinguished from others which serve as connectives and have probably been supphed, just as we supply omitted letters and syllables in reading. The dream speech thus has the structure of breccia stones, in which

  • The neurosis also proceeds in the ?ame manner. I know a patient who

involuntarily — contrary to her own wishes — hears (hallucinatory) songs or fragments of songs without being able to understand their meaning to her psychic life. She is surely not a paranoiac. Analysis showed that she wrongly utilised the text of these songs by means of a certain license. " Oh thou blissful one, Oh thou happy one," is the beginning of a Christmas song. By not continuing it to the word " Christmas time " she makes a bridal song out of it, &c, Tne same mechanism of disfigurement may take place also without hallucinations as a mere mental occurrence.


330 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

larger pieces of different material are held together by a solidified cohesive mass.

In a very strict sense this description is correct, to be sure, only for those speeches in the dream which have something of the sensational character of a speech, and which are de- scribed as ** speeches." The others which have not, as it were, been felt as though heard or spoken (which have no accom- panying acoustic or motor emphasis in the dream) are simply thoughts such as occur in our waking thought activity, and are transferred without change into many dreams. Our reading, also, seems to furnish an abundant and not easily traceable source of material for speeches, this material being of an indifferent nature. Everything, however, which appears conspicuously in the dream as a speech can be referred to real speeches which have been made or heard by the dreamer himself.

We have already found examples for the explanation of such dream speeches in the analysis of dreams cited for other purposes. Here is one example in place of many, all of which lead to the same conclusion.

A large courtyard in which corpses are cremated. The dreamer says : " Fm going away from here, I can't look at this" (Not a distinct speech.) Then he meets two butcher hoys and asks : " Well, did it taste good ? " One of them answers : " No, it wasn't good. As though it had been human flesh.

The harmless occasion for this dream is as follows : After taking supper with his wife, the dreamer pays a visit to his worthy but by no means appetising neighbour. The hospit- able old lady is just at her evening meal, and urges him (instead of this word a composite sexually-significant word is jocosely used among men) to taste of it. He declines, saying that he has no appetite. "Go on, you can stand some more," or something of the kind. The dreamer is thus forced to taste and praise what is offered. " But that's good I " After he is alone again with his wife, he scolds about the neighbour's importunity and about the quahty of the food he has tasted. " I can't stand the sight of it," a phrase not appearing even in the dream as an actual speech, is a thought which has refer- ence to the physical charms of the lady who invites him, and which would be translated as meaning that he does not want to look at her.


THE DREAM- WORK 331

The analysis of another dream which I cite at this point for the sake of the very distinct speech that forms its nucleus, but which I shall explain only when we come to consider emotions in the dream — will be more instructive. I dream very distinctly : I have gone to Bruecke's laboratory at night, and upon hearing a soft knocking at the door, I open it to (the deceased) Professor Fleischl, who enters in the company of several strangers, and after saying a few words sits dovm at his table. Then follows a second dream : My friend Fl, has come to Vienna in July without attracting much attention; I meet him on the street while he is in conversation with my (deceased) friend P., and I go somewhere or other with these two, and they sit down opposite each other as though at a little table, while I sit at the narrow end of the table facing them. Fl. tells about his sister and says : ^' In three-quarters of an hour she was dead," and then something like : " That is the threshold.'* As P. does not under- stand him, Fl. turns to me, and asks me how much I have told of his affairs. Whereupon, seized by strange emotions, I want to tell Fl. thai P. (can't possibly know anything because he) is not alive. But, noticing the mistake myself, I say : " Non vixit. Then I look at P. searchingly, and under my gaze he becomes pale and blurred, his eyes a morbid blue — and at last he dissolves. I rejoice greatly at this ; I now understand that Ernest Fleischel, too, was only an apparition, a revenant, and I find that it is quite possible for such a person to exist only as long as one wants him to, and that he can be made to disappear by the wish of another person.

This beautiful dream unites so many of the character- istics of the dream content which are problematic — the criticism made in the dream itself in that I myself notice my mistake in having said " Non vixit " instead of " Non vivit " ; the unconstrained intercourse with dead persons, whom the dream itself declares to be dead ; the absurdity of the infer- ence and the intense satisfaction which the inference gives me — ^that " by my life " I should like to give a complete solution of these problems. But in reality I am incapable of doing this — ^namely, the thing I do in the dream — of sacrificing such dear persons to my ambition. With every revelation of the true meaning of the dream, with which I am well acquainted, I should have been put to shame. Hence


332 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

I am content with selecting a few of the elements of the dream, for interpretation, some here, and others later on another page.

The scene in which I annihilate P. by a glance forms the centre of the dream. His eyes become strange and weirdly blue, and then he dissolves. This scene is an mimistakable copy of one really experienced. I was a demonstrator at the physiological institute, and began my service in the early hours, and Bruecke learned that I had been late several times in getting to the school laboratory. So one morning he came promptly for the opening of the class and waited for me. What he said to me was brief and to the point ; but the words did not matter at all. What overwhelmed me was the terrible blue eyes through which he looked at me and before which I melted away — as P. does in the dream, for P. has changed roles with him much to my reUef . Anyone who remembers the eyes of the great master, which were wonderfully beautiful until old age, and who has ever seen him in anger, can easily imagine the emotions of the young transgressor on that occasion.

But for a long time I was unable to account for the " Non Vixit," with which I execute sentence in the dream, until I remembered that these two words possessed such great dis- tinctness in the dream, not because they were heard or spoken, but because they were seen. Then I knew at once where they came from. On the pedestal of the statue of Emperor Joseph in the Hofburg at Vienna, may be read the following beautiful words :

Saluti patriae vixit non diu sed totus.

I had culled from this inscription something which suited the one inimical train of thought in the dream thoughts and which now intended to mean : " That fellow has nothing to say, he is not living at all." Aad I now recalled that the dream was dreamed a few days after the unveiling of the memorial to Fleischl in the arcades of the university, upon which occasion I had again seen Bruecke' s statue and must have thought with regret (in the unconscious) how my highly gifted friend P. with his great devotion to science had forfeited his just claim to a statue in these halls by his premature


THE DREAM- WORK 383

death. So I set up this memorial to him in the dream ; the first name of my friend P. is Joseph.*

According to the rules of dream interpretation, I should still not be justified in replacing non vivit, which I need, by non vixit, which is placed at my disposal by the recollection of the Joseph monument. Something now calls my attention to the fact that in the dream scene, two trains of thought concerning my friend P. meet, one hostile, the other friendly — of which the former is superficial, the latter veiled, and both are given representation in the same words : non vixit. Be- cause my friend P. has deserved well of science,, I erect a statue to him ; but because he has been guilty of an evil wish (which is expressed at the end of the dream) I destroy him. I have here constructed a sentence of pecuHar resonance, and I must have been influenced by some model. But where can I find similar antithesis, such a parallel between two opposite atti- tudes towards the same person, both claiming to be entirely vahd, and yet both trying not to encroach upon each other ? Such a parallel is to be found in a single place, where, however, a deep impression is made upon the reader — in Brutus' speech of justification in Shakespeare's Julius Ccesar : " As Caesar loved me, I weep for him ; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it ; as he was vaHant, I honour him ; but, as he was ambitious I slew him." Is not this which I have discovered, the same sentence structure and thought contrast as in the dream thought ? I thus play Brutus in the dream. If I could only find in the dream thoughts, one further trace of confirma- tion for this astonishing collateral connection ! I think the following might be such : My friend comes to Vienna in July. This detail finds no support whatever in reality. To my knowledge my friend has never been in Vienna during the month of July. But the month of July is named after Julius Ccesar, and might therefore very well furnish the required allusion to the intermediary thought that I am playing the part of Brutus. t

Strangely enough I once actually played the part, of Brutus.

  • As a contribution to the over-determination : Mj excuse for coming

late was that after working late at night I liad in the morning to make the long journey from Kaiser Josef Street to Wuehringer Street.

t In addition Csesar — Kaiser.


334 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

I presented the scene between Brutus and Caesar from Schiller's poems to an audience of children when I was a boy of fourteen years. I did this with my nephew, who was a year older than I, and who had come to us from England — also a revenant — for in him I recognised the playmate of my first childish years. Until the end of my third year we had been inseparable, had loved each other and scuffled with each other, and, as I have already intimated, this childish relation has constantly de- termined my later feelings in my intercourse with persons of my own age. My nephew John has since found many incar- nations, which have revivified first one aspect, then another, of this character which is so ineradicably fixed in my unconscious memory. Occasionally he must have treated me very badly, and I must have shown courage before my tyrant, for in later years I have often been told of the short speech with which I vindicated myself when my father — ^his grandfather — called me to account : *' I hit him because he hit me." This childish scene must be the one which causes non vivit to branch off into non vizit, ior in the language of later childhood striking is called wichsen (Grerman, wichsen — ^to smear with shoe-polish, to tan, i.e., to flog) ; the dream activity does not hesitate to take advantage of such connections. My hostility towards my friend P., which has so httle foundation in reaUty — ^he was far superior to me, and might therefore have been a new edition of the playmate of my cMldhood — can certainly be traced to my compHcated relations with John during our infancy. I shall, however, return to this dream later.

(/) Absurd Dreams — Intellectual Performances in the Dream

In our interpretation of dreams thus far we have come upon the element of absurdity in the dream-content so often that we must no longer postpone an investigation of its cause and significance. We remember, of course, that the absurdity of dreams has furnished the opponents of dream investigation with their chief argument for considering the dream nothing but the meaningless product of a reduced and fragmentary activity of the mind.

I begin with specimens in which the absurdity of the dream-content is only apparent and immediately disappears


THE DREAM-WORK 835

when the dream is more thoroughly examined. There are a few dreams which — accidentally one is at first inclined to think — are concerned with the dead father of the dreamer.

I. Here is the dream of a patient who had lost his father six years before :

A terrible accident has occurred to his father. He was riding in the night train when a derailment took place, the seats came together, and his head was crushed from side to side. The dreamer sees him lying on the bed with a wound over his left eyebrow, which runs off vertically. The dreamer is surprised that his father has had a misfortune (since he is dead already, as the dreamer adds in telling his dream). His father's eyes are so clear.

According to the standards prevailing in dream criticism, this dream-content would have to be explained in the follow- ing manner : At first, when the dreamer is picturing his father's misfortune, he has forgotten that his father has already been in his grave for years ; in the further course of the dream this memory comes to fife, and causes him to be surprised at his own dream even while he is still dreaming. Analysis, however, teaches us that it is entirely useless to attempt such explanations. The dreamer had given an artist an order for a bust of his father, which he had inspected two days before the dream. This is the thing which seems to him to have met with an accident. The sculptor has never seen the father, and is working from photographs which have been given him. On the very day before the dream the pious son had sent an old servant of the family to the studio in order to see whether he would pass the same judgment upon the marble head, namely, that it had turned out too narrow from side to side, from temple to temple. Now follows the mass of recollections which has contributed to the formation of this dream. The dreamer's father had a habit, whenever he was harassed by business cares or family difficulties, of pressing his temples with both hands, as though he were trying to compress his head, which seemed to grow too large for him. When our dreamer was four years old he was present when the accidental discharge of a pistol blackened his father's eyes (his eyes are so clear). While alive his father


336 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

had had a deep wrinkle at the place where the dream shows the injury, whenever he was thoughtful or sad. The fact that in the dream this wrinkle is replaced by a wound points to the second occasion of the dream. The dreamer had taken a photograph of his Httle daughter ; the plate had fallen from his hand, and when picked up showed a crack that ran hke a vertical furrow across the forehead and reached as far as the orbital curve. He could not then get the better of his super- stitious forebodings, for, on the day before his mother *s death, a photographic plate with her likeness had cracked as he was handling it.

Thus the absurdity of the dream is only the result of an inaccuracy of verbal expression, which does not take the trouble to distinguish the bust and the photograph from the original. We are all accustomed to say of a picture, " Don't you think father is good ? " Of course the appearance of absurdity in this dream might easily have been avoided. If it were permissible to pass judgment after a single experience, one might be tempted to say that this semblance of absurdity is admitted or desired.

II. Here is another very similar example from my own dreams (I lost my father in the 3-ear 1896) :

After his death my father has been politically active among the Magyars, and has united them into a political body ; to accompany which I see a little indistinct picture : a crowd of people as in the Reichstag ; a person who is standing on one or two benches, others round about him. I remember that he looked very like Garibaldi on his death-bed, and I am glad that this promise has really come true.

This is certainly absurd enough. It was dreamed at the time that the Hungarians got into a lawless condition, through Parliamentary obstruction, and passed through the crisis from which Koloman Szell delivered them. The trivial cir- cumstance that the scene beheld in the dream consists of such little pictures is not without significance for the explanation of this element. The usual visual representation of our thoughts results in pictures which impress us as being Ufe- size ; my dream picture, however, is the reproduction of a wood-cut inserted in the text of an illustrated history of Austria, representing Maria Theresa in the Reichstag of


THE DREAM- WORK 337

Pressburg — the famous scene of ** Moriamur pro rege nostro." * Like Maria Theresa, my father, in the dream, stands sur- rounded by the multitude ; but he is standing on one or two benches, and thus Uke a judge on the bench. (He has united them — ^here the intermediary is the phraise, " We shall need no judge.) Those of us who stood around the death-bed of my father actually noticed that he looked much like Gari- baldi. He had a post-mortem rise of temperature, his cheeks shone redder and redder . . . involuntarily we continue :

    • And behind him lay in phantom radiance that which subdues

us all — ^the common thing."

This elevation of our thoughts prepares us for having to deal with this very " common thing." The post-mortem feature of the rise in temperature corresponds to the words, " after his death " in the dream content. The most agonis- ing of his sufferings had been a complete paralysis of the intestines (obstruction), which set in during the last weeks. All sorts of disrespectful thoughts are connected with this. A man of my own age who had lost his father while he was still at the Gymnasium, upon which occasion I was profoundly moved and tendered him my friendship, once told me, with derision, about the distress of a lady relative whose father had died on the street and had been brought home, where it turned out upon undressing the corpse, that at the moment of death, or post-mortem, an evacuation of the bowels had taken place. The daughter of the dead man was profoundly unhappy at having this ugly detail stain her memory of her father. We have now penetrated to the wish that is embodied in this dream. To stand before one's children pure and great after one's death, who would not wish that 1 What has become of the absur- dity of the dream ? The appearance of it has been caused only by the fact that a perfectly permissible mode of speech — in the case of which we are accustomed to ignore the ab- surdity that happens to exist between its parts — has been faithfully represented in the dream. Here, too, we are unable

  • I have forgotten in what author I found a dream mentioned that waa

overrun with unusually small figures, the source of which turned out to be one of the engravings of Jacques Callot, which the dreamer had looked at during the day. These engravings contained an enormous number of very small figures ; a series of them treats of the horrors of the Thirty Years' Wa.r,


338 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

to deny that the semblance of absurdity is one which is desired and has been purposely brought about.*

III. In the example which I now cite I can detect the dream activity in the act of purposely manufacturing an absurdity for which there is no occasion at aU in the subject- matter. It is taken from the dream that I had as a result of meeting Coimt Thun before my vacation trip. " / am riding in a one-horse carriage, and give orders to drive to a railway station. * Of course I cannot ride with you on the railway line itself' I say, after the driver made an objection as though I had tired him out ; at the same time it seems as though I had already driven with him for a distance which one usually rides on the trains For this confused and senseless story the analysis gives the following explanation : During the day I had hired

  • The frequency with which in the dream dead persons appear as living,

act, and deal with us, has called forth undue astonishment and given rise to strange explanations, from which our ignorance of the dream becomes strik- ingly evident. And yet the explanation for these dreams lies very close at hand. How often we have occasion to think : " If father were still alive, what would he say to it ?" The dream can express this if m no other way than by present time in a definite situation. Thus, for instance, a young man, whose grandfather has left him a great inheritance, dreams that his grandfather is alive and demands an accounting of him, upon an occasion when the young man had been reproached for making too great an expendi- ture of money. What we consider a resistance to the dream — the objection made by our better knowledge, that after all the man is already dead — is in reality a consolation, because the dead person did not have this or that ex- perience, or satisfaction at the knowledge that he has nothing more to say.

Anothet form of absurdity found in dreams of deceased relatives does not express folly and absurdity, but serves to represent the most extreme rejection ; as the representation of a repressed thought which one would gladly have appear as something least thought of. Dreams of this kind are only solvable if one recalls that the dream makes no distinction between things desired and realities. Thus, for example, a man who nursed his father during his sickness, and who felt his death very keenly, sometime afterward dreamed the following senseless dream : The father was again living, and conversed vdth him as usual, hut (the remarkable thing about it) he had never- theless died, though he did not know it This dream can be understood if after "he had nevertheless died," one inserts in consequence of the dreamer's wish, and if after " but he did not know it " one adds that the dreamer has enter- tained this wish. While nursing his father, the son often wishes his father's death ; i.e. he entertained the really compassionate desire that death finally put an end to his suffering. While mourning after his death, this very wish of compassion became an unconscious reproach, as if it had really contri- buted to shorten the life of the sick man. Through the awakening of early infantile feelings against the father, it became possible to exjjress this re- proach as a dream ; and it was just because of the world-wide contrast between the dream inciter and day thought that this dream had to come out 80 absurdly (c/. with this, " Formulierungen tiV-er die zwei Prizipien dei3 seelischen Geschehen?, Jahrbuch, Bleuler-Freud, III, 1, 1911).


THE DKEAM-WORK 339

a one-horse carriage which was to take me to a remote street in Dumbach. The driver, however, did not know the way, and kept on driving in the manner of those good people until I noticed the fact and showed him the way, not sparing him a few mocking remarks withal. From this driver a train of thought led to the aristocratic personage whom I was des- tined to meet later. For the present I shall only remark that what strikes us middle-class plebeians about the aristo- cracy is that they Hke to put themselves in the driver's seat. Does not Count Thun guide the Austrian car of state ? The next sentence in the dream, however, refers to my brother, whom I identify with the driver of the one-horse carriage. I had this year refused to take the trip through Italy with him (" of course I cannot ride with you on the railway line itself "), and this refusal was a sort of punishment for his wonted complaint that I usually tired him out on this trip (which gets into the dream xmchanged) by making him take hurried trips and see too many nice things in one day. That evening my brother had accompanied me to the railroad station, but shortly before getting there had jumped out, at the state railway division of the Western Station, in order to take a train to Purkersdorf. I remarked to him that he could stay with me a Uttle longer, inasmuch as he did not go to Purkersdorf by the state railway but by the Western Rail- way. This is how it happens that in the dream I rode in the wagon a distance which one usually rides on the train. In reaUty, however, it was just the opposite ; I told my brother : The distance which you ride on the state railway you could ride in my company on the Western Railway. The whole confusion of the dream is therefore produced by my inserting in the dream the word " wagon " instead of " state railway," which, to be sure, does good service in bringing together the driver and my brother. I then find in the dream some nonsense which seems hardly straightened out by my ex- planation, and which almost forms a contradiction to my earHer speech ("Of course I cannot ride wdth you on the rail- way line itself "). But as I have no occasion whatever for confounding the state railway with the one-horse carriage, I must have intentionally formed the whole puzzling story in the dream in this way.


340 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

But with what intention ? We shall now leam what the absurdity in the dream signifies, and the motives which ad- mitted it or created it. The solution of the mystery in the case in question is as follows : In the dream I needed something absurd and incomprehensible in connection with " riding " (Fahren) because in the dream thoughts I had a certain judg- ment which required representation. On an evening at the house of the hospitable and clever lady who appears in another scene of the same dream as the " hostess," I heard two riddles which I could not solve. As they were known to the other members of the party, I presented a somewhat ludicrous figure in my unsuccessful attempts to find a solution. They were two equivoques turning on the words " Nachkommen " (to come after — offspring) and " vorfaiiren " (to ride in advance — ^forefathers, ancestry). They read as follows :

The coachman does it

At the master's behest ; Everyone has It,

In the grave does it rest.

(Ancestry.)

It was confusing to find half of the second riddle identical with the first.

The coachman does it

At the master's behest ; Not everyone has it,

In the cradle does it rest.

(Offspring.)

As I had seen Count Thun ride in advance (vorfahren), so high and mighty, and had merged into the Figaro-mood which finds the merit of aristocratic gentlemen in the fact that they have taken the trouble to be bom (Nachkommen — ^to become offspring), the two riddles became intermediary thoughts for the dream-work. As aristocrats can be readily confounded with coachmen, and as coachmen were in our country formerly called brothers-in-law, the work of condensation could employ my brother in the same representation. But the dream thought at work in the backgroimd was as follows : It is nonsense to he proud of one's ancestry. (Vorfahren.) I would rather be myself an ancestor. (Vorfahr.) For the sake of this judgment, " it is nonsense," we have the nonsense in the


THE DREAM-WOFtK 341

dream. We can now also solve the last ridcUe in this obscure passage of the dream, namely, that I have already driven before (vorher gefahren, vorgefahren) with the coachman.

Thus the dream is made absurd if there occurs as one of the elements in the dream thoughts the judgment " That is nonsense and in general if disdain and criticism are the motives for one of the trains of unconscious thought. Hence absurdity becomes one of the means by which the dream activity expresses contradiction, as it does by reversing a relation in the material between the dream thoughts and dream content, and by utilising sensations of motor impedi- ment. But absurdity in the dream is not simply to be translated by " no " ; it is rather intended to reproduce the disposition of the dream thoughts, this being to show mockery and ridicule along with the contradiction. It is only for this purpose that the dream activity produces anything ridicu- lous. Here again it transforms a "part of the latent content into a manifest form. "^

As a matter of fact we have already met with a con- vincing example of the significance of an absurd dream. The dream, interpreted without anatysis, of the Wagnerian per- formance lasting until 7.45 in the morning, in which the orchestra is conducted from a tower, &c. (see p. 316) is appa- rently trying to say : It is a crazy world and an insane society. He who deserves a thing doesn't get it, and he who doesn't care for anything has it — and in this she means to compare her fate with that of her cousin. The fact that dreams con- cerning a dead father were the first to furnish us with examples of absurdity in dreams is by no means an accident. The conditions necessary for the creations of absurd dreams are here grouped together in a t3rpical manner. The authority belonging to the father has at an early age aroused the criti- cism of the child, and the strict demands he has made have

  • Here the dream activity parodies the thought which it designates as

ridiculous, in that it eremites something ridiculous in relation to it. Heine does something similar when he tries to mock the bad rhymes of the King of Bavaria. He does it in still worse rhymes :

" Herr Ludwig ist ein grosser Poet Und singt er, so stuerzt Apollo Vor ihm auf die Knie und bittet und fleht,

  • Halt ein, ich werde sonst toll oh ! ' "


342 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

caused the child to pay particularly close attention to every weakness of the father for its own extenuation ; but the piety with which the father's personaUty is surrounded in our thoughts, especially after his death, increases the censorship which prevents the expressions of this criticism from becoming conscious.

IV. The following is another absurd dream about a dead father :

/ receive a notice from the common council of my native city concerning the costs of a confinement in the hospital in the year 1851, which was necessitated by an attack from which I suffered. I make sport of the matter, for, in the first place, I was not yet alive in the year 1851, and, in the second place, my father, to whom the notice might refer, is already dead. I go to him in the ad- joining room, where he is lying on a bed, and tell him about it. To my astonishment he recalls that in that year — 1851 — he was once drunk and had to be locked up or confined. It was when he

was working for the house of T . " Then you drank, too? ^^

I ask. " You married soon after ? " I figure that I was born in 1856, which appears to me as though immediately following.

In view of the preceding discussion, we shall translate the insistence with which this dream exhibits its absurdities as the sure sign of a particularly embittered and passionate con- troversy in the dream thoughts. With all the more astonish- ment, however, we note that in this dream the controversy is waged openly, and the father designated as the person against whom the satire is directed. This openness seems to contradiot our assumption of a censor as operative in the dream activity. We may say in explanation, however, that here the father is only an interposed person, while the conflict is carried on with another one, who makes his appearance in the dream by means of a single allusion. While the dream usually treats of revolt against other persons, behind which the father is concealed, the reverse is true here ; the father serves as the man of straw to represent others, and hence the dream dares thus openly to concern itself with a person who is usually hallowed, because there is present the certain knowledge that he is not in reality intended. We learn of this condition of afEairs by considering the occasion of the dream. Now, it occurred after I had heard that an older


THE DREAM-WORK 843

colleague, whose judgment is considered infallible, had ex- pressed disapproval and astonishment at the fact that one of my patients was then continuing psychoanalytical work with me for the fifth year. The introductory sentences of the dream point with transparent disguise to the fact that this colleague had for a time taken over the duties which my father could no longer perform (expenses, fees at the hospital) ; and when our friendly relations came to be broken I was thrown into the same conflict of feelings which arises in the case of misunderstanding between father and son in view of the part played by the father and his earlier functions. The dream thoughts now bitterly resent the reproach that I am not making better progress, which extends itself from the treat- ment of this patient to other things. Does this colleague know anyone who can get on faster ? Does he not know that conditions of this sort are usually incurable and last for hfe ? What are four or five years in comparison to a whole life, especially when life has been made so much easier for the patient during the treatment ?

The impression of absurdity in this dream is brought about largely by the fact that sentences from different divisions of the dream thoughts are strung together without any re- conciling transition. Thus the sentence, I go to him in the adjoining room, dsc, leaves the subject dealt with in the preceding sentences, and faithfully reproduces the circum- stances under which I told my father about my marriage engagement. Thus the dream is trying to remind me of the noble disinterestedness which the old man showed at that time, and to put it in contrast with the conduct of another, a new person. I now perceive that the dream is allowed to make sport of my father for the reason that in the dream thought he is held up as an example to another man, in full recognition of his merit. It is in the nature of every censor- ship that it permits the telling of untruth about forbidden things rather than truth. The next sentence, in which my father remembers having once been drunk, and having been locked up for it, also contains nothing which is actually true of my father. The person whom he covers is here a no less important one than the great Meynert, in whose footsteps I followed with such great veneration, and whose attitude


844 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

towards me was changed into undisguised hostility after a short period of indulgence. The dream recalls to me his own statement that in his youth he was addicted to the chloroform habit, and that for this he had to enter a sanatorium. It recalls also a second experience with him shortly before his death. I carried on an embittered literary controversy with him concerning hysteria in the male, the existence of which he denied, and when I visited him in his last illness and asked him how he felt, he dwelt upon the details of his condition and concluded with the words : " You know, I have always been one of the prettiest cases of masculine hysteria." Thus, to my satisfaction, and to my astonishment , he admitted what he had so long and so stubbornly opposed. But the fact that in this scene I can use my father to cover Meynert is based not upon the analogy which has been found to exist between the two persons, but upon the shght, but quite adequate, re- presentation of a conditional sentence occurring in the dream thoughts, which in full would read as follows : "Of course if I were of the second generation, the son of a professor or of a court-councillor, I should have progressed more rapidly.'* In the dream I now make a court-councillor and a professor of my father. The most obvious and most annoying absurdity of the dream lies in the treatment of the date 1851, which seems to me to be hardly distinguishable from 1856, as though a di^erence oj five years would signify nothing ivJiatever. But it is just this idea of the dream thoughts which requires expression. Four or five years — that is the length of time which I enjoyed the support of the colleague mentioned at the outset ; but it is also the time during which I kept my bride waiting before I married her ; and, through a coincidence that is eagerly taken advantage of by the dream thoughts, it is also the time during which I am now keeping one of my best patients waiting for the completion of his cure. " What are five years ? " ask the dream thoughts. " That is no time at all for me — tliat doesn't come into consideration. I have time enough ahead of me, and just as what you didn't want to believe came true at last, so I shall accomplish this also." Besides the number 51, when separated from the number of the century, is determined in still another manner and in an opposite sense ; for which reason it occurs in the dream


THE DREAM-WORK 345

again. Fifty-one is an age at which a man seems particularly exposed to danger, at which I have seen many of my colleagues suddenly die, and among them one who had been appointed to a professorship a few days before, after he had been waiting a long time.

V. Another absurd dream which plays with figures, runs as follows :

One of my acquaintances, Mr. M., has been attacked in an essay by no less a 'person than Goethe, with justifiable vehemence, we all think, Mr. M. has, of course, been crushed by this attack. He complains oj it bitterly at a dinner party ; but he says that his veneration for Goethe has not su^ered from this personal experience. I try to find some explanation of the chronological relations, which seem improbable to me. Goethe died in 1832 ; since his attack upon M. must of course have taken place earlier, Mr. M. was at the time a very young man. It seems plausible to me that he was 18 years old. But I do not know exactly what year it is at present, and so the whole calculation lapses into obscurity. The attack, moreover^ is contained in Goethe's well- known essay entitled " Nature.'^

We shall soon find means to justify the nonsense of this dream. Mr. M., with whom I became acquamted at a dinner- party, had recently requested me to examine his brother, who showed signs of paralytic insanity. The conjecture was right ; the painful thing about this visit was that the patient exposed his brother by alluding to his youthful pranks when there was" no occasion in the conversation for his doing so. I had asked the patient to tell me the year of his birth, and had gofc him to make several small calculations in order to bring out the weakness of his memory — ^all of which tests he passed fairly well. I see now that I am acting like a paralytic in the dream (/ do not know exactly what year it is at present). Other subject- matter in the dream is drawn from another recent source. The editor of a medical journal, a friend of mine, had accepted for his paper a very unfavourable, a " crushing criticism of the last book of my friend Fl. of Berlin, the author of which was a very youthful reviewer, who was not veiy competent to pass judgment. I thought I had a right to interfere, and called the editor to account ; he keenly regretted the accept- ance of the criticism, but would not promise redress. There-


346 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

upon I broke off relations with the journal, and in my letter of resignation expressed the hope that our personal relations would not suffer from the incident. The third source of this dream is an account given by a female patient — ^it was fresh in my memory at the time — of the mental disease of her brother who had fallen into a frenzy, crjdng " Nature, Nature." The physicians in attendance thought that the cry was derived from a reading of Goethe's beautiful essay, and that it pointed to overwork in the patient in the study of natural philosophy. I thought rather of the sexual sense in which even less cul- tured people with us use the word " Nature," and the fact that the unfortunate man later mutilated his genitals seemed to show that I was not far wrong. Eighteen years was the age of this patient at the time when the attack of frenzy occurred.

If I add further that the book of my friend so severely criticised ("It is a question whether the author is crazy or we are " had been the opinion of another critic) treats of the temporal relations of life and refers the duration of Groethe's life to the multiple of a number significant from the point of view of biology, it wiU readily be admitted that I am putting myself in the place of my friend in the dream. (/ try to find some explanation of the chronological relations.) But I behave hke a paralytic, and the dream revels in absurdity. This means, then, as the dream thoughts say ironically. " Of course he is the fool, the lunatic, and you are the man of genius who knows better. Perhaps, however, it is the other way around ? " Now, this other way around is expHcitly repre- sented in the dream, in that Goethe has attacked the young man, which is absurd, while it is perfectly possible even to-day for a young feUow to attack the immortal Groethe, and in that I figure from the year of Goethe's death, while I caused the paralytic to calculate from the year of his birth.

But I have already promised to show that every dream is the result of egotistical motives. Accordingly, I must account for the fact that in this dream I make my friend's cause my own and put myself in his place. My rational conviction in waking thought is not adequate to do this. Now, the story of the eighteen-year-old patient and of the various interpretations of his cry, "Nature," alludes to my


THE DREAM-WORK 847

having brought myself into opposition to most physicians by claiming sexual etiology for the psychoneuroses. I may say to myself : " The same kind of criticism your friend met with you will meet with too, and have already met with to some extent," and now I may replace the " he " in the dream thoughts by " we." " Yes, you are right ; we two are the fools." That mea res agitur, is clearly shown by the mention of the short, incomparably beautiful essay of Groethe, for it was a pubhc reading of this essay which induced me to study the natural science while I was still undecided in the graduating class of the Gymnasium.

VI. I am also bound to show of another dream in which my ego does not occur that it is egotistic. On page 228 I mentioned a short dream in which Professor M. says : " My son, the myopic . . . " ; and I stated that this was only a preliminary dream to another one, in which I play a part. Here is the main dream, omitted above, which challenges us to explain its absurd and unintelligible word-formation.

On account of some happenings or other in the city of Rome it is necessary for the children to flee, and this they do. The scene is then laid before a gate, a two-winged gate in antique style (the Porta Romana in Siena, as I know while I am still dreaming), 1 am sitting on the edge of a well, and am very sad ; I almost weep, A feminine person — nurse, nun — brings out the two boys and hands them over to their father, who is not myself. The elder of the two is distinctly my eldest son, and I do not see the face of the other ; the woman who brings the boy asks him for a parting kiss. She is distinguished by a red nose. The boy denies her the kiss, but says to her, extending his hand to her in parting , Auf Geseres and to both of us {or to one of us) Auf Ungeseres." I have the idea that the latter indicates an advantage.

This dream is built upon a tangle of thoughts induced by a play I saw at the theatre, called Das neue Ghetto (" The New Ghetto.") The Jewish question, anxiety about the future of my children who cannot be given a native country of their own, anxiety about bringing them up so that they may have the right of native citizens — all these features may easily be recognised in the accompanying dream thoughts.

" We sat by the waters of Babylon and wept." Siena, like Rome, is famous for its beautiful fountains. In the dream


348 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

I must find a substitute of some kind for Rome (c/. p. 163) in localities which are known to me. Near the Porta Romana of Siena we saw a large, brightly illuminated building, which we found to be the Manicomio, the insane asylum. Shortly before the dream I had heard that a co-reHgionist had been forced to resign a position at a state asylum which he had secured with great effort.

Our interest is aroused by the speech : Auj Geserea " — where we might expect, from the situation maintained through- out the dream, " Auf Wiedersehen " {Au revoir) — and by its quite meaningless opposite, " Auf Ungeseres.

According to information I have received from Hebrew scholars, Geseres is a genuine Hebrew word derived from the verb goiser, and may best be rendered by " ordained suffer- ings, fated disaster." From its use in the Jewish jargon one might think it signified " waiUng and lamentation." Un- geseres is a coinage of my own and first attracts my attention ; but for the present it baffles me. The little observation at the end of the dream, that Ungeseres indicates an advan- tage over Geseres opens the way to the associations and to an explanation. The same relation holds good with caviare ; the unsalted kind * is more highly prized than the salted. Caviare to the general, " noble passions " ; herein lies concealed a joking allusion to a member of my household, of whom I hope — for she is younger than I — that she will watch over the future of my children ; this, too, agrees with the fact that another member of my household, our worthy nurse, is clearly indicated in the nurse (or nun) of the dream. But a connecting link is wanting between the pair, salted and unsalted, and Geseres — ungeseres. This is to be found in soured and unsoured. In their flight or exodus out of Egypt, the children of Israel did not have time to allow their bread to be leavened, and in memory of the event to this day they eat unsoured bread at Easter time. Here I can also find room for the sudden notion which came to me in this part of the analysis. I remembered how we promenaded about the city of Breslau, which was strange to us, at the end of the Easter

  • Note the resemblance of Geseres and Ungeseres to the German words

for salted and unsalted — gesalzen and ungesalzen; also to the German words for soured and unsouTed—gesauert and ungesaucrt. (Translator.)


THE DREAM-WORK 349

holidays, my friend from Berlin and I. A little girl asked me to tell her the way to a certain street ; I had to tell her I did not know it, whereupon I remarked to my friend, " I hope that later on in hfe the Httle one will show more perspicacity in selecting the persons by whom she allows herself to be guided." Shortly afterwards a sign caught my eye : " Dr. Herod, office hours. ..." I said to myself : " I hope this colleague does not happen to be a children's speciaUst." Meanwhile my friend had been developing his views on the biological significance of bilateral symmetry, and had begun a sentence as follows : "If we had but one eye in the middle of our foreheads hke Cyclops. . . ." This leads us to the speech of the professor in the preliminary dream : " My son, the myopic. And now I have been led to the chief source for Geseres. Many years ago, when this son of Professor M., who is to-day an independent thinker, was BtiU sitting on his school-bench, he contracted a disease of the eye, wliich the doctor declared gave cause for anxiety. He was of the opinion that as long as it remained in one eye it would not matter ; if, however, it should extend to the other eye, it would be serious. The disease healed in the one eye without leaving any bad effects ; shortly afterwards, however, its symptoms actually appeared in the other eye. The terrified mother of the boy immediately summoned the physician to the seclusion of her country resort. But he took another view of the matter. " What sort of * Geseres ' is this you are making ? " he said to his mother with impatience. " If one side got well, the other side will get well too." And so it turned out.

And now as to the connection between this and myself and those dear to me. The school-bench upon which the son of Professor M. learned his first lessons has become the property of my eldest son — it was given to his mother — into whose lips I put the words of parting in the dream. One of the wishes that can be attached to this transference may now easily be guessed. This school-bench is intended by its con- struction to guard the child from becoming shortsighted and one-sided. Hence, myopia (and behind the Cyclops) and the discussion about bilateralism. The concern about one- sidedness is of two-fold signification ; along with the bodily


850 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

one-sidedjiess, that of intellectual development may be re- ferred to. Does it not seem as though the scene in the dream, with all its madness, were putting its negative on just this anxiety ? After the ctiild has said his word of parting on the one side, he calls out its opposite on the other side, as though in order to establish an equiUbrium. He is acting, as it were, in obedience to bilateral symmetry !

Thus the dream frequently has the profoundest meaning in places where it seems most absurd. In all ages those who had something to say and were unable to say it without danger to themselves gladly put on the cap and bells. The listener for whom the forbidden saying was intended was more likely to tolerate it if he was able to laugh at it, and to flatter him- self with the comment that what he disliked was obviously sometliing absurd. The dream proceeds in reaUty just aa the prince does in the play who must counterfeit the fool, and hence the same thing may be said of the dream which Hamlet says of himself, substituting an uninteUigible witti- cism for the real conditions : "I am but mad north-north-west ; when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw." ♦

Thus my solution of the problem of the absurdity of dreams is that the dream thoughts are never absurd — at least not those belonging to the dreams of sane persons — ^and that the dream activity produces absurd dreams and dreams with individual absurd elements if criticism, ridicule, and derision in the dream thoughts are to be represented by it in its manner of expression. My next concern is to show that the dream activity is primarily brought about by the co-operation of the three factors which have been mentioned — and of a fourth one which remains to be cited — that it accomphshes nothing short of a transposition of the dream thoughts, ob- serving the three conditions which are prescribed for it, and that the question whether the mind operates in the dream with all its faculties, or only with a portion of them, is deprived

  • This dream also furnishes a good example for the general thesis that

dreams of the same night, even though they be separated in memory, spring from the same thought material. The dream situation in which I am rescuing my children from the city of Rome, moreover, is disfigured by a reference to an episod belonging to my childhood. The meaning is that I envy certain relatives who years ago had occ^on to transplant their children to another soil.


THE DREAM-WORK 851

of its cogency and is inapplicable to the actual circumstances. But since there are plenty of dreams in which judgments are passed, criticisms made, and facts recognised, in which astonishment at some single element of the dream appears, and arguments and explanations are attempted, I must meet the objections which may be inferred from these occurrences by the citation of selected examples.

My answer is as follows : Everything in the dream which occurs as an apparent exercise of the critical faculty is to he regarded, not as an intellectual accojnplishment of the dream activity, but as belonging to the material of the dream thoughts, and it has found its way from them as a finished structure to the m/inifest dream content. I may go even further than this. Even the judgments which are passed upon the dream as it is remembered after awakening and the feelings which are aroused by the reproduction of the dream, belong in good part to the latent dream content, and must be fitted into their place in the mterpretation of the dream.

I. A striking example of this I have already given. A female patient does not wish to relate her dream because it is too vague. She has seen a person in the dream, and does not know whether it is her husband or her father. Then follows a second dream fragment in which there occurs a " manure-can," which gives rise to the following reminiscence. As a young housewife, she once jokingly declared in the presence of a young relative who frequented the house that her next care would be to procure a new manure-can. The next morning one was sent to her, but it was filled with HUes of the valley. This part of the dream served to represent the saying, " Not grown on your own manure." * WTien we complete the analysis we find that in the dream thoughts it is a matter of the after-eSects of a story heard in j^outh, to the efiEect that a girl had given birth to a child concerning whom it was not clear who was the real father. The dream representation here goes over into the waking thought, and allows one element of the dream thoughts to be represented by a judgment expressed in the waking state upon the whole dream.

  • This German expression is equivalent to our saying "You are not

responsible for that," or '* That has not been acquired through your owa efforts." (Translator.)


352 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

II. A similar case : One of my patients has a dream which seems interesting to him, for he says to himself immedi- ately after awakening : " / must tell that to the doctor ^ The dream is analysed, and shows the most distinct allusion to an affair in which he had become involved during the treat- ment, and of which he had decided to tell me nothing" *

III. Here is a third example from my own experience :

I go to the hospital with P. through a region in which houses and gardens occur. With this comes the idea that I have already seen this region in dreams several times. I do not know my way very well ; P. shows me a way which leads through a corner to a restaurant (a room, not a garden) ; here I ask for Mrs. Doni, and I hear that she is living in the background in a little room with three children. I go there, and while on the way I meet an indistinct person with my two little girls, whom I take with me after I have stood with them for a while. A kind of reproach against my wife for having left them there.

Upon awakening I feel great satisfaction, the cause for this being the fact that I am now going to learn from the analysis what is meant by the idea '* / have already dreamed of that." -f But the analysis of the dream teaches me nothing on the subject ; it only shows me that the satisfaction belongs to the latent dream content, and not to my judgment upon the dream. It is satisfaction over the fact that I have had children by my marriage. P. is a person in whose company I walked the path of life for a certain space, but who has since far outdistanced me socially and materially — ^whose marriage, however, has remained childless. The two occasions for the dream furnishing the proof of this may be found by means of complete analysis. On the previous day I had read in the

paper the obituary notice of a certain Mrs. Dona A ^y (out

of which I make Doni), who had died in childbirth ; I was told by my wife that the dead woman had been nursed by the same midwife she herself had had at the birth of our two

  • The injunction or purpose contained in the dream, "I must tell

that to the doctor," which occurs in dreams that are dreamed in the course of psycho-analytical treatment, regularly corresponds to a great resistance to the confession involved in the dream, and is not infrequently followed by forgetting of the dream.

t A subject about which an extensive discussion has taken place in tho volumes of the Revue Philoscyphiqiie — (Parauinesia in the DreamV


THE DREAM-WORK 853

youngest boys. The name Dona had caught my attention, for I had recently found it for the first time in an English novel. The other occasion for the dream may be found in the date on which it was dreamed ; it was on the night before the birthday of my eldest boy, who, it seems, is poetically gifted.

IV. The same satisfaction remained with me after awaken- ing from the absurd dream that my father, after his death, had played a political part among the Magyars, and it is motivated by a continuance of the feeling which accompanied the last sentence of the dream : " / remember that on his deathbed he looked so much like Garibaldi, and I am glad that it has really come true. (Here belongs a forgotten continuation.) I can now supply from the analysis what belongs in this gap of the dream. It is the mention of my second boy, to whom I have given the first name of a great historical personage, who attracted me powerfully during my boyhood, especially during my stay in England. I had to wait for a year after making up my mind to use this name in case the expected child should be a son, and I greeted him with it in high satisfaction as soon as he was born. It is easy to see how the father's lust for greatness is transferred in his thoughts to his children ; it will readily be beheved that this is one of the ways in which the suppression of this lust which becomes necessary in life is brought about. The little fellow won a place in the text of this dream by virtue of the fact that the same accident — quite pardonable in a child or a dying person — of soiling his clothes had happened to him. With this may be compared the allusion " Stuhl- richter " (judge on the stool-bench, i.e. presiding judge) and the wish of the dream : To stand before one's children great and pure.

V. I am now called upon to find expressions of judgment which remain in the dream itself, and are not retained in or transferred to our waking thoughts, and I shall consider it a great rehef if I may find examples in dreams, which have already been cited for other purposes. The dream about Goethe's attacking Mr. M. seems to contain a considerable number of acts of judgment. / trij to find some explanation of the chronological relations, which seem improbable to r/ie. Does not this look like a critical impulse directed against the non-


854 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

sensical idea that Goethe should have made a literary attack upon a young man^tof my acquaintance ? " /^ seems plausible to me that he was 18 years old." That sounds quite like the result of a dull-witted calculation ; and *' I do not know exactly what year it is " would be an example of uncertainty or doubt in the dream.

But I know from analysis that these acts of judgment, which seem to have been performed in the dream for the first time, admit of a different construction in the light of which they become indispensable for interpreting the dream, and at the same time every absurdity is avoided. With the sentence,

  • ' / try to find some explanation of the chronological relations"

I put myself in the place of my friend who is actually trying to explain the chronological relations of life. The sentence then loses its significance as a judgment that objects to the nonsense of the previous sentences. The interposition, " which seems improbable to me, belongs to the subsequent " it seems plausible to me." In about the same words I had answered the lady who told me the story of her brother's illness : " 7< seems improbable to me that the cry of * Nature, Nature,' had anything to do with Goethe ; it appears much more plausible that it had the sexual significance which is known to you." To be sure, a judgment has been passed here, not, however, in the dream but in reality, on an occasion which is remembered and utilised by the dream thoughts. The dream content appropriates this judgment hke any other fragment of the dream thoughts.

The numeral 18, with which the judgment in the dream is meaninglessly connected, still preserves a trace of the context from which the real judgment was torn. Finally, " / am not certain what year it is " is intended for nothing else than to carry out my identification with the paralytic, in the examination of whom this point of confirmation had actually been estabHshed.

In the solution of these apparent acts of judgment, in the dream, it may be well to call attention to the rule of interpre- tation which says that the coherence which is fabricated in the dream between its constituent parts is to be disregarded as specious and unessential, and that every dream element must be taken by itself and traced to its source. The dream is


THE DREAM-WORK 355

a conglomeration, which is to be broken up into its elements for the purposes of investigation. But other circumstances call our attention to the fact that a psychic force is expressed in dreams which estabhshes this apparent coherence — ^that is to say, which subjects the material that is obtained by the dream activity to a secondary elaboration. We are here con- fronted with manifestations of this force, upon which we shall later fix our attention as being the fourth of the factors which take part in the formation of the dream.

VI. I select other examples of critical activity in the dreams which have already been cited. In the absurd dream about the communication from the common council I ask the ques- tion : " You married shortly after ? I figure that I was horn in 1856, which appears to me as though following immediately. This quite takes the form of an inference. My father married shortly after his attack in the year 1851 ; I am the oldest son, bom in 1856 ; this agrees perfectly. We know that this in- ference has been interpolated by the wish-fulfilment, and that the sentence which dominates the dream thoughts is to the following effect : 4 or 5 years, that is no time at all, that need not enter the calculation. But every part of this chain of inferences is to be determined from the dream thoughts in a different manner, both as to its content and as to its form. It is the patient — about whose endurance my colleague complains — who intends to marry immediately after the close of the treatment. The manner in which I deal with my father in the dream recalls an inquest or examination, and with that the person of a university instructor who was in the habit of taking a complete list of credentials at the enrolment of his class : " You were born when ? " In 1856. " Patre ? " Then the applicant gave the first name of his father with a Latin ending, and we students assumed that the Aulic Councillor drew inferences from the first name of the father which the name of the enrolled student would not always have supplied. Ac- cording to this, the drawing of inferences in the dream would be merely a repetition of the drawing of inferences which appears as part of the subject-matter in the dream thoughts. From this we learn something new. If an inference occurs in the dream content, it invariably comes from the dream thoughts ; it may be contained in these as a bit of remembered


356 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

material, or it may serve as a logical comiective in a series of dream thoughts. In any case an inference in the dream represents an inference in the dream thoughts.*

The analysis of this dream should be continued here. With the inquest of the Professor there is connected the re- collection of an index (pubHshed in Latin during my time) of the university students ; also of my course of studies. The five years provided for the study of medicine were as usual not enough for me. I worked along unconcernedly in the succeeding years ; in the circle of my acquaintances I was considered a loafer, and there was doubt as to whether I would " get through." Then all at once I decided to take my examinations ; and I got " through," in spite of the post- ponement. This is a new confirmation of the dream thoughts, which I defiantly hold up to my critics : " Even though you are imwiUing to beHeve it, because I take my time, I shaU reach a conclusion (German Schluss, meaning either end or conclusion, inference). It has often happened that way."

In its introductory portion this dream contains several sentences which cannot well be denied the character of an argumentation. And this argumentation is not at all absurd ; it might just as well belong to waking thought. In the dream. I make sport of the communication of the Common Council, for in the first place I was not yet in the world in 1851, and in the second place, my father, to whom it might refer, is already dead. Both are not only correct in themselves, but coincide com- pletely with the arguments that I should use in case I should receive a communication of the sort mentioned. We know from our previous analysis that this dream has sprung from deeply embittered and scornful dream thoughts ; if we may assume further that the motive for censorship is a very strong one, we shall miderstand that the dream activity has every reason to create a flawless refutation of a baseless insinuation according to the model contained in the dream thoughts. But analysis shows that in this case the dream activity has not had the task of making a free copy, but it has been required

  • These results correct in several respects my earlier statements

concerning the representation of logical relations (p. 290). The latter described the general conditions of dream activity, but they did not take into consideration its finest and most careful performances.


THE DREAM-WORK 857

to use subject-matter from the dream thoughts for its purpose. It is as if in an algebraic equation there occurred plus and minus signs, signs of powers and of roots, besides the figures, and as if someone, in copying this equation without understanding it, should take over into his copy the signs of operation as well as the figures, and fail to distinguish between the two kinds. The two arguments may be traced to the following material. It is painful for me to think that many of the assumptions upon which I base my solution of psychoneuroses, as soon as they have become known, will arouse scepticism and ridicule. Thus I must maintain that impressions from the second year of life, or even from the first, leave a lasting trace upon the temperament of persons who later become diseased, and that these impressions — greatly distorted it is true, and exaggerated by memory — are capable of furnishing the original and fundamental basis of hysterical symptoms. Patients to whom I explain this in its proper place are in the habit of making a parody upon the explanation by declaring themselves willing to look for reminiscences of the period when they were not yet alive. It would quite accord with my expectation, if enlightenment on the subject of the un- suspected part played by the father in the earliest sexual impulses of feminine patients should get a similar reception. (Cf. the discussion on p. 218.) And, nevertheless, both positions are correct according to my well-founded conviction. In confirmation I recall certain examples in which the death of the father happened when the child was very j^^oung, and later events, otherwise inexplicable, proved that the child had unconsciously preserved recollections of the persons who had so early gone out of its life. I know that both of my assertions are based upon inferences the validity of which will be attacked. If the subject-matter of these very inferences which I fear will be contested is used by the dream activity for setting up incontestable inferences, this is a performance of the wish-fulfilment.

VII. In a dream which I have hitherto only touched upon, astonishment at the subject to be broached is distinctly expressed at the outset.

" The elder Bruecke must have given me some task or other ; strangely enough it relates to the preparation of my own lower


358 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

body, pelvis and legs, which I see before me as though in the dis- secting room, but without feeling my lack of body and tvithout a trace of horror. Louise N. is standing near, and doing her work next to me. The pelvis is eviscerated ; now the upper, now the lower view of the same is seen, and the two views mingle. Thick fleshy red lumps {which even in the dream mxike me think of hemorrhoids) are to be seen. Also something had to be carefully picked out, which lay over these and which looked like crumpled tin- f oil. ^ Then I was again in possession of my legs and m/ide a journey through the city, but took a wagon (owing to my fatigue). To my astonishment the wagon drove into a house door, which opened and allowed it to pass into a passage that was snapped off at the end, and finally led further on into the open.'\ At last I wandered through changing landscapes with an Alpine guide, who carried my things. He carried me for some way, out of con- sideration for my tired legs. The ground was muddy, and we went along the edge ; people sat on the ground, a girl among them, like Indians or Gypsies. Previously I had moved myself along on the slippery ground, with constant astonishment that I was so well able to do it after the p^-eparation. At last we came to a small wooden house which ended in an open window. Here the guide set me down, and laid two wooden boards which stood in readiness on the windoio sill, in order that in this way the chasm might be bridged which had to be crossed in order to get to the window. Now, I grew really frightened about my legs. In- stead of the expected crossing, I saw two grown-up men lying upon wooden benches which were on the walls of the hut, and some- thing like two sleeping children next to them. It seems as though not the boards but the children were intended to make possible the crossing. I awakened with frightened thoughts.

Anyone who has formed a proper idea of the abundance of dream condensation will easily be able to imagine how great a number of pages the detailed analysis of this dream must fill. Luckily for the context, I shall take from it merely the one example of astonishment, in the dream, which makes its appearance in the parenthetical remark, " strangely enough.

  • Stanniol, allusion to Stannius, the nervous sj'stem of fishes ; cf. p. 325.

t The place in the corridor of my apartmeut house where the baby carriages of the other tenants stand ; it is also otherwise several times over- determined.


THE DREAM-WORK 359

Let us take up the occasion of the dream. It is a visit of this lady, Louise N., who assists at the work in the dream. She says : " Lend me something to read." I offer her 8he, by Rider Haggard. " A strange book, but full of hidden sense," I try to explain to her ; " the eternal feminine, the immor- tality of our emotions " Here she interrupts me : "I

know that book already. Haven't you something of your own ? " " No, my own immortal works are still unwritten."

  • ' Well, when are you going to publish your so-called latest

revelations which you promised us would be good reading ? " she asks somewhat sarcastically. I now perceive that she is a mouthpiece for someone else, and I become silent. I think of the effort it costs me to publish even my work on the Dream, in which I have to surrender so much of my own intimate character. " The best that you know you can't tell to the children." The preparation of my oiun body, which I am ordered to make in the dream, is thus the self-analysis necessitated in the communication of my dreams. The elder Bruecke very properly finds a place here ; in these first years of my scientific work it happened that I neglected a discovery, until his ener- getic commands forced me to publish it. But the other trains of thought which start from my conversation with Louise N. go too deep to become conscious ; they are side-tracked by way of the related material which has been awakened in me by the mention of Rider Haggard's She. The comment " strangely enough " goes with this book, and with another by the same author. The Heart of the World, and numerous elements of the dream are taken from these two fantastic novels. The muddy ground over which the dreamer is carried, the chasm which must be crossed by means of the boards that have been brought along, come from She; the Indians, the girl, and the wooden house, from the Heart of the World, In both novels a woman is the leader, both treat of dangerous wanderings ; She has to do with an adventurous journey to the undiscovered country, a place almost untrodden by foot of man. According to a note which I find in my record of the dream, the fatigue in my legs was a real sensation of those days. Doubtless in correspondence with this came a tired frame of mind and the doubting question : *' How much further will my legs carry me 1 " The adventure in She


360 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

ends with the woman leader's meeting her death in the mysterious fire at the centre of the earth, instead of attaining immortality for herself and others. A fear of this sort has unmistakably arisen in the dream thoughts. The " wooden house," also, is surely the coffin — that is, the grave. But the dream activity has performed its masterpiece in repre- senting this most unwished-for of all thoughts by means of a wish-fulfilment. I have already once been in a grave, but it was an empty Etruscan grave near Orvieto — a narrow chamber with two stone benches on the walls, upon which the skeletons of two grown-up persons had been laid. The interior of the wooden house in the dream looks exactly like this, except that wood has been substituted for stone. The dream seems to say : "If you must so soon lie in your grave, let it be this Etruscan grave," and by means of this interpolation it transforms the saddest expectation into one that is reaUy to be desired. As we shall learn, it is, unfortunately, only the idea accompanying an emotion which the dream can change into its opposite, not usually the emotion itself. Thus I awake with " frightened thoughts," even after the dream has been forced to represent m}^ idea — that perhaps the children wiU attain what has been denied to the father — a fresh allusion to the strange novel in which the identity of a person is preserved through a series of generations covering two thousand years.

VIII. In the context of another dream there is a similar expression of astonishment at what is experienced in the dream. This, however, is connected with a striking and skil- fully contrived attempt at explanation which might well be called a stroke of genius — so that I should have to analyse the whole dream merely for the sake of it, even if the dream did not possess two other features of interest. I am travelling during the night between the eighteenth and the nineteenth of July on the Southern Railway, and in my sleep I hear some- one call out : " Hollthurn, 10 minutes." I immediately think of Holothurian — of a museum of natural history — that here is a 'place where brave men have vainly resisted the domination of their overlord. Yes, the counter reformation in Austria ! As though it were a place in Styria or the Tyrol. Now I distinctly see a little museum in which the remains or the possessions of these men are preserved. I wish to get off, hut I hesitate to do so.


THE DREAM-WORK 361

Women with fruit are standing on the 'platform ; they crouch on the floor, and in that position hold out their baskets in an inviting manner. I hesitate, in doubt whether we still have time, but we are still standing. I am suddenly in another compartment in which the leather and the seats are so narrow that one's bach directly touches the back rest."^ I am surprised at this, but I may have changed cars while asleep. Several people, among them an English brother and sister ; a row of books distinctly on a shelf on the wall. I see The Wealth of ISTations, then Matter and Motion {py Maxwell) — the books are thick and bound in brown linen. The mun asks his sister for a book by Schiller, and vjhether she lias forgotten it. These are books which first seem mine, then seem to belong to the brother and sister. At this point I wish to join in the conversation in order to confirm and

support what is being said . I av/aken sweating all over my

body, because all the windows are shut. The train stops at Marburg.

While writing down the dream, a part of it occurs to me which my memory wished to omit. I say to the brother and sister about a certain work : It is from . . ." but I correct myself: It is by . . ." The man remarks to his sister: " He said it correctly.

The dream begins with the name of a station, which prob- ably must have partiallj^ awakened me. For this name, which was Marburg, I substituted Hollthum. The fact that I heard Marburg when it was first called, or perhaps when it was called a second time, is proved by the mention in the dream of Schiller, who was bom in Marburg, though not in the one in Styria.| Now this time, although I was travelling first-class, it was under very disagreeable circumstances. The train was overcrowded ; I had met a gentleman and lady in my compartment who seemed persons of quality, but who did not have the good breeding or who did not think it worth

  • This description is not intelligible even to myself, but I follow the

principle of reproducins^ the dream in those words which occur to me while I am writing it down. The wording itself is a part of the dream representatiori.

t Schiller was not born in one of the Marburgs, but in Marbach, as every graduate of a Gymnasium knows, and as I also knew. This again is one of those errors (c/. p. 166) which are included as substitutes for an intended deception at another place — an explanation of which I have attempted in the Psyci^opathologie des Alltagslebens),


362 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

while to conceal their displeasure at my intrusion. My polite salutation was not answered, and although the man and the woman sat next each other (with their backs in the direction in which we were riding), the woman made haste to pre-empt the place opposite her and next the window with her umbrella ; the door w^as immediately closed and demonstrative remarks about the opening of windows were exchanged. Probably I was quickly recognised as a person hungry for fresh air. It was a hot night, and the air in the compartment, thus shut on all sides, was almost suffocating. My experience as a traveller leads me to believe that such inconsiderate, obtrusive conduct marks people who have only partly paid for their tickets, or not at all. When the conductor came, and I pre- sented my dearly bought ticket, the lady called out ungra- ciously, and as though threateningly : " My husband has a pass." She was a stately figure with sour features, in age not far from the time set for the decay of feminine beauty ; the man did not get a chance to say anything at all, and sat there motionless. I tried to sleep. In the dream I take terrible revenge on my disagreeable travelling companions ; no one would suspect what insults and humihations are con- cealed behind the disjointed fragments of the first half of the dream. After this desire has been satisfied, the second wish, to exchange my compartment for another, makes itself evident. The dream makes changes of scene so often, and without rais- ing the least objection to such changes, that it would not have been in the least remarkable if I had immediately replaced my travelling companions by more pleasant ones for my re- collection. But this was one of the cases where something or other objected to the change of scene and considered ex- planation of the change necessary. How did I suddenly get into another compartment ? I surely could not remember having changed cars. So there was only one explanation : 1 must have left the carriage while asleep, a rare occurrence, examples for which, however, are furnished by the experience of the neuropathologist. We know of persons who under- take railroad journeys in a crepuscular state without betraying their abnormal condition by any sign, until some station on the journey they completely recover consciousness, and are then surprised at the gap in their memory. Thus, while I


THE DREAM-WORK 363

am still dreaming, I declare my own case to be such a one of " Automatisme ambulatoire.

Analysis permits another solution. The attempt at ex- planation, which so astoimds me if I am to attribute it to the dream activity, is not original, but is copied from the neurosis of one of my patients. I have already spoken on another page of a highly cultured and, in conduct, kind-hearted man, who began, shortly after the death of his parents, to accuse himself of murderous inchnations, and who suffered because of the precautionary measures he had to take to insure himself against these inclinations. At first walking along the street was made painful for him by the compulsion impelling him to demand an accounting of all the persons he met as to whither they had vanished ; if one of them suddenly withdrew from his pursuing glance, there remained a painful feeling and a thought of the possibility that he might have put the man out of the way. This compulsive idea concealed, among other things, a Cain -fancy, for all men are brothers." Owing to the impossibility of accomplishing his task, he gave up taking walks and spent his life imprisoned within his four walls. But news of murderous acts which have been committed outside constantly reached his room through the papers, and his con- science in the form of a doubt kept accusing him of being the murderer. The certainty of not having left his dwelling for weeks protected him against these accusations for a time, until one day there dawned upon him the possibility that he might have left his house while in an unconscious condition, and might thus have committed the murder without knowing any- thing about it. From that time on he locked his house door, and handed the key over to his old housekeeper, and strictly forbade her to give it into his hands even if he demanded it.

This, then, is the origin of the attempted explanation, that I may have changed carriages while in an unconscious condition — ^it has been transferred from the material of the dream thoughts to the dream in a finished state, and is obvi- ously intended to identify me with the person of that patient. My memory of him was awakened by an easy association. I had made my last night journey with this man a few weeks before. He was cured, and was escorting me into the country, to his relatives who were summoning me ; as we had a compart-


364 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

ment to ourselves, we left all the windows open through the night, and, as long as I had remained awake, we had a delight- ful conversation. I knew that hostile impulses towards his father from the time of his childhood,, in connection with sexual material, had been at the root of his illness. By identifying myself with him, I wanted to make an analogous confession to myself. The second scene of the dream really resolves itself into a wanton fancy to the effect that my two elderly travelling companions had acted so uncivilly towards me for the reason that my arrival prevented them from ex- changing love-tokens during the night as they had intended. This fancy, however, goes back to an early childhood scene in which, probably impelled by sexual inquisitiveness, I intruded upon the bedroom of my parents, and was driven from it by my father's emphatic command.

I consider it superfluous to multiply further examples. All of them would confirm what we have learned from those which have been already cited, namely, that an act of judg- ment in the dream is nothing but the repetition of a prototype which it has in the dream thoughts. In most cases it is an inappropriate repetition introduced in an unfitting connection ; occasionally, however, as in our last example, it is so artfully disposed that it may give the impression of being an inde- pendent thought activity in the dream. At this point we might turn our attention to that psychic activity which indeed does not seem to co-operate regularly in the formation of dreams, but whose effort it is, wherever it does co-operate, to fuse together those dream elements that are incongruent on account of their origins in an uncontradictory and intel- ligible manner. We consider it best, however, first to take up the expressions of emotion which appear in the dream, and to compare them with the emotions which analysis reveals to us in the dream thoughts.

(g) The Affects in the Dream,

A profound remark of Strieker's ^' has called our attention to the fact that the expressions of emotion in the dream do not permit of being disposed of in the slighting manner in which we are accustomed to shake off the dream itself, after


THE DREAM-WORK 365

we have awakened. *' If I am afraid of robbers in the dream, the robbers, to be sure, are imaginary, but the fear of them is real," and the same is true if I am glad in the dream. Accord- ing to the testimony of our feelings, the emotion experienced in the dream is in no way less vaHd than one of like intensity experienced in waking life, and the dream makes its claim to be taken up as a part of our real mental experiences, more ener- getically on account of its emotional content than on account of its ideal content. We do not succeed in accomplishing this separation in waking life, because we do not know how to estimate an emotion psychically except in connection with a presentation content. If in kind or in intensity an afEect and an idea are incongruous, our waking judgment becomes confused.

The fact that in dreams the presentation content does not entail the a£Eective influence which we should expect as neces- sary in waking thought has always caused astonishment. Striimpell was of the opinion that ideas in the dream are stripped of their psychic values. But neither does the dream lack opposite instances, where the expression of intense afiect appears in a content, which seems to offer no occasion for its development. I am in a horrible, dangerous, or disgusting situation in the dream, but I feel nothing of fear or aversion ; on the other hand, I am sometimes terrified at harmless things and glad at childish ones.

This enigma of the dream disappears more suddenly and more completely than perhaps any other of the dream pro- blems, if we pass from the manifest to the latent content. We shall then no longer be concerned to explain it, for it will no longer exist. Analysis teaches us that presentation contents have undergone displacements and substitutions, while affects have remained unchanged. No wonder, then, that the pre- sentation content which has been altered by dream disfigure- ment no longer fits the affect that has remained intact ; but there is no cause for wonder either after analysis has put the correct content in its former place.

In a psychic complex which has been subjected to the in- fluence of the resisting censor the affects are the unyielding constituent, which alone is capable of guiding us to a correct supplementation. This state of affairs is revealed in psycho- neuroses even more distinctly than in the dream. Here the


366 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

afEect is always in the right, at least as far as its quality goes ; its intensity may even be increased by means of a displace- ment of neurotic attention. If a hysteric is surprised that he is so very afraid of a trifle, or if the patient with compulsive ideas is astonished that he develops such painful self-reproach out of a nonentity, both of them err in that they regard the presentation content — ^the trifle or the nonentity — as the essen- tial thing, and they defend themselves in vain because they make this presentation content the starting point in their thought. Psychoanalysis, however, shows them the right way by recognising that, on the contrary, the aflect is justified, and by searching for the presentation which belongs to it and which has been suppressed by means of replacement. The assumption is here made that the development of affect and the presentation content do not constitute such an in- dissoluble organic union as we are accustomed to think, but that the two parts may be, so to speak, soldered together in such a way that they may be detached from one another by means of analysis. Dream interpretation shows that this is actually the case.

I give first an example in which analysis explains the ap- parent absence of affect in a presentation content which ought to force a development of emotion.

I. The dreamer sees three lions in a desert, one of which is laughing, hut she is not afraid of them. Then, however, she must have fled from them, for she is trying to climb a tree, hut she finds that her cousin, who is a teacher of French, is already up in the tree, dbc.

The analysis gives us the following material for this dream: A sentence in the dreamer's English lesson had become the indifferent occasion for it : " The lion's greatest beauty is his mane." Her father wore a beard which surrounded his face hke a mane. The name of her Enghsh teacher was Miss Lyons. An acquaintance of hers had sent her the ballads of Loewe (German, Loewe — ^hon). These, then, are the three lions ; why should she have been afraid of them ? She has read a story in which a negro who has incited his fellows to revolt is hunted with bloodhounds and chmbs a tree to save himself. Then follow fragments in wanton mood, like the following. Directions for catching lions from Die Fliegend^


THE DREAM-WORK 367

Blaetter : " Take a desert and strain it ; the lions will re- main." Also a very amusing, but not very proper anecdote about an official who is asked why he does not take greater pains to win the favour of his superior officer, and who answers that he has been trying to insinuate himself, but that the man ahead of him is already up. The whole matter becomes in- telligible as soon as one learns that on the day of the dream the iady had received a visit from her husband's superior. He was very polite to her, kissed her hand, and she was not afraid of him at all, although he is a *' big bug " (German — Grosses Tier= " big animal ") and plays the part of a " social lion " in the capital of her country. This hon is, therefore, like the Hon in the Midsummer Night's Dream, who unmasks as Snug, the jomer, and of such stuff are all dream lions made when one is not afraid.

II. As my second example, I cite the dream of the girl who saw her sister's little son lying dead in a coffin, but who, I may now add, felt no pain or sorrow thereat. We know from analysis why not. The dream only concealed her wish to see the man she loved again ; the afifect must be attuned to the wish, and not to its concealment. There was no occasion for sorrow at all.

In a number of dreams the emotion at least remains con- nected with that presentation content which has replaced the one really belonging to it. In others the breaking up of the complex is carried further. The affect seems to be entirely separated from the idea belonging to it, and finds a place somewhere else in the dream where it fits into the new ar- rangement of the dream elements. This is similar to what we have learned of acts of judgment of the dream. If there is a significant inference in the dream thoughts, the dream also contains one ; but in the dream the inference may be shifted to entirely different material. Not infrequently this shifting takes place according to the principle of antithesis.

I illustrate the latter possibility by the following dream, which I have subjected to the most exhaustive analysis.

III. A castle by the sea ; afterwards it lies not directly on the sea, hut on a narrow canal that leads to the sea. A certain Mr. P. is the governor of it. I stand with him in a large salon with three windows, in front of ichich rise the projections of a wall,


868 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

like battlements of a fort. I belong to the garrison, perhaps as a volunteer marine officer. We fear the arrival of hostile war- ships, for we are in a state of war. Mr. P. has the intention of leaving ; he gives me instructions as to what must be done in case the dreaded event happens. His sick wife is in the threatened castle with her children. As soon as the bombardment begins the large hall should be cleared. He breathes heavily, and tries to get away ; I hold him back, and ask him in what way I should send him news in case of need. He says something else, and then all at once falls over dead. I have probably taxed him unnecessarily with my questions. After his death, which makes no further im- pression upon me, I think whether the widow is to remain in the castle, whether I should give notice of the death to the commander- in-chief, and whether I should take over the direction of the castle as the next in command. I now stand at the window, and muster the ships as they pass by ; they are merchantmen that dart past upon the dark water, several of them with more than one smoke- stack, others with bulging decks (that are quite similar to the railway stations in the preliminary dream which has not been told). Then my brother stands next to me, and both of us look out of the window on to the canal. At the sight of a ship we are frightened, and call out : " Here comes the warship / " It turns out, however, that it is only the same ships which I have already known that are returning. Now comes a little ship, strangely cut off, so that it ends in the middle of its breadth ; curious things like cups or salt-cellars are seen on the deck. We call as though with one voice : " Tluit is the breakfast-ship.

The rapid motion of the siiips, the deep blue of the water, the brown smoke of the funnels, all this together makes a highly tense, sombre impression.

The localities in this dream are put togetlier from several journeys to the Adriatic Sea (Miramare, Duino, Venice, Aquileja). A short but enjoyable Easter trip to Aquileja with my brother, a few weeks before the dream, was still fresh in my memory. Besides, the naval war between America and Spain, and the worry connected with it about my relatives living in America, play a part. Manifestations of emotion appear at two places in this dream. In one place an emotion that would be expected is lacking — it is expressly emphasized that the death of the governor makes no impression upon me ;


THE DREAM- WORK 869

at another point, where I see the warships I am frightened, and experience all the sensations of fright while I sleep. The distribution of afiects in this well-constructed dream has been made in such a way that every obvious contradiction is avoided. For there is no reason why I should be frightened at the governor's death, and it is fitting that as the commander of the castle I should be alarmed by the sight of the warship. Now analysis shows that Mr. P. is nothing but a substitute for my own Ego (in the dream I am his substitute). I am the governor who suddenly dies. The dream thoughts deal with the future of those dear to me after my premature death. No other disagreeable thought is to be found among the dream thoughts. The fright which is attached to the sight of the warship must be transferred from it to this disagree- able thought. Inversely, the analysis shows that the region of the dream thoughts from which the warship comes is filled with most joyous reminiscences. It was at Venice a year before, one charmingly beautiful day, that we stood at the windows of our room on the Riva Schiavoni and looked upon the blue lagoon, in which more activity could be seen that day than usually. English ships were being expected, they were to be festively received ; and suddenly my wife called out, happy as a child : " There come the English warships / " In the dream I am frightened at the very same words ; we see again that speeches in the dream originate from speeches in life. I shall soon show that even the element *' English " in this speech has not been lost for the dream activity. I thus convert joy into fright on the way from the dream thoughts to the dream content, and I need only intimate that by means of this very transformation I give expression to a part of the latent dream content. The example shows, however, that the dream activity is at liberty to detach the occasion for an a£fect from its context in the dream thoughts, and to insert it at any other place it chooses in the dream content.

I seize the opportunity which is incidentally ofEered, of subjecting to closer analysis the " breakfast ship," whose appearance in the dream so nonsensically concludes a situation that has been rationally adhered to. If I take a closer view of this object in the dream, I am now struck by the fact that it was black, and that on account of its being cut oflf at its greatest

2 A


370 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

breadth it closely resembled, at the end where it was cut off, an object which had aroused our interest in the museums of the Etruscan cities. This object was a rectangular cup of black clay with two handles, upon which stood things like coffee cups, or tea cups, very similar to our modem breakfast table service. Upon inquiring, we learned that this was the toilet set of an Etruscan lady, with little boxes for rouge and powder ; and we said jokingly to each other that it would not be a bad idea to take a thing like that home to the lady of the house. The dream object, therefore, signifies " black toilet " (German, toilette — dress) — mourning — and has direct reference to a death. The other end of the dream object reminds us of the " boat " (Grerman, Nachen), from the root i/e^^u?, as a philo- logical friend has told me, upon which corpses were laid in prehistoric times and were left to be buried by the sea. With this circumstance is connected the reason for the return of the ships in the dream.

" Quietly the old man on his rescued boat drifts into the harbour."

It is the return voyage after the shipwreck (German, schiff- bruch ; ship-breaking, i.e. shipwreck), the breakfast-ship looks as though it were broken off in the middle. But whence comes the name " breakfast "-ship ? Here is where the " EngHsh " comes in, which we have left over from the warships. Break- fast — a breaking of the fast. Breaking again belongs to ship-wreck {^ahiW^ruch), and fasting is connected with the mourning dress.

The only thing about this breakfast-ship, which has been newly created by the dream, is its name. The thing has existed in reality, and recalls to me the merriest hours of my last journey. As we distrusted the fare in Aquileja, we took some food with us from Goerz, and bought a bottle of excellent Istrian wine in Aquileja, and while the httle mail-steamer slowly travelled through the Canal delieMee and into the lonely stretch of lagoon towards Grado, we took our breakfast on deck — ^we were the only passengers — and it tasted to us as few break- fasts have ever tasted. This, then, was the " breakfast-ship and it is behind this very recollection of great enjoyment that the dream hides the saddest thoughts about an unknown and ominous future.


THE DREAM-WORK 371

The detacliment of emotions from the groups of ideas which have been responsible for their development is the most striking thing that happens to them in the course of dream formation, but it is neither the only nor even the most essential change which they undergo on the way from the dream thoughts to the manifest dream. If the affects in the dream thoughts are compared with those in the dream, it at once becomes clear that w^herever there is an emotion in the dream, this is also to be found in the dream thoughts ; the converse, however, is not true. In general, the dream is less rich in affects than the psychic material from which it is elaborated. As soon as I have reconstructed the dream thoughts I see that the most intense psychic impulses are regularly striving in them for self-assertion, usually in conflict with others that are sharply opposed to them. If I turn back to the dream, I often find it colourless and without any of the more intense strains of feeling. Not only the content, but also the affec- tive tone of my thoughts has been brought by the dream activity to the level of the indifferent. I might say that a suppression of the affects has taken place. Take, for example, the dream of the botanical monograph. It answers to a pas- sionate plea for my freedom to act as I am acting and to arrange my hfe as seems right to me and to me alone. The dream which results from it sounds indifferent ; I have written a monograph ; it is Ij^ng before me ; it is fitted with coloured plates, and dried plants are to be found with each copy. It is Hke the peacefuiness of a battlefield ; there is no trace left of the tumult of battle.

It may also turn out differently — vivid affective expressions may make their appearance in the dream ; but we shall first dwell upon the unquestionable fact that many dreams appear indifferent, while it is never possible to go deeply into the dream thoughts without deep emotion.

A complete theoretical explanation of this suppression of emotions in the course of the dream activity cannot be given here ; it would require a most careful investigation of the theory of the emotions and of the mechanism of suppression. I shall find a place here for two thoughts only. I am forced — on other grounds — ^to conceive the development of affects as a centrifugal process directed towards the interior of the


372 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

body, analogous to the processes of motor and secretory innervation. Just as in the sleeping condition the omission of motor impulses towards the outside world seems to be suspended, so a centrifugal excitement of emotions through unconscious thought may be made more difficult during sleep. Thus the affective impulses aroused during the discharge of the dream thoughts would themselves be weak excitements, and therefore those getting into the dream would not be stronger. According to this line of argument the " suppres- sion of the affects " would not be a result of the dream activity at all, but a result of the sleeping condition. This may be so, but this cannot possibly be all. We must also remember that all the more complex dreams have shown themselves to be a compromised result from the conflict of psychic forces. On the one hand, the thoughts that constitute the wish must fight the opposition of a censorship ; on the other hand, we have often seen how, even in unconscious thinking, each train of thought is harnessed to its contradictory opposite. Since all of these trains of thought are capable of emotion, we shall hardly make a mistake, broadly speaking, if we regard the suppression of emotion as the result of the restraint which the contrasts impose upon one another and which the censor imposes upon the tendencies which it has suppressed. The restraint of affects would accordingly be the second result of the dream censor as the disfigurement of the dream was the first.

1 shall insert an example of a dream in which the indif- ferent affective tone of the dream content may be explained by a contrast in the dream thoughts. I have the following short dream to relate, which every reader will read with disgust :

IV. A bit of rising ground, and on it something like a toilet in the open ; a very long bench, at the end of which is a large toilet aperture. All of the bach edge is thickly covered with little heaps of excrement of all sizes and degrees of freshness. A shrub behind the bench. I urinate upon the bench ; a long stream of urine rinses everything clean, the patches of excrement easily come off and fall into the opening. It seems as though something remained at the end nevertheless.

Why did I experience no disgust in this dream ?

Because, as the analysis shows, the most pleasant and satis- fying thoughts have co-operated in the formation of this dream.


THE DREAM-WORK 373

Upon analysing it I immediately think of the Augean stables cleansed by Hercules. I am this Hercules. The rising ground and the shrub belong to Aussee, where my children are now staying. I have discovered the infantile etiology of the neu- roses and have thus guarded my ovm children from becoming ill. The bench (omitting the aperture, of course) is the faith- ful copy of a piece of furniture v/hich an affectionate female patient has made me a present of. This recalls how my patients honour me. Even the museum of human excrement is sus- ceptible of less disagreeable interpretation. However much I am disgusted with it, it is a souvenir of the beautiful land of Italy, where in little cities, as everyone knows, water-closets are not equipped in any other way. The stream of urine that washes ever^^thing clean is an unmistakable allusion to great- ness. It is in this manner that Gulliver extinguishes the great fire in Lilliput ; to be sure, he thereby incurs the dis- pleasure of the tiniest of queens. In this way, too, Gargantua, the superman in Master Rabelais, takes vengeance upon the Parisians, straddling Notre Dame and training his stream of urine upon the city. Only yesterday I was turning over the leaves of Gamier's illustrations of Rabelais before I went to bed. And, strangely enough, this is another proof that I am the superman ! The platform of Notre Dame was my favourite nook in Paris ; every free afternoon I was accus- tomed to go up into the towers of the church and climb about among the monsters and devil-masks there. The circum- stances that aU the excrement vanishes so rapidly before the stream correspond to the motto : Afflavit et dissipati sunt, which I shall some day make the title of a chapter on the therapeutics of hysteria.

And now as to the occasion giving rise to the dream. It had been a hot afternoon in summer ; in the evening I had given a lecture on the relation between hysteria and the per- versions, and everything which I had to say displeased me thoroughly, appeared to me stripped of all value. I was tired, found no trace of pleasure in my difficult task, and longed to get away from this rummaging in human filth, to see my children and then the beauties of Italy. In this mood I went from the auditorium to a cafe, to find some modest refreshment in the open air, for my appetite had left me.


374 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

But one of my audience went with me ; he begged for per- mission to sit with me while I drank my coffee and gulped down my roil, and began to say flattering things to me. He told me how much he had learned from me, and that he now looked at everything through different eyes, that I had cleansed the Augean stables, i.e, the theory of the neuroses, of its errors and prejudices — in short, that I was a very great man. My mood was ill-suited to his song of praise ; I struggled with disgust, and went home earlier in order to extricate myself. Before I went to sleep I turned over the leaves of Rabelais, and read a short story by G. F. Meyer entitled Die Leiden eines Knaben (The Hardships of a Boy).

The dream had been drawn from these materials, and the novel by Mej^er added the recollection of childish scenes (c/. the dream about Count Thun, last scene). The mood of the day, characterised by disgust and annoyance, is continued in the dream in the sense that it is permitted to furnish nearly the entire material for the dream content. But during the night the opposite mood of vigorous and even exaggerated self-assertion was awakened, and dissipated the earlier mood. The dream had to take such a form as to accommodate the expression of self-depreciation and exaggerated self-assertion in the same material. This compromise formation resulted in an ambiguous dream content, but Ukewise in an indifferent strain of feeling owing to the restraint of the contrasts upon each other.

According to the theory of wish-fulfilment this dream could not have happened had not the suppressed, but at the same time pleasurable, train of thought concerning personal aggrandisement been coupled with the opposing thoughts of disgust. For disagreeable things are not intended to be re- presented by the dream ; painful thoughts that have occurred during the day can force their way into the dream only if they lend a cloak to the wish-fulfilment. The dream activity can dispose of the affects in the dream thoughts in still another way, besides admitting them or reducing them to zero. It can change them into their opposite. We have already be- come acquainted with the rule of interpretation that every element of the dream may be interpreted by its opposite, as well as by itself. One can never tell at the outset whether to


THE DREAM- WORK 375

set down the one or the other ; only the connection can decide this point. A suspicion of this state of affairs has evidently- got into popular consciousness ; dream books very often pro- ceed according to the principle of contraries in their interpre- tation. Such transformation into opposites is made possible by the intimate concatenation of associations, which in our thoughts finds the idea of a thing in that of its opposite. Like every other displacement this serves the purposes of the censor, but it is also often the work of the wish-fulfilment, for wish- fulfilment consists precisely in this substitution of an un- welcome thing by its opposite. The emotions of the dream thoughts may appear in the dream transformed into their opposites just as well as the ideas, and it is probable that this inversion of emotions is usually brought about by the dream censor. The suppression and inversion of affects are useful in social life, as the current analogy for the dream censor has shown us — above all, for purposes of dissimulation. If I converse with a person to whom I must show consideration while I am saying unpleasant things to him, it is almost more important that I should conceal the expression of my emotion from him, than that I modify the wording of my thoughts. If I speak to him in polite words, but accompany them by looks or gestures of hatred and disdain, the effect which I produce upon this person is not very different from what it would have been if I had recklessly thrown my contempt into his face. Above all, then, the censor bids me suppress my emotions, and if I am master of the art of dissimulation, I can hypocritically show the opposite emotion — smiling where I should like to be angry, and pretending affection where I should like to destroy.

We already know of an excellent example of such an in- version of emotion for the purposes of the dream censor. In the dream about my uncle's beard I feel great affection for my friend R., at the same time that, and because, the dream thoughts berate him as a simpleton. We have drawn our first proof for the existence of the censor from this example of the inversion of emotions. Nor is it necessary here to assume that the dream activity creates a counter emotion of thia kind out of nothing ; it usually finds it lying ready in the material of the dream thoughts, and intensifies it solely with


376 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

the psychic force of the resisting impulse until a point is reached where the emotion can be won over for the formation of the dream. In the dream of my uncle, just mentioned, the affectionate counter emotion has probably originated from an infantile source (as the continuation of the dream would suggest), for the relation between uncle and nephew has become the source of all my friendships and hatreds, owing to the peculiar nature of my childish experiences (c/. analysis on p. 334).

There is a class of dreams deserving the designation " hypo- critical," which puts the theory of wish-fulfilment to a severe test. My attention was called to them when Mrs. Dr. M. Hilferding brought up for discussion in the Vienna Psycho- analytic Society the dream reported by Rosegger, which is reprinted below.

In Waldheimat, vol. xi., Rosegger writes as follows in his story, Fremd geniacht, p. 303 :

'• I have usually enjoyed healthful sleep, but I have lost the rest of many a night. With my modest existence as a student and literary man, I have for long years dragged along with me the shadow of a veritable tailor's life, like a ghost from which I could not become separated. I cannot say that I have occupied myself so often and so vividly with thoughts of my past during the day. An assailer of heaven and earth arising from the skin of the Philistine has other things to think about. Nor did I, as a dashing young fellow, think about my noc- turnal dreams ; only later, when I got into the habit of think- ing about everything or when the Philistine within me again asserted itself, it struck me that whenever I dreamed I was always the journeyman tailor, and was always working in my master's shop for long hours without any remuneration. As I sat there and sewed and pressed I was quite aware that I no longer belonged there, and that as a burgess of a town I had other things to attend to ; but I was for ever having vaca- tions, and going out into the country, and it was then that I sat near my boss and assisted him. I often felt badly, and regretted the loss of time which I might spend for better and more useful purposes. If something did not come up to the measure and cut exactly, I had to submit to a reproach from


THE DREAM-WORK 377

the boss. Often, as I sat with my back bent in the dingy shop, I decided to give notice that I was going to quit. On one occasion I actually did so, but the boss took no notice of it, and the next time I was again sitting near him and sewing.

" How happy I was when I woke up after such weary hours ! And I then resolved that, if this dream came intruding again, I would throw it off with energy and would cry aloud : * It is only a delusion, I am in bed, and I want to sleep.' . . . And the next night I would be sitting in the tailor shop again.

" Thus years passed with dismal regularity. While the boss and I were working at Alpelhofer's, at the house of the peasant where I began my apprenticeship, it happened that he was particularly dissatisfied with my work. * I should like to know where in the world your thoughts are 1 ' cried he, and looked at me gloomily, I thought the most sensible thing for me to do would be to get up and explain to the boss that I was with him only as a favour, and then leave. But I did not do this. I submitted, however, when the boss engaged an apprentice, and ordered me to make room for him on the bench. I moved into the comer, and kept on sewing. On the same day another tailor was engaged ; he was bigoted, as he was a Czech who had worked for us nineteen years before, and then had fallen into the lake on his way home from the public- house. When he tried to sit do\\Ti there was no room for him. I looked at the boss inquiringly, and he said to me, * You have no talent for the tailoring business ; you may go ; you are free.' My fright on that occasion was so overpowering that I awoke.

  • ' The morning gray glimmered through the clear window

of my beloved home. Objects of art surrounded me ; in the tasteful bookcase stood the eternal Homer, the gigantic Dante, the incomparable Shakespeare, the glorious Goethe — all shining and immortal. From the adjoining room resounded the clear little voices of the children, who were waking and prattling with their mother. I felt as if I had found again that idyllically sweet, that peaceful, poetical, and spiritual life which I have so often and so deeply conceived as the contem- plative fortune of mankind. And still I was vexed that J


378 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

had not given my boss notice first, instead of allowing him to discharge me.

" And how remarkable it is ; after the night when the boss * discharged me ' I enjoyed rest ; I no longer dreamed of my tailoring — of this experience which Isij in the remote past, which in its simplicity was really happy, and which, nevertheless, threw a long shadow over the later years of my life."

I. In this dream, the series of the poet who, in his yomiger years, has been a journeyman tailor, it is hard to recognise the domination of the wish-fulfilment. All the dehghtful things occurred during the waking state, while the dream seemed to drag along the ghostlike shadow of an unhappy existence which had been long forgotten. My own dreams of a similar nature have put me in a position to give some ex- planation for such dreams. As a young doctor I for a long time worked in the chemical institute without being able to accomphsh anything in that exacting science, and I therefore never think in my waking state about this unfruitful episode in my life, of which I am really ashamed. On the other hand, it has become a recurring dream with me that I am working in the laboratory, making analyses, and having experiences there, &c. ; Uke the examination dreams, these dreams are disagree- able, and they are never very distinct. During the analysis of one of these dreams my attention was directed to the word " analysis," which gave me the key to an understanding of these dreams. For I had since become an " analyst." I make analyses which are highly praised — to be sure, psycho- analyses. I then understood that when I grew proud of these analyses of the v» akmg state, and wanted to boast how much I had accomplished thereby, the dream would hold up to me at night those other unsuccessful analyses of which I had no reason to be proud ; they are the punitive dreams of the upstart, Hke those of the tailor who became a celebrated poet. But how is it possible for the dream to place itself at the service of self-criticism in its conflict with parvenu-pride, and to take as its content a rational warning instead of the fulfilment of a prohibitive vvish ? I have already mentioned that the answer to this question entails many difficulties. We may


THE DREAM-WORK 379

conclude that the foundation of the dream was at first formed by a phantasy of overweening ambition, but that only its suppression and its abashment reached the dream content in its stead. One should remember that there are masochistic tendencies in the psychic Hfe to which such an inversion might be attributed. But a more thorough investigation of the individual dreams allows the recognition of still another element. In an indistinct subordinate portion o* one of my laboratory dreams, I was just at the age which plaPl me in the most gloomy and most unsuccessful year of my professional career ; I still had no position and no means of support, when I suddenly found that I had the choice of many women whom I could marry ! I was, therefore, young again, and, what is more, she was young again — ihe v/oman who has shared with me all these hard years. In this way one of the wishes which constantly frets the heart of the ageing man was revealed as the unconscious dream inciter. The struggle raging in the other psychic strata between vanity and self-criticism has certainly determined the dream content, but the more deeply- rooted wish of youth has alone made it possible as a dream. One may say to himself even in the waking state : To be sure it is very nice now, and times were once very hard ; but it was nice, too, even then, you were still so yoimg.

In considering dreams reported by a poet one may often assume that he has excluded from the report those details which he perceived as disturbing and which he considered unessential. His dreams, then, give us a riddle which could be readily solved if we had an exact reproduction of the dream content.

O. Rank has called my attention to the fact that in Grimm's fairy tale of the vahant Httle tailor, or " Seven at one Stroke," a very similar dream of an upstart is related. The tailor, who became the hero and married the king's daughter, dreamed one night while with the princess, his wife, about his trade ; the latter, becoming suspicious, ordered armed guards for the follo\^dng night, who should listen to what was spoken in the dream, and who should do away with the dreamer. But the little tailor was warned, and knew enough to correct his dream.

The complex of processes — of suspension, subtraction




380 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

and inversion — through which the affects of the dream thouglits finally become those of the dream, may well be observed in the suitable synthesis of completely analysed dreams. I shall here treat a few cases of emotional excitement in the dream which furnish examples of some of the cases discussed.

In the dream about the odd task which the elder Bruecke gives me to perform — of preparing my own pelvis — the appropriate norror is absent in the dream itself. Now this is a wish -fulfilment in various senses. Preparation signifies self- analysis, which I accomplish, as it were, by publishing my book on dreams, and which has been so disagreeable to me that I have already postponed printing the finished manuscript for more than a year. The wish is now actuated that I may disregard this feeHng of opposition, and for that reason I feel no horror (Grauen, which also means to grow grey) in the dream. I should also Hke to escape the horror — in the other (German) sense — of growing grey ; for I am already growing grey fast, and the grey in my hair warns me withal to hold back no longer. For we know that at the end of the dream the thought secures expression in that I should have to leave my children to get to the goal of their difficult journey.

In the two dreams that shift the expression of satisfaction to the moments immediately after awakening, this satisfac- tion is in the one case motivated by the expectation that I am now going to learn what is meant by " I have already dreamed of it," and refers in reaUty to the birth of my first child, and in the other case it is motivated by the conviction that *' that which has been announced by a sign " is now going to happen, and the latter satisfaction is the same which I felt at the arrival of my second son. Here the same emotions that dominated in the dream thoughts have remained in the dream, but the process is probably not so simple as this in every dream. If the two analyses are examined a httle, it will be seen that this satisfaction which does not succumb to the censor receives an addition from a source which must fear the censor ; and the emotion drawn from this source would certainly arouse opposition if it did not cloak itself in a similar emotion of satisfaction that is wiUingly admitted, if it did not, as it were, sneak in behind the other. Unfortunately, I am


THE DREAM- WORK 381

unable to show this in the case of the actual dream specimen, but an example from another province will make my meaning intelligible. I construct the following case : Let there be a person near me whom I hate so that a strong feeling arises in me that I should be glad if something were to happen to him. But the moral part of my nature does not yield to this sentiment ; I do not dare to express this ill- wish, and when something happens to him which he does not deserve, I suppress my satisfaction at it, and force myself to expressions and thoughts of regret. Everyone will have found himself in such a position. But now let it happen that the hated person draws upon himself a well-deserved misfortune by some fault ; now I may give free rein to my satisfaction that he has been visited by a just punishment, and I express opinion in the matter which coincides with that of many other people who are impartial. But I can see that my satisfaction turns out to be more intense than that of the others, for it has received an addition from another source — from my hatred, which has hitherto been prevented by the inner censor from releasing an emotion, but which is no longer prevented from doing so under the altered circumstances. This case is generally typi- cal of society, where persons who have aroused antipathy or are adherents of an unpopular minority incur guilt. Their punish- ment does not correspond to their transgression but to their transgression plus the ill-will directed against them that has hitherto been ineffective. Those who execute the punish- ment doubtless commit an injustice, but they are prevented from becoming aware of it by the satisfaction arising from the release within themselves of a suppression of long standing. In such cases the emotion is justified according to its quality, but not according to its quantity ; and the self-criticism that has been appeased as to the one point is only too ready to neglect examination of the second point. Once you have opened the doors, more people get through than you originally intended to admit.

The striking feature of the neurotic character, that in- citements capable of producing ernotion bring about a result that is qualitatively justified but is quantitatively excessive, is to be explained in this manner, in so far as it admits of a psychological explanation at all. The excess is due to sources


882 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

of emotion which have remained unconscious and have hitherto been suppressed, which can establish in the associations a connection with the actual incitement, and which can thus find release for its emotions through the vent which the un- objectionable and admitted source of emotion opens. Our attention is thus called to the fact that we may not consider the relation of mutual restraint as obtaining exclusively between the suppressed and the suppressing psychic judg- ment. The cases in which the two judgments bring about a pathological emotion by co-operation and mutual strength- ening deserve just as much attention. The reader is requested to apply these hints regarding the psychic mechanism for the purpose of understanding the expressions of emotion in the dream. A satisfaction which makes its appearance in the dream, and which may readily bo found at its proper place in the dream thoughts, may not always be fully explained by means of this reference. As a rule it will be necessary to search for a second source in the dream thoughts, upon which the pressure of the censor is exerted, and which under the pres- sure would have resulted not in satisfaction, but in the opposite emotion — which, however, is enabled by the presence of the first source to free its satisfaction affect from suppression and to reinforce the satisfaction springing from the other source. Hence emotions in the dream appear as though formed by the confluence of several tributaries, and as though over-determined in reference to the material of the dream thoughts ; sources of affect which can furnish the same affect join each other in the dream acHvity in order to produce it*

\ Some insight into these tangled relations is gained from analysis of the admirable dream in which " Non vixit " con- stitutes the central point (cf. p. 333). The expressions of emo- tion in this dream, which are of different quahties, are forced together at two points in the manifest content. Hostile and painful feelings (in the dream itself v/e have the phrase, " seized by strange emotions ") overlap at the point where I destroy my antagonistic friend with the two words. At the end of the dream I am greatly pleased, and am quite ready to believe in a possibility which I recognise as absurd when I am awake,

  • As analogy to this, I have since explained the extraordinary effect of

pleasure produced by " tendency " wit.


THE DREAM-WORK 883

namely, that there are revenants who can be put out of the way by a mere wish.

I have not yet mentioned the occasion for this dream. It is an essential one, and goes a long \^y towards explaining it. I had received the news from my friend in Berlin (whom I have designated as F.) that he is about to undergo an opera- tion and that relatives of his Kving in Vienna would give me information about his condition. The first few messages after the operation were not reassuring, and caused me anxiety. I should have liked best to go to him myself, but at that time I was affected with a painful disease which made every move- ment a torture for me. I learn from the dream thoughts that I feared for the life of my dear friend. I knew that his only sister, with whom I had not been acquainted, had died early after the shortest possible illness. (In the dream j^. tells about his sister, and says : "In three-quarters of an hour she was dead.") I must have imagined that his own constitution was not much stronger, and that I should soon be travelling, in spite of my health, in answer to far worse news — and that I should arrive too late, for which I should reproach myself for ever.* This reproach about arriving too late has become the central point of the dream, but has been represented in a scene in which the honoured teacher of my student years — Bruecke — reproaches me for the same thing with a terrible look from his blue eyes. The cause of this deviation from the scene will soon be clear ; the dream cannot reproduce the scene itseK in the manner in which it occurred to me. To be sure, it leaves the blue eyes to the other man, but it gives me the part of the annihilator, an inversion which is obviously the result of the wish-fulfilment. My concern for the Hfe of my friend, my self-reproach for not having gone to him, my shame (he had repeatedly come to me in Vienna), my desire to consider m^^sell excused on account of my illness — all of this makes up a tempest of feeling which is distinctly felt in sleep, and which raged in every part of the dream thoughts.

But there was another thing about the occasion for the

  • It is this fancy from the unconscious dream thoughts which peremp-

torily demands non vivit instead of non vixit. " You have come too late, he is no longer alive." The fact that the manifest situation also tends towards " non vivit " has been mentioned on page 334.


384 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

dream which had quite the opposite effect. With the un- favourable news during the first days of the operation, I also received the injunction to speak to no one about the whole afEair, which hurt my feelings, for it betrayed an unnecessary distrust of my discretion. I knew, of course, that this request did not proceed from my friend, but that it was due to clumsi- ness or excessive timidity on the part of the messenger, but the concealed reproach made me feel very badly because it was not altogether unjustified. Only reproaches which " have something in them " have power to irritate, as everyone knows. For long before, in the case of two persons who were friendly to each other and who were willing to honour me with their friendship, I had quite needlessly tattled what the one had said about the other ; to be sure this incident had nothing to do with the affairs of my friend F. Nor have I forgotten the reproaches which I had to Hsten to at that time. One of the two friends between whom I was the trouble-maker was Professor Fleischl ; the other one I may name Joseph, a name which was also borne by my friend and antagonist P., who appears in the dream.

Two dream elements, first inconspicuously, and secondly the question of Fl. as to how much of his affairs I have mentioned to P., give evidence of the reproach that I am incapable of keeping anything to myself. But it is the admixture of these recollections which transposes the reproach for arriving too late from the present to the time when I was living in Bruecke's laboratory ; and by replacing the second person in the annihi- lation scene of the dream by a Joseph I succeed in representing not only the first reproach that I arrive too late, but also a second reproach, which is more rigorously suppressed, that I keep no secrets. The condensing and replacing activity of this dream, as well as the motives for it, are now obvious.

My anger at the injunction not to give anything away, originally quite insignificant, receives confirmation from sources that flow far below the surface, and so become a swollen stream of hostile feelings towards persons who are in reality dear to me. The source which furnishes the confirma- tion is to be found in childhood. I have already said that my friendships as well a§ my enmities with persons of my own age go back to my childish relations with my nephew, who


THE DREAM- WORK 385

was a year older than I. In these he had the upper hand, and I early learned how to defend myself ; we lived together inseparably, loved each other, and at the same time, as state- ments of older persons testify, scuffled with and accused each other. In a certain sense all my friends are incarnations of this first figure, " which early appeared to my blurred sight " ; they are all revenants. My nephew himself returned in the years of adolescence, and then we acted Caesar and Brutus. An intimate friend and a hated enemy have always been indispensable requirements for my emotional life ; I have always been able to create them anew, and not infrequently my childish ideal has been so closely approached that friend and enemy coincided in the same person, not simultaneously, of course, nor in repeated alterations, as had been the case in my first childhood years.

I do not here wish to trace the manner in which a recent occasion for emotion may reach back to one in childhood — through connections like these I have just described — ^in order to find a substitute for itself, in this earher occasion for the sake of increased emotional effect. Such an investigation would belong to the psychology of the unconscious, and would find its place in a psychological explanation of neuroses. Let us assume for the purposes of dream interpretation that a childhood recollection makes its appearance or is formed by the fancy, say to the following effect : Two children get into a fight on account of some object — just what we shall leave undecided, although memory or an allusion of memory has a very definite one in mind — and each one claims that he got to it first, and that he, therefore, has first right to it. They come to blows, for might makes right ; and, according to the intimation of the dream, I must have known that I was in the wrong {noticing the error myself), but this time I remain the stronger and take possession of the battlefield ; the defeated combatant hurries to my father, his grandfather, and accuses me, and I defend myself with the words which I know from my father : "7 hit him because he hit me.'* Thus this re- collection, or more probably fancy, which forces itself upon my attention in the course of the analysis — ^from my present knowledge I myself do not know how — becomes an inter- mediary of the dream thoughts that collects the emotional

2 B


386 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

excitements obtaining in the dream thoughts, as the bowl of a fountain collects the streams of water flowing into it. From this point the dream thoughts flow along the following paths :

    • It serves you quite right if you had to vacate your place

for me ; why did you try to force me out of my place ? I don't need you ; I'll soon find someone else to play with," &c. Then the ways are opened through wliich these thoughts again follow into the representation of the dream. For such an " ote-toi que je m'y mette " I once had to reproach my de- ceased friend Joseph. He had been next to me in the line of promotion in Bruecke's laboratory, but advancement there was very slow. Neither of the two assistants budged from his place, and youth became impatient. My friend, who knew that his time of life was Umited, and who was bound by no tie to his superior, was a man seriously ill ; the wish for his removal permitted an objectionable interpretation — he might be moved by something besides promotion. Several years before, the same wish for freedom had naturally been more intense in my own case ; wherever in the world there are gradations of rank and advancement, the doors are opened for wishes needing suppression. Shakespeare's Prince Hal cannot get rid of the temptation to see how the crown fits even at the bed of his sick father. But, as may easily be understood, the dream punishes this ruthless wish not upon me but upon him.*

" As he was ambitious, I slew him." As he could not wait for the other man to make way for him, he himself has been put out of the way. I harbour these thoughts immediately after attending the unveiling of the statue to the other man at the university. A part of the satisfaction which I feel in the dream may therefore be interpreted : Just punishment ; it served you right.

At the funeral of this friend a young man made the follow- ing remark, which seemed out of place : " The preacher talked as though the world couldn't exist without this one human being." The displeasure of the sincere man, whose sorrow

  • It is striking that the name Joseph plays such a large part in my

dreams (see the dream about my uncle). I can hide my ego in the dream behind persons of this name with particular ease, for Joseph was the nam© of the dream interpreter in the Bible.


THE DREAM-WORK 887

has been marred by the exaggeration, begins to arise in him. But with this speech are connected the dream thoughts : " No one is really irreplaceable ; how many men have I already escorted to the grave, but I am still living, I have survived them all, I claim the field." Such a thought at the moment when I fear that when I travel to see him I shall find my friend no longer among the living, permits only of the further development that I am glad I am surviving someone, that it is not I who have died, but he — that I occupy the field as I once did in the fancied scene in childhood. This satis- faction, coming from sources in childhood, at the fact that I claim the field, covers the larger part of the emotion which appears in the dream. I am glad that I am the survivor — I express this sentiment with the naive egotism of the husband who says to his wife : " If one of us dies, I shall move to Paris." It is such a matter of course for my expectation that I am not to be the one.

It cannot be denied that great self-control is necessary to interpret one's dreams and to report them. It is necessary for you to reveal yourself as the one scoundrel among all the noble souls with whom you share the breath of life. Thus, I consider it quite natural that revenants exist only as long as they are wanted, and that they can be obviated by a wish. This is the thing for which my friend Joseph has been punished. But the revenants are the successive incarnations of the friend of my childhood ; I am also satisfied at the fact that I have replaced this person for myself again and again, and a substi- tute will doubtless soon be found even for the friend whom I am about to lose. No one is irreplaceable.

But what has the dream censor been doing meanwhile ? Why does it not raise the most emphatic objection to a train of thought characterised by such brutal selfishness, and change the satisfaction that adheres to it into profound repugnance ? I think it is because other unobjectionable trains of thought likewise result in satisfaction and cover the emotion coming from forbidden infantile sources with their own. In another stratum of thought I said to myself at that festive unveiling :

  • ' I have lost so many dear friends, some through death, some

through the dissolution of friendship — is it not beautiful that I have found substitutes for them, that I have gained one who


388 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

means more to me than the others could, whom I shall from now on always retain, at the age when it is not easy to form new friendships ? " The satisfaction that I have found this substitute for lost friends can be taken over into the dream without interference, but behind it there sneaks in the inimical satisfaction from the infantile source. Childish affection un- doubtedly assists in strengthening the justifiable affection of to-day ; but childish hatred has also found its way into the representation.

But besides this there is distinct reference in the dream to another chain of thoughts, which may manifest itself in the form of satisfaction. My friend had shortly before had a little daughter bom, after long waiting. I knew how much he had grieved for the sister whom he lost at an early age, and I wrote to him that he would transfer to this child the love he had felt for her. This Httle girl would at last make him forget his irreparable loss.

Thus this chain also connects with the intermediary thoughts of the latent dream content, from which the ways spread out in opposite directions : No one is irreplaceable. You see, nothing but revenants ; all that one has lost comes back. And now the bonds of association between the contradictory ele- ments of the dream thoughts are more tightly drawn by the accidental circumstance that the Httle daughter of my friend bears the same name as the girl playmate of my own youth, who was just my own age and the sister of my oldest friend and antagonist. I have heard the name " Pauline " with satisfaction, and in order to aUude to this coincidence I have replaced one Joseph in the dream by another Joseph, and have not overlooked the similarity in sound between tbe names Fleischl and F. From this point a train of thought rims to the naming of my own children. I insisted that the names should not be chosen according to the fashion of the day but should be determined by regard for the memory of beloved persons. The children's names make them " revenants. And, finally, is not the having of children the only access to immortality for us aU ?

I shall add only a few remarks about the emotions of the dream from another point of view. An emotional inclination — ^what we call a mood — ^may occur in the mind of a sleeping


THE DREAM- WORK 389

person as its dominating element, and may induce a corre- sponding mood in the dream. This mood may be the result of the experiences and thoughts of the day, or it may be of somatic origin ; in either case it will be accompanied by the chains of thought that correspond to it. The fact that in the one case this presentation content conditions the emotional inclination primarily, and that in the other case it is brought about secondarily by a disposition of feeHng of somatic origin remains without influence upon the formation of the dream. This formation is always subject to the restriction that it can represent only a wish-fulfilment, and that it may put its psychic motive force at the service only of the wish. The mood that is actually present will receive the same treatment as the sen- sation which actually comes to the surface during sleep (c/. p. 198), which is either neglected or reinterpreted so as to signify a wish-fulfilment. Disagreeable moods during sleep become a motive force of the dream by actuating energetic wishes, which the dream must fulfil. The material to which they are attached is worked over until it finally become^ suit- able for the expression of the fulfilled wish. The more intense and the more dominating the element of the disagreeable mood in the dream thought, the more surely will the wish-impulses that have been most rigorously suppressed take advantage of the opportunity to secure representation, for they find that the difficult part of the work necessary in securing representa- tion has already been accomplished in that the repugnance is already actually in existence, which they would otherwise have had to produce by their own effort. With this discus- sion we again touch upon the problem of anxiety dreams, which we may regard as bounding the province of the dream activity.

(h) Secondary Elaboration

We may at last proceed to an exposition of the fourth of the factors which take part in the formation of the dream.

If we continue the examination of the dream content, in the manner already outlined — that is, by testing striking occur- rences as to their origin in the dream thoughts — we encoimter elements which can be explained only by making an entirely


390 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

new assumption. I have in mind cases where one shows astonishment, anger, or resistance in a dream, and that, too, against a party of the dream content itself. Most of these exercises of the critical faculty in dreams are not directed against the dream content, but prove to be portions of dream material which have been taken over and suitably made use of, as I have shown by fitting examples. Some things of this sort, however, cannot be disposed of in such a way ; their correlative cannot be found in the dream material. What, for instance, is meant by the criticism not infrequent in dreams : " Well, it's only a dream " ? This is a genuine criticism of the dream such as I might make if I were awake. Not at all infrequently it is the forerunner to waking ; still oftener it is preceded by a painful feeling, which subsides when the cer- tainty of the dream state has been estabhshed. The thought : " But it's only a dream," occurring during the dream, has the same object which is meant to be conveyed on the stage through the mouth of the beautiful Helen von Offenbach ; it wants to minimise what has just occurred and secure in- dulgence for what is to follow. Its purpose is to reassure and, so to speak, put to sleep a certain instance wliich at the given moment has every reason to be active and to forbid the con- tinuation of the dream — or the scene. It is pleasanter to go on sleeping and to tolerate the dream, " because it's only a dream anyway." I imagine that the disparaging criticism, " But it's only a dream," enters into the dream at the moment when the censor, which has never been quite asleep, feels that it has been surprised by the already admitted dream. It is too late to suppress the dream, and the instance therefore carries with it that note of fear or of painful feeling which pre- sents itself in the dream. It is an expression of the esyrit d'escalier on the part of the psychic censor.

In this example we have faultless proof that not every- thing which the dream contains comes from the dream thoughts, but that a psycliic function which cannot be differentiated from our waking thoughts may make contributions to the dream content. The question now is, does this occur only in alto- gether exceptional cases, or does the psychic instance which is usually active only as censor take a regular part in the formation of dreams ?


THE DREAM WORK 391

One must decide unhesitatingly for the latter view. It is indisputable that the censoring instance, whose influence we have so far recognised only in limitations and omissions in the dream content, is also responsible for interpolations and amplifications in this content. Often these interpolations are easily recognised ; they are reported irresolutely, prefaced by an "as if/' they are not in themselves particularly vivid, and are regularly inserted at points where they may serve to connect two portions of the dream content or improve the sequence between two sections of the dream. They manifest less abihty to stick in the memory than genuine products of the dream material ; if the dream is subject to forgetting, they are the first to fall away, and I am strongly incKned to beHeve that our frequent complaint that we have dreamed so much, that we have forgotten most of this and have remembered only fragments of it, rests on the immediate falling away of just these cementing thoughts. In a complete analysis these interpolations are often betrayed by the fact that no material is to be found for them in the dream thoughts. But after careful examination I must designate this case as a rare one ; usually interpolated thoughts can be traced to an element in the dream thoughts, which, however, can claim a place in the dream neither on account of its own merit nor on account of over-determination. The psychic function in dream forma- tion, which we are now considering, aspires to the original creations only in the most extreme cases ; whenever possible, it makes use of anything available it can find in the dream material.

The thing which distinguishes and reveals this part of the dream activity is its tendency. This function proceeds in a manner similar to that which the poet spitefully attributes to the philosopher ; with its scraps and rags, it stops up the breaches in the structure, of the dream. The result of its effort is that the dream loses the appearance of absurdity and incoherence, and approaches the pattern of an intelligible experience. But the effort is not always crowned with com- plete success. Thus dreams occur which may seem fault- lessly logical and correct upon superficial examination ; they start from a possible situation, continue it by means of consis- tent changes, and end up — ^although this is very rare — ^with


392 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

a not unnatural conclusion. These dreams have been subjected to the most thorough elaboration at the hands of a psychic function similar to our waking thought ; they seem to have a meaning, but this meaning is very far removed from the real signification of the dream. If they are analysed, one is convinced that the secondary elaboration has distorted the material very freely, and has preserved its proper relations as little as possible. These are the dreams which have, so to speak, already been interpreted before we subject them to waking interpretation. In other dreams this purposeful elaboration has been successful only to a certain point ; up to this point consistency seems to be dominant, then the dream becomes nonsensical or confused, and perhaps finally it lifts itself for a second time in its course to an appearance of rationahty. In still other dreams the elaboration has failed completely ; we find ourselves helpless in the presence of a senseless mass of fragmentary contents.

I do not wish to deny to this fourth dream-moulding power, which will soon seem to us a familiar one — ^it is in reality the only one among the four dream-moulders with which we are familiar, — I do not wish to deny this fourth factor the capabiUty of creatively furnishing the dream with new contributions. But surely its influence, like that of the others, manifests itself preponderatingly in the preferring and choosing of already created psychic material in the dream thoughts. Now there is a case where it is spared the work, for the most part, of building, as it were, a fa9ade to the dream, by the fact that such a structure, waiting to be used, is already to be found complete in the material of the dream thoughts. The element of the dream thoughts which I have in mind, I am in the habit of designating as a " phantasy " ; perhaps I shall avoid misunderstanding if I immediately adduce the day dream of waking life as an analogy.* The part played by this element in our psychic life has not yet been fully recognised and in- vestigated by the psychiatrists ; in this study M. Benedikt has, it seems to me, made a highly promising beginning. The sig- nificance of the day dream has not yet escaped the unerring insight of poets ; the description of the day dreams of one of his subordinate characters which A. Daudet gives us in

  • Reve, petit roman — day-dream, story.


THE DREAM- WORK 398

Nabob is universally known. A study of the psychoneuroses discloses the astonishing fact that these phantasies or day dreams are the immediate predecessors of hysterical symptoms — at least of a great many of them ; hysterical symptoms directly depend not upon the memories themselves, but upon phantasies built on the basis of memories. The frequent occurrence of conscious day phantasies brings these formations within the scope of our knowledge ; but just as there are such conscious phantasies, so there are a great many un- conscious ones, which must remain unconscious on account of their content and on account of their origin from repressed material. A more thorough examination into the character of these day phantasies shows with what good reason the same name has been given to these formations as to the pro- ducts of our nocturnal thought, — dreams. They possess an essential part of their properties in common with nocturnal dreams ; an examination of them would really have afforded the shortest and best approach to an understanding of night dreams.

Like dreams, they are fulfilments of wishes ; like dreams a good part of them are based upon the impressions of childish experiences ; Uke dreams their creations enjoy a certain amount of indulgence from the censor. If we trace their formation, we see how the wish motive, which is active in their production, has taken the material of which they are built, mixed it to- gether, rearranged it, and composed it into a new unit. They bear the same relation to the childish memories, to which they go back, as some of the quaint palaces of Rome bear to the ancient ruins, whose freestones and pillars have furnished the material for the structure built in modem form.

In the " secondary elaboration " of the dream content which we have ascribed to our fourth dream-making factor, we again find the same activity which in the creation of day dreams is allowed to manifest itself unhampered by other influences. We may say without further prehminary that this fourth factor of ours seeks to form something Uke a day dream from the material at hand. Where, however, such a day dream has already been formed in connection with the dream thought, this factor of the dream-work will preferably get control of it, and strive to introduce it into the dream


394 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

content. There are dreams which consist merely of the repe- tition of such a day fancy, a fancy which has perhaps remained miconscious — as, for instance, the dream of the boy that he is riding with the heroes of the Trojan war in a war chariot. In my dream *' Autodidasker," at least the second part of the dream is the faithful repetition of a day phantasy — Charmless in itself — about my deahngs with Professor N. The fact that the phantasy thus provided more often forms only one part of the dream, or that only one part of the phantasy that makes its way to the dream content, has its origin in the complexity of the conditions which the dream must satisfy at its genesis. On the whole, the phantasy is treated like any other component of the latent material ; still it is often recognisable in the dream as a whole. In my dreams parts often occur which are empha- sized by an impression different from that of the rest. They seem to me to be in a state of flux, to be more coherent and at the same time more transient than other pieces of the same dream. I know that these are unconscious phantasies which get into the dream by virtue of their association, but I have never succeeded in registering such a phantasy. For the rest these phantasies, like all other component parts of the dream thoughts, are jumbled together and condensed, one covered up by another, and the like ; but there are all degrees, from the case where they may constitute the dream content or at least the dream fa9ade unchanged to the opposite case, where they are represented in the dream content by only one of their elements or by a remote allusion to such an element. The extent to which the phantasies are able to withstand the de- mands of the censor and the tendency to condensation are, of course, also decisive of their fate among the dream thoughts.

In my choice of examples for dream analysis I have, wherever possible, avoided those dreams in which unconscious fancies play a somewhat important part, because the intro- duction of this psychic element would have necessitated ex- tensive discussion of the psychology of unconscious thought. But I cannot entirely omit the *' phantasy " even in this matter of examples, because it often gets fully into the dream and still more often distinctly pervades it. I may mention one more dream, which seems to be composed of two distinct and opposed phantasies, overlapping each other at certain places,


THE DREAM-WORK 395

of which the first is superficial, while the second becomes, as it were, the interpreter of the first.*

The dream — it is the only one for which I have no careful notes — is about to this effect : The dreamer — an unmarried young man — ^is sitting in an inn, which is seen correctly ; several persons come to get him, among them someone who wants to arrest him. He says to his table companions, " I will pay later, I am coming back." But they call to him, laughing scornfully : " We know all about that ; that's what everybody says." One guest calls after him : " There goes another one." He is then led to a narrow hall, where he finds a woman with a child in her arms. One of his escorts says : " That is Mr. Miiller." A commissioner or some other official is running through a bundle of tickets or papers repeating Miiller, Miiller, Miiller. At last the commissioner asks him a question, which he answers with " Yes." He then takes a look at the woman, and notices that she has grown a large beard.

The two component parts are here easily separated. What is superficial is the phantasy of being arrested ; it seems to be newly created by the dream- work. But behind it appears the phantasy of marriage, and this material, on the contrary, has undergone but shght change at the hands of the dream activity. The features which are common to both phantasies come into distinct prominence as in a Galton's composite photograph. The promise of the bachelor to come back to his place at the club table, the scepticism of the drinking com- panions, sopliisticated in their many experiences, the calling after : " There goes (marries) another one," — all these features can easily be capable of the other interpretation. Likewise the affirmative answer given to the official. Running through the bundle of papers with the repetition of the name, corre-

  • I have analysed a good example of a dream of this kind having its

origin in the stratification of several phantasies, in the Bmchstiick einer HysUrie Analyse, 1905. Moreover I undervalued the significance of such phantasies for dream formation, as long as I was working chiefly with my own dreams, which were based rarely upon day dreams, most frequently upon discussions and mental conflicts. With other persons it is often much easier to prove the full analogy between the nocturnal dream and the day dreami. It is often possible in an hysterical patient to replace an attack by a dream ; it is then obvious that the phantasy of day dreams is the first step for both psychic formations.


396 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

eponds to a subordinate but well-recognised feature of the marriage ceremonies — the reading aloud of the congratulatory telegrams which have arrived irregularly, and which, of course, are all addressed to the same name. In the matter of the bride's personal appearance in this dream, the marriage phantasy has even got the better of the arrest phantasy which conceals it. The fact that this bride finally displays a beard, I can explain from an inquiry — I had no chance to make an analysis. The dreamer had on the previous day crossed the street with a friend who was just as hostile to marriage as himself, and had called his friend's attention to a beautiful brunette who was coming towards them. The friend had remarked : " Yes, if only these women wouldn't get beards, as they grow older, Hke their fathers."

Of course there is no lack of elements in this dream, on which the dream disfigurement has done more thorough work. Thus the speech : "I will pay later," may have reference to the conduct of the father-in-law in the matter of dowry — ^which is imcertain. Obviously all kinds of scruples are preventing the dreamer from surrendering himself with pleasure to the phantasy of marrying. One of these apprehensions — ^lest one's freedom be lost when one marries — has embodied itself in the transformation to a scene of arrest.

Let us return to the thesis that the dream activity likes to make use of a phantasy which is finished and at hand, instead of creating one afresh from the material of the dream thoughts ; we shall perhaps solve one of the most interesting riddles of the dream if we keep this fact in mind. I have on page 21 related the dream of Maury,*^ who is struck on the back of the neck with a stick, and who awakes in the possession of a long dream — a complete romance from the time of the French Revolution. Since the dream is represented as co- herent and as expHcable by reference to the disturbing stimulus alone, about the occurrence of which stimulus the sleeper could suspect nothing, only one assumption seems to be left, namely, that the whole richly elaborated dream must have been com- posed and must have taken place in the short space of time between the falling of the stick on Maury's cervical vertebra and the awakening induced by the blow. We should not feel justified in ascribing such rapidity to the waking mental


THE DREAM-WORK 897

activity, and bo are inclined to credit the dream activity with a remarkable acceleration of thought as one of its characteristics. Against this inference, which rapidly becomes popular, more recent authors (Le Lorrain,*^ Egger,^° and others) have made emphatic objection. They partly doubt the correctness with which the dream was reported by Maury, and partly try to show that the rapidity of our waking mental capacity is quite as great as that which we may concede without reserva- tion to the dream activity. The discussion raises fimdamental questions, the settlement of which I do not think concerns me closely. But I must admit that the argument, for instance, of Egger has not impressed me as convincing against the guillotine dream of Maury. I would suggest the following explanation of this dream : Would it be very improbable that the dream of Maury exhibits a phantasy which had been pre- served in his memory in a finished state for years, and which was awakened — I should rather say alluded to — at the moment when he became aware of the disturbing stimulus ? The diffi- culty of composing such a long story with all its details in the exceedingly short space of time which is here at the disposal of the dreamer then disappears ; the story is already com- posed. If the stick had struck Maury's neck when he was awake there would perhaps have been time for the thought : " Why, that's like being guillotined." But as he is struck by the stick while asleep, the dream activity quickly finds occasion in the incoming stimulus to construct a wish-fulfil- ment, as though it thought (this is to be taken entirely figura- tively) : " Here is a good opportimity to realise the wish phantasy which I formed at such and such a time while I was reading." That this dream romance is just such a one as a youth would be Hkely to fashion under the influence of power- ful impressions does not seem questionable to me. Who would not have been carried away — especially a Frenchman and a student of the history of civilisation — by descriptions of the Reign of Terror, in which the aristocracy, men and women, the flower of the nation, showed that it was possible to die with a Hght heart, and preserved their quick wit and refine- ment of Hfe until the fatal summons ? How tempting to fancy one's self in the midst of all this as one of the young men who parts from his lady with a kiss of the hand to climb


398 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

fearless!}^ upon the scaffold ! Or perhaps ambition is the ruling motive of the phantasy — the ambition to put one's self in the place of one of those powerful individuals who merely, by the force of their thinking and their fiery eloquence, rule the city in which the heart of mankind is beating so convul- sively, who are impelled by conviction to send thousands of human beings to their death, and who pave the way for the transformation of Europe ; who, meanwhile, are not sure of their own heads, and may one day lay them under the knife of the guillotine, perhaps in the role of one of the Girondists or of the hero Danton ? The feature, " accompanied by an innumerable multitude," which is preserved in the memory, seems to show that Maury's phantasy is an ambitious one of this sort.

But this phantasy, which has for a long time been ready, need not be experienced again in sleep ; it sufl&ces if it is, so to speak, " touched off." What I mean is this : If a few notes are struck and someone says, as in Don Juan : " That is from Figaro's Wedding by Mozart," memories suddenly surge up within me, none of which I can in the next moment recall to consciousness. The characteristic phrase serves as an en- trance station from which a complete whole is simultaneously put in motion. It need not be different in the case of un- conscious thought. The psychic station which opens the way to the whole guillotine phantasy is set in motion by the waking stimulus. This phantasy, however, is not passed in review during sleep, but only afterwards in waking memory. Upon awakening one remembers the details of the phantasy, which in the dream was regarded as a whole. There is, withal, no means of making sure that one really has remembered anything which has been dreamed. The same explanation, namely, that one is dealing with finished phantasies which have been set in motion as wholes by the waking stimulus, may be apphed to still other dreams which proceed from a waking stimulus — for instance to the battle dream of Napoleon at the explosion of the bomb. I do not mean to assert that all waking dreams admit of this explanation, or that the problem of the accelerated discharge of ideas in dreams is to be altogether solved in this manner.

We must not neglect the relation of this secondary elabora-


THE DREAM-WOKK 399

tion of the dream content to the other factors in the dream actvity. Might the procedure be as follows : the dream- creating factors, the impulse to condense, the necessity of evading the censor, and the regard for dramatic fitness in the psychic resources of the dream — these first of all create a pro- visional dream content, and this is then subsequently modified until it satisfies the exactions of a second instance ? This is hardly probable. It is necessary rather to assume that the demands of this instance are from the very beginning lodged in one of the conditions which the dream must satisfy, and that this condition, just like those of condensation, of censor- ship, and of dramatic fitness, simultaneously affect the whole mass of material in the dream thoughts in an inductive and selective manner. But of the four conditions necessary for the dream formation, the one last recognised is the one whose exactions appear to be least binding upon the dream. That this psychic function, which undertakes the so-called secondary elaboration of the dream content is identical with the work of our waking thought may be inferred with great probability from the following consideration : — Our waking (foreconscious) thought behaves towards a given object of perception just exactly as the function in question behaves towards the dream content. It is natural for our waking thought to bring about order in the material of perception, to construct relationships, and to make it subject to the re- quirements of an intelligible coherence. Indeed, we go too far in doing this ; the tricks of prestidigitators deceive us by taking advantage of this intellectual habit. In our effort to put together the sensory impressions which are offered to us in a comprehensible manner, we often commit the most bizarre errors and even distort the truth of the material we have before us. Proofs for this are too generally familiar to need more extended consideration here. We fail to see errors in a printed page because our imagination pictures the proper words. The editor of a widely-read French paper is said to have risked the wager that he could print the words " from in front " or " from behind " in every sentence of a long article without any of his readers noticing it. He won the wager. A curious ex- ample of incorrect associations years ago caught my attention in a newspaper. After the session of the French chamber,


400 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

at which Dupuy quelled a panic caused by the explosion of a bomb thrown into the hall by an anarchist by saying calmly, " La seance continue," the visitors in the gallery were asked to testify as to their impression of the attempted assassination. Among them were two provincials. One of these told that immediately after the conclusion of a speech he had heard a detonation, but had thought that it was the custom in parlia- ment to fire a shot whenever a speaker had finished. The other, who had apparently already heard several speakers, had got the same idea, with the variation, however, that he supposed this shooting to be a sign of appreciation following an especially successful speech.

Thus the psychic instance which approaches the dream content with the demand that it must be intelligible, which subjects it to preliminary interpretation, and in doing so brings about a complete misunderstanding of it, is no other than our normal thought. In our interpretation the rule will be in every case to disregard the apparent coherence of the dream as being of suspicious origin, and, whether the elements are clear or confused, to follow the same regressive path to the dream material.

We now learn upon what the scale of quality in dreams from confusion to clearness — mentioned above, page 305 — essentially depends. Those parts of the dream with which the secondary elaboration has been able to accomplish some- thing seem to us clear ; those where the power of this activity has failed seem confused. Since the confused parts of the dream are often also those which are less vividly imprinted, we may conclude that the secondary dream-work is also re- sponsible for a contribution to the plastic intensity of the individual dream structures.

If I were to seek an object of comparison for the definitive formation of the dream as it manifests itself under the in- fluence of normal thinking, none better offers itself than those mysterious inscriptions with which Die Fliegende Blaetter has so long amused its readers. The reader is supposed to find a Latin inscription concealed in a given sentence which, for the sake of contrast, is in dialect and as scurrilous as possible in significance. For this purpose the letters are taken from their groupings in syllables and are newly arranged. Now and then


THE DREAM-WORK 401

a genuine Latin word results, at other places we think that we have abbreviations of such words before us, and at still other places in the inscription we allow ourselves to be carried along over the senselessness of the disjointed letters by the semblance of disintegrated portions or by breaks in the inscription, K we do not wish to respond to the jest we must give up looking for an inscription, must take the letters as we see them, and must compose them into words of our mother tongue, unmindful of the arrangement which is offered. ^'•

I shall now undertake a resume of this extende d discussion, (^^, ottJie drea m ac^;v^[^ W^ Wfeffe confronted by tEe' quesFion . whether the mmd exerts all its capabiHties to the fullest \/ development in dream formation, or only a fragment of its capabilities, and these restricted in their activity. Our investigation leads us to reject such a formulation of the question entirely as inadequate to our circumstances. But if we are to remain on the same ground when we answ er as that on which the question is urged upon us, we must acquiesce in two conceptions which are apparently opposed and mutually exclusive. The psychic activity in dream formation resolves itself into two functions — ^the provision of the dream thoughts and the transformation of these into the dream content. The dream thoughts are entirely correct, and are formed with all the psychic expenditure of which we are capable ; they belong to our thoughts which have not become conscious, from which our thoughts which have become conscious also result by means of a certain transposition. Much as there may be about them which is worth knowing and mysterious, these problems have no particular relation to the dream, and have no claim to be treated in connection with dream problems. On the other hand, there is that second portion of the activity which changes the unconscious thoughts into the dream content, an activity peculiar to dream Hfe and characteristic of it. Now, this peculiar dream-work is much further removed from the model of waking thought than even the most decided depreciators of psychic activity in dream formation have thought. It is not, one might say, more negligent, more incorrect, more easily forgotten, more incomplete than waking thought ; it is something qualitatively altogether different from waking thought, and therefore not in any way

2


402 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

comparable to it. It does not in general think, calculate, or judge at all, but limits itself to transforming. It can be ex- haustively described if the conditions which must be satisfied at its creation are kept in mind. This product, the dream, must at any cost be withdrawn from the censor, and for this purpose the dream activity makes use of the displacement of 'psychic intensities up to the transvaluation of all psychic values ; thoughts must exclusively or predominatingly be reproduced in the material of visual and acoustic traces of memory, and this requirement secures for the dream-work the regard f(yr presentability, which meets the requirement by furnishing new displacements. Greater intensities are (prob- ably) to be provided than are each night at the disposal of the dream thoughts, and this purpose is served by the prolific condensation which is undertaken with the component parts of the dream thoughts. Little attention is paid to the logical relations of the thought material ; they ultimately find a veiled representation in the formal peculiarities of the dream. The affects of the dream thoughts undergo lesser changes than their presentation content. As a rule they are sup- pressed ; where they are preserved they are freed from the presentations and put together according to their similarity. Only one part of the dream-work — the revision varying in amount, made by the partially roused conscious thought — at all agrees with the conception which the authors have tried to extend to the entire activity of dream formation.


VII THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE DREAM ACTIVITIES

Among the dreams which I have heard from others there is one which at this point is especially worthy of our attention. It was told to me by a female patient who in turn had heard it in a lecture on dreams. Its original source is unknown to me. This dream evidently made a deep impression upon the lady, as she went so far as to imitate it, i.e. to repeat the elements of this dream in a dream of her own in order to express by this transference her agreement with it in a certain point.

The essential facts of this illustrative dream are as follows : For days and nights a father had watched at the sick-bed of his child. After the child died, he retired to rest in an ad- joining room, leaving the door ajar, however, so as to enable him to look from his room into the other, where the corpse lay surrounded by burning candles. An old man, who was left as a watch, sat near the corpse murmuring prayers. After sleeping a few hours the father dreamed that the child stood near his bed clasping his arms and calling out reproachfully,

  • ' Father, don't you see that I am burning ? " The father woke

and noticed a bright light coming from the adjoining room. Rushing in, he found the old man asleep, and the covers and one arm of the beloved body burned by the faUen candle.

The meaning of this affecting dream is simple enough, and the explanation given by the lecturer, as my patient reported it, was correct. The bright light coming through the open door into the eyes of the sleeper produced the same impression on him as if he had been awake ; namely, that a fire had been started near the corpse by a falling candle. It is quite possible that on going to sleep he feared that the aged guardian was not- equal to his task.

We can find nothing to change in this interpretation. We can add only that the contents of the dream must be over-


404 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

determined, and that the talking of the child consisted of phrases that it had uttered while still living, which recalled to the father important events. Perhaps the complaint, " I am burning," recalled the fever from which the child died, and the words quoted, " Father, don't you see ? " recalled an emotional occurrence unknown to us.

But after we have recognised the dream as a senseful occurrence which can be correlated with our psychic existence, it may be surprising that a dream should have taken place imder circumstances which necessitated such immediate awakening. We also notice that the dream does not lack the wish-fulfilment. The child acts as if living ; it warns the father itself ; it comes to his bed and clasps his arms, as it probably did on the occasion which gave origin to the fijst part of the speech in the dream. It was for the sake of this wish-fulfilment that the father slept a moment longer. The dream triumphed over the conscious reflection because it could show the child once more alive. If the father had awakened first, and had then drawn the conclusion which led him into the adjoining room, he would have shortened the child's life by this one moment.

The peculiar feature in this brief dream which engages our interest is quite plain. So far we have mainly endeavoured to ascertain wherein the secret meaning of the dream consists, in what way this is to be discovered, and what means the dream-work uses to conceal it. In other words, our greatest interest has hitherto centred on the problems of interpreta- tion. We now encounter a dream, however, which can be easily explained, the sense of which is plainly presented ; and we notice that in spite of this fact the dream still preserves the essential features which plainly differentiate our dreaming from our conscious thinking, and thus clearly demands an explanation. After clearing up all the problems of interpreta- tion, we can still feel how imperfect our psychology of the dream is.

Before entering, however, into this new territory, let us stop and reflect whether we have not missed something im- portant on our way hither. For it must be frankly admitted that we have been traversing the easy and comfortable part of our journey. Hitherto all the paths we have followed


PSYCHOLOGY OF DREAM ACTIVITIES 405

have led, if I mistake not. to light, to explication, and to full understanding, but from the moment that we wish to pene- trate deeper into the psychic processes of the dream all paths lead into darkness. It is quite impossible to explain the dream as a psychic process, for to explain means to trace to the known, and as yet we do not possess any psychological knowledge under which we can range what may be inferred from our psychological investigation of dreams as their funda- mental explanation. On the contrary, we shall be compelled to build a series of new assumptions concerning the structure of the psychic apparatus and its active forces ; and this we shall have to be careful not to carry beyond the simplest logical concatenation, as its value may otherwise merge into uncertainty. And, even if we should make no mistake in our conclusions, and take cognisance of all the logical possi- biUties involved, we shall still be threatened with complete failure in our solution through the probable incompleteness of our elemental data. It will also be impossible to gain, or at least to establish, an explanation for the construction and workings of the psychic instrument even through a most careful investigation of the dream or any other single activity. On the contrary, it will be necessary for this end to bring together whatever appears decisively as constant after a comparative study of a whole series of psychic activities. Thus the psychological conceptions which we shall gain from an analysis of the dream process will have to wait, as it were, at the junction point until they can be connected with the results of other investigations which may have advanced to the nucleus of the same problem from another starting point.

(a) Forgetting in Dreams.

I propose, then, first, to turn to a subject which has given rise to an objection hitherto unnoticed, threatening to under- mine the foundation of our work in dream interpretation. It has been objected in more than one quarter that the di'eam which we wish to interpret is really unknown to us, or, to be more precise, that we have no assurance of knowing it as it has really occurred (see p. 37). What we recollect of the dream, and what we subject to our methods of interpretation, is in the ^st place disfigured through our treacherous memory, which


406 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

seems particular^ unfitted to retain the dream, and which may have omitted precisely the most important part of the dream content. For, when we pay attention to our dreams, we often find cause to complain that we have dreamed much more than we remember ; that, unfortunately, we know nothing more than this one fragment, and that even this seems to us peculiarly uncertain. On the other hand, everything assures us that our memory reproduces the dream not only fragmen- tarily but also delusively and falsely. Just as on the one hand we may doubt whether the material dreamt was really as dis- connected and confused as we remember it, so on the other hand may we doubt whether a dream was as connected as we relate it ; whether in the attempt at reproduction we have not filled in the gaps existing or caused by forgetfulness with new material arbitrarily chosen ; whether we have not em- bellished, rounded off, and prepared the dream so that all judgment as to its real content becomes impossible. Indeed, one author (Spitta ^) has expressed his belief that all that is orderly and connected is really first put into the dream during our attempt to recall it. Thus we are in danger of having wrested from our hands the very subject whose value we have undertaken to determine.

In our dream interpretations we have thus far ignored these warnings. Indeed, the demand for interpretation was, on the contrary, found to be no less perceptible in the smajjest, most insignificant, and most uncertain ingredients of the dream content than in those containing the distinct and de- finite parts. In the dream of Irma's injection we read, " I quickly called in Dr. M.," and we assumed that even this small addendum would not have gotten into the dream if it had not had a special derivation. Thus we reached the history of that unfortunate patient to whose bed I " quickly " called in the older colleague. In the apparently absurd dream which treated the difference between 51 and 56 as quantity n4gligi, the number 51 was repeatedly mentioned. Instead of finding this self-evident or indifferent, we inferred from it a second train of thought in the latent content of the dream which led to the number 51. By following up this clue we came to the fears which placed 51 years as a limit of life, this being in most marked contrast to a dominant train of thought


PSYCHOLOGY OF DREAM ACTIVITIES 407

which boastfully knew no limit to life. In the dream '* Non Vixit " I found, as an insignificant interposition that I at first overlooked, the sentence, "As P. does not understand him, Fl. asks me," &c. The interpretation then coming to a standstill, I returned to these words, and found through them the way to the infantile phantasy, which appeared in the dream thoughts as an intermediary point of junction. This came about by means of the poet's verses :

V\ , Seldom have you understood me,

\ \ Seldom have I understood you,

But when we got into the mire, We at once understood each other.

Every analysis will demonstrate by examples how the most insignificant features of the dream are indispensable to the analysis, and how the finishing of the task is delayed by the fact that attention is not at first directed to them. In the same way we have in the interpretation of dreams respected every nuance of verbal expression found in the dream ; indeed, if we were confronted by a senseless or insufficient wording betraying an unsuccessful effort to translate the dream in the proper style, we have even respected these defects of expression. In brief, what the authorities have considered arbitrary im- provisation, concocted hastily to suit the occasion, we have treated like a sacred text. This contradiction requires an explanation.

It is in our favour, without disparagement to the authorities. From the viewpoint of our newly-acquired understanding con- cerning the origin of the dream, the contradictions fall into perfect agreement. It is true that we distort the dream in our attempt to reproduce it ; and herein we find another instance of what we have designated as the often misunder- stood secondary elaboration of the dream through the influ- ence of normal thinking. But this distortion is itself only a part of the elaboration to which the dream thoughts are regularly subjected by virtue of the dream censor. The authorities have here divined or observed that part of the dream distortion most obviously at work ; to us this is of little importance, for we know that a more prolific work of distortion, not so easily comprehensible, has already chosen the dream


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from among the concealed thoughts as its object. The authorities err only in considering the modifications of the dream while it is being recalled and put in words as arbitrary and insoluble ; and hence, as Ukely to mislead us in the inter pretation of the dream. We over-estimate the determination of the psychic. There is nothing arbitrary in this field. It can quite generally be shown that a second train of thought immediately undertakes the determination of the elements which have been left undetermined by the first. I wish, e.g., to think quite voluntarily of a number. This, however, is impossible. The number that occurs to me is definitely and necessarily determined by thoughts witliin me which may be far from my momentary intention.* Just as far from arbi- trary are the modifications which the dream experiences through the revision of the waking state. They remain in associative connection with the content, the place of which they take, and serve to show us the way to this content, which may itself be the substitute for another.

In the analysis of dreams with patients I am accustomed to institute the following proof of this assertion, which has never proved unsuccessful. If the report of a dream appears to me at first difficult to understand, I request the dreamer to repeat it. This he rarely does in the same words. The passages wherein the expression is changed have become known to me as the weak points of the dream's disguise, which are of the same service to me as the embroidered mark on Siegfried's raiment was to Hagen. The analysis may start from these points. The narrator has been admonished by my announcement that I mean to take special pains to solve the dream, and immediately, under the impulse of resistance, he protects the weak points of the dream's disguise, replacing the treacherous expressions by remoter ones. He thus calls my attention to the expressions he has dropped. From the efforts made to guard against the solution of the dream, I can also draw conclusions as to the care with which the dream's raiment was woven.

The authors are, however, less justified in giving so much importance to the doubt which our judgment encounters in

  • See the Psychopathdogy of Everyday Life, transl. by A. A. Brill, Unwin,

London, and The Macmillan Company, New York.


PSYCHOLOGY OF DREAM ACTIVITIES 409

relating the dream. It is true that this doubt betrays the lack of an intellectual assurance, but our memory really knows no guarantees, and yet, much more often than is objectively justified, we yield to the pressure of lending credence to its statements. The doubt concerning the correct representa- tion of the dream, or of its individual data, is again only an offshoot of the dream censor — that is, of the resistance against penetration to consciousness of the dream thoughts. This resistance has not entirely exhausted itself in bringing about the displacements and substitutions, and it therefore adheres as doubt to what has been allowed to pass through. We can recognise this doubt all the easier through the fact that it takes care not to attack the intensive elements of the dream, but only the weak and indistinct ones. For we already know that a transvaluation of aU the psychic values has taken place between the dream thoughts and the dream. The dis- figurement has been made possible only by the alteration of values ; it regularly manifests itself in this way and occasion- ally contents itseK with this. If doubt attaches to an indis- tinct element of the dream content, we may, following the hint, recognise in this element a direct offshoot of one of the out- lawed dream thoughts. It is here just as it was after a great revolution in one of the republics of antiquity or of the Re- naissance. The former noble and powerful ruling famiHes are now banished ; all high positions are filled by upstarts ; in the city itself only the very poor and powerless citizens or the distant followers of the vanquished party are tolerated. Even they do not enjoy the full rights of citizenship. They are suspiciously watched. Instead of the suspicion in the comparison, we have in our case the doubt. I therefore insist that in the analysis of dreams one should emancipate one's self from the entire conception of estimating trustworthiness, and when there is the sHghtest possibiUty that this or that occurred in the dream, it should be treated as a full certainty. Until one has decided to reject these considerations in tracing the dream elements, the analysis will remain at a standstill. An- tipathy toward the element concerned shows its psychic effect in the person analysed by the fact that the imdesirable idea will evoke no thought in his mind. Such effect is really not self-evident. It would not be inconsistent if one would say


410 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

" Whether this or that was contained in the dream I do not know, but the following thoughts occur to me in this direction." But he never expresses himself thus ; and it is just this dis- turbing influence of doubt in the analysis that stamps it as an offshoot and instrument of the psychic resistance. Psj^cho- analysis is justly suspicious. One of its rules reads : Whatever disturbs the continuation of the work is a resistance.

The forgetting of dreams, too, remains unfathomable as long as we do not consider the force of the psychic censor in its explanation. The feeling, indeed, that one has dreamt a great deal during the night and has retained only a little of it may have another meaning in a number of cases. It may perhaps signify that the dream-work has continued percep- tibly throughout the night, and has left behind only this short dream. There is, however, no doubt of the fact that the dream is progressively forgotten on awakening. One often forgets it in spite of painful effort to remember. I believe, however, that just as one generally over-estimates the extent of one's forgetting, so also one over-estimates the deficiencies in one's knowledge, judging them by the gaps occurring in the dream. All that has been lost through forgetting in a dream content can often be brought back through analysis. At least, in a whole series of cases, it is possible to discover from one single remaining fragment, not the dream, to be sure, which is of little importance, but all the thoughts of the dream. It requires a greater expenditure of attention and self-control in the analysis ; that is all. But, at the same time, this suggests that the for- getting of the dream does not lack a hostile intention.

A convincing proof of the purposeful nature of dream- forgetting, in the service of resistance, is gained in analysis tLi.-ough the investigation of a preHminary stage of forgetting.* It often happens that in the midst of interpretation work an omitted fragment of the dream suddenly comes to the surface. This part of the dream snatched from forgetfulne-ss is always the most important part. It Ues on the shortest road toward the solution of the dream, and for that very reason it was most objectionable to the resistance. Among the examples of dreams that I have collected in connection with this treatise,

  • Concerning the object of forgetting in general, see the Psychopathoioffy

of Everyday Life.


PSYCHOLOGY OF DREAM ACTIVITIES 411

it once happened that I had to interpose subsequently such a piece of dream content. It was a travelling dream, which took vengeance upon an unlovable female travelling com- panion ; I have left it almost entirely uninterpreted on account of its being in part coarse and nasty. The part omitted read : " I said about a book by Schiller, * It is from ' but cor- rected myself, for I noticed the mistake myself, * It is by.' Upon this the man remarked to his sister, * Indeed, he said it correctly.' "

The self-correction in dreams, which seems so wonderful to some authors, does not merit consideration by us. I shall rather show from my own memory the model for the grammatical error in the dream. I was nineteen years old when I visited England for the first time, and spent a day on the shore of the Irish Sea. I naturally amused myseK by catching the sea animals left by the waves, and occupied myself in particular with a starfish (the dream begins with Hollthum — Holothurian), when a pretty fittle girl came over to me and asked me, *' Is it a starfish ? Is it alive ? " I answered, " Yes, he is aUve," but was then ashamed of my mistake and repeated the sentence correctly. For the grammatical mistake which I then made, the dream substitutes another which is quite common with Germans. " Das Buch ist von Schiller " should not be trans- lated by the hook is from, but the hook is hy. That the dream- work produces this substitution because the word from makes possible, through consonance, a remarkable condensation with the Grerman adjective/ramm (pious, devout), no longer surprises us after all that we have heard about the aims of the dream- work and about its reckless selection of means of procedure. But what is the meaning of the harmless recollection of the seashore in relation to the dream ? It explains by means of a very innocent example that I have used the wrong gender — i.e. that I have put " he," the word denoting the sex or the sexual, where it does not belong. This is surely one of the keys to the solution of dreams. Who ever has heard of the origin of the book-title Matter and Motion (MoHere in Malade Imaginaire : La matiere est-elle laudable ? — A motion of the bowels) wiU readily be able to supply the missing parts.

Moreover, I can prove conclusively by a demonstratio ad


412 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

oculos that the forgetting in dreams is in great part due to the activity of resistance. A patient tells me that he has dreamed, but that the dream has vanished without leaving a trace, as if nothing had happened. We continue to work, how^ever ; I strike a resistance which I make plain to the patient ; by en- couraging and urging I help him to become reconciled to some disagreeable thought ; and as soon as I have succeeded he exclaims, " Now, I can recall what I have dreamed." The same resistance which that day disturbed him in the work caused him also to forget the dream. By overcoming this resistance, I brought the dream to memory.

In the same way the patient may, on reaching a certain part of the work, recall a dream which took place three, four, or more days before, and which has rested in oblivion through- out all this time.

Psychoanalytic experience has furnished us with another proof of the fact that the forgetting of dreams depends more on the resistance than on the strangeness existing between the waking and sleeping states, as the authorities have be- lieved. It often happens to me, as well as to the other analysts and to patients under treatment, that we are awakened from sleep by a dream, as we would say, and immediately there- after, while in full possession of our mental activity, we begin to interpret the dream. In such cases I have often not rested until I gained a full understanding of the dream, and still it would happen that after the awakening I have just as com- pletely forgotten the interpretation work as the dream content itself, though I was aware that I had dreamed and that I had interpreted the dream. The dream has more frequently taken along into forgetfulness the result of the interpretation work than it was possible for the mental activity to retain the dream in memory. But between this interpretation work and the waking thoughts there is not that psychic gap through which alone the authorities wish to explain the forgetting of dreams. Morton Prince objects to my explanation of the forgetting of dreams on the ground that it is only a particular example of amnesia for dissociated states, and that the im- possibility of harmonising my theory with other types of amnesia makes it also valueless for other purposes. He thus makes the reader suspect that in all his description of such


PSYCHOLOGY OF DREAM ACTIVITIES 413

dissociated states he has never made the attempt to find the dynamic explanation for these phenomena. For, had he done so, he surely would have discovered that the repression and the resistance produced thereby " is quite as well the cause of this dissociation as of the amnesia for its psychic content."

That the dream is as little forgotten as the other psychic acts, and that it clings to memory just as firmly as the other psychic activities was demonstrated to me by an experiment which I was able to make while compiling this manuscript, I have kept in my notes many dreams of my own which, for some reason at the time I could analyse only imperfectly or not at all. In order to get material to illustrate my assertions, I attempted to subject some of them to analysis from one to two years later. I succeeded in this attempt without any exception. Indeed, I may even state that the interpretation went more easily at this later time than at the time when the dreams were recent occurrences. As a possible explanation for this fact, I would say that I had gotten over some of the resistances which disturbed me at the time of dreaming. In such subsequent interpretations I have compared the past results in dream thoughts with the present, which have usually been more abundant, and have invariably found the past results falling under the present without change. I have, however, soon put an end to my surprise by recalling that I have long been accustomed to interpret dreams from former years which have occasionally been related to me by patients as if they were dreams of the night before, with the same method and the same success. I shall report two examples of such delayed dream interpretations in the discussion of anxiety dreams. When I instituted this experiment for the first time, I justly expected that the dream would behave in this respect like a neurotic symptom. For when I treat a neurotic, perhaps an hysteric, by psychoanalysis, I am com- pelled to find explanations for the first symptoms of the disease which have long been forgotten, just as for those still existing which have brought the patient to me ; and I find the former problem easier to solve than the more exigent one of to-day. In the Studien iiher Hysterie, pubHshed as early as 1895, I was able to report the explanation of a first


414 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

hysterical attack of anxiety which the patient, a woman over forty years of age, had experienced in her fifteenth year.*

I may now proceed in an informal way to some further observations on the interpretation of dreams, which will perhaps be of service to the reader who wishes to test my assertion by the analysis of his own dreams.

No one must expect that the interpretations of his dreams will come to him overnight without any exertion. Practice is required even for the perception of endoptic phenomena and other sensations usually withdrawn from attention, although this group of perceptions is not opposed by any psychic motive. It is considerably more difficult to become master of the " undesirable presentations.'* He who wishes to do this will have to fulfil the requirements laid down in this treatise. Obeying the rules here given, he will strive during the work to curb in himself every critique, every prejudice, and every affective or intellectual one-sidedness. We will always be mindful of the precept of Claude Bernard for the experi- menter in the physiological laboratory — " Travailler conmae une bete " — ^meaning he should be just as persistent, but also just as unconcerned about the results. He who will follow these counsels will surely no longer fijid the task difficult. The interpretation of a dream cannot always be accomplished in one session ; you often feel, after following up a concatenation of thoughts, that your working capacity is exhausted ; the dream will not tell you anjrthing more on that day ; it is then best to break off, and return to the work the following day. Another portion of the dream content then solicits your attention, and you thus find an opening to a new stratum of the dream thoughts. We may call this the " fractionary " interpretation of dreams.

It is most difficult to induce the beginner in the inter- pretation of dreams to recognise the fact that his task is not finished though he is in possession of a complete interpretation of the dream which is ingenious and connected, and which explains all the elements of the dream. Besides this another superimposed interpretation of the same dream may be pos- sible which has escaped him. It is really not simple to form

♦ Translated by A. A. Brill, appearing under the title Selected Papers on Hysteria.


PSYCHOLOGY OF DREAM ACTIVITIES 415

an idea of the abundant unconscious streams of thought striving for expression in our minds, and to beheve in the skilfuhiess displayed by the dream-work in hitting, so to speak, with its ambiguous manner of expression, seven flies with one stroke, hke the journeyman tailor in the fairy tale. The reader will constantly be inclined to reproach the author for uselessly squandering his ingenuity, but anyone who has had experience of his own will learn to know better.

The question whether every dream can be interpreted may be answered in the negative. One must not forget that in the work of interpretation one must cope with the psychic forces which are responsible for the distortion of the dream. Whether one can become master of the inner resistances through his intellectual interest, his capacity for self-control, his psycho- logical knowledge, and his practice in dream interpretation becomes a question of the preponderance of forces. It is always possible to make some progress. One can at least go far enough to become convinced that the dream is an ingenious construction, generally far enough to gain an idea of its mean- ing. It happens very often that a second dream confirms and continues the interpretation assumed for the first. A whole series of dreams running for weeks or months rests on a common basis, and is therefore to be interpreted in con- nection. In dreams following each other, it may be often observed how one takes as its central point what is indicated only as the peripherj^ of the next, or it is just the other way, so that the two supplement each other in interpretation. That the different dreams of the same night are quite regu- larly in the interpretation to be treated as a whole I have already shown by examples.

In the best interpreted dreams we must often leave one portion in obscurity because we observe in the interpretation that it represents the beginning of a tangle of dream thoughts which cannot be unravelled but which has furnished no new contribution to the dream content. This, then, is the keystone of the dream, the place at which it mounts into the unknown. For the dream thoughts which we come upon in the interpre- tation must generally remain without a termination, and merge in all directions into the net-like entanglement of our world of thoughts. It is from some denser portion of this texture


416 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

that the dream-wish then arises like the mushroom from its mycelium.

Let us now return to the facts of dream-forgetting, as we have really neglected to draw an important conclusion from them. If the waking Hfe shows an unmistakable intention to forget the dream formed at night, either as a whole, immedi- ately after awakening, or in fragments during the course of the day, and if we recognise as the chief participator in this forgetting the psychic resistance against the dream which has already performed its part in opposing the dream at night — then the question arises. What has the dream formation actually accomplished against this resistance 1 Let us con- sider the most striking case in which the waking life has done away with the dream as though it had never happened. If we take into consideration the play of the psychic forces, we are forced to assert that the dream would have never come into existence had the resistance held sway during the night as during the day. We conclude then, that the resistance loses a part of its force during the night ; we know that it has not been extinguished, as we have demonstrated its interest in the dream formation in the production of the distortion. We have, then, forced upon us the possibility that it abates at night, that the dream formation has become possible with this diminution of the resistance, and we thus readily under- stand that, having regained its full power with the awakening, it immediately sets aside what it was forced to admit as long as it was in abeyance. Descriptive psychology teaches us that the chief determinant in dream formation is the dormant state of the mind. We may now add the following eluci- dation : The sleeping state makes dream formation possible by diminishing the endofsychic censor.

We are certainly tempted to look upon this conclusion as the only one possible from the facts of dream-forgetting, and to develop from it further deductions concerning the pro- portions of energy in the sleeping and waldng states. But we shall stop here for the present. When we have penetrated somewhat deeper into the psychology of the dream we shall find that the origin of the dream formation may be differently conceived. The resistance operating to prevent the dream thoughts coming to consciousness may perhaps be eluded


PSYCHOLOGY OF DREAM ACTIVITIES 417

without sufiering diminution per se. It is also plausible that both the factors favourable to dream formation, the diminution as well as the eluding of the resistance, may be made possible simultaneously through the sleeping state. But we shall pause here, and continue this line of thought later.

There is another series of objections against our procedure in the dream interpretation which we must now consider. In this interpretation we proceed by dropping all the end- presentations which otherwise control reflection, we direct our attention to an individual element of the dream, and then note the unwished-for thoughts that occur to us in this con- nection. We then take up the next component of the dream content, and repeat the operation with it ; and, without caring in what direction the thoughts take us, we allow ourselves to be led on by them until we end by rambling from one subject to another. At the same time, we harbour the confident hope that we may in the end, without effort, come upon the dream thoughts from which our dream originated. Against this the critic brings the following objection : That one can arrive somewhere, starting from a single element in the dream is nothing wonderful. Something can be associatively connected with every idea. It is remarkable only that one should succeed in hitting the dream thoughts in this aimless and arbitrary excursion of thought. It is probably a self- deception ; the investigator follows the chain of association from one element until for some reason it is seen to break, when a second element is taken up ; it is thus but natural that the association, originally unbounded, should now experience a narrowing. He keeps in mind the former chain of associa- tions, and he will therefore in analysis more easily hit upon certain thoughts which have something in common with the thoughts from the first chain. He then imagines that he has found a thought which represents a point of junction between two elements of the dream. As he, moreover, allows himseK every freedom of thought connection, excepting only the tran- sitions from one idea to another which are made in normal thinking, it is not finally difficult for him to concoct something which he calls the dream thought out of a series of " inter- mediary thoughts " ; and without any guarantee, as they are otherwise unknown, he palms these off as the psychic

2 D


418 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

equivalent of the dream. But all this is accompanied by arbitrary procedure and over-ingenious exploitation of coin- cidence. Anyone who will go to this useless trouble can in this way work out any desired interpretation for any dream whatever.

If such objections are really advanced against us, we may refer in our defence to the agreement of our dream interpre- tations, to the surprising connections with other dream elements which appear in following out the different particular presentations, and to the improbability that anything which so perfectly covers and explains the dream as our dream interpre- tations do could be gained otherwise than by following psychic connections previously established. We can also justify our- selves by the fact that the method of dream analysis is identical with the method used in the solution of hysterical symptoms, where the correctness of the method is attested through the emergence and fading away of the symptoms — that is, where the elucidation of the text by the interposed illustrations finds corroboration. But we have no object in avoiding this problem — how one can reach to a pre-established aim by following a chain of thoughts spun out thus arbitrarily and aimlessly — for, though we are unable to solve the problem, we can get rid of it entirely.

It is in fact demonstrably incorrect to state that we abandon ourselves to an aimless course of thought when, as in the interpretation of dreams, we relinquish our reflection and allow the unwished-for idea to come to the surface. It can be shown that we can reject only those end-presentations that are familiar to us, and that as soon as these stop the unknown, or, as we say more precisely, the unconscious end-presenta- tions, immediately come into play, which now determined the course of the unwished-for presentations. A mode of think- ing without end-idea can surely not be brought about through any influence we can exert on our own mental life ; nor do I know either of any state of psychic derangement in which such mode of thought estabUshes itself. The psychiatrists have in this field much too early rejected the solidity of the psychic structure. I have ascertained that an unregulated stream of thoughts, devoid of the end-presentation, occurs as little in the realm of hysteria and paranoia as in the formation


PSYCHOLOGY OF DREAM ACTIVITIES 419

or solution of dreams. Perhaps it does not appear at all in the endogenous psychic affections, but even the deliria of confused states are senseful according to the ingenious theory of Leuret and become incomprehensible to us only through omissions. I have come to the same conviction wherever I have found opportunity for observation. The deliria are the work of a censor which no longer makes any effort to conceal its sway, which, instead of lending its support to a revision no longer obnoxious to it, cancels regardlessly that which it raises objections against, thus causing the remnant to appear dis- connected. This censor behaves analogously to the Russian newspaper censor on the frontier, who allows to faU into the hands of his protected readers only those foreign journals that have passed under the black pencil.

The free play of the presentations following any associative concatenation perhaps makes its appearance in destructive organic brain lesions. What, however, is taken as such in the psychoneuroses can always be explained as the influence of the censor on a series of thoughts which have been pushed into the foreground by the concealed end-presentation.* It has been considered an unmistakable sign of association free from the end-presentations when the emerging presentations (or pictures) were connected with one another by means of the so-called superficial associations — that is, by assonance, word ambiguity, and causal connection without inner sense relationship ; in other words, when they were connected through all those associations which we allow ourselves to make use of in wit and play upon words. This distinguishing mark proves true for the connections of thought which lead us from the elements of the dream content to the collaterals, and from these to the thoughts of the dream proper ; of this we have in our dream analysis found many surprising ex- amples. No connection was there too loose and no wit too objectionable to serve as a bridge from one thought to another. But the correct understanding of such tolerance is not remote. Whenever one psychic element is connected with another through an obnoxious or superficial association, there also exists a correct

  • Jung has brilliantly corroborated this statement by analyses of

Dementia Praecox. {The PsycJwlogy of Dementia Praecox^ translated by F. Peterson and A. A. Brill.)


420 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

and more profound connection between the two which succumbs to the resistance of the censor.

The correct explanation for the predominance of the superficial associations is the pressure of the censor, and not the suppression of the end-presentations. The superficial associations supplant the deep ones in the presentation when- ever the censor renders the normal connective paths impassable. It is as if in a moimtainous region a general interruption of trafl&c, e.g.f an inundation, should render impassable the long and broad thoroughfares ; traffic would then have to be main- tained through inconvenient and steep footpaths otherwise used only by the hunter.

We can here distinguish two cases which, however, are essentially one. In the first case the censor is directed only against the connection of the two thoughts, which, having been detached from each other, escape the opposition. The two thoughts then enter successively into consciousness ; their connection remains concealed ; but in its place there occurs to us a superficial connection between the two which we would not otherwise have thought of, and which as a rule connects with another angle of the presentation complex instead of with the one giving rise to the suppressed but essential con- nection. Or, in the second case, both thoughts on account of their content succumb to the censor ; both then appear not in their correct but in a modified substituted form ; and both substituted thoughts are so selected that they represent, through a superficial association, the essential relation which existed between those which have been replaced by them. Under the pressure of the censor the displacement of a normal and vital association by a superficial and apparently absurd one has thus occurred in both cases.

Because we know of this displacement we unhesitatingly place reHance even upon superficial associations in the dream analysis.*

The psychoanalysis of neurotics makes prolific use of the

  • The same considerations naturally hold true also for the case where

superj&cial associations are exposed in the dream, as, e.g., in both dreams re- ported by Maury (p. 50, 'pelerinage — pelletier — ■j:)eZZ6, kilometer — kilogram — gilolo, Lobelia — Lopez — Lotto). I know from my work with neurotics what kind of reminiscence preferentially represents itself in this manner. It is the consultation of encyclopjBdias by which most people pacify their desire for explanation of the sexual riddle during the period of curiosity in puberty.


PSYCHOLOGY OF DREAM ACTIVITIES 421

two axioms, first that with the abandonment of the conscious end-presentation the domination of the train of presenta- tion is transferred to the concealed end-presentations ; and, secondly, that superficial associations are only a substitutive displacement for suppressed and more profound ones ; indeed, psychoanalysis raises these two axioms to pillars of its technique. When I request a patient to dismiss all reflection, and to report to me whatever comes into his mind, I firmly cling to the presupposition that he will not be able to drop the end-idea of the treatment, and I feel justified in conclud- ing that what he reports, even though seemingly most harm- less and arbitrary, has connection with this morbid state. My own personality is another end-presentation concerning which the patient has no inkling. The full appreciation, as well as the detailed proof of both these explanations, belongs accord- ingly to the description of the psychoanalytic technique as a therapeutic method. We have here reached one of the allied subjects with which we propose to leave the subject of the interpretation of dreams.*

Of all the objections only one is correct, and still remains, namely, that we ought not to ascribe all mental occurrences of the interpretation work to the nocturnal dream-work. In the interpretation in the waking state we are making a road running from the dream elements back to the dream thoughts. The dream- work has made its way in the opposite direction, and it is not at all probable that these roads are equally passable in the opposite directions. It has, on the contrary, been shown that during the day, by means of new thought connections we make paths which strike the intermediate thoughts and the dream thoughts in different places. We can see how the recent thought material of the day takes its place in the groups of the interpretation, and probably also forces the additional resistance appearing through the night to make new and further detours. But the number and form of the collaterals which we thus spin during the day is psycho- logically perfectly negligible if it only leads the way to the desired dream thoughts.

♦ The above sentences, which when written sounded very improbable, have since been justified experimentally by Jung and his pupils in the Diagnostiche A ssoziationsstudicn.


422 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

(b) Regression,

Now that we have guarded against objection, or at least indicated where our weapons for defence rest, we need no longer delay entering upon the psychological investigations for which we have so long prepared. Let us bring together the main results of our investigations up to this point. The dream is a momentous psychic act ; its motive power is at all times to fulfil a wish ; its indiscemibleness as a wish and its many peculiarities and absurdities are due to the influence of the psychic censor to which it has been subjected during its for- mation. Apart from the pressure to withdraw itself from this censor, the following have played a part in its formation : a strong tendency to the condensation of psychic material, a consideration for dramatisation into mental pictures, anU (though not regularly) a consideration for a rational and in- telligible exterior in the dream stracture. From every one of these propositions the road leads further to psychological postulates and assumptions. Thus the reciprocal relation of the wish motives and the four conditions, as well as the relations of these conditions to one another will have to be investigated ; and the dream will have to be brought into association with the psychic life.

At the beginning of tliis chapter we cited a dream in order to remind us of the riddles that are still unsolved. The in- terpretation of this dream of the burning child afforded us no difficulties, although it was not perfectly given in our present sense. We asked ourselves why it was necessary, after all, that the father should dream instead of awakening, and we recognised the wish to represent the child as living as the single motive of the dream. That there was still another wish playing a part in this connection, we shall be able to show after later discussions. For the present, therefore, we may say that for the sake of the wish-fulfilment the mental process of sleep was transformed into a dream.

If the wish realisation is made retrogressive, only one quality still remains which separates the two forms of psychic occurrences from each other. The dream thought might have read : " I see a glimmer coming from the room in which the corpse reposes. Perhaps a candle has been upset, and the child


PSYCHOLOGY OF DREAM ACTIVITIES 423

is burning ! " The dream reports the result of this reflection unchanged, but represents it in a situation which takes place in the present, and which is conceivable by the senses like an experience in the waking state. This, however, is the most common and the most striking psychological character of the dream ; a thought, usually the one wished for, is in the dream made objective and represented as a scene, or, according to our beUef , as experienced.

But how are we now to explain this characteristic pecuharity of the dream-work, or, to speak more modestly, how are we to bring it into relation with the psychic processes ?

On closer examination, it is plainly seen that there are two pronounced characters in the manifestations of the dream which are almost independent of each other. The one is the representation as a present situation with the omission of the " perhaps " ; the other is the transformation of the thought into visual pictures and into speech.

The transformation in the dream thoughts, which shifts into the present the expectation expressed in them, is perhaps in this particular dream not so very striking. This is probably in consonance with the special or rather subsidiary role of the wish-fulfilment in this dream. Let us take another dream in which the dream- wish does not separate itself in sleep from a continuation of the waking thoughts, e.g., the dream of Irma's injection. Here the dream thought reaching representation is in the optative, " If Otto could only be blamed for Irma's sickness ! " The dream suppresses the optative, and replaces it by a simple present, " Yes, Otto is to blame for Irma's sickness." This is therefore the first of the changes which even the undistorted dream undertakes with the dream thought. But we shall not stop long at this first pecuharity of the dream. We elucidate it by a reference to the conscious phantasy, the day dream, which behaves similarly with its presentation content. When Daudet's Mr. Joyeuse wanders through the streets of Paris unemployed while his daughter is led to be- heve that he has a position and is in his office, he likewise dreams in the present of circumstances that might help him to obtain protection and a position. The dream therefore employs the present in the same manner and with the same


424 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

right as the day dream. The present is the tense in which the wish is represented as fulfilled.

The second quality, however, is peculiar to the dream as distinguished from the day dream, namely, that the presenta- tion content is not thought, but changed into perceptible images to which we give credence and which we belieye we experience. Let us add, however, that not all dreams show this transformation of presentation into perceptible images. There are dreams which consist solely of thoughts to which we cannot, however, on that account deny the substantiaHty of dreams. My dream " Autodidasker — the waking phantasy with Professor N." — is of that nature ; it contains hardly more perceptible elements than if I had thought its content during the day. Moreover, every long dream contains elements which have not experienced the transformation into the per- ceptible, and which are simply thought or known as we are wont to think or know in our waking state. We may also recall here that such transformation of ideas into perceptible images does not occur in dreams only but also in hallucina- tions and visions which perhaps appear spontaneously in health or as symptoms in the psychoneuroses. In brief, the relation which we are investigating here is in no way an exclusive one ; the fact remains, however, that where this character of the dream occurs, it appears to us as the most noteworthy, so that we cannot think of it apart from the dream life. Its explanation, however, requires a very detailed discussion.

Among all the observations on the theory of dreams to be found in authorities on the subject, I should like to lay stress upon one as being worth mentioning. The great G. T. Fechner ^^ expresses his belief {Psycho physik, Part II., p. 520), in connection with some discussion devoted to the dream, that the seat of the dream is elsewhere than in the waking ideation. No other theory enables us to conceive the special quahties of the dream life.

The idea which is placed at our disposal is one of psychic locahty. We shall entirely ignore the fact that the psychic apparatus with which we are here dealing is also famihar to us as an anatomical specimen, and we shall care- fully avoid the temptation to determine the ps3^chic locality


PSYCHOLOGY OF DREAM ACTIVITIES 425

in any way anatomically. We shall remain on psychological gromid, and we shall think ourselves called upon only to conceive the instrument which serves the psychic activities somewhat after the manner of a compound microscope, a photographic or other similar apparatus. The psychic locality, then, corresponds to a place within such an apparatus in which one of the primarj^ elements of the picture comes into exist- ence. As is well known, there are in the microscope and tele- scope partly fanciful locations or regions in which no tangible portion of the apparatus is located. I think it superfluous to apologise for the imperfections of this and all similar figures. These comparisons are designed only to assist us in our attempt to make clear the complication of the psychic activity by breaking up this activity and referring the single activities to the single component parts of the apparatus. No one, so far as I know, has ever ventured to attempt to discover the composition of the psychic instrument through such analysis. I see no harm in such an attempt. I beheve that we may give free rein to our assumptions provided we at the same time preserve our cool judgment and do not take the scaffold- ing for the building. As we need nothing except auxihary ideas for the first approach to any unlmown subject, we shall prefer the crudest and most tangible hypothesis to all others.

We therefore conceive the psychic apparatus as a compound instrument, the component parts of which let us call in- stances, or, for the sake of clearness, systems. We then enter- tain the expectation that these systems perhaps maintain a constant spatial relationship to each other like the different systems of lenses of the telescope, one behind another. Strictly speaking, there is no need of assuming a real spatial arrange- ment of the psychic system. It will serve our purpose if a firm sequence be established through the fact that in certain psychological occurrences the system will be traversed by the excitement in a definite chronological order. This sequence may experience an alteration in other processes ; such possi- bility may be left open. For the sake of brevity, we shall henceforth speak of the component parts of the apparatus as '* "^-systems."

The first thing that strikes us is the fact that the apparatus


426 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

composed of "^-systems has a direction. All our psychic activities proceed from (inner or outer) stimuli and terminate in innervations. We thus ascribe to the apparatus a sensible and a motor end ; at the sensible end we jSnd a system which receives the perceptions, and at the motor end another which opens the locks of motility. The psychic process generally takes its course from the perception end to the motihty end. The most common scheme of the psychic apparatus has there- fore the following appearance :


Fig. 1.


But this is only in compliance with the demand long familiar to us, that the psychic apparatus must be constructed like a reflex apparatus. The reflex act remains the model for every psychic activity.

We have now reason to admit a first differentiation at the sensible end. The perceptions that come to us leave a trace in our psychic apparatus which we may call a " Memory trace." The function which relates to this memory trace we call the memory. If we hold seriously to our resolution to connect the psychic processes into systems, the memory trace can then consist only of lasting changes in the elements of the systems. But, as has already been shown in other places, obvious difficulties arise if one and the same system faithfully preserves changes in its elements and still remains fresh and capable of admitting new motives for change. Following the principle which directs our undertaking, we shall distribute these two activities among two different systems. We assume that a first system of the apparatus takes up the stimuli of perception, but retains nothing from them — ^that is, it has no memory ; and that behind this there lies a second system which transforms the momentary excitement of the first into


PSYCHOLOGY OF DREAM ACTIVITIES 427

lasting traces. This would then be a diagram of our psychic apparatus :


Mem Mem' Mem


M


Fig. 2.


It is known that from the perceptions that act on the P- system we retain something else as lasting as the content itself. Our perceptions prove to be connected with one another in memory, and this is especially the case when they have once fallen together in simultaneity. We call this the fact of association. It is now clear that if the P-system is entirely lacking in memory, it certainly cannot preserve traces for the associations ; the individual P-elements would be intolerably hindered in their function if a remnant of former connection should make its influence felt against a new perception. Hence we must, on the contrary, assume that the memory system is the basis of the association. The fact of the association, then, consists in this — that, in consequence of the diminutions in resistance and a smoothing of the ways from one of the Mem-elements, the excitement transmits itself to a second rather than to a third Mem-system.

On further investigation we find it necessary to assume not one but many such Mem-systems, in which the same excitement propagated by the P-elements experiences a diver- sified fixation. The first of these Mem-systems will contain in any case the fixation of the association through simultaneity, while in those lying further away the same exciting material will be arranged according to other forms of concurrence ; so that relationships of similarity, &c., might perhaps be represented through these later systems. It would naturally be idle to attempt to report in words the psychic significance of such a system. Its characteristic would lie in the intimacy


428 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

of its relations to elements of raw memory material — that is, if we wish to point to a profounder theory in the gradations of the resistances to conduction toward these elements.

We may insert here an observation of a general nature which points perhaps to something of importance. The P- system, which possesses no capability of preserving changes and hence no memory, furnishes for our consciousness the entire manifoldness of the sensible qualities. Our memories, on the other hand, are unconscious in themselves ; those that are most deepty impressed form no exception. They can be made conscious, but there can be no doubt that they develop all their influences in the unconscious state. What we term our character is based, to be sure, on the memory traces of our impressions, and indeed on these impressions that have affected us most strongly, those of our early youth — those that almost never become conscious. But when memories become conscious again they show no sensible quality or a very slight one in comparison to the perceptions. If, now, it can be confirmed that memory and quality exclude each other, as far as consciousness in the ^-systems is concerned, a most promising insight reveals itself to us in the determinations of the neuron excitement.

What we have so far assumed concerning the composition of the psychic apparatus at the sensible end follows regardless of the dream and the psychological explanations derived from it. The dream, however, serves as a source of proof for the knowledge of another part of the apparatus. We have seen that it became impossible to explain the dream formation unless we ventured to assume two psychic instances, one of which subjected the activity of the other to a critique as a consequence of which the exclusion from consciousness resulted.

We have seen that the criticising instance entertains closer relations w4th consciousness than the criticised. The former stands between the latter and consciousness like a screen. We have, moreover, found essential reasons for iden- tifying the criticising instance with that which directs oui waking life and determines our voluntary conscious actions. If we now replace these instances in the development of our theory by systems, the criticising system is then to be ascribed


PSYCHOLOGY OF DREAM ACTIVITIES 429


to the motor end because of the fact just mentioned. We now enter both systems in our scheme, and express by the names given them their relation to consciousness.


P Mem Mem'


Unc



Force


M


Fig. 3.

The last of the systems at the motor end we call the fore- conscious in order to denote that exciting processes in this system can reach consciousness without any further detention provided certain other conditions be fulfilled, e.g., the attain- ment of a certain intensity, a certain distribution of that function which must be called attention, and the hke. This is at the same time the system which possesses the keys to voluntary motility. The system behind it we call the un- conscious because it has no access to consciousness except through the foreconscious, in the passage through which its excitement must submit to certain changes.

In which of these systems, now, do we localise the impulse to the dream formation ? For the sake of simplicity, let us say in the system Unc. To be sure we shall find in later discussions that this is not quite correct, that the dream formation is forced to connect with dream thoughts which belong to the system of the foreconscious. But we shaU learn later, when we come to deal with the dream-wish, that the motive power for the dream is furnished by the Unc, and, owing to this latter movement, we shall assume the uncon^ scious system as the starting-point of the dream formation. This dream impulse, like all other thought structures, will now strive to continue itself in the foreconscious, and thence to gain admission to consciousness.

Experience teaches us that the road leading from the fore- conscious to consciousness is closed to the dream thoughts during the day by the resistance of the censor. At night the


430 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

dream thoughts gairt admission to consciousness, but the question arises, in what way and because of what change. If this admission was rendered possible to the dream thoughts through the fact that the resistance watching on the boundary between the unconscious and foreconscious sinks at night, we should then get dreams in the material of our presentations which did not show the hallucinatory character which just now interests us.

The sinking of the censor between the two systems, Unc. and Forec, can explain to us only such dreams as " Auto- didasker," but not dreams like the one of the burning child, which we have taken as a problem at the outset in these present investigations.

What takes place in the hallucinatory dream we can de- scribe in no other way than by saying that the excitement takes a retrogressive course. It takes its station, not at the motor end of the apparatus, but at the sensible end, and finally reaches the system of the perceptions. If we call the direc- tion towards which the psychic process continues from the unconscious into the waking state the progressive, we may then speak of the dream as having a regressive character.

This regression is surely one of the most important peculi- arities of the dream process ; but we must not forget that it does not belong to the dream alone. The intentional recol- lection and other processes of our normal thinking also require a retrogression in the psychic apparatus from any complex presentation act to the raw material of the memory traces lying at its basis. But during the waking state this turning backward does not reach beyond the memory pictures ; it is unable to produce the hallucinatory vividness af the per- ception pictures. Why is this different in the dream ? When we spoke of the condensation work of the dream we could not avoid the assumption that the intensities adhering to the presentations are fully transferred from one to another through the dream-work. It is probably this modification of the former psychic process which makes possible the occupation of the system of P to its full sensual vividness in the opposite direction from thought.

I hope that we are far from deluding ourselves about the importance of this present discussion. We have done nothing


PSYCHOLOGY OF DREAM ACTIVITIES 481

more than give a name to an inexplicable phenomenon. We call it regression if the presentation in the dream is changed back to the perceptible image from which it once originated. But even this step demands justification. Why this naming, if it does not teach us anything new ? I beHeve, however, that the name " Regression " will serve us to the extent of connecting a fact familiar to us with a scheme of the psychic apparatus which is supplied with a direction. At this point, for the first time, it is worth the trouble to construct such a scheme. For, with the help of this scheme, any other pecuh- arity of the dream formation will become clear to us without further reflection. If we look upon the dream as a process of regression in the assumed psychic apparatus, we can readily understand the empirically proven fact that all mental relation of the dream thoughts either is lost in the dream-work or can come to expression only with difficulty. According to our scheme, these mental relations are contained not in the first Mem-systems, but in those lying further to the front, and in the regression they must forfeit their expression in favour of the perception pictures. The structure of the dream thoughts ia in the regression broken up into its raw material.

But what change renders possible this regression which is impossible during the day ? Let us here be content with assumption. There must evidently be some alterations in the charge of energy belonging to the single systems causing the latter to become accessible or inaccessible to the discharge of the excitement ; but in any such apparatus the same effect upon the course of excitement might be brought about through more than one form of such changes. This naturally reminds us of the state of sleep and of the many changes of energy this state produces at the sensible end of the apparatus. During the day there is a continuous coursing stream from the "^-system of the P toward the motihty ; this current ceases at night, and no longer hinders a streaming of the current of excitement in the opposite direction. This would appear to be that " seclusion from the outer world " which according to the theory of some authors is supposed to explain the psycho- logical character of the dream (vide p. 30). In the explanation of the regression of the dream we shall, however, have to con- sider those other regressions which originate during morbid


432 THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

waking states. In these other forms the explanation just given plainly leaves us in the lurch. Regression takes place in spite of the uninterrupted sensible current in a progressive direction.

The hallucinations of hysteria and paranoia, as well as the visions of mentally normal persons, I can explain as actually corresponding to regressions, being in fact thoughts trans- formed into images ; and only such thoughts are subjected to this transformation as are in intimate connection with suppressed or unconscious recollections. As an example I shall cite one of my youngest hysterical patients — a boy, twelve years old, who was prevented from falling asleep by " green faces with red eyes, which terrified him. The source of this manifestation was the suppressed, but once conscious, memory of a boy whom he had often seen during four years, and who offered him a deterring example of many childish bad habits, including onanism, which now formed the subject of his own reproach. His mother had noticed at the time that the complexion of the ill-bred boy was greenish and that he had red (i.e. red bordered) eyes. Hence the terrible vision which constantly served to remind him of his mother's warning that such boys become demented, that they are unable to make progress at school, and are doomed to an early death. A part of this prediction came true in the case of the little patient ; he could not successfully pursue his high school studies, and, as appeared on examination of his involuntary fancies, he stood in great dread of the remainder of the prophecy. However, after a brief period of successful treatment, his sleep was re- stored, he lost his fears, and finished his scholastic year with an excellent record.

I may also add here the interpretation of a vision related to me by an hysteric forty years of age, as having occurred in her normal Hfe. On opening her eyes one morning she beheld in the room her brother, whom she knew to be confined in an insane asylum. Her Httle son was asleep by her side. Lest the child should be frightened on seeing his uncle, and fall into convulsions, she pulled the sheet over the Httle one ; this done, the phantom disappeared. This vision is the re-casting of one of her infantile reminiscences which, although conscious, is most intimately connected with all the


PSYCHOLOGY OF DREAM ACTIVITIES 433

unconscious material in her mind. Her nursemaid told her that her mother, who had died young (the patient was then only a year and a half old), had suffered from epileptic or hysterical convulsions, which dated back to a fright caused by her brother (the patient's uncle), who appeared to her disguised as a spectre with a sheet over his head. The vision contains the same ele- ments as the reminiscence, viz. the appearance of the brother, the sheet, the fright, and its effect. These elements, however, are ranged in different relations, and are transferred to other persons. The obvious motive of the vision, which replaces the idea, is her solicitude lest her little son, who bore a striking resemblance to his uncle, should share the latter 's fate. Both examples here cited are not entirely unrelated to sleep, and may therefore be unsuitable as proof for my assertion. I may therefore refer to my ana