Page:Collected Papers on Analytical Psychology (1916).djvu/319
A dream is a psychic structure which at first sight appears to be in striking contrast with conscious thought, because judging by its form and substance, it apparently does not lie within the continuity of development of the conscious contents, it is not integral to it, but is a mere external and apparently accidental occurrence. Its mode of genesis is in itself sufficient to isolate a dream from the other contents of the conscious, for it is a survival of a peculiar psychic activity which takes place during sleep, and does not originate in the manifest and clearly logical and emotional continuity of the event experienced.
But a careful observer should have no difficulty in discovering that a dream is not entirely severed from the continuity of the conscious, for in almost every dream certain details are found which have their origin in the impressions, thoughts, or states of mind of one of the preceding days. In so far a certain continuity does exist, albeit a retrograde one. But any one keenly interested in the dream problem cannot have failed to observe that a dream has also a progressive continuity—if such an expression be permitted—since dreams occasionally exert a remarkable influence upon the conscious mental life, even of persons who cannot be considered superstitious or particularly abnormal. These occasional after-effects are usually seen in a more or less distinct change in the dreamer’s frame of mind.
It is probably in consequence of this loose connection with the other conscious contents, that the recollected dream
- This lecture was prepared for the Berne Medical Congress, 1914, postponed on the outbreak of war.