Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/24

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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 et agitantur, de quibus vigilantes aut cogitavimus aut egimus."

The contradiction expressed in these two views as to the relation between dream life and waking life seems indeed insoluble. It will therefore not be out of place to mention the description of F. W. Hildebrandt35 (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 upon 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 reality, extinguishes normal recollection of reality, and places us in another world and in a totally different life, which at bottom has nothing in common with reality...." 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 Moselle 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 reality. 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 feeling for Napoleon, but on the contrary a strong patriotic hatred. And finally the dreamer was not yet among the living when Napoleon died on the island; so that it was beyond the reach of possibility for 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.