Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/34

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THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

improbable from the outset by the manner of the dream's behaviour towards the material to be remembered. Strümpell66 justly calls our attention to the fact that repetitions of experiences 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 only fragments of reproduction; this is so often the rule that it admits of theoretical application. Still there are exceptions in which the dream repeats an episode as thoroughly as our memory would in its waking state. Delbœuf 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 Calkins12 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 unchanged in a dream.[1]

(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

  1. From subsequent experience I am able to state that it is not at all rare to find in dreams repetitions of harmless or unimportant occupations of the waking state, such as packing trunks, preparing food, work in the kitchen, &c., but in such dreams the dreamer himself emphasizes not the character but the reality of the memory, "I have really done all this in the day time."