Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/389

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371
THE DREAM-WORK

The detachment 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 wherever 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 affective 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 passionate plea for my freedom to act as I am acting and to arrange my life as seems right to me and to me alone. The dream which results from it sounds indifferent; I have written a monograph; it is lying before me; it is fitted with coloured plates, and dried plants are to be found with each copy. It is like the peacefulness 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