Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/452

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434
THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

images may be the result of the attraction exerted by the visually represented reminiscences, striving for reanimation, upon the thoughts severed from consciousness and struggling for expression. Following this conception, we may further describe the dream as a modified substitute for the infantile scene produced by transference to recent material. The infantile cannot enforce its renewal, and must therefore be satisfied to return as a dream.

This reference to the significance of the infantile scenes (or of their phantastic repetitions), as in a manner furnishing the pattern for the dream content, renders superfluous the assumption made by Scherner and his pupils, of an inner source of excitement. Scherner assumes a state of "visual excitation" of internal excitement in the organ of sight when the dreams manifest a particular vividness or a special abundance of visual elements. We need not object to this assumption, but may be satisfied with establishing such state of excitation for the psychic perceptive system of the organs of vision only; we shall, however, assert that this state of excitation is formed through the memory, and is merely a refreshing of the former actual visual excitation. I cannot, from my own experience, give a good example showing such an influence of infantile reminiscence; my own dreams are surely less rich in perceptible elements than I must fancy those of others; but in my most beautiful and most vivid dream of late years I can easily trace the hallucinatory distinctness of the dream contents to the sensuous nature of recently received impressions. On page 368 I mentioned a dream in which the dark blue colour of the water, the brown colour of the smoke issuing from the ship's funnels, and the sombre brown and red of the buildings which I had seen made a profound and lasting impression on my mind. This dream, if any, must be attributed to visual excitation. But what has brought my visual organ into this excitable state? It was a recent impression uniting itself with a series of former ones. The colours I beheld were those of the toy blocks with which my children erected a grand structure for my admiration on the day preceding the dream. The same sombre red colour covered the large blocks and the same blue and brown the small ones. Connected with these were the colour