Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/53

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35
LITERATURE OF THE DREAM

not merely because they alone can easily be found and even confirmed by experiment, but the somatic conception of the origin of dreams thoroughly corresponds to the mode of thinking in vogue nowadays in psychiatry. Indeed, the mastery of the brain over the organism is particularly emphasized; but everything that might prove an independence of the psychic life from the demonstrable organic changes, or a spontaneity in its manifestations, is alarming to the psychiatrist nowadays, as if an acknowledgment of the same were bound to bring back the times of natural philosophy and the metaphysical conception of the psychic essence. The distrust of the psychiatrist has placed the psyche under a guardian, so to speak, and now demands that none of its feelings shall divulge any of its own faculties; but this attitude shows slight confidence in the stability of the causal concatenation which extends between the material and the psychic. Even where on investigation the psychic can be recognised as the primary course of a phenomenon, a more profound penetration will some day succeed in finding a continuation of the path to the organic determination of the psychic. But where the psychic must be taken as the terminus for our present knowledge, it should not be denied on that account.

(d) Why the Dream is Forgotten after Awakening.—That the dream "fades away" in the morning is proverbial. To be sure, it is capable of recollection. For we know the dream only by recalling it after awakening; but very often we believe that we remember it only incompletely, and that during the night there was more of it; we can observe how the memory of a dream which has been still vivid in the morning vanishes in the course of the day, leaving only a few small fragments; we often know that we have been dreaming, but we do not know what; and we are so well used to the fact that the dream is liable to be forgotten that we do not reject as absurd the possibility that one may have been dreaming even when one knows nothing in the morning of either the contents or the fact of dreaming. On the other hand, it happens that dreams manifest an extraordinary retentiveness in the memory. I have had occasion to analyse with my patients dreams which had occurred to them twenty-five years or more previously, and I can remember a dream of my