Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/74

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56
THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

day may vanish in our hours of sleep—Kant's categorical imperative sticks to our heels as an inseparable companion from whom we cannot rid ourselves even in slumber.... This can be explained, however, only by the fact that the fundamental in human nature, the moral essence, is too firmly fixed to take part in the activity of the kaleidoscopic shaking up to which phantasy, reason, memory, and other faculties of the same rank succumb in the dream" (p. 45, &c.).

In the further discussion of the subject we find remarkable distortion and inconsequence in both groups of authors. Strictly speaking, interest in immoral dreams would cease for all those who assert that the moral personality of the person crumbles away in the dream. They could just as calmly reject the attempt to hold the dreamer responsible for his dreams, and to draw inferences from the badness of his dreams as to an evil strain in his nature, as they rejected the apparently similar attempt to demonstrate the insignificance of his intellectual life in the waking state from the absurdity of his dreams. The others for whom "the categorical imperative" extends also into the dream, would have to accept full responsibility for the immoral dreams; it would only be desirable for their own sake that their own objectionable dreams should not lead them to abandon the otherwise firmly held estimation of their own morality.

Still it seems that no one knows exactly about himself how good or how bad he is, and that no one can deny the recollection of his own immoral dreams. For besides the opposition already mentioned in the criticism of the morality of the dream, both groups of authors display an effort to explain the origin of the immoral dream and a new opposition is developed, depending on whether their origin is sought in the functions of the psychic life or in the somatically determined injuries to this life. The urgent force of the facts then permits the representatives of the responsibility, as well as of the irresponsibility of the dream life, to agree in the recognition of a special psychic source for the immorality of dreams.

All those who allow the continuance of the morality in the dream nevertheless guard against accepting full responsibility for their dreams. Haffner32 says (p. 24): "We are not