The fact that a grossly sexual, tender or inimical, transference occurs in every treatment of a neurosis, although this was neither desired nor induced by either party, has, for me, always seemed to be the most unshakable proof that the forces of the neuroses originate in the sexual life. This argument has surely not been seriously enough considered, for if it were, there would be no question as to where the investigation would tend. For my own conviction, it has remained decisive over and above the special results of the work of the analysis.
Some comfort for the bad reception which my theory of the sexual etiology of the neuroses met with, even in the closer circle of my friends—a negative space was soon formed about my person—I found in the thought that I had taken up the fight for a new and original idea. One day, however, my memories grouped themselves in such a way that this satisfaction was disturbed, but in return I obtained an excellent insight into the origin of our activities and into the nature of our knowledge. The idea for which I was held responsible had not at all originated with me. It had come to me from three persons, whose opinions could count upon my deepest respect; from Breuer himself, from Charcot, and from Chrobak, the gynecologist of our university, probably the most prominent of our Vienna physicians. All three men had imparted to me an insight which, strictly speaking, they had not themselves possessed. Two of them denied their communication to me when later I reminded them of this: the third (Master Charcot) might also have done so, had it been granted me to see him again. But these identical communications, received without my grasping them, had lain dormant within me, until one day they awoke as an apparently original discovery.
One day, while I was a young hospital doctor, I was accompanying Breuer on a walk through the town when a man came up to him urgently desiring to speak with him. I fell back and, when Breuer was free again, he told me, in his kindly, teacher-like manner, that this was the husband of a patient, who had brought him some news about her. The wife, he added, behaved in so conspicuous a manner