Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/103

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
85
METHOD OF INTERPRETATION

critique; if he succeeds in this, an unlimited number of ideas, which otherwise would have been impossible for him to grasp, come to his consciousness. With the aid of this material, newly secured for the purpose of self-observation, the interpretation of pathological ideas, as well as of dream images, can be accomplished. As may be seen, the point is to bring about a psychic state to some extent analogous as regards the apportionment of psychic energy (transferable attention) to the state prior to falling asleep (and indeed also to the hypnotic state). In falling asleep, the "undesired ideas" come into prominence on account of the slackening of a certain arbitrary (and certainly also critical) action, which we allow to exert an influence upon the trend of our ideas; we are accustomed to assign "fatigue" as the reason for this slackening; the emerging undesired ideas as the reason are changed into visual and acoustic images. (Cf. the remarks of Schleiermacher61) and others, p. 40.) In the condition which is used for the analysis of dreams and pathological ideas, this activity is purposely and arbitrarily dispensed with, and the psychic energy thus saved, or a part of it, is used for the attentive following of the undesired thoughts now coming to the surface, which retain their identity as ideas (this is the difference from the condition of falling asleep). "Undesired ideas" are thus changed into "desired" ones.

The suspension thus required of the critique for these apparently "freely rising" ideas, which is here demanded and which is usually exercised on them, is not easy for some persons. The "undesired ideas" are in the habit of starting the most violent resistance, which seeks to prevent them from coming to the surface. But if we may credit our great poet-philosopher Friedrich Schiller, a very similar tolerance must be the condition of poetic production. At a point in his correspondence with Koerner, for the noting of which we are indebted to Mr. Otto Rank, Schiller answers a friend who complains of his lack of creativeness in the following words: "The reason for your complaint lies, it seems to me, in the constraint which your intelligence imposes upon your imagination. I must here make an observation and illustrate it by an allegory. It does not seem beneficial, and it is harmful for the creative work of the mind, if the intelligence inspects too