Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/201

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183
THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS

If the two childhood scenes of urinating are otherwise closely connected with the desire for greatness, their rehabilitation on the trip to the Aussee was further favoured by the accidental circumstance that my compartment had no water-closet, and that I had to expect embarrassment on the ride as actually happened in the morning. I awoke with the sensation of a bodily need. I suppose one might be inclined to credit these sensations with being the actual stimulus of the dream; I should, however, prefer a different conception—namely, that it was the dream thoughts which gave rise to the desire to urinate. It is quite unusual for me to be disturbed in sleep by any need, at least at the time of this awakening, a quarter of four in the morning. I may forestall further objection by remarking that I have hardly ever felt a desire to urinate after awakening early on other journeys made under more comfortable circumstances. Moreover, I can leave this point undecided without hurting my argument.

Since I have learned, further, from experience in dream analysis that there always remain important trains of thought proceeding from dreams whose interpretation at first seems complete (because the sources of the dream and the actuation of the wish are easily demonstrable), trains of thought reaching back into earliest childhood, I have been forced to ask myself whether this feature does not constitute an essential condition of dreaming. If I were to generalise this thesis, a connection with what has been recently experienced would form a part

course of the history of human civilisation (in so far as the "mother's right" does not force a qualification of this thesis). The idea in the dream, "thinking and experiencing are the same thing," refers to the explanation of hysterical symptoms, to which the male urinal (glass) also has a relation. I need not explain the principle of the "Gschnas" to a Viennese; it consists in constructing objects of rare and costly appearance out of trifles, and preferably out of comical and worthless material—for example, making suits of armour out of cooking utensils, sticks and "salzstangeln (elongated rolls), as our artists like to do at their jolly parties. I had now learned that hysterical subjects do the same thing; besides what has actually occurred to them, they unconsciously conceive horrible or extravagant fantastic images, which they construct from the most harmless and commonplace things they have experienced. The symptoms depend solely upon these phantasies, not upon the memory of their real experiences, be they serious or harmless. This explanation helped me to overcome many difficulties and gave me much pleasure. I was able to allude to it in the dream element "male urinal" (glass) because I had been told that at the last "Gschnas" evening a poison chalice of Lucretia Borgia had been exhibited, the chief constituent of which had consisted of a glass urinal for men, such as is used in hospitals.