Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/215

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197
THE MATERIAL OF DREAMS

not permitted to express itself so openly. In the dream about Count Thun we have seen how an accidental bodily desire is brought into connection with the strongest, and likewise the most strongly suppressed emotions of the psychic life. And when the First Consul incorporates the sound of an exploding bomb into a dream of battle before it causes him to wake, as in the case reported by Garnier, the purpose for which psychic activity generally concerns itself with sensations occurring during sleep is revealed with extraordinary clearness. A young lawyer, who has been deeply preoccupied with his first great bankruptcy proceeding, and who goes to sleep during the afternoon following, acts just like the great Napoleon. He dreams about a certain G. Reich in Hussiatyn (German husten—to cough), whom he knows in connection with the bankruptcy proceeding, but Hussiatyn forces itself upon his attention still further, with the result that he is obliged to awaken, and hears his wife—who is suffering from bronchial catarrh—coughing violently.

Let us compare the dream of Napoleon I., who, incidentally, was an excellent sleeper, with that of the sleepy student, who was awakened by his landlady with the admonition that he must go to the hospital, who thereupon dreams himself into a bed in the hospital, and then sleeps on, with the following account of his motives: If I am already in the hospital, I shan't have to get up in order to go there. The latter is obviously a dream of convenience; the sleeper frankly admits to himself the motive for his dreaming; but he thereby reveals one of the secrets of dreaming in general. In a certain sense all dreams are dreams of convenience; they serve the purpose of continuing sleep instead of awakening. The dream is the guardian of sleep, not the disturber of it. We shall justify this conception with respect to the psychic factors of awakening elsewhere; it is possible, however, at this point to prove its applicability to the influence exerted by objective external excitements. Either the mind does not concern itself at all with the causes of sensations, if it is able to do this in spite of their intensity and of their significance, which is well understood by it; or it employs the dream to deny these stimuli; or thirdly, if it is forced to recognise the stimulus, it seeks to find that interpretation of the stimulus which shall represent the