Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/216

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THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

actual sensation as a component part of a situation which is desired and which is compatible with sleep. The actual sensation is woven into the dream in order to deprive it of its reality. Napoleon is permitted to go on sleeping; it is only a dream recollection of the thunder of the cannon at Arcole which is trying to disturb him.[1]

The wish to sleep, by which the conscious ego has been suspended and which along with the dream-censor contributes its share to the dream, must thus always be taken into account as a motive for the formation of dreams, and every successful dream is a fulfilment of this wish. The relation of this general, regularly present, and invariable sleep-wish to the other wishes, of which now the one, now the other is fulfilled, will be the subject of a further explanation. In the wish to sleep we have discovered a factor capable of supplying the deficiency in the theory of Strümpell and Wundt, and of explaining the perversity and capriciousness in the interpretation of the outer stimulus. The correct interpretation, of which the sleeping mind is quite capable, would imply an active interest and would require that sleep be terminated; hence, of those interpretations which are possible at all, only those are admitted which are agreeable to the absolute censorship of the somatic wish. It is something like this: It's the nightingale and not the lark. For if it's the lark, love's night is at an end. From among the interpretations of the excitement which are at the moment possible, that one is selected which can secure the best connection with the wish-possibilities that are lying in wait in the mind. Thus everything is definitely determined, and nothing is left to caprice. The misinterpretation is not an illusion, but—if you will—an excuse. Here again, however, there is admitted an action which is a modification of the normal psychic procedure, as in the case where substitution by means of displacement is effected for the purposes of the dream-censor.

If the outer nerve stimuli and inner bodily stimuli are sufficiently intense to compel psychic attention, they represent—that is, in case they result in dreaming and not in awakening—a definite point in the formation of dreams, a nucleus in the

  1. In the two sources from which I am acquainted with this dream, the report of its contents do not agree.