Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/281

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
263
THE DREAM-WORK

connections first arise only during analysis; but one may always be sure that such new connections have been established only between thoughts which have already been connected in the dream thoughts by other means; the new connections are, so to speak, corollaries, short circuits, which are made possible by the existence of other more fundamental means of connection. It must be admitted that the huge number of trains of thought revealed by analysis have already been active in the formation of the dream, for if a chain of thoughts has been worked out, which seems to be without connection with the formation of the dream, a thought is suddenly encountered which, being represented in the dream, is indispensable to its interpretation—which nevertheless is inaccessible except through that chain of thoughts. The reader may here turn to the dream of the botanical monograph, which is obviously the result of an astonishing condensation activity, even though I have not given the analysis of it completely.

But how, then, is the psychic condition during sleep which precedes dreaming to be imagined? Do all the dream thoughts exist side by side, or do they occur one after another, or are many simultaneous trains of thought constructed from different centres, which meet later on? I am of the opinion that it is not yet necessary to form a plastic conception of the psychic condition of dream formation. Only let us not forget that we are concerned with unconscious thought, and that the process may easily be a different one from that which we perceive in ourselves in intentional contemplation accompanied by consciousness.

The fact, however, that dream formation is based on a process of condensation, stands indubitable. How, then, is this condensation brought about?

If it be considered that of those dream thoughts which are found only the smallest number are represented in the dream by means of one of its ideal elements, it might be concluded that condensation is accomplished by means of ellipsis, in that the dream is not an accurate translation or a projection point by point of the dream thoughts, but a very incomplete and defective reproduction of them. This view, as we shall soon find, is a very inadequate one. But let us take it as a