Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/433

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415
PSYCHOLOGY OF DREAM ACTIVITIES

an idea of the abundant unconscious streams of thought striving for expression in our minds, and to believe in the skilfulness displayed by the dream-work in hitting, so to speak, with its ambiguous manner of expression, seven flies with one stroke, like the journeyman tailor in the fairy tale. The reader will constantly be inclined to reproach the author for uselessly squandering his ingenuity, but anyone who has had experience of his own will learn to know better.

The question whether every dream can be interpreted may be answered in the negative. One must not forget that in the work of interpretation one must cope with the psychic forces which are responsible for the distortion of the dream. Whether one can become master of the inner resistances through his intellectual interest, his capacity for self-control, his psychological knowledge, and his practice in dream interpretation becomes a question of the preponderance of forces. It is always possible to make some progress. One can at least go far enough to become convinced that the dream is an ingenious construction, generally far enough to gain an idea of its meaning. It happens very often that a second dream confirms and continues the interpretation assumed for the first. A whole series of dreams running for weeks or months rests on a common basis, and is therefore to be interpreted in connection. In dreams following each other, it may be often observed how one takes as its central point what is indicated only as the periphery of the next, or it is just the other way, so that the two supplement each other in interpretation. That the different dreams of the same night are quite regularly in the interpretation to be treated as a whole I have already shown by examples.

In the best interpreted dreams we must often leave one portion in obscurity because we observe in the interpretation that it represents the beginning of a tangle of dream thoughts which cannot be unravelled but which has furnished no new contribution to the dream content. This, then, is the keystone of the dream, the place at which it mounts into the unknown. For the dream thoughts which we come upon in the interpretation must generally remain without a termination, and merge in all directions into the net-like entanglement of our world of thoughts. It is from some denser portion of this texture