Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/435

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417
PSYCHOLOGY OF DREAM ACTIVITIES

without suffering diminution per se. It is also plausible that both the factors favourable to dream formation, the diminution as well as the eluding of the resistance, may be made possible simultaneously through the sleeping state. But we shall pause here, and continue this line of thought later.

There is another series of objections against our procedure in the dream interpretation which we must now consider. In this interpretation we proceed by dropping all the endpresentations which otherwise control reflection, we direct our attention to an individual element of the dream, and then note the unwished-for thoughts that occur to us in this connection. We then take up the next component of the dream content, and repeat the operation with it; and, without caring in what direction the thoughts take us, we allow ourselves to be led on by them until we end by rambling from one subject to another. At the same time, we harbour the confident hope that we may in the end, without effort, come upon the dream thoughts from which our dream originated. Against this the critic brings the following objection: That one can arrive somewhere, starting from a single element in the dream is nothing wonderful. Something can be associatively connected with every idea. It is remarkable only that one should succeed in hitting the dream thoughts in this aimless and arbitrary excursion of thought. It is probably a self-deception; the investigator follows the chain of association from one element until for some reason it is seen to break, when a second element is taken up; it is thus but natural that the association, originally unbounded, should now experience a narrowing. He keeps in mind the former chain of associations, and he will therefore in analysis more easily hit upon certain thoughts which have something in common with the thoughts from the first chain. He then imagines that he has found a thought which represents a point of junction between two elements of the dream. As he, moreover, allows himself every freedom of thought connection, excepting only the transitions from one idea to another which are made in normal thinking, it is not finally difficult for him to concoct something which he calls the dream thought out of a series of "intermediary thoughts"; and without any guarantee, as they are otherwise unknown, he palms these off as the psychic

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