Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/446

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of its relations to elements of raw memory material—that is, if we wish to point to a profounder theory in the gradations of the resistances to conduction toward these elements.

We may insert here an observation of a general nature which points perhaps to something of importance. The P-system, which possesses no capability of preserving changes and hence no memory, furnishes for our consciousness the entire manifoldness of the sensible qualities. Our memories, on the other hand, are unconscious in themselves; those that are most deeply impressed form no exception. They can be made conscious, but there can be no doubt that they develop all their influences in the unconscious state. What we term our character is based, to be sure, on the memory traces of our impressions, and indeed on these impressions that have affected us most strongly, those of our early youth—those that almost never become conscious. But when memories become conscious again they show no sensible quality or a very slight one in comparison to the perceptions. If, now, it can be confirmed that memory and quality exclude each other, as far as consciousness in the Ψ-systems is concerned, a most promising insight reveals itself to us in the determinations of the neuron excitement.

What we have so far assumed concerning the composition of the psychic apparatus at the sensible end follows regardless of the dream and the psychological explanations derived from it. The dream, however, serves as a source of proof for the knowledge of another part of the apparatus. We have seen that it became impossible to explain the dream formation unless we ventured to assume two psychic instances, one of which subjected the activity of the other to a critique as a consequence of which the exclusion from consciousness resulted.

We have seen that the criticising instance entertains closer relations with consciousness than the criticised. The former stands between the latter and consciousness like a screen. We have, moreover, found essential reasons for identifying the criticising instance with that which directs our waking life and determines our voluntary conscious actions. If we now replace these instances in the development of our theory by systems, the criticising system is then to be ascribed