Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/448

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THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

dream thoughts gain admission to consciousness, but the question arises, in what way and because of what change. If this admission was rendered possible to the dream thoughts through the fact that the resistance watching on the boundary between the unconscious and foreconscious sinks at night, we should then get dreams in the material of our presentations which did not show the hallucinatory character which just now interests us.

The sinking of the censor between the two systems, Unc. and Forec., can explain to us only such dreams as "Autodidasker," but not dreams like the one of the burning child, which we have taken as a problem at the outset in these present investigations.

What takes place in the hallucinatory dream we can describe in no other way than by saying that the excitement takes a retrogressive course. It takes its station, not at the motor end of the apparatus, but at the sensible end, and finally reaches the system of the perceptions. If we call the direction towards which the psychic process continues from the unconscious into the waking state the progressive, we may then speak of the dream as having a regressive character.

This regression is surely one of the most important peculiarities of the dream process; but we must not forget that it does not belong to the dream alone. The intentional recollection and other processes of our normal thinking also require a retrogression in the psychic apparatus from any complex presentation act to the raw material of the memory traces lying at its basis. But during the waking state this turning backward does not reach beyond the memory pictures; it is unable to produce the hallucinatory vividness of the perception pictures. Why is this different in the dream? When we spoke of the condensation work of the dream we could not avoid the assumption that the intensities adhering to the presentations are fully transferred from one to another through the dream-work. It is probably this modification of the former psychic process which makes possible the occupation of the system of P to its full sensual vividness in the opposite direction from thought.

I hope that we are far from deluding ourselves about the importance of this present discussion. We have done nothing