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Sigmund Freud

The Interpretation of Dreams

    b8860106048has quoted5 months ago
    vain, fraudulent, and empty dreams, the object of which was to misguide or lead him to destruction.[2] This pre-scientific conception of the dream among the ancients was certainly in perfect keeping with their general view of life, which was wont to project as reality in the outer world that which possessed reality only within the mind. It, moreover, accounted for the main impression made upon the waking life by the memory left from the dream in the morning, for in this memory the dream, as compared with the rest of the psychic content, seems something strange, coming, as it were, from another world. It would likewise be wrong to suppose that the theory of the supernatural origin of dreams lacks followers in our own day; for leaving out of consideration all bigoted and mystical authors—who are perfectly justified in adhering to the remnants of the once extensive realm of the supernatural until they have been swept away by scientific explanation—one meets even sagacious men averse to anything adventurous, who go so far as to base their religious belief in the existence and co-operation of superhuman forces on the inexplicableness of the dream manifestations
    b8860106048has quoted5 months ago
    one knows, the ancients before Aristotle did not consider the dream a product of the dreaming mind, but a divine inspiration, and in ancient times the two antagonistic streams, which one finds throughout in the estimates of dream life, were already noticeable. They distinguished between true and valuable dreams, sent to the dreamer to warn him or to foretell the future, and vain, fraudulent, and empty dreams, the object of which was to misguide or lead him to destruction.
    b8860106048has quoted5 months ago
    THE SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE ON THE PROBLEMS OF THE DREAM[1]
    In the following pages I shall prove that there exists a psychological technique by which dreams may be interpreted, and that upon the application of this method every dream will show itself to be a senseful psychological structure which may be introduced into an assignable place in the psychic activity of the waking state. I shall furthermore endeavour to explain the processes which give rise to the strangeness and obscurity of the dream, and to discover through them the nature of the psychic forces which operate, whether in combination or in opposition, to produce the dream. This accomplished, my investigation will terminate, as it will have reached the point where the problem of the dream meets with broader problems, the solution of which must be attempted through other material.

    I must presuppose that the reader is acquainted with the work done by earlier authors as well as with the present status of the dream problem in science, since in the course of this treatise I shall not often have occasion to return to them. For, notwithstanding the effort of several thousand years, little progress has been made in the scientific understanding of dreams. This has been so universally acknowledged by the authors that it seems unnecessary to quote individual opinions. One will find in the writings indexed at the end of this book many stimulating observations and plenty of interesting material for our subject, but little or nothing that concerns the true nature of the dream or that solves definitively any of its enigmas. Still less of course has been transmitted to the knowledge of the educated laity.

    The first book in which the dream is treated as an object of psychology seems to be that of Aristotle[2] (Concerning Dreams and their Interpretation). Aristotle asserts that the dream is of demoniacal, though not of divine nature, which indeed contains deep meaning, if it be correctly interpreted. He was also acquainted with some of the characteristics of dream life, e.g., he knew that the dream turns slight sensations perceived during sleep into great ones ("one imagines that one walks through fire and feels hot, if this or that part of the body becomes slightly warmed"), which led him to conclude that dreams might easily betray to the physician the first indications of an incipient change in the body passing unnoticed during the day. I have been unable to go more deeply into the Aristotelian treatise, because of insufficient preparation and lack of skilled assistance.

    As every one knows, the a
    b0649624623has quoted9 months ago
    Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo"
    Артем Малахивскийhas quoted2 years ago
    the dream often only reveals to us what we do not wish to admit to ourselves, and that we therefore unjustly condemn it as a liar and deceiver
    Артем Малахивскийhas quoted2 years ago
    the dream at times allows us to glance into the deep and inmost recesses of our being, which are generally closed to us in our waking state
    Артем Малахивскийhas quoted2 years ago
    Hildebrandt thus finds the source of the immorality of dreams in the germs and indications of evil impulses which pass through our minds during the day as tempting thoughts, and he sees fit to add these immoral elements to the moral estimation of the personality. It is the same thoughts and the same estimation of these thoughts, which, as we know, have caused devout and holy men of all times to lament that they are evil sinners.
    Артем Малахивскийhas quoted2 years ago
    In this sense, which is difficult to impugn, we understand the words of Christ: Out of the heart come evil thoughts—for we can hardly help being convinced that every sin committed in the dream brings with it at least a vague minimum of guilt."
    Артем Малахивскийhas quoted2 years ago
    The moral nature of man remains even in the dream: "But while we are not offended nor made suspicious by an arithmetical error no matter how obvious, by a reversal of science no matter how romantic, or by an anachronism no matter how witty, we nevertheless do not lose sight of the difference between good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice. No matter how much of what follows us during the day may vanish in our hours of sleep—Kant's categorical imperative sticks to our heels as an inseparable companion from whom we cannot rid ourselves even in slumber.... This can be explained, however, only by the fact that the fundamental in human nature, the moral essence, is too firmly fixed to take part in the activity of the kaleidoscopic shaking up to which phantasy, reason, memory, and other faculties of the same rank succumb in the dream"
    Артем Малахивскийhas quoted2 years ago
    For Hildebrandt, too, it is a strict rule that the purer the life, the purer the dream; the impurer the former, the impurer the latter.
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