THE TECHNIQUE OF DREAM INTERPRETATION
[Reprinted from THE PSYCHOLOGICALI\ REVIEW, Vol. IV, No. l, Jan., 1917.)
THE TECHNIQUE OF DREAM INTERPRETATION 1
BY DR. WILHELM STEKEL TRANSLATED BY JOHN EDWARD LIND, M.D.
" Aristotle says somewhere : ' When we are awake we have a universal wc;rld, when we dream, then everyone has his own particular one.' I think this last sentence should be turned around and we should say: If each one of different men has his own particular world, then it is to be presumed that they dream."-Kant.
One who has read my long array of chapters carefully could be easily led to believe that he is a finished interpreter of dreams and has become a complete master of this new science. Now I have gone to a great deal of pains to perf ect the understanding of sym bolism according to our modern standards of knowledge. But with the knowledge of symbolism everything is not yet accomplished. To be sure there are dreams which are so simple that one can trans late them without the assistance of the dreamer. But these dreams have also their overdetermination, their individual meanings, which cannot be discovered without the active aid of the dreamer. The longer one works with a person, the more intimately one gets to know him. So that without knowledge of the dream material one can of ten discover two or even more meanings. One can see through many dreams at the first glance. Yet now and then even the most skilful dream interpreter will meet dreams which remain a mystery to him. It is necessary to have the help of the dreamer.
The usual method of dream interpretation is the one laid down by Freud. We must record the ideas of the dreamer scrupulously and keep our own to ourselves. So we have the dream told to us. It is advantageous to have this recital made a second time. As Freud justly emphasizes, the variations from the first recital are very im portant. They contain the places which have been subjected to the greatest repression. Now and then the repetition coincides exactly. We begin then with the interpretation.
1Chapter XLVII, from his book, " Die Sprache des Traumes," published by J. F. Bergmann, 1911. Translated with the consent of the author.
THE TECHNIQUE OF DREAM INTERPRETATION85
We ask the dreamer, what occurs to him in connection with the dream. If he is a novice, he will invariably reply : "Nothing at all. What should occur to me ? " We then insist that the dream must suggest occurrences. If the resistance or the lack of understanding is considerable, the dreamer will still insist that nothing occurs to him.
Now there are various aids, nevertheless, to get him to talk. We ask him of what actual experience the dream reminds him. About this most people have some idea. They regard the dream as the distorted reproduction of various experiences and are quite willing to offer these. Then one observes that the presentation of the dream has altered or falsified the experience, that strange elements have .insinuated themselves-and thus come unawares into the anal ysis. Or one asks, what meaning for the lif e of the dreamer this or that person occurring in the dream has, and thus brings the dreamer to speech. As a rule he then speaks on and reveals his suppressed material.
We will endeavor to represent the course of such a dream anal ysis and we choose for our paradigm a rather difficult theme. It concerns a man about forty years old who does not believe in the interpretation of dreams and relates a dream to me. I request him to write down the dream, which he does. The two versions do not differ materially.
The dream is peculiar enough. It permits of no interpretation with the aid of our symbolism. We are dependent upon the good will of the dreamer. Listen, then, to the dream picture of one P. F.
THE DREAM OF THE DENT
"I tell a mechanic to give me my wife' s bicycle. As I look at it I notice that it has a large dent. I pitsh it into the workshop. There are a number of work men who stand at tables lik e composi tors. One, a friendly young man, asks me what I want.
" Then I discuss the German Kaiser. ' H e is an energetic, vigor ous man,' I say to my companion. High above stands the Kaiser Franz J osef . ' You can say what you lik e,' I remark , ' Our Kaiser is a dear old man.' M y companion agrees.
"Before or after: Two wonien, scantily clad, are lying on the fioor. The one older, the other younger. I wond er at the per fect
development of the younger one and sa y to the old er woman: ' You are indeed well-inf ormed, too. But these per f ect legs!'At that my
gaze wanders to the legs of the old woman which were almost H er culean in build and covered with fine hair."
I acquaint the dreamer with the method of dream work and say : " Close your eyes, so that your attention is not distracted by the outer world. Tell me all the thoughts that are passing through your head."
P. F.: "Nothing is passing through my head."
"That is impossible.Our brain works constantly.You must be thinking of something."
P. F.: "Well, then, I am just thinking about the dream." "What do you think of the dream ? "
P. F.: "That it is nonsense.How anyone can dream such stuff ! Absurd."
"What is absurd ? "
P. F. : "The whole dream is absurd. The business about the bicycle, about the two kaisers, Wilhelm and Franz Josef , and the affair of the two women."
" Of whom do the two women remind you ? "
P. F.: " Of no one.They were strangers, women entirely un known to me."
"Have you made a remark to any person about the shape ? To any woman ? "
P. F.: " Not that I remember. Wait-something occurs to me I was at the seashore. It certainly was a seeshore. One saw many strikingly beautiful women there. There I saw one, not so good looking, but rather flirtatious, a tempting sort of a person. She was lying on the sand and winked across at me, although her hus band was lying by her and whispering little pet names to her. I was struck with her ell-developed, Herculean limbs. She aroused my passion. I thought, ' One could start something with her.' "
"Which of the two women of the dream was it ? "
P. F. : "The older.She had those astonishing, perhaps some what too muscular thighs.For the size of the woman her legs ,vere much too big. . . ."
"And what occurs to you about the younger woman ? "
P. F.: Is silent a long time and then says, hesitatingly, "No one !" "You say that so dubiously, that I can imagine that someone
does occur to you."·
P. F.: " No ! No ! Positively no one !"
" Maybe so ! Be sure you speak frankly !"
P. F.: " Someon dges occur to me.But I do not believe that she belongs in this.She has noth1.ngto do with the dream." "We shall see about that.Now will you have the goodness to THE TECH NIQUE OF DREAM INTERPRETATION87 tell me what occurs? Or will you abandon the interpretation of the dream ? "
P. F. : " By no means ! Although I do not believe in it. So listen : It has to do with my mistress. For several years past I have had an affair with a widow. She has one daughter, fourteen years old, as yet an innocent child. I said to the mother recently : ' Mizzi is splendidly proportioned. She will have a beautiful shape one of these days.' "
"And how is the mother proportioned ? "
P. F. : "Very large and sensual. She is a splendid specimen of a woman. Everyone is envious of me.''
" Is this lady conspicuously hairy ? "
P. F. :" No! Quite the contrary ! She has a snow-white, fault less body. She is constantly boasting about her complexion and her skin, saying, ' I have never had a pimple on my body.' Quite dif f erent from me. I am terribly hairy."
"And the pimples. . . .''
P. F.: "Well, you know my old trouble. Since I have recovered from the syphilis, I f ear that every pimple might be a relapse. I suffer very much from a skin eruption. The doctors always say, 'A harm less rash : Acne.' I worry nevertheless. An incident of my youth now occurs to me. I was still quite small when my father took me with him to a Turkish bath. There was a masseur who was covered all over with pimples. I heard my father remonstrate with the manager of the baths and seemed to hear something about ' con tagious ' and ' disgusting.' The manager said, ' That doesn't amount to anything. It is a harmless rash. The man has too much unused vigor.' . . . But has that anything to do with the dream ? . . ,"
"Perhaps so. . . . But what about this unused vigor ? "
P. F.: "In confidence ; I have still another mistress. My cham bermaid, a fine woman, but awfully passionate. She makes de mands on me which I cannot satisf y. To be sure, if I were younger."
" So you f eel old, then ? Why, you are a man in the prime of lif e. . . .''
P. F. : "Yes, but in spite of that, I seem old to myself . Just look-my immense bald spot. Not a hair on my bald pate. My teeth are loose. My vitality is decreasing. I cannot do as much work as formerly. . . .''
Then there came a long pause. One would say that the riddles of the dream are not yet solved. Nothing in the last part about the
old and the young women. Yet we notice that we have stumbled upon a sensitive place in the inmost mind of Mr. P. F. Like all mankind, he would gladly be young again. But there must be a definite reason for this....which is concealed in the dream. The hair which he has lost adorns his mistress in order to make it less desirable. Something else now occurs to the dreamer about the hair.
P. F.: " That is a curious thing about the hair. My mistress has a little moustache. She of ten says to me, ' Strange, where it does not belong, there you cannot get rid of hair, but where it does belong it falls out.' "
" Does anything occur to you in connectionthe subject ' hairy ' ? "·
P. F.: "I love beautiful blonde hair. Mizzi, the daughter of my mistress, has beautiful, golden hair that she always wears loose. She also has a hairy birthmark."
" How do you know that ? "
P. F. : "Her mother showed it to me. It is on the upper part of the thigh. The mother asked me what she could do about it, if she should go to a skin specialist, a beauty doctor. I said ' What for ? One does not uncover that part of the body,' and at that the mother and Mizzi laughed very much."
" Was that the end of the incident ? "
P. F. : " Practically, yes, only later the mother said, ' You never can tell but what Mizzi might not some time have to uncover herself . It disfigures the girl.' I protested at this and argued that such a small birthmark was on the contrary rather piquant. With that the incident was closed.''
" It does not appear, however, to be closed, for you have dreamed about it. You have attributed the ugly hair to the mother in order to make the younger one, the daughter, appear without a blemish.''
P. F. : " Why, that is nonsense. \i\That have I to do with the little girl. She will soon belong to another."
He says this almost in a tone of regret.Then he continues :
P. F. : "I admit this much to you, that the view of the uncovered thigh of Mizzi made. a certain impression on me. I am especially fond, as a rule, of the tender, half developed creature. Fidus ges talten-Do you know ' Ahasver in Rome ' by Hammerling. The scene in which the immature young girl, I think about thirteen or fourteen years old, is robbed of her virtue, made a great impres sion on me. I value that work very highly and read it with great enjoyment . . . .''
THE TECHNIQUE OF DREAM INTERPRETATION89
Here the beginning of a perversion reveals itself : the love of children. But listen to the further associations. I ask what next occurs to him, especiallyabout the mistress. " She must certainly be a well-developed woman of middle age ? "
P. F.: "You're right, she is not my style ; she is too coarse for me. Then, too, she has a faulf; she has, since the birth of her daughter, suffered from a large perineal tear."
"Do you know that that is represented in the dream ? "
P. F.: "Where ? "
"You give the bicycle of your wif e to be repaired of a dent ? "
P. F.: "Yes, but the mistress is not my wife ; I have been divorced from her these many years."
" That means-now the mistress is your wife ; she replaces your wife. Isn't that so ? "
P. S.: " Ye!, that is so, and furthermore I have advised her to have an operation. Doctor Fleischmann (a gynecologist in Vienna) has told her ' Nothing but an operation will help you.' I made a joke about it and said, ' It is only a little repair work, go into a sani tarium, and let them mend the hole for you.' "
Here the first analysis was ended. It consumed a whole hour.
Next day we began again. We took as the theme : The dent.
P. F. : "You probably know what a dent means-a bent, useless wheel. Af ter a collision or a heavy fall a wheel loses its beautiful, circular shape. . . . It receives a dent. In past years I have trav eled a great deal on a wheel. So have my mistress and her daughter. My mistress had, as a matter of fact, at one time a dent."
" Doesn't the connection occur to you between the last part of the dream and the bent wheel ? A patched-up hole-a patched-up wheel."
P. F. : "Yes, it is astonishing. I have alluded to every mistress as a wheel. I have now a new wheel, means a new mistress. My wif e, the real one, from whom I have been divorced, had a wheel too much in her head.
" It had the appearance as if I were busy in the dream with old bicycles, when I would rather have new, perf ect wheels. I am, to be sure, a Don Juan ; I would like to have a new mistress every week. Best of all an untouched young- "
"What occurs to you about the mechanic? "
P. F. : "A man by the name of Schlager ; although he certainly occurs to me, it is a mystery why. He is employed in a printing office as a manager. I have not seen him for many years. At one
90WILHELM STEKEL time, I read proof on various printedatter and had recourse to him." "It deals with the correction of a fault.Then it agrees."
P. F.: "But something else agrees. I have been waiting a long time now for a ' Schlager ' (theatrical success or ' hit ') ; my last pieces have not made a hit. I have now finished two pieces for the theater. I hope that one will be a success. Then the word Schlager has an association with my wif e. I discovered her in an act of infidelity and struck her in anger, so that I was in reality a ' Schlager ' (one who strikes). I subsequently regretted it very much. . . ."
" That was, then, the reason for the divorce? "
P. F.: "If that had but been the only reason. As I found out later, my wif e had a number of lovers, who, so to speak, had ' worked with her.' She was a practised hussy.''
" Do you not remember the part of the dream, ' There are a number of workmen who stand at tables like compositors ? ' "
P. F.: "Yes, I see now, that represents all the people who have worked with her."
" Who, then, is the friendly young man ? "
P. F.: "He reminds me of my son,-wait-a scene now appears to me : Once when I lef t my wif e in anger, the boy said, ' \iVhat do you want with mamma ? ' I of ten think of this occurrence. Once the boy said, ' If you take me away from mamma, I will die.' His mother had taught him to say that. For he is well contented now with his governess and does not want to see his mother. Before many years I am going to marry again. I am a Catholic. A Cath olic marriage in Austria is only dissolved by death. . . .''
"You want to risk the experiment of matrimony once more, then ? "
P. F.: "Yes, it was a charming young girl. I was passionately in love with her, yet out of regard for my children I gave up the project. At that time my wif e was very sick, her lif e was despaired of. I conf ess to you, that I wished in a corner of my soul she might die. Then I could have married the young girl.''
" Do you entertain similar wishes now about your mistress ? "
P. F.: "Very candidly, yes ; I can get rid of them only with diffi culty. When I spoke of the operation for the perinea! tear, the case of a friend who lost his wif e by this innocent operation came cu riously enough to my mind.''
"It is as if the dream wanted to compare the mother and daughter and wished to say : ' The daughter is much prettier. If
THE TECHNIQUE OF DREAM INTERPRETATION91
the mother dies, you can start something with the daughter.' And the blow ? "
P. F.: "Is perhaps the heavy blow, which should happen to me, the death of the loved one. Moreover-her father died a year ago from apoplexy " (Herzschlag).
"Therefore, the mechanic, who will make everything right, who only can dissolve the Catholic marriage, is death.''
P. F.: "I am very much interested in death. I occupy myself a great deal with thoughts of death, even in regard to my children. Of ten I picture them as an encumbrance. Such a brutal egoist is the human being. I, to picture myself a hypochondriac! Yet I am enough of a philosopher not to get any gray hair about it."
" The friendly young man in the dream, your son, represents the virtuous opposition of your inmost mind. He asks you, what you wish.''
P. F.: "Yes, as if he would say : ' Old donkey, haven't you done enough foolishness in your lif e ? ' "
" One section of the dream we haven't yet cleared up, the part about the two kaisers."
P. F.: " I saw our Kaiser last year several times. The remark, which the dream contains, has been made to me by someone or other. By whom ? . . .''
Here the dreamer stops. There come no other reminiscences. A great opposition makes every further interpretation impossible. We therefore stop the interpretation.
"The meaning of a dream," says Freud, " does not reveal itself always at once, not infrequently one finds his resources (capacity for work) exhausted when he is following a chain of associations. The dream says nothing more on that day, then it is well to stop and return to work the next day. Then another part of the dream claims the attention and one finds the way to a new layer of dream thoughts. This may be called the ' fractional ' dream interpreta tion.'' (T. D., 322.)
On the third day he came again and showed that he had not cor rectly given the part about the Kaiser. He did not find the right impression there. In any case it did not happen in the dream the way he told it to me.
This doubt also2 belongs to the dream material. It has to do with an important, suppressed complex.
2 " The doubt concerning the correct representation of the dream, or of its individual data, is again only an offshoot of the dream censor-that is, of the resistance against penetration to consciousness of the dream thoughts.
At the next sitting the dreamer is very reticent . For a long time he has very f ew associations until I call his attention to a circum stance. The whole dream concerns the contrast of youth and age. The old mechanic-the young workman. The old wheel-the new wheel. The old mistress-the young daughter. The old Kaiser, Franz Josef-the young Kaiser, Wilhelm.
P. F.: " You are right. The contrast is striking. As if the old Kaiser should represent the old mistress and Kaiser Wilhelm the young daughter. Now something occurs to me. I had some crazy thoughts a f ew days ago. If I were younger, I could marry the daughter of my mistress. Then I thought : 'You old donkey. She would have the horns placed on you then.' And then I thought : ' You could make the young one your mistress.' But yet I have pity for my ' old one.' You can say what you like, she is still a good fellow."
"Do you not notice that you have used the same expression in the dream ? 'You can say what you like, . . ., etc.? ' "
P. F.: "Sure enough ! You are right. Still I beg of you what could I do with the young one ? It would be the same with me as with my father.''
"How do you mean ? "
P. F.: "My father was already an old man, when he took my mother home. Everyone talked about it. In confidence, I am sup posed to be the son of a cousin of my mother . . . .''
This resistance has not entirely exhausted itself in bringing about the dis placements and substitutions,. and it therefore adheres as doubt to what has been allowed to pass through. We can recognize this doubt all the easier through the fact that it takes care not to attach the intensive elements of the dream, but only the weak and indistinct ones. For we already know that a transvaluation of all the psychic values has taken place between the dream thoughts and the dream. The disfigurement has been made possible only by the alteration of values ; it regularly manif ests itself in this way and occa sionally content's itself with this. If doubt attaches itself to an indistinct element of the dream content, we may, following the hint, recognize in this element a direct offshoot of one of the outlawed dream thoughts. It is here just as it was af ter a great revolution in one of the republics of antiquity or of the Renaissance. The former noble and powerful ruling families are now banished ; all high positions are filled by upstarts ; in the city itself only the very poor and powerless citizens or the distant followers of the vanquished party are tolerated. Even they do not enjoy the full rights of citizenship. They are suspiciously watched. Instead of the suspicion in the comparison, we have in our case the doubt." The Interpretation of Dreams, page 40<).
" Whose name is Wilhelm. . . ."
P. F. : " How do you know that ? "
" I have only mentioned it incidentally, because the younger Kaiser is called ' Wilhelm.' "
P. F.: " Marvelous ! He also was called Wilhelm ; he is dead, and my father's name was Franz.
"Then you have had two fathers ? "
P. F. : " Curiously enough, yes. For Wilhelm lef t me his whole fortune af ter his death. To him I owe my whole existence in every sense."
Now is the opposition explained. It concerns a taint of his mother. The two kaisers are the two fathers. The dear old man his impotent father. "You can say what you like," the people are talking about it. The energetic, vigorous man is his own father. The relation between young and old is a constellation from youth. He indentifies himself with his mother. He might also have the young one af ter the old.
The dream still contains a number of puzzles. Especially in the second part a companion appears, who agrees. "Of whom does the companion remind you ? "
P. F.: " No one."
"You are beginning again.Some one will soon come to you."
P. F.: "Yes,-a Dr. Spiegelglas, who died a long time ago. He was small, bald-headed, had goggle eyes, glasses and hideous rat like teeth. We named him af ter a Roman figure by Arne Geborg, the ' Death of Lubeck.' "
"In other words : The companion is death. The hidden sense of the dream is then this, death might remove your mistress and your wif e in order that you can marry the young one. Also the striker (Schlager) was death.'' (" The stroke shall attack them "3 is in deed a familiar curse.)
P. F.: " My mistress is very fat and said lately, ' I will certainly die soon of apoplexy '" ( Herzschlag).
Now I shall conclude the analysis in this form. The relations of this dream to the infantile are of many kinds. He believes he has reason to think that his mother could scarcely wait for his nominal father to die. In short, it appears to be the typical family story, this time with a real foundation. The dreamer has concluded that the dream is not nonsense. It was the source of a secret commu nication and a great psychic unburdening.
3 A common expression of ill-will in Austria, equivalent to the English, "The devil take you I " Trans.
Is this dream analysis complete ? No prof essor of dream inter pretation could say for sure. We have uncovered the upper strata of the dream material. His love for the immature girl and the death wish about her mother. We have brought up fragments from the deep layers, the doubt of his origin, which was brought out as his doubt about the repetition of the dream.
A further research into the secrets of the dream affords a longer working with this dream: For the dreamer is a neurotic, who has applied to me in order to become cured of an unbearable anxiety, insomnia and slight melancholia ; it is certainly our duty to go into the deeper layers. We note already, he is afraid of himself and his secret thoughts ; he does not sleep because in imagination he is always unfortunate in his sexual experiences ; he suffers from depression, because he renounces a strong wish (to possess a maiden) .
We continue our work.We lead the dreamer on step by step and bring him to further associations.It appears that each word still has many determinations.The analysis has lasted already a week and we are not yet finished.The whole neurosis is contained in the dream.This is peculiarly the rule.The dream is a micro scopic world, which reproduces in miniature the whole psychic world.
I would have to write a whole book, the story of his life and of his neurosis, in order to explain the dream.4 I shall only mention two examples of the remarkable condensation of the dream. They are the words " Mechanic " and "Dent."
He has a lot of material to relate to me about a mechanic. He himself is a mechanic. He makes his affair with his mistress purely mechanical. He has to imagine himself with the daughter to have an erection. (This is the substance of his anxiety neurosis.) A mechanic repaired a wheel for him once badly. It was almost use less. He tripped and lay for several weeks in a hospital. Now his wif e has such a bad wheel. She ought to trip and lose her life so that he is free. She has an inguinal hernia and an osteopath (me chanic) had taken her measure. He was jealous at that time. To day he doesn't care a bit. On the contrary he would be happy if she would console herself . Nevertheless, his mistrust breaks through the dream. His mistress likewise has had a number of lovers. She deceives him (there are a number of workmen who stand at tables) . He has the right to hold himself blameless.
4 I shall carry out this idea sometime-a supplement to this work, which only considers the surface of the dream ; an analysis which is complete and as far as this is possible-contains all overdeterminations and relations.
Still in connection with mechanics there occurs to him a young typesetter who impressed him very favorably. He is so skillful that he can repair a part of the wheel better than a mechanic. The type setter appeared to him to be a homosexualist. For he was never with a woman. He always blushes when he meets him. He wishes to exchange his loved one for the typesetter. The typesetter is called "Wilhelm " the same as the German Kaiser.
Thus we see two things already fulfilled in our progress. We have discovered the death symbol and bisexuality. We are still always in the upper strata.
Further investigations uncover also associations of onanism : The dreamer calls his penis " The Machine " in contradiction to his mis tresses. He suffers from premature ejaculation, especially when the charm of the object is inf erior. It is only a comparative pre mature ejaculation, like most of this variety. Several months ago he was alone with an old woman who was not very good looking. Matters came to a coitus ; he played the underneath part.5 Then he was amazed at his virility. He was able to satisf y the lady three times, and she, who had a large experience, told him that she had never met with such manly vigor before in her lif e.6 When young he was a constant onanist. He masturbated indeed continuously from his eighth to his eighteenth year. Then for several years fol lowing he was psychically impotent. He had read in a work that masturbation was the cause of impotence. He is therefore the mechanic who has ruined the work of his machine. He has made a dent in himself . Therefore he thinks now more charitably about his first wif e. She became untrue to him because he could not sat isfy her. Thus she has to take a "crowd of workmen " instead of the mechanic.
About mechanics there occurs to him also a mechanic " Schneider " who once had an affair with a Stampiglie ( Penis!) and on that account was christened Stampiglius.He is skinny and was of ten ridiculed when young on account of his lack of weight.He always seemed to be weak.He was impotent because he was too weak. He envied large, strong men ( Schlager, a fighter) who could "stamp " (stempeln ) properly.Here comes to notice the sense of
5 That is called in Vienna, " To make a boy." I don't know for what reason.
6 That is worthy of note! It is this way with most psychic impotency. When it comes to a specifically adequate satisfaction, then the psychic im potency disappears.
inf eriority on which Adler justly lays such great weight. But from Schneider a vein goes back into youth and reveals a series of dis honesties, which he had committed. He was a liar, thief and forger in his youth and developed into an extremely moral man ; a model of truth, honor and propriety.
His thef ts were mostly from his father. He never remembered having stolen from his mother. Here we come upon the great oppo sition to his father. . . . A scene appears suddenly to him ! His father had surprised him and given him a sound drubbing with hand and foot. His father had struck him blindly and cried : "You misguided boy. You will certainly end in jail or on the gallows !" We notice that the " dear old man " is intended ironically. For he is indeed the striker (Schlager) and would not have dared to speak cut such a prophecy. (" You can say what you like.") Besides he is dead from apoplexy (Herzschlag). His younger brother had dealt him a blow (Schlag) in the stomach. He lost consciousness for a second.7
Now for the first time it appears that another sexual object of his childhood, his brother, is concealed behind the young compositor. Yet we cannot pursue the subject further.We will only give several associations of dent (Krampe) as best we can.His mistress suffers from spasms of the heart (Herzkrampf en).It occurs to him that he has sold the old rubbish in the yard (Bodenkram) . Also his mistress is old rubbish (Krampel).Still more significant is the approach (Rampe) to the university which was destroyed during the last riot.He envied young people in those days. . . . Yes, who could fight and carouse.There occurred to him a girl named Kramer, whom he had often kissed in secret.Later she became a light woman.He has always a marked fancy for light women.He has in that matter a loose system of morals.He is not narrow minded like a shopkeeper (Kramer).From shopkeeper an asso ciation leads to Kramer, as an admirer of his sister was called. Now something significant occurs to him.His sister suffered when young from severe cramps (Krampf en) at her menstruation.He was at that time seven years old and was sent for the doctor.In the house lived a grocer (Kramer) who had a son named Wilhelm, who said to him, "Tell your sister she ought to let the business be brushed out by me.I have a little ' brush.'"His wif e had bought herself
7 The most important root is the criminal. He is not an energetic, vig orous man, otherwise he would slay (erschlagen) the old " Krampe " (Vien nese expression for an old horse). He wishes to be the slayer (Schlager).
a little brush several days before for cleaning her wheel. A little brush is his penis, with whose size he is very much dissatisfied unjustly.
Now a number of scenes from his earliest childhood occur to him. One from later years. He was sixteen years old when he sneaked at night to the servant girl. His mother woke up and asked where he was going. He answered stammeringly that he had been "outside," he had such violent cramps in the stomach (Bauch krampf e). Then his poor mother got up and made him warm appli cations. As she did so, he saw her astonishing large legs. . . .
But enough of this analysis. I believe that the reader has been more than convinced that with a symbolic translation only one mean ing of the dream can be brought out and that the most important material is to be had from the dreamer himself. Also bear this in mind, that the symbol does not have to mean the same thing invari ably. It has a marked individual meaning in every case.
Bishop Synesios, a noted investigator of dreams of the fourth century, says very strikingly :
" There are people who create little dictionaries about dream in terpretation. I, for my part, laugh at all this argument and hold it to be completely worthless. The imagination of man is not as easily classified as the build and the physiognomy of the body-which can always form the s.,_ubject of a general scientific observation.
"If a Phemonoe or a Melampus or some one else ventures to pose as an expounder of universal laws of dream interpretation I might ask if then both concave and convex lenses or mirrors out of different materials reflect objects in the same way, for everyone has individual attributes and it is impossible that the same dream picture should have for all of them the same meaning." ( Cod. Theodos, XVI, ro/I7. Edikt von Jahre 392.)
I can only confirm these words. All symbolism is relative and applies only to the great majority of cases. Exceptions are always possible even though they seldom occur.
In many cases the knowledge of the case history aids us to un derstand the dream.
I shall give here an interesting series of criminal dreams of a single night which I could interpret without the aid of the dreamer. ( 584 ) "I was tying a bouquet of autumn leaves together, then I had a wond erfully pretty red rose that I wanted to put with it, but while I was tyin_q them to_qether all the petals but one f ell off and then that fell off too. Afterwards I brought the bouquet to a lady and thought they belonged in this vase."
( 585) "H ans was sick . Dr. St.'s maid was bathing his abdo men, but I rinsed out his genitals in the tea in his father' s tea cup. They ap peared lik e a heart and kidneys and were held together by means of shreds of fat. While I was rinsing them out I was think ing that the ligament would tear."
( 586 ) "Papa lay sick in bed and this had to be mad e up while he lay in it. Supplement: Papa was sitting up in bed ; he ap peared miserable and had a large dirty white counterpane under his body." ( 587 ) " The maid brought me a note which had been lying in the letter box.On the pa per was: 'Shary was with us at home to-day.' Dr. St. had had a prescription in the pharmacy. The paper gave me the impression that Dr. St. wanted to tell me that something from me was with you."
( 588) "I went out. The pharmacist met me, he looked lik e uncle Fred and kissed me aff ectionately."
( 589 ) "Later I went into the forest.There I came across Trude and Erich who had been in the f orest with the pharmacist." ( 590 ) "I was sick and took a bath. I said to mother, 'I hope
it is nothing serious,' but 'then I said in M uller you are advised to bathe."
( 59r) "Looking out from my room I saw peo ple swimming.
N ear me was my bed uncovered."
( 592) "I ran across the fields to the peo ple in the houses. All the time I was doing this I was losing my und erskirt. Then I saw Dr. St. with his wif e and children on the street and then she passed me and I thought if she only wouldn't see that I was losing my skirts."
The dreamer, a woman, presented these nine dreams ; not one of them have any basis. I know the facts of her sexual lif e. She loves only married men and pictures herself circumstances which free them so that she can marry them.
In the transf er I am the last ideal in a long series which has its origin in her father. The last dream (No. 592) showed me that she has the idea she is losing her skirts.
My wif e and children appeared her last obstacle to happiness. Her thoughts and endeavors are all towards removing this obstacle. How does she picture that in the dream ? Dreams 590 and 591 ex plain this. She bathes during the time of her period because it is recommended in Miiller ( Geschlechtsmoral und Lebensgliick ).
An association came to me. A bath during menstruation-is a blood bath. In the next dream, 591, the people swim. Of course-
THE TECHNIQUE OF DREAM INTERPRETATION99 they swim in blood.Nearby her bed stands uncovered.The blood bath means to her a bridal bed.
Still bloodier are the phantasies in the dreams 585 and 589. The two children in the forest are common occurrences in fairy tales. From former analyses I knew that the fairy tale about Snow White had played an important role in her phantasy. At once the scene occurred to me where the hunter is to cut out the intestines of poor Snow White so that the bad queen could eat them. (Necrophilic instinct !) The whole dream is a frequent occurrence and charac teristic of the most unbelievable sadistic fancies.
Every bouquet in her dreams is a funeral wreath. This holds good here. The bouquet of leaves and the leafless rose in dream 584 represent a death wish whose red color ref ers to the blood bath. My wif e was to receive this ominous present while my children were sent out of the world by the druggist. (The messenger of death !) In dream 589 my son Erich becomes identified with her brother Hans, to whom was assigned the same fate as poor Snow White in consequence of her boundless jealousy. She tore asunder the band which bound her to him ; she also tore asunder the band which bound her beloved man to another ; also she allowed her father to die in her fancy because he stood in the way of her plans (586).
The next dream (587) brings the romantic criminal fancy of a secret agreement between her and me. I did away with my wif e. Prescription and pharmacist usually form a poison complex. This interpretation I explained to her (zettel). The last dream is cer tainly 588; there the goal is attained. The dearly beloved uncle (uncle instead of pharmacist) both are in this dream and in the minds of evil-minded people-poison-mixers.
The physician and the pharmacist are also symbols of death. · She suffers a just punishment and receives the kiss of death. She strug gles contifmously with suicidal impulses.
Further analysis of this case confirms the complete truth of this dream interpretation which was possible to me only through the knowledge of the history of her illness. The association of the blood bath furnished the key.
That was a dream with an individual symbolism which one not acquainted with it could scarcely have seen through. The next dream shows a quite typical symbolism. In many dream interpre tations we can quickly discover the sense of a dream with the help of symbolism. A further progress depends upon the associations of the dreamer. A short dream may require a complicated analysis. A long dream of ten leads back to a single thought.
We present for illustration of this fact two dreams. The one very long and the other fragmentary of which only two words remain. The long dream is by Dame Frau Alpha and runs :
( 593) " The scene of the action: The new Armory at Schotten ring. A large, handsome room filled with a number of gymnastic and electrical ap paratus.Dr. H ochstetter was standing in scanty attire on a sort of an automatic weighing machine and made a mock ing face just lik e a bad child who says 'I am not going to pla y any more.'The d octor goes to him and says, 'For shame, d octor, you behave yoursel f lik e a bad boy.' N o use-Dr. H ochstetter con tinues to be stubborn. As I observed the culprit closer I noticed that he had nothing on but a pair of spotlessly clean pants and a dirty, flimsy shirt that would almost stand alone, and that had be szd es numberless spots and tears. N ext I also noticed that he didn't have buttons on his linen. I think to myself how disgusting this Dr. H ochstetter is, and closer observation mad e him look consid er ably more so. At that I look ed down at myself and noticed that I was not pro perly clothed, without being the least embarrassed . I dressed myself calmly; with that I f ell to the floor.They ask ed me why I cried so at this, whereupon I answered, ' The whole left half of my body hurts me so.' They laughed and it is very surprising to me that I said the word left for this means something unheard of . I corrected myself quickly, 'perha ps the right, I d on!t know.' Thereupon I finished dressing 111,yself.They talk ed f or a while with my husband and explained all the many ap paratuses to him,. Then you sit down and unpack a newly arrived ap paratus, whereat you explain that you will use it on me. 'Will it d o me good?' I ask ed, to which you ans-&er, 'I tell you in such cases electricity really works marvels.I electrif y all my patients before I discharge them from 'the cure.'I ask ed you then why Dr. H ochstetter stands up there so pugnaciously on his ped estal. ' Why, he is being electri fied / you say; ' Yes, but,' I ask, ' does he have to be undressed for it?'' Of coitrse, because he has silk lining in his clothes; that would interf ere,' was the answere I received . Strange that a man with silk lining in his clothes should have such und erclothes.With that I wok e up."
For the experienced this dream explains itself . The lady wishes to give up the psychoanalysis. Before that she wants to receive electrical treatment. The new apparatus with which she wishes to be worked upon is a new apparatus to her, my penis. Already poor Dr. Hochstetter serves to symbolize this conceived wish. (Hoch-
THE TECHNIQUE OF DREAM INTERPRETATIONIOI
stetter =Hoch steht er = he stands on high.) The opposition of Dr. Hochstetter, his filth, are remonstrances which are directed toward me. Then one observes the awful power of my phallus which continues a very long time pugnaciously on the apparatus.
At the close the hitherto passable logic suffers a shock. To the question, why Dr. Hochstetter had to be undressed follows the absurd answer, because he had silk lining ; that would interf ere. We besought the lady to explain this passage to us. She was silent awhile for she imagined this part of the dream was senseless and absurd.
According to Freud, in this criticism lies an important affect of the dream material.
"Thus the dream is made absurd if there occurs as one of the elements in the dream thoughts the judgment ' That is nonsense,' and in general if disdain and criticism are the motives for one of the trains of unconscious thought. Hence absurdity becomes one of the means by which the dream activity expresses contradiction, as it does by reversing a relation in the material between the dream thoughts and dream content, and by utilizing sensations of motor impediment. But absurdity in the dream is not simply to be trans lated by ' no,' but is rather intended to reproduce the disposition of the dream thoughts, this being to show mockery and ridicule along with the contradiction. It is only for this purpose that the dream activity produces anything ridiculous. Here again it transforms a part of the latent content into a manif est f arm."
And in another place :
" Thus my solution of the problem of the absurdity of dreams is that the dream thoughts are never absurd-at least not those belong ing to the dreams of sane persons-and that the dream activity pro c!uces absurd dreams and dreams with individual absurd elements, if criticism, ridicule, and derision in the dream thoughts are to be represented by it in its manner of expression. My next concern is to show that the dream activity is primarily brought about by the cooperation of the three factors which have been mentioned-and of a fourth one which remains to be cited-that it accomplishes nothing short of a transposition of the dream thoughts, observing the three conditions which are prescribed for it, and that the ques tion whether the mind operates in the dream with all its faculties, or only with a portion of them, is deprived of its cogency and is inap plicable to the actual circumstances. But since there are plenty of dreams in which judgments are passed, criticisms made, and facts
recognized, in which astonishment at some single element of the dream appears, and arguments and explanations are attempted, I must meet the objections which may be inf erred from these occur rences by the citation of selected examples."
My answer is as follows : Everything in the dream which occurs as an apparent exercise of the critical faculty is to bero-arded, not as an intellectual accomplishment of the dream activity, but as be longing to the material of the dream thoughts, and it has found its way from them as a finished structure to the manif est dream con tent. I may go even further than this. Even the judgments which are passed upon the dream as it is remembered af ter awakening and the f eelings which are aroused by the reproduction of the dream, belong in good part to the latent dream content, and must be fitted into their place in the interpretation of the dream." (The Interpretation of Dreams, p. 351.)
\Ve now ask the dreamer to pay attention so that she can notice especially the reproaches which appear ridiculous in connection with this passage. \Ve could draw out nothing about this because the dreamer will not understand. In this last hour (it is one of her last dreams) she does not ";_sh to listen.
\\Te can now f ully understand the meaning of the reproach. It is directed against me. She supposes that I ha,e desired ardently through the whole course of the psychoanalysis (permanent erec tion). K ow she says to me, "\Yhy that is absurd, that is simply ridiculous; you know what sort of a treatment would help me, then help me."8
And the association to silken lining. She presents no associa tions. From earlier dreams, I know her vacillations between ardent sexual desire (silken lining) and strict continence (designation for soiled linen). \Ve can also hazard the guess: Futt, etc., but it remains a guess. It only occurred to me later that this place signified abuse, reviling of my rightf ul lining. At any rate the whole dream is useless for the knowledge of the deeper strata because the material is ";_th.held.
\Ve bring out only the superficial relations ; how altogether different is the analysis of the ne).".i: dream.The dreamer, Ir. B. D., tells us he had when he woke up only two words in his ear, "snake " and "Iesopotamia." He produced his associations immediately. In Iesopotamia was paradise. It must also have reference to the s I refer to the eunuch's dream, in which this patient, out of revenge, because I hate not done as she desired, made me impotent by castration. THE TECHNIQUE OF DREAM INTERPRETATION103
f emale genitals, for Mesa in the years of his youth called the vagina this. The Euphrates and the Tiber form a delta which reminds one of the legs of a woman.
Further associations cease to flow. I call his attention to the connection between snake and paradise. It certainly deals largely with original sin. Yesterday he hesitated for the space of a moment whether he should go to a prostitute ; finally he did not do it. Fur thermore he was pious for a long time ; now he is a free thinker. He is not able by himself to present further associations to the two words. I now ask him to construct a sentence in which both words occur. He is unable to do it and says " It can't be done." "Another question occupies me much more. I am always thinking whether there are any snakes at all in Mesopotamia-whether the snakes belong to Mesopotamia. I believe they were first discovered in India." In border India or interior India. (Literally, Front India or Back India, Trans.)
We set about the construction of a sentence. He says : "The snake is the source of all evil " and "In Mesopotamia, at one time, Paradise was supposed to lie."
We notice that he returns to his religious complex. He tells us with what interest he read a small illustrated Bible history. He is reminded of pictures and suddenly of a scene at a christening. He was seven years old ; a lady sang a couplet at the christening of his sister at a late hour, whose refrain caused great laughter to all those present. The refrain had clung to him tenaciously. It goes :
"When Adam in the apple bit,
From very fear . . . his trousers split."
That occupied him a great deal at that time. What does the apple mean ? Did the good Lord drive mankind out of Paradise on account of such an act of foolishness ? Was that not too severe? Then he was silent and his associations failed.
We have noticed that he could not compose a sentence with "snake " and " Mesopotamia." We return to this doubt. The doubt has to do apparently only deliberately with the propagation of the serpent.
"You mean," he says suddenly, "that I do not know where my penis belongs ? Whether I ought to go to women or men ? Border or Interior India? " (Vide supra.)
So he himself gives the explanation, the while he supposes it to me. But the analysis is not yet finished. It is diverted to the word "Mesopotamia." He begins to explain it in French. Pot became chamber. He thinks immediately of chamber pot. A number of scenes occur to him from the paradise-like condition of childhood where all were in one room before each other and were not ashamed. He saw different things and distinguished various noises. He con jectured as to the size of an opening from the loudness of the noise. He set about his phallic studies at home and in the toilet and arrived
finally at the question whether "amien " could have a meaning. He analyzed "a mien," "la mienne " my people ( f .), and "la mien " my people (m.). Yet, the most important of all, he failed to see (ami = the friend ). That, of course, "amien " contains the anxious question ? Man or woman ? (Where does the snake belong ? Border or Interior India? Front or back. Un ami or une amie ?)
Finally it occurs to him that Amiens is a city in France, in which the Maid of Orleans was born. (The typical bisexual symbol-as the Amazons and the Valkyries : the woman with the lance.) That proved to be a false memory. He has forgotten that there occurred a fierce battle between the English and the French. The two na tions represent to him the "pure morals " and the "lax morals." Paris is for him a Babel of sin. . . . The angel triumphs over the devil. But the most important (association ) about Amiens is that there General Manteuf el struck the French on the head. He had known this very well and quite forgotten it for the minute.
We come to the answer : Man is for him the devil. He is afraid of homosexuality. He is pure concerning women because they do not appeal to him.
We have been able to form weighty conclusions out of insignifi cant material, out of two words,9 while the long dream of the gym nastic apparatus does not lead us nearly so deep into the problem of the neurosis.
Of ten dreamers bring only a single word, that they have retained out of a dream. Such an example is the word "Ronather," the name of a Viennese pleasure establishment. The analysis showed that it stood for "Acheron " and " Charon " and in addition served to symbolize f ear of hell and its punishments.
This coining of words meets with the greatest opposition on the part of the uninitiated. And Artemidoros relates a classical in stance that was famed a thousand years ago. "It seems to me," he says, "that Aristandros gave a fortunate interpretation to Alexander
9 Compare my analysis of an example of a slip of the tongue in Zentral blatt fiir Psychoanalyse, 1910, Hef t 1-2.
THE TECHNIQUE OF DREAM INTERPRETATION105
of Macedonia. When he had shut in and beleaguered Tyre and on account of this great loss of time was depressed and moody of coun tenance, he saw a satyr dancing on his shield ; by chance Aristandros found himself in the vicinity of Tyre and in the presence of the king who was besieging the Tyrians. When he separated the word Satyr into la and_ Tvpo (Tyre is yours), he brought it to pass that the king took the siege aggressively in hand, so that he became the master of the city."
To-day, 2,200 years af ter, we are obliged to return to the genial technique of Aristandros. Examples of this same art are not lack ing in this book. The methods of dream interpretation are more varied than one would believe.
The associations of the dreamer, his conversation, his affects, his reservations, his opposition and his agreements all belong to the dream material. A knowledge of symbolism is absolutely neces sary because one can call the dreamer's attention to many of them and thereby lead to a more thorough analysis : The more convinced the dreamer is of the art of dream interpretation, the more willingly does he set about the work of interpretation. Complete knowledge of the language of dreams is indispensable to convince the dreamer. Moreover, no dream can be interpreted with the best associations without adequate technique. The psychoanalyst receives only raw material. He must be able to make out of that the corresponding picture.
Also we have learned to know the different structure of the dream. The dream of the " Gymnastic apparatus in the office hours " is a dream fantasy, which portrays the repetition of a perhaps consciously constructed day-dream in the mind of the dreamer. She shows only a minimal secondary elaboration as Freud calls the rationalizing activity of the dream. The dream endeavors by moulding and reinforcing to make sense out of nonsense. But this secondary elaboration according to my view must not be under estimated. Like the hysterical symptom or the obsession it betrays exactly as much of the suppressed material as it wishes to conceal. The dreamer of the apparatus dream has not given herself the trou ble to undertake a secondary elaboration. The dreamer of the two words, however, whose dream shows a thorough secondary elabo ration, had himself been anxious not to hinder an interpretation. Two words by themselves could hardly overcome the opposition of the unconscious and penetrate into the conscious.
Of course, dream interpretation is much easier, the longer one works with a dream at analysis ; certain symbols reappear ; the method of dream formation is as a rule typical and shows f ew vari ations with a simple nature ; one recognizes the earmark of his most important object of love ; one recognizes his conflicts and can pick them out much easier. The first dreams are always the most diffi cult. ( Cf. the chapter, " First Dreams.") If an interpretation fails, one need not be disappointed. The theme reappears in many variations until the interpretation is successful. I have already mentioned that all too many dreams are many times signs of oppo sition and only serve the purpose of occupying the psychoanalyst and leading him away from the important complex. One can guard one's self against this if one consistently remains with the one dream or disregards the dreams entirely. Now many patients reveal an incredible facility in the manufacture of interesting dreams, which appear to be capable of an exact interpretation. They bring the dream, explanation and conf ession which the analyst solicits. One is easily led astray, then, to explain and soon finds himself in a blind alley. The skilled analyst can scarcely distinguish there whether he is the dupe or the wise man . . . in such cases it pays to remain with one dream until it goes absolutely no further. . . .
Many times, however, the dream gives a long-desired explana tion. It explains for us a previous dream.10 In short, it serves in place of an interpretation. How interesting it is, e. g., that the dreamer in the "electric machine dream " corrects herself and changes the lef t side into the right. The difference between lef t and right she has already learned from me. She applied this knowl edge in order to indicate her wish. She wishes to be united to me legally. Then a dream also can make us observant of a fault in the dream interpretation and the psychoanalysis. I shall give such an example here because it makes us familiar with the technique of the neurotic. It shows us how the unconscious does not always reveal itself frankly, but will allow itself to be caught. We are reminded of the play of the bride robber. The bridegroom must first conquer his bride. Thus the unconscious also demands that the doctor himself shall solve the riddle. Otherwise what is he a dream interpreter for ? Fraulein Etha dreams.
( 594) "I came back from the country with Bru1io into our former town resid ence.There a large, blond e Frenchwoman was waiting and gave him lessons and with whom he had an aff air. H e
10 Cf. the admirable dream analysis by Otto Rank : "A dream, which explains itself." Jahrbuch II, 2, 1910.
THE TECHNIQUE OF DREAM INTERPRETATION107
presented me to her as his cousin and left us there alone awhile. The French woman was very sad and ap peared to me to be jealous. She was quite sympathetic to me and I thought: ' Why, then, is this cousin comedy necessary? I f I told her that I was his sister, she would be just as well satisfied. ' But I did not wish to do it against his will. Then Bruno came back again and the French woman said : 'Are you near relations?' ' Yes,' I cried, laughing. ' We resemble each other very much. We have the same hands, the same pro files, ' and thought: 'N ow she will catch on.' But she noit,iced nothmg. Then I went hap pily and quietly to my room and lay down to sleep. Curious that I am so happy, I thought. Dr. Stek el will certainly say: Because I feel myself free now that Bruno has an affair.
II. " Then I saw a garden with several persons, and then I was in the hall of a home, lying rigidly on an opened wardrobe and await ing death. M y limbs were fixed, but my head whirled around and I thought: 'Mimi is dead now, too, she can tell me how it is,' and I dreaded an intense pain and thought it must be a f eeling lik e when one is hung and all the blood ritshes forcibl y to the head. I wished, nevertheless, to force death, bu't it did not come; then for the present I gave up the thought of dying."
This dream came af ter a series of dreams, which I could not in terpret. We know already : The dreamer has had different things to do with her brother. But the teacher of the children was a Frenchwoman. I ought then to recognize that the Frenchwoman is also her teacher. That is to be sure from the secondary elaboration. This dream should inform me that she expects from me an entirely different treatment than the psychoanalytic. She loves me and I do not observe it. For that she is happy. But happy people do not wish to die. I treat her as a sister. She wishes, however, to be treated as a stranger. She does not wish, moreover, to tell anything about her true relations with her brother. She was more than a sister to him.
By this dream the experience with the brother and the French woman were brought to light. I recognized immediately that the reproach, " But she noticed nothing," was a home thrust at me. Fi nally the dream thoughts have to do with what Dr. St. will say. She desires to free herself from these things.
The end appears to be a defloration fantasy, which pictures itself in death (stiff limb, intense pain. Mimi is her Mama, who could tell her how it is).
The dream warns me of the transf er ; reproaches me, that I do not notice her ; reproaches, that I did not interpret the last dream correctly. It gives the correct one af ter a few unfortunate interpre tations. Yes, it forces the right interpretation ( forcibly-forces-I did not wish to do it against his will, etc.).
The objection that one places something in the dream which was not contained in it, is disposed of by such examples : The dreamer does not accept the false interpretation. Do not misunderstand me. Very many interpretations are rejected by the dreamer. But the next dream brings a new confirmation of the same. Or the dreamer brings other material that proves just the thing which he disputed so strenuously before.
If an interpretation is wrong, then there comes a subsequent dream which teaches us better. The danger of accepting false inter pretations is not too great if one lets himself be guided by the dreamer. But there are exceptions. I know overly clever persons who from conscious or unconscious motives hinder the work of in terpretation through associations fantastically constructed, or where a superficially associated wealth of material makes a passage into the depths illusory.
Finally, all dream interpretation depends upon the self -knowl edge of the analyst. I have seen intelligent colleagues who could not interpret simple dreams.
Every psychoanalyst has also his individual complexes for which he has then no understanding in the psychoanalysis, if they have not become known to him. I call this phenomenon, "The psycho analytical skotoma." It is therefore necessary to learn one's own dream analysis and in the first line to know oneself .
We are all no better than dreamers ! This knowledge ought to lighten our way through the darkness of the false passages of dreams.Moreover, we are thrown into lif e with a breast f ull of hate and have with difficulty overcome our wild desires and instincts. Then, too, we first must need to learn love.That is the great knowl edge which I have gained through my work with dreams.Hate is instinctive in human beings.Incest love or love which appears to us to be incest love, if it becomes fixed through overmastering reac tion to the emotion of hatred should teach the child to overcome the hate.The child learns from his home lif e. He learns to control the criminal in himself, not alone from f ear of a higher power ; No ! For love of good, beauty, from ethical motives.Then his sexual desire which accordingly is kept in bounds by all other emotions renders him the worthiest service. THE TECHNIQUE OF DREAM INTERPRETATION109
The meaning of the criminal in persons is explained by this book. For cure of a neurosis a knowledge of the "inner criminal " is posi tively necessary. What could easier unmask him than the art of the dream interpreter ?
The interpretation of dreams aff ords long years of study and practice. Not every one is equal to this work. It is the task of an artist and cannot become mechanical. The psychoanalyst must be able to place himself in the unconscious of a dreamer. He must be able to think with him and like him.
Then come lightning-like revelations and connections which r.ave something of inspiration in them. Then the dream interpre tation is a " Miterleben." That is certainly the most difficult task af ter that of the priest.
We must be able to rejoice and suffer with our patients. Their pains must be our pains. Their deliverance from the bonds of a neurosis our deliverance. By this difficult task the dream interpre tation renders an invaluable service. If my work can help psycho analysts and similarly employed colleagues, then is its mission ful filled.