freud gutenberg sigmund
Title: Dream Psychology
Psychoanalysis for Beginners
Author: Sigmund Freud
Release Date: March 28, 2005 [EBook #15489]
Character set encoding: ASCII
_PSYCHOANALYSIS FOR BEGINNERS_
PROF. DR. SIGMUND FREUD
AUTHORIZED ENGLISH TRANSLATION
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY
Author of “Psychoanalysis, its History, Theory and Practice.”
“Psychoanalysis and Behavior” and “Psychoanalysis, Sleep and Dreams”
THE JAMES A. McCANN COMPANY
THE JAMES A. McCANN COMPANY
PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.
The medical profession is justly conservative. Human life should not be
considered as the proper material for wild experiments.
Conservatism, however, is too often a welcome excuse for lazy minds,
loath to adapt themselves to fast changing conditions.
Remember the scornful reception which first was accorded to Freud’s
discoveries in the domain of the unconscious.
When after years of patient observations, he finally decided to appear
before medical bodies to tell them modestly of some facts which always
recurred in his dream and his patients’ dreams, he was first laughed at
and then avoided as a crank.
The words “dream interpretation” were and still are indeed fraught with
unpleasant, unscientific associations. They remind one of all sorts of
childish, superstitious notions, which make up the thread and woof of
dream books, read by none but the ignorant and the primitive.
The wealth of detail, the infinite care never to let anything pass
unexplained, with which he presented to the public the result of his
investigations, are impressing more and more serious-minded scientists,
but the examination of his evidential data demands arduous work and
presupposes an absolutely open mind.
This is why we still encounter men, totally unfamiliar with Freud’s
writings, men who were not even interested enough in the subject to
attempt an interpretation of their dreams or their patients’ dreams,
deriding Freud’s theories and combatting them with the help of
statements which he never made.
Some of them, like Professor Boris Sidis, reach at times conclusions
which are strangely similar to Freud’s, but in their ignorance of
psychoanalytic literature, they fail to credit Freud for observations
Besides those who sneer at dream study, because they have never looked
into the subject, there are those who do not dare to face the facts
revealed by dream study. Dreams tell us many an unpleasant biological
truth about ourselves and only very free minds can thrive on such a
diet. Self-deception is a plant which withers fast in the pellucid
atmosphere of dream investigation.
The weakling and the neurotic attached to his neurosis are not anxious
to turn such a powerful searchlight upon the dark corners of their
Freud’s theories are anything but theoretical.
He was moved by the fact that there always seemed to be a close
connection between his patients’ dreams and their mental abnormalities,
to collect thousands of dreams and to compare them with the case
histories in his possession.
He did not start out with a preconceived bias, hoping to find evidence
which might support his views. He looked at facts a thousand times
“until they began to tell him something.”
His attitude toward dream study was, in other words, that of a
statistician who does not know, and has no means of foreseeing, what
conclusions will be forced on him by the information he is gathering,
but who is fully prepared to accept those unavoidable conclusions.
This was indeed a novel way in psychology. Psychologists had always been
wont to build, in what Bleuler calls “autistic ways,” that is through
methods in no wise supported by evidence, some attractive hypothesis,
which sprung from their brain, like Minerva from Jove’s brain, fully
After which, they would stretch upon that unyielding frame the hide of a
reality which they had previously killed.
It is only to minds suffering from the same distortions, to minds also
autistically inclined, that those empty, artificial structures appear
acceptable molds for philosophic thinking.
The pragmatic view that “truth is what works” had not been as yet
expressed when Freud published his revolutionary views on the psychology
Five facts of first magnitude were made obvious to the world by his
interpretation of dreams.
First of all, Freud pointed out a constant connection between some part
of every dream and some detail of the dreamer’s life during the previous
waking state. This positively establishes a relation between sleeping
states and waking states and disposes of the widely prevalent view that
dreams are purely nonsensical phenomena coming from nowhere and leading
Secondly, Freud, after studying the dreamer’s life and modes of thought,
after noting down all his mannerisms and the apparently insignificant
details of his conduct which reveal his secret thoughts, came to the
conclusion that there was in every dream the attempted or successful
gratification of some wish, conscious or unconscious.
Thirdly, he proved that many of our dream visions are symbolical, which
causes us to consider them as absurd and unintelligible; the
universality of those symbols, however, makes them very transparent to
the trained observer.
Fourthly, Freud showed that sexual desires play an enormous part in our
unconscious, a part which puritanical hypocrisy has always tried to
minimize, if not to ignore entirely.
Finally, Freud established a direct connection between dreams and
insanity, between the symbolic visions of our sleep and the symbolic
actions of the mentally deranged.
There were, of course, many other observations which Freud made while
dissecting the dreams of his patients, but not all of them present as
much interest as the foregoing nor were they as revolutionary or likely
to wield as much influence on modern psychiatry.
Other explorers have struck the path blazed by Freud and leading into
man’s unconscious. Jung of Zurich, Adler of Vienna and Kempf of
Washington, D.C., have made to the study of the unconscious,
contributions which have brought that study into fields which Freud
himself never dreamt of invading.
One fact which cannot be too emphatically stated, however, is that but
for Freud’s wishfulfillment theory of dreams, neither Jung’s “energic
theory,” nor Adler’s theory of “organ inferiority and compensation,”
nor Kempf’s “dynamic mechanism” might have been formulated.
Freud is the father of modern abnormal psychology and he established the
psychoanalytical point of view. No one who is not well grounded in
Freudian lore can hope to achieve any work of value in the field of
On the other hand, let no one repeat the absurd assertion that Freudism
is a sort of religion bounded with dogmas and requiring an act of faith.
Freudism as such was merely a stage in the development of
psychoanalysis, a stage out of which all but a few bigoted camp
followers, totally lacking in originality, have evolved. Thousands of
stones have been added to the structure erected by the Viennese
physician and many more will be added in the course of time.
But the new additions to that structure would collapse like a house of
cards but for the original foundations which are as indestructible as
Harvey’s statement as to the circulation of the blood.
Regardless of whatever additions or changes have been made to the
original structure, the analytic point of view remains unchanged.
That point of view is not only revolutionising all the methods of
diagnosis and treatment of mental derangements, but compelling the
intelligent, up-to-date physician to revise entirely his attitude to
almost every kind of disease.
The insane are no longer absurd and pitiable people, to be herded in
asylums till nature either cures them or relieves them, through death,
of their misery. The insane who have not been made so by actual injury
to their brain or nervous system, are the victims of unconscious forces
which cause them to do abnormally things which they might be helped to
Insight into one’s psychology is replacing victoriously sedatives and
Physicians dealing with “purely” physical cases have begun to take into
serious consideration the “mental” factors which have predisposed a
patient to certain ailments.
Freud’s views have also made a revision of all ethical and social values
unavoidable and have thrown an unexpected flood of light upon literary
and artistic accomplishment.
But the Freudian point of view, or more broadly speaking, the
psychoanalytic point of view, shall ever remain a puzzle to those who,
from laziness or indifference, refuse to survey with the great Viennese
the field over which he carefully groped his way. We shall never be
convinced until we repeat under his guidance all his laboratory
We must follow him through the thickets of the unconscious, through the
land which had never been charted because academic philosophers,
following the line of least effort, had decided _a priori_ that it could
not be charted.
Ancient geographers, when exhausting their store of information about
distant lands, yielded to an unscientific craving for romance and,
without any evidence to support their day dreams, filled the blank
spaces left on their maps by unexplored tracts with amusing inserts such
as “Here there are lions.”
Thanks to Freud’s interpretation of dreams the “royal road” into the
unconscious is now open to all explorers. They shall not find lions,
they shall find man himself, and the record of all his life and of his
struggle with reality.
And it is only after seeing man as his unconscious, revealed by his
dreams, presents him to us that we shall understand him fully. For as
Freud said to Putnam: “We are what we are because we have been what we
Not a few serious-minded students, however, have been discouraged from
attempting a study of Freud’s dream psychology.
The book in which he originally offered to the world his interpretation
of dreams was as circumstantial as a legal record to be pondered over by
scientists at their leisure, not to be assimilated in a few hours by
the average alert reader. In those days, Freud could not leave out any
detail likely to make his extremely novel thesis evidentially acceptable
to those willing to sift data.
Freud himself, however, realized the magnitude of the task which the
reading of his _magnum opus_ imposed upon those who have not been
prepared for it by long psychological and scientific training and he
abstracted from that gigantic work the parts which constitute the
essential of his discoveries.
The publishers of the present book deserve credit for presenting to the
reading public the gist of Freud’s psychology in the master’s own words,
and in a form which shall neither discourage beginners, nor appear too
elementary to those who are more advanced in psychoanalytic study.
Dream psychology is the key to Freud’s works and to all modern
psychology. With a simple, compact manual such as _Dream Psychology_
there shall be no longer any excuse for ignorance of the most
revolutionary psychological system of modern times.
121 Madison Avenue, New York.
I DREAMS HAVE A MEANING 1
II THE DREAM MECHANISM 24
III WHY THE DREAM DISGUISES THE DESIRES 57
IV DREAM ANALYSIS 78
V SEX IN DREAMS 104
VI THE WISH IN DREAMS 135
VII THE FUNCTION OF THE DREAM 164
VIII THE PRIMARY AND SECONDARY PROCESS–REGRESSION 186
IX THE UNCONSCIOUS AND CONSCIOUSNESS–REALITY 220
Download The Book
You Might Have Missed These Posts