GENERAL ASPECTS OF DREAM PSYCHOLOGY1

443 Dreams have a psychic structure which is unlike that of other contents of consciousness because, so far as we can judge from their form and meaning, they do not show the continuity of development typical of conscious contents. They do not appear, as a rule, to be integral components of our conscious psychic life, but seem rather to be extraneous, apparently accidental occurrences. The reason for this exceptional position of dreams lies in their peculiar mode of origin: they do not arise, like other conscious contents, from any clearly discernible, logical and emotional continuity of experience, but are remnants of a peculiar psychic activity taking place during sleep. Their mode of origin is sufficient in itself to isolate dreams from the other contents of consciousness, and this is still further increased by the content of the dreams themselves, which contrasts strikingly with our conscious thinking.

444 An attentive observer, however, will have no difficulty in discovering that dreams are not entirely cut off from the

1 [First published in English: “The Psychology of Dreams,” in Collected Papers on Analytical Psychology, edited by Constance Long (London, 1916; 2nd edn., London, 1917, and New York, 1920). The translation was by Dora Hecht from a ms., which, in much expanded form, was published as “Allgemeine Gesichtspunkte zur Psychologic des Traumes,” in Über die Energetik der Seele (Psychologische Abhandlungen, II; Zurich, 1928). It was again expanded in Über psychische Energetik und das Wesen der Träume (Zurich, 1948), and this version is translated here.—EDITORS.]

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