A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis

By Sigmund Freud | Go to book overview

THIRTEENTH LECTURE

THE DREAM

Archaic Remnants and Infantilism in the Dream

LET us revert to our conclusion that the dream-work, under the influence of the dream censorship, transforms the latent dream thoughts into some other form of expression. The latent thoughts are no other than the conscious thoughts known to us in our waking hours; the new mode of expression is incomprehensible to us because of its many-sided features. We have said it extends back to conditions of our intellectual development which we have long progressed beyond, to the language of pictures, the symbol-representations, perhaps to those conditions which were in force before the development of our language of thought. So we called the mode of expression of the dream-work the archaic or regressive.

You may conclude that as a result of the deeper study of the dream-work we gain valuable information about the rather unknown beginnings of our intellectual development. I trust this will be true, but this work has not, up to the present time, been undertaken. The antiquity into which the dream-work carries us back is of a double aspect, firstly, the individual antiquity, childhood; and, secondly (in so far as every individual in his childhood lives over again in some more or less abbreviated manner the entire development of the human race), also this antiquity, the philogenetic. That we shall be able to differentiate which part of the latent psychic proceeding has its source in the individual, and which part in the philogenetic antiquity is not improbable. In this connection it appears to me, for example, that the symbolic relations which the individual has never learned are ground for the belief that they should be regarded as a philogenetic inheritance.

However, this is not the only archaic characteristic of the

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