The three appeared to be talking earnestly and intimately.
A wish to retain friendship, so that this easy and intimate conversation might be continued, with the good times incident on friendship and a sense of feeling thoroughly at home in another's house. The subject had left town without saying good-by and while away had not even written a postal to his friends. He wondered if this would in any way minimize or jeopardize his friendship and hoped that it would not. Therefore this, as well as other parts of the dream, represents this wish as fulfilled and still present.
Mrs. X. remarked: "That is a rabbi: we don't want any more rabbis in here.
Rabbi. The subject had often thought that Mrs. X. looked foreign and Jewish, but she was really not a Jewess. The subject himself was Hebrew and had often felt, because of his religious belief, that perhaps he was only tolerated by the doctor and his wife, and that, after all, the friendship was probably not so intimate as the subject wished. Therefore the significance of the phrase "We don't want any more rabbis in here" signified that the friendship would remain the same, but they did not cafe to have any more Jewish friends. Again the fulfillment of a wish. He felt that he had really remained an intimate friend, so much so that in his presence and without hurting his feelings they could refer to the desire not to have any more Jewish friends. This was symbolized and condensed in the reiteration of the word "rabbis." This portion of the dream also shows, through a kind of reinforcement, that Mrs. X. is not Jewish, as she would not speak thus disparagingly of her co-religionists.
It is of interest also that Mrs. X. looked perfectly natural in the dream; there was no disguise, but a kind of effort to preserve her Semitic appearance in order to offset and neutralize in the dream her reference to Jews (rabbis). This is due to the action of what is known as the censor, which divests the dream process of part of its cutting references to Jews by preserving the Jewish appearance of the person who made the remark. Thus the long underlying dream thoughts have undergone a censorship, a little late perhaps, because the dream was pretty fully formed, so that the reference to rabbis crept in but was immediately neutralized. A compromise has been formed to disarm the remark of its force. This censorship acts in the same way as that applied to dispatches or telegrams of war correspondents before being given to the public, neutralizing the message so as to make it as harmless as possible. So the censor often works in dreams to render certain groups of dream elements harmless.
Rabbis also gave the free associations rabble or crowd, meaning that they did not care for any more friends, but just a few intimate friends like the dreamer, even though they were Jewish. Yet they feel so at home with him that they can conveniently refer to other Jews.
Then she dived suddenly under the table as if to hide9 crouching low in a most undignified manner, entirely out of keeping with her usual demeanor, and motioned to the subject to hide in a closet.
This undignified behavior of the doctor's wife again expresses the fulfillment of the wish that in their house he be made to feel completely at home, so that in his presence she could act as she wished, even going to the absurd extreme of squatting under the table and talking freely.
Wells's "World Set Free."
This followed the doctor's remark that his projected European trip had been given up on account of the war. The subject had often remarked the prophecies of Wells in his scientific romances, particularly concerning war, as in "The War in the Air" and "The World Set Free." There had recently appeared in the newspapers an account of the havoc wrought in Antwerp through bombardment by a German Zeppelin, and how nearly Wells had forecast these fights of the "nations' airy navies" in his books. In the accounts of the war, the subject had constantly compared the actual events with Wells's latest book.
Then Doctor X. replied: "Yes and the Holland dikes or dams - and they are going to erect a monument to the Prince of Lumbago."
A reference to the threat of the Dutch that if their neutral country were invaded by the Germans the same as Belgium was invaded, they would open the dikes and flood the country. The fulfilling of this threat forms one of the most dramatic episodes of Wells's recent book.
Lumbago. The subject had lumbago for several days previously, and since he had not improved under anti-rheumatic diet, he at one time had thought of going to the city for electrical treatment. In fact, he thought that this would furnish a good excuse for returning to the city. That the word lumbago is a form of displacement or dream contamination1 is shown through the free associations, viz.: Lumbago -
1 As a literary example, the following passage from Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland," which is really the dream of a child, offers a specific instance of dream displacement: "Alice turned to the Mock Turtle, and said: 'What else had you to learn?' 'Well, there was Mystery,' the Mock Turtle replied, 'Mystery, ancient and modern, with Seaography, then Drawling.'"
Lemburg - Limburg (a place mentioned in the war dispatches) - Limburger -cheese - wondered if through the war the supply of foreign cheese, of which he was fond, would be curtailed. This also brought to his mind a jocular remark made in the past that the flavor of some cheeses was so fine that the inventor of them ought to have a monument erected to him. Thus the displaced word lumbago, by means of the free associations, is likewise connected with the phrase Holland dikes or dams: Holland - Dutch - Dutch cheese - Edam cheese - dams - (limburger cheese) - all of which are condensations for foreign food stuffs, really a wish for change from the plain and rather tasteless diet of the summer resort.
The meaning of the dream thus becomes clear, and the question "What put that into my head?" is answered. In analyzing this dream, we find that it is composed of the condensed product of two factors, viz.: (1) The dream antecedents or instigators, such as the events of the previous days, and (2) A complex mass of latent, unconscious thoughts. Out of these two factors the dream was woven.
The dream-analysis consists therefore of collecting each dream-element in an orderly way by means of free associations of the thoughts which come into consciousness without exercising any conscious or voluntary control. Thus while the dream itself might appear absurd, disconnected, and meaningless, the dream thoughts (or latent content of the dream) were a logical arrangement of the subject's complicated and intimate mental life. The dream (manifest content) was short, the analysis was long and intricate. Therefore the dream was not only a condensed product of a mass of latent thoughts but was likewise allegorical and symbolical.
The motive of the dream as shown throughout the entire analysis is the fulfillment of a wish or rather a group of wishes which were concealed within this apparently absurd dream. All dream-analysis is for the purpose of deciphering these cryptic and hidden wishes. Thus the dream becomes not only the most potent instrument for the analysis of the unconscious and conscious mental life, but also of certain morbid fears and obsessions, all of which have the same mechanism and wish-fulfilling purpose as dreaming.
The translating of the dream thoughts from the latent content into another form in the manifest content shows that the sleeping brain is capable of logical thinking, and that the most complex mental activity may take place during sleep. The changing from latent to manifest content is termed the work of the dream. Thus the dream work is not mechanical and physiological, but a complex psychical process. The dream is also a condensed product of a long and complicated psychic process. Not only has the dream become condensed but likewise disguised for the purpose of protecting sleep from the vast mass of thoughts which produced the dream, and which, if dreamed literally, might disturb or even awaken the sleeper. These various dream mechanisms will be more fully discussed in the course of another chapter. In the analytic procedure, it will be noticed that each element of the dream is taken separately for analysis, and the final combination of these elements, in other words the synthesis of the dream, leads finally to the wish fulfillment concealed within the dream. The true meaning of the dream is therefore reconstructed out of the disconnected fragments and becomes a logical whole, in much the same way as disconnected pieces of colored glass can be combined to form the allegorical figures of a stained glass window.
The deciphering of the latent dream thoughts from the dream as remembered is the analysis. This analysis is an expansion and therefore the reversal of the dream work, which is really a compression or a condensation. The large mass of latent dream thoughts have not only been condensed, but likewise displaced, dramatized, and elaborated, thus rendering the true meaning of the dream unrecognizable without analysis. Because the dream is so condensed, because the manifest content represents a rich well of underlying dream thoughts, the dream is said to be over-determined.
Thus the dream becomes perfectly intelligible only when regarded from the standpoint of a wish fulfillment. If the dream represents a wish fulfilled, if the fulfilling of wishes is the only function of dreaming, how is it done? The dream wish has emanated from the unconscious, and the dream thus becomes a direct road for a knowledge of the unconscious mental life. There must be something then in the unconscious which subserves and directs this function of wishing, and since all dreams are concealed wishes, the only function and activity of the unconscious mental life must be desiring or wishing. As Freud states:1 "The reason why the dream is in every case a wish realization is because it is a product of the unconscious, which knows no other aim in its activity but the fulfillment of wishes, and which has no other force at its disposal but wish feelings." As will be shown later, there are other types of wish fulfillment besides dreams; for instance, all psycho-neurotic symptoms are disguised wish fulfillments from the unconscious. Thus the dream does not say what it really means; the real meaning can be found only by the employment of that difficult technical method known as psycho-analysis.
In a few words, the real meaning of the dream analyzed above is that it represented the fulfillment of a wish to preserve friendship.
1 "The Interpretation of Dreams," p. 448.