252 SYSTEMS OF TREATING STAMMERING
symbolic business is strained to the point where
psychoanalysis is unequivocally stultified.1 By a free
use of symbolism one could, with a little ingenuity,
interpret the material of any case to suit the circurn-
the Kaiser.33 I then resolved to follow his career, and now you see
that to-day (1899) his military career is finished: he is a Master of
the Ordnance, and has retired. I wished to calculate the number of
years his promotion had covered. I suppose that I had seen him in
the hospital in 1882; thus this period would be 17 years. I discussed
this matter with my wife, and she remarked, "Then you should now
be in retirement, too." I protested, "May the Lord forbid." After
this conversation I seated myself at the table to write to you. But
the former train of thought continued, and justly so — I had reckoned
wrongly. I have a point to establish this in my memory. I cele-
brated my majority (my 24th birthday) under military arrest — as
the result of having taken French leave. That was in 1880, or 19
years ago. There you have the number 24 in 2467. Now take my
age, 43, add 24 to it, and you have the number 67 !' "
But one could, of course, explain any number from any set of cir-
cumstances if he allows the "subconscious mind" full liberty to per-
form calculations. — To-day is Tuesday, September 3,1912. As my
subconscious mind thinks "Tuesday, the third," it naturally observes
that there are 7 letters in the word Tuesday, It multiplies 7 by 3,
obtaining 21; it then adds 3 to 21 and gets the result 24. Con-
tinuing its investigations, my subconscious mind divides 3 into 24,
and obtains 8. Squaring 8, it has 64; and adding 3, it derives 67.
Simple enough!
But probably the most natural series of figures for one to redinte-
grate is 1-2-3-4 or 2-4-6-8. Th'e most natural deviations from the
latter series are 2-4-6-7 or 2-4-6-9. In the case in question we have
the former number, and perhaps the subconscious mind was not in-
volved after all. This seems the more likely since the existence of
the subconscious mind has never been demonstrated.
xln order to interpret material the psychoanalyst is even pre-
pared for the "bisexual significance of a symptom."