Skip to main content

Full text of "Psycho-analysis; a brief account of the Freudian theory"

See other formats


New York State Colleges 


Agriculture and Home Economics 

Cornell University 

Date Due 




|/iM i 4 

kc 3 7 'SI 

s gs 

/?■>// ^/ 

^1 '^ 

Library Bureau Cat. No. 1137 

BF 173.L9l"""' """'^"'•V Library 
'"SLKlf^'s; 3 briefs 

Cornell University 

The original of tliis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 









ERNEST JONES, M.D., M.R.C.P. (Lond.) 









In addition to the deeper and more per- 
manent sources of opposition to Psycho- 
Analysis, there have been two practical 
reasons why knowledge of it has spread 
slowly in England in particular. One of 
these has been the relative inaccessibility 
of the standard works on the subject, a 
difficulty which will soon be removed by 
the activity of the International Psycho- 
Analytical Press. The other has been the 
lack of any work giving a clear and simple 
account of the elements of the subject. 
This gap in the literature the present work 
is intended to fill. Miss Low is not the first 
to make the attempt, but she has the great 
advantage of having beforehand made an 
immediate study of the subject with the 
purpose of adequately qualifying herself 
for such a task. 

Properly to appreciate Miss Low's suc- 
cess in accomplishing this task one should 
realize that it is one with peculiar difficul- 
ties. It is never an easy matter to present 


a complex science in outline, but with 
Psycho-Analysis several special circum- 
stances make the task of simple and satis- 
factory exposition an almost insuperable 
one. To begin with, it is a new and grow- 
ing science, and it is always found that the 
ease of popular presentation depends on 
the extent to which a given sphere of 
knowledge is relatively complete and fin- 
ished. When fairly stable conclusions have 
been clearly defined from many angles it is 
possible to formulate them in simple lan- 
guage, even though the implications of 
them may be complex and elaborate 
enough. During the earlier stages of de- 
velopment, however, when the conclusions 
are more fluid and less sharply defined, it 
is very hard to reduce them to an easily 
intelligible form and to assimilate them 
to common knowledge, since the bearings 
of partial generalization are only evident to 
those who have already made some study 
of the subject. This is especially true 
when, as in the case of Psycho-Analysis, 
the conclusions reached are strange and 
startling; the more foreign they are to 
familiar knowledge, and the more repel- 
lent to preconceived opinions or prejudices, 


the harder it is to make them either accept- 
able or readily comprehensible. , 

That the deductions made from psycho- 
analytical investigations are both novel and 
not easily acceptable, Miss Low makes 
plain in her book, and she has not adopted 
the easier way of concealing these attri- 
butes of them. She has chosen the loftier 
aim of attempting to present all aspects 
of the psycho-analytical theory fairly and 
straightforwardly, and yet to bring them 
within reach of those who have made no 
previous study of the subject. I can 
answer for it that she has performed the 
first part of this task successfully, and can 
only hope that her readers will find she 
has performed the second part with equal 


August 30, 1919. 


The following brief outline of Psycho- 
Analysis is intended for those who are 
interested in this subject but cannot yet 
find time and opportunity to study at first 
hand the work of Freud and his followers, 
English and Continental. 

Extreme condensation of a scientific 
theory both wide and deep is bound in- 
evitably to create a certain disproportion 
and distortion of the facts involved. I am 
fully aware of this defect, but can only 
hope that the general presentation is ap- 
proximately near the truth. If these pages 
can send readers later on to Freud himself, 
their purpose is fulfilled. 

A word or two is necessary concerning 
the term " Psycho-Analysis." This is the 
name bestowed by Freud upon his own 
theory and practice: neither those workers 
who, starting from Freud's ideas as a basis 
of research, have since developed on dif- 
ferent lines, nor those who have incorpo- 
rated other theories with the Freudian Psy- 


chology, are entitled to make use of the 
term. By so doing they create confusion, 
and obscure Freud's theory. They would 
do well to follow the example of Doctor 
Jung, of Zurich, who has invented for his 
own body of thought a new name — Ana- 
lytical Psychology. The Freudian theory 
and technique, and these alone, constitute 

B. L. 
August 1919. 



Preface S 


The Scope and Significance of Psycho-analysis . 15 

Psycho- Analysis a Science — Its Subject-Matter — Its 
Nature and Method — Its Ultimate Goal 


Mental Life — Unconscious and Conscious . . .40' 

Two Aspects of a Unity — Nature of Unconscious 
and Conscious Mind — Perpetual Reaction of Forces 
— The Work of the " Censor " — Manifestations of 
the Unconscious in Conscious Life 

Repressions 73 

The Pleasure-Principle and the Reality-Principle — 
The Egocentric Impulses and Development of the 
Social Impulses — Conflict between the "Primitive" 
Impulses and the Restrictions imposed by Civiliza- 
tion — Creation of Repressions — Necessity for Sub- 
limation — The Neurotic 





The Role of the Dream io8 

The Dream as the direct Manifestation of the Un- 
conscious — Night-dreams, Day-dreams, Fantasies — 
The " Censorship " working through the Dream — 
Resultant Dream-Mechanism — The Dream and its 
relation to Consciousness 

Treatment by Psycho-analysis 135 

Aim of Treatment — Principal Factors and Tech- 
nique in Treatment — The Role of the Analyst — The 
Share of the Patient 

Probable Social and Educational Results . . .162 

A Revaluation of Values — Influence on the Com- 
munity and on the Social System — Modification in 
Family-Relations — Greater Individual Freedom — 
Eflfect on Educational Ideals and Methods 

Appendix — ^List of Reference Books ig) 

The common problem, yours, mine, everyone's. 
Is not to fancy what were fair in life 
Provided it could be — but, finding first 
What may be, then find how to make it fair 
Up to our means — ^a very different thingi 
No abstract intellectual plan of life. 
Quite irrespective of life's plainest laws, 
But one, a man who is man and nothing more. 
May lead within a world which (by your leave) 
Is Rome or London — ^not Fool's Paradise. 

Bishop Blongram's Apology (Robert Browning). 




Psycho-Analysis a Science — Its SubjecC-Matter — Its 
Nature and Method — Its ultimate Goal. 

" It is the fate of all useful discoveries 
and improvements to meet with bigoted or 
interested opposition from those who 
would willingly remain in the beaten path 
of habit, rather than acknowledge any 
change to be profitable." 

It is fortunate indeed that the above 
words cannot be applied in completeness 
to the new knowledge brought before the 
world of to-day by Professor Freud, but 
there is enough appropriateness in them to 
remind us that Psycho-Analysis has been, 
and probably for a long period still may 
be, face to face with a bitter struggle be- 



fore men's minds are sufficiently under- 
standing to render them willing to investi- 
gate it without prejudice. The reason for 
this is not far to seek. Freud himself has 
told us that his researches led him to one 
overwhelming certainty, namely, that the 
last thing man desires to know and under- 
stand is himself, and the words of Samuel 
Butler [God the Known and God the Un- 
known, p. 9] serve to show us a part of the 
secret. " Mankind has ever been ready to 
discuss matters in the inverse ratio of their 
importance, so that the more closely a 
question is felt to touch the heart of all of 
us, the more incumbent it is considered 
upon prudent people to profess that it does 
not exist, to frown it down, to tell it to 
hold its tongue, to maintain that it has long 
been finally settled so that there is now no 
question concerning it." 

But this impulse to turn away from self- 
knowledge can, and in the interests of the 
individual's and society's happiness must, 
be overcome; for the help he has given 
towards such overcoming, a great debt of 
gratitude is owed to Freud. His work may 
be roughly described as the provision of 
new keys by which we can now unlock 


doors in the human personality hitherto 
impassable, through which doors we may 
pass into areas unguessed at formerly. By 
the usp of the instruments he has forged, 
we shall in the future be able not only 
to prevent, to a very large extent, the crea- 
tion of the neurotic and mentally diseased, 
but also to set the feet of the new genera- 
tions on a more desirable path, leading to 
a destiny more splendid and satisfying than 
we yet dream of. 

The task of Freud has been a hard and , 
laborious one, fraught with difficulty and i' 
faced with every variety of oppositionj„^-! 
There is neither space nor opportunity here 
to speak of the history of the Psycho- 
Analytic movement, a history of twenty 
years' work and struggle. Those interested 
can read for themselves Freud's own de- 
tailed account given in an English trans- 
lation in The Psychoanalytic Review. 

The results cannot yet be estimated: it 
is sufficient here to note that investigation 
and treatment on his lines is proceeding 
now in Europe, America, England, and his 
ideas have even begun to force their way> 
into the strongholds of orthodox Psychol- \ 
ogy. Anthropology and Medicine. Already 


partial application of the Freudian Psy- 
chology has been made in the treatment of 
"shell-shock" and general "war-shock" 
patients, under the aegis of the War Office 
itself. It would seem as though this new 
psychological knowledge and method will 
ultimately have to be reckoned along with 
the great epoch-making discoveries of the 
past — for instance, Newton's Theory of 
Gravitation, or the Darwinian Theory, and 
may go further than these in the extent of 
its application. No doubt there will be ex- 
tensions and modifications of the original 
theory in times to come, indeed Freud him- 
self has already revised and modified some 
of his own theory. One might pause here 
to point out how big a testimony this last 
fact is to his mental power and sincerity! 
only the great minds are capable of adapta- 
tion and realization of fresh points of view, 
alongside with intense concentration and 
research on a scientific basis. A few lines, 
originally applied to another great creative 
mind, are appropriate enough to Freud: 

He looked on naked Nature unashamed 

And saw the Sphinx, now bestial, now divine, 

In change and rechange; he nor praised nor blamed, 

But drew her as he saw with fearless line. 


Psycho-Analysis a Science. 

I referred above to Freud's discoveries in 
comparison with some of the great scien- 
tific discoveries of the past, and the com- 
parison certainly holds good in the respect 
that Psycho-Analysis belongs to the realm 
of Science, not to that of Philosophy, Meta- 
physics or Ethics. It is important to em- 
phasize this fact, because critics, opponents 
and even supporters have been disposed to 
import into it implications and inferences 
which do not belong to Freud's own work. 
It may be allowable to argue that a Meta- 
physic is inherent in every scientific theory, 
but at least we are bound to accept Freud's 
own definition of his own work, namely 
that his approach is scientific, that he has 
worked along scientific lines, and has tested 
all his conclusions by scientific methods, 
putting aside other considerations which 
may or may not be germane to the subject. 

Since Freud began his work other ex- 
plorers and investigators have come into 
the field and have brought new points of 
view, adding Philosophical and Ethical con- 
siderations; their conclusions may prove to 
be valid and valuable — only time can show 
— but this remains the special character- 


istic of Freud's viewpoint and method of 
investigation — it is established on an Em- 
pirical Scientific basis. He has looked at 
the manifestations of Mind, having first 
obtained an entry into realms hitherto un- 
entered, and has followed out step by step 
the conclusions, using the most laborious 
and exhaustive processes to verify them. 

There will always be many methods of 
arriving at the same — or more or less simi- 
lar — goal; to some. Unconscious Mind and 
its workings has been revealed through the 
religious impulse and its influences; for 
others, intuitive impulses (the inspiration 
of Art in all its forms) do the same work; 
for others, the temperamental states of 
Mysticism bring illumination. But to 
Freud we owe the debt that he has pro- 
vided us with a systematic method which 
we can learn to understand, practise and 
test by accepted scientific laws, thus mak- 
ing available to large numbers the experi- 
ences which only the comparatively few 
could share through the channels instanced 
above; and even then experiences inexpli- 
cable and non-transmissible to others. But 
just because Psycho-Analysis is so strictly 
a science, employing only scientific methods 


(and a punctiliousness not always observ- 
able in the scientist), opposition has been 
raised. No preconceived theories, tradi- 
tional standards, conventional taboos, ethi- 
cal considerations, are allowed to influence 
the truth of the conclusions based upon 
phenomena observed and tested with ex- 
haustive patience and judgment; that, at 
least, is Freud's ideal: in other words, a 
genuinely scientific ideal, but one difficult 
for most of us to tolerate. Schopenhauer 
has pointed out how the Philosophers and 
Scientists themselves are too often the 
worst sinners against sincerity; their fault 
is not that they are unable to see reality, 
but that they are unwilling, if that reality 
conflicts with their own beloved prejudices 
and desires. Therein, he says, they cease 
to be Scientists and Philosophers. Here 
are his own words: 

"Almost all the errors and unutterable 
follies of which doctrines and philosophies 
are so full, seem to spring from a lack of 
probity. The truth was not found, not 
because it was unsought, but because the 
intention always was to find out again 
some preconceived opinion, or at least not 
to wound some favorite idea. . . . 


" It is the courage of making a clean 
breast of it in face of every question that 
makes the Philosopher." 

It takes time, a great readjustment of 
ideas, before we can be grateful to those 
who pursue the truth with unrelenting 
single-mindedness, and present her to us in 
her undisguised form. In addition, it must 
be realized that Psycho-Analysis has pre- 
sented us with new material and a new 
sphere of operations. Before the work of 
Freud, truly " a voyager in uncharted 
seas," Psychology had scarcely any knowl- 
edge, even indirect, of the Unconscious 
Mind, and may be said to have taken no 
cognizance of it. If it be true — and none 
can doubt it — that " mankind has never a 
good ear for new music " (to quote Nietz- 
sche's words), then it is understandable 
that only slowly and reluctantly can the 
new knowledge be appreciated, which prob- 
ably is all to the good; time is needed for 
testing to the utmost extent the new 
theory, and for as wide an application as 

Not only has Freud revealed new ma- 
terial and new spheres of operation, the 
characteristic of all great scientific discov- 


ery; in addition he has made use o£ a new 
Method and Technique, employed by none 
before him, a weapon of his own forging 
without rules or traditions for its usage. 
Hence the great difficulty, in the beginning, 
of comprehending and following up his 
work. But now we begin to see that this 
new method has opened up boundless possi- 
bilities of research in the human mind, 
somewhat comparable to the possibilities 
revealed to the world by the Darwinian 
Theory, which one may say has become a 
part of the thinking-technique of man. 

The Subject-Matter of Psycho-Analysis. 

Any attempt to sum up the subject- 
matter of Freud's discovery must inevitably 
give a crude and very partially true state- 
ment, for it is impossible that so large a 
theme as a great scientific theory should be 
Concentrated into a few phrases. This de- 
fect is, and inevitably must be, apparent in 
any treatment such as can be afforded in a 
small outline book of the present nature 
and size : to counteract it, the reader who is 
genuinely interested in the subject must 
go to the fountain-head, to Freud's own 
work (a good deal of which is now trans- 


lated into English from the original Ger- 
man) and to the work of his recognized 
followers/ For the present purpose, the 
subject-matter may be indicated as an In- 
vestigation of the Content and Working of 
the Unconscious Mind and of the Relation 
between the Unconscious and Consciousness. 

Before going further it is essential to 
realize Freud's use of the term "Uncon- 
scious Mind." To begin with its opposite. 
He signifies by " Consciousness " all the 
mental processes of which a person is 
aware, distinctly or vaguely at any given 
time, and in addition he employs the term 
" pre-conscious " for all that, mind-stuff of 
which a person is not at the given moment 
necessarily aware, but which can be fairly 
readily (perhaps with certain effort) re- 

But all that realm of mind which is un- 
known and cannot be spontaneously re- 
called by the subject, which is only made 
manifest (and only then in disguised form) 
in special states such as Dreams, Trances, 
Fantasies, Mania, etc.), and can only be 
evoked by special Methods, he terms the 

1 See Appendix for list of References. 


This Unconscious, which term comprises 
both Memoiries and Processes, is in conflict 
with the tendencies and. , attitudes of the 
Conscious Mind (a further discussion of 
which will be carried out in a subsequent 
chapter), and it is this conflict with its 
bearings which is disclosed to us by the 
work of Psycho-Analysis. The exploration 
of the content of the Unconscious Mind 
and its processes led Freud to the formula- 
tion of his Theory of the Unconscious; the 
necessity for finding a Method whereby 
to explore, led to the creation of the Psy- 
cho-Analytic Technique, the latter, in fact, 
coming first and resulting in the subsequent 
theory. For Freud has not " evolved " any 
preconceived theory of the Unconscious, as 
has already been said. It was through his 
attempts to study and cure abnormal and 
pathological mental states that he con- 
structed his technique, and through the 
continued use of that technique came upon 
his great discoveries in the realm of the 

The next step was to investigate the rela- 
tionship between the Unconscious and Con- 
sciousness, which is all-important as far as 
the Therapeutic aspect of Freud's work 


goes — that aspect which must pre-emi- 
nently concern the practising doctor, the 
educationalist, the social reformer, and the 
ordinary intelligent " layman." 

If we pause for a moment to consider 
how comparatively small a fragment of 
mind is made manifest in the ordinary 
processes of life (though glimpses of a 
wider horizon may be obtained in the Art 
manifestations of great minds), we may 
realize what a new field for thought inves- 
tigation has been thrown open merely by 
the established knowledge that there is 
Unconscious Mind — Mind continuously 
working without our conscious awareness 
and exercising influence of the profoundest 
kind upon our conscious selves. We have 
dimly sensed it here and there in vague 
manner; we talk of the artist's "inspira- 
tion," an unknown force coming from some 
unknown area of mind, working in non- 
understandable ways ; we' talk of the mys- 
terious "Mob-impulses," of the "Herd- 
instinct," and so forth. Now for the first 
time we can follow up and trace out the 
workings of these forces. True, they may 
still remain to a large degree mysterious, 
as all life and its manifestations is, but our 


knowledge and power gain inestimably if 
we are enabled to guide, modify, and adapt 
those manifestations. In mediaeval days 
leprosy was regarded as a miraculous gift 
from God before which men bowed their 
heads and folded their hands, with the 
result that thousands perished most hor- 
ribly from this disease; to-day we may still 
regard its incidence as an unexplainable 
mystery, but we have enough knowledge to 
cope with it, to segregate the diseased, to 
limit its spread, to alleviate its ravages. So 
with the new knowledge that the realiza- 
tion of the Unconscious has wrought; we 
may never account for Mind and its proc- 
esses, but we can now begin to explain and 
interpret a great deal hitherto wrapped in 
darkness, hence productive of disease and 
misery. More important still, even, we 
now can discover the origins of much in 
our conscious mental life, by which knowl- 
edge we may hope to shape the future more 
satisfactorily, adapting environment to the 
human being on more rational lines, and 
helping to transform mere blind following, 
or equally blind repudiation, of instinct into 
enlightened understanding. Enabled by 
the Psycho-analytic discoveries to track 


back to primitive forms and origins the 
complexities of the adult psyche, we begin 
to see far more clearly the value and valid- 
ity (and the reverse) of our mind-stuflf; we 
gain the mastery over it which knowledge 
brings; we can analyze and interpret it 
more correctly, and, above all, we learn to 
give to the Unconscious its share — a most 
unexpectedly large one — of significance and 
dynamic force. Consciousness ceases to 
usurp the whole stage of mental life: it 
learns to step aside to give place to the 
greater though less-seen actor in the Psy- 
chic Drama. 

Nature and Method. 

As has been already noted, the term 
" Psycho-Analysis " comprises both the 
Theory of Unconscious Mind (with its 
methods of working) and a Technique 
whereby that Unconscious Mind may be 
explored and interpreted. 

The work of the Analyst is to note and 
follow up with the utmost care and exact- 
ness all the spontaneous manifestations and 
reactions of the Patient, physical and 

He must observe everything that is pro- 


duced in talk; all the manifestations of 
which the Patient himself may be quite un- 
aware (such as trifling physical habits, 
sudden bodily and facial movements, sighs, 
smiles, hesitation, and so forth); all his 
emotional reactions, all the material of 
night-dreams, day-dreams, fantasies. All 
these things form the stuff out of which, 
by degrees, the Patient (under the guid- 
ance of the Analyst) makes a synthesis; 
thereby revealing to himself a " map " of 
his own psyche, and the springs of action 
and feeling which hitherto have lain, un- 
known and unknowable in the Unconscious, 
manifest (if at all) to Consciousness, only 
in disguised and distorted aspect. One es- 
sential feature of the investigation is that 
it must be comprehensive. The ever-pres- 
ent selection and criticism of the conscious 
" intellectual " mind, absolutely necessary 
in certain spheres though it be, must be laid 
aside to allow free play to the spontaneous 
flow of all which emerges into the field of 
Consciousness. This is no easy task, above 
all for the highly educated sophisticated 
product of modern civilization. The im- 
pulse, to select, to co-ordinate, to ignore ir- 
relevancies, to rationalize, has become al- 


most instinctive for most of us, and the 
first (sometimes the last) difficulty to be 
overcome often lies in this tendency. 

Only by patient practice, by a strong de- 
sire to admit and reveal all the mental 
material, and a renunciation of the merely 
intellectual trends, can the spontaneous 
manifestations be obtained. Here the 
Analyst can give help and guidance; his 
function is to watch for the indications of 
any' check on the free flow of spontaneous 
manifestations, to show the Patient when 
and how this is occurring, and persistently 
bring him back to the true line of investi- 
gation. In addition he must endeavor to 
create the atmosphere most favorable to 
the bringing forth of all the mental ma- 
terial. For it is not only the intellectual 
equipment of the Patient which creates 
difficulties, but, as is obvious to realize, his 
emotional development. Much of the mind 
content he will not bring out, because it 
is of a nature too painful or too incon- 
gruous to harmonize with his intellectual, 
ethical or social self at his present point of 
development. Fear, shame, modesty, self- 
love, all combine to make him suppress 
much of which he is conscious, and the 


duty of revealing it to another person be- 
comes a most painful obligation. This 
difficulty can be in part overcome by the 
skilful and sympathetic handling of the 
Analyst; if he can instil into the Patient 
such confidence that the latter looks upon 
him as one to whom all intimacies may be 
entrusted; if he can impart something of 
the scientific attitude so that the Patient 
learns to look upon the investigation as not 
only a personal revelation, but, in addition, 
a search for further knowledge full of 
amazing interest and possibilities, then the 
difficult • path may be to some extent 
smoothed. Difficult it must remain under 
whatever conditions, and it is well that all 
concerned with this matter, those especially 
who desire to know something of it at first 
hand, should realize that an Analysis in- 
volves trouble, patience, sincerity and ef- 
fort on the part of the Patient or Enquirer 
no less than on that of the Analyst. The 
latter must be learner himself; he, no more 
than the Patient, can arrive at hasty con- 
clusions of any validity; it is not for him 
to impose his own intellectual and moral 
judgments on the Patient; his part is to 
guide the investigation on the right lines. 


to illuminate, to compare and contrast, to 
break up complexities into simpler elements 
and, if need be, to interpret from his own 
stores of knowledge. 

It has to be understood that far more is 
involved in the course of analysis than an 
intellectual process; the Intellect must 
necessarily play its part, but far more fun- 
damental is the emotional aspect. The 
emotional experiences of the Patient (both 
those which adhere to the revived memo- 
ries and those which are the outcome of 
the Analytic process itself) create an in- 
strument for further investigation, and ulti- 
mately bring a1;)0Ut a new orientation. 
That which was previously unconscious 
only becomes present to consciousness 
through the channel of emotion, which 
emotion also serves to interpret the sig- 
nificance of the various psychic manifesta- 
tions. Those who imagine that the 
Analysis consists in merely " talking over " 
the Patient's hitherto-buried mind-content, 
or in some form of Confession, are mis- 
taken; the dynamic factor is the emotion 
which is tapped in order to be traced back 
to its original sources and again followed 
up in the fresh channels it has cut for itself 


in the course of the individual's develop- 
ment. The emotion is re-lived, actually 
re-experienced in the course of the Analy- 
sis. The difference between the process of 
"talking over" the mind-content and ex- 
periencing is the difference, as Freud 
himself has put it, between reading 
a dinner-menu and eating the actual 

In a later chapter the Analytic process 
will be dealt with in further detail; here 
there is only space to note that it is a 
process involving much time, laborious 
work and very continuous treatment. So 
far, the evidence of Freud and of other 
Psycho-Analytic experts seems to point to 
the necessity of a prolonged period for 
Analysis for extremely pronounced neu- 
roses, to be shortened only at the risk of 
incomplete results. For slighter cases, and 
in the cases of the comparatively young, 
shorter treatment may suffice. If the neces- 
sity of lengthy treatment (with accom- 
panying expense and sacrifice in various di- 
rections) appears a drawback, it should be 
remembered that all profound scientific re- 
search has always involved those same fea- 
tures — time, infinite patience, renunciation. 


We have accepted as a commonplace the 
fact that it took some centuries to elaborate 
the current Astronomical Theories, to es- 
tablish the correct process of Blood-circu- 
lation, or even to ascertain the workings of 
the Anti-toxins. Need we complain if the 
investigation of that very subtle and com- 
plex thing, the Mind of Man, calls for many 
months at least of work and thought? 

Its Ultimate Goal. 

What is the ultimate purpose and value 
of this new knowledge now available for 
man's use? This is obviously an important 
question to put and to answer. To many 
it would seem as though its chief aim was 
the healing and restoring of those who are 
" abnormal " — the hysteric, the neurotic, 
the perverted. This indeed is one of its 
aims, an aim which so far has been achieved 
with striking success. The evidence sup- 
plied by Freud's own cases, with that of the 
various other practising Psycho-Analysts, 
gives proof of the power of this new scien- 
tific discovery to bring back to what is 
called the " normal " level those who are 
seriously suffering in mind. We know that 
people who have for long years been 


troubled with nervous breakdown, violent 
obsessions, inability to work, numerous 
physical ills, supposed mania, shell-shock 
war cases, — all these have been helped to a 
complete or very nearly complete " cure " 
(to make use of an unsatisfactory and 
somewhat misleading word), or, as one 
might express it, a new orientation towards 
life which renders them capable of adapta- 
tion to its necessities. There remains no 
longer any question as to this: we have at 
the present moment enough documentary 
and verbal evidence to form conclusions. 
In Vienna, in Ztirich, in Holland, in Eng- 
land, in the United States, the work goes 
on continuously under trained experts, and 
year by year the evidence accumulates. 
Perhaps to no one, with the exception of 
the Patient, are the results so surprising as 
to the Analyst himself; none but he can 
realize the extent and force of the psychic 
conflict revealed before his eyes, conse- 
quently none but he can judge truly of the 
changes made. Yet in their cruder and 
more obvious forms the outside world too 
can note the changes; the throwing off of 
invalidism, the increased power of work 
and concentration, the capacity for sharing 


in social life and its interests, the capacity 
for forming satisfactory relationships (mar- 
riage, friendship, and what not) which be- 
fore may have been conspicuously lacking, 
the power of enduring and mastering the 
blows of external fate — all these things are 
observable as results of successful Psycho- 
Analytic treatment. 

This, then, is one of the purposes of Psy- 
cho-Analytic treatment, the restoration as 
far as may be of those who have been un- 
able to adapt themselves to life's demands, 
and, if successfully carried out, all would 
agree that it is an achievement of the high- 
est importance, (^reud himself has pointed 
out how increasingly manifest in modern 
civilized life are the Neurotic and the Hys- 
teric; and the social reformer, the educa- 
tionalist, the medical man will subscribe to 
this view. It would seem as if the pressure 
of what is called Civilization has been too 
extreme, too rapid in its action ; the " Sub- 
limation " process (the term by which 
Freud denotes the diverting of the original 
energy connected with primitive impulses, 
especially the sexual instinct, into fresh di- 
rections) has perhaps asked too much and 
asked it too hastily, and the result has been 


an upset of balance, a conflict for the 
human being endeavoring to fulfil uncon- 
sciously and consciously this sublimation- 
process. If we can do anything to remedy 
the evils that have developed, so much the 
better. Better still if such evils can be 
prevented, and here we are brought to an- 
other aspect, another aim of Psycho- 
Analytic knowledge — namely, its work in 
the education and development of the 
human being. 

What is it', from the most diverse stand- 
points of Philosophy, Morals, Religion, 
Esthetics, Politics, mankind has always 
felt with such poignancy concerning the 
human mind ? Surely it is the baffling mys- 
tery it presents. The Artist has expressed 
it again and again in his attempts to grasp 
and lay bare man's motive forces; the 
Philosopher and the Religious construct 
their systems because they desire to obtain 
some key to the mysteries; the Politician 
aims at using Society and Men in certain 
directions, and to that end seeks to com- 
prehend the stuff he works with. In all 
these realms the workers are faced with 
constant failure, largely owing to limited 
and incorrect ideas, and in our own day 


there is a widespread desire to enlarge and 
correct our discoveries. 

" We are beginning to see man not as 
the smooth, self-acting agent he pretends 
to be, but as he really is — a creature only 
dimly conscious of the various influences 
that mold his thought and action and 
blindly resisting with all the means at his 
command the forces that are making for a 
higher and fuller consciousness. . . . 
Future studies in this direction (i.e. in 
Psycho- Analysis) must give us the secret 
to the formation of opinion and belief, and 
the methods whereby these can be con- 
trolled." ' 

If, then, we are right in assuming the 
need and desire of man for more knowl- 
edge of the thing which most vitally con- 
cerns himself — his own mind — and if 
Psycho-Analysis can supply some of that 
further knowledge, it has established its 
claim upon our respect and attention. As 
to the application of that knowledge, there 
can be no limits. Accompanying the evo- 
liition of man we seem to see at least two 
marked characteristics — the growth of 

1 Ernest Jones: Papers on Psycho-Analysis (revised and 
enlarged edition, igi8), ch. ii. p. 15. 


Complexity and of Conflict. Biology, Phy- 
siology, Psychology have traced out the 
development of the former; Art (in all its 
aspects), Philosophy and Religion, the 

To find some clear path through the net- 
work which Complexity and Conflict weave 
about the footsteps of man has ever been 
the instinctive desire of humanity, some 
reconciliation, or at least some comprehen- 
sion, of the irreconcilable. Here Psycho- 
Analysis steps in to help us, at least to an 
extent so far undreamt of. It may be 
described as having for its ultimate goal a 
further understanding and a further harmo- 
nizing of the various elements of psychic life, 
working towards that goal, as has already 
been noted, by strictly scientific empirical 
methods. Its wide possibilities, the vast 
fields which lie before us for its application, 
will be touched upon in outline in a suc- 
ceeding chapter. 



Two Aspects of a Unity — Nature of Unconscious and 
Conscious Mind — Perpetual Reaction of Forces — 
The work of the " Censor " — Manifestations of 
the Unconscious in Conscious Life. 

One of the greatest services performed 
by Freud in his mind-research has been to 
demonstrate irrefutably the unity and con- 
tinuity of all mental life. No longer is it 
possible to divide Mind into " Faculties " 
in the old misleading way; psychic life is a 
continuity in the sense that at any given 
moment it is determined by all that has 
previously happened and all that is happen- 
ing. Nothing is accidental in the psychic 
realm. " There is no ' chance ' in the psy- 
chic world any more than in the physical," 
says Freud. 

What look like unexpected accidental 
happenings are not so in reality. The ex- 
planation is that so large a part of our 



psychic life remains, and operates, in the 
Unconscious that we are perforce unaware 
of it: we see only end-results which thus 
appear detached, incongruous, causeless. 
Hence, one of the first requisites for under- 
standing Freud's theory is a grasp of this 
basic fact, namely, that the psyche is one 
entity, in whatever sphere it may operate; 
Unconscious and Conscious mind are but 
two aspects of this entity, one inconceiv- 
able without the other, both acting and re- 
acting uninterruptedly throughout life. 
We must realize the nature of these two 
aspects of mind in order to follow the rest 
of the theory, and it will be well to begin 
with the more dynamic of the two, that is, 
with the Unconscious, 

Nature of Unconscious and Conscious Mind. 

Freud has described Unconscious Mind 
as consisting of all that realm of the Ego 
which is unknown and cannot be spon- 
taneously recalled by the subject, which is 
made manifest (and then often in disguised 
form) only in special psychic conditions 
(such as dreams, trances, fantasies, mania) 
and can be evoked only by special methods. 
The term " Unconscious " is perhaps open 


to certain objections: critics have con- 
tended that since we can only be aware 
of anything by means of consciousness, 
nothing we are aware of can be in any 
realm but that of the Conscious; hence the 
term " Unconscious Mind " becomes mean- 

This objection is based on terms rather 
than on facts. We can all agree that cer- 
tain realms of our psychic life, at any. given 
moment, are obscurely, or dimly, or not at 
all, present to consciousness, though we 
may have means whereby to bring those 
realms into the fuller light; they are, at 
least relatively, in the Unconscious. Per- 
haps the simplest crude analogy we can 
draw is to liken the Unconscious to the air 
surrounding us which we do not see in 
visible form (though we experience its in- 
fluence and activities), do not feel directly 
except under special circumstances, yet all 
the time it is knowable under given condi- 
tions and vitally affects our organism: 
Freud holds that this unconscious part or 
realm in the mind of each individual has 
once been present to the instinctive mind; 
from birth (possibly even before actual 
birth) every experience, inherited and 


other, is stored up in the Psyche, and in 
its original shape. " It is a striking peculi- 
arity of Unconscious processes that they 
remain indestructible. In the Unconscious 
there is no ending, there is no past, there 
is- no forgetting." ^ ) All these experiences, 
throughout our developing life, remain and, 
in addition, form all sorts of new combina- 
tions, with the result that the most complex 
psychic processes may and do take place 
without ever becoming part of our con- 
sciousness. vThe existence of this uncon- 
scious realm of mind must be attributed to 
,the phenomenon which Freud has termed 
( Repression, a matter which will be dealt 
with in later pages, but for the moment 
may merely be described, in passing, as 
that process by which a part of the individ- 
ual's experience gets cut off from the main- 
stream of his Conscious mental life, and 
is swept out of Consciousness, or only 
emerges in some distorted form. 

If we turn to consider a little further the 
nature of Unconscious Mind, we shall see 
how markedly its characteristics set it 
apart from the Conscious. Its content is 

1 The Interpretation of Dreams (authorized translation by 
Brill, 3rd edition). 


made up of " Primitive " Inherited Im- 
pulses and Desires: that is, of those Im- 
pulses and Desires which belong to the 
first stages of the individual's life, while 
he is still untouched or very little modified 
by the forces of civilization which act upon 
him both from within and without as he 
progresses through life. Just as the Folk- 
belief belongs to a humanity which has not 
yet been modified by the " civilization " 
of a later-evolved culture, so the " Uncon- 
scious " belongs to the Infant and Child- 
stage of the individual, both as regards con- 
tent and mode of functioning. 

It can readily be understood, therefore, 
that Feeling is the predominant factor in 
the Unconscious, and reactions are instinc- 
tive, uncontrolled by the checks and curbs 
which operate in conscious life after the 
infant stage is passed. It is fairly easy to 
realize this from the behavior of mad 
people, or of people acting under the in- 
fluence of some exceptional stress (emo- 
tion, a narcotic, intoxicating liquor); the 
" reasonable " self, as we say, is in abey- 
ance, and feeling is the predominant and 
dynamic factor influencing their behavior: 
in other words, they are, for the time being, 


motivated by the impulse from the Uncon- 
scious without the interference of the Con- 
scious mind. 

Freud's theory of Unconscious and Con- 
scious Mind leads us back to his still more 
fundamental conception of the whole psy- 
chic system. His working hypothesis of 
mind-structure implies a creative force, a 
prime mover, which constantly impels all 
animate life, and gives the mental processes 
their dynamic nature — a conception which 
perhaps corresponds in some degree to 
Bergson's ** 6lan vital," although the deduc- 
tions the latter draws from his hypothesis 
differ widely from Freud's. 

Accompanying every mental process is a 
varying amount of psychical energy which 
seeks discharge, and this discharge is ex- 
perienced by the Ego as pleasure, gratifica- 
tion, or relief. This tendency of the psy- . 
chical energy (or, as Freud terms it, the 
"affect ");^to seek discharge of tension de- 
termines the flow of mental life, and it is 
this tendency which Freud expresses in 
terms of " wishes " or " desires." Thus 
our whole psychic life is made up of a 
series of impulses (or "wishes") which 
create ever new impulses, or combina- 


tions of impulses, of the utmost complex- 

Now all these impulses (or discharge of 
psychic energy) aim at the fulfilment of 
two great principles, upon which all our 
life is based — namely, the Pleasure-Prin- 
ciple and the Reality-Principle (Freud's 
own terminology). Concerning these two 
principles more will be said in a further 
chapter. Here it must suffice to note that 
the former, the Pleasure-Principle, mani- 
fests itself as the basic principle of the in- 
dividual in his primitive instinctive stage, 
while still comparatively little modified by 
the external forces of civilization. It evalu- 
ates all experiences in accordance with the 
pleasure or pain produced in the Psyche 
itself, and is therefore purely subjective in 
its standard. " The Pleasure-Principle 
represents the primary original form of 
mental activity, and is characteristic of 
the earliest stages of human development, 
both in the Individual and the Race. It is, 
therefore, typically found in the mental life 
of the Infant, and to a less extent of the 
Savage. ... Its main attribute is a 
never-ceasing demand for immediate grati- 
fication of various desires of a distinctly 


lowly order, and literally at any cost. It 
is thus exquisitely egocentric, selfish, per- 
sonal, anti-social." ' 

It will not be necessary to elaborate, at 
present, the above description. The Infant 
demonstrates the existence of the Pleasure- 
Principle as the basic motive of his every 
action in a manner comparatively easy to 
observe: he is aware only of his own de- 
sires, and insistently demands their fulfil- 
ment in the shape of food, warmth, the 
mother's arms, or any object he sets his 
heart upon. 

But it is not only in the Infant we can 
see the Pleasure-Principle working, though 
in him, perhaps, it works with less disguise, 
naked and unashamed. 

Primitive man recognizes it by the elabo- 
rate system of taboos he has set up to avert 
the consequences of his fierce, self-seeking 
impulses ; so-called " civilized " man dis- 
guises and distorts, often with amazing in- 
genuity, that same Principle which moti- 
vates so much of his behavior; but we have 
only to study our own Fantasies and 
Dreams, our self-regarding unreasonable 
emotions of jealousy, vanity, and so forth, 

^Papers on Psycho-Analysis, Ernest Jones, p. 3. 


our disinclination to recognize reality when 
unpleasing to us, to realize the presence 
and frequent domination of the Pleasure- 
Principle within us. The development of 
Civilization bearing with it cultural, ethi- 
cal, religious and social influences, does 
much to modify and adapt the force of 
this Pleasure-Principle within us, but no 
amount of civilization can destroy it or its 
dynamic power. Directly (especially in 
the Unconscious) or indirectly (in dis- 
guised forms in Consciousness) it is always 
operating, co-operating with or antagonis- 
tic to the other great psychical principle 
which moves us — the Reality-Principle. 
Freud has described this principle as hav- 
ing for its function the adaptation of the 
organism to the exigencies of Reality —that 
is, of the world animate and inanimate, 
which lies outside and around every in- 
dividual. It is obvious that if the in- 
dividual were incapable of acting upon the 
Reality-Principle, and that to a very large 
degree throughout life, he would also be 
unable to exist. He must recognize the 
superior force of sea, air, gravity, fire, wild 
animals, in order to maintain life; he must 
recognize the claims, needs, and superior 


force of his fellow-humans, even in the 
most primitive society or community. 
Thus much adaptation we all, perforce, 
accomplish; but the degree and perfection 
to which we carry out adaptation is in- 
finitely varied, and it is in the development 
of still higher stages of adaptation that we 
undergo the difficulties and evolve the psy- 
chical conflicts which Freud has set to work 
to show and unravel to the world. The 
dominating factor in our Conscious life — 
the Rational life as we may call it — is not 
Feeling (which we saw holding the pre- 
dominant place in the Unconscious) but 
Reason. This life of Reason which we are 
apt to look upon as the whole, or nearly 
the whole, of normal life is, as we have 
seen, a slow-developed creation in each in- 
dividual, a result of the combination of in- 
heritance and the reactions produced by the 
pressure of the external world — of the 
family, the community, religion, culture. 
That life (of Reason) is suited and adapted 
to the environment into which the new 
creature is born: it becomes consciously- 
realized and'^ enables the human being to 
maintain hiiAself in existence, bit by bit 
adapting and modifying the more elemental 


psyche, which, however, still remains, im- 
perishable and potent, ^hus arises that 
condition of a perpetual reaction of forces 
which creates the intra-psychical cdnfiict.. 

Perpetual Reaction of Forces. 

It has been seen that the primitive 
psyche in the human being must, perforce, 
seek its gratification in despite of the pro- 
hibitions and modifications which " Civi- 
lization " sets up. But since the more 
evolved psyche is also bent on the grati- 
fication of its desires, it is a question of 
struggle, now one set of impulses, now 
another operating, or, more often, a, com- 
bination of both. For there is perpetual 
interchange between the various impulses: 
the Pleasure-Principle desires stimulate 
man and give rise to his more instinctive 
thought or action, thus preventing that 
nullification and emasculation of his more 
primitive self which • otherwise might take 
place if the " rational " self were predomi- 
nant. True, such a condition of affairs is 
unthinkable, since always in the Uncon- 
scious the primitive Ps5?:che is dynamic and 
its potency is far greatigr than that of the 
" rational " self. At the same time that 


^me primitive Psyche is perpetually un- 
dergoing change and modification from the 
reactions of Consciousness, so that it will, 
in course of time, manifest itself in con- 
scious life in a form approaching nearer 
to the necessities imposed by the more 
civilized Psyche. As an illustration of this, 
we see how the dreams of the young child 
contain in crude, undisguised form the 
wishes which are unable to emerge into 
consciousness. For example, he dreams of 
killing and cutting up or fiendishly tortur- 
ing the unpleasant nurse or the severe 
mother who exercises authority over him. 
The adult usually expresses his wish for 
the removal of some person disadvan- 
tageous to his own interests by dreaming 
so-and-so is dead, or ill, or gone on a long 
journey. The demands which Civilization 
has set up — that he may not thirst to visit 
violence upon his brother man — are re- 
spected in the shaping of his dream, 
though, be it noted, at bottom the wish 
remains the same in substance as that of 
the more primitive child-dreamer. 

The Repression process applied to Con- 
sciousness — a process perpetually at work 
' — of necessity creates and colors much of 


the Unconscious. From his first begin- 
nings the individual is experiencing repres- 
sion of innumerable desires, which desires 
must take refuge in the Unconscious, mak- 
ing up that psychic stuff which emerges, 
at times in his dreams, fantasies, passing 
thought and action. It would seem essen- 
tial this should be so as part of the sub- 
limation-process which works out man's 
evolution, and, at all events, it is clear that 
such a process must profoundly influence 
the manifestations of the primitive Uncon- 
scious — above all, where the repression is 
carried so far that there is no outlet at all 
in the Conscious life. The previous illus- 
tration may be again referred to: the child 
who is brought up on a system of no vio- 
lence and no resistance — ^who is perpetually 
trained to think and feel that anger, the 
combative instinct and most other strong 
emotions, are reprehensible, who is con- 
vinced it is his solemn duty always to love 
his own family, who is prohibited from the 
use of any violent language (note, this last 
prohibition is one of the basic rules laid 
upon the Boy Scout Organization) and 
anything in the way of lurid reading — such 
a child is extremely likely (provided he 


starts with a fairly normal temperament) 
to fashion an Unconscious in which all 
those instincts debarred from any healthy 
and natural manifestation will find expres- 
sion with startling force. 

A case very recently under my own 
observation illustrates this rather effec- 
tively: a very scholarly man of about fifty, 
of a sensitive, refined temperament, looked 
upon by himself and by some of his circle 
as perhaps a trifle feminine in his make-up, 
not very inclined to the average masculine 
pursuits and pleasures, and a good deal of 
an artist and dreamer, discovered (to his 
own intense surprise) that he frequently 
dreamed scenes in which he was indulging 
in violent and obscene language, or uttered 
such in talking in sleep. Just at this time 
his aflfairs had become rather critical, in 
that his professional career had dwindled 
to a large extent, and there were various 
important changes affecting his domestic 
life. It seemed that the Unconscious had 
the opportunity of manifesting itself, and 
then it was to be seen that the undue 
gentleness and the lack of the " coarser " 
and more vigorous elements which so 
markedly characterized his conscious life 


were compensated for in the Unconscious: 
the repressions which he had experienced 
in early life (and the further developments 
from them in later life) had caused an ex- 
cessive amount to be thrust into the Un- 
conscious (he recalled how his mother, to 
whom he was devoted, could not endure 
him, even as a tiny child of four or five, to 
make noises in her presence, such as drum- 
ming on the table with his spoon or kicking 
his heels), and that material had persisted 
in force and vigor instead of getting 
worked out in any conscious manifestation, 
as, for example, the schoolboy stage of 
slang, bad language, or vulgar joking.^ 

To take another illustration, it is com- 
mon to find in the Unconscious the Father- 
image shaping itself as a terrific and 
avenging deity, even throughout adult life, 
if the conscious relation between father and 
son has been accompanied by much repres- 
sion. If the father, very early in the child's 
existence, is the far-off, punitive authority, 
in whose presence there are all sorts of 
taboos, before whom there can be very little 

^For a most interesting exposition on the Significance of 
Obscene Words, see Contributions to Psycho- Analysis, ch. iv, 
by Dr. S. Ferenczi (authorized translation, by Ernest Jones). 


spontaneous manifestation, but to whom 
respect and affection is due, the Uncon- 
scious is very often found to create a 
Father-image compact of all the desired 
and desirable attributes which the child 
was ever seeking, to compensate for the 
reality. Possibly the conception of a 
Christ, dominated by Love, Tenderness, 
Forbearance, and an all-comprehending 
Understanding, is the Unconscious creation 
compensatory for the austere and avenging 
Father-deity of the earlier Jewish con- 

Just in the same manner as the Repres- 
sions in the Conscious influence the Un- 
conscious, so there is ever at work the 
reverse process — the shaping and modify- 
ing of Consciousness by the Uncon- 

This, perhaps, is easier to realize than the 
former situation, if we once again recall 
Freud's fundamental idea concerning the 
stuff of mind. 

The Unconscious is essentially Instinc- 
tive and Dynamic, and is ever impelled to 
fulfil its desires, which desires, in their 
crude form, must conflict with the " civi- 
lized " desires of man. There is, then,, a 


battleground of opposing forces, and in the 
conflict the powerful Unconscious is bound 
to react upon, and at times to conquer, the 
civilized forces. Illustrations abound ob- 
servable in each of ourselves; perhaps a 
most obvious, and at the same time most 
striking example is of the order treated by 
Freud, in such illuminating manner, in his 
Psychopathology of Every-day Life. The 
upwelling from the flow of the Unconscious 
does not always manifest itself direct, but 
may shape the Conscious in the form of 
hesitation, embarrassment, temporary for- 
getfulness. A few of the actual illustra- 
tions may be helpful. Here is a case of 
forgetting a name: one of Freud's patients 
was talking to him about a certain sum- 
mer resort, and mentioned three inns he 
knew there. Freud allowed two of the inns 
in question but disputed the existence of 
any third, saying he had spent seven sum- 
mers in the vicinity and knew more about 
the place than his patient possibly could. 
At last the patient recalled the name of 
the third inn, which name was verified, as 
"The Hochwartner." Then Freud "re- 
membered "—admitted the third inn and 
its name, which he had seen and passed 


repeatedly for seven summers. Why, then, 
was the inn and its name " forgotten " ? 
He discovered by Self-Analysis that this 
name had a certain resemblance to a Vienna 
colleague, Frankl-Hochwart by name. The 
Unconscious in Freud resented the v\rork 
and existence of this man: the latter was 
Freud's opponent and a possible danger. 
Such an attitude was unacceptable to 
Freud's Consciousness and gets repressed 
into the Unconscious; any link, however 
faint, which might bring this painful and 
unacceptable idea into Consciousness must 
be ignored: hence the inn and its name, 
which would have served as such a link, 
must be "forgotten." Thus the Uncon- 
scious overruled Consciousness, even in the 
face of a strong, conscious desire to recall 
the name. 

As an instance of the Unconscious workr 
ing through a so-called " slip of the 
tongue," Freud gives us this case: a doctor, 
who had been treating a wealthy patient, 
now convalescent, began cheering her with 
the prospect of an expedition to the coun- 
try very soon, and the pleasures she might 
look forward to, ending up with, " You will 
be able to have a very pleasant time if, as 


I hope, you will not soon be able to leave 
your bed." 

Here the entirely unconscious, self-inter- 
ested motive works through and creates the 
slip. In conscious attitude and behavior 
he was the most zealous and disinterested 
of doctors, putting the patient's interest 
first, without thought of remuneration; but 
the desire to continue treating the wealthy 
patient, found only in the Unconscious, y 
forces itself out. 

An interesting " Concealing Memory," 
as revealing the Unconscious, is given in 
the following record : 

A man of twenty-four always retained 
vividly this picture from the fifth year of 
his life: he was sitting on a stool in a 
summer-house by his aunt, who was teach- 
ing him his alphabet. He found difficulty 
in distinguishing the letter M from N, and 
begged his aunt to show him how to do 
so. His aunt called attention to the extra 
portion (one more stroke) in the letter M. 
Why did this apparently trivial incident 
remain more than a thousand others? The 
reason became clear when it was found that 
the memory of this picture served to cover 
a deeper desire — namely, a wish, in later 


years, to discover the difference between 
boy and girl, and through the medium of 
that same aunt. Further, when his desire 
was realized, he discovered that the boy 
(like the letter M) had one portion more 
than the girl (the N). The Unconscious 
reminded him of this desire (a memory of 
which in undisguised form would have been 
unacceptable to his adult mind) by recall- 
ing to Consciousness the harmless picture 
of the five-year-old at his alphabet lesson! 
Thus we see perpetually the Unconscious 
is shaping our Conscious action: a man 
seeking a mate will all unknowingly be 
looking for traits, physical and mental, 
which reproduce some of the earliest iin- 
pressions made upon him by a woman near 
and dear to him — his mother, nurse, or 
elder sister. Coloring, shape, voice, ges- 
tures — the significance of all these things 
to us in a personality — are to be traced 
to the forgotten impressions and desires 
which lie hidden in the Unconscious. All 
of us know the seemingly extraordinary 
tenacity (we call it perversity even) with 
which some individuals pursue their quest 
for some desired combination of circum- 
stances (such as the ideal woman, the ideal 


spot to live in, the ideal house) unaware 
often of any very strong conscious de- 
sire, yet incapable of being satisfied with- 
out fulfilment of their unconscious de- 

In extreme cases, such as the case of the 
medium, the hypnotized subject, the mad- 
man, it is easy to see the Unconscious shap- 
ing the Conscious, influencing the subject 
to carry out actions which he is opposed to 
in Consciousness. These two great forces 
of the Unconscious and Consciousness may, 
as we have already seen, exist as conflict- 
ing elements, or may be harmonized into 
one coherent " Mind-stream." 

It would appear to be a question of bal- 
ance, and it is easily understandable that 
such balance is a complicated and pre- 
carious achievement in our human exist- 
ence. That we so often fail to achieve it is 
only too obviously demonstrated by the 
phenomenon of the neurotic, the mental de- 
fective, the insane; that it is achievable to 
a very large and satisfactory extent is ap- 
parent in those human beings who are 
capable of using their powers and fulfilling 
their life-purposes with a large measure of 
happiness and efficiency; that it is on rare 


occasions very completely achieved is 
proved to the world by the great Artist 
and creative worker in any direction. 

The artist and creator is he in whom are 
welded together the two forces, so that 
when he produces " consciously," as we 
say, he is also producing far more than his 
Consciousness knows or can explain: in- 
hibitions are removed, the Unconscious 
may speak, and the Conscious is free to 
accept, interpret, and use the knowledge 
(intellectual and emotional) thus obtained^ 
Hence, the more profoundly this harmo- 
nizing process takes place, the further is the 
creative worker on the way to great fulfil- 
ment. If, in addition, he have mind-stuflf 
of a great order, then we get those crea- 
tions which are hall-marked as genius — at 
least by those whose own Unconscious is 
sufficiently free to recognize them — such 
creations as Shakespeare's " Hamlet *' and 
"King Lear," as "The Brothers Kara- 
mazov " of Dostoieffsky, as Leonardo da 
Vinci's Monna Lisa, as Newton's Theory of 
Gravitation, as Wagner's Operas, as 
Freud's own Theory of the Unconscious — 
all these (to select only a few instances 
from the world's greatest phenomena) 


demonstrate to the nth degree the twin 
forces of the Unconscious and Conscious- 
ness waking in harmonized combination. 
If and when man can understand more of 
this process of combination we may hope 
to produce, not work of genius (since that 
is an incalculable quantity), but at least far 
more of the individual's capacities and in- 
stinctive creative power. 

Such reflection naturally leads on to a 
consideration of the conditions which so 
frequently cause a conflict-situation be- 
tween the Unconscious and the Conscious, 
rather than a harmony, " A solution of the 
conflict between the repressing and re- 
pressed forces may be reached, however, 
whereby the energy of the latter is diverted 
to other aims, in much the same way as a 
conservation and transformation of energy 
takes place in the physical world. Upon 
the manner in which this is accomplished 
greatly depend the future development and 
mental harmony of the individual. When 
the transformation is in accord with the 
demands of external reality and conscious 
ideals, it represents an important gain for 
the progress of civilization and culture, an 
amount of energy being set free that is 


devoted to carrying ottt the work of ful- 
filling the needs of society." ^ 

Freu4 has bestowed a name on this sit- 
uation. Iffe supposes that the constant en- 
deavor of the individual to adapt himself 
to his psychic environment, and hence to 
oppose and suppress his more primitive 
Psyche, has resulted in the setting up of a 
barrier between the Unconscious and the 
Conscious — a barrier he has designated the 
" Censorship," since its function is to watch 
over and inhibit the manifestations of the 
more primitive Psyche, which latter are 
forbidden to emerge where too incom- 
patible with the demands of Consciousness. 

In the individual it is fairly easy, at least 
in reference to some phenomena, to watch 
the Censorship evolving. The infant and 
young child at first manifests no recogni- 
tion of taboos, and the primitive desires 
may express themselves at will in action 
and speech. 

Bit by bit a Censorship develops both 

from without (due to training, parental 

commands, education, etc.), and from 

Vithin (due to its increasing " civilization " 

1 Ernest Jones, Papers on Psycho- Analysis, Introduction, 
p. 4 (revised and enlarged edition, 1918). 


and psychic development), and the primi- 
tive desires begin to be repressed — a prison- 
house is created for them — and as the 
forces of civilization close in around the in- 
dividual, so does the barrier or Censorship 
between the Unconscious and the Con- 
scious grow stronger in potency and more 
extended in its sphere. 

Nevertheless, stronger than the strongest 
Censorship, the Unconscious is perpetually 
" leaping " through, so that we can observe 
its actual manifestations in direct or in- 
direct form, according to the psychic sit- 
uation. It may manifest itself in direct 
form, as we have already seen, in such 
states as insanity, delirium, dream, trance; 
in the actions regarded as criminal — in- 
tense, uncontrollable, murderous anger, 
mysterious, intuitive cunning, obscene curi- 
osity, unveiled exhibitionism; in the more 
normal " ordinary " life in all those actions 
which Freud has described to us in his 
Psychopathology of Every-day Life — slips 
of tongue and pen, absentmindedness, con- 
fusions, unaccountable recognitions, seem- 
ingly sudden-acquired knowledge, " second- 
sight," and so forth. 

These, as already indicated, are all direct 


manifestations of the Unconscious, though 
rarely recognized as such. The more 
subtle, complicated manifestations are to be 
found in the indirect forms, unrecognizable 
except by careful study and a knowledge 
of the technique and symbolism of the Un- 
conscious. Indirect manifestations are to 
be seen in the form of Sublimation (Freud's 
term for certain psychic processes upon 
which more will be said), Narcissism, and 
all those Character-reactions which form a 
link between the two last-named. 

In this chapter it is impossible to elabo- 
rate these various manifestations, whether 
direct or indirect, of the Unconscious. A 
little more concerning this will be touched 
upon in subsequent chapters, and a few 
illustrations now will suffice to demonstrate 
this force of the Unconscious in each of us, 
ever seeking escape from the Censor; 
thwarted at times to the extent of becom- 
ing its fettered bond-slave; at times able 
to emerge in part only or in distorted and 
disguised form; at times so dynamic in 
power that the Censor-barrier in all its 
strength is swept aside and the flood rushes 
through in its original torrential volume. 

To begin with, the last type of manifes- 


tation — the markedly abnormal and patho- 
logical states — ^will give us best examples. 
In drunkenness, as is well known, the edu- 
cated, cultured person may indulge in lan- 
guage (oaths and obscenities) and acts 
which he would certainly be incapable of 
in his normal condition. Here the intense 
interest and pleasure in such language 
(which itself is a " cover " for interest in 
the topics or ideas to which the language 
refers), strictly suppressed by the Censor in 
the interests of civilization in Conscious 
life, bursts through, since Consciousness 
and its controls is suspended. This is a 
direct manifestation of the primitive inter- 
ests still living on in the Unconscious. 

Take the case of Lear, who is able to 
imagine and give vent to the most appalling 
and abnormal utterances towards his two 
eldest daughters when his "madness" has 
come upon him. Such ideas belong to his 
Unconscious and could not have emerged 
were he still acting under the control of 
the Censor. Dostoieffsky's hero in "The 
Idiot" affords us a further illustration of 
the direct working in tremendous force of 
the Unconscious. His whole psychic exist- 
ence is marked by the absence of the con- 


trolHng-force of the Censor, and he there- 
fore speaks, acts, loves, 'W?;ithout reference 
to the checks imposed by the civilization- 
forces. Accordingly, in the eyes of his fel- 
low-men he is a madman, yet the Uncon- 
scious in each one at times responds to the 
appeal of the " Idiot's " Unconscious, 

The smaller, seemingly trivial, " leak- 
ages " which nevertheless are just as symp- 
tomatic of the Unconscious, are dealt with 
at length by Freud in his Psychopathology 
of Everyrday Life, and again in his Wit and 
its Relation to the Unconscious. All who 
desire to understand more clearly must 
read these volumes for themselves. The 
instances already cited some pages back 
may give an idea of the material drawn 
upon (pp. 56-59). 

As regards the indirect forms in which 
the primitive Unconscious manifests itself 
in Conscious life, perhaps one of the most 
interesting forms is Narcissism, the indi- 
vidual's love for and interest in himself and 
in all appertaining to that self. This Nar- 
cissism, ^ so strong a motive in human 
action, is the evolved form of the primi- 
tive instincts of self-preservation and love 
of the infantile physical self — that is, the 


pleasure in the bodily movement, the feel of 
the skin, the functions, the appetites. All 
this becomes evolved into a more " civi- 
lized " self-interest in the adult which, how- 
ever, still retains aspects reminiscent of the 
primitive attitude — ^vanity, egotism, exhibi- 
tionism, all modified to suit the demands of 
the strict Censor. 

fThe modifications, ever in process, lead 
tre into the psychic condition Freud has 
termed Sublimation. This is the turning 
of the repressed sexual impulses away from 
their original object^-namely, the Ego-i^to 
objects which subserve the social and cul- 
tural life of the Individual and Community, 
and in this way we are always experienc- 
ing indirectly the influence of the Uncon- 
scious. \ The primitive curiosity-instinct 
(originany a curiosity centered upon the 
body of the individual himself and of those 
around him) gets sublimated into the im- 
pulse for knowledge, study, scientific pur- 
suits; the primitive cruelty-instinct gets 
turned into an impulse towards fighting, a 
skill in surgery, or a love of the chase; the 
primitive auto-erotism becomes sublimated 
into interest in an object outside self and 
thus develops into " normal " sex-impulse 


and activity, and from that stage again 
develop the further sublimations of sex in 
the direction of art and all creative imagi- 
nation, j Again we see the Unconscious 
working in the character-reactions which 
bridge the gulf between the two sets of 
Narcissistic and Sublimating desires. Take 
such an illustration as a son's affectionate 
relationship to his mother. Here we have 
the Unconscious sex-impulse towards the 
mother, an expression of the more primi- 
tive Narcissistic self-love, in its desire for 
fulfilment and therefore pleasure, combin- 
ing with a more sublimated development 
— the interest and tenderness for an ob- 
ject outside himself and a capacity for con- 
sideration towards that other object. The 
result in the fairly normal boy, say of seven 
or eight, will be a mingling of infantile 
impulse with the more " civilized " egotistic 
claims and wishes — hostility, tenderness, 
self-sacrifice, and so forth. 

This child will, for example, seek to keep 
out strangers, to have his mother for him- 
self alone, will evince jealousy of others 
who share her regard, will ignore much in 
her life and behavior which does not affect 
his self, and at the same time manifest ten- 


derness, self-sacrifice, and ideas often in- 
compatible with reality — such as making 
his mother a queen, showering riches on 
her, dressing her always in silks, doing 
great deeds for her, and so forth. At 
puberty, when the individual's desire for 
sublimation becomes stronger and more 
urgent (though unconscious), it is easy to 
note the reactions set up from the conflict 
between the sublimating process and the 
demands of the Unconscious. The with- 
drawal into self (shyness, incompatibility 
of temper, love of solitude) is often the 
token of the Narcissistic unconscious self 
demanding the interest and attention of the 
Universe, yet inhibited by the equally 
strong, sublimating desires for identifica- 
tion, for sacrifice, for admiration and ap- 
preciation from others. It is clear that the 
Censor-Barrier must be strengthened by 
the civilizing forces, and hence the more 
dynamic become the repressed Unconscious 
desires in their struggle against the ever- 
growing Censorship. Compare the child of 
the people with one of the highly edu- 
cated and civilized class and we see that the 
former has, in certain directions, more op- 
portunity for his Unconscious to manifest 


itself since there have been fewer restrain- 
ing forces. In bodily affairs, in sex affairs, 
in expression of emotion, it is probably a 
recognized fact that the " uneducated " 
classes are hedged in by fewer inhibiting 
forces: they take sex more lightly, they 
make little of bodily functions, very often 
(it is interesting to observe this in teach- 
ing different social types in schools or 
other institutions) : they will give vent 
to emotion more unrestrainedly (con- 
trast the gallery behavior in a theater 
with that of the stalls and other 
good seats). Needless to say, every 
individual is influenced by the forces 
of civilization among which he lives, but 
they operate in very varying degrees. Con- 
trast, again, the restraints to be found in 
art-forms in varying ages and conditions. 
Pagan art and literature, for example, has 
all its own restraints, but it is free from the 
restraint imposed by one of the great forces 
of civilization — namely, Christianity. The 
effect is obvious: in certain directions the 
Unconscious has become more and more 
damned under this Censorship of Christian- 
ity, notably in matters affecting sex, and 
the result can be traced in the very differ- 


ent attitude manifested towards sex on the 
part of Pagan and Christian, This is but 
one instance as illustration; innumerable 
others can be adduced. 

This chapter may be concluded with the 
following words of Freud: "A reaction 
from the over-estimation of the quality of 
consciousness becomes the indispensable 
preliminary condition for any correct in- 
sight into the behavior of the psychic. In 
the words of Lipps/ the unconscious must 
be accepted as the general basis of the 
psychic life. The unconscious is the larger 
circle which includes within itself the 
smaller circle of the conscious; everything 
conscious has its preliminary step in the 
unconscious; whereas the unconscious may 
stop with this step and still claim full value 
as a psychic activity. Properly speaking, 
the unconscious is the real psychic; its inner 
nature is just as unknown to us as the reality 
of the external world, and it is just as im- 
fectly reported to us through the data of con- 
sciousness as is the external world through 
the indications of our sensory organs." ^ 

1 The Conception of the Unconscious in Psychology, Lipps. 

* Freud : The Interpretation of Dreams, ch. vii, p. 486, Au- 
thorized translation of third edition, with Introduction by 
Dr. Brill. (London : George Allen & Unwin, Ltd.) 


The Pleasure-Principle and the Reality-Principle — 
The Egocentric Impulses and Development of the 
Social Impulses — Conflict between the " Primi- 
tive " Impulses, and the Restrictions imposed by 
Civilization — Creation of Repressions — Necessity 
for Sublimation— The Neurotic. 

The Pleasure-Principle and the Reality-Principle. 
The Egocentric Impulses and the Social Impulses. 

In the previous chapter it was noted that 
the Psyche was realized by Freud as the 
stage whereon is enacted the Intra-psychi- 
cal Conflict between the more primitive and 
the more evolved human impulses. In the 
course of that conflict, and to serve its pur- 
pose, the Repressions are created. 

It is necessary to return now to the dis- 
cussion of the two great principles of Psy- 
chic life (already noted in Chapter II) — 
namely, the Pleasure-Principle and the 
Reality-Principle — in order to see how they 



operate in determining the psychic conflict. 
It has been shown (see supra, p. 46) that 
the Pleasure-principle is the . primitive 
human impulse, having feeling as its pre- 
dominant motivating-factor. It is present 
at the beginning of life, and manifests itself 
strikingly and obviously in the infant- 
stages of the individual, in the physical, 
mental, and feeling spheres. It is repre- 
sented in the early purely egocentric im- 
pulses, which are perpetually seeking pleas- 
ure, the pleasure of nutrition, the sensation 
of many kinds of physical functioning, and 
so forth. It is clear that these egocentric 
impulses are essential to self-preservation 
and self-development, and that they must 
resist at all costs that which fails to sub- 
serve the ego's ends, that which brings pain 
and loss — lack of pleasure. But it is im-. 
portant to note in this "teonnection that so- 
called pain may subserve the individual's 
pleasure and passion by intensifying sen- 
sation; hence the egocentric impulses may 
be found seeking pain in order to turn it 
into a more intensified pleasure, such as the 
impulse seen in the newborn infant (and 
continued into adult life) to withhold the 
breath, the urine, the faeces for a certain 


period in order to obtain the maximum 
amount of pleasure from the ultimate dis- 
charge of tension. Here is the Pleasure- 
principle acting by the method of inflicting 
self-pain, and from this source we get the 
later development of Sadistic and Maso- 
chistic impulses. 

It is possible that deeper than the Pleas- 
ure-principle lies the Nirvana-principle, as 
one may call it — the desire of the newborn 
creature to return to that stage of omnipo- 
tence, where there are no non-filled desires, 
in which it existed within the mother's 
womb. Freud has pointed out that Birth is 
no new beginning in the psychic life of 
the individual (any more than in his phys- 
ical life), but rather an event which serves 
as an interruption to his ante-natal situa- 
tion. It is an interruption terrific and pain- 
ful in its intensity and suddenness, but 
one which cannot obliterate the individual's 
desire for the earlier situation, to which 
throughout life he seeks to return, and 
thus to revert to his beloved Omnipotence, 
once again free from all external and in- 
ternal checks. Such a desire acts as a 
regressive tendency in humanity, giving 
rise to the conflict between the Static and 


the Dynamic ideals, typified again and 
again in Myth and Folklore, in such forms 
as the Atlas-story, the Golden Apples of the 
Hesperides, Thumbykin, Alice in Wonder- 
land; all these express the desire for the 
first stages of life (and still more, ante- 
natal life) when one was the omnipotent, 
protected being, able to enjoy delightful 
egocentric pleasures, and, further, the de- 
sire never to leave that stage, never to 
grow old, nor face change and death. 

" In our innermost soul we are still chil- 
dren, and we remain so throughout life," 
says Freud, to which we may add the 
saying quoted by Ferenczi, " Grattez 
I'adulte et vous y trouverez I'enfant," say- 
ings which sum up what has just been 
noted — namely, our wish to maintain and 
conserve the primordial state, and the per- 
sistence of these egocentric impulses domi- 
nated by the Pleasure-principle which be- 
long to that primordial situation. Side by 
side, however, with the Pleasure-principle 
we see operating the second great psychic 
principle — namely, the Reality-principle— 
and it is this which must next be consid- 

As already stated, Freud holds that the 


Reality-principle has for its function the 
adaptation of the organism to the exigen- 
cies of reality, to " subordinate the imperi- 
ous demand for immediate gratification, 
and to replace this by a more distant but 
more satisfactory and permanent one. It 
is thus influenced by Social, Ethical, Re- 
ligious, Cultural, and other external con- 
siderations that are ignored by the earlier 
Pleasure-principle." ^ 

But this Reality-principle, though the 
motive-force, seemingly, of so much in our 
adult and civilized behavior, though guid- 
ing and controlling the Pleasure-principle in 
average normal human beings as regards 
conscious activities, can never abrogate the 
activity of the more primitive Pleasure- 
principle; hence the intra-psychical con- 
flict already referred to in the beginning of 
this chapter. 

" The fate of the primary Pleasure-prin- 
ciple and the modifications it has to 
undergo before being allowed to manifest 
itself is one of the central objects of psycho- 
analytic study, which is thus the study of 
the fundamental driving force behind the 

^ Papers on Psycho-Analysis, Ernest Jones (Introduction, 
p. 3, revised and enlarged edition). 


majority of human activities and inter- 
ests." ' 

The modifications referred to in the 
above quotation are essential owing to the 
evolution of those other impulses in man, 
often in opposition to the primary ego- 
centric impulses, although, of course, sub- 
serving the latter ultimately, but in an in- 
direct and more subtle form. These are 
the social impulses which have led mafi 
beyond the wholly self-regarding stages. 

Since man is bound to develop the other- 
than-self-regarding impulses, as well as the 
wholly egocentric ones, and since in any 
kind of community-life, under any form of 
civilization, he must live by the Reality- 
principle (as we have seen, life based solely 
on the Pleasure-principle is impossible ex- 
cept in a state of isolated oneness), it is 
obvious that he must adapt and change 
many of his most primitive desires to fit 
himself for existence. It is from this proc- 
ess of change and conflict, Freud has dis- 
covered, that the fundamental features of 
the Psyche are developed. 

This process of modification and adapta- 

^ Papers on Psycho- Analysis, Ernest Jones (Introduction, 
p. 4, revised and enlarged edition). 


tion is a difficult and painful one; a long 
road has to be traveled by each human 
being before the Primitive mentality, domi- 
nated by the Pleasure-principle, can suf- 
ficiently change Impulses, Emotions, 
Methods of Thinking, so as to bring all 
these into line with the Civilization into 
which it is born. More difficult even than 
the sacrifice of the Primitive Impulses is 
the getting free from the Primitive Emo- 
tions and Modes of Thought, for these latter 
may, and do, persist in conjunction with 
changed desires. The grown man does not 
cry for the moon, but he may cry for other 
objects, in the infantile mode, unable, just 
as is the infant, to adjust himself to Real- 
ity; the civilized man may have very 
largely outgrown the sayage impulse to 
slay the person who is an obstacle to his 
own egocentric fulfilment, but the Emotions 
connected with such a person (Father, 
Elder Brother, Nurse, Teacher) may still 
live on in transferred disguised forms. 
Again, the primitive Modes of Thought, 
which must at all costs maintain the supre- 
macy of the Ego, can easily live on, though 
applied to psychic experiences quite other 
than the early primitive ones. To the In- 


fant, external reality is as nought, some- 
thing to be ignored, as, for instance, when 
it shrieks for the glittering bright thing in 
the sky, unable to recognize the realities of 
space and substance. It is possible to 
maintain such a standard-;^the standard 
of egocentric valuation — and apply it to the 
situations of adult life. The failure, hu- 
miliation, sense of inferiority, to which 
most individuals are destined at least some- 
times and in some degree by contact with 
the external world, can be re-acted to by 
the primitive method — that is, by ignoring 
the true situation and perpetually keeping 
the Ego the " top-dog " instead of employ- 
ing a more adult method, namely, dis- 
covering the real part played by the Ego. 

The V Primitive Impulses, Feelings, 
Thought-modes, then, all persist, but in 
much changed, transformed and weakened 
forms, and this is due to what Freud has 
termed the process of Repression. 

His theory of Repression lies at the root 
of his whole conception of mind, and thus 
is fundamental to any understanding of it. 

From the very beginning of life, accord- 
ing to his view, the primitive Impulses, 
Feelings, and Thought-modes are being 


perpetually "repressed" (that is, sub- 
merged partially or wholly) in favor of 
the new set of Impulses, Emotions, and 
Thought-modes, which are the products of 
the new creature's environment, external 
and internal. Repressed, it should be 
noted-, but never wholly obliterated; the 
Primitive psychic life remains intact, but 
unable normally to emerge into Conscious- 
ness save in some transformed guise, such 
as in the Dream, the Nightmare, the Fan- 
tasy, Bodily Affects, or in " abnormal " 
states, " Madness "and " Delirium." This"" 
■primitive Mind-stuff is unacceptable to the 
Consciousness of the Individual molded by 
cultural and ethical influences, but since it 
is imperishable (and here we have to note 
another basic principle of Freud's theory — 
namely, the indestructibility of psychic 
material), it must find a home outside Con-^- 
sciQiisness (and so i:akes refuge in the Un- 
conscious and becomes " forgotten "), or, 
as an alternative, must so transform and 
disguise itself that it will become accept- 
able to Consciousness, since the latter will 
not recognize its true aspect and import. ' 
Human Evolution would seem to have 
developed along the path of Sublimation, 


a result of the creation of manifold moral, 
religious, and cultural taboos, which latter 
give rise to conflict with the primitive im- 
pulses, pursuing the Pleasure-principle. 
Hence for each individual the human sit- 
uation involves a process of Adjustment 
between the primitive and the more 
evolved, between the Pleasure-principle and 
the Reality-principle, a process, as can eas- 
ily be seen, of most subtle complexity, 
fraught with every kind of difficulty, some- 
what comparable with the process of bio- 
logical adaptation. The fact that this ad- 
justment-process is inevitable, in varying 
degree, to every human being, cannot re- 
move the difficulties; to each newborn child 
will arise perils and problems in learning to 
suck, to exercise its physical functions, and 
later to talk, walk, and so forth. Only in 
so far as the Sublimating-impulses prevail 
are these difficulties overcome; so it is in 
the psychic sphere. The primitive impulses 
have become modified and adapted through 
the power of the Sublimating-tendency, but 
this tendency is not necessarily always the 
conqueror even in Consciousness. Hence 
it is that Sublimation takes place in the 
case of individuals and peoples in an in- 


finitely varying degree. There is the indi- 
vidual (and the nation) in whom the primi- 
tive egocentricity is sublimated to but small 
extent, so that he is unable to share in the 
Herd-activities, or adapt himself to social 
ends, remaining isolated and turned in- 
wards, such as a Swift, with accompany- 
ing loss and gain. There is, equally, the 
nation which remains aloof, withdrawn, 
alien from and hostile to the influences of 
the Stranger-herd, of which type the Welsh 
nation is a good example. Without any 
possibility of the sublimating process, no 
evolution in the human psyche would take 
place, and we should remain at the level 
of Primitive Man, or the less primitive 
child ; through its influence we get civi- 
'lization, and its finest fruits. A great deal 
of Art is a Sublimation, Freud holds, of the 
primitive egocentric impulse " to see and 
be seen " and of the sexual impulse in 

It follows that those primitive egocen- 
tric impulses must undergo change both in 
their nature and in regard to their valua- 
tion by the Psyche, and it is this process 
of change which creates what Freud has 
termed Repression. 


If the Sublimation-process can afford an 
adequate outlet for the psychic energy ac- 
companying the primitive desires, we 
achieve a fairly satisfactory adjustment^ 
Take, for example, the young male's in- 
stinct for fighting: if this instinct can be 
gratified sufficiently in a sublimated man- 
ner, such as by organized boxing, wrestling, 
competition in games, and so forth, the in- 
stinct can continue to operate in a trans- 
formed guise without, possibly, too much 
dissatisfaction to the primitive Psyche. If 
a powerful Exhibitionist-instinct can obtain 
satisfaction through such a channel as the 
exercise of Public Speaking, Acting, promi- 
nence in some sphere of action, then again 
the original instinct in its crude form may 
cease to exercise itself in Consciousness, 
though always existent in the Unconscious. 
Here is the process of unconscious Repres- 
sion at work, ceaselessly operating in every 
individual throughout life, a process of pro- 
found and complicated adiustments, involv- 
ing both loss and gain. If we consider for 
a moment how easy it is and must be for 
such adjustments to go wrong, we realize 
that the Sublimation-process involving Re- 
pression is likely to be complex. 


In the first place, the Civilizing-process 
both for the individual and for the race 
takes place with extreme rapidity. The 
human individual, in an incredibly short 
space of time, must emerge from his sen- 
sational existence, centering round his own 
ego, oblivious to the external world, into a 
social being, called upon to fulfil obligations 
imposed by the outside world in a thou- 
sand directions. His initial loves and hates, 
impulses and habits, must be cast aside to a 
large extent, or transformed out of recog- 
nition, to conform to the new claims put 
forth by his own psyche, and the demands 
of his fellow-humans. Added to this is the 
very prevalent " speeding-up " to their own 
cultural standards on the part of Parents, 
Nurses, Educators, and as a result. Repres- 
sion is bound to happen, and too often in 
very excessive degree. 

" This self-centered creature " (i.e. the 
infant), urged by an inner and an outer 
compulsion, must, at least by school-age, 
grow into a large measure of self-depen- 
dence, self-control; must relinquish his 
claim to exclusive mother-care, relinquish 
absorption in his own charming body; must 
learn to check his fantasies by realities, and 


learn to plant himself as a separate, new 
individual. , . . 

" From this babe, thus always in a con- 
dition of unstable equilibrium, and there- 
fore exquisitely sensitive to injury, like all 
embryonic tissue, we too often demand a 
rigid standard of behavior and feeling, ap- 
plicable enough to the relatively stable 
adult." ^ 

Here, then, is one obvious way by which 
Repression is produced. 

In the second place, there are those 
human beings who by initial temperament 
are very unsuited to the particular environ- 
ment into which they are born, and there- 
fore have special difficulties to meet. Such 
types, for instance, as Lear, Othello, Becky 
Sharp (in fiction), Richard Burton, Swift, 
and a host of others, were probably all per- 
sons in an unsuitable environment, one 
which provided them with peculiar difficul- 
ties, and this circumstance, added to their 
own psychic constitution, failed to allow 
adequate outlet for the specially dynamic 
psychic energy accompanying their primi- 
tive desires. 

^ The ConAicts in the Unconsciousness of the Child, M. D. 
Eder and Edith Eder. 


Here, again, unconscious Repression 
probably to a very great extent is taking 
place, in proportion to the lack of satis- 
faction obtained by Sublimation. 

We see, then, that in the case of both 
" average " and exceptional human types, 
the Repression-process must inevitably act, 
carrying with it consequences Freud has 
revealed to us. 

In so far as the Sublimation-process does 
not fulfil the needs of the Psyche — that is, 
does not afford adequate outlet for the psy- 
chic energy accompanying the more primi- 
tive desires — other paths of discharge have 
to be created. The repressed impulses must 
find a way out^ either in behavior directly 
antagonistic to the Sublimated Conscious 
life (such as " Bad Habits," Violence, 
Criminality, and any Anti-social action), or 
in the form of Psychoneuroses (such as 
Hysteria, Nervous Breakdown, Obsessional 
ideas, physical ailments, and so forth). In 
both sets of circumstances some part of the 
Psyche is being repressed, and the repres- 
sion is not a sufficiently harmonized proc- 

Examples of such repression may be 
found accompanying us in every step of 


psychic development. Shakespeare has 
given us a splendid instance in " Macbeth," 
in the case cited by Dr. Ernest Jones ^: he 
depicts Lady Macbeth, long after Duncan's 
murder has been accomplished, as char- 
acterized by a habit of rubbing her hands 
together, as though washing them. Here 
is the repressed wish coming out in the 
form of a neurotic symptom, a mechanical, 
apparently meaningless habit. Lady Mac- 
beth desires to wash away the stain of guilt 
from her consciousness. The process of 
sublimation cannot be effectively achieved, 
either in the form of causing her to regard 
the murder as a worthy, justifiable action, 
or to take upon herself the consequences of 
her act. Hence she is in conflict and fear; 
she would suffer if she realized fully how 
much she desired to be free of her blood- 
guiltiness, therefore she does not realize it, 
but gratifies that desire by transferring her 
feeling to a "neutral" object. So she 
washes away imaginary stains from her 
hands, a mere " freak " which arouses no 
suspicion in herself. 
With wonderful intuition genius leaps to 

1 Papers on Psycho- Analysis, p. 288, Ernest Jones (revised 
and enlarged edition). 


the knowledge and conclusions that the 
Psycho-Analyst can reach only with pain- 
ful toil; hence Shakespeare makes Lady 
Macbeth furnish a key to the riddle in her 
sleep, when the Psychic Censorship is re- 
laxed, and the original wish, unrepressed 
by the Sublimating influences of Conscious 
life, can reveal itself. In her sleep-walking 
she cries out: "What, will these hands 
ne'er be clean? Here's the smell of the blood 

This is an illustration from the hand of 
the Artist, but we can as easily turn to real 
life for other examples. The attack of hys- 
teria, the obsessional idea, " bad habits," 
bodily ailments developed without any 
apparent cause — all these are channels 
through which the repressed impulses 
struggle to get expression. Those who care 
to follow up the subject must turn to 
Freud's Psychopathology of Every-day Life, 
in which they will find a mine of informa- 
tion, and to The Interpretation of Dreams. 

Such further illustration serves to show 
that the primitive impulses mostly con- 
cerned are the Sexual and the Self- 
regarding. It has to be realized that these 
two are the most dynamic, and are in ad- 


dition just those which in every community- 
life, especially that of a highly-civilized 
type, are most unable to be gratified in any- 
thing like their original form and intensity. 
This non-gratification (or inadequate grati- 
fication) of the primitive egocentric Sexual 
impulses causes the profoundest complexes 
to form in the human Psyche ; hence Freud's 
theory of the Complex is inevitably bound 
up with that of Repression. Briefly put, 
the " Complex " (a term first employed in 
this connection by Dr. C. G. Jung, of 
Zurich) results from a damming of the 
psychic energy accompanying the profound 
primitive impulses, which remain undis- 
charged owing to the checks imposed by 
the Sublimating-forces. 

The emotions connected with this ar- 
rested psychic stream, unable to get dis- 
charged, become sources of pain to the 
psyche, and therefore the impulse, and all 
the feelings and ideas carried in association 
with it, have to be " shut off," or dissociated 
from consciousness; a " knot " in the strands 
of the emotional being is created, by means 
of which fresh entanglements are ever being 
formed. Thus the need for Repression leads 
to the creation of Complexes, and in their 


turn the Complexes give rise to ever fresh 
Repression. The commonest" simple ex- 
ample is the "forgetting" of a name be- 
cause that name is associated (in the 
Unconscious) with some painful psychic ex- 
perience which has given rise to a Complex, 
An illustration of such " forgetting " is 
given by Dr. Ernest Jones concerning a 
medical student who became acquainted 
with a nurse at his Hospital, and saw her 
daily in the course of work for about a 
year. Later, he became more intimate, but 
he often found great difficulty in recalling 
her surname when addressing letters to her, 
though he had, of course, originally always 
addressed her by her surname. Investiga- 
tion brought to light the fact that her 
Christian name was the same as that of a 
girl he had jilted in earlier life, and also 
of another girl he had passionately loved 
in boyhood. This name he could not for- 
get, but he desired to forget his two failures 
in love. He identified the three successive 
girls unconsciously, "and thus remained true 
to his first love, in a sense. But he did not 
wish to be reminded of his faithlessness (i.e. 
that he had now transferred his affection), 
which would be recalled by the different 


surname. Hence he may remember the 
first name, but not the surname. These in 
the three cases in no way resembled each 
other. It will be obvious that if Freud's 
theory of the conflict between the primitive 
and the sublimating impulses holds good, 
with its accompanying Repression-process, 
the Complex-forming capacity must be in- 
herent in the human Psyche, beginning with 
life itself, and continuing to act, unknown 
to consciousness, as an inhibitory force 
throughout life. 

In proportion as successful Sublimation 
is effected, so the Complexes will be " re- 
solved," but only at the cost of forgetful- 
ness of a great deal of our psychic ex- 
perience; indeed, Freud's view is that the 
almost complete Amnesia for our earliest 
experiences — say from birth till the age of 
three of four — is due to the necessity to 
sublimate and therefore " forget " many 
happenings unsuitable and painful for later 

The recognition of this fact (namely, of 
the repression-process) is essential if we are 
to understand psychic development, and, so 
far as lies in our conscious power, guide the 
sublimating-process to harmonious ends. 


It is the lack of such recognition that pro- 
duces unintelligent training of children, mis- 
directed and futile educational systems, and 
states of society which hinder the develop- 
ment of the individual. It is not conceivable 
that mankind should exist and evolve with- 
out Repression, since Sublimation must con- 
tinue to be a path from the egocentric to 
the social life, and a means of compensation 
for unfulfilled desires. In no situation, so 
far as man has yet traveled, has his 
achievement kept pace with his desire, and 
it would seem that the Psyche ever in 
pursuit of the Pleasure-principle evolves 
for itself this process as a method of en- 
joying, at least as hallucination, its primitive 
desires. The infant who is no longer al- 
lowed the stream of milk from the mother's 
breast will continue the sucking movements 
of its lips, obtaining enjoyment in the fan- 
tasy of sucking; the child prevented from 
indulging his primitive curiosity for seeing 
and touching his own body and that of 
another compensates by taking an interest 
and pleasure in the clothes which cover the 
body; the lover, such as a Dante, unable to 
obtain his mistress, compensates by enjoy- 
ing her in a different way — as an inspiration 


and an ideal. Without such possibilities of 
compensatory pleasure the Psyche would be 
forced to fall back upon the primitive 
pleasures again and again, and thus hinder 
the progress of human evolution. 

Especially when we remember the source 
of the most dynamic pleasure — the Sexual 
source — do we realize how essential is the 
power of Sublimation. For the primitive 
impulses springing from this source are the 
ones, as has already been noted, which re- 
main most ungratified in civilized society, 
hence, are those which call for the greatest 
degree of Sublimation. 

Religious, Social, and Cultural influences 
have laid a peculiarly heavy ban upon the 
gratification of the primitive Narcissistic 
and Sexual impulses, above all, of the latter; 
yet they remain the most dynamic im- 
pulses in each human being, demanding ex- 
pression in some form, and flowing over into 
every sphere of psychic life. As a result, it 
is in these spheres Sublimation is most dif- 
ficult and most essential, both for the sake 
of transforming those impulses to fit the 
social needs, and to compensate the Psyche 
for such transformation. 

It has been pointed out by Freud that the 


Sublimation-process involves loss (for- 
getting of psychic life, weakening of prim- 
itive impulse, often substitution of the less 
dynamic for the more dynamic) as well as 
gain, and such loss inevitably accompanies 
the gain at every step. It is the situation 
occurring so often in Myth and Legend — 
the necessary sacrifice, at a birth, of either 
mother or child. * Both cannot survive ; the 
mother may consent to be sacrificed for the 
sake of the new creation which shall bring 
a higher type into the world (such is the 
situation in the Volsung Saga), and the loss 
is outweighed by the gain. But if the new 
individual is no further advanced in the 
scale of humanity, and has little or nothing 
to give the world, then the mother-sacrifice 
has been made in vain. So with Sublima- 
tion : the gain from it (both to the individual 
and the community) may outweigh the loss 
and suffering it involves or vice versa. 
Freud holds that it is the business of Society 
and the Individual to endeavor to bring 
about a satisfactory balance in the process. 
For a certain number of human beings 
this process is achieved fairly satisfactorily 
on the whole, with a balance of gain, the 
primitive trends developing into products 


more or less useful to the Individual him- 
self and to Society. Even for this number 
we see that there is room for tremendous 
advance in knowledge in order to render 
the process more effective and less wasteful. 
It is hardly credible that, with such further 
knowledge, human beings need continue to 
lose their way so often and so disastrously 
in the process of self-development, to allow 
useful gifts and powers to waste away, to 
suffer so much more than they enjoy. 

Further, there are many who never at- 
tain to even the average level of Sublimation 
with ease and adequacy, the Neurotic and 
the so-called "Abnormal." In such types 
the process is accompanied by too great 
effort and expense. The primitive impulses 
cannot be harmonized with the demands 
of Civilization, often owing to the intensity 
and exceptionally dynamic quality of the 
former. As a result, the psychic conflict is 
intense, creating either manifestations 
directly antagonistic to Society (murderous 
impulses, incest impulses, and so forth), or 
neurotic symptoms which tend to destroy 
the individual himself. In certain neurotic 
types, Freud discovered, there is often a 
highly developed moral, religious, ethical, 


or social sense, and a strong Idealizing 
tendency; hence a greater conflict than in 
a less developed type. In such an individual 
the desire for sublimation is so strong that 
it is proportionately more painful for him 
to realize and give way to the primitive 
impulses, and the very attempt to repress 
the latter renders yet more unattainable the 
desired sublimation. Take, as illustration, 
some of the great Mediaeval Ascetics, who, 
turning with ecstasy of joy to a religious 
life, found, to their amazement and horror, 
the primitive impulses for ever surging 
within them. Unable to recognize these for 
what they were, vainly attempting to re- 
press such instincts, they found more and 
more difficult the path of sublimation (e.g. 
St. Augustine). In other neurotics there 
is to be found an inadequate capacity for 
Sublimation, so that this type is unable to 
achieve the standard imposed on him by 
the community in which he moves; he can- 
not develop sufficiently far away from his 
primitive impulses, which insist upon ex- 
pression in some disguised form, such as 
Hysteria. Here we have largely a Con- 
scious process; still more difficult is the 
process when it is a matter of Unconscious 


Sublimation. The child in whom has been 
sternly repressed, from the earliest stages, 
a very strong interest in its genital organs, 
may develop an abnormal amount of un- 
conscious repulsion towards these organs 
and the bodily functions they fulfil, covering 
the ungratified primitive interest. Yet his 
accompanying conscious attitude, ethical 
and moral, may be one which tends to ideal- 
ize the body. His conflict will be intense 
because he is seeking a very high standard 
of sublimation which can only be attained 
by the yet further repression of the already 
partially repressed (but powerfully dy- 
namic) primitive impulses. " Our unknown 
Repressions lead us ever further in the path 
of Repression," says Ferenczi, and the 
truth of the saying seems indisputably 
proved. It is a commonplace that the 
human types most distinguished for Ide- 
alism and Morality are also often those in 
whom the psychic conflict is most marked, 
and the explanation lies in this difficulty of 
adjustment between very strong Primitive 
and Sublimating Impulses. In addition to 
this difficulty, Freud finds another arising 
from the too great degree to which civiliza- 
tion has sometimes carried Sublimation. 


His belief is that it can only be achieved in 
every age and community up to a certain 
standard, and if the claims of Civilization 
demand more than the possible amount, and 
that amount too quickly, then again a too 
great psychic conflict is set up, resulting 
in the Neurotic type. 

He holds, for instance, that possibly subli- 
mation of the sexual impulses has gone too 
far, and has produced Repressions too great 
to be dealt with successfully. In Western 
Europe, especially, sex-repression begins 
very early, either through the method of 
ignoring sex in the child, or by the heavy 
restraints laid upon the exercise or mani- 
festation of the sex-function, except under 
certain specified conditions, and to this 
attitude, explicit and implicit, Freud at- 
tributes very many of the Neuroses which 
exist in modern civilized societies. 

Here, and to conclude this chapter, a few 
words op. Freud's sexual theory will be 
useful. (That theory — namely, that all the 
primitive trends of the Psyche are sexual 
in origin — has created the greatest antago- 
nism. Partly this may be due to the 
fact that such a view is new; partly to 
the fact demonstrated by Freud, that the 


strongest repressions are associated with the 
primitive sex-impulses. That which we do 
not desire to see does not exist for us; 
one recalls the " forgettings," the " absent- 
minded " acts familiar to us all. If civilized 
man has been unable to accept his own 
sexual impulses, it follows that he will also 
be unable to accept a theory which discovers 
those same impulses to him. I " Our own 
unknown Repressions lead us /ver further 
in the path of Repression." /In addition, 
the repudiation of the theory is to some 
extent influenced by a misunderstanding of 
Freud's use of the term " sexual " (though 
the reason for that " misunderstanding " 
lies, again, in the need for repression). He 
uses it, as well as in its recognized sense, 
to cover a far wider sphere than is usual, 
including under it functions and processes 
not generally considered as of sexual nature, 
owing to the fact that such processes and 
functions have not hitherto been traced to 
their basic origin. If we take the human 
relation which Freud holds to be of the 
most vital import to the individual de- 
velopment — namely, the relation between 
parent and child — his sexual theory can 
be illustrated. The special characteristics 


of the Parent-child relationship have de- 
veloped from mutual sexual impulses. It is 
obvious that the same primitive impulses 
which exist in all mankind must manifest 
themselves among members of the same 
blood; we have proof of it in the Incest- 
taboos to be found amongst primitive 
peoples in some form or other. Freud has 
revealed how the Greek Myth known as 
the CEdipus Myth embodies the horror and 
fear which Incest inspired in Man, and 
what that horror and fear served to cover 
— namely, man's instinctive primitive desire 
towards Incest, which desire has had to be 
repressed and sublimated in the interests of 
Society. \ 

The son loves his mother, the daughter 
loves her father, with a love which has the 
essential and characteristic features, in 
many aspects, of the love which is recog- 
nized as sexual love between adult members 
of the opposite sex. To the male child 
beginning life the mother is Woman; she 
stands for all that Female Sex can mean to 
him at this stage of existence, andfsince to 
Freud all psychic life is a unity, he is com- 
pelled to realize that this child-love is poten- 
tially the same in kind as the love of a 


later stage which we unanimously recognize, 
as sex-love. It is so only in the degree 
to which the child has developed his sexual 
wishes and trends; but these latter, as 
Freud has discovered through abundant 
data, exist, in a modified form, from the 
very beginning of life.] The yet little- 
repressed, very young child's desire to in- 
vestigate the mother's body as well as its 
own, its interest in her bodily functions, 
its wish for exclusive possession, its 
jealousy and excitement centering round 
the mother (or other individual in the 
mother's r61e) — these are all images — 
shadowy and half-evolved perhaps, yet 
recognizable — of the characteristics of adult 
sex-love. This love for the one parent — 
on the part of the son for the mother, on 
the part of the daughter for the father — 
produces hostility in the Unconscious (since 
such an emotion necessarily must be re- 
pressed from Consciousness as unsuitable) 
to the other parent, and a revolt against 
his or her authority.\ Here, then, we are 
furnished with the situation of the CEdipus 
or Electra Myth, a situation Freud finds 
existing in the Unconscious, from the first 
stages, throughout life, revealed to us only 


in disguised form in Consciousness. One 
such manifestation, very little disguised, is 
to be found in the fact that all our later 
loves and hates are the outcomes of our 
first love, that for our parents.) In literal- 
truth, Nous revenons toujours a nos 
premieres amours, either by the channel of 
seeking (unconsciously) m later life the 
men and women who can give us again 
what. we most loved in the parents, or by 
the attempt (again unconscious) to get 
right away from that early influence, since 
an effect may operate negatively as strongly 

• (This psychij^ situation which originates 
from sexual impulses (the CEdipus- 
situation) exerts manifold influences in 
manifold directions on the development of 
the Psyche, to be traced in such manifesta- 
tions as an extreme repugnance to all 
authority (from the initial hostility to, or 
defiance of, the father), or an over-docile, 
slavish disposition (from desire to placate 
the dreaded father), or a dread of other men 
(from the dread inspired by the father), 
or an inability to find a satisfactory mate 
(from the over-persistence of the Father 
and Mother image in the psychic life of the 


oflfspring). Hence, the CEdipus-situation 
common to us all may or may not give 
rise to difficult complexes, manifesting 
themselves as neurotic symptoms, accord- 
ing as repression and sublimation can or 
cannot be carried out in fairly-balanced ad- 
justment. ]lt is in this connection that Freud 
affirms the need for a more understanding 
training, environment, ethical and social 
ideal in order to achieve such adjustment. 
The previous pages have pointed out that 
in the Parent-child situation Freud has in- 
disputably discovered a sexual basis, a fact 
unknown and unknowable save through his 
researches into the Unconscious; equally 
he has found that same basis in our other 
most fundamental psychic situations and 
characteristics, hitherto unrecognized as 
sexual. Therejs space for one or two ex- 
amples only, i Curiosity, often manifested 
in so sublimated a form as scientific in- 
terest, thirst for general knowledge, or 
interest in exploration, originates as a 
primitive sexual impulse — that is, in the 
pleasure the child experiences for investi- 
gating first his own body, later the bodies 
of others. This desire to look, to touch, to 
know, so far as it has reference to bodily 


spheres, is usually sternly suppressed in 
very early stages of life (inevitably so, 
peirhaps, in the interests of Sublimation), 
and passes over into a disguised form fairly 
adapted to the proprieties of adult civilized 
life, in the majority of so-called " normal " 
people. Curiosity, within bounds, is ad- 
missible; it is not regarded as a vice (its 
sexual origin having become disguised), nor 
quite as an admirable quality (since its 
sexual origin is realized in the Unconscious, 
and that realization produces a half-con- 
demnatory view in consciousness). But in 
the cases where the primitive curiosity- 
impulse does not become thus transformed, 
it becomes Exhibitionism, with its accom- 
panying " Peeping Tom " propensities, of 
which there is far more concealed and sup- 
pressed (often a process involving anguish) 
than respectable Society may care to 
recognize. \ ^ 

Two features are noteworthy in the crit- 
icism with which the theory has been met. 
First, that the repugnance of the critics, in 
many cases, appears to have prevented them 
from any impartial study either of Freud's 
own theory or of the facts upon which he 
bases that theory. Secondly, that this same 


repugnance towards the suggestion of a 
sexual origin to our fundamental activities 
would seem to imply a belief that the Sex- 
impulse is a thing taboo, in its nature un- 
pleasing and unsuitable for fulfilling the 
Psyche's need. Neither of these attitudes 
seems quite worthy of an age which claims 
a large freedom from prejudice. Bacon's 
splendid maxim might be conveniently kept 
before our minds for a guide in this con- 
nection, as also the words of Schopenhauer 
in his letter addressed to Goethe in the year 

"Almost all the errors and unutterable 
follies of which doctrines and philosophies 
are so full seem to spring from a lack of 
probity. The truth was not found . . . 
because the intention always was to find 
out instead some preconceived opinion or 
other, or at least not to wound some 
favorite idea, and with this aim in view 
subterfuges had to be employed. . . . 
Most of us carry in our hearts the Jocasta 
who begs CEdipus for God's sake not to 
enquire further; and we give way to her, 
and that is the reason why Philosophy 

1 Quoted by Ferenczi, Contributions to Psycho-Analysis, . 
ch. X, " Symbolism." 


stands where it does. It is the courage 
of making a clean breast of it in face of 
every question that makes the Philosopher. 
He must be like Sophocles' CEdipus, who, 
seeking enlightenment . . . pursues his in- 
defatigable enquiry, even when he divines 
that appalling horror awaits him in the 


THE r6lE of the DREAM 

The Dream as the direct Manifestation of the Uncon- 
scious — Night-dreams, Day-dreams, Fantasies — 
The " Censorship " working through the Dream — 
Resultant Dream-Mechanism — The Dream and its 
relation to Consciousness. 

The Dream as the Direct Manifestation of the 

" The interpretation of dreams is the Via 
Regta to the knowledge of the Unconscious 
in mental life." 

In these words Freud sums up the r61e 
of the Dream in psychic life, and shows us 
the importance of it for an understanding 
and interpretation of that part which we 
are apt to regard as all-important — our 
conscious psyche. 

By means of this " royal road " we can 
travel from the Unconscious to the Con- 
scious, or conversely, and discover en route 
the psychic events which take place in the 


THE r6LE of the DREAM 109 

process c^ fusion between the two 
coiiditions. } 

( There are, as Freud has pointed out, 
other direct manifestations of the Uncon- 
scious, such as Hysteria, Obsession, De- 
lirium, all of which he has studied; but 
since the Dream is a phenomenon common 
to all, even to the most " normal " type, 
since it is possible to' collect a multitude 
of data connected with it, Freud has made 
use of the Dream to a very great extent — 
almost as the basis, perhaps one might say 
— for investigation of his Theory of the 

.' The primary function of the Dream, says 
/Freud, is to protect sleep by, stilling the 
I activity of unconscious psychic processes 
"that otherwise would disturb it. 

If we recall again the Repression-theory, 
we remember that such unconscious proc- 
esses are perpetually in action, only pre- 
vented from entering Consciousness by the 
influence of the Censorship — " the sum-total 
of repressing inhibitions," as it has been 
described by Dr. Ernest Jones. 
In sleep that Censorship is abrogated, 
/ allowing the unconscious wishes to take 
\the field; but such wishes and the psychic 


conditions involved would be disturbing to 
the sleeper (since out of harmony with his 
conscious psychic life), hence he must either 
remain unaware of them (in the great 
majority of cases we " forget " our dreams 
on awaking), or remember them only as 
distortions so seemingly meaningless and 
fantastic that^they can be dismissed from 
consciousness. } " Dreams are but sea- 
foam " has been the general verdict of 
serious-minded men, says Freud. 

It is obvious that the Dream is insepa- 
rably bound up with the Repression-theory ; 
in the Dream Freud discovered the very 
same influences working which he had dis- 
covered in waking psychic life — that is, an 
expression of primitive psychic wishes in 
conflict with the sublimated impulses, the 
result of such conflict giving the Dream its 
content, shape, and expression. 

The very fact of the universal " for- 
getting" of dreams confirms the existence 
of the Censorship. Freud has found reason 
to believe that dreaming more often than 
not accompanies sleep, in spite of the aver- 
age person's impression that he rarely, or 
never, dreams; but for reasons already 
cited we must " forget " (that is, uncon- 

THE r6lE of the DREAM 111 

sciously repress) this dream-activity in 
order that our Unconscious shall not be a 
disturbing 'force. 

Before going further, it is necessary to 
point out that/the Day-dream, the Fantasy, 
and the Hallucination are all related to the 
Dream proper (the Night-dream) and bear 
many of the same psychic characteristics, 
and in functioning bring about the same 
result — namely, the gratification of unful- 
filled wishes repressed into the Unconscious 
or Sub-conscious owing to the unsuitability 
of such wishes for Consciousness. But in 
the Day-dream and the Fantasy we may 
note that the Censorship is less relaxed — 
the conscious mental inhibitions still act, 
at least to some degree, and as a result, 
some of the aspects of the Dream proper 
are lacking, or manifested in much smaller 
degreeY for example, such features as Dis- 
tortion, Displacement, Condensation, and 
so forth, which will be considered further 

In the Reverie and Fantasy there will be 
far more of intellectual work| (Freud has 
■pointed out that in Dream-making proper 
the intellectual process is non-existent), and 
since there is less relaxation of the Censor- 


ship there will also be less affect experienced 
by the subject — that is, the emotion as- 
sociated with the unconscious wishes will 
not have as free a flow, for the stream of 
the Unconscious itself is more dammed up. 
"VVe are accustomed to exaggerated and ex- 
'travagant trains of thought and feeling in 
a Day-dream, but we still remain in a sphere 
conformable to some extent with reality; 
the day-dreamer may with ease picture' 
himself as Napoleon Bonaparte; world- 
emperor, but not as a wild animal, an aero- 
plane, or a Greek Temple — situations com- 
mon and normal to a Dream proper. 
jEqually with feeling; extreme or exag- 
(gerated emotion may express itself in the 
Fantasy or Day-dream, but it is emotion 
centred upon objects and thoughts akin to 
our waking life, not as in the Night-dream, 
on objects with which no emotion is as- 
sociated in Consciousness — such, for in- 
stance, as horror inspired by a coal-scuttle, 
passionate love-feeling for one's own foot 
or hand, fear of a chair, and so forth. "" 

Turning once more to the work of the 
Censor in relation to the Dream, we find 
here the most intricate, baffling, and in- 
teresting problems of Dream-activity. 

THE ROLE of the DREAM 113 

I Freud finds the Dream-function is to 
^press an unfulfilled egocentric wish, un- 
fulfilled since it has had to be repressed 
from Consciousness. The Dream, there- 
fore, is carrying out the activity of the 
Pleasure-principle, giving expression to that 
which would be pleasurable to the primitive 
Ego, but Js incompatible with the Reality- 
principle.J As we have seen, the Censor 
must interdict such manifestations of the 
Pleasure-principle, and fulfils its task in one 
of the two ways already mentioned — by 
means of complete repression (" forgetting " 
of dreams), and by means of some harmless 
disguise (the remembered dream is mere 
childish nonsense, of no significance). 

It is in the creation of the disguise that 
we get the complicated Dream-mechanisms 
which Freud has revealed to us. 

The Dream-Mechanism. 

The first principle to be grasped in refer- 
ence to thef Dream-activity is that it con- 
sists of two groups of mental processes: the 
Dream-thoughts, constituting the " Latent 
content," and the Dream-narrative (as re- 
lated by the Dreamer), constituting the 
" Manifest content," as Freud has termed it. 


" It is essential to keep distinct these two 
groups of mental processes, for in the ap- 
preciation of the difference between them 
rests the whole explanation of the puzzling 
riddles of dreams. (The latent content, or 
dream-thought, is a logical and integral 
part of the subject's mental life, and con- 
tains none of the incongruous absurdities 
and other peculiar features that characterize 
the manifest content of most dreams. This 
manifest content is to be regarded as an 
allegorical expression of the undprlying 
dream-thoughts, or latent content." ^ / 

These two groups have their origin in 
the Unconscious and in Consciousness re- 
spectively, and the work of the Censor is 
carried out in the effort to prevent the 
former from evolving into the latter, as has 
already been noted. 

Necessarily,4he most striking and easily- 
observed feature of the Dream is its use of 
Symbolism,^^. characteristic of the primitive 
psyche. The symbolism of the Dream is 
concerned with two activities: it manifests 
itself in connection with the Dream- 
thoughts (residing in the Unconscious), and 

^Papers on Psycho-Analysis, Ernest Jones (revised edi- 
tion), ch. viii, p. 190. 


it is an outcome of the work of the Censor- 
ship which renders symbolic forms neces- 
sary for the sake of disguise.) It is im- 
possible here to touch further upon the 
subject of Symbolism; readers who desire 
to study the subject should turn to the 
chapter entitled " The Dream-work " in 
The Interpretation of Dreams '■ and to " The 
Theory of Symbolism," " by Dr. Ernest 
Jones, for a full account of symbolism in 
the Dream. | It is the symbolic nature of 
the Dream which creates one of the greatest 
problems in realizing its true significance 
especially since the symbols will, of neces- 
sity, be connected with, and form a cover 
for, those wishes and ideas of which the 
Dreamer is (and desires to be) least con- 
scious.") "A final means of expression of 
repressed . material, one which lends itself 
to very general use on account of its 
especial suitability for disguising the Un- 
conscious and adapting it (by compromise 
formalisms) to new contents of conscious- 
ness, is the Symbol. . . . It is a substitutive, 
perceptual replacement-expression for some- 

1 The Interpretation of Dreams, ch. vi (3rd edition, trans- 
lated by Brill). George Allen & Unwin, Ltd. 
^Papers on Psycho- Analysis, ch. vii. 


thing hidden, with which it has evident 
characteristics in common or is coupled by 
internal associative connections. Symbol- 
ization essentially belongs to the Uncon- 
scious, but in its function as a compromise, 
it in no way lacks conscious determining 
factors, which in varying degrees condition 
both the formation of symbols and the 
understanding of them.^ 

From this quotation it is clear that the 
same process which has rendered the 
symbolism necessary — viz. Repression — will 
also be that factor which renders the inter- 
pretation of the Symbol by the Dreamer 
an extremely difficult task. In addition, 
the process of Symbolism is carried out un- 
consciously, and the individual is quite 
unaware of the meaning of the Symbol he 
has employed, often unaware that he has 
employed a symbol at all. It has been 
pointed out by /Dr. Ernest Jones that " the 
field of sexual symbolism is an astound- 
ingly rich and varied one, and the vast 
majority of all symbols belong to this 
category. There are probably more symbols 
of the male organ itself than all other 

^Dk Bedeutung der Psychoanalyse fur die Geistesuuissen' 
schaften, Rank & Sachs, 1913. 

THE RCLE of the DREAM 117 

symbols put together." )Thus the Dreamer 
who dreams of a snake* or a dagger in no 
way consciously regards these objects as a 
phallic symbol, and is unwilling, most fre- 
quently, until the Dream-analysis forces 
him thereto, to accept that conclusion. 

As a further complication, we have to 
note that^in addition to the constant sym- 
bolism wntch belongs, says Freud, to un- 
conscious thinking as a whole, and " is to 
be found in greater perfection in the folk- 
lore, in the myths, legends, and manners 
of speech, in the proverbial sayings and in 
the current witticisms of a nation than in 
its di:^ams," ^ there is also the individual 
factor.y Even though, as Dr. Ernest Jones 
points out, the part played by that factor 
is a modest one, and, as has just been 
stated, the vast mass of Symbolism belongs 
to mankind, not to the individual man, yet, 
Freud reminds us, it is necessary to re- 
member the plasticity of psychic material." 
''The Dreamer, owing to a peculiar set of 
rebollections, may create for himself the 
right to use anything whatever as a sexual 

» The Interpretation of Dreams, ch. v. p. 245 (3rd edition, 
trans, by Brill). 
^ Ibid., ch. V. p. 246. 


symbol, though it is not ordinarily used in 
that way." J An illustration of this occurs 
to my mind in the case of a woman patient 
who made use of the cooked beetroot as 
a phallic symbol, which, as far as I am 
aware, was purely individual. Symbolism, 
then, is the process through which the 
dream-thoughts become in disguised form 
the manifest-content, and thus is all- 
important for the interpreting of those 

In addition, we see other very important 
{mechanisms at work which must be recog- 
nized before the dreamer can realize the 
true significance of his dr^am. 

These are, primarily, ,the processes of 
Condensation, Displacement, and Drama- 

Condensation is the term applied to that 
process by which various elements in the 
latent dream-thoughts are fused together, 
in the manifest content of the dream, so 
that the dream as it comes to consciousness 
may be condensed to a tenth, a twentieth, 
a hundredth part of its original extent — 
that is, as it was in the dreamer's Un- 
conscious.)' Condensation may show itself 
in various directions: one figure in a dream 

THE RCLE of the DREAM 119 

may be built up by fusion of the traits of 
various persons — proportions, face, hair, 
coloring, voice, dress, each of these may 
belong to different personalities and be 
fused together to form a composite portrait 
in the dream; similarly with places, ep- 
isodes, and names. Again, the condensa- 
tion-process may operate by collecting and 
making prominent the characteristics 
common to several persons, ignoring the 
differentiating traits, j^ Freud gives an 
illustration of both these forms of con- 
densation from one of his own dreams, in 
which he turns his friend R. into his own 
Uncle Joseph, giving R. his own facial 
appearance, somewhat elongated (the Uncle 
had a long face), with a thick, surrounding, 
yellow beard (R. has a dark beard, the 
Uncle a blond beard). Further, he turns 
the character of R. into that of his Uncle 
Joseph by selecting a certain quality be- 
longing to the latter and transferring it 
to the former — the quality of stupidity — 
the reason for which he ultimately discov- 
ered to be a wish to discredit his friend R. 
' This condensation-process accompanies 
every form of dreaming, and the reason for 
it (just as in the case of the other forms of 


dream-distortion) appears to be two-fold. 
In the first place, it is a mechanism by 
which similarity or identity between dif- 
ferent elements in the Unconscious can be 
economically transferred to Consciousness 
(or the wish for such similarity or 
identity) ; secondly, it is a mechanism 
whereby the psychic censorship may be 
evaded, since the condensation serves to 
disguise the real state of affairs.) < In illus- 
tration of this is the case already quoted, 
where the Dreamer attaches to friend R. 
the beard of his Uncle Joseph, an insig- 
nificant feature of resemblance which pre- 
vents him from realizing (save by the aid 
of Analysis) that he is taking up the same 
attitude to his friend R. as that which he 
enjiertains towards his Uncle. 
( Displacement, like Condensation, acts as 
a powerful distorting mechanism. By Dis- 
placement Freud signifies that process by 
which psychic importance is transferred to a 
given element in the manifest content from 
quite different unrelated elements in the 
latent content. Thus it is that in most 
dreams analysis reveals little or no cor- 
respondence between the psychical intensity 
attached to certain elements in the dream, 

THE r6LE of the DREAM 121 

as related by the Dreamer, and the as- 
sociated elements in the latent thought, and 
this holds good conversely. It is a familiar 
fact to all that in a Dream the most intense 
emotion may center around some entirely 
trivial and indifferent element. \ Here is a 
simple illustration, taken from tne dream of 
a woman: She dreamed she was in the 
Zoological Gardens, just going round the 
wild animals' cages. Although the doors 
were all open, she was entirely unconcerned 
at the lions, tigers, hippopotamuses, and the 
great beasts. Then she wandered into the 
open air again, and suddenly found herself 
standing, transfixed with horror ("I felt my 
face had turned ashen-grey with terror," 
were her own words), gazing at a tiny stick 
which was lying in her path. Here is 
feeling displaced into a seemingly indifferent 
object — a harmless twig, whereas objects 
which certainly would inspire terror in 
waking life — the uncaged fierce beasts — are 
not invested with any psychic effect. Anal- 
ysis of the dream revealed that the sig- 
nificant idea in the latent content was 
associated with the phallic-symbol which the 
twig represented (the Dreamer had played 
a game in the garden with a small relative 


that day in which little twigs figured). 
The absence of feeling connected with the 
wild beasts served as a disguise for elements 
in the Unconscious which were represented 
by these creatures. She was peculiarly ter- 
rified in actuality by any hairy, shaggy 
animal, which represented to her, so the 
analysis discovered, crude sexuality, and 
her terror served to cover an intense interest 
in these animals' physical habits; the in- 
difference in the manifest content led her 
to pass by this train of ideas, hence to 
avoid recognition of what was in the 

Thus Displacement accounts for much of 
the bewildering, paradoxical, contradictory 
nature of the dream, as perceived by the 
Dreamer in its manifest form, and only 
when the Displacement effects are re- 
established, linked on to their associated 
ideas, can the true significance of the dream 
(that is, the force of the latent content) be 

The mechanism of Dramatization will be 
perhaps more familiar to most people than 
the other complicated Dream-processes 
already mentioned. 

By this mechanism the latent content is 


given a visual form, a scene of action, 
sequence of time to represent . relations of 
cause and effect, inversion of elements, to 
show contradiction and so forth. 

The commonest form of the dream is that 
of visual pictures — the Dreamer is usually 
looking on at the dream enactments as a 
spectator surveys the stage. This process, 
named Regression by Freud, involves the 
turning of abstract mental processes into 
their primary perceptions, and is character- 
istic of Dreams which tend to assimilate in 
form to infantile psychic activity of a visual 
type/ Such Dramatization is an invariable 
accompaniment, then, of Dreaming, and 
Freud points out that this process is an 
important factor in the transformation from 
latent to manifest content. 

" It is the regard for presentability (Dar- 
stellbarkeit) in the peculiar psychic material, 
that the dream makes use of — that is, fitness 
for representation, for the most part by 
means of visual images. Among the various 
subordinate ideas associated with the es- 
sential dream-thoughts, that one will be 

lA full discussion of the subject will be found in ch. viii 
of Papers in Psycho-Analysis (revised and enlarged edition), 
Ernest Jones. 


preferred which permits of a visual repre- 
sentation, and the dream-activity does not 
hesitate promptly to recast the inflexible 
thought into another verbal form, even if it 
is a more unusual one, as long as this form 
makes Dramatization possible, and thus 
puts an end to the psychological distress 
caused by cramped thinking." ^ 

Just as the mechanisms of Condensation 
and Displacement create manifold disguises, 
obscurities and entanglements, so does the 
Dramatizing activity conceal or complicate 
the latent thought of the Dream, and these 
three mechanisms, to which may be added 
another, termed by Freud Secondary Elab- 
oration (a more conscious mental process), 
are the chief factors in what he has de- 
scribed as the " Dream-work," or Dream- 

Some characteristics of this Dream-work 
have been touched upon, and the subject 
cannot here be entered into more deeply. 
The following extract will perhaps help to 
summarize what has already been said: 

" We have, above all, to lay stress on the 
fact that in the formation of a dream no 

^ The Interpretation of Dreams, ch. vi, " The Dream- 
work" (3rd edition, trans, by Brill). 

THE ROLE of the DREAM 125 

intellectual operation of any sort is carried 
out; the dream-niaking is concerned solely 
with translating into another form various 
underlying dream-thoughts that were pre- 
viously in existence. No creative work 
whatever is carried out by the process of 
dream-making: it performs no act of de- 
cision, calculation, judgment, comparison, 
conclusion, or any kind of thought. . . . 
Any part of a dream that appears to in- 
dicate an intellectual operation has been 
taken bodily from the underlying latent 
content, either directly or in a distorted 
form; the same applies to speech phrases 
that may occur in a dream. Even some of 
the waking judgments passed on a dream 
belong to the latent content. To repeat, 
there is in the dream-making nothing but 
transformation of previously-formed mental 
processes. Dream-making proceeds by 
methods quite foreign to our waking mental 
life; it ignores obvious contradictions, makes 
use of highly strained analogies, and brings 
together widely-different ideas by means of 
the most superficial associations." ^ 

1 Papers on Psycho- Analysis, Ernest Jones, ch. viii ; 
" Freud's Theory of Dreams!' PP- 204, 205 (revised and en- 
larged edition). 


As we have seen, one of the most im- 
portant purposes served by the various 
mechanisms mentioned — though not the 
only function, Freud points out — is to so 
disguise the latent dream-content that the 
Censorship may be evaded, and, as we have 
also seen, this evasion is necessary, since 
the latent dream-content represents always 
and only the imaginary fulfilment of an 
ungratified wish. And in this connection 
we understand why, in addition to the 
obviously-disguising mechanisms, such proc- 
esses in waking life, as doubt, criticism, 
and forgetting (partial or total) of dreams, 
must play a part. All of them are necessary 
for aiding the Repression-process by which 
the unfulfilled wish is prevented from 
coming to light— a process often so com- 
plete that the manifest dream, far from 
representing an unfulfilled wish, would seem 
to deal with its contrary — a desire against 
something, a fear, an objection. But anal- 
ysis can always reveal this merely as the 
manifest content, beneath which, as we go 
still deeper, is found the wish-impulse, 
distorted into some other form. 

In reference to this matter, Freud has 
carefully pointed out that the wish which is 

THE ROLE of the DREAM 127 

the motive-power of the dream is always a 
wish which exists in the Unconscious, or 
associated with an allied unconscious wish, 
since otherwise there would be no need for 

An example or two will show the dream- 
mechanisms in action. The first dream is 
one related by Freud in The Interpretation 
of Dreams, taken from a patient of his 
own. Since it is very short, it is convenient 
for the purpose. A young man dreams that 
"he is putting on his heavy winter over- 
coat again, which is terrible." 

First, we have an example of Symbolism, 
for it turned out that the heavy overcoat 
becomes a symbol to the Dreamer for a 
penis-sheath or condom. Secondly, we 
have Condensation: the very brief manifest- 
content represents the occasion for the 
dream (the cold weather which had re- 
cently set in) ; a conversation with a lady 
on the previous day and the train of 
thought set up thereby (the lady had in- 
formed him of the " accidental " birth of 
her last child owing to the bursting of 
the husband's condom) ; a train of abstract 
thought which the Dreamer had (bearing 
on this subject of the risks of sexual inter- 


course for an unmarried man), and other 
material elicited by analysis. Thirdly, 
Displacement is operating in the form of 
" overdetermining " the effect connected 
with an indifferent matter — that is, the 
overcoat, although the real effect belongs 
to the latent idea concerning sexual inter- 
course and its risks. Fourthly, Drama- 
tization has been at work, creating from 
abstract thoughts a little picture express- 
ing action, and the Dreamer himself acts a 
part in his playlet. Further, it demon- 
strates Freud's finding that the dream is 
always egocentric, centering round the 
Dreamer as principal character in it, and 
contains material vital to his deepest im- 
pulses and activities. The young man fears 
the possible result of his sexual intercourse, 
and this fear probably veils the true wish 
which the Dream expresses in the latent 
content — that is, the desire for the condom 
to break or to be so oppressive that he 
will throw it off (like a too thick overcoat), 
and therefore encounter the risk; he de- 
sires to be forced into action which he 
'may be unable to carry out on his own 
The second example is a dream given by 

THE ROLE of the DREAM 129 

a woman patient treated by myself. It 
runs as follows: 

I was a child of about nine, living in 
my old home with my family. It was 
mid-day. I was just returned from morn- 
ing school to dinner, and standing on the 
doorstep waiting for my mother to open 
the door, I was full of dread and fear, it 
seemed, because the door was not opened, 
though I had no apparent reason for fear. 
Then my mother came to open the door, 
but she was dressed in a blue dress the 
color of your own of yesterday (i.e. of the 
Analyst). She was tall and commanding, 
and her hair had turned quite dark (in 
reality, she was short, and at that period 
her hair was light brown). I remember 
rushing wildly past her, and that is all I 
know. Something else happened, I forget 
what; I think there seemed to be a pool 
of water in one of the rooms, but I ran by. 

A full analysis is impossible, but it can 
be shown that here again Condensation, 
Displacement, Dramatization, Secondary 
Elaboration, are all at work. 

The dread and fear in front of the un- 
opened door is an element derived from 
two childish experiences: one which came 


to light was the incident of her standing 
in agitation outside her own front door 
after morning school because she desired 
to urinate and was in fear of being unable 
to retain her water any longer (an " ac- 
cident " which her mother would regard 
as a great disgrace); the other experience, 
about a year or two later in her life, was 
that of having once met, on a dark evening, 
a drunken man near her home, who at- 
tempted to molest her (or so she believed), 
and from whom she rushed violently away 
to her own house and stood beating on the 
door to get in; but no one was in, and she 
hid in the garden shed. Condensation takes 
the two memories, both sexual in a wide 
sense of the word, and fuses them together 
into a memory of a fear and terror and 
humiliation connected with bodily organs 
and functions, associated with her own 
house and door. 

Condensation again is active in the pic- 
ture of her mother, who also has traits 
real or imaginary of her Analyst. Analysis 
revealed that the Patient gave the Analyst 
the role of mother in many aspects, and 
desired to substitute the Analyst for her 
own mother. Hence by fusion of ideas and 

THE ROLE of the DREAM 131 

elements the real mother becomes in part 
the desired object, and wears her dress and 
hair. Displacement is easily seen in this 
dream. The emotions of fear and shame 
connected with the urination which she can 
no longer control and with the assault on 
her by the drunken man, are transferred 
from those experiences to the waiting out- 
side the door, and to the opening of the 
door, partly to conceal where the true effect 
lies. The " pool inside a room " proved 
to be the memory of a childish accident in 
a passage outside a door, at her school. 

Dramatization is obvious throughout, es- 
pecially in the incident of " rushing wildly 
past her mother," which represents the 
extreme agitation and culmination of emo- 
tion she felt when the door had at last 
opened and she could obtain satisfaction 
for her physical need. Secondary Elab- 
oration is illustrated in her waking crit- 
icism " Something else happened — I forget 
what." A deeper analysis brought to light 
that she had urinated then and there in the 
passage (to her mother's great indignation 
and disgust) as soon as the door was open, 
and this memory was suppressed by the 
Censor, the conscious mental result being 


that there was "something else," nothing 
of importance worth remembering. Finally, 
analysis shows that there is a wish-fulfil- 
ment expressed in this dream — namely, the 
desire to be again the little child at home 
(and, in addition, to have the mother of 
one's own choice), and to indulge in the 
forbidden bodily pleasures of such a period, 
primitive pleasures bearing with them in- 
terests and excitements which now, in her 
adult " civilized " life, have become taboo, 
lost in the Unconscious, yet remain still 
dynamic because never sufficiently gratified. 
The relation of the Dream to conscious 
life has been a difficulty to many who have 
not grasped the whole implication of 
Freud's theory. It is clear that through 
the Dream the Unconscious wishes are 
revealed, and in so far (even if in no other 
way) the whole Psyche is made more in- 
telligible. Moreover, it is from these Un- 
conscious desires that we are acting in our 
waking life, and from the revelations of the 
Dream-material we are enabled to see how 
and in what directions Consciousness is 
being molded and influenced. The con- 
flicts and repressions will emerge in this 
way, and in emergence can be handled and 

THE rCLE of the DREAM 133 

interpreted: thus not only are the deepest 
sources of Consciousness revealed by means 
of the Dream, but further, an understand- 
ing and readjustment of the hitherto hidden 
psyche is made possible. 

The Dream, Freud points out, always 
employs current psychic experience of the 
most significant import, and in many cases 
it is only through the dream that it can 
be truly evaluated. Freud writes : " I am 
compelled to contradict the assertion that 
our waking psychic life is not continued 
in the Dream, and that the Dream instead 
wastes psychic activity upon trifling sub- 
ject-matter. The opposite is true: what 
has occupied our minds during the day also 
dominates our dream-thoughts, and we 
take pains to dream only of such matters 
as have given us food for thought during 
the day." ^ Through the knowledge derived 
from his dreams the Dreamer may re- 
orientate himself: it may be he will yield 
to the Unconscious wishes some of the 
valuation which hitherto they have never 
obtained, and thus will achieve greater 
harmony in his Psyche; it may be he will 

1 The Interpretation of Dreams, ch. v. p. 147 (3rd edition, 
trans, by Brill). 


realize, and in realization will be enabled 
to readjust, the strength of his still-childish 
desires; it may be that the more primitive 
impulses will henceforth blend with the 
more sublimated Consciousness. To con- 
clude, in the words of Freud : " In any case, 
it is instructive to become familiar with 
the much raked-up soil from which our 
virtues proudly arise. For the complication 
of human character moving dynamically in 
all directions very rarely accommodates 
itself to adjustment through a simple alter- 
native, as our antiquated moral philosophy 
would have it." 


Aim of Treatment — Principal Factors and Technique 
in Treatment — The Role of the Analyst — The 
Share of the Patient. 

Aim of Treatment. 

To the majority of those who hear and 
know something of Psycho-Analysis, the 
aim and object of the whole matter would 
appear to be the cure or alleviation of the 
ills experienced by the so-called " ab- 
normal " or neurotic person, and to a large 
extent this view is correct. Nevertheless, 
it is only a part of the truth, for the aim 
of the treatment is wider than any mere 
attempt to deal with, and cure, a specific 
mental disease. The neurotic (it is difficult 
at any time to draw a sharp dividing-line 
between neurotic and so-called normal) 
may and does benefit from this treatment, 
but if we sum up briefly the purpose of the 
Psycho-analytic knowledge and treatment, 
we should be near the mark in saying that 



its purpose is to set free the Uncon- 
scious with a view to the discovery and 
comprehension of the Patient's buried 

As has been pointed out in previous 
pages, every human being experiences in 
some degree Repression, and consequently 
is subject to Complexes, which are capable 
of producing psychic conflict. In a very 
large number of cases there is conflict suf- 
ficient to weaken and hamper the individual 
in his progress through life; in a smaller 
number the conflict is so intense that 
progress ceases and retrogression takes its 
place. If, then, the buried complexes can 
be discovered and comprehended, obviously 
there is gain, whether the situation is more 
or less urgent, for this discovery and com- 
prehension yields results not only negative 
(such as the resolving of the neuroses), but 
also positive, enabling the individual to use 
his own personality and powers more 
eflfectively, and thus to obtain a greater 
fulfilment in life. 

" Nothing can be loved and hated unless 
first we have knowledge of it," says 
Leonardo da Vinci ; and until a man realizes 
and comprehends his own psyche, uncon- 


scious and conscious, he can scarcely have 
free play for his loves and hates, nor dis- 
cover his proper orientation. 

It will be fairly obvious to the reader 
after the short survey made in the previous 
pages — very incomplete and generalized 
though it be — that the process of Psycho- 
analytic treatment is a difficult and delicate 
one, dealing, as it must, with such subtle 
and complex phenomena as the psyche and 
its mechanisms. 

Principal Factors and Technique in Treatment. 

In this treatment certain factors are of 
outstanding importance, and must be ap- 
preciated in order to obtain some grasp of 
the matter. 

In the first place, just as in the case of 
all other relationships which involve close 
and emotional contacts, to achieve a fruitful 
outcome of treatment, a " Rapport " be- 
tween Patient and Analyst is all-important. 
Without it nothing can be effected, and 
the treatment is so much wasted effort on 
both sides. Through treatment a most in- 
timate relationship is set up between 
Analyst and Patient, more so than exists 
in the relations, for instance, between the 


ordinary Physician and his patient, the 
Teacher and his pupil, the Lawyer and his 
client, or the Minister and his church- 
member. In all those relationships a close 
and deep intimacy may exist, but all of 
them fall short, in one aspect at least, of the 
Psycho-analytic situation, for in the latter, 
and in that situation alone, the Unconscious 
is revealed and the Analyst is in the 
position of knowing and understanding all 
those intimacies which the Patient himself 
learns for the first time under treatment, 
experiences which are unobtainable in any 
other way. The Analyst gains possession 
of a fund of material which is the key to 
his patient's most secret and intimate 
psychic experiences. Clearly, the reluctance 
to yield up those experiences, the impulse 
to conceal and distort them, the shrinking 
away from realization of his own Un- 
conscious — and such tendencies are inherent 
in every individual — can only be overcome 
in proportion as the Patient can put trust 
in the Analyst. Needless to say, there 
must be confidence in the latter's integrity, 
and, in addition, in his power of dispassion- 
ate observation, in his intellectual capacity 
to realize and judge the given situation, 


and in his willingness to share the Patient's 
point of view. Such equipment, naturally, 
is always essential to the Scientist inves- 
tigating in any sphere, but to the Psycho- 
analyst more must be added, if he is to 
achieve sttccess. He needs a very wide and 
varied experience of life and thought, a 
power of quick intuitive insight, and a 
readiness to adjust himself to any and every 
'view-point and feeling-attitude. It is hardly 
necessary to say that all these requisites 
are rarely to be found, in high degree, in 
any one person, but such endowment is to 
be aimed at. The very gifted personality 
is able, naturally, to enter into close rapport 
with his patient, of whatever type and 
temperament, far more successfully than 
the more average Analyst, but even the 
latter can achieve this to a fair extent 
if he realizes sympathetically what is 

Another most important factor in Treat- 
ment is adequate length of time, one dif- 
ficult for many people to appreciate. It is 
common to us all to seek quick returns for 
our expenditure, with minimum loss : unlike 
Browning's Grammarian, who cried in 


Leave now for dogs and apes: 
Man has forever, 

we demand that a cure shall happen while 
we wait; but such a demand must be 
sacrificed by those who intend to deal 
seriously with Psycho-analysis. It is per- 
haps not strange that people who will fairly 
willingly give up time and money for a 
" Rest-Cure " or a big Operation, express 
surprise that Psycho-analytic treatment 
should ask, as they complain, so much 
from them in these two respects, above 
all, in the matter of time. It is but a 
further proof of what has already been 
noted — namely, the non-recognition of the 
importance of the psyche, especially that 
part of it which is not directly manifest in 
conscious life. But serious consideration 
will show the importance of the time- 

In the first place, the work of discovering 
the Unconscious, owing to Repression (and, 
in many instances, to the patient's uncon- 
scious desire not to be rid of his neurosis), 
is difficult and prolonged, hindered by the 
latter's deliberate intention to conceal, and 
still more by the resistances in the Un- 


conscious. Even when discovery and 
realization have been to some extent 
achieved, the Unconscious may again and 
again lapse into the old situation, indicating 
that there are still unresolved elements to 
be faced, which involves further expenditure 
of time. Sometimes patients of the more 
highly-educated, more " civilized " type 
need a longer period of time than even the 
uneducated, more primitive person, and for 
the following reason. The discovery and 
realization of the Unconscious is not 
primarily an intellectual process, although 
the help furnished by the intellect is of 
greatest value (and here it is that the 
stupid, rather dull person may find very 
great difficulties in grasping the whole 
idea) ; on the contrary, it is primarily an 
emotional process, through which the 
Patient must realize in feeling the buried 
material, not merely know about it. 

In regard to this Freud writes : " It is 
not the not-knowing in itself that is the 
pathogenic factor (not the mere fact of 
repressed material in the Unconscious 
causes the harm), but the foundation of the 
not-knowing in internal resistances which 
first of all brought about the not-knowing, 


and which maintain it. In the subduing of 
these resistances lies the therapeutic task." 

And still more strikingly, in another place 
he says : " If the knowing about his uncon- 
scious thoughts were as important for the 
Patient as those who are inexperienced in 
Psycho-Analysis believe, then for a cure it 
should be sufficient for the Patient to listen 
to Lectures or read books. These measures, 
however, have just as much influence on the 
nervous sufferings as the distribution of 
menu-cards in time of famine has upon 

The process of getting to " know about " 
the Unconscious is often speedy in the case 
of the intellectually alert and introspective 
type of patient, but, as the quotations 
above point out, this quick achievement may 
leave untouched the real problem; that is 
to say, the resistances will remain until 
the Patient can re-live the emotional ex- 
periences which have built up those re- 
sistances. It is a commonplace that one 
of the easiest and most eflfective methods 
of preventing further enquiry into any 
matter (a method used consciously and 
deliberately by many Politicians and Diplo- 
matists, among others) is to " know all 


about " it beforehand, to regard as settled 
and beyond discussion the question in hand. 
Such is the attitude, very frequently, of 
the Patient under Psycho-analytic treat- 
ment. The unconscious resistances tend to 
produce it in Consciousness, and the Patient 
may very rapidly declare that he quite 
understands the psychic situation and no 
further investigation is needed. In other 
words, he is fighting against the Psycho- 
analytic process, and the overcoming of his 
opposition, which is part of the therapeutic 
task, must necessarily take time. The im- 
portance of the time factor is understand- 
able also if we bear in mind that the 
material to be explored (namely, the human 
psyche) is not only resistant, but highly 
complex and complicated-^" a continuously 
intertwined and often very entangled net- 
work " — only to be explored by delicate 
subtle instruments. 

Dream-Interpretation, Free Association, 
Transference, these are the chief methods 
whereby the Psycho-analytic treatment is 
carried out, and all of them demand a knowl- 
edge of special technique combined with a 
general understanding of mind-processes. 

Dream-Interpretation, as has already 


been pointed out (see Chap. IV), is one of 
the chief ways of arriving at the Un- 

The Patient relates his dream of the 
previous night to the Analyst, straight 
through without interruption or criticism 
on the part of the latter; very often, even 
with the first outline narrative, the Analyst 
can obtain clues to the meaning and sig- 
nificance of the dream, but he adopts a 
passive attitude, making no " guesses," only 
noting carefully the dream-material, the 
patient's own comments on it, any emotional 
reactions he displays, and any symptomatic 
actions, slips of tongue, or other leakages 
from the Unconscious, which may occur 
during the narration. At certain stages 
he may decide to call the narrator's atten- 
tion to significant connections between dif- 
ferent remarks or different portions of the 
dream, connections to which the Patient is 
blind owing to his internal resistances, but 
which should be obvious to the Analyst if 
his own Unconscious is free to act. Such 
interpolation by the Analyst probably will 
lead to further remarks and discussion from 
the Patient, which again will all be observed 
with care by the Analyst. The next stage 


is to take the Dream, portion by portion, 
using always the method of Free Asso- 
ciation, itself another of the- essential 
instruments in Psycho-analytic treatment. 

A slight idea of the procedure may be 
obtained from a given Dream. The follow- 
ing was related by a Patient of mine the 
evening after he had dreamed: 

" I am in a bus going to South London, 
probably to Brixton. I find D. inside the 
bus, sitting by another woman, older than 
herself, whose face I don't seem to see. 
D. and I talk. I ask her if she is settled 
down now, and she replies. Yes, she is. 
Then she asks me if I am married, and 
I say. No. Then dream ends." 

In telling this short and (seemingly) 
simple dream, it was observable that the 
Patient was embarrassed and made nervous 
tattoos with foot and hand, at the same time 
smilingly affirming that it was a " dull, 
foolish dream, with nothing in it." 

The Dream appears as just one small 
whole, one complete episode, and, following 
the dreamer's Free Associations, the follow- 
ing points emerged: First, his feeling of 
annoyance at finding D. in the bus with 
him. D. (concerning whom much had 


already passed between Patient and 
Analyst) was a woman, unmarried, with 
whom the Patient had been very much in 
love about three years ago. He had a 
friendship with her of three or four years' 
duration, somewhat stormy in character, 
and had frequently during this period 
thought of marrying her, or of having 
relations without marriage. He admired 
her greatly, regarded her as much above 
him, but was never sufficiently kindled by 
her, so that his intentions and plans all 
hung fire until the whole relationship was 
abruptly ended by the lady getting engaged 
to someone else, and shortly after he heard 
of her marriag'e. He regarded this episode 
in his life as discreditable to himself, 
revealing him as a hesitating charac- 
ter, lacking in courage and strong sex- 

Hence the meeting in the Dream served 
to recall these feelings of self-reproach, and 
he spent a good deal of time discussing his 
stupidity and cowardice in this connection, 
at the same time declaring that D. was 
partly in fault also. 

From this, still by Free Association, he 
passed on to the matter of his destination 


in the Dream, which he supposed was 
Brixton, and he narrated the significance 
of that place in his life. He had, it turned 
out, various associations with Brixton, but 
the one of special importance to him which 
now emerged was connected with " an 
absurd and humiliating affair," as he put it, 
in which, as a youth, at a dinner-party, he 
had covered himself with confusion by 
eating his soup too hastily, finding it ter- 
rifically scalding, and being obliged to rush 
spluttering from the table. 

The connection between this episode and 
his relations with his lost lady was at first 
non-apparent to him, so he asserted: after 
a good deal of denial and manifestation of 
annoyance he realized it. He then passed 
on spontaneously to speak of D. herself, as 
she appeared in the Dream. He found her 
" far less attractive " than he had known 
her in life, " rather dowdy and undistin- 
guished," and he was vexed that she seemed 
cheerful and content, answering, " Oh yes, 
quite," with obvious happiness, to his query 
as to whether she was settled down. 

This next led on to his reflections about 
" settling down," getting married and mak- 
ing plans for future work. 


The next matter that emerged was con- 
cerning the other woman in the bus. 

He said : " I wonder who that other 
woman was. The curious thing is that, 
though I never spoke to her and haven't 
an idea what she looked like, it really 
seemed as if it was she I was interested 
in all the time instead of" (here he cor- 
rected himself, and substituted, " as well 
as") "D." 

This led on to more speculation about the 
other older woman, ultimately bringing the 
Dreamer to the realization that this person 
was his own Analyst — a conclusion he came 
to quite spontaneously and with a good 
deal of reluctance. 

From this point the Patient went deeper. 
By further Free Association he proceeded 
to his attitude towards his Analyst, from 
that to his attitude towards women about 
his own age whom he regarded as intellec- 
tual equals, from that to his feelings in 
the present and past towards his own 
mother — in this last connection bringing to 
light one or two hitherto-forgotten early 
childish reminiscences. There is not space 
to continue the Dream-analysis here, nor 
to show the various emotional reactions of 


the Patient and the deductions drawn by 
him from this dream, but the method of 
dealing with a Dream has been sketched. 
It is worth noting, referring once more to 
the Time-factor, that the above dream, so 
short as to Manifest-content, took over a 
week to deal with (even to a limited 
extent), pursuing it consecutively each day 
in the Analysis-hour. 

Reference has already been made to Free 
Association, the technique to which Freud 
has given so important a function in the 
process of revealing the Unconscious, and 
a few words must be given to this. To 
obtain his Free Associations, the Patient 
observes and relates in the order of their 
appearance all the thoughts, passing re- 
flections, mental images (whether coherent 
or incoherent, relevant or seemingly wholly 
irrelevant) which travel through his mind 
during the Analysis-hour. He must sus- 
pend all intellectual work — selection, crit- 
icism, and so forth — and simply use himself 
as a receptacle to admit the incoming tide 
of thoughts, fancies, emotions, of any and 
every reaction, in short — a task in which 
he is left free by the Analyst. 

This welter of psychic material is sub- 


jected to the cLosest inspection and inves- 
tigation possible, and if Free Association 
is truly carried out, the Unconscious 
emerges and causal connections between 
apparently irrelevant disconnected thoughts 
or images will be discovered. In this way, 
much that was non-understood or merely 
" senseless " receives a meaning and a value. 
As an illustration, the Dream already cited 
(p. 145) will serve. Free Association 
brought out, through a long series of im- 
ages and ideas, the close and significant con- 
nection between two apparently quite un- 
connected incidents — namely, the dreamer's 
meeting with his old love D. in a bus, and 
the taking of a journey to Brixton. Free 
Association revealed that a significant 
feature was common to both these hap- 
penings, in the shape of the personal 
humiliation of the dreamer, which factor 
linked the two incidents and caused the 
Dreamer to identify them and thus bring 
them into proximity. Again, the "mean- 
ingless " action of this same Dreamer — an 
interlacing of the fingers — of which he was 
quite aware but for which he had no ex- 
planation, was made plain by proving to 
be a symptomatic sexual act. 


Judged intellectually, Free Association is 
a quite simple process, requiring little skill 
or effort on the part of the Patient; in 
point of fact, it is one of the most difficult 
processes to carry out, not on account of 
its own inherent difficulties, however, but 
owing to the Patient's resistances. Freud 
points out that the Patient will vigorously 
endeavor to prevent Analysis proper, either 
because he fears the revelation of the Un- 
conscious, or because he clings, uncon- 
sciously, to his neurosis which in actuality 
fulfils his unconscious desires in some man- 
ner, little as he consciously realizes this. 
The resistances take many and varied 
forms: it may be that the Patient is 
unable to produce any Dreams or any Free 
Associations, complaining that he has 
nothing whatever in his mind to tell ; it may 
be that he prevents Free Association by 
hostile criticism and argument against the 
Analyst ; or he may take an " intellectual " 
method of resistance by dispassionately 
and critically discussing all the material 
presented, keeping all emotional disturbing 
ideas in the back-ground, often even un- 
aware that he has any emotional reactions. 

Analysis must overcome each and every 


kind of resistance, and for this, again, time 
is an essential factor. 

In addition to time, patience and courage 
are required from the Patient, since the 
laying bare of the Unconscious, as has 
already been noted, is a process necessarily 
painful, the upshot of which may cause 
vital changes in his whole outlook and man- 
ner of life, and will certainly involve some 
degree of sacrifice to reality. 

A previous quotation from Freud (see 
p. 142) impressed the fact that Psycho- 
analysis is not an intellectual process 
primarily, but rather one based on feeling, 
and this brings out the importance of the 
third great factor involved in treatment — 
namely, the factor of Transference. The 
following extract contains Freud's own 
definition of the process he has named 
Transference : 

" During the course of Psycho-analysis 
the development of new symptoms, as a 
rule, ceases. The productivity of the 
neurosis, however, is far from being extin- 
guished, but exercises itself in the creation 
of a peculiar sort of thought-formations, 
mostly unconscious, to which the name 
' transferences ' may be given. These 


transferences are re-impressions and repro- 
ductions of the emotions and fantasies that 
have to be awakened and brought into 
consciousness during the progress of the 
analysis, and are characterized by the re- 
placement of a former person by the 
physician. To put it in another way: a 
whole series of earlier experiences are 
revived, not as past ones, but in the form 
of a current relation to the person of the 
physician." * 

This displacement of feeling gives the key 
to the Patient's situation, since the neurosis 
itself is a form of displacement; that is, an 
emotional reaction, excessive, or inadequate, 
or in some way out of harmony with the 
current situation, caused by the identifica- 
tion of this current situation with an older 
one. The patient re-lives, in feelings 
directed towards the Analyst, many of his 
forgotten or hitherto unrecognized feelings 
towards persons who have been in intimate 
and significant relation to him (Father, 
Mother, Sister, Brother, Nurse, etc.). Only 
through this evocation of feeling is it pos- 
sible for the unrealized affects to come to 
light, to be studied, and finally to be 

1 Bruchstuck, etc., S. 103, 104. 


adjusted to the Patient's psyche as a 

Again, to quote Freud.^ He (the patient) 
applies to the person of the physician a 
great amount of tender emotion, often 
mixed with enmity, which has no foundation 
in any real relation, and must be derived 
in every respect from the old wish-fancies 
of the patient which have become uncon- 
scious. Every fragment of his emotive life, 
which can no longer be called back into 
memory, is accordingly lived over by the 
patient in his relations to the physician." 

Without Transference no effective Anal- 
ysis could take place, and no therapeutic 
work could be achieved. It offers an im- 
mense field for developing the Patient's 
realization of his Unconscious, and at the 
same time creates many subtle difficulties 
in the process of treatment, just as it does 
in all forms of treatment of the psycho- 
neuroses. In respect to this point Dr. 
Ernest Jones says^ "The transference, 
however, is not peculiar to Psycho-anal- 
ysis. . . . The only difference in this re- 

i"The Origin and Development of Psycho-Analysis," 
American Journal of Psychology, April 1910, p. 215. 

^Papers on Psycho-Analysis (revised and enlarged edition, 
1918), ch. xviii, pp. 347, 348. 


spect between other forms of treatment and 
the psycho-analytic one is that the latter 
does not encourage blind transference and 
then allow it to last, but, on the contrary, 
makes the physician and the patient aware 
of what is happening, so that the process 
can be understood, controlled, and resolved." 

And Freud reminds us that " the Psycho- 
analytic treatment does not create the 
transference, but simply uncovers it, as it 
does other hidden mental states." 

Since the Patient must re-live so much 
of his feeling-life in relation to the Analyst, 
it is not surprising that a delicate and 
difficult situation is created, involving strain 
and stress for both, but it is this very 
situation which is so powerful an instru- 
ment in dealing with the resistances, and 
the deeper the Analysis goes, the more it 
must proceed via transferences. In Freud's 
estimate,^ " It is undeniable that in his 
endeavor to emerge victorious over the 
transference phenomenon the psycho- 
analyst is faced with the greatest dif- 
ficulties, but it should not be forgotten that 
it is just these difficulties that render us 

1 Freud, " Zur Dynamik der Ubertragung," Zentralblatt fur 
P.-A., Jahrg. ii. S. 171. 


the invaluable service of making the pa- 
tient's buried afid* forgotten love-excitations 
current and manifest, for in the last resort 
no one can be vanquished in absentia or 
in effigie." The Transference may show 
itself in various aspects, as dominantly 
positive, negative, or (more usual) as a 
mixture of tfoth. 

In the case of a marked positive Trans- 
ference (that is, one showing affects of 
love, aflfection, sympathy), the difificulty 
often arises that the patient is desirous 
of becoming too dependent upon the An- 
alyst, demanding from the latter guidance, 
suggestion, authority, all which demands 
must be resisted. In such a case the 
patient may prolong the treatment (un- 
aware as to what he is contriving) through 
unconscious and conscious desires for fur- 
ther intimacy with the Analyst, and through 
that intimacy for further gratification of 
old desires and fantasies. 

In the case of negative Transference 
(manifested in hostility, jealousy, envy, and 
so forth) there is the difficult problem of 
dealing with the resistances which the 
Patient's antagonism turns to his own 
purposes (that is, of preventing the course 


of Analysis), and of guiding him to realize 
this negative attitude at its true value. 

In whatever aspect Transference reveals 
itself, it necessarily creates emotional re- 
actions in the Patient, often of a profound 
nature, which must be handled in the course 
of treatment — no easy task, either for 
Patient or Analyst. '^' 

Here we are brought to theipart played 
by the Analyst in the Ps^ho-analytic 
process, a matter which has been often 
misunderstood and misrepresented by 
critics of Freud's theory. 

His is not the r61e of Hypnotist, Sugges- 
tionist, nor Father-Confessor, as has been 
thought and even maintained by superficial 
critics: his part, as Freud has definitely 
stated, is, first and foremost, to direct the 
process of Self-discovery. By means of 
the technique he puts the Patient on the 
right road for that discovery, and assists 
him to keep to the road and note what is 
to be observed as he travels along it, such 
observation often being impossible to the 
Patient, unaided, owing to his own 

Further, since there exists (as has been 
pointed out in a former chapter) a sym- 


holism by which the Unconscious expresses 
itself, the Analyst uses his special knowl- 
edge in helping the Patient to an interpre- 
tation of that symbolism, not ready-made, 
nor forced upon the latter, but rather in 
the shape of guiding principles, from which 
the Patient may deduce knowledge ap- 
plicable to his own psyche. As example, 
the Analyst may acquaint the Patient with 
the fact of Dream-condensation, and it is 
for the latter to discover how condensation 
is acting in his own particular dream. Or 
the Analyst may inform him of certain 
symbols, uniform in significance among all 
peoples, and again it is for the Patient to 
find out whether his own use of a given 
symbol conforms to the general use or has 
an individual content. 

Yet, further, the Analyst uses the in- 
fluence which he obtains over the Patient to 
help the latter in overcoming his inner 
resistances with a view to reaching that 
final goal of the Analytic treatment already 
referred to— namely, the Patient's own 
discovery of self! 

In addition to this, the Analyst's help is 
essential in aiding the synthesis of the 
various elements of the Patient's per- 


sonality. From his own wider experience 
of minds and their various manifestations, 
from his objective standpoint, he can lead 
the Patient to weave the now disentangled 
threads into a new whole, and to see 
hitherto unknown relationships between 
various aspects of the psyche. In all these 
directions the Analyst's work lies, and such 
work is essential to effective Analysis. 
What he must not do is to assume any of 
the already-mentioned roles of Teacher, 
Suggestionist, Ethical Adviser, and so forth. 
To do so is often a temptation, since such 
roles are always attractive to man's vanity, 
especially to one whose own Unconscious 
is but very partially realized by himself. 
For this reason (in addition to other ob- 
vious ones) Freud lays down the absolute 
necessity of a complete analysis under an 
expert, for all those who seek to practise 
his Treatment and Technique. 

Psycho-analytic treatment differs from 
all other therapeutic treatment not less in 
this respect than in numerous others, in 
that the Physician does not, as in the case 
of these other methods, purport to carry 
out the cure, nor lay down directions for 
his Patient, nor substitute his way of life 


for the latter's, nor furnish him with other 
and different principles of conduct. On 
the contrary, he seeks to make the Patient 
discover his own orientation, however much 
it may differ from his own ideals and 

" If the Physician goes beyond this aim 
and, assuming the position of a moralist, 
teacher, or guide, proffers a solution of the 
difficulty based on his own judgment and 
necessarily influenced by subjective factors, 
he thereby oversteps the limits of Psycho- 
analysis, mistakes its mode of operation, 
and stultifies its purpose." ^ 

The burden of the Analyst is not small, 
and the same may be said of the Patient 
who experiences more difficulty in bearing 

Psycho-analysis demands from the Pa- 
tient a serious sacrifice of time, money, 
and most of his other current interests, 
since for the period of treatment everything 
else must rank as subservient. But such 
sacrifices are relatively small compared with 
the far greater one involved in the giving 
up of his inmost self and desires to ob- 

1 Ernest Jones: Papers on Psycho- Analysis (revised and 
enlarged edition, 1918), ch. xvii. p. 315. 


servation and investigation. It will be 
realized, at least in part, from the former 
chapters how difficult and painful a process 
this may be, demanding patience, deter- 
mination, honesty, and, above all, renuncia- 
tion. For he must learn to turn from his 
fantasies, from his pleasurable childish 
desires, from his unconscious gratifications, 
and adapt himself to a world of reality; he 
must, in very truth, " put away childish 
things," which constitutes, perhaps, for him 
and for all humanity, " the great refusal." 
But, as in the case of the mediaeval Pope, 
it may be that the refusal reshapes itself 
before his eyes into acceptance, bringing 
with it a new orientation in the form of a 
greater inner control, an insight into his 
own psyche and that of others, and, finally, 
a. power of finding and facing reality. 



A Revaluation of Values — Influence on the Community 
and on the Social System — Modification in Fam- 
ily-Relations — Greater Individual Freedom — Ef- 
fect on Educational Ideals and Methods. 

"Pragmatism represents a perfectly fa- 
miliar attitude in philosophy, the empiricist 
attitude. A pragmatist turns his back 
resolutely and once for all upon a lot of 
inveterate habits dear to professional 
philosophers. He turns away from ab- 
straction and insufficiency, from verbal 
solutions, from bad a priori reasons, from 
fixed principles, closed systems and pre- 
tended absolutes and origins. . . . Against 
rationalism as a pretension and a method 
pragmatism is fully armed and militant. 
. . . No particular results then, so far, 
but only an attitude of orientation, is 
what the pragmatic method means. The 
attitude of looking away from first things — 



principles, ' categories,' supposed necessities, 
and looking towards last things — fruits, 
consequences, facts." ^ 

The above quotation, if we substitute 
for Pragmatism the word Psycho-analysis, 
might stand as a description of Freud's 
theory, at least so far as its basis and 
general attitude is concerned. It is be- 
cause the Psycho-analytic theory, working 
empirically, has looked forward to " fruits, 
consequences, facts," and found these latter 
in such abundance, that its validity holds 
good, leaving aside for the moment the 
question of its agreement with many other 
already-known scientific theories. 

We may look upon the Psycho-analytic 
theory in two ways: as an instrument-idea 
by which wp are enabled to get into more 
satisfactory relation with other parts of our 
experience (the test of the " truth " of any 
idea, according to William James) ; and as 
a revealer of new knowledge, which creates 
manifold results for humanity in the direc- 
tion of the Educational and Social System, 
Individual destiny, Family relations, arising 
from a revaluation of current values. 

In the very limited space now at my 

1 William James : What Pragmatism Means. 


disposal I can do no more than indicate 
a few of the far-reaching results which 
seem likely to come about from an under- 
standing and application of Freud's theory, 
results which must not be hoped for with- 
out reckoning with opposition and hos- 
tility, since, as one philosopher has put it, 
" By far the most usual way of handling 
phenomena so novel that they would make 
for a serious rearrangement of our pre- 
conceptions is to ignore them altogether, 
or to abuse those who bear witness to 

To begin with one of the most funda- 
mental consequences, the application of 
Freudian Psychology is bound inevitably 
to produce, in Nietzsche's phrase, " a trans- 
valuation of values." 

A Revaluation of Values. 

The primitive impulses, admitted and 
understood as the dynamic basis of our 
psychic life, bearing their own validity 
and splendor, essential to any harmonized 
consciousness, will obtain much larger con- 
sideration. The " rational " conscious life 
will be realized as part only of the whole 
psyche, not necessarily, nor always, as sole 


leader and guide. A social system mtist^ 
p erforce, be evolved which allows som e 
sa tisfactory measu re of freedom to th e 
primtive_in^in£ts, _aipngside with^_,Suib- 
limation,. , and the undue exaltation of the 
ultra-civilized ideals will cease. This new 
ideal brings in its train revolution in our 
methods of Child-training and Education, 
which hitherto have dealt almost exclusively 
with Consciousness. From such an altered 
educational system we may expect individ- 
uals more capable of understanding and 
more able to recognize intuitively human 
motives, so that we may become less bafifled, 
less foolish, in the face of certain human 
manifestations, such as Wars, Class 
Hatreds, Social and Religious movements, 
our " rational " solutions for which are 
almost always complete failures. 

" One half of the Philosophers ignore 
the greatness of man, and the other half 
ignore his baseness," wrote Pascal, and it 
is this ignorance, in either direction, that 
Psycho-Analysis will help to remedy. 

Inhibitions, external and internal, will 
not be estimated as the whole individual, 
but rather as a covering mask for what lies 
deeper. " No man lives in the external 


truth, among salts and acids, but in the 
warm phantasmagoric chamber of his 
brain, with the painted windows and the 
storied wall," says Robert Louis Stevenson; 
and it is necessary that we learn the nature 
and force of the " phantasmagoric cham- 
ber " of our psyche, and attain to some 
measure of reconciliation between it and 
our " rational self." As Freud has summed 
it up: "A reaction from the over-estima- 
tion of the quality of consciousness becomes 
the indispensable preliminary condition for 
any correct insight into the behavior of 
the psychic. In the words of Lipps, the 
unconscious must be accepted as the general 
basis of the psychic life." 

Influence in the Community and Social System. 
For the Individual, then, we may hope 
for a better self-understanding (hence for 
more internal harmony), for more oppor- 
tunity to live from his deeper rather than 
his superficial impulses, and for more 
psychic energy to subserve his own and the 
Community's purposes, since, his inhibitions 
being greatly lessened, he will have that 
energy liberated for other ends. In ad- 
dition, greater external freedom may be 


his through the changed attitude of the 
Community and the new social ideals it 

It seems that the new knowledge must 
inevitably act in the direction of diminishing 
the strength of the " Herd-instinct." The 
individual, released from the power of the 
Parent and Authority-complex, is far less 
likely to follow in blind obedience the dic- 
tates of the Community as a whole or the 
" Leaders " within it. Perhaps nothing is 
calculated to have greater consequences 
than this, for our present-day social system 
— above all, in the spheres of Morals, 
Politics, Economics — is crushed out of 
vitality between the mill-stones of the 
dominant so-called " leaders " on the one 
hand, and the mass, driven by unreasoning 
impulse for guidance, on the other. When 
the individual can place reliance on his own 
impulses (which is attainable to a far 
greater extent if he understands and faces 
them) and is no longer a prey to uncom- 
prehended taboos and fears, he will be far 
less willing to subject himself to the crowd- 
impulses or to the guidance of " Authority." 
(For example, he will not be stampeded 
into anti-Alien legislation, terrified by " the 


German menace," or led by " fashion " to 
admire a futile, ill-considered type of 
education.) This mind-independence will 
go far to construct a Society which has a 
real function, in that it expresses and sums 
up the desires and opinions of the individual 
members who constitute it. 

Moreover, the Community will achieve a 
greater fluidity in Law and Custom, in part 
for the reason cited above. In his Uncon- 
scious man looks upon Law and Custom as 
the voice of a dreaded and reverenced 
Authority — the Father re-incarnated — who 
may not be defied with impunity, however 
incomprehensible the dictates. He dare not 
bring his spontaneous impulses to bear up- 
on this authority, hence in civilized society 
Custom and Law remain as a dead weight 
upon freedom of thought and action. In 
part for another reason this situation holds 
good. So strong is man's impulse towards 
certain activities, that only by the fear of 
heavy penalties imposed can he suppress 
those impulses which he both desires and 
fears. The truth of this can be noted from 
such instances as our marriage and property 
Laws, many of our sexual customs, punish- 
ments for certain actions (e.g. for homo- 


sexual practices between adults), our would- 
be taboos concerning nearly all the bodily 
functions, and so on. Psycho-analytic 
research, by showing the immense variety 
and complexity of man's impulses and needs 
in all such directions, will prevent so deaden- 
ing a crystallization of ideas, and will help 
us to realize that such impulses, however 
undesired, cannot disappear through re- 
pressive law and custom. 

Not only will there be negative results — 
the removal of obstruction to freedom of 
development — but also positive ones. The 
energy formerly used up, both by the In- 
dividual on account of his Inhibitions and 
by the Community in preservation of its 
unnecessary Taboos, can be set free for 
purposes useful to both. In William 
Morris's News from Nowhere it will be 
remembered that the Buildings once occu- 
pied as prisons had become educational in- 
stitutions, and the once gaolers were the 
Teachers and Advisers — a concrete illustra- 
tion of the type of change which may be 

If it is objected that freedom for impulse 
will possibly bring disastrous results in its 
train, the answer must be, first, that im- 


pulse works in the direction of Sublimation 
as well as towards primitive wishes, and 
the human being needs to express the for- 
mer just as much as the latter, possibly 
more so, provided he has some adequate 
fulfilment for the primitive impulses; sec- 
ondly, that only by knowing and under- 
standing where and how these latter lead 
can any control over them be obtained. 
The community wherein these impulses are 
merely repressed and suppressed is doing 
nothing to educate them and use them for 
its ultimate purposes. 

The hypocrisy and sentimentality which 
overlays so much of our life, obscuring and 
distorting what is beneath, can be remedied 
to a great extent through more knowledge. 
In every community there are the people 
whose inhibitions are so strong that they 
cannot even glimpse the existing facts 
(akin to those remarkable Heads of Co- 
Education Schools who always blandly as- 
sure their audiences, " There are no Sex- 
problems in our schools ") ; there are others 
who see some of the iacts, but turn away 
from them, usually maintaining that any 
investigation of what they call " danger- 
ous " or " unpleasant " is calculated to 

suuiAJL, AJNu i<:jjuuatiumal results 171 

bring still worse harm, or that such matters 
are for the expert only, or some similar 
rationalization of their own fear. 

Few people are as sincere and intelligent 
in outlook as Robert Louis Stevenson, who 
wrote from Vailima in 1894, in a letter to 
his cousin, R. A. M. Stevenson: "As I go 
on in life, day by day, I become more of a 
bewildered child; I cannot get used to this 
world, to procreation, to heredity, to sight 
and hearing. . . . The prim, obliterated, 
polite face of life, and the broad bawdy and 
orgiastic — or msenadic — foundations form a 
spectacle to which no habit reconciles me." 

Stevenson here seems to have realized the 
facts of existence and his own problem in 
relation to them. It is possible that 
through Psycho-Analysis we may arrive at 
some path of reconciliation between the 
two extremes as felt by him, by ceasing to 
divorce so entirely the two aspects, render- 
ing the one less " prim, obliterated, polite," 
and the other less terrific (as it is to many) 
through removal of unnecessary fears and 
taboos. If such a reconciliation cannot be 
achieved, then at least man must know it 
and be reconciled to non-reconciliation, sub- 
scribing to part, if not the whole, of Nietz- 


sche's maxim : " Not only must the neces- 
sary be borne, and on no account concealed 
— all idealism is falsehood in the face of 
necessity — but it must also be loved " {Ecce 

And here let it be noted that Freud's 
theory propounds no easy and absolute 
" solutions " of problems, nothing, in the 
words of William James, " to lie back and 
rest upon," no determined goal reached nor 
reachable; it does, however, supply us, first 
and foremost, with knowledge of the 
psyche's problems and methods of obtain- 
ing that knowledge, and were its achieve- 
ment no more than this it would still go 
far to revolutionize human thought and 
activity. But, as has been pointed out, it 
can also help to solve these problems, bring- 
ing extraordinary illumination to bear upon 
all kinds of hitherto non-comprehended 
matters in personal and wider life. 

In certain spheres, especially, the find- 
ings of Freud are very far-reaching, and 
may call for great modification of current 
ideas and customs — namely, in the spheres 
of Family-life, Child-training, and syste- 
matic Educational work. 

" It is as a splendid exploratory enter- 


prise that we recommend Psycho-Analysis 
in Child-study," say the two authors of the 
pamphlet already quoted {The Conflicts in 
the Unconscious of the Child, M. D. Eder 
and Edith Eder), and those who will em- 
bark on this enterprise will find that it 
offers results yet undreamt of. In the very 
early stages of child-rearing and training 
perhaps Psycho-Analysis would seem to 
have more to say on the important negative 
side of the problem of Education. Since 
the work of repression and the complex- 
forming capacity are both functioning in 
the individual from birth, it is clear that 
the Environment and Education (using the 
latter word in its widest sense) of the early 
years must be very important in influence 
(Freud holds that the first three or four 
years of life are of vital significance to the 
future psychic orientation). In these few 
years the first steps are being taken by the 
Ego in the process of adaptation to the 
outside world, in which process complex 
and delicate problems must be adjusted, 
and disharmonies must inevitably develop. 
The work of the educator or trainer during 
this period might be summed up as consist- 
ing in how to find out the best method of 


avoiding undue and illegitimate repression 
and the creation of unresolved complexes. 
The achievement of such an aim — or, in- 
deed, of anything at all near it — necessi- 
tates wide and deep knowledge, much psy- 
chological understanding, much sincerity, 
and one is often amazed at the glibness 
with which parents and teachers (especially 
the latter) will claim complete and ac- 
curate knowledge of their children and 

Dr. Ernest Jones' warning should be 
noted in this connection : " When one hears 
a fond mother confidently assert that her 
child tells her everything there is in his 
mind, one may be perfectly certain that 
she is the victim of a gross illusion. Not 
only does the child from the tenderest years 
instinctively preserve his inmost thoughts 
from any adult, however dear, but he is 
both unable and unwilling to formulate 
many of them even to himself, and these 
are by no means the least important." ^ 

The matter of understanding the situation 
as described in the above quotation is so 
important that a few more words must be 
given to it. It is inevitable that resistance 

1 The Unconscious Mental Life of the Child, Ernest Jones. 


between the child mind and the adult mind 
should exist, following on Freud's hypothe- 
sis of mind, and until this is realized the 
work of the Educator will proceed on in- 
effective lines. The psychic Censor work- 
ing in the child-mind operates to prevent 
many of his thoughts and feelings from be- 
coming manifest; in addition, the external 
taboos, which so early he has to recognize, 
lead him to realize that much of his inmost 
thought and impulse is not suitable to the 
standards of the adults around him. To 
give but one instance of this : Freud and his 
fellow-workers have fotmd how usual an 
occurrence it is for the child of four or five 
years old to turn from his parents and 
pursue private speculations on subjects — 
sex is pre-eminently one of them — concern- 
ing which he has been denied information, 
or about which he may never yet have 
questioned his elders. Later, these specu- 
lations are most often forgotten, and "an 
appearance of innocence is thus produced, 
deceptive to both outsider and the child 

As to the adult, the difficulty for him in 
penetrating into the child's mind lies in the 
barrier that exists between his own Con- 


sciousness and his Unconscious (that is, 
between adult and infantile mind in one 
and the same personality); until this bar- 
rier is overcome it is impossible for an 
adult to have even the qualifications for 
seeing the child's mind as it really is — he 
does not want to see those things in the 
child which exist unrecognized in his own 

" This is the final answer to those critics 
of psycho-analysis who maintain that they 
have assiduously studied the child's mind 
without being able to find in it the various 
characteristics and contents described by 
psycho-analysts. Of course, they are un- 
able to do so, for the simple reason that 
they are unable to see what is in their 
own mind. Until a person has access to 
the recesses of his own mind he certainly 
will fail to penetrate to the recesses of a 
child's." ' 

The problem, then, of how to avoid 
illegitimate Repression and the creation of 
unresolvable Complexes can only be dealt 
with by those who have some under- 
standing of the psychic situation; even 
then the difficulties are manifold, and there 

i The Unconscious Mental Life of the Child, Ernest Jones. 


is space to touch upon only two or three 
of the most significant. 

First, there is the problem of the swift- 
ness and abruptness of the Education- 
process — above all, in the early aspects of 
it — by which the new-born creature is 
adapted to the civilized environment it 
enters. It has already been noted how 
delicate a process is Sublimation, and how 
little we yet know of its possible extent and 
limitations. Nevertheless, we practically 
demand that every individual shall achieve, 
in about the same period of time, more or 
less the same degree of Sublimation — a 
demand obviously impossible, productive 
of acute disharmonies to some of the 
individuals concerned. 

When, therefore, we have enough knowl- 
edge to realize that we must cease fitting 
every human being into a stereotyped 
pattern suitable to the existing social fabric, 
we shall begin to train and educate on the 
right lines. Probably no method imaginable 
can make the adaptation-process anything 
but painful, complex, fraught with difficulty. 
What can be done is to help to make this 
process as satisfactorily achieved as may 
be. We can avoid too great haste; for 


instance, we are far too apt to be over-clean, 
over-nice, over-proper in regard to the 
behaviour of the very young, even to the 
extent of punishing, instead of under- 
standing, what we call lapses in good and 
decent manners. We have to allow far 
more experiment in the psychic sphere, 
watching where and how the child's own 
primitive impulses lead it, not necessarily 
always suffering those impulses to dom- 
inate, but trying to understand their sig- 
nificance and import. (How many young 
children, one wonders, belonging to " re- 
spectably-brought-up " families, are ever 
allowed to freely play with actual dirt of 
any kind they spontaneously find, or fully 
express their interest in their own bodily 
functions?) It may be this procedure will 
seem to delay the child's external develop- 
ment, that he will not, so readily and early, 
be able to take his place in adult life; but 
this is not necessarily a disadvantage. We 
do not yet know enough to lay down rules 
on such a matter. We do know that a 
strikingly large percentage of the educated 
civilized persons, moving about in normal 
polite society, are handicapped either with 
some form of neurotic trouble or with some 


physical ailment (or, at least, with lack of 
physical and mental vitality), which must 
surely be proof of failure in our system of 
upbringing and education. 

So far, then, we see two aspects specially 
to be avoided in the early training-process 
— namely, Qvg r-haste and undue Uniform- 
ity. It is true we offer much lip-service 
to the idealof Freedom for the child, but 
it is doubtful if we go beyond that stage; 
and even if we were sincere in our pro- 
testations, it would be impossible to carry 
out the ideal without knowledge. The 
" Freedom " so often discussed by would-be 
reformers (Eugenists, Montessorians, and 
a host of others) is worthless, since based 
on an ignorance of the child's psychic 
situation with which they profess to deal, 
and, above all, of their own psyche. 

A third essential in this work of early 
training is a willingness on the p^rt of the 
educators to face all -the implications of 
the situation. Those -who start with 
presumptions and prejudices concerning 
child-nature will inevitably fail here; they 
will be unwilling to recognize some of the 
impulses in the child and fearful of 
gratifying its curiosities. The whole ques- 


tion of honest and informed enlightenment 
is here involved, especially in the realm of 
sex inquiries and sex-instruction. Freud 
believes that in this sphere probably the 
deepest and most harmful repressions are 
formed. The parents and educators are so 
unwilling and unable to give enlightenment; 
the whole subject, naturally of intense 
interest to every young child, becomes 
shameful, a thing unfit to talk about with 
respected and admired adults, and gets 
consciously suppressed and unconsciously 
repressed. A willingness on the part of the 
adults to answer all questions truthfully, to 
face the references and implications which 
will emerge, to make their own knowledge 
as adequate as possible — this will help to 
get rid of some of the shames, furtiveness, 
illusions connected with sex-ideas. At the 
same time we realize through Psycho- 
analysis that in this direction, above all 
others, no easy solution is to be found. To 
suppose (as so many well-intentioned, 
ignorant persons do) that by telling the 
child " all about " sex-matt,ers, answering 
his questions, behaving sensibly and in- 
telligently over sex-affairs, the problem 
thereby will be solved, is to be in the 


greatest error. It is the same erroneous 
attitude which has advocated giving sex- 
instruction in large classes in School, to 
children of various ages and stages of 
development (" just as you teach History 
or Arithmetic," as one naive, well-known 
educationist put it recently). Such an idea 
assumes that there is only the conscious 
mind to be considered, rational and logical, 
whereas the profundities of sex and sex- 
emotions appertain primarily to the Un- 
conscious. But knowledge can do some- 
thing, perhaps much, in such directions as 
the prevention of premature sexual excita- 
tion; the making of physical functions as 
much as possible an ordinary recognized 
affair, not wrapt in mystery and shame; 
less setting up of fixed standards of con- 
duct, irrespective of the child's own na- 

In relation to the first point mentioned 
above — the prevention of premature sex- 
excitement-— Psycho-Analysis has much 
guidance to give. The popular idea that 
the child under five or six is incapable of 
sex-feelings has been rendered invalid 
through Freud's research, and he has made 
clear that at a very early age the child can 


be sexually-excited in ways unthought of 
by parents and nurses. In consequence, it 
seems as if much more care must be taken 
to prevent the young child (even at the 
infant stage) from witnessing or hearing 
sexual incidents, such as he is bound to 
do if he sleeps in the parents' bedrocih, or 
shares a bed with someone else, or shares 
in bathing, dressing and undressing with 
the opposite sex — a practice quite usual in 
the case of children under five or six. 

Thus, those who rather pride themselves 
in " advanced " sex-views and great breadth 
of outlook will have much to learn from the 
study of Freud, along with those others who 
suffer from a more narrow and conventional 

It has been impossible to do more than 
barely touch upon one or two of the most 
significant matters regarding the influence 
of the Psycho-analytic findings in early 
training and environment. Much of the 
work to be accomplished in the future is 
difificult and delicate. Years of patient 
investigation will be needed before results 
can be widely attained; but, at all events, 
in the words of a well-known Psycho- 
Analyst, " the first thing we have to learn 


is to stop doing harm; then, perhaps, we 
may learn to do good." 

If we turn to the sphere of Family-life, 
we shall find that here, again, Psycho- 
Analysis has much illumination to give. In 
Family-life, as Freud has shown, the primi- 
tive Wfipulses have some of their earliest and 
deepest fulfilment, from which is created 
the psychic trend of the individual's after- 
life. The role of the parents is, in part, to 
help the Parent-complex in the child to a 
harmonious development, or, at least, to 
abstain as far as may be from promoting 
the conflict. So intense may be the Family- 
ties, whether in positive or negative form, 
that the individual cannot free himself 
again, from which will arise many of his 
psychic difficulties later on. The mother 
who has knowledge, far from fostering too- 
absorbing family-intimacies (it is often re- 
garded as something noble to love one's 
family to the virtual exclusion of the rest 
of the world!), above all, the too-great 
devotion and lover-like attitude of a son, 
will endeavor to turn outwards the child's 
emotional activities, and to cultivate in him 
a more objective impersonal life. Both 
Father and Mother can do much to prevent 


a too close dependence on themselves; they 
can avoid lavishing love and recognition 
gained quite without effort on the child's 
part — a danger in one direction — or of 
withholding due affection and recognition — 
a danger in the opposite direction, leading 
to Suppression and Introversion. Concern- 
ing these two harmful attitudes, the Swiss 
Psycho-Analyst and Pastor, Dr. Oskar 
Pfister (in The Psycho-Analytic Method), 
says that probably the greater danger lies 
in the over-attachment and over-estimation 
towards the parents, whereby the individual 
remains throughout life the inferior and 
dependent, dreading, yet rejoicing in, 
authority. He writes : " If the emancipa- 
tion from the parents in favor of higher 
considerations (once enjoined by Jesus) 
does not occur. Stagnation and Regression 
appear. Even the highly-talented Jews and 
Chinese remain dependent on the father for 
centuries, and experience an ossification of 
their culture." 

For the parents (or those acting in their 
place) such efforts will involve sacrifice, 
both in the direction of giving and of 
receiving love and intimacy from the child. 
The passionate possessive love of parent 


for child must be recognized as, in part, 
a manifestation of intense egocentric desire. 
The mother seeks gratification and fulfil- 
ment for her own emotional desires through 
such relations with her child, without con- 
cern for the child's harmonious develop- 
ment, and Psycho-Analysis reveals her 
attitude in its true light, no longer as 
altruism alone. In the same way, relation- 
ships with brothers and sisters must be 
understood and readjusted, so that these 
ties may not serve as stumbling-blocks in 
the path of adult development and in- 
dependence. There are cases of brothers 
whose devotion (regarded as beautiful in 
the family-circle) to a sister is so intense 
that no other woman, throughout life, can 
displace the sister-image, and new ties 
(such as marriage, for example) become 
difficult or impossible. Similarly with a 
sister's fixation on a brother, or even in 
the case of a sister and sister, brother and 
brother attachment. Again, the relations 
between the parents themselves will be of 
imriiense influence in causing a reaction on 
their part towards the children. Freud has 
related the case of one of his patients, a 
woman, who was dominated "by an anxiety- 


neurosis on account of her seven-year-old 
child, resulting in an absurdly excessive 
cossetting and worrying over every detail 
of the unfortunate child's existence. His 
health, his education, his clothes, his games 
— all were of the most terrible and painful 
importance to her. Analysis discovered 
that the mother was dissatisfied with her 
sexual and emotional life, was filled with 
self-reproach for her ungrateful attitude to 
her husband, and compensated for this 
(only known to her Unconscious) by an 
excessive zeal for her child's welfare, for 
whom, unconsciously, aversion was mingled 
with her conscious aflFection. 

In the later stages of the child's develop- 
ment, where we reach Education in the 
formal and specific sense, Psycho-Analysis 
can give guidance and information of a 
more positive nature. Its function might 
be summed up as aiding us to discover: 
How best to help and guide the sublimating 
capacity of the individual into channels most 
desirable and useful for himself and Society. 

In such work, clearly, the Teacher is 
bound to play a large part, and positively 
rather than negatively, since from the age 
of nine, often to that of eighteen or twenty, 


formal education in School and College is 
one of the biggest influences in the human 
being's life in modern times. 

I can do no better than quote Freud's 
own words in respect to this matter: 
" Education can be described as incitement 
to the mastering of the Pleasure-principle, 
and to the replacement of this principle by 
the Reality-principle, and it will thus afford 
an aid to the process of development of 
the Ego, to this end making use of the 
premiums of love on the side of the Educa- 
tors, and hence miscarrying when the 
spoiled child thinks that it already possesses 
this love regardless of effort." It seems 
likely that a great field of work will lie 
open, in the near future, for the educator 
who has studied Freud's theories and can 
apply them to his own line of work, perhaps 
even more possibilities for him than for the 
Physician, since his sphere is a wider one. 

In his introduction to The Psycho- 
Analytic Method, by Pfister, Freud ex- 
presses the view that there are to be 
expected very great results from the work 
of the Analyst-Educator in the future, who 
is in many respects, he holds, more suited 
to the application of Psycho-analytic prin- 


ciples in a general way than the Physician 
himself; and another Analyst, Riklin, of 
Zurich, says : " Obviously, we must greet 
the collaboration of Philologists, Peda- 
gogues, and others with joy. We need 
them, and have the greatest stimulus to 
expect from them. For Psycho-Analysis 
can never be limited to Pathology. It is 
very desirable that the educated world 
should acquire psycho-analytic knowledge. 
It will then be less possible for the conflicts 
to hide behind the poor masks of the 
neuroses. A number of conflicts, then (for 
example, those of Puberty), will be judged 
quite differently, and will be led to Rational 

The Teacher with such knowledge will 
aim at a diflferent goal, and seek to achieve 
that goal by methods different from current 
ones. His goal, to put it very briefly, will 
be to afford adequate outlets for necessary 
sublimation, to avoid " short cuts " to sub- 
limation (which tend to create complexes), 
to aid the pupil to self-recognition, and to 
liberate mental energy as far as may be. 
These will be his objects rather than the 
setting up of standards (of life, thought, 
morals, etc.), or the impregnation of the 


pupils with any set of ideas from out- 

As to changed methods, the first im- 
portant idea to grasp is that the Analyst- 
Educator will turn his attention to, and 
make use of, the Unconscious as well as 
the Conscious, a change which by itself 
would revolutionize our present educational 

Probably one of the commonest and worst 
effects of the latter is the disintegration of 
the psyche which it creates. The Uncon- 
scious, left untouched, often for the whole 
of scholastic life, by the direct education 
carried on day by day, is split off from the 
Conscious and cannot get linked on again. 

We see this process before our eyes, first 
in the obvious manifest result which di- 
vorces " school life " from the rest of the 
child's life, creating two watertight com- 
partments wherein he lives and moves at 
different times and places, the gulf between 
the two unbridged. No one has expressed 
this anomaly better than Mr. Wells in 
various of his writings — above all, in 
The New Machiavelli (that wonderful 
chapter " Scholastic " should be read by 
all who are interested in the subject), and 


in his last book, The Undying Fire. He 
has put the matter in a nutshell : " Here all 
about me was London, a vast inexplicable 
being, a vortex of gigantic forces, that filled 
and overwhelmed me with impressions, that 
stirred my imagination to a perpetual vague 
enquiry; and my school not only offered no 
key to it, but had practically no comment 
to make upon it at all." ^ 

But this divorce of interests and environ- 
ments, largely a conscious process, is a far 
less harmful matter than the psychic dis- 
integration which goes on under our present 
system. This latter brings about the 
Fantasying which creates a perpetual gulf 
between Conscious and Unconscious, pre- 
venting the former from being illumined by 
the latter. The child, using only its Con- 
sciousness for its educational work, with- 
draws for its pleasure and gratification into 
the Unconscious, which need play no part 
in the conscious intellectual life. This, 
again, perpetuates infantile thinking (since 
no relationship need be effected between the 
primitive Unconscious and the more de- 
veloped Consciousness), which, in its turn, 
makes ever more difficult all abstract 

1 The New Machiavelli, ch. 5. 


thinking. Thus it is we can produce indi- 
viduals, the products of a most " advanced " 
" intellectual " educational system, who yet 
remain infantile and regressive in their in- 
most selves — above all, in methods of think- 
ing and feeling. I have an instance of this 
in mind to serve as an illustration: A 
woman of my acquaintance, accepted as 
highly intellectual in her circle, has told me 
of her incapability for, and aversion to, 
abstract thought, even of the simplest kind ; 
yet in her school and college career she 
carried off every Prize and Distinction 
owing to an extraordinarily quick mind- 
receptivity, excellent memory, and general 
swiftness of thought in a superficial sense. 
But through all the years of her formal 
education, as she has told me with bitter- 
ness, there was no cultivation of the deeper 
mind-stuff, no knowledge displayed by the 
teachers as to what was going on, no 
measures taken to bring her back from 
perpetual fantasy-making of an infantile 
character, which characteristic, at the age 
of fifty, still has her in thrall. 
■' With such considerations in mind, the 
questions of memory-work, choice of sub- 
jects, relation between so-called " intel- 


lectual " and emotional results of education, 
and a host of others, must be treated from 
very different standpoints than the current 
ones. Perhaps an even more difficult 
matter, and one likely to be more influenced 
by Psycho-Analysis than the problems 
already cited, is the Teacher and his 

. The Teacher is the Father or Mother- 
substitute, hence all the difficulties which 
arise from the Parent-relation must be 
involved in his relations with his pupil, 
plus the problems of his own personal 

So the Teacher has to face all the difficult 
questions of Authority, Indulgence, Equal- 
ity, Freedom, Emotional Relationships from 
a new point of view — the standpoint of the 
Unconscious as well as the Conscious. To 
discuss this in detail here is impossible, 
owing to limitations of space, but a word 
or two may indicate what is meant. The 
Teacher who exercises, successfully per- 
haps, great authority over his pupils, must 
learn to see what that authority implies 
and what result it is producing. It may 
be that an excessive father-complex in 
himself (an intense reaction against the 


father) has produced his love of exercising 
authority — a bad thing in so far , as it is 
a false and not understood reaction. Fur- 
ther, his exercise of authority, so willingly 
and reverentially accepted by the pupils, 
may be merely storing up a harvest of evil 
for the latter, by creating a too-excessive 
father-complex in them, which ultimately 
will have its reaction. Similarly the desire 
for equality with pupils, or even for a kind 
of subjection to them (quite common among 
would-be educational reformers), is a symp- 
tom of masochistic pleasure — a delight in 
inferiority and suffering — which certainly 
is not to be hailed as any benefit either to 
teacher or pupils. The attitude towards 
Punishment, again, of whatever type, may 
be very significant and revealing, if inves- 
tigated psycho -analytically. The teacher 
who "believes in punishment" may come 
to find that in this belief he is merely 
expressing his own sadistic impulses, un- 
recognized by himself, and that by inflicting 
punishment he is helping to build up in the 
pupil a like sexual-sadistic trend (re- 
calling Rousseau's experiences of corporal 

In short, without an understanding of his 


own Unconscious to some fair extent, it will 
be impossible for the Teacher to know why 
he is acting in certain directions, or what 
effects his action has in the very important 
sphere of unconscious psychic life — hence in 
the sphere, ultimately, of Consciousness. 
And the result will be what we see to-day 
— confusion and futility throughout our 
educational system. This is the opinion, 
expressed in gentle terms by Pfister: "As 
often as I had the pleasure of analyzing 
professional colleagues, I experienced a 
profound shock upon the recognition of 
manifold educational mistakes which had 
been committed under the influence of 

So cursoi'y a survey of the results of 
Psycho-analytic knowledge upon Education 
can do no justice to the subject, only the 
fringe of which has been touched. But it 
will surely be obvious to all who think that 
there are bound to be results, profound and 
significant, in the Educational sphere, just 
as in those others already noted — the 
spheres of Individual, Social, and National 

It is, therefore, as a revelation of new 
knowledge foreshadow:ng the most hopeful 


possibilities, and as an instrument of potent 
power for sounding the yet unplumbed sea 
of mind, that Psycho-Analysis claims our 
interest and our study. 

For those even who are uneasy before 
its revelations and dispute its findings, 
investigation may prove fruitful. If con- 
vinced opponents must still continue to 
exist, may they he opponents in the spirit 
of Voltaire, who wrote to his arch-enemy 
Helvetius : " I wholly disapprove of what 
you say — and will defend to the death your 
right to say it," 



Abraham, K. 

Dreams and Myths (1913). 

Brill, A. A. 

Psychanalysis — Its Theory and Practical Appli- 
cation. (2nd Edition, 1914.) 


The Meaning of Dreams (1915). 

Eder, M. D. 

War Shock. The Psycho-Neuroses in War 
Psychology and Treatment (1917). 

Eder, M. D., and Eder, Edith. 

The Conflicts in the Unconscious of the Child. 
(Reprinted from Child Study, 1917-) 

Ferenczi, S. 

Contributions to Psycho- Analysis. (Auth. Trans- 
lation by Ernest Jones, 1916.) 

Freud, S. 

Selected Papers on Hysteria. (Auth. Translation 

by A. A. Brill, 1909.) 
Three Contributions to the Sexual Theory. (Auth. 
Translation by A. A. Brill, 1910.) 


Freud, S. 

The Interpretation of Dreams. (Auth. Transla- 
tion by A. A. Brill, 191 3.) 

The Psychopathotogy of Everyday Life. (Auth. 
Translation by A. A. Brill, 1914.) 

On Dreams. (Auth. Translation by M. D. Eder, 

Wit and its Relation to the Unconscious. (Auth. 
Translation by A. A. Brill, 1916.) 

Totem and Taboo. (Auth. Translation by A. A. 
Brill, 1918.) 

Delusion and Dream. (Translation by Helen 
Downey, 1919.) 

Frink, H. W. 

Morbid Fears and Compulsions (1918). 


Freud's Theory of the Neuroses. {Nervous and 
Mental Disease Monograph Series, 1913.) 

Holt, E. 

The Freudian Wish and its Place in Ethics (1915). 

Jones, E. 

Papers in Psycho-Analysis. (Revised and En- 
larged Edition, 1918.) 

The Psychology of Everyday Life. (Reprinted 
from American Journal of Psychology, Oc- 
tober, 1911, Vol. 22.) 

The Unconscious Mental Life of the Child. (Re- 
printed from Child Study, April, 1916.) 


Jung, C. G. 

Studies in Word-Association. (Auth. Translation 
by M. D. Eder, 1918.) 

Lay, W. 

Man's Unconscious Conflict (1918). 

Pfister, O. 

The Psycho-Analytic Method. (Translation by 
D. C. Payne, 19x7.) 


War Neuroses (1918). 

Rank, O., and Sachs, H. 

The Significance of Psycho-Analysis for the 
Mental Sciences. (Translated by Smith Ely 
Jelliffe, Nervous and Mental Diseases, Mono- 
graph Series.) 


Wish Fulfilment and Fairy Tales. (Translation 
by Smith Ely Jelliffe, Monograph Series.) 


Problems of Mysticism and its Symbolism. 
(Translation by Smith Ely Jelliffe, 1917.) 

White, W. 

Mechanisms of Character Formation (1916).