Dream's evanescence, the way in which, on awakening, our thoughts thrust it aside as something bizarre, and our reminiscences mutilating or rejecting it—all these and many other problems have for many hundred years demanded answers which up till now could never have been satisfactory.
Man has, as it were, become a kind of prosthetic God. When he puts on all his auxiliary organs, he is truly magnificent; but those organs have not grown on him and they still give him much trouble at times.
The goal towards which the pleasure principle impels us - of becoming happy - is not attainable: yet we may not - nay, cannot - give up the efforts to come nearer to realization of it by some means or other.
Suffering comes from three quarters: from our own body, which is destined to decay and dissolution, and cannot even dispense with anxiety and pain as danger-signals; from the outer world, which can rage against us with the most powerful and pitiless forces of destruction; and finally from our relations with other men.
Then, when the entire mass of these dream-thoughts is subject to the pressure of the dream-work, and the pieces are whirled about, broken up, and pushed up against one another, rather like ice-floes surging down a river, the question arises: what has become of the bonds of logic which had previously given the structure its form?
The way in which these factors—displacement, condensation, and over-determination—interact in the process of dream-formation, and the question of which becomes dominant and which secondary, are things we shall set aside for later inquiries.
That others rejected it too, and still do, I find less surprising. ‘For the little children do not like it' when there is talk of man's inborn tendency to ‘wickedness', to aggression and destruction, and therefore to cruelty.
The patient cannot remember the whole of what is repressed in him, and what he cannot remember may be precisely the essential part of it.. He is obliged to repeat the repressed material as a contemporary experience instead of remembering it as something in the past.
Contradiction with this the majority of medical writers hardly admit that the dream is a psychical phenomenon at all. According to them dreams are provoked and initiated exclusively by stimuli proceeding from the senses or the body, which either reach the sleeper from without or are accidental disturbances of his internal organs.
The voice of the intellect is soft one, but it does not rest until it has gained a hearing. Ultimately, after endless rebuffs, it succeeds. This is one of the few points in which one may be optimistic about the future of mankind.