The Interpretation of Dreams
In this book, Sigmund Freud talks of a psychological technique that allows us to interpret dreams. He believes that when this is applied, every dream turns out to be a meaningful, physical formation which has a place in what goes on within our waking life. Freud analyzed many of his own dreams to come to his conclusions which were recorded in the 3-year period of his self-analysis.
Freud traced the operation of unconscious processes to guide him in the interpretation of dreams and slips of speech. He discovered infantile sexuality using dream analysis. He also discovered the Oedipus complex, which forms the erotic attachment of the child for the parent of the opposite sex. Freud makes an important distinction between the conscious and the unconscious mind. The “unconscious” had already been in use at the time of Freud’s writing; however, Freud developed his theory of the unconscious far beyond understanding it.
Freud makes a distinction between “manifest,” or conscious, dream content— the surface-level content of the dream, which can be described by the dreamer upon waking— and the “latent,” or unconscious, “dream thought,” which are only revealed upon analysis. Dreams can be explained or deciphered with a certain degree of intuition, coupled with logic and a working knowledge of dreaming.