“It is an unpleasant feature of his philosophy,” he went on, “but Freud finds the conclusion irresistible that all humanity underneath the shell is sensuous and sensual in nature. Practically all dreams betray some delight of the senses and sexual dreams are a large proportion. There is, according to the theory, always a wish hidden or expressed in a dream. The dream is one of three things, the open, the disguised or the distorted fulfillment of a wish, sometimes recognized, sometimes repressed.
“Anxiety dreams are among the most interesting and important Anxiety may originate in psycho-sexual excitement, the repressed libido, as the Freudists call it. Neurotic fear has its origin in sexual life and corresponds to a libido which has been turned away from its object and has not succeeded in being applied. All so-called day dreams of women are erotic; of men they are either ambition or love.
“Often dreams, apparently harmless, turn out to be sinister if we take pains to interpret them. All have the mark of the beast. For example, there was that unknown woman who had fallen down and was surrounded by a crowd. If a woman dreams that, it is sexual. It can mean only a fallen woman. That is the symbolism. The crowd always denotes a secret.
“Take also the dream of death. If there is no sorrow felt, then there is another cause for it. But if there is sorrow, then the dreamer really desires death or absence. I expect to have you quarrel with that. But read Freud, and remember that in childhood death is synonymous with being away. Thus for example, if a girl dreams that her mother is dead, perhaps it means only that she wishes her away so that she can enjoy some pleasure that her strict parent, by her presence, denies.
“Then there was that dream about the baby in the water. That, I think, was a dream of birth. You see, I asked her practically to repeat the dreams because there were several gaps. At such points one usually finds first hesitation, then something that shows one of the main complexes. Perhaps the subject grows angry at the discovery.
“Now, from the tangle of the dream thought, I find that she fears that her husband is too intimate with another woman, and that perhaps unconsciously she has turned to Dr. Maudsley for sympathy. Dr. Maudsley, as I said, is not only bearded, but somewhat of a social lion. He had called on her the day before. Of such stuff are all dream lions when there is no fear. But she shows that she has been guilty of no wrongdoing—she escaped, and felt relieved.”
“I’m glad of that,” I put in. “I don’t like these scandals. On the Star when I have to report them, I do it always under protest. I don’t know what your psychanalysis is going to show in the end, but I for one have the greatest sympathy for that poor little woman in the big house alone, surrounded by and dependent on servants, while her husband is out collecting scandals.”