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MACHINE DREAMS

Alexei Taylor, Author

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FREUD'S IDEAS OF THE UNCONSCIOUS

  After
working with his colleague, and to some extent, co-contributor of the field of psychoanalysis, Breuer, and studying hysteric activity in certain patients,  (1893-95), Freud arrived at the conclusion that all conscious human experience must be greatly influenced by unconscious processes. He argued that most of the human mind operates unconsciously, and that the
aggregate of what we perceive to be our conscious rational procedures, are in fact shaped by the an intense battle for domination between the conscious and the unconscious, proof of which is evident, for instance in ‘Freudian slips’, when a thought bubbles up from beneath the depths of the unconscious, to disrupt the clear, calm surface of conscious discourse unexpectedly. Thus, Freud made the case that towards a better comprehension of the human psyche and its
function, a closer examination of the unconscious, through psychoanalysis, must be effected. But Freud’s notion of the unconscious as an agglomeration of repressed memories and experiences, did not, by definition, readily lend itself to conscious, observable examination, except in the rare cases that it entirely engulfed the conscious state and produced hysteric behavior, or less dramatically, Freudian slips. However, Freud contended that dreams were the manifestation of this mental force, and that a study of dreams could serve as a portal into the unconscious. In fact, he quite aptly referred to dreams as the ‘Royal Road
to the Unconscious.’


Freud considered dreams a means through which the unconscious resolves the conflicts or the trauma that are suppressed within it, a wish-fulfillment to coin his phrase. According to Freud, in the dream state, mental matter from the unconscious escapes through the preconscious into conscious introspection more easily, resulting in what we interpret as the dreams. However, in order to escape the defense mechanisms erected by the mind for the purpose of restricting traumatic/unacceptable thought to the realm of the unconscious, these mental matter assume much more symbolic and much less disturbing forms, which when recalled and examined closely could give some insight as to their true origin.




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