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Jones, E. (1921). Persons in Dreams Disguised as Themselves. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 2:420-423.

(1921). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 2:420-423

Persons in Dreams Disguised as Themselves

Ernest Jones

I have repeatedly met with a remarkable form of disguise in dreams which does not seem to have received much attention, although it is one that can be particularly misleading to the analyst. Its characteristics are as follows. A well-known figure appears in the dream, most often a parent, clear and unmistakable. The associations, however, lead just as unmistakably to another person, and are of such a kind as evidently to apply to the latter. One is thus bound to say that the familiar person in the dream is for some reason replacing the other, and in interpreting the dream one has to substitute the second person in the place of the first. Many analyses go no further than this quite correct procedure, no suspicion being aroused. Yet when one reflects on the matter one finds it peculiar—and contrary to our experience otherwise—that a familiar image, and one dating from the earliest infancy, should represent one of later date and of less psychical significance to the dreamer. To accept such a state of affairs as a definite explanation would be to approximate to the views held by Adler, Jung and Maeder, according to which a recently acquired and often highly abstract notion can be 'symbolised' by a more concrete and personal image dating from infancy, i. e. the very opposite to the general findings of psycho-analysis. The dreams in question afford a very good test as to which view is nearer to the truth.

On paying attention to all the details of such dreams it will be found that what may be called the 'current' interpretation does not cover them as completely as it at first seemed to, some really relating to the actual dream person.

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