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Ullman, M. (1964). Discussion. Am. J. Psychoanal., 24(1):26-28.

(1964). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 24(1):26-28


Montague Ullman, M.D.

I find myself very much in agreement with the spirit and content of Dr. Weiss’ paper. His open, enthusiastic, receptive and respectful approach to the subject of dreaming is a welcome outlook to those of us who were never convinced that either the last word or even next to the last word had been written about the nature and meaning of dreaming in the human organism.

As he indicates, there has long existed the problem of establishing the respectability of dreaming because of the early and enduring association of interest in the dream with necromancy, magic and superstition. Later, with the development of the scientific method, there was further downgrading of such esoteric phenomena as dreaming thus relegating it to the penumbra of scientific interest and concern. Freud brought some respectability to the subject, but have his discoveries really brought a due measure of respect?

As Dr. Weiss suggests, a source of a somewhat less than whole, and perhaps less than wholesome, view of the dream has to do with the historical roots of the psychoanalytic movement itself. He points up several such influences, quite appropriately relating them to the internalization of aspects of the Victorian social milieu and their reappearance as features of classical dream theory. The dream is at least more than, if not qualitatively different from, the pictorial representation of man's struggle against his own baser nature. Not enough room was left for the appreciation of the self-reparative, the self-realizing potentials of the personality as expressed in the dream. The hydraulic model or safety valve analogy could not really do justice to the capacity for creative improvization, versatility and originality of dream symbols and their integration into a story told in metaphor.

We could add to Dr.

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