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Brunswick, D. (1957). A Comment on E. Servadio's 'A Presumptive Telepathic-Precognitive Dream During Analysis'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 38:56.

(1957). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 38:56

A Comment on E. Servadio's 'A Presumptive Telepathic-Precognitive Dream During Analysis' Related Papers

David Brunswick, Ph.D.

In connexion with E. Servadio's recent paper on 'A Presumptive Telepathic-Precognitive Dream During Analysis' (Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 36, 1955), I wish to point out a possibility which Professor Servadio does not consider in his printed paper, whether or not he took it into account in reaching his conclusions.

I shall summarize a few facts in the situation under discussion. The patient was to have an analytic hour on the evening of 28 August. This appointment was cancelled by means of a message taken to the patient's flat by the maid of the analyst at five on the afternoon of the 28th. It is not stated that the patient did not see the maid, but it seems to be presumed that he did not. The dream in question is stated to have occurred in the night between 27 and 28 August, and that is how the patient must have reported it in the next following hour, which was on the evening of the 29th.

Now, judging only from what we have been told and not been told, there seems to be a clear possibility that the dream was actually dreamed in the night between the 28th and 29th, with a falsification about the time (conscious or unconscious) on the part of the patient. If it was thus, the precognitive element disappears, since the maid delivered the message on the afternoon of the 28th.

Furthermore, there also seems to exist the possibility that the patient was at home when the maid came to his flat, that therefore he saw her and she delivered the message in person; and finally it is also possible that she imparted to him in a friendly, gossipy way some of the other information that appears in the dream. So, if some of these things were also so, some of the telepathic elements in the dream also vanish.

Now I do not for a moment want to claim that this is the way it was. I merely want to point out that Dr. Servadio did not consider these possibilities in his paper and so did not give factors or evidence to rule them out. I think this should be done, and all the alternative possibilities explored as thoroughly as possible in working in this startling and puzzling realm, which has impressed itself more or less upon many psycho-analysts.

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