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Freudian Dictionary


We realize that what distinguishes a conscious idea from a preconscious one, and this from an unconscious one, cannot be anything but a modification, or perhaps also another distribution, of psychic energy. We speak of cathexes and hypercathexes, but beyond this we lack all knowledge and even a beginning for a useful working hypothesis.[1]


On falling asleep the "undesired ideas" emerge, owing to the slackening of a certain arbitrary (and, of course, also critical) action, which is allowed to influence the trend of our ideas; we are accustomed to speak of fatigue as the reason of this slackening; the emerging undesired ideas are changed into visual and auditory images. In the condition which is utilized for the analysis of dreams and pathological ideas, this activity is purposely and deliberately renounced, and the psychic energy thus saved (or some part of it) is employed in attentively tracking the undesired thoughts which now come to the surface-thoughts which retain their identity as ideas (in which the condition differs from the state of falling asleep). "Undesired ideas" are thus changed into "desired" ones .... The "undesired ideas" habitually evoke the most violent resistance, which seeks to prevent them from coming to the surface.[2]

  1. Template:M&M Part III, Section I
  2. Template:IoD Ch. 2