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Unformatted text preview: of Bleuler, Jung, Adler and others.
There IS a subconsciousness in that much of the nervous activity of the organism has but little or no relation
to consciousness. There are mechanisms laid down by heredity and by the racial structure that accomplish
great functions without any but the most indirect effect on consciousness and without any control by the
conscious personality. We are spurred on to sex life, to marriage, to the care of our children by instinct; but
the instinct is not a personality any more than the automatic heartbeat is. We repress a forbidden desire; if we
are successful and really overcome the desire by setting up new desires or in some other way, the inhibited
desire is not locked up in a subterranean limbo. There is nothing pathological about inhibition, for inhibition is
as normal a part of character as desire, and the social instinct which bids us inhibit is as fundamental as the
sex instinct. Most conflicts are on a conscious plane, but most people will not admit to any one else their
deeply abhorrent desires. To all of us, or nearly all, come desires and temptations that we would not
acknowledge for the world. If a wise examiner succeeds in getting us to admit them, it is very agreeable to
find a scapegoat in the form of the subconsciousness. I have often said this to students: if all our thoughts and CHAPTER VI. 44 conscious desires could be exposed, the most of us would almost die of shame. True, we do not clearly
understand ourselves and our conflicts and explanation is often necessary, but that is not equivalent to the
subconsciousness; it merely means that introspection is not sagacious.
Nor is it true, in my belief, that dreams are important psychical events, nor that the subconsciousness evades a
censor in elaborating them. To what end would that be done? What would be the use of it? Suppose that Freud
and his school had never been; then dreams would always be useless, for they would have no interpreter. Men
have dreamed in the countless ages before Freud was born,--in vain. Think how the poor, misguided
subconsciousness has labored for nothing,--and how gr...
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- Spring '11