Dear Professor Freud, Burgholzli-Zurich, 29 December 1906
I am sincerely sorry that I of all people must be such a nuisance to you.
I understand perfectly that you cannot be anything but dissatisfied with my book! since it treats your researches too ruthlessly.
I am perfectly well aware of this. The principle uppermost in my mind while writing it was: consideration for the academic German public.
If we don’t take the trouble to present this seven-headed monster with everything tastefully served up on a silver salver, it won’t bite, as we have seen on countless occasions before.
It is therefore entirely in the interests of our cause to give heed to all those factors which are likely to whet its appetite.
For the time being, unfortunately, these include a certain reserve and the hint of an independent judgment regarding your researches.
It was this that determined the general tenor of my book.
Specific corrections of your views derive from the fact that we do not see eye to eye on certain points.
This may be because I. my material is totally different from yours.
I am. working under enormously difficult conditions mostly with uneducated insane patients, and on top of that with the uncommonly tricky material of Dementia praecox.
II. my upbringing, my milieu, and my scientific premises are in any case utterly different from your own.
III. my experience compared with yours is extremely small.
IV. both in quantity and quality of psychanalytic talent the balance is distinctly in your favour.
V. the lack of personal contact with you, that regrettable defect in my preparatory training, must weigh heavily in the scales.
For all these reasons I regard the views in my book as altogether provisional and in effect merely introductory.
Hence I am extraordinarily grateful to you for any kind of criticism, even if it does not sound at all sweet, for what I miss is opposition, by which I naturally mean justified opposition.
I greatly regret that your interesting letter broke off so abruptly. You have put your finger on the weak points in my dream analysis.”
I do in fact know the dream material and the dream thoughts much better than I have said. I know the dreamer intimately: he is myself.
The “failure of the rich marriage”! refers to something essential that is undoubtedly contained in the dream, though not in the way you think.
My wife” is rich. For various reasons I was turned down when I first proposed; later I was accepted, and I married.
I am happy with my wife in every way (not merely from optimism), though of course this does nothing to prevent such dreams.
So there has been no sexual failure, more likely a social one.
The rationalistic explanation, “sexual restraint,” is, as I have said, merely a convenient screen pushed into the foreground and hiding an illegitimate sexual wish that had better not see the light of day.
One determinant of the little rider, who in my analysis at first evokes the idea of my chief, is the wish for a boy (we have two girls}.”
My chief is wholly conditioned by the fact that he has two boys.” I have been unable to discover an infantile root anywhere.
I also have the feeling that the “package” has not been sufficiently clarified. But I am at a loss for an interpretation.
Although the dream has not been analysed completely, I still thought I could use it as an example of dream symbolism.
The analysis and use of one’s own dreams is a ticklish business at best; one succumbs again and again to the inhibitions emanating from the dream no matter how objective one believes oneself to be.
As for the concept of “indistinctness,”? I understand very well how distasteful it must appear from your point of view.
It is a concept that does not presume too much, and it is certainly not the last word.
But in my opinion its advantages are I. that it links up with Wundt’s psychology,” and II. that it provides a visual image which makes the vague ideas associated with it accessible to ordinary human understanding.
In my view it explains merely the displaceability of the dream-image, but not the whence and the whither. Instead of an “indistinct” idea one could equally well say an idea “poor in associations.”
But I prefer “indistinct.” I don’t know whether an error of principle is lurking ‘in the background. At present only you can decide.
But you should not imagine that I am frenetically set on differentiating myself from you’ by the greatest possible divergence of opinion.
I speak of things as I understand them and as I believe is right.
Any differentiation would come far too late anyway, since the leading lights in psychiatry have already given me up for lost.
It is enough for them to read in a report that I have championed your standpoint.
Aschaffenburg’s paper has whipped up a storm of protest against you.
Faced with these fearsome difficulties there is probably no alternative but the dosis refracta” and another form of medication.
Very sincerely yours,
JUNG ~Carl Jung, Freud-Jung Letters, Page 13-16