The Freud Museum


Is the unconscious smart or dumb?

The unconscious is smart! When the unconscious makes itself felt, it can be experienced as a disruption of a world where things seem to make sense. When we wake up from a bad dream, it is reassuring to think that it was just a silly piece of 'nonsense'. But on closer examination, it often turns out that the dream has woven together all sorts of aspects of our lives in an incredibly complex and creative way. From a Freudian perspective, the unconscious is constantly outwitting us: 'all dreamers,' he wrote, 'are unsufferably witty. And they need to be because they are under pressure and the direct route is barred to them.'

Still curious? Check out our carefully curated reading list!

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