Any one who has had experience in the translating of dreams will, of course, immediately perceive that penetrating into narrow spaces, and opening locked doors, belong to the commonest sexual symbolism, and will easily find in this dream a representation of attempted coition from behind (between the two stately buttocks of the female body). The narrow slanting passage is of course the vagina; the assistance attributed to the wife of the dreamer requires the interpretation that in reality it is only consideration for the wife which is responsible for the detention from such an attempt. Moreover, inquiry shows that on the previous day a young girl had entered the household of the dreamer who had pleased him, and who had given him the impression that she would not be altogether opposed to an approach of this sort. The little house between the two palaces is taken from a reminiscence of the Hradschin in Prague, and thus points again to the girl who is a native of that city.
If with my patients I emphasize the frequency of the Oedipus dream—of having sexual intercourse with one’s mother—I get the answer: “I cannot remember such a dream.” Immediately afterwards, however, there arises the recollection of another disguised and indifferent dream, which has been dreamed repeatedly by the patient, and the analysis shows it to be a dream of this same content—that is, another Oedipus dream. I can assure the reader that veiled dreams of sexual intercourse with the mother are a great deal more frequent than open ones to the same effect.
There are dreams about landscapes and localities in which emphasis is always laid upon the assurance: “I have been there before.” In this case the locality is always the genital organ of the mother; it can indeed be asserted with such certainty of no other locality that one “has been there before.”
A large number of dreams, often full of fear, which are concerned with passing through narrow spaces or with staying, in the water, are based upon fancies about the embryonic life, about the sojourn in the mother’s womb, and about the act of birth. The following is the dream of a young man who in his fancy has already while in embryo taken advantage of his opportunity to spy upon an act of coition between his parents.
“He is in a deep shaft, in which there is a window, as in the Semmering Tunnel. At first he sees an empty landscape through this window, and then he composes a picture into it, which is immediately at hand and which fills out the empty space. The picture represents a field which is being thoroughly harrowed by an implement, and the delightful air, the accompanying idea of hard work, and the bluish-black clods of earth make a pleasant impression. He then goes on and sees a primary school opened … and he is surprised that so much attention is devoted in it to the sexual feelings of the child, which makes him think of me.”