From the previous observations on the nature of the associations that our mind can make according to the content of the dream, we come to conclusion that they are not made by chance but they are highly interconnected. The foundation of these relations is our unconscious activities.
Various experiments for mental associations have been made. The subject was called to react to a specific word that was used as stimuli, with the first word that came to mind. The results were judged based on the amount of time that passed between the ‘question’ word and the ‘reaction’ word. They were also examined according to the meaning of the reacting word and if the experiment was repeated several times that word would change from time to time. When the subject was asked to add more associations to the principal one it was verified that the complexes of the person were shadowing the nature of their associations.
But what is a complex and how does it relate to the dream world?
It is a kind of neurosis that is consisted by unconscious interconnected associations that would affect a person’s mind-set. In the dream world the ‘question’ word is replaced by various dream elements and represents the mental state of the dreamer, deriving maybe from a complex. That way the associations that we make after the dream can be connected to this complex and they may help us understand its nature, according to Freud.
He also suggests that all the false or fake associations can be a by-product of the one that is the key for understanding. In the case of a forgotten memory for example we might try to retrieve it by attempting all sorts of associations that are actually the very path for its recollection. Freud remembers a guy that he had dinner once who could not remember the name of his favourite wine. He would bring all sorts of names into mind with one name standing out; Evdig. Afterwards he admitted that he enjoyed that wine with a girl called Evdig and this helped him to remember the name of the wine. It was a memory that he intentionally had forgotten as he was now married and did not want to recall this girl anymore.
The same technique can help us understand and explain the meaning of our dreams. Starting with an association that could work as a substitute we can find our way to the correct association that would help us unravel the mystery of a dream puzzle. With appropriate combination of associations we will be able to reach the source of our pursuit. Freud suggest that by using this road for interpretation, the elements of a dream can lead us to these associations and we may discover things that actually bother us without them being a subject of awareness beforehand. Unconscious feelings that disturb us can be identified and handled through true recognition.
What we learn here is that by interpreting our dreams using associations we can actually come closer into comprehending our real thoughts and feelings better. The mind has the power to disguise any troubled thought or problem into maybe beautiful or disturbing imagery in the dream world. In order to initiate a quest for the identification of those troubles we need to trust our reactionary associations and follow their connections. We would need to give gravity to our instincts in a more inquisitive manner in order to realize the true source of our problems.
As a step stone from the ancient period and the experimental psychology, Freud brings light into the nature of dreams by connecting them directly to the mind and psyche. Our dreams can be symbols of our mental and psychological state. In order to decode these symbols we would need to dig deeper using interlinked associations.