Come and See: Dreams at the End of Analysis

David Zachary Hafner

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Dreams are fragmented and fragmenting; we find in them the most blatant paradoxes, where impossible is nothing. Resisting
realist knowledge in favor of elaborating our truer motivations, they reveal us as moral relativists, showing the idiosyncratic
fundamentalism grounding our ethics. Freudian psychoanalysis rests on a few fundamental discoveries. In addition to the
above-mentioned nature of dreams, they include but are not limited to the notion that life is fundamentally suffering, and many humans choose partial blindness over conflictual truth, that the human condition involves unresolvable otherness, that though language distorts thought it rarely if ever depicts with precision a given qualia, and that the endless variety of symptoms found in the psychoanalysis are singular responses to underlying painful conditions of humanity.
Though we typically understand dreams as unconscious formations, towards the end of analysis one may come across another style of dream. Simply put, dreams at the end of analysis are not encrypted formations of the unconscious to be recounted in stream of consciousness; they are the paradoxical statements of how partial objects relate. As they become denser and more compact they reduce down to the grammar of unconscious fantasy. One dreamer sees a piece of meat in a frying pan moving and asks, ‘but how could it move, c’est cuite’? Or another, whose life was saved by analysis, dreams of walking through the valley of death with vultures circling overhead. Or another, dozing, waiting alone for the next session, sees a woman abruptly swoop down in front, grabbing his throat with her hand while commanding, ‘come’. These dreams are not dreams for interpretation, they are transparent. They are without the anxiety of the refusal of subjective division. Candidly announcing the unconscious contradiction, they show the liminal object in all its paradoxical splendor. "Nous n’interprétons pas les oeuvres, ce sont elles qui nous interprètent".
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2018
EventAssociation for the Psychoanalysis of Culture & Society 2018 Annual Conference: Transformations - Rutgers University Inn and Conference Center, New Brunswick, United States
Duration: 19 Oct 201821 Oct 2018


ConferenceAssociation for the Psychoanalysis of Culture & Society 2018 Annual Conference: Transformations
Abbreviated titleAPCS 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Brunswick
Internet address


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