While Freudian analysis can provide us with certain insights it does not go far enough in interpreting the inner psychological and spiritual meanings of our dreams, mental processes or creative output - a view which Jung also eventually took up, precipitating his own subsequent split with Freud. Silberer seeks to fuse Freudian ideas with mystical thought processes to create a 'Royal Art' which is, in effect, the spiritual transmutation of the soul as propounded in the different mystical traditions of the world. In a very real sense this book ceases to be a purely scientific work of psychological study and becomes a work of mysticism in its own right. In its free and open evaluation of esoteric ideas as a legitimate expression of mankind's inner life - indeed in its enthusiasm for Mysticism as a prime achievement of life.
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Herbert Silberer (February 28, 1882 - January 12, 1923) was a Viennese psychoanalyst involved with the professional circle surrounding Sigmund Freud which included other pioneers of psychological study as Carl Jung, Alfred Adler and others. He had a background in athletics and sports journalism. He was very interested in dreams, and in 1909 published a paper detailing his research into the hypnagogic state (the mental state in which the individual is between waking and sleeping). Silberer's contention was that the hypnagogic state is autosymbolic, meaning that the images and symbols perceived in the hypnagogic state are representative (i.e. symbolic) of the physical or mental state of the perceiver. He concluded that two "antagonistic elements" were required for autosymbolic phenomena to manifest: drowsiness and an effort to think.
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