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Freud, Sigmund

  • Devout believers are safeguarded in a high degree against the risk of certain neurotic illnesses; their acceptance of the universal neurosis spares them the task of constructing a personal one.

  • The act of birth is the first experience of anxiety, and thus the source and prototype of the affect of anxiety.

  • The ego is not master in its own house.

  • The doctor should be opaque to his patients and, like a mirror, should show them nothing but what is shown to him.

  • I am actually not at all a man of science, not an observer, not an experimenter, not a thinker. I am by temperament nothing but a conquistador--an adventurer, if you want it translated--with all the curiosity, daring, and tenacity characteristic of a man of this sort.

  • I have often felt as though I had inherited all the defiance and all the passions with which our ancestors defended their Temple and could gladly sacrifice my life for one great moment in history. And at the same time I always felt so helpless and incapable of expressing these ardent passions even by a word or a poem.

  • I have found little that is "good" about human beings on the whole. In my experience most of them are trash, no matter whether they publicly subscribe to this or that ethical doctrine or to none at all. That is something that you cannot say aloud, or perhaps even think.

  • A strong egoism is a protection against disease, but in the last resort we must begin to love in order that we may not fall ill, and must fall ill if, in consequence of frustration, we cannot love.

  • The first requisite of civilization . . . is that of justice.

  • The liberty of the individual is no gift of civilization. It was present before there was any civilization.

  • Human life in common is only made possible when a majority comes together which is stronger than any separate individual and which remains united against all separate individuals. The power of this community is then set up as "right" in opposition to the power of the individual, which is condemned as "brute force."

  • A certain degree of neurosis is of inestimable value as a drive, especially to a psychologist.

  • Every normal person, in fact, is only normal on the average. His ego approximates to that of the psychotic in some part or other and to a greater or lesser extent.

  • The time comes when each one of us has to give up as illusions the expectations which, in his youth, he pinned upon his fellow-men, and when he may learn how much difficulty and pain has been added to his life by their ill-will.

  • If a man has been his mother's undisputed darling he retains throughout life the triumphant feeling, the confidence in success, which not seldom brings actual success along with it.

  • We are threatened with suffering from three directions: from our own body, which is doomed to decay and dissolution and which cannot even do without pain and anxiety as warning signals; from the external world, which may rage against us with overwhelming and merciless forces of destruction; and finally from our relations to other men. The suffering which comes from this last source is perhaps more painful than any other.

  • The great question that has never been answered, and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is "What does a woman want?"

  • A belligerent state permits itself every such misdeed, every such act of violence, as would disgrace the individual.

  • A certain degree of neurosis is of inestimable value as a drive, especially to a psychologist.

  • A man should not strive to eliminate his complexes but to get into accord with them: they are legitimately what directs his conduct in the world.

  • America is the most grandiose experiment the world has seen, but, I am afraid, it is not going to be a success.

  • Analogies, it is true, decide nothing, but they can make one feel more at home.

  • Anatomy is destiny.

  • Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise.

  • Children are completely egoistic; they feel their needs intensely and strive ruthlessly to satisfy them.

  • Civilization began the first time an angry person cast a word instead of a rock.

  • Civilization is a process in the service of Eros, whose purpose is to combine single human individuals, and after that families, then races, peoples and nations, into one great unity, the unity of mankind. Why this has to happen, we do not know; the work of Eros is precisely this.

  • Civilized society is perpetually menaced with disintegration through this primary hostility of men towards one another.

  • Every normal person, in fact, is only normal on the average. His ego approximates to that of the psychotic in some part or other and to a greater or lesser extent.

  • He does not believe that does not live according to his belief .

  • He that has eyes to see and ears to hear may convince himself that no mortal can keep a secret. If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips; betrayal oozes out of him at every pore.

  • How bold one gets when one is sure of being loved!

  • I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection.

  • I have found little that is "good" about human beings on the whole. In my experience most of them are trash, no matter whether they publicly subscribe to this or that ethical doctrine or to none at all. That is something that you cannot say aloud, or perhaps even think.

  • If youth knew; if age could.

  • Illusions commend themselves to us because they save us pain and allow us to enjoy pleasure instead. We must therefore accept it without complaint when they sometimes collide with a bit of reality against which they are dashed to pieces.

  • It is impossible to overlook the extent to which civilization is built upon a renunciation of instinct.

  • Just as a cautious businessman avoids investing all his capital in one concern, so wisdom would probably admonish us also not to anticipate all our happiness from one quarter alone.

  • Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness.

  • Man has, as it were, become a kind of prosthetic God. When he puts on all his auxiliary organs, he is truly magnificent; but those organs have not grown on him and they still give him much trouble at times.

  • Men are more moral than they think and far more immoral than they can imagine.

  • Men are strong so long as they represent a strong idea they become powerless when they oppose it.

  • Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.

  • Neurosis is the inability to tolerate ambiguity.

  • Neurotics complain of their illness, but they make the most of it, and when it comes to talking it away from them they will defend it like a lioness her young.

  • No one who has seen a baby sinking back satiated from the breast and falling asleep with flushed cheeks and a blissful smile can escape the reflection that this picture persists as a prototype of the expression of sexual satisfaction in later life.

  • No one who, like me, conjures up the most evil of those half-tamed demons that inhabit the human beast, and seeks to wrestle with them, can expect to come through the struggle unscathed.

  • Obviously one must hold oneself responsible for the evil impulses of one's dreams. In what other way can one deal with them? Unless the content of the dream rightly understood is inspired by alien spirits, it is part of my own being.

  • One is very crazy when in love.

  • Opposition is not necessarily enmity; it is merely misused and made an occasion for enmity.

  • Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires.

  • Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

  • The act of birth is the first experience of anxiety, and thus the source and prototype of the affect of anxiety.

  • The ego is not master in its own house.

  • The first human who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilization.

  • The goal of all life is death.

  • The goal towards which the pleasure principle impels us - of becoming happy - is not attainable: yet we may not - nay, cannot - give up the efforts to come nearer to realization of it by some means or other.

  • The great question that has never been answered, and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is "What does a woman want?"

  • The impression forces itself upon one that men measure by false standards, that everyone seeks power, success, riches for himself, and admires others who attain them, while undervaluing the truly precious thing in life.

  • The liberty of the individual is no gift of civilization. It was greatest before there was any civilization.

  • The psychoanalysis of neurotics has taught us to recognize the intimate connection between wetting the bed and the character trait of ambition.

  • The tendency to aggression is an innate, independent, instinctual disposition in man... it constitutes the powerful obstacle to culture.

  • We are never so defensless against suffering as when we love.

  • We have long observed that every neurosis has the result, and therefore probably the purpose, of forcing the patient out of real life, of alienating him from actuality.

  • We must reckon with the possibility that something in the nature of the sexual instinct itself is unfavorable to the realization of complete satisfaction.

  • What a distressing contrast there is between the radiant intelligence of the child and the feeble mentality of the average adult.

  • What progress we are making. In the Middle Ages they would have burned me. Now they are content with burning my books.

  • What we call happiness in the strictest sense comes from the (preferably sudden) satisfaction of needs which have been dammed up to a high degree.

  • Whoever loves becomes humble. Those who love have, so to speak, pawned a part of their narcissism.