If you want your wife to listen to you, then talk to another woman; she will be all ears.
Two hallmarks of a healthy life are the abilities to love and to work. Each requires imagination.
Love is the great educator.
If it's not one thing, it's your mother.
There is an intellectual function in us which demands unity, connection and intelligibility from any material, whether of perception or thought, that comes within its grasp; and if, as a result of special circumstances, it is unable to establish a true connection, it does not hesitate to fabricate a false one.
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.
No, our science is no illusion. But an illusion it would be to suppose that what science cannot give us we can get elsewhere.
Religion is a universal obsessional neurosis.
The time comes when each 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.
It is no wonder if, under the pressure of these possibilities of suffering, men are accustomed to moderate their claims to happiness -- just as the pleasure principle itself, indeed, under the influence of the external world, changed into the more modest reality principle -, if a man thinks himself happy merely to have escaped unhappiness or to have survived his suffering, and if in general the task of avoiding suffering pushes that of obtaining pleasure into the background.
Instinct of love toward an object demands a mastery to obtain it, and if a person feels they can't control the object or feel threatened by it, they act negatively toward it.
I do not in the least underestimate bisexuality... I expect it to provide all further enlightenment.
The voice of the intellect is a soft one, but it does not rest until it has gained a hearing.
The voice of the intellect is soft one, but it does not rest until it has gained a hearing. Ultimately, after endless rebuffs, it succeeds. This is one of the few points in which one may be optimistic about the future of mankind.
The demons of animism were usually hostile to man, but it seems as though man had more confidence in himself in those days than later on.
Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires.
But the less a man knows about the past and the present the more insecure must prove to be his judgment of the future.
It is a mistake to believe that science consists in nothing but conclusively proved propositions, and it is unjust to demand that it should. It is a demand made by those who feel a craving for authority in some form to replace the religious catechism by something else, even a scientific one.
Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness.
If you want to expel religion from our European civilization, you can only do it by means of another system of doctrines; and such a system would from the outset take over all the psychological characteristics of religion--the same sanctity, rigidity and intolerance, the same prohibition of thought--for its own defence. You have to have something of the kind in order to meet the requirements of education. And you cannot do without education.
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.
The voice of reason is small, but very persistent.
If all the evidence put forward for the authenticity of religious teachings originates in the past, it is natural to look round and see whether the present, about which it is easier to form judgements, may not also be able to furnish evidence of the sort. If by this means we could succeed in clearing even a single portion of the religious system from doubt, the whole of it would gain enormously in credibility.
It is impossible to overlook the extent to which civilization is built up upon a renunciation of instinct..
Civilization has little to fear from educated people and brain-workers. In them the replacement of religious motives for civilized behaviors by other, secular motives, would proceed unobtrusively..
I had thought about cocaine in a kind of day-dream.
A love that does not discriminate seems to me to forfeit a part of its own value, by doing an injustice to its object; and secondly, not all men are worthy of love.
There is a powerful force within us, an un-illuminated part of the mind -- separate from the conscious mind that is constantly at work molding our thought, feelings, and actions.
A transference neurosis corresponds to a conflict between ego and id, a narcissistic neurosis corresponds to that between between ego and super-ego, and a psychosis to that between ego and outer world.
Concerning the factors of silence, solitude and darkness, we can only say that they are actually elements in the production of the infantile anxiety from which the majority of human beings have never become quite free.
Homosexuality is assuredly no advantage, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation; it cannot be classified as an illness; we consider it to be a variation of the sexual function, produced by a certain arrest of sexual development. Many highly respectable individuals of ancient and modern times have been homosexuals, several of the greatest men among them (Plato, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, etc.). It is a great injustice to persecute homosexuality as a crime -- and a cruelty, too. If you do not believe me, read the books of Havelock Ellis.
Anatomy is destiny.
No neurotic harbors thoughts of suicide which are not murderous impulses against others redirected upon himself.
If you can't do it, give up!
In this way the ego detaches itself from the external world. It is more correct to say: Originally the ego includes everything, later it detaches from itself the external world. The ego-feeling we are aware of now is thus only a shrunken vestige of a far more extensive feeling -- a feeling which embraced the universe and expressed an inseparable connection of the ego with the external world.
There is to my mind no doubt that the concept of beautiful had its roots in sexual excitation and that its original meaning was sexually stimulating.
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?
Our memory has no guarantees at all, and yet we bow more often than is objectively justified to the compulsion to believe what it says.
The aim of psychoanalysis is to relieve people of their neurotic unhappiness so that they can be normally unhappy.
I regard myself as one of the most dangerous enemies of religion.
I was making frequent use of cocaine at that time ... I had been the first to recommend the use of cocaine, in 1885, and this recommendation had brought serious reproaches down on me.
Our possibilities of happiness are already restricted by our constitution. Unhappiness is much less difficult to experience. 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 to us than any other.
The gods retain their threefold task: they must exorcize the terrors of nature, they must reconcile men to the cruelty of Fate, particularly as it is shown in death, and they must compensate them for the sufferings and privations which a civilized life in common has imposed on them.
The transformation of object-libido into narcissistic libido which thus takes place obviously implies an abandonment of sexual aims, a desexualization -- a kind of sublimation, therefore.
The moment a man questions the meaning and value of life, he is sick, since objectively neither has any existence; by asking this question one is merely admitting to a store of unsatisfied libido to which something else must have happened, a kind of fermentation leading to sadness and depression.
So long as we trace the development from its final outcome backwards, the chain of events appears continuous, and we feel we have gained an insight which is completely satisfactory or even exhaustive. But if we proceed in the reverse way, if we start from the premises inferred from the analysis and try to follow these up to the final results, then we no longer get the impression of an inevitable sequence of events which could not have otherwise been determined.
I take up the standpoint that the tendency to aggression is an innate, independent, instinctual disposition in man, and I come back now to the statement that it constitutes the most powerful obstacle to culture.
When making a decision of minor importance, I have always found it advantageous to consider all the pros and cons. In vital matters, however, such as the choice of a mate or a profession, the decision should come from the unconscious, from somewhere within ourselves. In the important decisions of personal life, we should be governed, I think, by the deep inner needs of our nature.
Innately, children seem to have little true realistic anxiety. They will run along the brink of water, climb on the window sill, play with sharp objects and with fire, in short, do everything that is bound to damage them and to worry those in charge of them, that is wholly the result of education; for they cannot be allowed to make the instructive experiences themselves.
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.
Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.
You can always make a lot of people love one another so long as there are a smaller number outside the group for them to kick.
As regards intellectual work it remains a fact, indeed, that great decisions in the realm of thought and momentous discoveries and solutions of problems are only possible to an individual, working in solitude.
The price of civilization is instinctual renunciation.
By abolishing private property one deprives the human love of aggression.
We believe that civilization has been created under the pressure of the exigencies of life at the cost of satisfaction of the instincts.
It is asking a great deal of a man, who has learnt to regulate his everyday affairs in accordance with the rules of experience and with due regard to reality, that he should entrust precisely what affects him most nearly to the care of an authority which claims as its prerogative freedom from all the rules of rational thought.
We will therefore turn to the less ambitious question of what men themselves show by their behavior to be the purpose and intention of their lives. What do they demand of life and wish to achieve in it? The answer to this can hardly be in doubt. They strive for happiness; they want to become happy and to remain so. This endeavor has two sides, a positive and a negative aim. It aims, on the one hand, at an absence of pain and unpleasure, and, on the other, at the experiencing of strong feelings of pleasure. In its narrower sense the word 'happiness' only relates to the last. In conformity with this dichotomy in his aims, man's activity develops in two directions, according as it seeks to realize -- in the main, or even exclusively -- the one or the other of these aims.
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.
The very emphasis of the commandment: Thou shalt not kill, makes it certain that we are descended from an endlessly long chain of generations of murderers, whose love of murder was in their blood as it is perhaps also in ours.
Neither in my private life nor in my writings, have I ever made a secret of being an out-and-out unbeliever.
The communal life of human beings had ... a two-fold foundation: the compulsion to work, which was created by external necessity, and the power of love.
Dark, unfeeling and unloving powers determine human destiny.
Our unconscious, then, does not believe in its own death; it behaves as if it were immortal. It knows nothing that is negative; in it contradictories coincide. This may be the secret of heroism.
The most complicated achievements of thought are possible without the assistance of consciousness.
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
Illusions commend themselves to us because they save us pain and allow us to enjoy pleasure instead.
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.
No other technique for the conduct of life attaches the individual so firmly to reality as laying emphasis on work; for his work at least gives him a secure place in a portion of reality, in the human community.
No other technique for the conduct of life attaches the individual so firmly to reality as laying emphasis on work; for his work at least gives him a secure place in a portion of reality, in the human community. The possibility it offers of displacing a large amount of libidinal components, whether narcissistic, aggressive or even erotic, on to professional work and on to the human relations connected with it lends it a value by no means second to what it enjoys as something indispensable to the preservation and justification of existence in society.
We are so made that we can derive intense enjoyment only from a contrast.
The religions of mankind must be classed among the mass-delusions of this kind. No one, needless to say, who shares a delusion ever recognizes it as such.
I may now add that 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.
But the repressed merges into the id as well, and is merely a part of it. The repressed is only cut off sharply from the ego by the resistances of repression; it can communicate with the ego through the id.
From error to error one discovers the entire truth.
Love is a state of temporary psychosis.
Dreams are the royal road to the unconcious.
Obsessional prohibitions are extremely liable to displacement. They extend from one object to another along whatever paths the context may provide, and this new object then becomes, to use the apt expression of one of my women patients, 'impossible' -- till at last the whole world lies under an embargo of 'impossibility'.
The division of the psychical into what is conscious and what is unconscious is the fundamental premise of psycho-analysis; and it alone makes it possible for psycho-analysis to understand the pathological processes in mental life, which are as common as they are important, and to find a place for them in the framework of science.
The assumption that everything past is preserved holds good even in mental life only on condition that the organ of the mind has remained intact and that its tissues have not been damaged by trauma or inflammation. But destructive influences which can be compared to causes of illness like these are never lacking in the history of a city, even if it has had a less chequered past than Rome, and even if, like London, it has hardly ever suffered from the visitations of an enemy.
Religious ideas have sprung from the same need as all the other achievements of culture: from the necessity for defending itself against the crushing supremacy of nature.
The genitals themselves have not undergone the development of the rest of the human form in the direction of beauty.
How bold one gets when one is sure of being loved.
We believe that it is possible for scientific work to gain some knowledge about the reality of the world, by means of which we can increase out power and in accordance with which we can arrange our life. If this belief is an illusion, then we are in the same position as you. But science has given us evidence by its numerous and important successes that it is no illusion.
The idea of men's receiving an intimation of their connection with the world around them through an immediate feeling which is from the outset directed to that purpose sounds so strange and fits in so badly with the fabric of our psychology that one is justified in attempting to discover a psycho-analytic -- that is, a genetic -- explanation of such a feeling.
There are no mistakes.
At first the analysing physician could do no more than discover the unconscious material that was concealed from the patient, put it together, and, at the right moment, communicate it to him. Psychoanalysis was then first and foremost an art of interpreting. Since this did not solve the therapeutic problem, a further aim quickly came in view: to oblige the patient to confirm the analyst's construction from his own memory.
But one thing about human beings puzzles me the most is their conscious effort to be connected with the object of their affection even if it kills them slowly within.
Intelligence will be used in the service of the neurosis.
Opposition is not necessarily enmity; it is merely misused and made an occasion for enmity.
What progress we are making. In the Middle Ages they would have burned me. Now they are content with burning my books.
We should make it a rule not to seek to impose hypnotic treatment on any patient. A prejudice is widespread among the public (actually supported by some eminent, but in this matter inexperienced, physicians) that hypnosis is a dangerous operation. If we sought to impose hypnosis on someone who believed this assertion, we should probably be interrupted, after no more than a few minutes, by disagreeable occurrences, which would arise from the patient's anxiety and his distressing feeling of garded as results of hypnosis.
The woman who refuses to see her sexual organs as mere wood chips, designed to make the man's life more comfortable, is in danger of becoming a lesbian -- an active, phallic woman, an intellectual virago with a fire of her own .... The lesbian body is a particularly pernicious and depraved version of the female body in general; it is susceptible to auto-eroticism, clitoral pleasure and self-actualization.
A father's death is the most important event, the more heartbreaking and poignant loss in a man's life.
The tendency to aggression is an innate, independent, instinctual disposition in man... it constitutes the powerful obstacle to culture.
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 ego is first and foremost a bodily ego; it is not merely a surface entity, but is itself the projection of a surface.
It is unreasonable to expect science to produce a system of ethics-ethics are a kind of highway code for traffic among mankind-and the fact that in physics atoms which were yesterday assumed to be square are now assumed to be round is exploited with unjustified tendentiousness by all who are hungry for faith; so long as physics extends our dominion over nature, these changes ought to be a matter of complete indifference to you.
My love is something valuable to me which I ought not to throw away without reflection.
Religious illusion must bow to scientific truth. It is in total error about the nature of the true world. Only science is not an illusion.
Neurosis is the result of a conflict between the ego and its id, whereas psychosis is the analogous outcome of a similar disturbance in the relation between the ego and the external world.
This transmissibility of taboo is a reflection of the tendency, on which we have already remarked, for the unconscious instinct in the neurosis to shift constantly along associative paths on to new objects.
A belligerent state permits itself every such misdeed, every such act of violence, as would disgrace the individual.
Smoking is indispensable if one has nothing to kiss.
The adoption of the required attitude of mind towards ideas that seem to emerge "of their own free will" and the abandonment of the critical function that is normally in operation against them seem to be hard of achievement for some people. The "involuntary thoughts" are liable to release a most violent resistance, which seeks to prevent their emergence. If we may trust that great poet and philosopher Friedrich Schiller, however, poetic creation must demand an exactly similar attitude.
I have an infamously low capacity for visualizing relationships, which made the study of geometry and all subjects derived from it impossible for me.
The Mosaic religion had been a Father religion; Christianity became a Son religion. The old God, the Father, took second place; Christ, the Son, stood in His stead, just as in those dark times every son had longed to do.
The poor ego has a still harder time of it; it has to serve three harsh masters, and it has to do its best to reconcile the claims and demands of all three...The three tyrants are the external world, the superego, and the id.
Whatever fosters the growth of civilization works at the same time against war.
Religion is an attempt to get control over the sensory world, in which we are placed, by means of the wish-world which we have developed inside us as a result of biological and psychological necessites.
The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind.
We may say that hysteria is a caricature of an artistic creation, a compulsion neurosis a caricature of a religion, and a paranoiac delusion a caricature of a philosophic system.
Look into the depths of your own soul and learn first to know yourself, then you will understand why this illness was bound to come upon you and perhaps you will thenceforth avoid falling ill.
The scope of one's personality is defined by the magnitude of that problem which is capable of driving a person out of his wits.
Love and work, work and love... that's all there is.
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.
The unconscious of one human being can react upon that of another without passing through the conscious.
Time spent with cats is never wasted.
I think that in general it is a good plan occasionally to bear in mind the fact that people were in the habit of dreaming before there was such a thing as psychoanalysis.
One... gets an impression that civilization is something which was imposed on a resisting majority by a minority which understood how to obtain possession of the means to power and coercion. It is, of course, natural to assume that these difficulties are not inherent in the nature of civilization itself but are determined by the imperfections of the cultural forms which have so far been developed.
The psychoanalysis of individual human beings, however, teaches us with quite special insistence that the god of each of them is formed in the likeness of his father, that his personal relation to God depends on his relation to his father in the flesh and oscillates and changes along with that relation, and that at bottom God is nothing other than an exalted father.
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.
The individual does actually carry on a double existence: one designed to serve his own purposes and another as a link in a chain, in which he serves against, or at any rate without, any volition of his own.
The ego represents what we call reason and sanity, in contrast to the id which contains the passions.
Here libido and ego-interest share the same fate and have once more become indistinguishable from each other. The familiar egoism of the sick person covers them both. We find it so natural because we are certain that in the same situation we should behave in just the same way. The way in which the readiness to love, however great, is banished by bodily ailments, and suddenly replaced by complete indifference, is a theme which has been sufficiently exploited by comic writers.
Neurotics complain of their illness, but they make the most of it, and when it comes to taking it away from them they will defend it like a lioness her young.
Here, indeed, we encounter a curious phenomenon: the relevant mental processes, when seen in the mass, are more familiar, more accessible to our consciousness than they can ever be in the individual. In the individual only the aggression of the super-ego makes itself clearly heard, when tension arises, in the form of reproaches, while the demands themselves often remain unconscious in the background. When brought fully into consciousness, they are seen to coincide with the precepts of the current cultural super-ego. At this point there seems to be a regular cohesion, as it were, between the cultural development of the mass and the personal development of the individual. Some manifestations and properties of the super-ego can thus be recognized more easily by its behaviour in the cultural community than by its behaviour in the individual.
So in every individual the two trends, one towards personal happiness and the other unity with the rest of humanity, must contend with each other.
The first human who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilization.
The liberty of the individual is no gift of civilization. It was greatest before there was any civilization.
These patients have turned away from outer reality; it is for this reason that they are more aware than we of inner reality and can reveal to us things which without them would remain impenetrable.
A man's heterosexuality will not put up with any homosexuality, and vice versa.
Once again, only religion can answer the question of the purpose of life. One can hardly be wrong in concluding that the idea of life having a purpose stands and falls with the religious system.
The conscious mind may be compared to a fountain playing in the sun and falling back into the great subterranean pool of subconscious from which it rises.
The interpretation of Dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind.
In every age immorality has found no less support in religion than morality has. If the achievements of religion in respect to man's happiness, susceptibility to culture and moral control are no better than this, the question cannot but arise whether we are not overrating its necessity for mankind, and whether we do wisely in basing our cultural demands upon it.
Religion restricts the play of choice and adaptation, since it imposes equally on everyone its own path to the acquisition of happiness and protection from suffering. Its technique consists in depressing the value of life and distorting the picture of the real world in a delusional manner -- which presupposes an intimidation of the intelligence. At this price, by forcibly fixing them in a state of psychical infantilism and by drawing them into a mass-delusion, religion succeeds in sparing many people an individual neurosis. But hardly anything more.
Human's intrinsic nature manifest in it's misunderstandings.
Dreams are the guardians of sleep and not its disturbers.
Least of all should the artist be held responsible for the fate which befalls his works.
In mourning it is the world which has become poor and empty; in melancholia it is the ego itself.
When someone abuses me I can defend myself, but against praise I am defenceless.
We all still show too little respect for nature, which in Leonardo's deep words recalling Hamlet's speech "is full of infinite reasons which never appeared in experience." Every one of us human beings corresponds to one of the infinite experiments in which these "reasons of nature" force themselves into experience.
We are so constituted that we can gain intense pleasure only from the contrast, and only very little from the condition itself.
The whole thing religion is so patently infantile, so foreign to reality, that to anyone with a friendly attitude to humanity it is painful to think that the great majority of mortals will never be able to rise above this view of life.
The essence of analysis is surprise. When people are themselves surprised by what they say, that's when they are really making some progress.
There is scarcely room for doubt that something in the psychological relation of a mother-in-law to a son-in-law breeds hostility between them and makes it hard for them to live together. But the fact that in civilized societies mothers-in-law are such a favourite subject for jokes seems to me to suggest that the emotional relation involved includes sharply contrasted components. I believe, that is, that this relation is in fact an 'ambivalent' one, composed of conflicting affectionate and hostile impulses.
The rest of our enquiry is made easy because this God-Creator is openly called Father. Psycho-analysis concludes that he really is the father, clothed in the grandeur in which he once appeared to the small child.
The psychical, whatever its nature may be, is itself unconscious.
All family life is organized around the most damaged person in it.
The dream acts as a safety-valve for the over-burdened brain.
All who seek to be nobler than their constitution permits succumb to neurosis; they would have been better in health if they had found it possible to be morally worse.
Crystals reveal their hidden structures only when broken.
Children are completely egoistic; they feel their needs intensely and strive ruthlessly to satisfy them.
No matter how much restriction civilization imposes on the individual, he nevertheless finds some way to circumvent it. Wit is the best safety valve modern man has evolved; the more civilization, the more repression, the more need there is for wit.
No matter how much restriction civilization imposes on the individual, he nevertheless finds some way to circumvent it. Wit is the best safety valve modern man has evolved; the more civilization, the more repression, the more need there is for wit.".
What a distressing contrast is between the radiant intelligence of the child and the feeble mentality of the average adult.
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.
No one who, like me, conjures up the most evil of those half-tamed demons that inhabit the human breast, and seeks to wrestle with them, can expect to come through the struggle unscathed.
Without love we fall ill.
A string of reproaches against other people leads one to suspect the existence of a string of self-reproaches with the same content.
The dream has a very striking way of dealing with the category of opposites and contradictions. This is simply disregarded. To the dream 'No' does not seem to exist. In particular, it prefers to draw opposites together into a unity or to represent them as one. Indeed, it also takes the liberty of representing some random element by its wished-for opposite, so that at first one cannot tell which of the possible poles is meant positively or negatively in the dream-thoughts.
The paranoid is never entirely mistaken.
America is the most grandiose experiment the world has seen, but, I am afraid, it is not going to be a success.
Perhaps the gods are kind to us, by making life more disagreeable as we grow older. In the end death seems less intolerable than the manifold burdens we carry.
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?"
Intolerance of groups is often, strangely enough, exhibited more strongly against small differences than against fundamental ones.
The delusions of paranoiacs have an unpalatable external similarity and internal kinship to the systems of our philosophers.
Life is impoverished, it loses in interest, when the highest stake in the game of living, life itself, may not be risked. It becomes as shallow and empty as, let us say, an American flirtation.
Only a good-for-nothing is not interested in his past.
As everyone knows, the ancients before Aristotle did not consider the dream a product of the dreaming mind, but a divine inspiration, and in ancient times the two antagonistic streams, which one finds throughout in the estimates of dream life, were already noticeable. They distinguished between true and valuable dreams, sent to the dreamer to warn him or to foretell the future, and vain, fraudulent, and empty dreams, the object of which was to misguide or lead him to destruction.
In his fight against the powers of the surrounding world his first weapon was magic, the first forerunner of our modern technology. We suppose that this confidence in magic is derived from the over-estimation of the individual's own intellectual operations, from the belief in the ‘omnipotence of thoughts', which, incidentally, we come across again in our obsessional neurotics.
The freeing of an individual, as he grows up, from the authority of his parents is one of the most necessary though one of the most painful results brought about by the course of his development. It is quite essential that that liberation should occur and it may be presumed that it has been to some extent achieved by everyone who has reached a normal state. Indeed, the whole progress of society rests upon the opposition between successive generations. On the other hand, there is a class of neurotics whose condition is recognizably determined by their having failed in this task.
Not all men are worthy of love.
My boy! Smoking is one of the greatest and cheapest enjoyments in life, and if you decide in advance not to smoke, i can only feel sorry for you.
The dream unites the grossest contradictions, permits impossibilities, sets aside the knowledge that influences us by day, and exposes us as ethically and morally obtuse.
The news that reaches your consciousness is incomplete and often not to be relied on.... Turn your eyes inward, look into your own depths, learn first to know yourself!
It must be pointed out, however, that strictly speaking it is incorrect to talk of the dominance of the pleasure principle over the course of mental processes. If such a dominance existed, the immense majority of our mental processes would have to be accompanied by pleasure or to lead to pleasure, whereas universal experience completely contradicts any such conclusion.
The defense against childish helplessness is what lends its characteristic features to the adult's reaction to the helplessness which he has to acknowledge -- a reaction which is precisely the formation of religion.
A man who has been the indisputable favorite of his mother keeps for life the feeling of a conqueror.
Indeed, the great Leonardo (da Vinci) remained like a child for the whole of his life in more than one way. It is said that all great men are bound to retain some infantile part. Even as an adult he continued to play, and this was another reason why he often appeared uncanny and incomprehensible to his contemporaries.
The fateful question for the human species seems to me to be whether and to what extent their cultural development will succeed in mastering the disturbance of their communal life by the human instinct of aggression and self-destruction ... One thing only do I know for certain and that is that man's judgements of value follow directly from his wihes for happiness-that, accordingly, they are an attempt to support his illusions with arguments.
The motive forces of phantasies are unsatisfied wishes, and every single phantasy is the fulfillment of a wish, a correction of unsatisfying reality.
It is that we are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love, never so helplessly unhappy as when we have lost our loved object or its love.
In almost every place where we find totems we also find a law against persons of the same totem having sexual relations with one another and consequently against their marrying. This, then, is 'exogamy', an institution related to totemism.
We should picture the instrument that carries our mental functioning as resembling a compound microscope or photographic apparatus.
A state of consciousness is characteristically very transitory; an idea that is conscious now is no longer so a moment later, although it can become so again under certain conditions that are easily brought about.
The only person with whom you have to compare ourselves, is that you in the past. And the only per-son better you should be, this is who you are now.
Where questions of religion are concerned, people are guilty of every possible sort of dishonesty and intellectual misdemeanor.
One might compare the relation of the ego to the id with that between a rider and his horse. The horse provides the locomotor energy, and the rider has the prerogative of determining the goal and of guiding the movements of his powerful mount towards it. But all too often in the relations between the ego and the id we find a picture of the less ideal situation in which the rider is obliged to guide his horse in the direction in which it itself wants to go.
In human beings pure masculinity or femininity is not to be found either in a psychological or biological sense.
We may insist as often as we like that man's intellect is powerless in comparison to his instinctual life, and we may be right in this. Nevertheless, there is something peculiar about this weakness. The voice of the intellect is a soft one, but it will not rest until it has gained a hearing. Finally, after a countless succession of rebuffs, it succeeds.
Demons do not exist any more than gods do, being only the products of the psychic activity of man.
I like to avoid concessions to faint-heartedness. One can never tell where that road may lead one; one gives way first in words, and then little by little in substance too.
Trying to be completely sincere with yourself is a good exercise.
Like the physical, the psychical is not necessarily in reality what it appears to us to be.
I cannot imagine life without work as really comfortable.
Everywhere I go I find that a poet has been there before me.
No one who shares a delusion ever recognizes it as such.
Analogies, it is true, decide nothing, but they can make one feel more at home.
Words and magic were in the beginning one and the same thing, and even today words retain much of their magical power.
Talk therapy turns hysterical misery to mundane unhappiness.
Every one has wishes which he would not like to tell to others, which he does not want to admit even to himself.
Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.
We cannot fail to recognise the influence which the progressive control over natural forces exerts on the social relationships between men, since men always place their newly won powers at the service of their aggressiveness, and use them against one another.
When a love-relationship is at its height there is no room left for any interest in the environment; a pair of lovers are sufficient to themselves.
Might we not say that every child at play behaves like a creative writer, in that he creates a world of his own, or, rather, rearranges the things of his world in a new way which pleases him?
The madman is a dreamer awake.
One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.
Our fascination with gold is related to the fantasies of early childhood.
We are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love, never so forlornly unhappy as when we have lost our love object or its love.
The child is brought up to know its social duties by means of a system of love-rewards and punishments, and in this way it is taught that its security in life depends on its parents (and, subsequently, other people) loving it and being able to believe in its love for them.
We are what we are because we have been what we have been.
The first requisite of civilization is that of justice.
Maturity is the ability to postpone gratification.
The more perfect a person is on the outside, the more demons they have on the inside.
The sexual life of adult women is a "dark continent" for psychology.
Life, as we find it, is too hard for us; it brings us too many pains, disappointments and impossible tasks. In order to bear it we cannot dispense with palliative measures... There are perhaps three such measures: powerful deflections, which cause us to make light of our misery; substitutive satisfactions, which diminish it; and intoxicating substances, which make us insensible to it.
The behavior of a human being in sexual matters is often a prototype for the whole of his other modes of reaction in life.
Psycho-analysis has taught us that a boy's earliest choice of objects for his love is incestuous and that those objects are forbidden ones -- his mother and his sister. We have learnt, too, the manner in which, as he grows up, he liberates himself from this incestuous attraction. A neurotic, on the other hand, invariably exhibits some degree of psychical infantilism. He has either failed to get free from the psychosexual conditions that prevailed in his childhood or he has returned to them -- two possibilities which may be summed up as developmental inhibition and regression.
Men have gained control over the forces of nature to such an extent that with their help they would have no difficulty exterminating one another to the last man. They know this, and hence comes a large part of their current unrest, their unhappiness and their mood of anxiety.
Do you not know how uncontrolled and unreliable the average human being is in all that concerns sexual life?
I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection.
I should like to raise the question whether the inevitable stunting of the sense of smell as a result of man's turning away from the earth, and the organic repression of the smell-pleasure produced by it, does not largely share in his predisposition to nervous diseases.
The analytic psychotherapist thus has a threefold battle to wage -- in his own mind against the forces which seek to drag him down from the analytic level; outside the analysis, against opponents who dispute the importance he attaches to the sexual instinctual forces and hinder him from making use of them in his scientific technique; and inside the analysis, against his patients, who at first behave like opponents but later on reveal the overvaluation of sexual life which dominates them, and who try to make him captive to their socially untamed passion.
Only a rebuke that 'has something in it' will sting, will have the power to stir our feelings, not the other sort, as we know.
Analysis does not set out to make pathological reactions impossible, but to give the patient's ego freedom to decide one way or another.
The most ancient and important taboo prohibitions are the two basic laws of totemism: not to kill the totem animal and to avoid sexual intercourse with members of the totem clan of the opposite sex.
I consider it a good rule for letter-writing to leave unmentioned what the recipient already knows, and instead tell him something new.
There is no doubt that the resistance of the conscious and unconscious ego operates under the sway of the pleasure principle: it seeks to avoid the unpleasure which would be produced by the liberation of the repressed.
The more the fruits of knowledge become accessible to men, the more widespread is the decline of religious belief.
Pathology has made us acquainted with a great number of states in which the boundary lines between the ego and the external world become uncertain or in which they are actually drawn incorrectly. There are cases in which parts of a person's own body, even portions of his own mental life -- his perceptions, thoughts and feelings -, appear alien to him and as not belonging to his ego; there are other cases in which he ascribes to the external world things that clearly originate in his own ego and that ought to be acknowledged by it.
Civilization runs a greater risk if we maintain our present attitude to religion than if we give it up.
An unrestricted satisfaction of every need presents itself as the most enticing method of conducting one's life, but it means putting enjoyment before caution, and soon brings its own punishment.
My psychoanalysis has equipped you with the equivalent of a train ticket to recovery. It is now your decision whether or not you choose to make full use of it.
Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people, who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate in their object-relations.
Psychiatry is the art of teaching people how to stand on their own feet while reclining on couches.
Whoever loves becomes humble. Those who love have , so to speak , pawned a part of their narcissism.
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.
Experience teaches that for most people there is a limit beyond which their constitution cannot comply with the demands of civilization. All who wish to reach a higher standard than their constitution will allow, fall victims to neurosis. It would have been better for them if they could have remained less "perfect."
The view is often defended that sciences should be built up on clear and sharply defined basal concepts. In actual fact no science, not even the most exact, begins with such definitions. The true beginning of scientific activity consists rather in describing phenomena and then in proceeding to group, classify and correlate them.
A religion, even if it calls itself a religion of love, must be hard and unloving to those who do not belong to it.
The different religions have never overlooked the part played by the sense of guilt in civilization. What is more, they come forward with a claim...to save mankind from this sense of guilt, which they call sin.
America is a mistake, a giant mistake.
America is a mistake, admittedly a gigantic mistake, but a mistake nevertheless.
The ego refuses to be distressed by the provocations of reality, to let itself be compelled to suffer. It insists that it cannot be affected by the traumas of the external world; it shows, in fact, that such traumas are no more than occasions for it to gain pleasure.
Conservatism, however, is too often a welcome excuse for lazy minds, loath to adapt themselves to fast changing conditions.
When the wayfarer whistles in the dark, he may be disavowing his timidity, but he does not see any the more clearly for doing so.
Anyone who sets about hypnotizing half sceptically, who may perhaps seem comical to himself in this situation, and who reveals by his expression, his voice and his bearing that he expects nothing from the experiment, will have no reason to be surprised at his failures, and should rather leave this method of treatment to other physicians who are able to practise it without feeling damaged in their medical dignity, since they have convinced themselves, by experience and reading, of the reality and importance of hypnotic influence.
Thinking is an experimental dealing with small quantities of energy, just as a general moves miniature figures over a map before setting his troops in action.
Now it is nothing but torture.
Dreams are often most profound when they seem the most crazy.
Civilized society is perpetually menaced with disintegration through this primary hostility of men towards one another.
It might be said of psychoanalysis that if you give it your little finger it will soon have your whole hand.
A hero is a man who stands up manfully against his father and in the end victoriously overcomes him.
Men are strong so long as they represent a strong idea they become powerless when they oppose it.
I've been a fortunate man in life. Nothing has come easily.
Sadism is all right in its place, but it should be directed to proper ends.
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.
It is not so much that man is a herd animal, but that he is a horde animal led by a chief.
I suppose that romantic love was invented as a brilliant means of seduction.
When inspiration does not come to me, I go halfway to meet it.
We possess no criterion which enables us to distinguish exactly between a psychical process and a physiological one, between an act occurring in the cerebral cortex and one occurring in the sub-cortical substance; for 'consciousness', whatever that may be, is not attached to every activity of the cerebral cortex, nor is it always attached in an equal degree to any particular one of its activities; it is not a thing which is bound up with any locality in the nervous system.