Sigmund Freud Quotes (143 Quotes)


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

    The history of the world which is still taught to our children is essentially a series of race murders


    Everywhere I go I find a poet has been there before me.

    By abolishing private property one takes away the human love of aggression.


    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 first man to use abusive language instead of his fists was the founder of civilization.

    The psychical, whatever its nature may be, is itself unconscious.

    A civilization which leaves so large a number of its participants unsatisfied and drives them into revolt neither has nor deserves the prospect of a lasting existence.

    Our knowledge of the historical worth of certain religious doctrines increases our respect for them, but does not invalidate our proposal that they should cease to be put forward as the reasons for the precepts of civilization. On the contrary Those historical residues have helped us to view religious teachings, as it were, as neurotic relics, and we may now argue that the time has probably come, as it does in an analytic treatment, for replacing the effects of repression by the results of the rational operation of the intellect.

    Yes, America is gigantic, but a gigantic mistake.

    The mind is an iceberg it floats with only one-seventh of its bulk above water.

    Sadism is all right in its place, but it should be directed to proper ends.

    The voice of the intellect is a soft one, but it does not rest until it has gained a hearing.

    The first requisite of civilization is that of justice.

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

    The great majority of people have a strong need for authority which they can admire, to which they can submit, and which dominates and sometimes even ill-treats them.

    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 only bodily organ which is really regarded as inferior is the atrophied penis, a girl's clitoris.

    The most complicated achievements of thought are possible without the assistance of consciousness.

    It would be one of the greatest triumphs of humanity, one of the most tangible liberations from the constraints of nature to which mankind is subject, if we could succeed in raising the responsible act of procreating children to the level of a deliberate and intentional activity and in freeing it from its entanglement with the necessary satisfaction of a natural need.

    Neurosis is the inability to tolerate ambiguity.

    And in the development of mankind as a whole, just as in individuals, love alone acts as a civilizing factor in the sense that it brings a change from egoism to altruism.

    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.

    Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise.

    I have no concern with any economic criticisms of the communist system I cannot inquire into whether the abolition of private property is expedient or advantageous. But I am able to recognize that the psychological premisses on which the system is based are an untenable illusion. In abolishing private property we deprive the human love of aggression of one of its instruments... but we have in no way altered the differences in power and influence which are misused by aggressiveness.

    I have yet not been able to answer the great question that has never been answered. 'What does a woman want.

    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.

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

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

    The expectation that every neurotic phenomenon can be cured may, I suspect, be derived from the layman's belief that the neuroses are something quite unnecessary which have no right whatever to exist. Whereas in fact they are severe, constitutionally fixed illnesses, which rarely restrict themselves to only a few attacks but persist as a rule over long periods throughout life.

    Everywhere I go I find that a poet has been there before me.


    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.

    A man who has been the indisputable favorite of his mother keeps for life the feeling of a conqueror.


    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 are never so defensless against suffering as when we love.

    This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever

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

    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 measuresThere are three such measures powerful deflections, which cause us to make light of our misery substitute satisfactions, which diminish it and intoxicating substances which make us insensitive to it.

    Those who love fairy-tales do not like it when people speak of the innate tendencies in mankind toward aggression, destruction, and, in addition, cruelty. God has made them in his own image, with his own perfections no one wants to be reminded how hard it is to reconcile the undeniable existence-in spite of all the protestations of Christian Science-of evil with His omnipotence and supreme goodness.

    When a man has once brought himself to accept uncritically all the absurdities that religious doctrines put before him and even to overlook the contradictions between them, we need not be greatly suprised at the weakness of his intellect.

    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?"

    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.

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

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

    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.''

    Psychoanalysis is for hysterical pathological cases, not for silly rich American women who should be learning how to darn socks



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    Related Authors


    Sigmund Freud - Abraham Maslow - Wayne Dyer - Virginia Satir - Philip Zimbardo - M. Scott Peck - Karl Jaspers - Emile Coue - B. F. Skinner - Daniel Goleman


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