Sigmund Freud Quotations

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

-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 a mistake, a giant mistake.

-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.

-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 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.

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

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

-We are never so defenseless 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.
Sigmund Freud