140+ Sigmund Freud Quotes On Dreams, Love, And Life

In this article, you will learn:

  1. Sigmund Freud and Hypnosis
  2. Freud and Psychoanalysis
  3. Sigmund Freud Quotes About Dreams
  4. Sigmund Freud Religion Quotes
  5. Freud Quotes On Love
  6. Freud Sayings
  7. Sigmund Freud Quotes About Self
  8. Freud Love and Work Quotes
  9. Freud Oceanic Feeling Quotes
  10. Sigmund Freud Quotes About Sexuality
  11. Sigmund Freud Quotes About Life
  12. Sigmund Freud Quotes About Psychoanalysis
  13. Freud Unconscious Quotes
  14. Freud Psychology Quotes
  15. Sigmund Freud Quotes About Personality
  16. Freud Happiness Quotes
  17. Sigmund Freud Quotes About Women
  18. Freud Unexpressed Emotions Quotes

Sigmund Freud was the popular and most influential Austrian neurologist and the one who founded psychoanalysis. Although he was at first extremely convinced with hypnosis as an instrument for treating neurotics. However, he soon discovered the drawbacks of hypnotic suggestions in treating patients and developed the technique of psychoanalysis that did not involve hypnosis. As per one of the Sigmund Freud quotes, Freud defines psychoanalysis as follows:

‘In psychoanalytic treatment, nothing happens but an exchange of words between the patient and the physician.

Sigmund Freud and Hypnosis

Sigmund Freud was born in a Jewish family at Freiberg Moravia but moved to Vienna at the age of four, where he stayed until 1938. Freud was influenced by the theories of Darwin and decided to become a medical student when he heard Goethe’s essay that was read aloud to him before he left school.

In 1973, Freud joined the University of Vienna, where he enjoyed Ernst Brucke’s physiological laboratory. This is where he started studying clinical neurology. He even studied the physical action of cocaine and proposed how cocaine could be a valuable local anesthetic in eye operations.

In 1886, Freud was in a situation where the only thing he could engage himself in was to make a living. This is when he understood that he would have to extend some worthwhile help to his nervous clients to make money. Since he was persuaded by the reality of hypnosis, he used it for some time to treat his patients.

However, he later realized the shortcomings of hypnosis as a treatment for neurosis. This is the time when he got highly convinced by the fact that there existed powerful mental processes that are kept secret from the human consciousness.

However, between 1886 – 1891 he was involved with developing his practice and didn’t publish much.

Freud and Psychoanalysis

From 1886 – 1891, Freud gained a lot of experience which made him come up with a new technique for treating neurotic patients and leave hypnosis completely. This change in technique was in part the outcome of his questioning his patients under hypnosis in respect of the source of their neurotic symptoms.

When his patients were awake, they could hardly tell him about the origin of such symptoms. However, the primary reason that made him shift from hypnosis to psychoanalysis was a case that his friend Josef Breuer told to Freud before Freud left for Paris.

Josef Breuer’s Experiment and Freud’s Understanding of the Unconscious

This case was associated with a young girl whom Breuer had treated between 1880 and 1882. The girl showcased hysterical paralysis, together with mental confusion and inhibitions. His friend understood that the girl could be relieved of her state of mental confusion if she was somehow encouraged to put into words the fantasy that she was ruled by at that time.

However, Breuer used to put her into a state of trance and ask her to tell him exactly the thing that troubled her mind. This way, Breuer removed the devastating confusion and then used the same technique on the physical symptoms. But, the young girl, when awake, could not identify any link between the things she revealed in her hypnotic state and the experience of her life.

All the symptoms she experienced came out to be associated with the emotional events that took place while she was taking care of her sick fathers. During that time, there was some emotional thought or impulse that she had to suppress. And this suppressed feeling was replaced by the neurotic symptom.

This way Freud understood that these conditions of hysteria were present in every patient. Thus, Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis did not reveal the nature but the source of the symptoms of Hysteria. It emphasized on the importance of emotions and differentiated between mental actions that are unconscious and the ones that are conscious.

Further, he came up with the concept of id, ego, and superego.

Here are some of the best Sigmund Freud Quotes taken from his works on love, conscious and the unconscious, dreams, and religion.

Sigmund Freud Quotes About Dreams

  1. The virtuous man contents himself with dreaming that which the wicked man does in actual life.
  2. An intimate friend and a hated enemy have always been indispensable requirements for my emotional life; I have always been able to create them anew, and not infrequently my childish ideal has been so closely approached that friend and enemy coincided in the same person.
  3. Dreams are the royal road to the unconscious.
  4. Human life should not be considered as the proper material for wild experiments.
  5. Properly speaking, the unconscious is the real psychic; its inner nature is just as unknown to us as the reality of the external world, and it is just as imperfectly reported to us through the data of consciousness as is the external world through the indications of our sensory organs.
  6. 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 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. A large number of observers acknowledge that dream life is capable of extraordinary achievements—at any rate, in certain fields (“Memory”).
  10. The dream is the liberation of the spirit from the pressure of external nature, a detachment of the soul from the fetters of matter.
  11. I had thought about cocaine in a kind of daydream.
  12. Every dream will reveal itself as a psychological structure, full of significance.
  13. Conservatism, however, is too often a welcome excuse for lazy minds, loath to adapt themselves to fast-changing conditions.
  14. And it is only after seeing man as his unconscious, revealed by his dreams, presents him to us that we shall understand him fully. As Freud said to Putnam: “We are what we are because we have been what we have been.
  15. What is common in all these dreams is obvious. They completely satisfy wishes excited during the day which remain unrealized. They are simply and undisguised realizations of wishes.
  16. But since the downfall of the mythological hypothesis, an interpretation of the dream has been wanting. The conditions of its origin; its relationship to our psychical life when we are awake; its independence of disturbances which, during the state of sleep, seem to compel notice; its many peculiarities repugnant to our waking thought; the incongruence between its images and the feelings they engender; then the dream’s evanescence, the way in which, on awakening, our thoughts thrust it aside as something bizarre, and our reminiscences mutilating or rejecting it—all these and many other problems have for many hundred years demanded answers which up till now could never have been satisfactory. Before all, there is the question as to the meaning of the dream, a question which is in itself double-sided. There is, firstly, the physical significance of the dream, its position with regard to the physical processes, as to a possible biological function; secondly, does the dream have a meaning—can sense be made of every single dream as of other mental syntheses?
  17. Dream’s evanescence, the way in which, on awakening, our thoughts thrust it aside as something bizarre, and our reminiscences mutilate or reject it—all these and many other problems have for many hundred years demanded answers which up till now could never have been satisfactory.
  18. In what we may term “prescientific days” people were in no uncertainty about the interpretation of dreams. When they were recalled after awakening they were regarded as either the friendly or hostile manifestation of some higher powers, demoniacal and Divine. With the rise of scientific thought the whole of this expressive mythology was transferred to psychology; today there is but a small minority among educated persons who doubt that the dream is the dreamer’s own psychical act.
  19. The sheer size too, the excessive abundance, scale, and exaggeration of dreams could be an infantile characteristic. The most ardent wish of children is to grow up and get as big a share of everything as the grown-ups; they are hard to satisfy; do not know the meaning of ‘enough.
  20. The medical profession is justly conservative. Human life should not be considered as the proper material for wild experiments.
  21. 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.
  22. Three tendencies can be observed in the estimation of dreams. Many philosophers have given currency to one of these tendencies, one which at the same time preserves something of the dream’s former over-valuation. The foundation of dream life is for them a peculiar state of psychical activity, which they even celebrate as elevation to some higher state. Schubert, for instance, claims: “The dream is the liberation of the spirit from the pressure of external nature, a detachment of the soul from the fetters of matter.” Not all go so far as this, but many maintain that dreams have their origin in real spiritual excitations, and are the outward manifestations of spiritual powers whose free movements have been hampered during the day (“Dream Phantasies,” Scherner, Volkelt). A large number of observers acknowledge that dream life is capable of extraordinary achievements—at any rate, in certain fields (“Memory”).

Sigmund Freud Religion Quotes

  1. Religion is comparable to a childhood neurosis.
  2. It strikes us as an initial attempt at religious consolation, as another way of denying the danger that the ego perceives as a threat from the outside world.
  3. Religion restricts this 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 work in a delusional manner – which presupposes an intimidation of 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 sparring many people with individual neurosis. But hardly anything more. There are, as we have said, many paths which may lead to such happiness as is attainable by men, but there is none that does so for certain.
  4. Man has, as it were, become a kind of prosthetic God.
  5. In my Future of an Illusion I was concerned with what the ordinary man understands by his religion, that system of doctrines and pledges that on the one hand explains the riddle of this world to him with enviable completeness, and on the other assures him that a solicitous Providence is watching over him and will make up to him in a future existence for any shortcomings in this life. The ordinary man cannot imagine this Providence in any other form but that of a greatly exalted father, for only such a one could understand the needs of the sons of men, or be softened by their prayers and placated by the signs of their remorse. The whole thing is so patently infantile, so incongruous with reality, that to one whose attitude to humanity is friendly it is painful to think that the great majority of mortals will never be able to rise about this view of life.
  6. To me the derivation of religious needs from the helplessness of the child and a longing for its father seems irrefutable.
  7. The religions of mankind too must be described as examples of mass delusion.

Freud Quotes On Love

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. My love is something valuable to me which I ought not to throw away without reflection.
  4. The commandment, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself is the strongest defense against human aggressiveness and an excellent example of the psychological [expectations] of the cultural super-ego. The commandment is impossible to fulfill; such enormous inflation of love can only lower its value, not get rid of the difficulty. Civilization pays no attention to all this; it merely admonishes us that the harder it is to obey the precept the more meritorious it is to do so. But anyone who follows such a precept in present-day civilization only puts himself at a disadvantage vis-a-vis the person who disregards it. What a potent obstacle to civilization aggressiveness must be if the defense against it can cause as much unhappiness as aggressiveness itself! ‘Natural’ ethics, as it is called, has nothing to offer here except the narcissistic satisfaction of being able to think oneself better than others. At this point, the ethics based on religion introduces its promises of a better after-life. But so long as virtue is not rewarded here on earth, ethics will, I fancy, preach in vain. I too think it quite certain that a real change in the relations of human beings to possessions would be of more help in this direction than any ethical commands; but the recognition of this fact among socialists has been obscured and made useless for practical purposes by a fresh idealistic misconception of human nature.
  5. Towards the outside, at any rate, the ego seems to maintain clear and sharp lines of demarcation. There is only one state – admittedly an unusual state, but not one that can be stigmatized as pathological – in which it does not do this. At the height of being in love, the boundary between ego and object threatens to melt away. Against all the evidence of his senses, a man who is in love declares that ‘I’ and ‘you’ are one, and is prepared to behave as if it were a fact.
  6. 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.
  7. It is always possible to bind together a considerable number of people in love, so long as there are other people left over to receive the manifestations of their aggressiveness.
  8. We are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love.
  9. A small minority are enabled by their constitution to find happiness, in spite of everything, along the path of love. But far-reaching mental changes in the function of love are necessary before this can happen. These people make themselves independent of their object’s acquiescence by displacing what they mainly value from being loved on to loving; they protect themselves against the loss of the object by directing their love, not to single objects but to all men alike; and they avoid the uncertainties and disappointments of genital love by turning away from its sexual aims and transforming the instinct into an impulse with an inhibited aim. What they bring about in themselves in this way is a state of evenly suspended, steadfast, affectionate feeling, which has little external resemblance anymore to the stormy agitations of genital love, from which it is nevertheless derived. Perhaps St. Francis of Assisi went furthest in exploiting love for the benefit of an inner feeling of happiness.

Freud Sayings

  1. Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts.
  2. For I am actually not at all a man of science, not an observer, nor an experimenter, not a thinker. I am by temperament nothing but a conquistador—an adventurer… with all the curiosity, daring, and tenacity characteristic of a man of this sort.

Sigmund Freud Quotes About Self

  1. It is impossible to overlook the extent to which civilization is built up upon a renunciation of instinct.
  2. Humanity, in the course of time, had to endure from the hands of science two great outrages against its naive self-love. The first was when humanity discovered that our earth was not the center of the universe. The second occurred when biological research robbed a man of his apparent superiority under special creation and rebuked him with his descent from the animal kingdom, and his ineradicable animal nature.
  3. One thing only I know for certain and that is that man’s judgments of value follow directly his wishes for happiness – that, accordingly, they are an attempt to support his illusions with arguments.
  4. I no longer count as one of my merits that I always tell the truth as much as possible; it has become my metier.
  5. In the course of centuries, the naïve self-love of men has had to submit to two major blows at the hands of science. The first was when they learned that our earth was not the center of the universe but only a tiny fragment of a cosmic system of scarcely imaginable vastness… the second blow fell when biological research destroyed man’s supposedly privileged place in creation and proved his descent from the animal kingdom and his ineradicable animal nature… But human megalomania will have suffered its third and most wounding blow from the psychological research of the present time which seeks to prove to the ego that it is not even master in its own house but must content itself with scanty information of what is going on unconsciously in its mind.
  6. Men have brought their powers of subduing the forces of nature to such a pitch that by using them they could now very easily exterminate one another to the last man.
  7. When someone abuses me I can defend myself, but against praise I am defenseless.
  8. 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.
  9. We are so constituted that we can gain intense pleasure only from the contrast, and only very little from the condition itself.

Freud Love and Work Quotes

  1. I cannot face with comfort the idea of life without work; work and the free play of the imagination are for me the same thing, I take no pleasure in anything else.
  2. 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 number 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. Professional activity is a source of special satisfaction if it is a freely chosen one — if, that is to say, by means of sublimation, it makes possible the use of existing inclinations, of persisting or constitutionally reinforced instinctual impulses. And yet, as a path to happiness, work is not highly prized by men. They do not strive after it as they do after other possibilities of satisfaction. The great majority of people only work under the stress of necessity, and this natural human aversion to work raises most difficult social problems.

Freud Oceanic Feeling Quotes

  1. I can imagine that the oceanic feeling could become connected with religion later on. That feeling of oneness with the universe which is its ideational content sounds very like a first attempt at the consolations of religion, like another way taken by the ego of denying the dangers it sees threatening it in the external world.

Sigmund Freud Quotes About Sexuality

  1. Sexuality is the key to the problem of the psychoneuroses and of the neuroses in general. No one who disdains the key will ever be able to unlock the door.
  2. Smoking is indispensable if one has nothing to kiss.
  3. The excremental is all too intimately and inseparably bound up with the sexual; the position of the genitals—inter urinas et faeces—remains the decisive and unchangeable factor. One might say here, varying a well-known saying of the great Napoleon: ‘Anatomy is destiny.
  4. We know less about the sexual life of little girls than of boys. But we need not feel ashamed of this distinction; after all, the sexual life of adult women is a ‘dark continent’ for psychology.
  5. Man’s discovery that sexual (genital) love afforded him the strongest experiences of satisfaction, and in fact provided him with the prototype of all happiness, must have suggested to him that he should continue to seek the satisfaction of happiness in his life along the path of sexual relations and that he should make general eroticism the central point of his life.’
  6. 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.
  7. In matters of sexuality, we are at present, every one of us, ill or well, nothing but hypocrites.
  8. The symptoms of neurosis, as we have learned, essentially substitute gratifications for unfulfilled sexual wishes.
  9. We may lay it down that a happy person never fantasizes, only an unsatisfied one… The motive forces of phantasies are unsatisfied wishes, and every single phantasy is the fulfillment of a wish, a correction of unsatisfying reality. These motivating wishes vary according to the sex, character, and circumstances of the person who is having the phantasy; but they fall naturally into two main groups. They are either ambitious wishes, which serve to elevate the subject’s personality; or they are erotic ones. It was shocking when Nietzsche said this, but today it is commonplace; our historical position—and no end to it is insight—is that of having to philosophize without ‘foundations’.
  10. The demand for a uniform sexual life for all disregards all the disparities, innate and acquired, in the sexual constitution of human beings.
  11. It is worth remarking that the genitals themselves, the sight of which is always exciting, are nevertheless hardly ever judged to be beautiful; the quality of beauty seems, instead, to attach to certain secondary sexual characters.’
  12. [Civilization’s] first, totemic phase already brings with it the prohibition against an incestuous choice of object, and this is perhaps the most drastic mutilation which man’s erotic life has in all-time experienced.’
  13. As regards the sexually mature individual, the choice of an object is restricted to the opposite sex, and most extra-genital satisfactions are forbidden as perversions. The requirement, demonstrated in these prohibitions, that there be a single kind of sexual life for everyone, disregards the dissimilarities, whether innate or acquired, in the sexual constitution of human beings; it cuts off a fair number of them from sexual enjoyment, and so becomes the source of serious injustice.
  14. Present-day civilization makes it plain that it will only permit sexual relationships on the basis of a solitary, indissoluble bond between one man and one woman, and that it does not like sexuality as a source of pleasure in its own right ad is only prepared to tolerate it because there is so far no substitute for it as a means of propagating the human race.

Sigmund Freud Quotes About Life

  1. It is only by the influence of individuals who can set an example, whom the masses recognize as their leaders, that they can be induced to submit to the labors and renunciations on which the existence of culture depends.
  2. They seem to have observed that this newly-won power over space and time, this subjugation of the forces of nature, which is the fulfillment of a longing that goes back thousands of years, has not increased the amount of pleasurable satisfaction which they may expect from life and has not made them feel happier. Does it mean nothing that medicine has succeeded in enormously reducing infant mortality and the danger of infection for women in childbirth, and, indeed, in considerably lengthening the average of a civilized man? And there is a long list that might be added to benefits of this kind which we owe to the much-despised era of scientific and technical advances. But here the voice of pessimistic criticism makes itself heard and warns us finally, what good is a long life if it is difficult and barren of joys, and if it is so full of misery that we can only welcome death as a deliverer?
  3. The question of the purpose of life … has not yet received a satisfactory answer and perhaps does not admit of one.
  4. One of the main endeavors of civilization is to bring people together into large unities.
  5. If we assume quite generally that the motive force of all human activities is a striving towards the two confluent goals of unity and a yield of pleasure, we must suppose that this is also true of the manifestations of civilization which we have been discussing here, although this is easily visible only in scientific and aesthetic activities. But it cannot be doubted that the other activities, too, correspond to strong needs in men – perhaps to needs which are only developed in a minority.
  6. There is no golden rule which applies to everyone: every man must find out for himself in what particular fashion he can be saved.
  7. Detaching himself from his family becomes a task that every young person faces, and society often helps him in the solution of it by means of puberty and initiation rites.
  8. The man who is predominantly erotic will give first preference to his emotional relationships to other people; the narcissistic man, who inclines to be self-sufficient, will seek his manifestations in his internal mental processes; the man of action will never give up the external world on which he can try out his strength.
  9. It was the movement of the air that provided the image of spirituality since the spirit borrows its name from the breath of wind.
  10. Sublimation of an instinct is an especially conspicuous feature of cultural development; it is what makes it possible for higher psychical activities, scientific, artistic, or ideological, to play such an important part in civilized life.
  11. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
  12. 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’.’
  13. What we call our civilization is largely responsible for our misery, and that we would be much happier if we gave it up and returned to primitive conditions. I call this contention astonishing because, in whatever way we may define the concept of civilization, it is a certain fact that all the things with which we seek to protect ourselves against the threats that emanate from the sources of suffering are part of that very civilization.
  14. The first requisite of civilization is that of justice.
  15. The liberty of the individual is no gift of civilization. It was greatest before there was any civilization, though then, it is true, it had, for the most part, no value, since the individual was scarcely in a position to defend it.
  16. The element of truth behind all this, which people are so ready to disavow, is that men are not gentle creatures who want to be loved, and who at the most can defend themselves if they are attacked; they are, on the contrary, creatures among whose instinctual endowments is to be reckoned a powerful share of aggressiveness.
  17. The meaning of the evolution of culture is no longer a riddle to us. It must present to us the struggle between Eros and Death, between the instincts of life and the instincts of destruction, as it works itself out in the human species.
  18. 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.
  19. Unbridled gratification of all desires forces itself into the foreground as the most alluring guiding principle in life, but it entails preferring enjoyment to caution and penalizes itself after short indulgence.
  20. Wit is the best safety valve modern man has evolved; the more civilization, the more repression, the more the need there is for wit.
  21. Poets are masters of us ordinary men, in the knowledge of the mind, because they drink at streams which we have not yet made accessible to science.
  22. Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.
  23. 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.
  24. It is impossible to escape the impression that people commonly use false standards of measurement – that they seek power, success, and wealth for themselves and admire them in others, and that they underestimate what is of true value in life.
  25. Beauty has no obvious use; nor is there any clear cultural necessity for it. Yet civilization could not do without it.
  26. 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.
  27. Much of the blame for our misery lies with what we call our civilization.
  28. It is impossible to overlook the extent to which civilization is built upon the non-satisfaction of powerful drives—by suppression, repression, or some other means.
  29. This program of civilization is opposed by man’s natural aggressive drive, the hostility of each against all.
  30. Aggression is directed against the individual’s own ego.
  31. The very people who have attained the highest degree of saintliness are … the ones who accuse themselves of being most sinful.
  32. Human beings have made such strides in controlling the forces of nature … they will have no difficulty in exterminating each other.
  33. I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.
  34. Civilized society is perpetually threatened with disintegration. The interest of work in common would not hold it together.
  35. Aggressiveness was not created by property.
  36. Opposition is not necessarily enmity; it is merely misused and made an occasion for enmity.
  37. We owe to such [intoxicating] media not merely the immediate yield of pleasure, but also a greatly desired degree of independence from external cares. For one knows that with the help of this ‘drowner of cares’ one can at any time withdraw from the pressures of reality and find refuge in a world of one’s own with better conditions of sensibility. As is well known, it is precisely this property of intoxicants that also determines their danger and their injuriousness. They are responsible, in certain circumstances, for the useless waste of a large quota of energy that might have been employed for the improvement of the human lot.
  38. One may therefore hope to be freed from a part of one’s sufferings by influencing the instinctual impulses. This type of defense against suffering is no longer brought to bear on the sensory apparatus; it seeks to master the internal sources of our needs.

Sigmund Freud Quotes About Psychoanalysis

  1. A layman will no doubt find it hard to understand how pathological disorders of the body and mind can be eliminated by ‘mere’ words. He will feel that he is being asked to believe in magic. And he will not be so very wrong, for the words which we use in our everyday speech are nothing other than watered-down magic. But we shall have to follow a roundabout path in order to explain how science sets about restoring to words a part at least of their former magical power.
  2. Analogies, it is true, decide nothing but they can make one feel more at home.
  3. In psychoanalytic treatment, nothing happens but an exchange of words between the patient and the physician.
  4. It would be a mistake to suppose that science consists entirely of strictly proved theses, and it would be unjust to require this. Only a disposition with a passion for authority will raise such a demand, someone with a craving to replace his religious catechism with another, though it is a scientific one. Science has only a few apodictic propositions in its catechism: the rest are assertions promoted by it to some particular degree of probability. It is actually a sign of a scientific mode of thought to find satisfaction in these approximations to certainty and to be able to pursue constructive work further in spite of the absence of final confirmation.
  5. A man who has been the indisputable favorite of his mother keeps for life the feeling of a conqueror, that confidence of success that often induces real success.
  6. 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 that were yesterday assumed to be square is 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.
  7. The psychoanalysis of individual human beings, however, teaches us with the 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.
  8. Being in love with one parent and hating the other are among the essential constituents of the stock of psychical impulses which is formed at that time and which is of such importance in determining the symptoms of the later neurosis… This discovery is confirmed by a legend that has come down to us from classical antiquity: a legend whose profound and universal power to move can only be understood if the hypothesis I have put forward in regard to the psychology of children has equally universal validity. What I have in mind is the legend of King Oedipus and Sophocles’ drama which bears his name.
  9. It might be said of psychoanalysis that if you give it your little finger, it will soon have your whole hand.
  10. Words were originally magic, and the word retains much of its old magical power even today. With words, one man can make another blessed, or drive him to despair. Words call forth effects and are the universal means of influencing human beings. Therefore let us not underestimate the use of words in psychotherapy.
  11. Psychoanalysis, unfortunately, has scarcely anything to say about beauty either. All that seems certain is its derivation from the field of sexual feeling.

Freud Unconscious Quotes

  1. The unconscious is the true physical reality; in its innermost nature it is as much unknown to us as the reality of the external world, and it is as incompletely presented by the data of consciousness as is the external world by the communications of our sense organs.

Freud Psychology Quotes

  1. In human beings, pure masculinity or femininity is not to be found either in a psychological or biological sense.
  2. No, our science is no illusion. But an illusion would be to suppose that what science cannot give us we can get elsewhere.
  3. Psychiatry is the art of teaching people how to stand on their own feet while reclining on couches.
  4. The reproaches against science for not having yet solved the problems of the universe are exaggerated in an unjust and malicious manner; it has truly not had time enough yet for these great achievements. Science is very young—a human activity that developed late.
  5. We are accustomed to saying that every human being displays both male and female instinctual impulses, needs, and attributes, but the characteristics of what is male and female can only be demonstrated in anatomy, and not in psychology.
  6. It is rather the rule than the exception for the past to be preserved in mental life.

Sigmund Freud Quotes About Personality

  1. 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.
  2. Nevertheless, his [Dostoyevsky’s] personality retained sadistic traits in plenty, which show themselves in his irritability, his love of tormenting, and his intolerance even towards people he loved, and which appear also in the way in which, as an author, he treats his readers. Thus in little things, he was a sadist towards others, and in bigger things a sadist towards himself, in fact, a masochist—that is to say the mildest, kindliest, most helpful person possible.
  3. The ego is not a master in its own house.
  4. 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.
  5. In order to fend off certain unpleasurable excitations arising from within, the ego can use no other methods than those which it uses against unpleasant coming from without, and this is the starting point of important pathological disturbances.

Freud Happiness Quotes

  1. 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 I know for certain and that is that man’s judgments of value follow directly from his wishes for happiness—that, accordingly, they are an attempt to support his illusions with arguments. (1930)
  2. The price we pay for our advance in civilization is a loss of happiness through the heightening of the sense of guilt.
  3. That man should be ‘happy’ is not included in the plan of ‘Creation.’
  4. The civilized man has traded in a portion of his chances for happiness for a certain measure of security.
  5. A good part of the struggles of mankind center around the single task of finding an expedient accommodation – one, that is, that will bring happiness – between this claim of the individual and the cultural claims of this group; and one of the problems that touch the fate of humanity is whether such an accommodation can be reached by means of some particular form of civilization or whether this conflict is irreconcilable.’
  6. One gains the most if one can sufficiently heighten the yield of pleasure from the sources of psychical and intellectual work. When that is so, fate can do little against one. Satisfaction of this kind, such as an artist’s joy in creating, in giving his fantasies body, or a scientist’s in solving problems or discovering truths, has a special quality which we shall certainly one day be able to characterize in metaphysical terms. At present we can only say figuratively that such satisfactions seem ‘finer and higher’. But their intensity is mild as compared with that derived from the setting of crude and primary instinctual impulses; it does not convulse our physical being. And the weak point of this method is that it is not applicable generally: it is accessible only to a few people. It presupposes the possession of special dispositions and gifts which are far from being common to any practical degree.
  7. What we call happiness in the strictest sense comes from the (preferably sudden) satisfaction of needs that have been dammed up to a high degree, and it is from its nature only possible as an episodic phenomenon.
  8. Just as a cautious businessman avoids investing all his capital in one concern, wisdom would probably admonish us also not to anticipate all our happiness from one quarter alone.
  9. The feeling of happiness produced by the indulgence of a wild, untamed craving is incomparably more intense than is the satisfying of a curbed desire.
  10. 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.
  11. What [do] 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.
  12. Under the pressure of these possibilities of suffering, men are accustomed to moderating their claims to happiness if a man thinks himself happy merely to have escaped unhappiness or to have survived his suffering.
  13. Each one of us behaves in someone’s respect like a paranoiac, corrects some aspects of the world which is unbearable to him by the construction of a wish, and introduces this delusion into reality. Special importance attaches to the case in which this attempt to procure a certainty of happiness and a protection against suffering through a delusional remolding of reality is made by a considerable number of people in common.

Sigmund Freud Quotes About Women

  1. The great question that has never been answered and which I have not been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is ‘What does a woman want?’
  2. You may take it as an instance of male injustice if I assert that envy and jealousy play an even greater part in the mental life of women than of men. It is not that I think these characteristics are absent in men or that I think they have no other roots in women than envy for the penis, but I am inclined to attribute their greater amount in women to this latter influence.
  3. Women represent the interests of the family and of sexual life. The work of civilization has increasingly become the business of men; it confronts them with ever more difficult tasks and compels them to carry out instinctual sublimations of which women are little capable. Since a man does not have unlimited quantities of physical energy at his disposal, he has to accomplish his tasks by making an expedient distribution of his libido. What he employs for cultural aims he to a great extent withdraws from women and sexual life. His constant association with men, and his dependence on his relations with them, even estranged him from his duties as a husband and father. Thus the woman finds herself forced into the background by the claims of civilization and she adopts a hostile attitude towards it.’

Freud Unexpressed Emotions Quotes

  1. The child takes his play very seriously and he expends large amounts of emotion on it. The opposite of play is not what is serious but what is real.

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