We must not allow ourselves to be deflected by the feminists who are anxious to force us to regard the two sexes as completely equal in position and worth
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.
Topics: Humankind, Humanity
Work has a greater effect than any other technique of living in the direction of binding the individual more closely to reality; in his work, at least, he is securely attached to a part of reality, the human community.
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.
One feels inclined to say that the intention that man should be “happy” is not included in the plan of “Creation.”
One day in retrospect the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.
Children are completely egoistic; they feel their needs intensely and strive ruthlessly to satisfy them.
These [religious ideas] are given out as teachings, are not precipitates of experience or end-results of thinking: they are illusions, fulfillments of the oldest, strongest and most urgent wishes of mankind.
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.
Topics: Mental Illness
Life as we find it is too hard for us; it entails too much pain, too many disappointments, impossible tasks. We cannot do without palliative remedies.
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.
We are threatened with suffering from three directions: from our own body, which is doomed to decay and dissolution and which cannot even do without pain and anxiety as warning signals; from the external world, which may rage against us with overwhelming and merciless forces of destruction; and finally from our relations to other men. The suffering which comes from this last source is perhaps more painful than any other.
The 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.
Topics: Mental Illness
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.
I consider it a good rule for letter-writing to leave unmentioned what the recipient already knows, and instead tell him something new.
How bold one gets when one is sure of being loved!
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.
Topics: Girls, Children
One is very crazy when in love.
A man should not strive to eliminate his complexes but to get into accord with them, for they are legitimately what directs his conduct in the world.
Topics: Awareness, Instincts, Acceptance, Appropriateness, Aptness, Realization
The essence of repression lies simply in turning something away, and keeping it a distance from the conscious.
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.
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.
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
Topics: Religion, Achievement
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Alfred Adler Austrian Psychiatrist
- Viktor Frankl Austrian Psychiatrist
- Richard Feynman American Physicist
- Hans Bethe American Physicist
- Steven Weinberg American Physicist
- Carl Reiner American Comedian
- Wilhelm Reich Austrian Psychoanalyst
- Friedrich Hayek British Economist, Social Philosopher
- Karl Popper Austrian-born British Philosopher
- Martin Buber Austrian Jewish Philosopher