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Sigmund Freud


Quotations

  • ''Where id was, there ego shall be.''
    Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), Austrian psychiatrist. (Originally published 1933). New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis, vol. 22, lecture 31, "The Dissection of the Psychical Personality," Complete Works, Standard Edition, eds. James Strachey and Anna Freud (1964). The intention of psychoanalysis, Freud explained, is "to strengthen the ego, to make it more independent of the super-ego, to widen its field of perception and enlarge its organization, so that it can appropriate fresh portions of the id.... It is a work of culture," he added in the closing words of the lecture, "not unlike the draining of the Zuider Zee."
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  • ''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.''
    Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), Austrian psychiatrist. repr. in Complete Works, vol. 12, eds. James Strachey and Anna Freud (1958). Observations on Transference-Love (1915).
  • ''Sexual love is undoubtedly one of the chief things in life, and the union of mental and bodily satisfaction in the enjoyment of love is one of its culminating peaks. Apart from a few queer fanatics, all the world knows this and conducts its life accordingly; science alone is too delicate to admit it.''
    Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), Austrian psychiatrist. repr. in Complete Works, vol. 12, eds. James Strachey and Anna Freud (1958). Observations on Transference-Love (1915).
  • ''A strong egoism is a protection against disease, but in the last resort we must begin to love in order that we may not fall ill, and must fall ill if, in consequence of frustration, we cannot love.''
    Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), Austrian psychiatrist. repr. In Collected Papers, vol. 4 (1948). On Narcissism: An Introduction (1914).
  • ''We must reckon with the possibility that something in the nature of the sexual instinct itself is unfavorable to the realization of complete satisfaction.''
    Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), Austrian psychiatrist. repr. in Complete Works, vol. 11, eds. James Strachey and Anna Freud (1957). On the Universal Tendency to Debasement in the Sphere of Love, sct. 3 (1912).
  • ''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."''
    Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), Austrian psychiatrist. repr. in Complete Works, Standard Edition, vol. 11, eds. James Strachey and Anna Freud (1957). On the Universal Tendency to Debasement in the Sphere of Love, sect. 3 (1912). Napoleon had said, "Politics is destiny" (as reported by German poet Goethe in conversation with him in 1808).
  • ''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.''
    Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), Austrian psychiatrist. Letter, October 9, 1918. "Psycho-Analysis and Faith: The Letters of Sigmund Freud and Oscar Pfister," no. 59, The International Psycho-Analytical Library (1963).
  • ''Incidentally, why was it that none of all the pious ever discovered psycho-analysis? Why did it have to wait for a completely godless Jew?''
    Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), Austrian psychiatrist. letter, Oct. 9, 1918. Psycho-Analysis and Faith: The Letters of Sigmund Freud and Oscar Pfister (1963).
  • ''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?"''
    Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), Austrian psychiatrist. quoted in Ernest Jones, Sigmund Freud: Life and Work, vol. 2, pt. 3, ch. 16 (1955). Quoted from a letter to friend and disciple Marie Bonaparte. Freud's views on women are summed up in Peter Gay, Freud: A Life of Our Time, pt. 10 (1988). See Wilde on women.
  • ''What progress we are making. In the Middle Ages they would have burned me. Now they are content with burning my books.''
    Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), Austrian psychiatrist. quoted in Ernest Jones, Sigmund Freud: Life and Work, vol. 3, pt. 1, ch. 4 (1957). Comment on the public burning of his books in Berlin in 1933.

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