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Sigmund Freud
Austrian psychiatrist and originator of psychoanalysis
(1856-1939)



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The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind.
-- The Interpretation of Dreams (1900), from The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, translated by James Strachey.

The ego represents what we call reason and sanity, in contrast to the id which contains the passions.
-- The Ego and the Id (1923)

The sexual wishes in regard to the mother become more intense and the father is perceived as an obstacle to the; this gives rise to the Oedipus complex.
-- The Ego and the Id (1923)

If the truth of religious doctrines is dependent on an inner experience that bears witness to the truth, what is one to make of the many people who do not have that experience?
-- The Future of an Illusion (1927)

Immorality, no less than morality, has at all times found support in religion.
-- The Future of an Illusion (1927)

Religion is a system of wishful illusions together with a disavowal of reality, such as we find nowhere else but in a state of blissful hallucinatory confusion. Religion's eleventh commandment is "Thou shalt not question."
-- The Future of an Illusion (1927)

Man kann sich des Eindrucks nicht erwehren, daß die Menschen gemeinhin mit falschen Maßstäben messen, Macht, Erfolg und Reichtum für sich anstreben und bei anderen bewundern, die wahren Werte des Lebens aber unterschätzen.
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.
-- Civilization and Its Discontents (1929). Ch. 1, as translated by Joan Riviere (1961).

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.
-- Civilization and Its Discontents (1929). Ch. 1, as translated by Joan Riviere (1961)

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, certainly a strong one, though certainly not the strongest, but we have not altered the differences in power and influence which are misused by aggressiveness, nor have we altered anything in its nature. Aggressiveness was not created by property. It reigned almost without limit in primitive times, when property was still very scanty, and it already shows itself in the nursery almost before property has given up its primal, anal form; it forms the basis of every relation of affection and love among people (with the single exception, perhaps, of the mother's relations to her male child).
-- Civilization and Its Discontents (1929). Ch. 5, as translated by James Strachey and Anna Freud (1961).


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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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