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When making a decision of minor importance, I have always found it advantageous to consider all the pros and cons. In vital matters, however, such as the choice of a mate or a profession, the decision should come from the unconscious, from somewhere within ourselves. In the important decisions of personal life, we should be governed, I think, by the deep inner needs of our nature.
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.
Religion is an illusion, and it derives its strength from its readiness to fit in with our instinctual wishful impulses.
We are certainly getting ahead if I am Moses, then you are Joshua and will take possession of the promised land of psychiatry, which I shall only be able to glimpse from afar.
Words have a magical power. They can bring either the greatest happiness or deepest despair; they can transfer knowledge from teacher to student; words enable the orator to sway his audience and dictate its decisions. Words are capable of arousing the strongest emotions and prompting all men's actions.
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.
I have found little that is good about human beings. In my experience most of them, on the whole, are trash.
What a distressing contrast there is between the radiant intelligence of the child and the feeble mentality of the average adult.
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.
Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires.
The great question which I have not been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is What does a woman want
The more the fruits of knowledge become accessible to men, the more widespread is the decline of religious belief.
Children are completely egoistic; they feel their needs intensely and strive ruthlessly to satisfy them.
Innately, children seem to have little true realistic anxiety. They will run along the brink of water, climb on the window sill, play with sharp objects and with fire, in short, do everything that is bound to damage them and to worry those in charge of them, that is wholly the result of education; for they cannot be allowed to make the instructive experiences themselves.
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.
Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.
One must not be mean with the affections what is spent of the fund is renewed in the spending itself.
Religion is an attempt to get control over the sensory world, in which we are placed, by means of the wish-world which we have developed inside us as a result of biological and psychological necessites.
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.
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?
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