40 Forthright Quotes by Sigmund Freud

Last updated on Jun 8th, 2023

40 Forthright Quotes by Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud (born May 6, 1856, Freiberg, Austrian Empire [now Příbor, Czech Republic] – died September 23, 1939, London, England) was an Austrian neurologist and famous thinker, best known as the founder of psychoanalysis.

Freud dealt with various topics related to the human mind, such as child sexuality, libido, and the ego. He formulated several theories, including the concept of psychic energy, infantile sexuality, Oedipus complex, repression, and the unconscious mind.

Throughout his life, Sigmund Freud published dozens of books. Most notable are Studies in Hysteria (1895), The Interpretation of Dreams (1900), The Psychopathology of Everyday Life (1901), Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905), Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria (1905), The Ego and the Id (1923), Civilization and its Discontents (1930) and Moses and Monotheism (1939).

Freud is considered one of the most influential and, at the same time, controversial minds of the 20th century.

Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise. - Sigmund Freud Quotes
1

Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise.Letter to Wilhelm Fliess (October 15, 1897)

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. - Sigmund Freud (Civilization And Its Discontents Quotes)
2

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.Civilization And Its Discontents (1930), (W. W. Norton, ed. 1962), Chapter IV, Page 49

Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from its readiness to fit in with our instinctual wishful impulses. - Sigmund Freud (New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis Quotes)
3

Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from its readiness to fit in with our instinctual wishful impulses.New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis (1933), (W. W. Norton, ed. 1965), Lecture XXXV, Page 175

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 finger-tips; betrayal oozes out of him at every pore. - Sigmund Freud (Dora: Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria Quotes)
4

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 finger-tips; betrayal oozes out of him at every pore.Dora: Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria (1905), (Collier Books, ed. 1963) Page 96

The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind. - Sigmund Freud (The Interpretation Of Dreams Quotes)
5

The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind.The Interpretation Of Dreams (1899), (Penguin, ed. 1991), Chapter VII, Page 769

A person who feels pleasure in producing pain in someone else in a sexual relationship is also capable of enjoying as pleasure any pain which he may himself derive from sexual relations. A sadist is always at the same time a masochist. - Sigmund Freud (Three Essays On The Theory Of Sexuality Quotes)
6

A person who feels pleasure in producing pain in someone else in a sexual relationship is also capable of enjoying as pleasure any pain which he may himself derive from sexual relations. A sadist is always at the same time a masochist.Three Essays On The Theory Of Sexuality (1905), (Basic Books, ed. 1962), Chapter I, Page 25

Just as no one can be forced to believe, so no one can be forced to disbelieve. - Sigmund Freud (The Future Of An Illusion Quotes)
7

Just as no one can be forced to believe, so no one can be forced to disbelieve.The Future Of An Illusion (1927), (W. W. Norton, ed. 1961), Chapter VI, Page 32

Conscience is the internal perception of the rejection of a particular wish operating within us. - Sigmund Freud (Totem And Taboo Quotes)
8

Conscience is the internal perception of the rejection of a particular wish operating within us.Totem And Taboo (1913), (W. W. Norton, ed. 1950), Chapter II, Page 68

Like the physical, the psychical is not necessarily in reality what it appears to us to be. - Sigmund Freud (The Unconscious Quotes)
9

Like the physical, the psychical is not necessarily in reality what it appears to us to be.The Unconscious (1915)

We are never so defenceless against suffering as when we love. - Sigmund Freud (Civilization And Its Discontents Quotes)
10

We are never so defenceless against suffering as when we love.Civilization And Its Discontents (1930), (W. W. Norton, ed. 1962), Chapter II, Page 29

The aim of all life is death. - Sigmund Freud (Beyond the Pleasure Principle Quotes)
11

The aim of all life is death.Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920), (W. W. Norton, ed. 1961), Chapter V, Page 32

Cruelty and intolerance towards those who do not belong to it are natural to every religion. - Sigmund Freud (Group Psychology And The Analysis Of The Ego Quotes)
12

Cruelty and intolerance towards those who do not belong to it are natural to every religion.Group Psychology And The Analysis Of The Ego (1921), (W. W. Norton, ed. 1959), Chapter V, Page 30

Thinking is an experimental action carried out with small amounts of energy, in the same way as a general shifts small figures about on a map before setting his large bodies of troops in motion. - Sigmund Freud (New Introductory Lectures On Psycho-Analysis Quotes)
13

Thinking is an experimental action carried out with small amounts of energy, in the same way as a general shifts small figures about on a map before setting his large bodies of troops in motion.New Introductory Lectures On Psycho-Analysis (1933), (W. W. Norton, ed. 1965), Lecture XXXII, Page 89

Religion is comparable to a childhood neurosis, and he is optimistic enough to suppose that mankind will surmount this neurotic phase, just as so many children grow out of their similar neurosis. - Sigmund Freud (The Future Of An Illusion Quotes)
14

Religion is comparable to a childhood neurosis, and he is optimistic enough to suppose that mankind will surmount this neurotic phase, just as so many children grow out of their similar neurosis.The Future Of An Illusion (1927), (W. W. Norton, ed. 1961), Chapter X, Page 53

Dreams are often most profound when they seem most crazy. - Sigmund Freud (The Interpretation Of Dreams Quotes)
15

Dreams, then, are often most profound when they seem most crazy.The Interpretation Of Dreams (1899), (Penguin, ed. 1991), Chapter VI, Page 575

The first requisite of civilization, therefore, is that of justice. - Sigmund Freud (Civilization And Its Discontents Quotes)
16

The first requisite of civilization, therefore, is that of justice.Civilization And Its Discontents (1930), (W. W. Norton, ed. 1962), Chapter III, Page 42

Every normal person, in fact, is only normal on the average. His ego approximates to that of the psychotic in some part or other and to a greater or lesser extent. - Sigmund Freud (Analysis Terminable And Interminable Quotes)
17

Every normal person, in fact, is only normal on the average. His ego approximates to that of the psychotic in some part or other and to a greater or lesser extent.Analysis Terminable And Interminable (1937)

Analogies, it is true, decide nothing, but they can make one feel more at home. - Sigmund Freud (New Introductory Lectures On Psycho-Analysis Quotes)
18

Analogies, it is true, decide nothing, but they can make one feel more at home.New Introductory Lectures On Psycho-Analysis (1933), (W. W. Norton, ed. 1965), Lecture XXXI, Page 72

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. - Sigmund Freud (Civilization And Its Discontents Quotes)
19

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.Civilization And Its Discontents (1930), (W. W. Norton, ed. 1962), Chapter V, Page 61

The ego is not master in its own house. - Sigmund Freud (A Difficulty In The Path Of Psycho-Analysis Quotes)
20

The ego is not master in its own house.A Difficulty In The Path Of Psycho-Analysis (1917)

The voice of the intellect is a soft one, but it does not rest till it has gained a hearing. - Sigmund Freud (The Future Of An Illusion Quotes)
21

The voice of the intellect is a soft one, but it does not rest till it has gained a hearing.The Future Of An Illusion (1927), (W. W. Norton, ed. 1961), Chapter X, Page 53

Where id was, there ego shall be. - Sigmund Freud (New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis Quotes)
22

Where id was, there ego shall be.New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis (1933), (W. W. Norton, ed. 1965), Lecture XXXI, Page 80

What progress we are making. In the Middle Ages they would have burned me. Now they are content with burning my books. - Sigmund Freud Quotes
23

What progress we are making. In the Middle Ages they would have burned me. Now they are content with burning my books.The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud by Ernest Jones (1957), Volume III, Page 182

The doctor should be opaque to his patients and, like a mirror, should show them nothing but what is shown to him. - Sigmund Freud (Recommendations To Physicians Practising Psycho-Analysis Quotes)
24

The doctor should be opaque to his patients and, like a mirror, should show them nothing but what is shown to him.Recommendations To Physicians Practising Psycho-Analysis (1912)

Children are completely egoistic; they feel their needs intensely and strive ruthlessly to satisfy them. - Sigmund Freud (The Interpretation Of Dreams Quotes)
25

Children are completely egoistic; they feel their needs intensely and strive ruthlessly to satisfy them.The Interpretation Of Dreams (1899), (Penguin, ed. 1991), Chapter V, Page 350

Religious ideas have arisen from the same need as have all the other achievements of civilization: from the necessity of defending oneself against the crushingly superior force of nature. - Sigmund Freud (The Future Of An Illusion Quotes)
26

Religious ideas have arisen from the same need as have all the other achievements of civilization: from the necessity of defending oneself against the crushingly superior force of nature.The Future Of An Illusion (1927), (W. W. Norton, ed. 1961), Chapter IV, Page 21

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. - Sigmund Freud (Civilization And Its Discontents Quotes)
27

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.Civilization And Its Discontents (1930), (W. W. Norton, ed. 1962), Chapter III, Page 42

Anatomy is destiny. - Sigmund Freud (On The Universal Tendency To Debasement In The Sphere Of Love Quotes)
28

Anatomy is destiny.On The Universal Tendency To Debasement In The Sphere Of Love (1912)

The act of birth is the source and prototype of the affect of anxiety. - Sigmund Freud (Introductory Lectures On Psycho-Analysis Quotes)
29

The act of birth is the source and prototype of the affect of anxiety.Introductory Lectures On Psycho-Analysis (1916), (W. W. Norton, ed. 1966), Part III, Chapter XXV, Page 493

Men are strong so long as they represent a strong idea; they become powerless when they oppose it. - Sigmund Freud (On The History Of The Psycho-Analytic Movement Quotes)
30

Men are strong so long as they represent a strong idea; they become powerless when they oppose it.On The History Of The Psycho-Analytic Movement (1914), (W. W. Norton, ed. 1966), Section III, Page 66

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 Quotes
31

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?’The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud by Ernest Jones (1955), Volume II, Page 421

It goes without saying that a civilization which leaves so large a number of its participants unsatisfied and drives them into revolt neither has nor deserves the prospect of a lasting existence. - Sigmund Freud (The Future Of An Illusion Quotes)
32

It goes without saying that a civilization which leaves so large a number of its participants unsatisfied and drives them into revolt neither has nor deserves the prospect of a lasting existence.The Future Of An Illusion (1927), (W. W. Norton, ed. 1961), Chapter II, Page 12

The psychic development of the individual is a short repetition of the course of development of the race. - Sigmund Freud (Leonardo da Vinci Quotes)
33

The psychic development of the individual is a short repetition of the course of development of the race.Leonardo da Vinci (1916), (Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., ed. 1922), Chapter III, Page 60

Opposition is not necessarily enmity; it is merely misused and made an occasion for enmity. - Sigmund Freud (Civilization And Its Discontents Quotes)
34

Opposition is not necessarily enmity; it is merely misused and made an occasion for enmity.Civilization And Its Discontents (1930), (W. W. Norton, ed. 1962), Chapter V, Page 59

The virtuous man contents himself with dreaming of that which the wicked man does in actual life. - Sigmund Freud (The Interpretation Of Dreams Quotes)
35

The virtuous man contents himself with dreaming of that which the wicked man does in actual life.The Interpretation Of Dreams (1899), (Macmillan, ed. 1913), Chapter VII, Page 493

We are so made that we can derive intense enjoyment only from a contrast and very little from a state of things. - Sigmund Freud (Civilization And Its Discontents Quotes)
36

We are so made that we can derive intense enjoyment only from a contrast and very little from a state of things.Civilization And Its Discontents (1930), (W. W. Norton, ed. 1962), Chapter II, Page 23

The sexual life of adult women is a 'dark continent' for psychology. - Sigmund Freud (The Question Of Lay Analysis Quotes)
37

The sexual life of adult women is a ‘dark continent’ for psychology. The Question Of Lay Analysis (1926), (W. W. Norton, ed. 1950), Chapter IV, Page 43

At bottom God is nothing other than an exalted father. - Sigmund Freud (Totem and Taboo Quotes)
38

At bottom God is nothing other than an exalted father.Totem and Taboo (1913), (W. W. Norton, ed. 1950), Chapter IV, Page 147

In every age immorality has found no less support in religion than morality has. - Sigmund Freud (The Future of an Illusion Quotes)
39

In every age immorality has found no less support in religion than morality has.The Future of an Illusion (1927), (W. W. Norton, ed. 1961), Chapter VII, Page 38

Beauty has no obvious use; nor is there any clear cultural necessity for it. Yet civilization could not do without it. - Sigmund Freud (Civilization And Its Discontents Quotes)
40

Beauty has no obvious use; nor is there any clear cultural necessity for it. Yet civilization could not do without it.Civilization And Its Discontents (1930), (W. W. Norton, ed. 1962), Chapter II, Page 2