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.
Where questions of religion are concerned, people are guilty of every possible sort of dishonesty and intellectual misdemeanour.
The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind.
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.
It would be very nice if there were a God who created the world and was a benevolent Providence, and if there were a moral order in the universe and an after-life; but it is a very striking fact that all this is exactly as we are bound to wish it to be.
It is impossible to overlook the extent to which civilization is built up upon a renunciation of instinct.
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.
If the truth of religious doctrines is dependent on an inner experience which bears witness to that truth, what is one to do about the many people who do not have this rare experience?
Beauty has no obvious use; nor is there any clear cultural necessity for it. Yet civilization could not do without it.