Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis

But it is a predisposition of human nature to consider an unpleasant idea untrue, and then it is easy to find arguments against it. Society thus brands what is unpleasant as untrue, denying the conclusions of psychoanalysis with logical and pertinent arguments. These arguments originate from affective sources, however, and society holds to these prejudices against all attempts at refutation.

Dans le travail scientifique, il est plus rationnel de s'attaquer à ce qu'on a devant soi, à des objets qui s'offrent d'eux-mêmes à notre investigation.

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 fingertips; betrayal oozes out of him at every pore.

Humanity has in the course of time had to endure from the hands of science two great outrages upon its naive self-love. The first was when it realized that our earth was not the center of the universe, but only a tiny speck in a world-system of a magnitude hardly conceivable; this is associated in our minds with the name of Copernicus, although Alexandrian doctrines taught something very similar. The second was when biological research robbed man of his peculiar privilege of having been specially created, and relegated him to a descent from the animal world, implying an ineradicable animal nature in him: this transvaluation has been accomplished in our own time upon the instigation of Charles Darwin, Wallace, and their predecessors, and not without the most violent opposition from their contemporaries. But man's craving for grandiosity is now suffering the third and most bitter blow from present-day psychological research which is endeavoring to prove to the ego of each one of us that he is not even master in his own house, but that he must remain content with the veriest scraps of information about what is going on unconsciously in his own mind. We psycho-analysts were neither the first nor the only ones to propose to mankind that they should look inward; but it appears to be our lot to advocate it most insistently and to support it by empirical evidence which touches every man closely.

Je vous montrerai que toute votre culture antérieure et toutes les habitudes de votre pensée ont dû faire de vous inévitablement des adversaires de la psychanalyse, et je vous dirai ce que vous devez vaincre en vous-même pour surmonter cette hostilité instinctive.

La société transforme le désagréable en injuste.

La vie psychique est un champ de bataille et une arène où luttent des tendances opposées

Les mots provoquent des émotions et constituent pour les hommes le moyen général de s'influencer réciproquement.

Les souvenirs pénibles s’effacent difficilement, reviennent sans cesse, quoi qu'on fasse pour les étouffer, et vous torturent sans répit.

Loneliness and darkness have just robbed me of my valuables.

One can make a compound formation of events and of places in the same way as of people, provided always that the single events and localities have something in common which the latent dream emphasizes. It is a sort of new and fleeting concept of formation, with the common element as its kernel. This jumble of details that has been fused together regularly results in a vague indistinct picture, as though you had taken several pictures on the same film.

One must be humble, one must keep personal preferences and antipathies in the background, if one wishes to discover the realities of the world.

The story is told of a famous German chemist that his marriage did not take place, because he forgot the hour of his wedding and went to the laboratory instead of to the church. He was wise enough to be satisfied with a single attempt and died at a great age unmarried

The uneducated relatives of our patients—persons who are impressed only by the visible and tangible, preferably by such procedure as one sees in the moving picture theatres—never miss an opportunity of voicing their scepticism as to how one can "do anything for the malady through mere talk." Such thinking, of course, is as shortsighted as it is inconsistent. For these are the very persons who know with such certainty that the patients "merely imagine" their symptoms. Words

WE think we have advanced too rapidly. Let us go back a little. Before our last attempt to overcome the difficulties of dream distortion through our technique, we had decided that it would be best to avoid them by limiting ourselves only to those dreams in which distortion is either entirely absent or of trifling importance, if there are such. But here again we digress from the history of the evolution of our knowledge, for as a matter of fact we become aware of dreams entirely free of distortion only after the consistent application of our method of interpretation and after complete analysis of the distorted dream.

With words one man can make another blessed, or drive him to despair; by words the teacher transfers his knowledge to the pupil; by words the speaker sweeps his audience with him and determines its judgments and decisions. Words call forth effects and are the universal means of influencing human beings.

Words and magic were in the beginning one and the same thing, and even today words retain much of their magical power.

Words call forth effects and are the universal means of influencing human beings.

Yet we see, on the contrary, that many acts are most successfully carried out when they are not the objects of particularly concentrated attention, and that the mistakes occur just at the point where one is most anxious to be accurate—where a distraction of the necessary attention is therefore surely least permissible. One could then say that this is the effect of the "excitement," but we do not understand why the excitement does not intensify the concentration of attention on the goal that is so much desired.