In every age immorality has found no less support in religion than morality has. If the achievements of religion in respect to man's happiness, susceptibility to culture and moral control are no better than this, the question cannot but arise whether we are not overrating its necessity for mankind, and whether we do wisely in basing our cultural demands upon it.
Life, as we find it, is too hard for us; it brings us too many pains, disappointments and impossible tasks. In order to bear it we cannot dispense with palliative measures... There are perhaps three such measures: powerful deflections, which cause us to make light of our misery; substitutive satisfactions, which diminish it; and intoxicating substances, which make us insensible to it.
I have no concern with any economic criticisms of the communist system; 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... But we have in no way altered the differences in power and influence which are misused by aggressiveness.
I have often felt as though i had inherited all the defiance and all the passions with which our ancestors defended their temple and could gladly sacrifice my life for one great moment in history. And at the same time i always felt so helpless and incapable of expressing these ardent passions even by a word or a poem.
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.
A child in its greed for love does not enjoy having to share the affection of its parents with its brothers and sisters; and it notices that the whole of their affection is lavished upon it once more whenever it arouses their anxiety by falling ill. It has now discovered a means of enticing out its parents' love and will make use of that means as soon as it has the necessary psychical material at its disposal for producing an illness.
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.