10 Great Sigmund Freud Quotes in Celebration of His Birthday

On Sigmund Freud's birthday, a round up of his best quotes.

Sigmund Freud (originally named Sigismund Schlomo Freud), considered the father of psychoanalysis, would have celebrated his birthday today. The Austrian neurologist is one of the most quoted, as well as one of the most controversial thinkers to emerge in the last century. Having developed a distinct practice of encouraging patients to tap into their unconscious minds through dreams, fantasies, and free associations, Freud pioneered the field of psychoanalysis.

His exploration around the Oedipus Complex, homosexuality, child sexuality, women and hysteria are some of the most talked about, examined, debunked and built upon concepts of our times. He continued to introduce a myriad of theories up until his death in 1939 from jaw cancer, that despite 33 surgeries, never inspired him to give up his beloved cigars. In celebration of Freud's birthday, below is a round up of 13 quotes that capture a small portion of the intellectual legacy he left behind, beginning with my favorite.


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 ego is not master in its own house.

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

In the important decisions of personal life, we should be governed by the deep inner needs of our nature.

Two hallmarks of a healthy life are the abilities to love and to work. Each requires imagination.

When inspiration doesn't come, I go halfway to meet it.

From error to error, one discovers the entire truth.

Time spent with cats is never wasted.

Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.

Incidentally, why was it that none of all the pious ever discovered psycho-analysis? Why did it have to wait for a completely godless Jew?

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Related: Remembering Carl Sagan on His Birthday: Innovator, Visionary, and Humanitarian

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