Friday, December 31, 2010

A thought from Sigmund Freud

"The intention that man should be "happy" is not included in the plan of "Creation."" -Sigmund Freud
In Civilization and Its Discontents, Freud argues that human behavior is ultimately spurred on by the "pleasure principle," and that human nature is dominated by the desire to fulfill it. However, "all the regulations of the universe" run counter to the state in which man is at his happiest -- and, as an additional impediment, satisfying a man's needs is only effective after that satisfaction has been long withheld (referring to, for example, the elation of a starving man who has suddenly stumbled onto a delicious meal, compared with the lukewarm contentment inspired by an ordinary meal eaten on any given day). Happiness is, to Freud, at best "an episodic phenomenon."