Sources of Pain and Ways of Being Happy for Freud

According to Freud, human nature can only take intense pleasure from differences. There is little pleasure in permanent situations. Just because of this situation, our possibilities for happiness are limited. It is easier to be unhappy.


According to Freud, pain surrounds us in three ways:
1- Our own body, whose destiny is collapse and destruction, and which does not lack pain and anxiety as warning signs. (Freud S. 1930)
So Weakness of our body and death
2- The outside world that destroys us with irresistible, ruthless, destructive forces (Freud S. 1930)
What Freud meant by the external world here is nature. According to him, although man is essentially a part of nature, he is at war with nature, but he will never be able to fully control it. On the other hand, it is very difficult to live in harmony with nature.
(Freud S. 1930)
3- Our relationships with people
We find pain from this last source perhaps more painful than any other. (Freud S. 1930)
So family, state, social order…
We find it difficult to accept the source of suffering in the last item because these concepts were created by humans to provide protection, happiness and order.

ways to be happy

1- Seclusion, distancing yourself from other people

According to Freud, this method is the first method that comes to mind against the pain that will arise from human relations. The happiness to be gained by this method is the happiness of peace.

2- Being a member of human society, attacking nature with the help of science-technique and subordinating it to human will.

In this case, everyone works together for everyone’s happiness.

3- Chemical way (use of recreational substance)

According to Freud, this method is the crudest of all methods, but also the most useful.
There are foreign substances that, by their presence in blood and tissues, provide us with immediate sensations of pleasure. People owe to these substances not only the acquisition of direct pleasure, but also something much desired, independence from the outside world. But these substances are responsible, in some cases, for the unnecessary expenditure of a large amount of energy that could be used to improve the destiny of humanity. (Freud S. 1930)

4- Libido shifts that give great functional flexibility to our spiritual apparatus…

The aim here is to transfer the goals of the instincts to an area where they will not be hindered by the outside world.
According to Freud, a large part of this field is artistic activities. The weak point of this method is that it cannot be applied by everyone, it is something that only a few people can access. Also, even for these people, this method is not enough to completely avoid pain. Here the bond with reality is further loosened; Satisfaction comes from illusions that are known to be illusions, but whose deviation from reality is not allowed to diminish the enjoyment. The realm where these illusions originate is the fantasy world.

First among these fantasy satisfactions comes the enjoyment of works of art. For those who are susceptible to the influence of art, it cannot be valued as a source of pleasure and vital consolation. But the mild narcosis provided by art cannot provide more than a temporary respite from the troubles of life and is not strong enough to make one forget the real misery.

5- Loving, being loved and sexual satisfaction

This method gets closer to the goal than any other method. It gives us the most powerful experience of the sensation of pleasure, of a tremendous sensation of pleasure.

But when we love is when we are weakest. When we are most helpless is when we lose the object we love or the love of its. That is the weak point of this method. (Freud S. 1930)


Freud S., Civilization and Its Discontents, 1929

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