Quotes from ” Civilization and Its Discontents” (1930) by Sigmund Freud:
The life imposed on us is too hard for us to bear: it brings too much pain, too many disappointments, too many absoluble problems. If we are to endure it, we cannot do without palliative measures.
One is inclined to say that the intention that man should be ‘happy’ has no part in the plan of ‘creation’. What we call happiness, in the strictest sense of the word, arises from the fairly sudden satisfaction of pent-up needs. By it’s very nature it can be no more than an episodic phenomenon.
One counts oneself lucky to have escaped unhappiness and survived suffering; and that in general the task of avoiding suffering pushes that of obtaining pleasure into the background.
We achieve most if we can sufficiently heighten the pleasure derived from mental and intellectual work. Fate can then do little to harm us.