Adam Phillips Quotes

Enjoy the top 49 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Adam Phillips.

Adam Phillips Quotes

The people we fall in love with we find singularly captivating, as are any of the people (or ideas) that inspire us, for better or for worse.
— Adam Phillips —

Sanity, as the project of keeping ourselves recognizably human, therefore has to limit the range of human experience. To keep faith with recognition we have to stay recognizable. Sanity, in other words, becomes a pressing preoccupation as soon as we recognize the importance of recognition. When we define ourselves by what we can recognize, by what we can comprehend- rather than, say, by what we can describe- we are continually under threat from what we are unwilling and/or unable to see. We are tyrannized by our blind spots, and by whatever it is about ourselves that we find unacceptable.

— Adam Phillips

The wish to be understood may be our most vengeful demand, may be the way we hang on, as asults, to our grudge against our mothers; the way we never let our mothers off the hook for their not meeting our every need. Wanting to be understood, as adults, can be our most violent form of nostalgia.

— Adam Phillips

Monogamy is a way of getting the versions of ourselves down to the minimum.

— Adam Phillips

To grow up is to discover what one is unequal to.

— Adam Phillips

Believing in religion is like believing that adulthood is the solution to childhood.

— Adam Phillips

The tickling narrative, unlike the sexual narrative, has no climax.
Is the tickling scene, at its most reassuring, not a unique representation of desire and, at its most unsettling, a paradigm of the perverse contract?
Does it not highlight, this delightful game, the impossibility of satisfaction and of reunion, with its continual reenactment of the irresistible attraction and the inevitable repulsion of the object, in which the final satisfaction is frustration?

— Adam Phillips

Kindness-that is, the ability to bear the vulnerability of others, and therefore of oneself-has become a sign of weakness (except of course among saintly people, in whom it is a sign of their exceptionality).

— Adam Phillips

It is as if, oddly, you were waiting for someone but you didn't know who they were until they arrived. Whether or not you were aware that there was something missing in your life, you will be when you meet the person you want. What psychoanalysis will add to this love story is that the person you fall in love with really is the man or woman of your dreams; that you have dreamed them up before you met them; not out of nothing - nothing comes of nothing - but out of prior experience, both real and wished for. You recognize them with such certainty because you already, in a certain sense, know them; and because you have quite literally been expecting them, you feel as though you have known them for ever, and yet, at the same time, they are quite foreign to you. They are familiar foreign bodies.

— Adam Phillips

So there are three consecutive frustrations: the frustration of need, the frustration of fantasized satisfaction not working, and the frustration of satisfaction in the real world being at odds with the wished-for, fantasized satisfaction. Three frustrations, three disturbances, and two disillusionments. It is, what has been called in a different context, a cumulative trauma; the cumulative trauma of desire. And this is when it works.

— Adam Phillips

Indeed that is what our lives are, a project of recovery and restitution; or we have to ironize our always wanting to get something back that we never had and that never existed anyway

— Adam Phillips

You write to find out what you believe.

— Adam Phillips

The whole notion of sanity may be an attempt to medicalize morality - to speak of the good in the language of health: to make us more accurate, more scientific in our wanting - but by the same token it becomes a form of moral blackmail. It is as if to say: if these are not valued - if these forms of wanting and feeling and speaking and doing - are not cultivated and encouraged and rewarded in the child, then the child will be mad.

— Adam Phillips

The child can find out what the object ..might be only by finding ..obstacles to its access

— Adam Phillips

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