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 Eric Hoffer Quotes
268 Famous Quotes by Eric Hoffer
7/25/1902 - 5/21/1983
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About Eric Hoffer

Nature attains perfection, but man never does. There is a perfect ant, a perfect bee, but man is perpetually unfinished. He is both an unfinished animal and an unfinished man. It is this incurable unfinishedness which sets man apart from other living things. For, in the attempt to finish himself, man becomes a creator. Moreover, the incurable unfinishedness keeps man perpetually immature, perpetually capable of learning and growing.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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The compulsion to take ourselves seriously is in inverse proportion to our creative capacity. When the creative flow dries up, all we have left is our importance.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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The genuine creator creates something that has a life of its own, something that can exist and function without him. This is true not only of the writer, artist and scientist, but of creators in other fields...With the noncreative it is the other way around: in whatever they do, they arrange things so that they themselves become indispensable.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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Our originality shows itself most strikingly not in what we wholly originate but in what we do with that which we borrow from others.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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There is apparently some connection between dissatisfaction with oneself and proneness to credulity. The urge to escape our real self is also an urge to escape the rational and the obvious. The refusal to see ourselves as we are develops a distaste for facts and cold logic. There is no hope for the frustrated in the actual and the possible. Salvation can come to them only from the miraculous, which seeps through a crack in the iron wall of inexorable reality. They asked to be deceived.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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The hatred and cruelty which have their source in selfishness are ineffectual things compared with the venom and ruthlessness born of selflessness.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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The opposite of the religious fanatic is not the fanatical atheist but the gentle cynic who cares not whether there is a god or not.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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Every intense desire is perhaps a desire to be different from what we are.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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A man's soul is pierced as it were with holes, and as his longings flow through each they are transmuted into something specific.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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The craving to change the world is perhaps a reflection of the craving to change ourselves.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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Our quarrel with the world is an echo of the endless quarrel proceeding within us.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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The uncompromising attitude is more indicative of an inner uncertainty than a deep conviction. The implacable stand is directed more against the doubt within than the assailant without.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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The burning conviction that we have a holy duty towards others is often a way of attaching our drowning selves to a passing raft. What looks like a giving hand is often a holding on for dear life. Take away our holy duties and you leave our lives puny and meaningless. There is no doubt that in exchanging a self-centered for a selfless life we gain enormously in self-esteem. The vanity of the selfless, even those who practice utmost humility, is boundless.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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No one is truly literate who cannot read his own heart.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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We often use strong language not to express a powerful emotion but to evoke it in us.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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To be truly selfish one needs a degree of self-esteem. The self-despisers are less intent on their own increase than on the diminution of others. Where self-esteem is unattainable, envy takes the place of greed.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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The readiness to praise others indicates a desire for excellence and perhaps an ability to realize it.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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We all have private ails. The troublemakers are they who need public cures for their private ails.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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To believe that if we could but have this or that we would be happy is to suppress the realization that the cause of our unhappiness is in our inadequate and blemished selves. Excessive desire is thus a means of suppressing our sense of worthlessness.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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Every extreme attitude is a flight from the self.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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Add a few drops of malice to a half truth and you have an absolute truth.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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The ruthlessness born of self-seeking is ineffectual compared with the ruthlessness sustained by dedication to a holy cause. "God wishes," said Calvin, "that one should put aside all humanity when it is a question of striving for His glory.".

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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Our frustration is greater when we have much and want more than when we have nothing and want some. We are less dissatisfied when we lack many things than when we seem to lack but one thing.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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The chief burden of the frustrated is the consciousness of a blemished, ineffectual self, and their chief desire is to slough off the unwanted self and begin a new life. They try to realize this desire either by finding a new identity or by blurring and camouflaging their individual distinctness; and both these ends are reached by imitation.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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