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Famous quotes by Eric Hoffer on family, children, hope, soul and other things.

99 Famous Quotes By Eric Hoffer, The Author Of The True Believer

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Famous As
Writer, Philosopher, Psychologist

Born On

Died On

Born In
New York City

Died At Age

‘The only way to predict the future is to shape the future’ – quoted by Eric Hoffer says much about the attitude one must have in life. We all get intrigued by the fact that what our future holds for us. In doing so, many of us fail to realize the importance of the present. Hoffer beautifully describes that a perfect future is only the result of a hardworking present life. Toiling today would assist you in reaping benefits tomorrow. A moral and social philosopher, Eric Hoffer was a sheer genius who is today regarded as one of the most important thinkers of the 20th century. Author of ten books, his big break came in when he penned ‘The True Believer’ which amassed recognition and acknowledgement from the critics and audience alike. Interestingly Hoffer had no schooling and was practically blind until 15. As soon as he gained his eyesight, he read voraciously, taking up every book that he could lay his hands on. Hoffer’s moral and social philosophy throws a light on various aspects of life such as happiness, expectation, hope, joy, kindness, compassion, self-esteem, strength and so on. Find out some of the best known quotes by Eric Hoffer.    

Disappointment is a sort of bankruptcy - the bankruptcy of a soul that expends too much in hope and expectation.

- Eric Hoffer

Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.

- The Passionate State of Mind: And Other Aphorisms, Eric Hoffer

We lie the loudest when we lie to ourselves.

- Eric Hoffer

In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.

- Eric Hoffer

The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.

- Eric Hoffer

People who bite the hand that feeds them usually lick the boot that kicks them.

- Eric Hoffer

Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.

- The Temper of Our Time, Eric Hoffer

We are told that talent creates its own opportunities. But it sometimes seems that intense desire creates not only its own opportunities but its own talents.

- Eric Hoffer

When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.

- Eric Hoffer

When people are bored, it is primarily with their own selves that they are bored.

- Eric Hoffer

Anger is the prelude to courage.

- Eric Hoffer

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.

- Eric Hoffer

Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power.

- Eric Hoffer

It still holds true that man is most uniquely human when he turns obstacles into opportunities.

- Eric Hoffer

Nonconformists travel as a rule in bunches. You rarely find a nonconformist who goes it alone. And woe to him inside a nonconformist clique who does not conform with nonconformity.

- Eric Hoffer

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.

- Eric Hoffer

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

- Eric Hoffer

Far more crucial than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know.

- Eric Hoffer

A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people's business.

- Eric Hoffer

You can never get enough of what you don't need to make you happy.

- Eric Hoffer

The greatest weariness comes from work not done.

- Eric Hoffer

Our greatest pretenses are built up not to hide the evil and the ugly in us, but our emptiness. The hardest thing to hide is something that is not there.

- Eric Hoffer

In a world of change, the learners shall inherit the earth, while the learned shall find themselves perfectly suited for a world that no longer exists.

- Eric Hoffer

To a man utterly without a sense of belonging, mere life is all that matters. It is the only reality in an eternity of nothingness, and he clings to it with shameless despair.

- Eric Hoffer

To be fully alive is to feel that everything is possible.

- Eric Hoffer

An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head.

- Eric Hoffer

Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life.

- Eric Hoffer

Man staggers through life yapped at by his reason, pulled and shoved by his appetites, whispered to by fears, beckoned by hopes. Small wonder that what he craves most is self-forgetting.

- Eric Hoffer

What monstrosities would walk the streets were some people's faces as unfinished as their minds.

- Eric Hoffer

It is startling to realize how much unbelief is necessary to make belief possible.

- The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, Eric Hoffer

Many of the insights of the saint stem from his experience as a sinner.

- Eric Hoffer

Hatred is the most accessible and comprehensive of all the unifying agents. Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a god, but never without a belief in a devil.

- The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, Eric Hoffer

You can never get enough of what you don’t really need.

- Eric Hoffer

People with a sense of fulfillment think it is a good world and would like to conserve it as it is, while the frustrated favor radical change.

- The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, Eric Hoffer

The quality of ideas seems to play a minor role in mass movement leadership. What counts is the arrogant gesture, the complete disregard of the opinion of others, the singlehanded defiance of the world.

- The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, Eric Hoffer

There would be no society if living together depended upon understanding each other.

- Eric Hoffer

We can be absolutely certain only about things we do not understand.

- Eric Hoffer

The beginning of thought is in disagreement - not only with others but also with ourselves.

- The Passionate State of Mind: And Other Aphorisms, Eric Hoffer

We feel free when we escape, even if it be from the frying pan into the fire.

- Eric Hoffer

In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.

- Reflections on the Human Condition, Eric Hoffer

The weakness of a soul is proportionate to the number of truths that must be kept from it.

- Eric Hoffer

It is thus with most of us; we are what other people say we are. We know ourselves chiefly by hearsay.

- Eric Hoffer

Compassion is the antitoxin of the soul: where there is compassion even the most poisonous impulses remain relatively harmless.

- Eric Hoffer

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.

- The True Believer, Eric Hoffer

If the Communists win Europe and a large part of the world, it will not be because they know how to stir up discontent or how to infect people with hatred, but because they know how to preach hope.

- Eric Hoffer

Our passionate preoccupation with the sun, the stars and a God somewhere in outer space is a homing impulse. We are drawn back to where we came from.

- Eric Hoffer

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

- Eric Hoffer

We probably have a greater love for those we support than for those who support us. Our vanity carries more weight than our self-interest.

- Eric Hoffer

Rudeness is a weak persons imitation of strength.

- Eric Hoffer

The permanent misfits can find salvation only in a complete separation from the self; and they usually find it by losing themselves in the compact collectivity of a mass movement.

- The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, Eric Hoffer

How frighteningly few are the persons whose death would spoil our appetite and make the world seem empty.

- Eric Hoffer

It is the pull of opposite poles that stretches souls. And only stretched souls make music.

- Eric Hoffer

A ruling intelligentsia, whether in Europe, Asia or Africa, treats the masses as raw material to be experimented on, processed, and wasted at will.

- The Temper of Our Time, Eric Hoffer

...in the shaping of a life, chance and the ability to respond to chance are everything.

- Eric Hoffer

Where there is the necessary technical skill to move mountains, there is no need for the faith that moves mountains.

- Eric Hoffer

A movement is pioneered by men of words, materialized by fanatics and consolidated by men of action.

- The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, Eric Hoffer

Those who would sacrifice a generation to realize an ideal are the enemies of mankind.

- The Passionate State of Mind: And Other Aphorisms, Eric Hoffer

There are no chaste minds. Minds copulate whenever they meet.

- Eric Hoffer

The search for happiness is one of the chief sources of unhappiness.

- Eric Hoffer

The act of self-denial seems to confer on us the right to be harsh and merciless toward others.

- The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, Eric Hoffer

To wrong those we hate is to add fuel to our hatred. Conversely, to treat an enemy with magnanimity is to blunt our hatred for him

- The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, Eric Hoffer

Things which are not" are indeed mightier than "things that are". In all ages men have fought most desperately for beautiful cities yet to be built and gardens yet to be planted.

- The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, Eric Hoffer

Faith in a holy cause is to a considerable extent a substitute for the lost faith in ourselves.

- The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, Eric Hoffer

Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.

- Eric Hoffer

If a society is to preserve stability and a degree of continuity, it must learn how to keep its adolescents from imposing their tastes, values, and fantasies on everyday life.

- Eric Hoffer

Propaganda ... serves more to justify ourselves than to convince others; and the more reason we have to feel guilty, the more fervent our propaganda.

- The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, Eric Hoffer

Empathy, alone stands apart from the continuous traffic between good and evil proceeding within us.

- Eric Hoffer

The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready is he to claim all excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause.

- Eric Hoffer

To lose one's life is but to lose the present; and, clearly, to lose a defiled, worthless present is not to lose much.

- Eric Hoffer

Jesus was not a Christian, nor was Marx a Marxist.

- The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, Eric Hoffer

There is perhaps no surer way of infecting ourselves with virulent hatred toward a person than by doing him a grave injustice.

- The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, Eric Hoffer

Most often in history it was the conquerors who learned willingly from the conquered.

- The Ordeal of Change, Eric Hoffer

Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and turns into a racket.

- Eric Hoffer

The conservatism of a religion - it's orthodoxy - is the inert coagulum of a once highly reactive sap.

- The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, Eric Hoffer

We usually see only the things we are looking for- so much so that we sometimes see them where they are not.

- Eric Hoffer

You can never have enough of that which you don’t need.

- Eric Hoffer

The vanity of the selfless, even those who practice utmost humility, is boundless.

- The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, Eric Hoffer

It is not actual suffering but the taste of better things which excites people to revolt.

- The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, Eric Hoffer

The game of history is usually played by the best and the worst over the heads of the majority in the middle.

- The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, Eric Hoffer

The loyalty of the true believer is to the whole -- the church, party, nation -- and not to his fellow true believer.

- The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, Eric Hoffer

Action is a unifier.

- The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, Eric Hoffer

If a doctrine is not unintelligible, it has to be vague; and if neither unintelligible nor vague, it has to be unverifiable.

- The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, Eric Hoffer

If free enterprise becomes a proselytizing holy cause, it will be a sign that its workability and advantages have ceased to be self-evident.

- The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, Eric Hoffer

Ideas have significance for him only as a prelude to action.

- The Ordeal of Change, Eric Hoffer

You can never get enough of what you don't really want.

- Eric Hoffer

It is loneliness that makes the loudest noise. This is true of men as of dogs." -

- Eric Hoffer

Someone who thinks the world is always cheating him is right. He is missing that wonderful feeling of trust in someone or something.

- Eric Hoffer

The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready he is to claim all excellence for his nation, his religion, his race, or his own holy cause.

- Eric Hoffer

Success and failure are unavoidably related in our minds with the state of things around us

- The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, Eric Hoffer

The leader has to be practical and a realist yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist.

- Eric Hoffer

You can't do it right too often:author bob wyrick. A fanatic is a person who redoubles his effort after he's lost sight of his aim.

- Eric Hoffer

Every extreme attitude is a flight from the self.

- The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, Eric Hoffer

Nowhere at present is there such a measureless loathing of their country by educated people as in America

- The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, Eric Hoffer

Molto pi importante di quello che sappiamo o non sappiamo quello che non vogliamo sapere.

- Eric Hoffer

There are no chaste minds. Minds copulate wherever they meet.

- Eric Hoffer

Creativity is the ability to introduce order into the randomness of nature.

- Eric Hoffer

In times of change the learners will inherit the earth, while the knowers will find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.

- Eric Hoffer

In the countryside where the communal pattern was least disturbed, the new religion found the ground less favorable. The villagers (pagani) and the heath-dwellers (heathen) clung longest to the ancient cults.

- The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, Eric Hoffer

The decline of handicrafts in modern times is perhaps one of the causes for the rise of frustration

- The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, Eric Hoffer