99 Famous Quotes By Eric Hoffer, The Author Of The True Believer
Writer, Philosopher, Psychologist
‘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 20
th 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. Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength. We lie the loudest when we lie to ourselves. In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists. The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings. People who bite the hand that feeds them usually lick the boot that kicks them. Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket. 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. When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other. When people are bored, it is primarily with their own selves that they are bored. Anger is the prelude to courage. 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. Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power. It still holds true that man is most uniquely human when he turns obstacles into opportunities. 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. 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. You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you. Far more crucial than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know. 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. You can never get enough of what you don't need to make you happy. The greatest weariness comes from work not done. 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. 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. 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. To be fully alive is to feel that everything is possible. 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. An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life. What monstrosities would walk the streets were some people's faces as unfinished as their minds. It is startling to realize how much unbelief is necessary to make belief possible. Many of the insights of the saint stem from his experience as a sinner. 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. You can never get enough of what you don’t really need. 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 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. There would be no society if living together depended upon understanding each other. We can be absolutely certain only about things we do not understand. The beginning of thought is in disagreement - not only with others but also with ourselves. We feel free when we escape, even if it be from the frying pan into the fire. 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. The weakness of a soul is proportionate to the number of truths that must be kept from it. It is thus with most of us; we are what other people say we are. We know ourselves chiefly by hearsay. Compassion is the antitoxin of the soul: where there is compassion even the most poisonous impulses remain relatively harmless. 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. 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. 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. Our quarrel with the world is an echo of the endless quarrel proceeding within us. 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. Rudeness is a weak persons imitation of strength. 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. How frighteningly few are the persons whose death would spoil our appetite and make the world seem empty. It is the pull of opposite poles that stretches souls. And only stretched souls make music. A ruling intelligentsia, whether in Europe, Asia or Africa, treats the masses as raw material to be experimented on, processed, and wasted at will. ...in the shaping of a life, chance and the ability to respond to chance are everything. Where there is the necessary technical skill to move mountains, there is no need for the faith that moves mountains. A movement is pioneered by men of words, materialized by fanatics and consolidated by men of action. Those who would sacrifice a generation to realize an ideal are the enemies of mankind. There are no chaste minds. Minds copulate whenever they meet. The search for happiness is one of the chief sources of unhappiness. The act of self-denial seems to confer on us the right to be harsh and merciless toward others. 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 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. Faith in a holy cause is to a considerable extent a substitute for the lost faith in ourselves. Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind. 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. Propaganda ... serves more to justify ourselves than to convince others; and the more reason we have to feel guilty, the more fervent our propaganda. Empathy, alone stands apart from the continuous traffic between good and evil proceeding within us. 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. To lose one's life is but to lose the present; and, clearly, to lose a defiled, worthless present is not to lose much. Jesus was not a Christian, nor was Marx a Marxist. There is perhaps no surer way of infecting ourselves with virulent hatred toward a person than by doing him a grave injustice. Most often in history it was the conquerors who learned willingly from the conquered. Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and turns into a racket. The conservatism of a religion - it's orthodoxy - is the inert coagulum of a once highly reactive sap. We usually see only the things we are looking for- so much so that we sometimes see them where they are not. You can never have enough of that which you don’t need. The vanity of the selfless, even those who practice utmost humility, is boundless. It is not actual suffering but the taste of better things which excites people to revolt. The game of history is usually played by the best and the worst over the heads of the majority in the middle. The loyalty of the true believer is to the whole -- the church, party, nation -- and not to his fellow true believer. If a doctrine is not unintelligible, it has to be vague; and if neither unintelligible nor vague, it has to be unverifiable. If free enterprise becomes a proselytizing holy cause, it will be a sign that its workability and advantages have ceased to be self-evident. Ideas have significance for him only as a prelude to action. You can never get enough of what you don't really want. It is loneliness that makes the loudest noise. This is true of men as of dogs." - Someone who thinks the world is always cheating him is right. He is missing that wonderful feeling of trust in someone or something. 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. Success and failure are unavoidably related in our minds with the state of things around us The leader has to be practical and a realist yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist. 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. Every extreme attitude is a flight from the self.
Nowhere at present is there such a measureless loathing of their country by educated people as in America
There are no chaste minds. Minds copulate wherever they meet.
Creativity is the ability to introduce order into the randomness of nature.
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.
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 decline of handicrafts in modern times is perhaps one of the causes for the rise of frustration