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Ernest Becker Quotes

Ernest Becker Quote: “What man really fears is not so much extinction, but extinction with insignificance.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “The idea of death, the fear of it, haunts the human animal like nothing else; it is a mainspring of human activity – designed largely to avoid the fatality of death, to overcome it by denying in some way that it is the final destiny of man.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “Modern man is drinking and drugging himself out of awareness, or he spends his time shopping, which is the same thing.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “The irony of man’s condition is that the deepest need is to be free of the anxiety of death and annihilation; but it is life itself which awakens it, and so we must shrink from being fully alive.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “If everyone lives roughly the same lies about the same thing, there is no one to call them liars. They jointly establish their own sanity and themselves normal.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “All power is in essence power to deny mortality.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “Guilt results from unused life, from the unlived in us.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “War is a sociological safety valve that cleverly diverts popular hatred for the ruling classes into a happy occasion to mutilate or kill foreign enemies.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “Man cannot endure his own littleness unless he can translate it into meaningfulness on the largest possible level.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “It is fateful and ironic how the lie we need in order to live dooms us to a life that is never really ours.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “Man is literally split in two: he has an awareness of his own splendid uniqueness in that he sticks out of nature with a towering majesty, and yet he goes back into the ground a few feet in order blindly and dumbly to rot and disappear forever.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “Horror alone brings peace of mind.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “Each society is a hero system which promises victory over evil and death.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “We are gods with anuses.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “Once you base your whole life striving on a desperate lie, and try to implement that lie, you instrument your own undoing.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “Better guilt than the terrible burden of freedom and responsibility.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “For man, maximum excitement is the confrontation of death and the skillful defiance of it by watching others fed to it as he survives transfixed with rapture.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “The artist takes in the world, but instead of being oppressed by it, he reworks it in his own personality and recreates it in the work of art.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “People create the reality they need in order to discover themselves.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “Beyond a given point man is not helped by more “knowing,” but only by living and doing in a partly self-forgetful way. As Goethe put it, we must plunge into experience and then reflect on the meaning of it. All reflection and no plunging drives us mad; all plunging and no reflection, and we are brutes.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “What is the ideal for mental health, then? A lived, compelling illusion that does not lie about life, death, and reality; one honest enough to follow its own commandments: I mean, not to kill, not to take the lives of others to justify itself.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “The greatest cause of evil included all human motives in one giant paradox. Good and bad were so inextricably mixed that we couldn’t make them out; bad seemed to lead to good, and good motives led to bad. The paradox is that evil comes from man’s urge to heroic victory over evil.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “Man’s natural and inevitable urge to deny mortality and achieve a heroic self-image are the root causes of human evil.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “The road to creativity passes so close to the madhouse and often detours or ends there.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “Obviously, all religions fall far short of their own ideals.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “The key to the creative type is that he is separated out of the common pool of shared meanings. There is something in his life experience that makes him take in the world as a problem; as a result he has to make personal sense out of it.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “Genuine heroism for man is still the power to support contradictions, no matter how glaring or hopeless they may seem.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “What does it mean to be a self-conscious animal? The idea is ludicrous, if it is not monstrous. It means to know that one is food for worms.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “To live fully is to live with an awareness of the rumble of terror that underlies everything.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “One of the main reasons that it is so easy to march men off to war is that each of them feels sorry for the man next to him who will die.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “The crisis of modern society is precisely that the youth no longer feel heroic in the plan for action that their culture has set up. They don’t believe it is empirically true to the problems of their lives and times.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “When we understand that man is the only animal who must create meaning, who must open a wedge into neutral nature, we already understand the essence of love. Love is the problem of an animal who must find life, create a dialogue with nature in order to experience his own being.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “Relationship is thus always slavery of a kind, which leaves a residue of guilt.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “The man of knowledge in our time is bowed down under a burden he never imagined he would ever have: the overproduction of truth that cannot be consumed.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “Ecological devastation is the excrement, so to speak, of man’s power worship.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “In seeking to avoid evil, humanity is responsible for bringing more evil into the world than organisms could ever do merely by exercising their digestive tracts. It is our ingenuity, rather than our animal nature, that has given our fellow creatures such a bitter earthly fate.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “Love is the problem of an animal...”
Ernest Becker Quote: “This is the terror: to have emerged from nothing, to have a name, consciousness of self, deep inner feelings, an excruciating inner yearning for life and self-expression – and with all this yet to die.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “We might say that psychoanalysis revealed to us the complex penalties of denying the truth of man’s condition, what we might call the costs of pretending not to be mad.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “Men use one another to assure their personal victory over death.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “The road to creativity passes...”
Ernest Becker Quote: “I drink not from mere joy in wine nor to scoff at faith – no, only to forget myself for a moment, that only do I want of intoxication, that alone. – OMAR KHAYYAM.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “For centuries man lived in the belief that truth was slim and elusive and that once he found it the troubles of mankind would be over. And here we are in the closing decades of the 20th century, choking on truth.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “The world of human aspiration is largely fictitious and if we do not understand this we understand nothing about man.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “It is impossible to get blood from a stone, to get spirituality from a physical being.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “With the truth, one cannot live. To be able to live one needs illusions, not only outer illusions such as art, religion, philosophy, science and love afford, but inner illusions which first condition the outer.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “Creation is a nightmare spectacular taking place on a planet that has been soaked for hundreds of millions of years in the blood of all its creatures.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “The most that any one of us can seem to do is to fashion something–an object or ourselves–and drop it into the confusion, make an offering of it, so to speak, to the life force.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “The real world is simply too terrible to admit; it tells man that he is a small, trembling animal who will decay and die.”
Ernest Becker Quote: “To grow up at all is to conceal the mass of internal scar tissue that throbs in our dreams.”
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