Inspiration and wisdom from divine felines

300 Inspiring Quotes by Eric Hoffer

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Eric Hoffer.

Wikipedia Summary for Eric Hoffer

Eric Hoffer (July 15, 1902 – May 21, 1983) was an American moral and social philosopher. He was the author of ten books and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in February 1983. His first book, The True Believer (1951), was widely recognized as a classic, receiving critical acclaim from both scholars and laymen, although Hoffer believed that The Ordeal of Change (1963) was his finest work. The Eric Hoffer Book Award is an international literary prize established in his honor.

silhouette of mountains under blue sky during daytime

Originality is deliberate and forced, and partakes of the nature of a protest.

--Eric Hoffer

body of water under clear blue sky painting

The intellectuals and the young, booted and spurred, feel themselves born to ride us.

--Eric Hoffer

None

The urge to escape our real self is also an urge to escape the rational and the obvious.

--Eric Hoffer



clear blue sea under blue sky

Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many.

--Eric Hoffer

None

Good and evil grow up together and are bound in an equilibrium that cannot be sundered. The most we can do is try to tilt the equilibrium toward the good.

--Eric Hoffer


photo of clear sky full of stars

It is by its promise of a sense of power that evil often attracts the weak.

--Eric Hoffer


aerial photography of forest

Wise living consists perhaps less in acquiring good habits than in acquiring as few habits as possible.

--Eric Hoffer


black bird

Old age equalizes -- we are aware that what is happening to us has happened to untold numbers from the beginning of time. When we are young we act as if we were the first young people in the world.

--Eric Hoffer

woman in brown long sleeve shirt and blue denim jeans

Rudeness luxuriates in the absence of self-respect.

--Eric Hoffer

body of water

When cowardice becomes a fashion its adherents are without number, and it masquerades as forbearance, reasonableness and whatnot.

--Eric Hoffer

grassland landscape

To the old, the new is usually bad news.

--Eric Hoffer

green background

I hang onto my prejudices, they are the testicles of my mind.

--Eric Hoffer


crack in wall

Our credulity is greatest concerning the things we know least about.

--Eric Hoffer

2 people riding on boat during sunset

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

--Eric Hoffer

black textile on white background

Fear comes from uncertainty. When we are absolutely certain, whether of our worth or worthlessness, we are almost impervious to fear. Thus a feeling of utter unworthiness can be a source of courage.

--Eric Hoffer

leafless tree under gray sky

The effectiveness of a doctrine does not come from its meaning but from its certitude. No doctrine however profound and sublime will be effective unless it is presented as the embodiment of the one and only truth.

--Eric Hoffer

selective focus photo of four green humming birds with red flowers

All prayers and hopes are a reaching-out for coincidences.

--Eric Hoffer

Oak Creek Sedona

Compassion is the antitoxin of the soul.

--Eric Hoffer

Longer Version:

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



empty gray floor beside pool

America is still the best country for the common man -- white or black ... if he can't make it here he won't make it anywhere else.

--Eric Hoffer

man in blue jacket and blue pants carrying black and red backpack standing on snow covered

There is in most passions a shrinking away from ourselves. The passionate pursuer has all the earmarks of a fugitive.

--Eric Hoffer

high-angle photography of beach side

It is apparently vital that we should be in the dark about ourselves not to be clear about our intentions, fears, and hopes. There is a stubborn effort in us to set up a compact screen between consciousness and the self.

--Eric Hoffer




brown wooden surface

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.

--Eric Hoffer

couple sitting on the field facing the city

How much easier is self-sacrifice than self-realization?

--Eric Hoffer

Longer Version:

How much easier is self-sacrifice than self-realization!


white and blue ice in water

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

--Eric Hoffer


woman wears black dress

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

None

Though they seem at opposite poles, fanatics of all kinds are actually crowded together at one end. It is the fanatic and the moderate who are poles apart and never meet.

--Eric Hoffer


green grass field with smoke

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.

--Eric Hoffer

rock mountain during starry night

The fear of becoming a 'has-been' keeps some people from becoming anything.

--Eric Hoffer


None

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

person holding yellow petaled flower

The Greeks invented logic but were not fooled by it.

--Eric Hoffer

white clouds and blue sky during daytime

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

closeup photography of brown and gray concrete bricks

Faith is primarily a process of identification; the process by which the individual ceases to be himself and becomes part of something eternal.

--Eric Hoffer

lights

The future belongs to the learners-not the knowers.

--Eric Hoffer

silhouette of person standing beside bare tree under stary sky

They who clamor loudest for freedom are often the ones least likely to be happy in a free society.

--Eric Hoffer

closeup photography of wall

Nothing so bolsters our self-confidence and reconciles us with ourselves as the continuous ability to create; to see things grow and develop under our hand, day in, day out.

--Eric Hoffer

coconut tree near body of water

A preoccupation with the future not only prevents us from seeing the present as it is but often prompts us to rearrange the past.

--Eric Hoffer

snow covered mountain during daytime

The real persuaders are our appetites, our fears and above all our vanity. The skillful propagandist stirs and coaches these internal persuaders.

--Eric Hoffer

brown rocky mountain under blue sky during daytime

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

--Eric Hoffer

close-up photograph of black dreadnought acoustic guitar

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

--Eric Hoffer


None

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

--Eric Hoffer

four handheld gardening tools on rack

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

--Eric Hoffer

lights pattern swirls

Mass movements do not usually rise until the prevailing order has been discredited.

--Eric Hoffer

silhouette of flower during sunset

There is need for some kind of make-believe in order to face death unflinchingly. To our real, naked selves there is not a thing on earth or in heaven worth dying for.

--Eric Hoffer

pink-petaled rose flower

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

--Eric Hoffer


beach shore during day time

Our achievements speak for themselves. What we have to keep track of are our failures, discouragements and doubts.

--Eric Hoffer

Longer Version:

Our achievements speak for themselves. What we have to keep track of are our failures, discouragements and doubts. We tend to forget the past difficulties, the many false starts, and the painful groping. We see our past achievements as the end results of a clean forward thrust, and our present difficulties as signs of decline and decay.




silhouette of tree during sunset

God alone is satisfied with what He is and can proclaim: "I am what I am." Unlike God, man strives with all his might to be what he is not. He incessantly proclaims: "I am what I am not.

--Eric Hoffer

rock formation under starry skies

It is the malady of our age that the young are so busy teaching us that they have no time left to learn.

--Eric Hoffer

red textile in close up photography

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

--Eric Hoffer

Arizona landscape

Retribution often means that we eventually do to ourselves what we have done unto others.

--Eric Hoffer

Arizona landscape

Those who lack the capacity to achieve much in an atmosphere of freedom will clamor for power.

--Eric Hoffer

man in cowboy hat sitting in bleachers

We are ready to die for an opinion but not for a fact.

--Eric Hoffer


lights

The greatest weariness comes from work not done.

--Eric Hoffer


blue and white abstract painting

There is apparently no surer way of turning a thing into its opposite than by exaggerating it.

--Eric Hoffer



person wearing red running shoe

The creative mind is the playful mind. Philosophy is the play and dance of ideas.

--Eric Hoffer

two children holding hands while walking in the middle of the fields

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

--Eric Hoffer

sunset grasslands

The best part of the art of living is to know how to grow old gracefully.

--Eric Hoffer

white and pink plastic bottles

A great man's greatest good luck is to die at the right time.

--Eric Hoffer

green, red, and white abstract painting

Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power.

--Eric Hoffer

silhouette of stones during golden hour

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

Longer Version:

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. The atheist is a religious person. He believes in atheism as though it were a new religion.


lion on green grass during golden hour

The technique of a mass movement aims to infect people with a malady and then offer the movement as a cure.

--Eric Hoffer

purple flowers under sunny sky

It almost seems that nobody can hate America as much as native Americans. America needs new immigrants to love and cherish it.

--Eric Hoffer

crescent moon above mountain

The facts on which the true believer bases his conclusions must not be derived from his experience or observation but from holy writ.

--Eric Hoffer

purple petaled flower on gray surface

Absolute power turns its possessors not into a God but an anti-God. For God turned clay into men, while the absolute despot turns men into clay.

--Eric Hoffer

yellow green leaf

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

--Eric Hoffer

green grass field with smoke

The most troublesome problem which confronts social engineering is how to provide for the untalented and, what is equally important, how to provide against them.

--Eric Hoffer

white and gray floral bed sheet

It was the craving to be a one and only people which impelled the ancient Hebrews to invent a one and only God whose one and only people they were to be.

--Eric Hoffer

leafless tree on body of water during daytime

Every successful person has had failures but repeated failure is no guarantee of eventual success.

--Eric Hoffer





sunset highway

There is sublime thieving in all giving. Someone gives us all he has and we are his.

--Eric Hoffer

white shore under sunny sky

To some, freedom means the opportunity to do what they want to do; to most it means not to do what they do not want to do. It is perhaps true that those who can grow will feel free under any condition.

--Eric Hoffer

silhouette photography of mountains

You rarely find a nonconformist who goes it alone.

--Eric Hoffer

photo of gray elephant on grass

It is easier to love humanity as a whole than to love one's neighbor.

--Eric Hoffer

Longer Version:

It is easier to love humanity as a whole than to love one's neighbor. ... Some of the worst tyrannies of our day genuinely are "vowed" to the service of mankind, yet can function only by pitting neighbor against neighbor. The all-seeing eye of a totalitarian regime is usually the watchful eye of the next-door neighbor. In a Communist state love of neighbor may be classed as counter-revolutionary.


photo of brown parquet

No matter what our achievements might be, we think well of ourselves only in rare moments.

--Eric Hoffer

A white stripe pattern made up of concrete facade ribs

A compilation of what outstanding people said or wrote at the age of 20 would make a collection of asinine pronouncements.

--Eric Hoffer


closeup photo of bird beside purple petal flowers

The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do.

--Eric Hoffer

clear wine glass with red wine

That which corrodes the souls of the persecuted is the monstrous inner agreement with the prevailing prejudice against them.

--Eric Hoffer

forest trees

To dispose a soul to action we must upset its equilibrium.

--Eric Hoffer

two gold-colored skeleton keys

Anger is the prelude to courage.

--Eric Hoffer

brown desert under sunny sky

Capitalism is at its liberating best in a noncapitalist environment. The crypto-businessman is the true revolutionary in a Communist country.

--Eric Hoffer



brown leaf tree facing the lake

We feel free when we escape -- even if it be but from the frying pan to the fire.

--Eric Hoffer

adobe wall

When we believe ourselves in possession of the only truth, we are likely to be indifferent to common everyday truths.

--Eric Hoffer

blue sky with white clouds

Only the individual who has come to terms with his self can have a dispassionate attitude toward the world.

--Eric Hoffer

white and black floral textile

To be aware how fruitful the playful mood can be is to be immune to the propaganda of the alienated, which extols resentment as fuel of achievement.

--Eric Hoffer

Arizona landscape

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

--Eric Hoffer

selective photography of green leaf plant

There are many who have grave scruples about deceiving but think it as nothing to deceive themselves.

--Eric Hoffer

red rose

It is the fate of every great achievement to be pounced upon by pedants and imitators who drain it of life and turn it into an orthodoxy which stifles all stirrings of originality.

--Eric Hoffer

silhouette photo of person holding flashlight under milk way

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

--Eric Hoffer

blue sky and white clouds

Sensuality reconciles us with the human race. The misanthropy of the old is due in large part to the fading of the magic glow of desire.

--Eric Hoffer


red textile in close up photography

The sense of inferiority inherent in the act of imitation breeds resentment. The impulse of the imitators is to overcome the model they imitate.

--Eric Hoffer

sunset

It is to escape the responsibility for failure that the weak so eagerly throw themselves into grandiose undertakings.

--Eric Hoffer

forest trees photograph

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

--Eric Hoffer

white and black satellite dish on brown field during night time

The aspiration toward freedom is the most essentially human of all human manifestations.

--Eric Hoffer



silhouette of pine trees photo

Fair play is primarily not blaming others for anything that is wrong with us.

--Eric Hoffer

dew drops on glass panel

There is probably an element of malice in our readiness to overestimate people -- we are, as it were, laying up for ourselves the pleasure of later cutting them down to size.

--Eric Hoffer

Arizona landscape rocks

Nothing so offends the doctrinaire intellectual as our ability to achieve the momentous in a matter-of-fact way, unblessed by words.

--Eric Hoffer


None

Those in possession of absolute power can not only prophesy and make their prophecies come true, but they can also lie and make their lies come true.

--Eric Hoffer

pink and blue sky with moon

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


closeup photo of lounger chairs and beach umbrellas

When grubbing for necessities man is still an animal. He becomes uniquely human when he reaches out for the superfluous and extravagant.

--Eric Hoffer

close-up photograph of black dreadnought acoustic guitar

In a time of drastic change, it is the learners who inherit the future.

--Eric Hoffer

Longer Version:

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.


black bird

Where unity and self-sacrifice are indispensable for the normal functioning of society, everyday life is likely to be either religiofied (common tasks turned into holy causes) or militarized.

--Eric Hoffer

orange and blue abstract painting

It is part of the formidableness of a genuine mass movement that the self-sacrifice it promotes includes also a sacrifice of some of the moral sense, which cramps and restrains our nature.

--Eric Hoffer


green grass field

Glory is largely a theatrical concept. There is no striving for glory without a vivid awareness of an audience.

--Eric Hoffer

white boat on sea under white sky during daytime

Crude absurdities, trivial nonsense, and sublime truths are equally potent in readying people for self-sacrifice if they are accepted as the sole, eternal truth.

--Eric Hoffer

Arizona landscape

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

--Eric Hoffer



photography of white sky at golden hour

It is a strange thing that both the injurer and the injured, the sinner and he who is sinned against, should find in the mass movement an escape from a blemished life.

--Eric Hoffer



red strawberry fruit on red surface

There is a radicalism in all getting, and a conservatism in all keeping. Lovemaking is radical, while marriage is conservative.

--Eric Hoffer


aerial photography of pine trees with mist

Whoever originated the cliche that money is the root of all evil knew hardly anything about the nature of evil and very little about human beings.

--Eric Hoffer







red roses on book

Propaganda does not deceive people; it merely helps them to deceive themselves.

--Eric Hoffer

green leaf in close up photography

Dissipation is a form of self-sacrifice.

--Eric Hoffer

forest trees photograph

We are more prone to generalize the bad than the good. We assume that the bad is more potent and contagious.

--Eric Hoffer




palm trees covered with fog

It is a sign of creeping inner death when we can no longer praise the living.

--Eric Hoffer

brown desert under sunny sky

Those who are in love with the present can be cruel and corrupt but not genuinely vicious. They cannot be methodically and consistently ruthless.

--Eric Hoffer

body of water under clear blue sky painting

We are least open to precise knowledge concerning the things we are most vehement about.

--Eric Hoffer

white clouds and blue sky during daytime

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

white desk lamp beside green plant

Far more crucial than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know. One often obtains a clue to a person's nature by discovering the reasons for his or her imperviousness to certain impressions.

--Eric Hoffer

blue and white striped textile

The only way to predict the future is to have power to shape the future.

--Eric Hoffer


closeup photography of wall

In an adequate social order, the untalented should be able to acquire a sense of usefulness and of growth without interfering with the development of talent around them.

--Eric Hoffer

green leaf in close up photography

The savior who wants to turn men into angels is as much a hater of human nature as the totalitarian despot who wants to turn them into puppets.

--Eric Hoffer

None

There is no telling to what extremes of cruelty and ruthlessness a man will go when he is freed from the fears, hesitations, doubts and the vague stirrings of decency that go with individual judgment.

--Eric Hoffer

Longer Version:

There is no telling to what extremes of cruelty and ruthlessness a man will go when he is freed from the fears, hesitations, doubts and the vague stirrings of decency that go with individual judgement. When we lose our individual independence in the corporateness of a mass movement, we find a new freedom- freedom to hate, bully, lie, torture, murder and betray without shame and remorse. Herein undoubtedly lies part of the attractiveness of a mass movement.



Arizona landscape

The hardest thing to cope with is not selfishness or vanity or deceitfulness, but sheer stupidity.

--Eric Hoffer


None

Whenever we proclaim the uniqueness of a religion , a truth , a leader, a nation, a race, a part or a holy cause, we are also proclaiming our own uniqueness.

--Eric Hoffer

None

The genuine artist is as much a dissatisfied person as the revolutionary, yet how diametrically opposed are the products each distills from his dissatisfaction.

--Eric Hoffer


black and white abstract illustration

A successful social technique consists perhaps in finding unobjectionable means for individual self-assertion.

--Eric Hoffer

library shelf near black wooden ladder

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

--Eric Hoffer

brown and gray brick wall

Faith in humanity, in posterity, in the destiny of one's religion, nation, race, party or family-what is it but the visualization of that eternal something to which we attach the self that is about to be annihilated?

--Eric Hoffer

Blue to purple gradient

Charlatanism of some degree is indispensable to effective leadership.

--Eric Hoffer



brown leaf tree facing the lake

Wordiness is a sickness of American writing. Too many words dilute and blur ideas.

--Eric Hoffer

clear liquid on leaf

We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves.

--Eric Hoffer



silhouette of tall trees

The most gifted members of the human species are at their creative best when they cannot have their way, and must compensate for what they miss by realizing and cultivating their capacities and talents.

--Eric Hoffer

painting of man walking down a road holding umbrella

Language was invented to ask questions.

--Eric Hoffer

Longer Version:

Language was invented to ask questions. Answers may be given by grunts and gestures, but questions must be spoken. Humanness came of age when man asked the first question. Social stagnation results not from a lack of answers but from the absence of the impulse to ask questions.



high-angle photography of beach side

The devil personifies not the nature that is around us but the nature that is within us- the infinitely ferocious and cunning prehuman creature that is still within us, sealed in the subconscious cellars of the psyche.

--Eric Hoffer

sunset

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

--Eric Hoffer

forest and body of water

Man is the only creature that strives to surpass himself, and yearns for the impossible.

--Eric Hoffer


water on seashore

The nature of a society is largely determined by the direction in which talent and ambition flow -- by the tilt of the social landscape.

--Eric Hoffer


purple and black skies

A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding.

--Eric Hoffer

Longer Version:

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.


ocean wave in shallow focus lens

The impression somehow prevails that the true believer, particularly the religious individual, is a humble person. The truth is that the surrendering and humbling of the self breeds pride and arrogance.

--Eric Hoffer

Longer Version:

The impression somehow prevails that the true believer, particularly the religious individual, is a humble person. The truth is the surrendering and humbling of the self breed pride and arrogance. The true believer is apt to see himself as one of the chosen, the salt of the earth, the light of the world, a prince disguised in meekness, who is destined to inherit the earth and the kingdom of heaven too. He who is not of his faith is evil; he who will not listen will perish.


sunflower with clear glass vase on gray table

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.

--Eric Hoffer

red and black floral textile

Action is basically a reaction against loss of balance -- a flailing of the arms to to regain one's balance. To dispose a soul to action, we must upset its equilibrium.

--Eric Hoffer

brown brick wall photography

Rudeness is a weak man's imitation of strength.

--Eric Hoffer

tree and pink sky painting

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


None

When we lose our individual independence in the corporateness of a mass movement, we find a new freedom -- freedom to hate, bully, lie, torture, murder and betray without shame and remorse.

--Eric Hoffer

yellow, black, green, and orange digital wallpaper

The majority of people cannot endure the bareness and futility of their lives unless they have some ardent dedication, or some passionate pursuit in which they can lose themselves.

--Eric Hoffer

None

It is often the failure who is the pioneer in new lands, new undertakings, and new forms of expression.

--Eric Hoffer

lightning strike at night

Children, savages and true believers remember far less what they have seen than what they have heard.

--Eric Hoffer

Light blue to purple gradient

The original insight is most likely to come when elements stored in different compartments of the mind drift into the open, jostle one another, and now and then form new combinations.

--Eric Hoffer

shoreline during golden hour

Where everything is possible miracles become commonplaces, but the familiar ceases to be self-evident.

--Eric Hoffer

Arizona landscape

The savior who wants to turn men into angels is as much a hater of human nature as the totalitarian despot who wants to turn them into puppets.

--Eric Hoffer

None

Some people have no original ideas because they do not think well enough of themselves to consider their ideas worth noticing and developing.

--Eric Hoffer

close-up photograph of black dreadnought acoustic guitar

The world leans on us. When we sag, the whole world seems to droop.

--Eric Hoffer

black and white bird on seashore

First something is a great idea, then it becomes a cause, then it becomes a business and finally it becomes a racket.

--Eric Hoffer


blue sky with white clouds

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

--Eric Hoffer

black mountain under blue sky during night time

The burning conviction that we have a holy duty toward others is often a way of attaching our drowning selves to a passing raft.

--Eric Hoffer

long exposure photography of beach

It is the around-the-corner brand of hope that prompts people to action, while the distant hope acts as an opiate.

--Eric Hoffer

white boat on sea under white sky during daytime

The feeling of being hurried is not usually the result of living a full life and having no time. It is, rather, born of a vague fear that we are wasting our life.

--Eric Hoffer

Longer Version:

The feeling of being hurried is not usually the result of living a full life and having no time. It is on the contrary born of a vague fear that we are wasting our life. When we do not do the one thing we ought to do, we have no time for anything else -- we are the busiest people in the world.


photography of white sky at golden hour

The history of this country was made largely by people who wanted to be left alone. Those who could not thrive when left to themselves never felt at ease in America.

--Eric Hoffer

body of water under blue sky with stars

Self-contempt, however vague, sharpens our eyes for the imperfections of others. We usually strive to reveal in others the blemishes we hide in ourselves.

--Eric Hoffer


white clouds and blue sky

When hopes and dreams are loose in the streets, it is well for the timid to lock doors, shutter windows and lie low until the wrath has passed.

--Eric Hoffer

black pug puppy lying on gray bed

The self-styled intellectual who is impotent with pen and ink hungers to write history with sword and blood.

--Eric Hoffer


tree under blue sky

The proselytizing fanatic strengthens his own faith by converting others. The creed whose legitimacy is most easily challenged is likely to develop the strongest proselytizing impulse.

--Eric Hoffer


green leafed vegetable on brown wooden surface

Intolerance is the 'Do Not Touch' sign on something that cannot bear touching. We do not mind having our hair ruffled, but we will not tolerate any familiarity with the toupee which covers our baldness.

--Eric Hoffer

man raising arms between greenfield

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

--Eric Hoffer

woman wearing gray long-sleeved shirt facing the sea

To the excessively fearful the chief characteristic of power is its arbitrariness. Man had to gain enormously in confidence before he could conceive an all-powerful God who obeys his own laws.

--Eric Hoffer

None

With some people solitariness is an escape not from others but from themselves. For they see in the eyes of others only a reflection of themselves.

--Eric Hoffer

two gray pencils on yellow surface

The chemistry of dissatisfaction is as the chemistry of some marvelously potent tar. In it are the building stones of explosives, stimulants, poisons, opiates, perfumes and stenches.

--Eric Hoffer

man riding on boat on body of water

Absolute power corrupts even when exercised for humane purposes.

--Eric Hoffer

Longer Version:

Absolute power corrupts even when exercised for humane purposes. The benevolent despot who sees himself as a shepherd of the people still demands from others the submissiveness of sheep. The taint inherent in absolute power is not its inhumanity but its anti-humanity.



None

To change everything, simply change your attitude.

--Eric Hoffer



green leafed tree on body of water under starry sky

We cannot win the weak by sharing our wealth with them. They feel our generosity as oppression.

--Eric Hoffer





blue sky and white clouds

Whenever you trace the origin of a skill or practices which played a crucial role in the ascent of man, we usually reach the realm of play.

--Eric Hoffer


rock formation under starry skies

The short-lived self, teetering on the edge of extinction, is the only thing that can ever really matter.

--Eric Hoffer

black bird

The pre-human creature from which man evolved was unlike any other living thing in its malicious viciousness toward its own kind. Humanization was not a leap forward but a groping toward survival.

--Eric Hoffer

raging waves through shores

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

blue and white water waves

Both the revolutionary and the creative individual are perpetual juveniles. The revolutionary does not grow up because he cannot grow, while the creative individual cannot grow up because he keeps growing.

--Eric Hoffer

man in orange jacket and black pants doing snow ski during daytime

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

--Eric Hoffer

shallow focus photography of white flowers

It needs fanatical faith to rationalize our cowardice.

--Eric Hoffer

brown sands

The wise learn from the experience of others, and the creative know how to make a crumb of experience go a long way.

--Eric Hoffer

two blue beach chairs near body of water

No matter how noble the objectives of a government, if it blurs decency and kindness, cheapens human life, and breeds ill will and suspicion; it is an evil government.

--Eric Hoffer

None

The ratio between supervisory and producing personnel is always highest where the intellectuals are in power. In a Communist country it takes half the population to supervise the other half.

--Eric Hoffer

aerial photo of foggy mountains

What greater reassurance can the weak have than that they are like anyone else?

--Eric Hoffer

brown mountain on body of water

There is no alienation that a little power will not cure.

--Eric Hoffer

grayscale photography of pug

Unless a man has the talents to make something of himself, freedom is an irksome burden.

--Eric Hoffer

Longer Version:

Unless a man has the talents to make something of himself, freedom is an irksome burden. We join a mass movement to escape from individual responsibility, or, in the words of an ardent young Nazi, to be free from freedom. It was not sheer hypocrisy when the rank-and-file Nazis declared themselves not guilty of all the enormities they had committed. They considered themselves cheated and maligned when made to shoulder responsibility for obeying orders. Had they not joined the Nazi movement in order to be free from responsibility?


man with LED headlight looking upward

To spell out the obvious is often to call it in question.

--Eric Hoffer

rainbow desert

When you automate an industry you modernize it; when you automate a life you primitivize it.

--Eric Hoffer

forest and body of water

There is a close connection between lack of confidence and the passionate state of mind.

--Eric Hoffer

brown and gray mountains during daytime

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

--Eric Hoffer

None

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

--Eric Hoffer

sunset

All through the ages schoolmasters seem to have had the delusion that they could order society as readily as they could a classroom.

--Eric Hoffer

man on running field

It takes a vice to check a vice, and virtue is the by-product of a stalemate between opposite vices.

--Eric Hoffer

white flowers

A nation without dregs and malcontents is orderly, peaceful and pleasant, but perhaps without the seed of things to come.

--Eric Hoffer



aerial photography of pine trees with mist

A passionate obsession with the outside world or the private lives of others is an attempt to compensate for a lack of meaning in one's own life.

--Eric Hoffer

blue and white abstract painting

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

--Eric Hoffer

forest trees photograph

Naivete in grownups is often charming; but when coupled with vanity it is indistinguishable from stupidity.

--Eric Hoffer

brown sand under blue sky during daytime

It sometimes seems that intense desire creates not only its own opportunities, but its own talents.

--Eric Hoffer

band performing on stage in front of people

The majority prove their worth by keeping busy. A busy life is the nearest thing to a purposeful life.

--Eric Hoffer

blue textile with blue background

For many people, an excuse is better than an achievement because an achievement, no matter how great, leaves you having to prove yourself again in the future, but an excuse can last for life.

--Eric Hoffer

brown and white abstract painting

One word characterizes the most strenuous of the efforts for the advancement of science that I have made perservereingly during fifty-five years; that word is failure.

--Eric Hoffer

white and blue ice in water

Man was nature's mistake she neglected to finish him and she has never ceased paying for her mistake.

--Eric Hoffer


mountains covered with fog

Men weary as much of not doing the things they want to do as of doing the things they do not want to do.

--Eric Hoffer

brown and black leaf in close up photography

When people are bored it is primarily with themselves.

--Eric Hoffer

None

It is remarkable by how much a pinch of malice enhances the penetrating power of an idea or an opinion. Our ears, it seems, are wonderfully attuned to sneers and evil reports about our fellow men.

--Eric Hoffer


person standing on rock beside body of water between green trees

It is our talents rusting unused within us that secrete the poison of self-doubt into our bloodstream.

--Eric Hoffer


snow covered mountain during daytime

The unpredictability inherent in human affairs is due largely to the fact that the by-products of a human process are more fateful than the product.

--Eric Hoffer

body of water during daytime

Where freedom is real, equality is the passion of the masses. Where equality is real, freedom is the passion of a small minority.

--Eric Hoffer


green leaf

Learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.

--Eric Hoffer

purple and white clouds during night time

Without a sense of proportion there can be neither good taste nor genuine intelligence, nor perhaps moral integrity.

--Eric Hoffer

silhouette of trees near body of water during sunset

A society that refuses to strive for superfluities is likely to end up lacking in necessities.

--Eric Hoffer





low-angle photo of white daisy

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

--Eric Hoffer


purple and white clouds during night time

To know a person's religion we need not listen to his profession of faith but must find his brand of intolerance.

--Eric Hoffer

sunset

Children are the keys of paradise.

--Eric Hoffer

Longer Version:

Children are the keys of Paradise. They alone are good and wise, because their thoughts, their very lives are prayer.



pink and green flower painting

It is always safe to assume that people are more subtle and less sensitive than they seem.

--Eric Hoffer

orange and blue abstract painting

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

cat with flower

Self-righteousness is a manifestation of self-contempt.

--Eric Hoffer

brown and gray brick wall

You accept certain unlovely things about yourself and manage to live with them. The atonement for such an acceptance is that you make allowances for others -- that you cleanse yourself of the sin of self-righteousness.

--Eric Hoffer

photo of mountains

A dissenting minority feels free only when it can impose its will on the majority: what it abominates most is the dissent of the majority.

--Eric Hoffer


brown and white butterfly on purple petaled flower

Self-esteem and self-contempt have specific odors; they can be smelled.

--Eric Hoffer

brown and grey trees and rock formation painting

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

--Eric Hoffer

blue and white striped textile

We are more ready to try the untried when what we do is inconsequential. Hence the fact that many inventions had their birth as toys.

--Eric Hoffer

We wish you a perfect day!