Ernest Becker Quotes

Enjoy the top 111 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Ernest Becker.

Ernest Becker Quotes

Obviously, all religions fall far short of their own ideals.
— Ernest Becker —

The real world is simply too terrible to admit.
it tells man that he is a small trembling animal who will someday decay and die.
Culture changes all of this,makes man seem important,vital to the universe.
immortal in some ways

— Ernest Becker

Mother nature is a brutal bitch, red in tooth and claw, who destroys what she creates.

— Ernest Becker

The essence of man is really his paradoxical nature, the fact that he is half animal and half symbolic.

— Ernest Becker

The world of human aspiration is largely fictitious and if we do not understand this we understand nothing about man.

— Ernest Becker

To grow up at all is to conceal the mass of internal scar tissue that throbs in our dreams.

— Ernest Becker

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

Early theorists of group psychology had tried to explain why men were so sheeplike when they functioned in groups. They developed ideal like "mental contagion" and "herd instinct," which became very popular. But as Freud was quick to see, these ideas never really did explain what men did with their judgment and common sense when they got caught up in groups. Freud saw right away what they did with it: they simply became dependent children again, blindly following the inner voice of their parents, which now came to them under the hypnotic spell of the leader. They abandoned their egos to his, identified with his power, tried to function with him as an ideal.

— Ernest Becker

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

But now the problem of the causa-sui project of the genius. In the normal Oedipal project the person internalizes the parents and the superego they embody, that is, the culture at large. But the genius cannot do this because his project is unique; it cannot be filled up by the parents or the culture. It is created specifically by a renunciation of the parents, a renunciation of what they represent and even of their own concrete persons-at least in fantasy-as there doesn't seem to be anything in them that has caused the genius. Here we see whence the genius gets his extra burden of guilt: he has renounced the father both spiritually and physically. This act gives him extra anxiety because now he is vulnerable in his turn, as he has no one to stand on. He is alone in his freedom. Guilt is a function of fear, as Rank said.

— Ernest Becker

What man really fears is not so much extinction, but extinction with insignificance.

— Ernest Becker

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