Ernest Becker Quotes
Man has a basic narcissism built into himself, which naturally comes with self-esteem.
The hope and belief is that the things that man creates in society are of lasting worth and meaning, that they outlive or outshine death and decay, that man and his products count.
To become conscious of what one is doing to earn his feeling of heroism is the main self-analytic problem of life.
The result was the emergence of man as we know him: a hyperanxious animal who constantly invents reasons for anxiety even where there are none.
What we will see is that man cuts out for himself a manageable world: he throws himself into action uncritically, unthinkingly. He accepts the cultural programming that turns his nose where he is supposed to look; he doesn’t bite the world off in one piece as a giant would, but in small mangable pieces as a beaver does. He uses all kinds of techniques, which we call character defenses
child has to do is to learn to abandon ecstasy, to do without awe, to leave fear and trembling behind. Only then can he act with a certain oblivious self-confidence, when he has naturalized his world. We say naturalized but we mean unnaturalized, falsified, with the truth obscured, the despair of the human condition hidden
…man is a robustly active creature; activity alone keeps him from going crazy. If he bogs down and begins to dwell on his situation, he risks releasing the neurotic fear repressed into his unconscious – that he is really impotent and will have no effect on the world. So he frantically drives himself to see his effects, to convince himself and others that he really counts..
For all organisms, then, opposing and obliterating power is evil – it threatens to stop experience. But men are truly sorry creatures because they have made death conscious. They can see evil in anything that wounds them, causes ill health, or even deprives them of pleasure. Consciousness means too that they have to be preoccupied with evil even in the absence of any immediate danger; their lives become a meditation on evil and a planned venture for controlling it and forestalling it.