Book Review: The True Believer by Eric Hoffer – Marc MacYoung

True Believer


Mythology / fable / beliefs that gives life order and comprehension
Identity creating narrative
Beliefs shaping world view
Moral, ethics and conduct arising from the above
Repudiation of other belief systems and/or facts to preserve belief
“Saints,” prophets, icons
Group think / dogma / heresy
Internal standards of behavior and expectations
Crusade / jihad against non-believers

Yep, for good or bad these are “religious behaviors.” And they very much can be applied to secular causes when someone turns a cause into his/her ‘religion.’ You’ll see this list manifesting in a LOT of secular causes. (What we see more in the West is humanism based secular causes and mass movements.)
What we think of as religion in the West has a very narrow definition. A definition that overlooks the many psychological needs, behavior directing and social functions that religion plays. Religion is, in fact, a much more complex and integral element in human existence than people understand. This includes how important it is to who we are, how we view the universe (e.g., our place in it) and how we act.
Unfortunately, with a lot of these new ‘secular religions’ you get the absolute worst of …. well religious behaviors, especially fanaticism.

If you’ve not read it, I HIGHLY … and did I mention ‘highly’? … recommend Eric Hoffer’s “The True Believer”

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