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Egotist, n. A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me. ~ Ambrose Bierce

Egotism is the drive to maintain and enhance favorable views of oneself, and generally features an inflated opinion of one's personal qualities and intellectual, physical, or social importance. Extreme egotism involves little or no concern for others, including those loved or considered as "close," in any other terms except those set by the egotist.


  • Egoist: a person of low taste, more interested in himself than me.
    • Ambrose Bierce, in The Cynic's Word Book (1906). Retitled The Devil’s Dictionary (1911)
  • 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, "Thoughts of Eric Hoffer, Including: 'Absolute Faith Corrupts Absolutely'", The New York Times Magazine (April 25, 1971), p. 52
  • It is never permissible to say, I say.
    • Madame Necker; reported in Louis Klopsch, ed., Many Thoughts of Many Minds: A Treasury of Quotations From the Literature of Every Land and Every Age (1896), p. 80
  • Because of the grave times, one should speak about the need for joy and of the terrible harm of any and all depression. Therefore I am quoting here a Discourse, useful for the entire group. "Even during the difficult days you know that strength issues from joy. I said long ago that 'joy is a special wisdom.' Verily so, because joy must be observed, discerned, and realized. Depressed people carry a cloud of miseries and woes. In this dark covering they cannot perceive joy. Because of this pall of sorrow people become blind and lose strength. They cannot help themselves. They do not admit Our Help, because depression and irritation are impenetrable. As if no one ever told people about the harm of depression!
    Depressed people are said to be deprived of their share. Ponder these words. Who has deprived them of their inherent share? First of all they deprived themselves of any possibilities. They began their own destruction long ago. Discontent, malice, irritation cut off the path to joy. Dark thoughts deprived them of the source of strength. Selfhood prevented the discernment of joy. Egoism whispered, Joy lies only in personal gain. Thus the most fruitful joy was hidden behind ugly piles of depression. Those blinded by depression are the most pitiful of bipeds. (7 May 1938)
  • Helena Roerich, Letters II, (7 May 1938)
  • Most humans are still in the grip of the egoic mode of consciousness: identified with their mind and run by their mind. If they do not free themselves from their mind in time, they will be destroyed by it. They will experience increasing confusion, conflict, violence, illness, despair, madness. Egoic mind has become like a sinking ship. If you don't get off, you will go down with it. The collective egoic mind is the most dangerously insane and destructive entity ever to inhabit this planet.
  • That sense of pride, of needing to stand out, the apparent enhancement of one’s self through “more than” and diminishment through “less than” is neither right nor wrong – it is the ego. The ego isn’t wrong; it’s just unconscious. When you observe the ego in yourself, you are beginning to go beyond it. Don’t take the ego too seriously. When you detect egoic behavior in yourself, smile. At times you may even laugh. How could humanity have been taken in by this for so long? Above all, know that the ego isn’t personal. It isn’t who you are. If you consider the ego to be your personal problem, that’s just more ego. p. 28

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