I have written this book fundamentally as a study in harmonization of the Babel of use on man and on the human condition, in the belief that the time is ripe for a synthesis that covers the best thought in many fields, from the human sciences to religion. I have tried to avoid moving against and me getting any point of you, no matter how personally antipathetic to me, if it seems to have in it a core of truthfulness. I have had the growing realization over the past few years that the problem of man’s knowledge is not to oppose and to demolish opposing views, but to include them in a larger theoretical structure. One of the ironies of the creative process is that it partly cripples itself in order to function. I mean that, usually, in order to turn out a piece of work the author has to exaggerate the emphasis of it, to oppose it in a forcefully competitive way to other versions of truth; and he gets carried away by his own exaggeration, as his distinctive image is built on it. But each honest thinker who is basically an empiricist has to have some truth in his position, no matter how extremely he has formulated it. The problem is to find the truth underneath the exaggeration, to cut away the excess elaboration or distortion and include that truth where it fits.
Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death