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Emphasis mine. This is a complicated formulation that I will engage in in this paper. For Lacan, lovers do not provide each other with fulfillment, but rather false hopes, a romance of dis illusion ment. Erich Fromm also equates love with giving. And indeed, he has received numerous criticisms on that score—among them those coming from no less than his colleagues at the Frankfurt School.
But is this a valid enough reason to leave Fromm in the dustbin of academic history? The political utility of psychoanalysis is in large part linked to its extensive theorizations of forms of perversion. I take my chance encounter with Erich Fromm in a used bookstore no less! Adorno, for example, to take him seriously. Further, his thought seems to be weighed down by unacceptable hetero- normative assumptions that are arguably no longer compatible with our contemporary values.
HarperCollins, , back cover. His work was able to speak to a broader audience compared to most psychoanalytic theorists. However, his popularity was confined to his own lifetime, and now, his work has been relegated to the dustbin of intellectual history. Nothing makes an idea more unpopular with intellectuals than its being rubber stamped as commonsense.
He writes: Psychoanalytic Essays on the Uncommitted Life Cambridge: Holmes and Meier, , Theodor W. Adorno … disliked Fromm intensely. This feeling was reciprocal. Harvard UP, , See Jay, The Dialectical Imagination, Fromm insisted on the possibility of love in a world that he himself describes as repressive.
Adorno saw this as problematic. Historical accounts have suggested that Horkheimer worked overtime in trying to make the Institute an accommodating space for psychoanalytic thought. This good working relationship, however, would turn sour by In a letter to Pollock, Horkheimer revealed the reasons for his change of heart.
Peter Lang, , An Introduction New York: Continuum, Its History, Theories, and Political Significance, trans. Polity Press, , It is, however, precisely this apparent incompatibility that makes possible new and fruitful ways of reading that often escape formulaic modes of processing information.
The Art of Hysterical Loving So, according to Fromm, how does one become a master in the art of loving? MIT Press, , ix. MIT Press, , 1. Psychoanalytic Essays on the Uncommitted Life, , Love is a sincere way of establishing relations with the other and a basis on which a meaningful and ethical life could be lived.
Love could also sever our dependence on those things that our capitalist orientation desires: Fromm thus provides his readers with the reason for love and for the necessity of love. But what about the practice of love? He then gives rather concrete suggestions on how these traits could be developed. Most of his suggestions are suspiciously prosaic and old-fashioned.
His prescription for developing discipline: Our grandfathers would have been much better equipped to answer this question. Their recommendation was to get up early in the morning, not to indulge in necessary luxuries, to work hard…To get up at a regular hour, to devote a regular amount of time during the day for activities such as meditating, reading, listening to music, walking; not to indulge, at least not beyond a certain minimum, in escapist activities like mystery stories and movies, not to overeat and overdrink are some obvious rudimentary rules.
His suggestions are 35 Fromm, The Art of Loving, 9. I am afraid that anyone who approaches this last chapter in this spirit will be gravely disappointed. This does not mean, however, that The Art of Loving fails in providing its reader with new knowledge about love, but that it does so by positioning its reader in a hysterical position of interpretation, a position of uncertainty about the desire of the other.
Contrast the hysterical position with what we might call the perverse position of interpretation. Like the pervert who is sure of the desire of the Other and thus effectively puts into action what the hysteric only keeps as fantasy, the perverse reader installs the text fully within the coordinates of his or her fantasy, which supports and gives Imaginary body to his or her interpretation.
It is only within 40Ibid. Verso, , The desire to love then is fueled by the belief that by loving another, you will get to a truth about yourself. Needless to say, the loved object does not possess the truth about you, and, sans the veil of idealization, the elevated object of love is really just another individual in his or her plain, fragile, imbecilic being.
The pervert who thinks he has the phallus gives the beloved those objects that signify the full value of his love, an object brimming with the fullness of meaning. In contrast, what the uncertain amorous hysteric gives to the other is lack itself. The analysand brings his or her problems to the clinic, hoping that the analyst can alleviate his or her psychological distress by revealing the truth of his or her disorder. Easy—and perhaps even sadistically pleasurable—as it is to reproach the analysand directly for being too selfish, too narcissistic, too fixated on his or her mother, etcetera, the analyst takes a more unconventional path: At the same time he learns to handle them; learns that fire is hot and painful, that mother's body is warm and pleasureful, that wood is hard and heavy, that paper is light and can be torn.
He learns how to handle peo- ple; that mother will smile when I eat; that she will take me in her arms when I cry; that she will praise me when I have a bowel movement. All these experiences become crys- tallized and integrated in the experience: I am loved because I am mother's child. I am loved because I am helpless. I am loved because I am beautiful, admirable. I am loved because mother needs me. To put it in a more general formula: This experience of being loved by mother is a passive one.
There is nothing I have to do in order to be loved — mother's love is uncon- ditional. All I have to do is to be — to be her child. Mother's love is bliss, is peace, it need not be acquired, it need not be deserved. But there is a negative side, too, to the uncondi- tional quality of mother's love. Not only does it not need to be deserved — it also cannot be acquired, produced, con- trolled.
If it is there, it is like a blessing; if it is not there, it is as if all beauty had gone out of life — and there is nothing I can do to create it. The child up to this age does not yet love; he responds gratefully, joyfully to being loved.
At this point of the child's development a new factor enters into the picture: For the first time, the child thinks of giv- ing something to mother or to father , of producing some- thing — a poem, a drawing, or whatever it may be. For the first time in the child's life the idea of love is transformed from being loved into loving; into creating love. It takes many years from this first beginning to the maturing of love.
Eventually the child, who may now be an adolescent, has overcome his egocentricity; the other person is not any more primarily a means to the satisfaction of his own needs. The needs of the other person are as important as his own — in fact, they have become more important.
To give has become more satisfactory, more joyous, than to receive; to love, more important even than being loved. By loving, he has left the prison cell of aloneness and isolation which was constituted by the state of narcissism and self-centeredness.
He feels a sense of new union, of sharing, of oneness. More than that, he feels the potency of producing love by loving — rather than the dependence of receiving by being loved — and for that reason having to be small, helpless, sick — or "good. The first months and years of the child are those where his closest attachment is to the mother.
This attachment begins before the moment of birth, when mother and child are still one, although they are two.
Birth changes the situation in some respects, but not as much as it would appear. The child, while now living outside of the womb, is still completely dependent on mother. But daily he becomes more independent: In order to understand this shift from mother to father, we must consider the essential differences in quality between motherly and fatherly love.
We have already spoken about motherly love. Motherly love by its very nature is uncondi- tional. Mother loves the newborn infant because it is her child, not because the child has fulfilled any specific condi- tion, or lived up to any specific expectation.
Of course, when I speak here of mother's and father's love, I speak of the "ideal types" — in Max Weber's sense or of an archetype in Jung's sense — and do not imply that every mother and father loves in that way. I refer to the fatherly and motherly principle, which is represented in the motherly and fatherly person. Unconditional love corresponds to one of the deepest longings, not only of the child, but of every human being; on the other hand, to be loved because of one's merit, because one deserves it, always leaves doubt; maybe 42 THE ART OF LOVING I did not please the person whom I want to love me, maybe this, or that — there is always a fear that love could disappear.
Furthermore, "deserved" love easily leaves a bitter feeling that one is not loved for oneself, that one is loved only because one pleases, that one is, in the last analy- sis, not loved at all but used. No wonder that we all cling to the longing for motherly love, as children and also as adults. Most children are lucky enough to receive motherly love to what extent will be discussed later. As adults the same longing is much more difficult to fulfill.
In the most satisfactory development it remains a component of normal erotic love; often it finds expression in religious forms, more often in neurotic forms. The relationship to father is quite different. Mother is the home we come from, she is nature, soil, the ocean; father does not represent any such natural home. He has little con- nection with the child in the first years of its life, and his importance for the child in this early period cannot be com- pared with that of mother.
But while father does not repre- sent the natural world, he represents the other pole of human existence; the world of thought, of man-made things, of law and order, of discipline, of travel and adventure. Father is the one who teaches the child, who shows him the road into the world. Closely related to this function is one which is connected with socio-economic development. When private property came into existence, and when private property could be in- herited by one of the sons, father began to look for that son to whom he could leave his property.
Fatherly love is conditional love. Its principle is "I love you because you fulfill my expectations, because fyou do your duty, because you are like me. The negative aspect is the very fact that fatherly love has to be deserved, that it can be lost if one does not do what is expected. In the nature of fatherly love lies the fact that obedience becomes the main virtue, that disobedience is the main sin — and its punishment the withdrawal of fatherly love.
The positive side is equally important. Since his love is conditioned, I can do something to acquire it, I can work for it; his love is not outside of my control as motherly love is. The mother's and the father's attitudes toward the child correspond to the child's own needs. The infant needs mother's unconditional love and care physiologically as well as psychically. The child, after six, begins to need father's love, his authority and guidance. Mother has the function of making him secure in life, father has the function of teaching him, guiding him to cope with those problems with which the particular society the child has been born into confronts him.
In the ideal case, mother's love does not try to prevent the child from growing up, does not try to put a premium on helplessness. Mother should have faith in life, hence not be overanxious, and thus not infect the child with her anxiety. Part of her life should be the wish that the child become independent and eventually separate from her. It should give the growing child an increasing sense of competence and eventually permit him to become his own authority and to dispense with that of father.
Eventually, the mature person has come to the point where he is his own mother and his own father. He has, as it were, a motherly and a fatherly conscience. Motherly conscience says: In contrast to Freud's concept of the super-ego, however, he has built them inside not by incorporating mother and father, but by building a motherly conscience on his own capacity for love, and a fatherly conscience on his reason and judgment.
Fur- thermore, the mature person loves with both the motherly and the fatherly conscience, in spite of the fact that they seem to contradict each other. If he would only retain his fatherly conscience, he would become harsh and inhuman. If he would only retain his motherly conscience, he would be apt to lose judgment and to hinder himself and others in their development. In this development from mother-centered to father- centered attachment, and their eventual synthesis, lies the basis for mental health and the achievement of maturity.
In the failure of this development lies the basic cause for neurosis. One cause for neurotic development can lie in the fact ithat a boy has a loving, but overindulgent or domineering phother, and a weak and uninterested father. In this case he Ityfiay remain fixed at an early mother attachment, and de- fcivelop into a person who is dependent on mother, feels help- Mtess, has the strivings characteristic of the receptive person, ptliat is, to receive, to be protected, to be taken care of, and pvho has a lack of fatherly qualities — discipline, independ- ence, an ability to master life by himself.
If, on the fether hand, the mother is cold, unresponsive and domineer- ng, he may either transfer the need for motherly protection: Further exami- P nation may show that certain types of neurosis, like obses- Sional neurosis, develop more on the basis of a one-sided 46 THE ART OF LOVING father attachment, while others, like hysteria, alcoholism, in- ability to assert oneself and to cope with life realistically, and depressions, result from mother-centeredness.
If a person loves only one other person and is indifferent to the rest of his fellow men, his love is not love but a symbiotic attachment, or an enlarged egotism. Yet, most people believe that love is constituted by the object, not by the faculty. In fact, they even believe that it is a proof of the intensity of their love when they do not love anybody except the "loved" person.
This is the same fallacy which we have already mentioned above. Because one does not see that love is an activity, a power of the soul, one believes that all that is necessary to find is the right object — and that everything goes by itself afterward. This attitude can be compared to that of a man who wants to paint but who, instead of learning the art, claims that he has just to wait for the right object, and that he will paint beautifully when he finds it. If I truly love one person I love all persons, I love the world, I love life.
If I can say to some- body else, "I love you," I must be able to say, "I love in you everybody, I love through you the world, I love in you also myself. Brotherly Love The most fundamental kind of love, which underlies all types of love, is brotherly love. By this I mean the sense of responsibility, care, respect, knowledge of any other human being, the wish to further his life.
This is the kind of love the Bible speaks of when it says: Brotherly love is love for all human beings; it is characterized by its very lack of exclusiveness. If I have developed the capacity for love, then I cannot help loving my brothers. In brotherly love there is the experience of union with all men, of human solidarity, of human at-onement. Brotherly love is based on the experience that we all are one. The differences in talents, intelligence, knowledge are negligible in compari- son with the identity of the human core common to all men.
In order to experience this identity it is necessary to pene- trate from the periphery to the core. If I perceive in another person mainly the surface, I perceive mainly the differences, that which separates us.
If I penetrate to the core, I perceive our identity, the fact of our brotherhood. This relatedness from center to center — instead of that from periphery to periphery — is "central relatedness.
And this manner depends on the depth of the region in a man's being from which they proceed without the will being able to do anything. Thus the hearer can discern, if he has any power of discernment, what is the value of the words.
Today I, tomorrow you.
But this need of help does not mean that the one is helpless, the other powerful. Helplessness is a transitory condition; the ability to stand and walk on one's own feet is the per- manent and common one. Yet, love of the helpless one, love of the poor and the stranger, are the beginning of brotherly love. To love one's flesh and blood is no achievement. The animal loves its young and cares for them. The helpless one loves his master, since his life depends on him; the child loves his parents, since he needs them.
Only in the love of those who do not serve a purpose, love begins to unfold. Significantly, in the Old Testament, the central object of man's love is the poor, the stranger, the widow and the orphan, and eventually the national enemy, the Egyptian and the Edomite.
By having compassion for the helpless one, man begins to develop love for his brother; and in his love for himself he also loves the one who is in need of help, the frail, insecure human being. Compassion implies the element of knowledge and of identi- fication.
Putnam's Sons, New York, , p. Kaufmann Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, , p. Motherly Love We have already dealt with the nature of motherly love in a previous chapter which discussed the difference between motherly and fatherly love.
Motherly love, as I said there, is unconditional affirmation of the child's life and his needs. But one important addition to this description must be made here. Affirmation of the child's life has two aspects; one is the care and responsibility absolutely necessary for the preser- vation of the child's life and his growth. The other aspect goes further than mere preservation. It is the attitude which instills in the child a love for living, which gives him the feeling: These two aspects of motherly love are expressed very succinctly in the Biblical story of creation.
God creates the world, and man. This cor- responds to the simple care and affirmation of existence. But God goes beyond this minimum requirement.
On each day after nature — and man — is created, God says: The same idea may be taken to be expressed in another Biblical symbolism. The promised land land is always a mother symbol is described as "flowing with milk and honey.
Honey symbolizes the sweetness of life, the love for it and the happiness in being alive. Most mothers are capable of giving "milk," but only a minority of giving "honey" too. The effect on the child can hardly be exaggerated. Mother's love for life is as infectious as her anxiety is. Both attitudes have a deep effect on the child's whole personality; one can distinguish indeed, among chil- dren — and adults — those who got only "milk" and those who got "milk and honey.
It is for this altruistic, unselfish character that motherly love has been considered the highest kind of love, and the most sacred of all emotional bonds. It seems, however, that the real achievement of motherly love lies not in the mother's love for the small infant, but in her love for the growing child.
Actually, the vast majority of mothers are loving mothers as long as the infant is small and still completely dependent on them.
Most women want chil- dren, are happy with the new-born child, and eager in their care for it. This is so in spite of the fact that they do not "get" anything in return from the child, except a smile or the expression of satisfaction in his face.
It seems that this atti- tude of love is partly rooted in an instinctive equipment to be found in animals as well as in the human female. But, whatever the weight of this instinctive factor may be, there are also specifically human psychological factors which are responsible for this type of motherly love. One may be found in the narcissistic element in motherly love. Inasmuch as the infant is still felt to be a part of herself, her love and in- fatuation may be a satisfaction of her narcissism.
The child, being helpless and completely subject to her will, is a natural object of satisfaction for a domineer- ing and possessive woman. Frequent as these motivations are, they are probably less important and less universal than one which can be called the need for transcendence. This need for transcendence is one of the most basic needs of man, rooted in the fact of his self-awareness, in the fact that he is not satisfied with the role of the creature, that he cannot accept himself as dice thrown out of the cup.
He needs to feel as the creator, as one transcending the passive role of being created. There are many ways of achieving this satisfaction of creation; the most natural and also the easiest one to achieve is the mother's care and love for her creation.
She transcends her- self in the infant, her love for it gives her life meaning and significance. In the very inability of the male to satisfy his need for transcendence by bearing children lies his urge to transcend himself by the creation of man-made things and of ideas. But the child must grow. It must emerge from mother's womb, from mother's breast; it must eventually become a completely separate human being.
The very essence of motherly love is to care for the child's growth, and that means to want the child's separation from herself. Here lies the basic difference to erotic love. In erotic love, two people who were separate become one. In motherly love, two people who were one become separate. The mother must not only tolerate, she must wish and support the child's separation.
It is also at this stage that many mothers fail in their task of motherly love. The narcissistic, the domineer- ing, the possessive woman can succeed in being a "loving" mother as long as the child is small. Only the really loving woman, the woman who is happier in giving than in taking, who is firmly rooted in her own existence, can be a loving mother when the child is in the process of separation. Motherly love for the growing child, love which wants nothing for oneself, is perhaps the most difficult form of love to be achieved, and all the more deceptive because of the ease with which a mother can love her small infant.
But just because of this difficulty, a woman can be a truly loving mother only if she can love; if she is able to love her hus- band, other children, strangers, all human beings. The woman who is not capable of love in this sense can be an affectionate mother as long as the child is small, but she cannot be a loving mother, the test of which is the willing- ness to bear separation— and even after the separation to go on loving.
Erotic Love Brotherly love is love among equals; motherly love is love for the helpless. Different as they are from each other, they have in common that they are by their very nature not re- stricted to one person. If I love my brother, I love all my brothers; if I love my child, I love all my children; no, beyond that, I love all children, all that are in need of my help.
It is by its very nature exclusive and not universal; it is so perhaps the most deceptive form of love there is. First of all, it is often confused with the explosive experi- liice of "falling" in love, the sudden collapse of the barriers jtyhich existed until that moment between two strangers. But, tS was pointed out before, this experience of sudden intimacy by its very nature short-lived.
After the stranger has be- pme an intimately known person there are no more barriers be overcome, there is no more sudden closeness to be chieved. The "loved" person becomes as well known as neself.
Or, perhaps I should better say as little known. If ere were more depth in the experience of the other person, f one could experience the infiniteness of his personality, the ther person would never be so familiar — and the miracle of vercoming the barriers might occur every day anew.
But for lost people their own person, as well as others, is soon ex- plored and soon exhausted. Since they experience the gseparateness of the other person primarily as physical sepa- Jp'ateness, physical union means overcoming separateness. Beyond that, there are other factors which to many people jftenote the overcoming of separateness. Even to show one's anger, one's hate, one's complete lack of inhibition is taken for intimacy, and I this may explain the perverted attraction married couples dften have for each other, who seem intimate only when they are in bed or when they give vent to their mutual hate and 54 THE ART OF LOVING rage.
But all these types of closeness tend to become reduced more and more as time goes on. The consequence is one seeks love with a new person, with a new stranger. Again the stranger is transformed into an "intimate" person, again the experience of falling in love is exhilarating and intense, and again it slowly becomes less and less intense, and ends in the wish for a new conquest, a new love — always with the illu- sion that the new love will be different from the earlier ones.
These illusions are greatly helped by the deceptive character of sexual desire. Sexual desire aims at fusion — and is by no means only a physical appetite, the relief of a painful tension. But sexual desire can be stimulated by the anxiety of aloneness, by the wish to conquer or be conquered, by vanity, by the wish to hurt and even to destroy, as much as it can be stimulated by love.
It seems that sexual desire can easily blend with and be stimulated by any strong emotion, of which love is only one.
Because sexual desire is in the minds of most people coupled with the idea of love, they are easily misled to con- clude that they love each other when they want each other physically. Love can inspire the wish for sexual union; in this case the physical relationship is lacking in greediness, in a wish to conquer or to be conquered, but is blended with tenderness.
If the desire for physical union is not stimulated by love, if erotic love is not also brotherly love, it never leads to union in more than an orgiastic, transitory sense. Sexual attraction creates, for the moment, the illusion of union, yet without love this "union" leaves strangers as far apart as they were before — sometimes it makes them ashamed of each other, or even makes them hate each other, because when THE THEORY OF LOVE 55 the illusion has gone they feel their estrangement even more markedly than before.
Tenderness is by no means, as Freud believed, a sublimation of the sexual instinct; it is the direct outcome of brotherly love, and exists in physical as well as in non-physical forms of love. In erotic love there is an exclusiveness which is lacking in brotherly love and motherly love. This exclusive character of erotic love warrants some further discussion. Frequently the exclusiveness of erotic love is misinterpreted as meaning pos- sessive attachment.
One can often find two people "in love" with each other who feel no love for anybody else. Their love is, in fact, an egotism a deux; they are two people who identify themselves with each other, and who solve the prob- lem of separateness by enlarging the single individual into two. They have the experience of overcoming aloneness, yet, since they are separated from the rest of mankind, they re- main separated from each other and alienated from them- selves; their experience of union is an illusion.
Erotic love is exclusive, but it loves in the other person all of mankind, all that is alive. It is exclusive only in the sense that I can fuse myself fully and intensely with one person only. Erotic love excludes the love for others only in the sense of erotic fusion, full commitment in all aspects of life — but not in the sense of deep brotherly love.
Erotic love, if it is love, has one premise. That I love from the essence of my being — and experience the other person in the essence of his or her being. In essence, all human be- ings are identical. We are all part of One; we are One.
This being so, it should not make any difference whom we love. This is, indeed, the rationale behind- the idea of the insolubility of marriage, as it is behind the many forms of traditional mar- riage in which the two partners never choose each other, but are chosen for each other — and yet are expected to love each other.
In contemporary Western culture this idea ap- pears altogether false. Love is supposed to be the outcome of a spontaneous, emotional reaction, of suddenly being gripped by an irresistible feeling. In this view, one sees only the peculiarities of the two individuals involved — and not the fact that all men are part of Adam, and all women part of Eve. One neglects to see an important factor in erotic love, that of will. To love somebody is not just a strong feeling — it is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise.
If love were only a feeling, there would be no basis for the promise to love each other forever. A feeling comes and it may go.
How can I judge that it will stay forever, when my act does not involve judgment and decision? Taking these views into account one may arrive at the position that love is exclusively an act of will and com- mitment, and that therefore fundamentally it does not matter who the two persons are.
Whether the marriage was arranged by others, or the result of individual choice, once the marriage is concluded, the act of will should guarantee the continuation of love. This view seems to neglect the para- doxical character of human nature and of erotic love. We are all One — yet every one of us is a unique, unduplicable entity.
In our relationships to others the same paradox is repeated. Inasmuch as we are all one, we can love everybody in the same way in the sense of brotherly love. Both views then, that of erotic love as completely indi- vidual attraction, unique between two specific persons, as well as the other view that erotic love is nothing but an act of will, are true — or, as it may be put more aptly, the truth is neither this nor that.
Hence the idea of a relationship which can be easily dissolved if one is not successful with it is as erroneous as the idea that under no circumstances must the relationship be dissolved. Self-Love 13 While it raises no objection to apply the concept of love to various objects, it is a widespread belief that, while it is virtuous to love others, it is sinful to love oneself. It is as- sumed that to the degree to which I love myself I do not love others, that self-love is the same as selfishness.
This view goes far back in Western thought. Calvin speaks of self-love as "a pest. In the term "self-love" the paradoxical element in self-love is contained more clearly. The fact is expressed that love is an attitude which is the same toward all objects, including myself. It must also not be forgotten that the term "self-love," in the sense in which it is used here, has a history. For him self-love is the same as narcissism, the turning of the libido toward oneself.
Narcissism is the earliest stage in human development, and the person who in later life has returned to this narcissistic stage is incapable of love; in the extreme case he is insane. Freud assumes that love is the manifestation of libido, and that the libido is either turned toward others — love; or toward oneself — self-love.
Love and self-love are thus mutually exclusive in the sense that the more there is of one, the less there is of the other. If self-love is bad, it follows that unselfishness is virtuous.
These questions arise: Does psychological observation support the thesis that there is a basic contradiction between love for oneself and love for others? Is love for oneself the same phenomenon as selfishness, or are they opposites? Fur- thermore, is the selfishness of modern man really a concern for himself as an individual, with all his intellectual, emo- tional and sensual potentialities?
Has "he" not become an appendage of his socio-economic role? Is his selfishness iden- tical with self-love or is it not caused by the very lack of it? Before we start the discussion of the psychological aspect of selfishness and self-love, the logical fallacy in the notion that love for others and love for oneself are mutually exclu- sive should be stressed.
If it is a virtue to love my neighbor as a human being, it must be a virtue — and not a vice — to love myself, since I am a human being too. There is no con- cept of man in which I myself am not included. A doctrine which proclaims such an exclusion proves itself to be in- trinsically contradictory.
The idea expressed in the Biblical "Love thy neighbor as thyself! The love for my own self is inseparably connected with the love for any other being.
We have come now to the basic psychological premises on which the conclusions of our argument are built. Generally, these premises are as follows: With regard to the problem under discussion this means: On the contrary, an attitude of love toward themselves will be found in all those who are capable of loving others.
Love, in principle, is indivisible as far as the connection between "objects" and one's own self is concerned.
Genuine love is an expression of productive- ness and implies care, respect, responsibility and knowledge. It is not an "affect" in the sense of being affected by some- body, but an active striving for the growth and happiness of the loved person, rooted in one's own capacity to love.
To love somebody is the actualization and concentration of the power to love. The basic affirmation contained in love is directed toward the beloved person as an incarnation of essentially human qualities. Love of one person implies love of man as such. The kind of "division of labor," as William James calls it, by which one loves one's family but is without feeling for the "stranger," is a sign of a basic inability to love.
From this it follows that my own self must be as much an object of my love as another person. The affirmation of one's own life, happiness, growth, freedom is rooted in one's capacity to love, i.
If an individual is able to love productively, he loves himself too; if he can love only others, he cannot love at all. Granted that love for oneself and for others in principle is conjunctive, how do we explain selfishness, which obviously excludes any genuine concern for others?
The selfish person is interested only in himself, wants everything for himself, feels no pleasure in giving, but only in taking. The world outside is looked at only from the standpoint of what he can get out of it; he lacks interest in the needs of others, and respect for their dignity and integrity. He can see nothing but himself; he judges everyone and everything from its usefulness to him; he is basically unable to love.
Does not this prove that concern for others and concern for oneself are unavoidable alternatives? This would be so if selfishness and self-love were identical. But that assumption is the very fallacy which has led to so many mistaken conclusions con- cerning our problem. Selfishness and self-love, far from be- ing identic al y are actually op posit es.
The selfish person does not love himself too much but too little; in fact he hates himself. This lack of fondness and care for himself, which is only one expression of his lack of productiveness, leaves him empty and frustrated.
He seems to care too j; much for himself, but actually he only makes an unsuccessful attempt to cover up and compensate for his failure to care for his real self. Erich Fromm lists several kinds of love in his book, The Art Of Loving and what are other kinds of love you can find out if you download The Art Of Loving here for free in pdf format. The Art Of Loving is groundbreaking international bestseller that has shown millions of readers how to achieve rich, productive lives by developing their hidden capacities for love.
And which are hidden capacities that are in us, and which our lives can make productive and full of love, you can find out if you DOWNLOAD HERE this beautiful, educational and psychological book by the eminent author who made an effort to show us the paths to a better life, full of love, if we are willing to open our hearts and our minds.
Our lives are full of concern, anxiety and mourning, depression and other unpleasant emotional conditions, which we can overcome if we are willing to progress to open our hearts and minds and if we decide for progress, we will become more experienced and mature our life will be productive, but love also has different degrees of maturity that perfectly describes this quote on facebook that tells us that we have a mature and immature love, and the quality of our love depends on us.
Erich Fromm in his book The Art Of Loving talks about how love is a complex and that we need to learn how to love, because love is not even an emotion, and it is not natural. So, that we could love we need to learn to love. But how to begin with learning love? We can start from any part. And then we will come to faith. The important thing is to start!
So, the above-enumerated aspects concerning the practice of love, that show the path to love, are essential aspects. With learning of essential life aspects, it can make their lives better. If you want to know more about these key aspects, as we have already said that they are: If you download here in pdf format for free, which are necessary for mastering skills of love. Because he in his book, The Art Of Loving divided into theoretical part ie. In the art of loving Erich Fromm stated basic elements of each type of love: Care, knowledge, respect and responsibility are the four key elements of every love.
That emphasizes Erich Fromm, in his book, The art of loving. Responsibility that to me means it when someone or something we like we treat him responsible we respond for their actions most often subjective, because we feel towards them affection or attachment,. Care out of love is commitment, attention for someone or something that we are providing, because it is a reflection of our love for them, as for example if we plant a flower or a plant, we watering we care about whether there is enough sunlight and moisture, anticipate and monitor its growth and development, we look at how flower blooming, and we smell how flower odors, our fruit of love which reached a growth, which inspire our internal factors that wants to contribute to the growth and development of something or someone, it would be for me, care out of love if for example, we do things that we love.
Respect is feeling that is mutual, and that would mean if I respect you than you respect me, of course, if we are able to notice when somebody respects us.