Erich Fromm

Love 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.

Love isn’t something natural. Rather it requires discipline, concentration, patience, faith, and the overcoming of narcissism. It isn’t a feeling, it is a practice.

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1 Response to Erich Fromm

  1. shinichi says:

    The Art of Loving

    by Erich Fromm

    The difficulty of the problem is enhanced by the fact that most people today, hence many readers of this book, expect to be given prescriptions of “how to do it yourself,” and that means in our case to be taught how to love. I am afraid that anyone who approaches this last chapter in this spirit will be gravely disappointed. To love is a personal experience which everyone can only have by and for himself; in fact, there is hardly anybody who has not had this experience in a rudimentary way, at least, as a child, an adolescent, an adult. What the discussion of the practice of love can do is to discuss the premises of the art of loving, the approaches to it as it were, and the practice of these premises and approaches. The steps toward the goal can be practiced only by oneself, and discussion ends before the decisive step is taken. Yet, I believe that the discussion of the approaches may be helpful for the mastery of the art — for those at least who have freed themselves from expecting “prescriptions.”

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    Paradoxically, the ability to be alone is the condition for the ability to love.

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    If a person loves only one other person and is indifferent to all others, his love is not love but a symbiotic attachment, or an enlarged egotism.

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    Love is not primarily a relationship to a specific person; it is an attitude, an ordination of character which determines the relatedness of the person to the whole world as a whole, not toward one object of love.

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