My words are being used for classes drowning me in homework, essay preps and speeches down the road. Day two and I’ve spent an hour and a half running through the exercises for my Critical Thinking class.
I know it’s basic. But it takes time I had been using elsewhere. I find my creative flow is used up when I sit down to blog. Og og og… But I’m loving Fromm in my mini-breaks from homework (I love homework. Been doing it for over 2 decades but only within the constraints of my personal dictates.). He puts Freud in proper perspective and love in a place that is accessible, solid and without illusion. Not for the faint-hearted and a sure cure for narcissistic distortions.
So, since I’ve got to next focus on what I see unfolding for me in my Public Speaking class, Western World Lit – Advanced (omg, killing me after years of falling in love with the mind of the East) and Statistics, I’m tossing Fromm quotes on the table for “fun.” These are speaking to me lately since I tend to rant about love and quote greats on love and nowhere do I try to identify what it is (as if! cough…). I see, know and experience love on spiritual levels that play out on the solid physical planes of existence and my ability to put it into words that adequately conveys is lacking. I tend to go off on poetic rambles useful only to myself. Fromm, on the other hand, has mastered the best definition I have yet to find or create. To start with, he slices and dices at what love is NOT:
“Automatons cannot love; they can exchange their ‘personality packages’ and hope for a fair bargain.”
“Love is not the result of adequate sexual satisfaction, but sexual happiness–even the knowlede of the so-called sexual technique–is the result of love…The study of the most frequent sexual problems…shows that the cause does not lie in a lack of knowledge of the right technique, but in the inhibitions which make it impossible to love.”
“Love as mutual sexual satisfaction, and love as ‘teamwork’ and as a haven from aloneness, are the two ‘normal’ forms of the disintegration of love in modern Western society, the socially patterned pathology of love.”
“Another form of pseudo-love is what may be called ‘sentimental love.’ Its essence lies in the fact that love is experienced only in phantasy and not in the here-and-now relationship to another person who is real…As long as love is a daydream, they [lovers/partners] can participate; as soon as it comes down to the reality of the relationship between two real people–they are frozen.”
And here’s my favorite identification of what love IS:
“Love is possible only if two persons communicate with each other from the center of their existence, hence if each one of them experiences himself from the center of his existence. Only in this ‘central experience’ is human reality, only here is aliveness, only here is the basis for love.
Love, experienced thus, is a constant challenge; it is not a resting place[!!!], but a moving, growing, working together; even whether there is harmony or conflict, joy or sadness, is secondary to the fundamental fact that two people experience themselves from the essence of their existence, that they are one with each other by being one with themselves [emphasis mine], rather than by fleeing from themselves. There is only one proof for the presence of love: the depth of the relationship, and the aliveness and strength in each person concerned; this is the fruit by which love is recognized.”
These all come from Fromm’s awesome book, The Art of Loving. And I’ve likely already put it on this blog. Maybe not. But it’s worth embracing, revolutionizing a life intent on knowing and being known in love, as love, for love, by love…you get it.