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I went through this book again partly because it has so much to say, and partly because I wanted to re read Erich Fromm s instructions on how to meditate I like the way he puts it, on pages 101 102 If I am attached to another person because I cannot stand on my own feet, he or she may be a lifesaver, but the relationship is not one of love Paradoxically, the ability to be alone is the condition for the ability to love Anyone who tries to be alone with himself will discover how difficult it is He will begin to feel restless, fidgety, or even to sense considerable anxiety He will be prone to rationalize his unwillingness to go on with this practice by thinking that it has no value, is just silly, that it takes too much time, and so on, and so on He will also observe that all sorts of thoughts come to mind which take possession of him He will find himself thinking about his plans for later in the day, or about some difficulty in a job he has to do, or where to go in the evening, or about any number of things that fill his mind rather than permitting it to empty itself It would be helpful to practice a few very simple exercises, as for instance, to sit in a relaxed position neither slouching, nor rigid , to close one s eyes, and to try to see a white screen in front of one s eyes, and to try to remove all interfering pictures and thoughts, then to try to follow one s breathing not to think about it, nor force it, but to follow it and in doing so to sense it further to try to have a sense of I I myself, as the center of my powers, as the creator of my world One should, at least, do such a concentration exercise every morning for twenty minutes and if possible longer and every evening before going to bed. view spoiler hide spoiler . If my mate George hadn t recommended this book there is no chance at all that I would have read it I ve a strange relationship with LOVE in that I think it is grossly overrated by our society You could get away with thinking that if you were not in love in our society then there is something terribly wrong with you Never mind that the notion of being constantly in love in a world where this is all too frequently confused with being infatuated would be a nightmare not worth living.As I said to George I can see why people settle for sex, rather than love Fromm s idea of love sounds far too hard.This is what I would generally call a white board book A book in which someone has picked a term rich in meaning in this case love, but other s I ve read have been on Lust or the parts of the human body and run with it Germaine Greer has one out at the moment called Rage I believe, although she could just as easily have written one called mock outrage All sorts of love are covered, Brotherly Love, Romantic Love, Religious Love, Motherly Love Like I said, a white board book where a huge mind map has been padded out into continuous prose.This all makes the book sound much less interesting than I actually found it but I want to give you an idea of some of my dissatisfactions too I mentioned that I was reading Fromm to someone at work and he asked who is Fromm I said, I guess he is a bit of a Freudian Marxist with an interest in Buddhism My friend looked at me quizzically for a moment and said, Well, it isn t exactly saying, pick me up and read me just yet I didn t dare tell him what the book was called.When I was separating from my wife a very dear friend of mine suggested that I read a book called, Pulling Your Own Strings I worked at the City Council and had the luxury of being able to turn to the computer on my desk, order a book from the city library and have it appear on my desk the very next day There are few nicer pleasures in life Anyway, the book appeared and it had a rainbow in the cover I told her that I didn t think I could read this book The problem being that I would need to read it mostly on public transport and a rainbow, I mean, Jesus I said to her, Look, the title is bad enough, but at least I can pretend that I thought it was about masturbation, but a rainbow there is no excuse for a rainbow unless the book is called something like, Classic Gay Shortstories There is a very similar problem with a book called, The Art of Loving One expects it to be written by Hugh Heffner or Dr Shagalot.The question is what is love Is it a rather pleasant sensation or an art and therefore something one learns and gets better at over time Fromm points out that mostly we act as if love were a sensation something that happens to us and we have mostly no control over We believe that love is something that just is We can t help who we fall in love with, we can t help who we fall out of love with and we fundamentally believe that there is someone out there that is just right for us There is no effort involved in loving in fact, effort implies the two people weren t really made for each other and that effortless love is the only real love We look down on other cultures where marriages are arranged and although I won t be arranging my daughters marriages, I m not quite so smug about the self evident superiority of marrying for love The main problem with arranged marriages, for me, is not the impossibility of love in these types of marriage the arranged marriages I ve witnessed in my life have involved much choice than we generally consider possible in our standard Western interpretation or plots for dozens of Disney cartoons The real problem is how women in such marriages tend to be traded like chattel It is hard to see how this could possibly be avoided in arranged marriages although, in the large grey area between the black of arranged marriages and the white of marrying for love there are blind dates organised by friends and marry anyone you can get your hands on so as not to end up on the shelf and other such shades.One of the things I found most interesting, and perhaps one of the most illuminating ideas in the book, was his talk about the love of God Quite early on he says, In conventional Western theology the attempt is made to know God by thought, to make statements about God It is assumed that I can know God in my thought In mysticism, which is the consequent outcome of monotheism the attempt is given up to know God by thought, and it is replaced by the experience of union with God in which there is no room and no need for knowledge about God Love for another person particularly love for a life partner as I guess it would be called today is fairly similar to this love of God, love as atonement with God Fromm repeatedly says that our highest desire whether we recognise it or not is unity with another For Fromm this is the ground of love of all people and true love of another is premised on our being able to love everyone There are all manner of qualifications for this unity not unlike the line from The Prophet Sing and dance together and be joyous, but each one of you be alone, even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music The big downer to use an Americanism is that Fromm barely feels that true love is possible in Western Capitalist societies Our obsession with consumerism our ideas that love is a sensation, rather than an art our alienation from our essential selves our inability to concentrate and focus all of these work against us truly being in love This, then, is the Buddhist aspect of Fromm The point is to learn how to be in the present and being in the present implies truly being with your partner I think I finally got the point of sex once I realised it wasn t about what I was feeling, but about understanding and anticipating the feelings of the person I was with When I was too young to understand I heard Dave Allen tell a joke on TV about a newly married couple who rolled over to go to sleep rather than finish having sex after one of them asked, Can t you think of anyone else either I d have preferred to have never been old enough to understand that joke Shakespeare makes a similar point when he has Edmund why do his bad guys so often get the best lines say in King Lear about the lecherous begetters of bastard children when compared to most married sexual partners , Who, in the lusty stealth of Nature, take composition and fierce quality than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed, go to th creating a whole tribe of fobs got tween a sleep and wake Gods, stand up for bastards indeed.Or as Fromm himself would have it The main condition for the achievement of love is the overcoming of one s narcissism.But it is not just about being present in bed for Fromm Loving is about being alive and being alive is about being truly conscious Fromm is concerned that many of us think life is somehow supposed to be about relaxing to Fromm the only time one should relax is when one is asleep He is a man well aware that time, and therefore life itself, is not to be wasted that we are better to wear out than to rust.More than once I experienced a shock of recognition in reading this book, particularly towards the end when he was discussing dysfunctions based on experiences of parental role models Although I found his division between maternal and paternal love all a little simplistic, some of this did make me question my relationships and how they may have been based on my own experiences and learnings from my parents and also to wonder about the examples I ve given my daughters Never pleasant thoughts.I didn t enjoy this book nearly as much as The Art of Being, but there are thoughts per page here than in your typical book on this subject and if it is a whiteboard book it is a particularly full and rewarding one. This book confirms the idea that reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life, a better one indeed.Reading the Art of love awoke inside me some long dormant craving to approach the subject matter of love in a Tangible and Lucid way as Fromm did.In this book, Fromm asserts that love is essential to human flourishing and survival love is the answer to the problem of human existence he discusses frankly and candidly his theory of love in all its aspects not only romantic love, so steeped in false conceptions, but also love of parents for children, brotherly love, erotic love, self love and love for God Learning to love, he suggests, requires care, responsibility, respect, and knowledge to master the art of love as he metaphorically puts it.Fromm also writes about the disintegration of love in contemporary western society he stressed tirelessly that modern Western society practices the socially patterned pathology of love , thus, love in the forms he describes is a relatively rare phenomenon in capitalist society, and that its place is taken by a number of forms of pseudo love which are in reality so many forms of the disintegration of love In short, Erich Fromm believes that love is not a noun or object, but a verb or practice, the way you practice love depends on your approach and understanding of the existential problems of your life and at the same time, determines the wholeness you will experience as a human being In a practical sense, reading The Art of Loving can give you tools to help you learn the art of living as wellLove 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 Modern man has transformed himself into a commodity he experiences his life energy as an investment with which he should make the highest profit, considering his position and the situation on the personality market He is alienated from himself, from his fellow men and from nature His main aim is a profitable exchange of his skills, knowledge, and of himself, his personality package with others who are equally intent on a fair and profitable exchange Life has no goal except the one to move, no principle except the one of fair exchange, no satisfaction except the one to consume La t pica preguntaQu es el amorErich Fromm lo explica en este libro, pero claro, es muy dif cil que una sola persona sea due a de la verdad a un tipo de respuesta como en este tema.Sus hip tesis y tambi n afirmaciones son interesantes Varios tipos de amor y sentimiento puro, algo que en esta sociedad contempor nea hemos perdido, quiz s debido a la globalizaci n, la carga de trabajo, la falta de tiempo, o lo que sea El amor, al ser arte, tiene un valor tambi n hist rico, cultural y social, entre otras cosas El amor mirado desde diferentes perspectivas Hay algunas cosas en las que no concuerdo o me parecen demasiado extra as, pero siempre es interesante mirar otros puntos de vista Recomendado S , hace ver al amor como quiz s no lo vi antes y a partir de eso, analizarlo fr amente. The Art of Loving, Erich FrommThe Art of Loving, is a 1956 book, by psychoanalyst and social philosopher Erich Fromm, which was published as part of the World Perspectives Series, edited by Ruth Nanda Anshen In this work, Fromm develops his perspective on human nature, from his earlier work, Escape from Freedom and Man for Himself principles which he revisits in many of his other major works 1974 1348 235 20 1353 The Fiftieth Anniversary Edition Of The Groundbreaking International Bestseller That Has Shown Millions Of Readers How To Achieve Rich, Productive Lives By Developing Their Hidden Capacities For LoveMost People Are Unable To Love On The Only Level That Truly Matters Love That Is Compounded Of Maturity, Self Knowledge, And Courage As With Every Art, Love Demands Practice And Concentration, As Well As Genuine Insight And Understanding.In His Classic Work, The Art Of Loving, Renowned Psychoanalyst And Social Philosopher Erich Fromm Explores Love In All Its Aspects Not Only Romantic Love, Steeped In False Conceptions And Lofty Expectations, But Also Brotherly Love, Erotic Love, Self Love, The Love Of God, And The Love Of Parents For Their Children.