Monthly Archives: January 2016

Erich Fromm and the art of love

erichfromm

He has a lovely face… a promising start!

Erich Fromm on the Art of Loving

–by Maria Popova, syndicated from brainpickings.org, Jan 12, 2016

“To love without knowing how to love wounds the person we love,” the great Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hahn admonished in his terrific treatise on how to love — a sentiment profoundly discomfiting in the context of our cultural mythology, which continually casts love as something that happens to us passively and by chance, something we fall into, something that strikes us arrow-like, rather than a skill attained through the same deliberate practice as any other pursuit of human excellence. Our failure to recognize this skillfulness aspect is perhaps the primary reason why love is so intertwined with frustration.

That’s what the great German social psychologist, psychoanalyst, and philosopher Erich Fromm examines in his 1956 masterwork The Art of Loving (public library) — a case for love as a skill to be honed the way artists apprentice themselves to the work on the way to mastery, demanding of its practitioner both knowledge and effort.”

Wow.. I must read that book too! Raewyn my wife forwarded the post to me. Full post here: http://www.dailygood.org/story/1200/erich-fromm-on-the-art-of-loving-maria-popova/ 

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However you define it, there’s a logic to love

Is love a feeling, or a relationship, or an action, or an energy, or even (as Christians claim) a Person?

If love is a feeling, then it is a feeling about someone, for some reason. Otherwise we could solve all the problems of the lack of it with some kind of feel-good drug. And no one (I hope!) would seriously suggest that that would do it. So, there’s a logic behind it – a reason.

If love is a relationship with someone, then there is a logic to it – relationships with real people have real reasons, limits, histories, conditions. So there’s a logic to be sought there, too.

If Love is an action, then again, logic is there – you act for reasons. Even ‘for no reason at all’ is a reason, pushed back to some general rule or attitude of love which says ‘Do good to all men boundlessly and for no particular reason or virtue possessed by said men.’ There would have to be some convincing logic produced to back up that little demand, surely!

If love is an energy, it must be a very special kind to demand our allegiance over other kinds of energy, such as hate, anger, lust, avarice and greed – and surely these could all be described (on one level) as energies. So, again, we look for REASONS, a logic, to persuade us to love.

If love is a person, i.e. God, well then we would still need reasons to value that quality – still need to see that love is better than to give in to anger or selfish greed. Also, if God is defined as Love, then there is a power of logic there implied – since God (love) made the whole complex universe, and minds, and everything. So, most of all if you equate God with Love, you must look for a deep and complex logic of Love, worthy of an infinite Creator God… And it must be deep enough to account for evil, too, preferably!

So, I propose to develop in this blog as much of the general and practical logic of love that I can without resorting to quick fixes and appeals to an undefined ‘energy’ or ‘person’ or ‘feeling’. True love may be all those things, but just saying we should try and get that Feeling, or be like that Person, or plug into that energy, does not give us access to it like an understanding of what we do when we love. There IS a logic to that, and I mean to articulate it.

 

 

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The Logic of Love and a new ebook

Greetings, my intrepid followers on the website formerly known as Loveqor! For simplicity and plainness I’ve changed the name to The Logic of Love. And now living in Gisborne, I am hoping to do more on the subject! Starting with some writing. This ebook was uploaded on the first of the first, 2016:

How to Love Everyone and Everything – Starting With a Stone

We assume we know what love is, and that we just ‘need more of it in the world’, but we have huge emotional and mental obstacles to actually attempting to be ‘more loving’ ourselves. Here are 7 things love ISN’T, and the one thing it IS – and it’s probably not what you think. Once we’re clear on what love is, we can be much more relaxed about practicing it in real life – starting with a stone… More

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