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The Art of Loving
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Discussions 2018 > Book Discussion # 94 (part one); genre: Psychology

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Wafaa (wafa85) | 57 comments Mod
Here you can discuss "the art of Loving" by Erich Fromm.
Share your impressions, favorite quotes from the book, or tell us your opinion, and if this book did change anything in your life.
Do you find the instructions of the writer practical in real life?
Can people be in control of their own feeling, behaviors and have the capability to master "the art of loving"???

Also we welcome you to join us in our discussion meeting which will be held in Beirut,Lebanon for more info :

نرحب بالجميع هنا لمناقشة كتاب اريك فروم "فن الحب" ترجمة سعيد الباكير.ه
لا انصح بترجمة مجاهد عبد المنعم مجاهد (الترجمة سيئة) للأسف.ه
ننتظر ارآؤكم وتعليقاتكم واقتباساتكم، وهل ترون التعليمات والتوجيهات في هذه الدراسة قابلة للتطبيق ؟
هل غيّر هذا الكتاب طريقة تفكيرك وتفاعلك مع الآخرين واستفدت منه ؟

ويمكنكم الانضمام لنا ولقاءنا في بيروت لبنان لمناقشة الكتاب
للتفاصيل عن اللقاء اضغط على الروابط اعلاه.ه

message 2: by Wafaa (last edited Jun 12, 2018 12:54PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Wafaa (wafa85) | 57 comments Mod
A summery to The Art of Loving According to Erich Fromm

The legacy of Erich Fromm’s phrases about love continues to inspire us today. Because, when it comes down to it, we have to admit that loving is not always easy. It requires courage, action, commitment and a high sense of humility and responsibility. Few authors have taught us as much as Fromm has about the art of loving.

The teacher, poet and peace activist, Thich Nhat Hahn, once said that loving, without knowing how to love, hurts the person we love. The worst thing is that we often see love as something passive. For many people a crush leads to infatuation, where one completely surrenders to the other person. When this happens there is no choice but to let ourselves be carried along, hoping that the love will be reciprocated, nurtured and confirmed by the other person. But we often find that what we receive in turn is devoid of energy, creativity, and not reciprocated.

The Art of Loving

To love intelligently and fully is the result of a deliberate act, an intent that requires and, at the same time, demands excellence. If we just let ourselves go, acting passively and waiting for the other person to do and say everything, and also to reciprocate, then we will just end up completely frustrated. This is what the social psychologist, psychoanalyst and German philosopher, Erich Fromm, taught us in his book “The art of loving“, and here are a collection of his quotes that summarize this unforgettable book that is worth reading again and again.

“Paradoxically, being able to be alone is the condition to be able to love” Erich Fromm

“The art of loving” is not an individual book within the enormous intellectual legacy that Erich Fromm left us. It is actually a continuation of another book, “The fear of freedom“. In the latter Fromm had already addressed different aspects of human nature and, because of this, felt the need to delve into the fascinating area of love, so basic and essential for every human being.

Above all, Erich Fromm wanted to teach us that love is an art. It demands that we master both theory and practice, because, and this is important to remember, love is the only reason for our existence, it is what really gives our lives meaning, as well as giving meaning to our society.

Let’s see below which of Erich Fromm’s quotes best summarize these ideas.
(view spoiler)

And so, to conclude, in these quotes of Erich Fromm, we have learned that love is not only a “subject” where we have to learn both the practice and the theory. The art of loving is also an active and responsible attitude towards life and society itself. It is a transforming force that requires awareness and not conformism, and which calls out for creativity and not passivity.


Hoda Marmar (bibliomanic) | 62 comments Mod
One of the quotes I really loved in the book:

“Paradoxically, the ability to be alone is the condition for the ability to love.”
― Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving

Wafaa (wafa85) | 57 comments Mod
here is another quote:
"Love is an activity, not a passive affect; it is a standing in not a falling for"

Hoda Marmar (bibliomanic) | 62 comments Mod
One of the ideas that really resonated with me were when Fromm spoke of parents' love for their children, and how the child should develop from mother-centered unconditional love to father-centered conditional love. If this development is not successful, neurosis would take place since the child needs to incorporate both kinds of love to achieve the ability to love maturely. He contrasts it to the Freudian concept of super-ego because Fromm thinks that the child does not automatically internalize what his parents feed him about loving and being loved, but rather he actively formulates his or her own love concept.
I also really enjoyed the further detailing of motherly vs. fatherly love with the negatives and positives in both and how a healthy dose of balance is what maturity is all about. Another eye-opening detail is the discussion of motherly love which seems to be mostly unconditional when the child is quite dependent, and regresses as the child formulates a personality and gains some independence. I would love to read more about that topic.
All in all, the book is really enjoyable and is to be read more than once, once is not enough.

Wafaa (wafa85) | 57 comments Mod
Outline of the book (prepared by Hoda Marmar):

I. Is love an Art?
• Art vs. chance
• Being loved vs. loving
• Object of love vs. its function
• Falling in love vs. being in love
• Art of love: 1- Learning : Mastery of (a) theory and (b) practice
2- Prioritizing the learning of the art of loving

II. The theory of love
1. Love, the answer to the problem of human existence
• Awareness of human separation is shameful without reunion by love
• Transcend one's own individual life and find atonement
• Orgiastic states: sexual conformity, eliminating differences
• Equality: sameness vs. oneness
• Anxiety of separateness: alcoholism, drug addiction, compulsive sexualism, suicide
• Work routine and pleasure routine
• Symbiotic union: (a) passive; masochism, and (b) active; sadism
• Symbiosis vs. mature love
• Mature love; love as an active power preserving one's integrity
• Productive love; giving as more joyous than receiving
• Care, responsibility, respect, knowledge
• Love as active penetration of the other to know the secret of man; desire to unite masculine and feminine poles
2. Love between parent and child
• Motherly unconditional love: capacity for loving because of one's merit; cannot be earned
• Fatherly conditional love: reason and judgment and fulfilling expectations; can be earned
• Mature love: combination of both vs. Freudian super-ego
• Failure to develop mature love leads to neurosis
3. The objects of love
• Brotherly love: love of all; union, solidarity, love of equals
• Motherly love: instilling the love for life in the child; unequal relationship, a narcissistic domineering possessive element
• Erotic love: intimacy, sexuality, exclusiveness, egotism à deux; 2 separate people become one (unlike in motherly love)
• Self love: selfishness vs. unselfishness
• Love of God: matriarchal vs. patriarchal gods
• Western vs. Eastern paradoxical logic: Aristotle vs. Taoism
• The right way of living, tolerance and transforming man

III. Love and its disintegration in contemporary Western society
• Capitalistic society, bureaucracy, consumerism and command
• Alienation of modern man from himself, others, and nature
• Automatons can't love; need fair exchange of personality packages
• Sexual happiness is the result of love
• Freudian materialism, sexual instinct drive, and mutual jealousy and competitiveness among men
• Social shift from saving to spending, economic self-frustration to consumption, and seeking immediate satisfaction
• Sullivan: love as collaboration and pursuit of mutual satisfactions; love begins when another's needs are as important as one's own
• Love as mutual sexual satisfaction vs. love as teamwork
• Neurotic love relations; partners fixated to mother or father
• Pseudo-loves: idolatrous folie à deux and sentimental loves
• Projective mechanisms to partner, to children
• Illusion that love means necessarily the absence of conflict
• Love is a constant challenge; depth, aliveness, and strength
• Alienated culture of success and trade in spirituality

IV. The practice of love
• To love is a personal experience with not how-to-do lists
• Requirements for practicing an art:
1. discipline; vs. infantile rebellious self-indulgence and chaos
2. concentration; focus, be alerted and sensitive to self, live fully in the present, be able to be alone and thus able to love, listen, avoid bad company, zombies (dead souls) and trivial conversation
3. patience; can't learn an art if impatient and are after quick results
4. supreme concern in mastery; masters vs. dilettantes, to master an art, one's whole life should be devoted or related to it; practice discipline, concentration, and patience to learn love indirectly
• Art of loving: overcome narcissism, see everything objectively through reason and humility, practice rational intellectual and emotional faith/vision (education vs. manipulation), courage, inner productive activity, awakeness, intensity, vitality, fairness vs. love
• Love thy neighbor vs. radical nihilism in a capitalist society
• Need for major social changes so love isn't a marginal exception

Wafaa (wafa85) | 57 comments Mod
Questions (compiled by Nayla Feghaly):

1- "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." Fromm considers that love is a skill that can be taught rather than a "sentiment which can be easily indulged by anyone." Do you approve?

2- Fromm considered being lovable in our culture as "essentially a mixture between being popular and having sex appeal". Do you agree?

3- Do you think that without love, "humanity could not exist for a day"?

4- What did you think of the writing style? Did you like it?

5- To be loved and to love is a rare achievement. Did the book make you reflect on how many truly loving persons you have encountered so far in your life?

6- What was the added value of this book to you?

7- Before reading the book, and after having read it, what is your answer to the question of: is love an art?

message 9: by Wafaa (last edited Sep 07, 2018 04:08AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Wafaa (wafa85) | 57 comments Mod
وهكذا كان اللقاء


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