The Art of Loving Quotes

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The Art of Loving The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm
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The Art of Loving Quotes Showing 1-30 of 238
“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.”
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
“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, Eric, The Art of Loving
“Paradoxically, the ability to be alone is the condition for the ability to love.”
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
“The main condition for the achievement of love is the overcoming of one's narcissism. The narcissistic orientation is one in which one experiences as real only that which exists within oneself, while the phenomena in the outside world have no reality in themselves, but are experienced only from the viewpoint of their being useful or dangerous to one. The opposite pole to narcissism is objectivity; it is the faculty to see other people and things as they are, objectively, and to be able to separate this objective picture from a picture which is formed by one's desires and fears.”
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
“Infantile love follows the principle: "I love because I am loved."
Mature love follows the principle: "I am loved because I love."
Immature love says: "I love you because I need you."
Mature love says: "I need you because I love you.”
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
“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 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.p97.”
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
tags: love
“The faculty to think objectively is reason; the emotional attitude behind reason is that of humility. To be objective, to use one's reason, is possible only if one has achieved an attitude of humility, if one has emerged from the dreams of omniscience and omnipotence which one has as a child. Love, being dependent on the relative absence of narcissism, requires the developement of humility, objectivity and reason.

I must try to see the difference between my picture of a person and his behavior, as it is narcissistically distorted, and the person's reality as it exists regardless of my interests, needs and fears.”
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
“Giving is the highest expression of potency. In the very act of giving, I experience my strength, my wealth, my power. This experience of heightened vitality and potency fills me with joy. I experience myself as overflowing, spending, alive, hence as joyous. Giving is more joyous than receiving, not because it is a deprivation, but because in the act of giving lies the expression of my aliveness.”
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
“Modern man thinks he loses something - time - when he does not do things quickly. Yet he does not know what to do with the time he gains, except kill it.”
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
“The mature response to the problem of existence is love.”
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
“To have faith requires courage, the ability to take a risk, the readiness even to accept pain and disappointment. Whoever insists on safety and security as primary conditions of life cannot have faith; whoever shuts himself off in a system of defense, where distance and possession are his means of security, makes himself a prisoner. To be loved, and to love, need courage, the courage to judge certain values as of ultimate concern – and to take the jump and to stake everything on these values.”
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
“The task we must set for ourselves is not to feel secure, but to be able to tolerate insecurity.”
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
“Love is not primarily a relationship to a specific person; it is an attitude, an orientation of character which determines the relatedness of a person to the world as a whole, not toward one “object” of love. If a person loves only one other person and is indifferent to the rest of his fellow men, his love is not love but a symbiotic attachment, or an enlarged egotism. Yet, most people believe that love is constituted by the object, not by the faculty.”
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
“Most people are not even aware of their need to conform. They live under the illusion that they follow their own ideas and inclinations, that they are individualists, that they have arrived at their opinion as the result of their own thinking - and that it just happens that their ideas are the same as this of the majority. (p.11)”
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
“Immature love says: 'I love you because I need you.' Mature love say: 'i need you because I love you.”
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
“Most people see the problem of love primarily as that of being loved , rather than that of loving , of one's capacity to love. Hence the problem to them is how to be loved, how to be lovable. In pursuit of this aim they follow several paths. One, which is especially used by men, is to be successful, to be as powerful and rich as the social margin of one's position permits. Another, used especially by women, is to make oneself attractive, by cultivating one's body, dress, etc. .... Many of the ways to make oneself lovable are the same as those used to make oneself successful, to 'win friends and influence people'. As a matter of fact, what most people in our culture mean by being lovable is essentially a mixture between being popular and having sex appeal.”
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
“Modern capitalism needs men who cooperate smoothly and in large numbers; who want to consume more and more; and whose tastes are standardized and can be easily influenced and anticipated. It needs men who feel free and independent, not subject to any authority or principle or conscience-- yet willing to be commanded, to do what is expected of them, to fit into the social machine without friction; who can be guided without force, led without leaders, prompted without aim-- except the one to make good, to be on the move, to function, to go ahead.”
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
“Education is identical with helping the child realize his potentialities. The opposite of education is manipulation, which is based on the absence of faith in the growth of potentialities and the connection that a child will be right only if the adults put into him what is desirable and suppress what seems to be undesirable.”
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
“Man’s happiness today consists in “having fun.” Having fun lies in the satisfaction of consuming and “taking in” commodities, sights, food, drinks, cigarettes, people, lectures, books, movies—all are consumed, swallowed. The world is one great object for our appetite, a big apple, a big bottle, a big breast; we are the sucklers, the eternally expectant ones, the hopeful ones—and the eternally disappointed ones.”
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
“We may know ourselves, and yet even with all the efforts we make, we do not know ourselves. We know our fellowman, and yet we do not know him, because we are not a thing, and our fellowman is not a thing. The further we reach into the depths of our being, on someone else's being, the more the goal of knowledge eludes us.”
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
“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...they are one with each other by being one with themselves.”
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
“Love is an activity, not a passive affect; it is a “standing in,” not a “falling for.” In the most general way, the active character of love can be described by stating that love is primarily giving, not receiving.”
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
“To be loved because of one's merit, because one deserves it, always leaves doubt; maybe I did not please the person whom I want to love me, maybe this, or that - there is always a fear that love could disappear.”
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
“Mature love is union under the condition of preserving one's integrity, one's individuality; a power which breaks through the walls which separate man from his fellow men, which unites him with others; love makes him overcome the sense of isolation and separateness, yet it permits him to be himself, to retain his integrity.”
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
“ان اهم مجال للإعطاء ليس هو مجال الأشياء المادية, بل هو المجال الذي يكمن في العالم الانساني بصفة خاصة. فماذا يعطي الانسان للآخر ؟ انه يعطي من نفسه, من أثمن ما يملك, انه يعطي حياته. وليس هذا يعني بالضرورة انه يضحي بحياته للآخر-بل انه يعني انه يعطيه من ذلك الشيء الحي فيه, انه يعطيه من فرحه, من شغفه, من فهمه, من علمه, من مرحه, من حزنه- من كل التعابير والتجليات لذلك الشيء الحي الذي فيه. وهكذا باعطائه من حياته انما يثري الشخص الآخر بالحياة وذلك بتعزيزه لشعوره هو بالحياة. انه لا يعطي لكي يتلقى, العطاء هو ذاته فرح رفيع. ولكنه في العطاء لا يملك الا أن يحمل شيئا الى الحياة في الشخص الآخر, وذلك الذي يحمله الى الحياة ينعكس بالتالي عليه, انه العطاء الحقيقي لا يملك الا أن يتلقى ما يعود اليه ثانية. العطاء يتضمن جعل الشخص الآخر شخصا معطاء أيضا والاثنان يشتركان في فرح ما قد حملاه الى الحياة. في فعل العطاء يولد شيء ما, وكلا الشخصين يكونان شاكرين للحياد التي تولد لهما كليهما. ويعني هذا بالنسبة للحب اذا شئنا التخصيص: ان الحب قوة تنتج الحب, والعقم هو العجز عن انتاج الحب.”
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
“Wenn ich zu einem anderen sagen kann: "Ich liebe dich", muss ich auch sagen können: "Ich liebe in dir auch alle anderen, ich liebe durch dich die ganze Welt, ich liebe in dir auch mich selbst.”
Erich Fromm, Die Kunst des Liebens
“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, 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.”
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
“Love, experienced thus, is a constant challenge; it is not a resting place, but moving, growing, working together; even when there is harmony or conflict, joy or sadness, is secondary to the fundamental fact that two people experience themselves, 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.”
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
“Love is a power which produces love.”
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
“If I perceive in another person mainly the surface, I perceive mainly the differences,that which separates us. If I penetrate to the core, i perceive our identity, the fact of our brotherhood. This relatedness from center to center - instead of that from periphery to periphery - is 'central relatedness'.”
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving

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