The Sane Society Quotes

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The Sane Society The Sane Society by Erich Fromm
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The Sane Society Quotes Showing 1-26 of 26
“That millions of people share the same forms of mental pathology does not make these people sane.”
Erich Fromm, The Sane Society
“The fact that millions of people share the same vices does not make these vices virtues, the fact that they share so many errors does not make the errors to be truths, and the fact that millions of people share the same form of mental pathology does not make these people sane.”
Erich Fromm, The Sane Society
“The whole life of the individual is nothing but the process of giving birth to himself; indeed, we should be fully born when we die - although it is the tragic fate of most individuals to die before they are born.”
Erich Fromm, The Sane Society
“Reason is man’s faculty for grasping the world by thought, in contradiction to intelligence, which is man’s ability to manipulate the world with the help of thought. Reason is man’s instrument for arriving at the truth, intelligence is man’s instrument for manipulating the world more successfully; the former is essentially human, the latter belongs to the animal part of man.”
Erich Fromm, The Sane Society
“What kind of men, then, does our society need? What is the "social character" suited to twentieth century Capitalism? It needs men who co-operate smoothly in large groups; who want to consume more and more, and whose tasks are standardized and can easily be 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, to fit into the social machine without friction.”
Erich Fromm, The Sane Society
“The danger of the past was that men became slaves. The danger of the future is that men may become robots.”
Erich Fromm, The Sane Society
“Both the mentally healthy and the neurotic are driven by the need to find an answer [to the problem of human existence], the only difference being that one answer corresponds more to the total needs of man, and hence is more conducive to the unfolding of his powers and to his happiness than the other. All cultures provide for a patterned system in which certain solutions are predominant, hence certain strivings and satisfactions.... The deviate from the cultural pattern is just as much in search of an answer as his more well-adjusted brother. His answer may be better or worse than the one given by his culture - it is always another answer to the same fundamental question raised by human existence. In this sense all cultures are religious and every neurosis is a private form of religion, provided we mean by religion an attempt to answer the problem of human existence.”
Erich Fromm, The Sane Society
“We consume, as we produce, without any concrete relatedness to the objects with which we deal; We live in a world of things, and our only connection with them is that we know how to manipulate or to consume them.”
Erich Fromm, The Sane Society
“Each new step into his new human existence is frightening. It always means to give up a secure state, which was relatively known, for one which is new, which one has not yet mastered. Undoubtedly, if the infant could think at the moment of the severance of the umbilical cord, he would experience the fear of dying. A loving fate protects us from this first panic. But at any new step, at any new stage of our birth, we are afraid again. We are never free from two conflicting tendencies: one to emerge from the womb, from the animal form of existence into a more human existence, from bondage to freedom; another, to return to the womb, to nature, to certainty and security.”
Erich Fromm, The Sane Society
“The common element in both submission and domination is the symbiotic nature of relatedness. Both persons involved have lost their integrity and freedom; they live on each other and from each other, satisfying their craving for closeness, yet suffering from the lack of inner strength and self-reliance which would require freedom and independence, and furthermore constantly threatened by the conscious or unconscious hostility which is bound to arise from the symbiotic relationship.10 The realization of the submissive (masochistic) or the domineering (sadistic) passion never leads to satisfaction.”
Erich Fromm, The Sane Society
“Indeed the alienated person finds it almost impossible to remain by himself, because he is seized by the panic of experiencing nothingness.”
Erich Fromm, The Sane Society
“كذلك يختل ميزان الثقافة فى كل مكان، فمازال عدد الأميين والجهلاء كثيراً لا يحصى. ولدينا من أدوات التثقيف الإذاعة والتلفزيون ودور السينما والصحف اليومية. بيد أن هذه الأدوات بدلاً من أن تنشر بين الناس روائع الأدب القديم والحديث، والعلم الصحيح، والموسيقى الرفيعة، تملأ الرؤوس عن طريق السمع والبصر بسخافات المعرفة وتوافع الأمور، وتنفث سمومها فى العقول والأذهان.”
Erich Fromm, The Sane Society
“It is naively assumed that the fact that the majority of people share certain ideas or feelings proves the validity of these ideas and feelings. Nothing is further from the truth. Consensual validation as such has no bearing on reason or mental health. Just as there is a "folie a deux" there is a folie a millions. The fact that millions of people share the same vices does not make these vices virtues, the fact that they share so many errors does not make the errors to be truths, and the fact that millions of people share the same forms of mental pathology does not make these people sane.”
Erich Fromm, The Sane Society
“إن الأمر بحاجة إلى بحث عميق وتحليل دقيق لكى ننفذ إلى الحقيقة ونحكم على أنفسنا حكما أقرب إلى الصواب.”
Erich Fromm, The Sane Society
“إننا لا ننكر أن الإنسانية وسط هذا الضجيج والعجيج لا تعدم نفراً من العقلاء بنادون بعقد معاهدات الصلح ونشر ألوية السلام فى ربوع العالم بأسره. غير أن قصارى ما يبذله هؤلاء العقلاء من جهد لا يعدو أن يكون كلمات مكتوبة وحبراً على ورق.”
Erich Fromm, The Sane Society
“Mental health cannot be defined in terms of the "adjustment" of the individual to his society, but, on the other hand, that it must be defined in terms of the society to the needs of man, of its role in furthering or hindering the development of mental health. Whether or not the individual is healthy, is primarily not an individual matter, but depends on the structure of his society.”
Erich Fromm, The Sane Society
“Why should anyone be so grateful for acceptance unless he doubts that he is acceptable, and why should a young, educated and successful couple have such doubts, if not due to the fact that they cannot accept themselves because they are not themselves.”
Erich Fromm, The Sane Society
“لعل من الطريف فى هذا الصدد أن نذكر هنا أن أحد المؤرخين الثقاة يؤكد لنا أنه فيما بين عام 1500 و 1860 بعد الميلاد وقعت الدول ما ينيف عن ثمانية آلاف معاهدة للصلح، تهدف كل منها إلى سيادة السلام الدائم بين الشعوب، ولم تدم واحدة منها أكثر من عامين !”
Erich Fromm, The Sane Society
“إننا لا ننكر أن الإنسانية وسط هذا الضجيج والعجيج لا تعدم نفراً من العقلاء بنادون بعقد معاهدات الصلح ونشر ألوية السلام فى ربوع العالم بأسره. غير أن قصارى ما يبذله هؤلاء العقلاء من جهد لا يعدو أن يكون كلمات مكتوبة وحبراً على ورق. لعل من الطريف فى هذا الصدد أن نذكر هنا أن أحد المؤرخين الثقاة يؤكد لنا أنه فيما بين عام 1500 و 1860 بعد الميلاد وقعت الدول ما ينيف عن ثمانية آلاف معاهدة للصلح، تهدف كل منها إلى سيادة السلام الدائم بين الشعوب، ولم تدم واحدة منها أكثر من عامين !”
Erich Fromm, The Sane Society
“It is the task of the "science of man" to arrive eventually at a correct description of what deserves to be called human nature. What has often been called "human nature" is but one of its many manifestations - and often a pathological one - and the function of such mistaken definition usually has been to defend a particular type of society as being the necessary one.”
Erich Fromm, The Sane Society
“The absolutely alienated individual worships at the altar of an idol, and it makes little difference by what names this idol is known.”
Erich Fromm, The Sane Society
“But any explanation which analyzes one sector to the exclusion of all others is unbalanced, and thus wrong. The socio-economic, spiritual and psychological explanations look at the same phenomena from different aspects, and the very task of a theoretical analysis is to see how these different aspects are interrelated, and how they interact.”
Erich Fromm, The Sane Society
“There is only one passion which satisfies man’s need to unite himself with the world, and to acquire at the same time a sense of integrity and individuality, and this is love. Love is union with somebody, or something, outside oneself, under the condition of retaining the separateness and integrity of one’s own self. It is an experience of sharing, of communion, which permits the full unfolding of one’s own inner activity. The experience of love does away with the necessity of illusions. There is no need to inflate the image of the other person, or of myself, since the reality of active sharing and loving permits me to transcend my individualized existence, and at the same time to experience myself as the bearer of the active powers which constitute the act of loving. What”
Erich Fromm, The Sane Society
“We... have created a greater material wealth than any other society in the history of the human race. Yet we have managed to kill off millions of our population in an arrangement which we call "war.”
Erich Fromm, The Sane Society
“Man can attempt to become one with the world by submission to a person, to a group, to an institution, to God. In this way, he transcends the separateness of his individual existence by becoming part of somebody or something bigger than himself, and experiences his identity in connection with the power to which he has submitted.”
Erich Fromm, The Sane Society
“As long as we can think of other alternatives, we are not lost; as long as we can consult together and plan together, we can hope. But, indeed, the shadows are lengthening; the voices of insanity are becoming louder. We are in reach of achieving a state of humanity which corresponds to the vision of our great teachers; yet we are in danger of the destruction of all civilization, or of robotization. A small tribe was told thousands of years ago: “I put before you life and death, blessing and curse — and you chose life.” This is our choice too.”
Erich Fromm, The Sane Society