sobota, 12. december 2009

The art of loving - Fromm

We are social creatures, made anxious by our separatness. The culture offers false and easy means for addressing our anxiety - through sameness. It invites us to consume the same goods, work at the same jobs, adopt the same goals - defining ourselves through conformity and insignificant nuances of difference. But if we lack the courage to be individuals, we will never achieve love, since ''love is union under the condition of preserving one's integrity.'' Love is not taking, out of insecurity; IT STARTS IN GIVING - of joy, interest, understanding, humor, sadness, ''of all expressions and manifestations of that which is alive in us.''
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Tina Turner - I'm Ready
Love is not a sentiment which can be easily indulged in by anyone, regardless of the level of maturity reached by him. All our attempts for love are bound to fail, unless we try most actively to develop our total personality, so as to achieve a productive orientation; that satisfaction in individual love cannot be attained without the capacity to love one's neighbour, without true humility, courage, faith and discipline. In a culture in which these qualities are rare, the attainment of the capacity to love must remain a rare achievement. Or - anyone can ask himself how many truly loving persons he has known.

Is love an art? Then it requires knowledge and effort. Or is love a pleasant sensation, which to experience is a matter of chance, something one ''falls into'' if one's lucky? This book is based on the former premise, while undoubtedly the majority of people believe in the latter.
Not that people think love is not important. They are starved for it; they watch endless numbers of films about happy and unhappy love stories, they listen to hundreds of trashy songs about love - yet hardly anyone thinks that there is anything that needs to be learned about love.

Most people see the problem of love primarily as that of BEING LOVED, rather than of LOVING, of one's capacity to love. Hence the problem to them is how to be loved, how to be lovable.
A second premise behind the attitude that there is nothing to be learned about love is the assumption that the problem of love is the problem of the OBJECT, rather than of FACULTY; people think that to love is simple, but to find the right object to love - or to be loved by - is difficult.

But, aside from learning the theory and practice, there is a third factor necessary to becoming a master in any art - the mastery of art must be a matter of ultimate concern; there must be nothing else in the world more important than the art. This holds true for music, medicine, carpentry,..and for love. And, maybe, here lies the answer to the question why people in our culture try so rarely to learn this art, in spite of their obvious failures: in spite of the deep-seated craving for love, almost everything else is considered to be more important than love: success, prestige, money, power - almost all our energy is used for the learning of how to achieve these aims, and almost none to learn the art of loving.
There are common assumptions about which motives drive us to seek high status; among them, a longing for money, fame and influence.
Alternatively, it might be more accurate to sum up what we are searching for with a word seldom used in political theory: LOVE. Once food and shelter have been secured, the predominant impulse behind our desire to
suceed in the social hiearchy may lie in not so much with the goods we can accrue or the power we can wield, as with the amount of LOVE we stand to receive as a consequence of high status. Money, fame and influence may be valued more as tolkens of - and as a means to - LOVE rather than as ends in themselves.
Alain de Botton - Status anxiety
The PASSIVE form of the symbiotic union is that of SUBMISSION, or if we use a clinical term, of MASOCHISM. The masochistic person escapes from the unbearable feeling of isolation and separateness by making himself part and parcel of another person who directs him, guides him, protects him; who is his life and hiy oxygen, as it were. The masochistic person does not have to make decisions, does not have to take any risks; he is never alone - but he is not independent; he has no integrity, he is not yet fully born. He makes himself the instrument of somebody or something outside himself; he need not solve the problem of living by productive activity.
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HD video for the club remix of Todd Terry
Dear, I fear we're facing a problem
you love me no longer, I know
and maybe there is nothing
that I can do to make you do
Mama tells me I shouldn't bother

that I ought just stick to another man
a man that surely deserves me
but I think you do!

So I cry, and I pray and I beg

Love me love me
say that you love me
fool me fool me
go on and fool me
love me love me
pretend that you love me
lead me lead me
just say that you need me

So I cried, and I begged for you to
Love me love me
say that you love me
lead me lead me
just say that you need me
I can't care about anything but you

Lately I have desperately pondered,
spent my nights awake and I wonder
what I could have done in another way
to make you stay
Reason will not reach a solution
I will end up lost in confusion
I don't care if you really care
as long as you don't go

So I cry, I pray and I beg

Love me love me
say that you love me
fool me fool me
go on and fool me
love me love me
pretend that you love me
lead me lead me
just say that you need me

So I cried, and I begged for you to
Love me love me
say that you love me
lead me lead me
just say that you need me
I can't care about anything but you

(anything but you)

Love me love me
say that you love me
fool me fool me
go on and fool me
Love me love me
I know that you need me
I can't care about anything but you..

The ACTIVE form of symbiotic fusion is DOMINATION or, to use the psychological term corresponding to masochism, SADISM. The sadistic person wants to escape from his aloneness and his sense of imprisonment by making another person part and parcel of himself. He inflates and enhances himself by incorporating another person, who worships him. The sadistic person is AS DEPENDENT on the submissive person as the latter is on the former; neither can live without the other. The difference is only that the sadistic person commands, exploits, hurts, humiliates, and that the masochistic person is commanded, exploited, hurt, humiliated. This is a considerable difference in a realistic sense; in a deeper emotional sense, the difference is not so great as that which they both have in common: FUSION WITHOUT INTEGRITY. If one understands this, it is also not surprising to find that usually a person reacts in BOTH manners, usually toward different objects. Hitler reacted primarily in a sadistic fashion towards humans, but masochistically toward fate, history, the ''high power'' of nature. His end - suicide among general destruction - is as characteristic as was his dream of success - total domination.


In contrast to symbiotic union, MATURE LOVE is union under the condition of preserving one's integrity, one's individuality. Love is an active power in man; 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. In love the paradox occurs that two beings become one and yet remain two.

Immature love says: 'I love you because I need you.'
MATURE love says 'I NEED YOU BECAUSE I LOVE YOU.' Fromm

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Shania Twain - You're Still The One Original (HD)
It is hardly necessary to stress the fact that the ability to love as an act of giving depends on the character development of the person. It presupposes the attainment of a predominantly productive orientation; in this orientation the person has OVERCOME dependency, narcissistic omnipotence, the wish to exploit others, or to hoard, and has acquired faith in his own human powers, courage to rely on his powers in the attainment of his goals. To the degree that these qualities are lacking, he is afraid of giving himself - hence of loving.
Responsibility could easily deteriorate into domination and possessiveness, were it not for a third component of love, RESPECT. Respect is not fear and awe; it denotes, in accordance with the root of the word(respiccere - to look at), the ability to see a person as he is, to be aware of his unique individuality.respect means the concern that the other person should growand unfold as he is. Respect, thus, implies the absence of exploitation. I want the loved person to grow and unfold for his own sake, and in his own ways, and not for the purpose for serving me.

There is hardly any activity, any enterprise, which is started out with such tremendous hopes and expectations, and yet which fails so regularly, as love.

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