Erich Fromm’s The Art of Loving Essay

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Erich Fromm’s "The Art of Loving"

Upon reading Erich Fromm’s The Art of Loving, I gained a better understanding of what love really is. Fromm’s book puts love into perspective. He begins with several facts with regards to the attitude in which people treat love. They are the problems of how to be loved, the object to love as well as the confusion between the initial experience of falling in love and the permanent state of being in love, which had a great impact on me, as far as thinking about what love is.

Strangers meet, they break down social walls between one another, and they feel close, as one. They supposedly fell in love with one another, to Fromm, falling in love is not love, it’s more infatuation. Fromm describes
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Fromm asserts that love is an art, and says that to truly love, in all it’s forms, you must possess Maturity, self-knowledge; and Courage.

Many people pursue objects of affection, or objects of love, and treat them as possessions. Fromm states that love is the ability to love in different forms, brotherly love, romantic love, motherly love etc. Since Fromm says that love is an art to be practiced, it can only be practiced in freedom with one another. You can not treat others as objects or possessions for your own egotistical or selfish purposes because this behavior will only result in destruction and you will never mow or attain true love.

Erikson’s psychosocial stages of development states that in order to find intimacy and know "who you are," you must resolve your conflict in the "Identity vs. Role Confusion" Stage. Some individuals who never find true love can be thought of as not having successfully completed the stage. They never resolved their conflict thereby resulting in role confusion. Fromm states that in order to love, you must have self-love. How can you love yourself, if you don’t know "who you are?" This is what I feel creates the possessive love, the hurtful love, and the love that is taken for granted. It’s the one nightstand; "I’ll call you" love.

Fromm describes what he calls the essential components that need to be mastered for all forms of love: Care, the active concern for the life and growth of that which we love.

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