Social psychologist Erich Fromm explores the topic of love in all it’s aspects: not only the craziness and lofty expectations of romantic love, but also love of god, brotherly love, erotic love, the love of parents and self-love.
Fromm sees love an art and suggest that mastery in the art of loving need the same knowledge and effort as mastery in any other art.
The most interesting aspect of this book is Fromms theory that our feeling of separateness from the world is the main cause of human anxiety and love being on way of achieving a sense oneness.
The book has a quite harsh tone toward the modern western notion of love. Romantic love, that we are told to strive for in pop culture and mainstream media, he says, is a form of inmature love.
-Immature love: I love you because I need you.
-Mature love: I need you because I love you.
📝 ❤️ In fact we take the intensity of infatuation (being crazy about each other) “for proof of the intensity of our love, while it might only prove the degree of their preceding loneliness.” 💥
📝 ❤️ The object of love has become more important than the action of love.
📝 ❤️ Sexual rituals and orgies in tribes give a release from separateness. After it’s over people can go on with their life for a while until the anxiety of separateness builds up again. In a non-orgyastic culture people turn to drugs for release. 💉 🍻
📝 ❤️ Conformity to society is another way to protect oneself from separateness. If I’m like everyone else I’m safe from separateness.
📝 ❤️ “Love is the active concern for the life and the growth of that which we love.”
💭 THOUGHT: Isn’t it weird that we only have one word for love in English since romantic love and Love with a big “L” is so different?! It’s like “scarcity”and “abundance” used the same name.
⚖️ VERDICT: I really loved this book. It’s my first book on the topic—and hence, I might be easily impressed—but I love how serious the subject is treated! May I complain about the book being too short and having too much to note down?! 😆
What your views of mature vs. immature love?