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Erich Fromm Quotes
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Erich Fromm Quote: “As Simone Weil expressed it so beautifully:“The same words can be commonplace or extraordinary according to the manner in which they are spoken. And this manner depends on the depth of the region in a man’s being from which they proceed without the will being able to do anything. And by a marvelous agreement they reach the same region in him who hears them. Thus the hearer can discern, if he has any power of discernment, what is the value of the words.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “Force is camouflaged by consents; the consent is brought about the methods of mass suggestion.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “There are many who feel consciously hopeful and unconsciously hopeless, and there are few for whom it is the other way around.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “The capacity to see and – equally so – blindness are not divisible. The critical faculty of the human mind is one: To believe one can be seeing internally but blind as far as the outside world is concerned is like saying that the light of a candle gives light only in one direction and not in all. The light of the candle is reason’s capacity for critical, penetrating, uncovering thought.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “Indeed, with the experience of self disappears the experience of identity – and when this happens, man could become insane if he did not save himself by acquiring a secondary sense of self; he does that by experiencing himself as being approved of, worthwhile, successful, useful – briefly, as a salable commodity which is he because he is looked upon by others as an entity, not unique but fitting into one of the current patterns.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “Will is based on activity, whim on passivity.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “The supremacy of cerebral, manipulative thinking goes together with an atrophy of emotional life.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “Those who unconsciously despair yet put on the mask of optimism are not necessarily wise. But those who have not given up hope can succeed only if they are hardheaded realists, shed all illusions, and fully appreciate the difficulties.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “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 Quote: “When a person feels that he has not been able to make sense of his own life, he tries to make sense of it in terms of the life of his children. But one is bound to fail within oneself and for the children. The former because the problem of existence can be solved by each one only for himself, and not by proxy; the latter because one lacks in the very qualities which one needs to guide the children in their own search for an answer.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “As a child, every human being passes through a state of powerlessness, and truth is one of the strongest weapons of those who have no power.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “If America and the Western world continue in their state of unconscious hopelessness, lack of faith and of fortitude, it is predictable that they will not be able to resist the temptation of the big bang by nuclear weapons, which would end all problems – overpopulation, boredom, and hunger – since it would do away with all life.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “The more man gains freedom in the sense of emerging from the original oneness with man and nature and the more he becomes an ‘individual,’ he has no choice but to unite himself with the world in the spontaneity of love and productive work or else to seek a kind of security by such ties with the world that destroys his freedom and the integrity of his individual self.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “One concept of activity, the modern one, refers to the use of energy for the achievement of external aims; the other concept of activity refers to the use of man’s inherent powers, regardless of whether any external change is brought about.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “Only dogmatic thinking, the result of the laziness of mind and heart, tries to construct simplistic schemes of the either-or type that block any real understanding.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “Modern man lives under the illusion that he knows ‘what he wants,’ while he actually wants what he is supposed to want. In order to accept this it is necessary to realize that to know what one really wants is not comparatively easy, as most people think, but one of the most difficult problems any human being has to solve. It is a task we frantically try to avoid by accepting ready-made goals as though they were our own.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “We forget that, although each of the liberties which have been won must be defended with utmost vigour, the problem of freedom is not only a quantitative one, but a qualitative one; that we not only have to preserve and increase the traditional freedom, but that we have to gain a new kind of freedom, one which enables us to realize our own individual self; to have faith in this self and in life.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “It was the irrational doubt which springs from the isolation and powerlessness of an individual whose attitude toward the world is one of anxiety and hatred. This irrational doubt can never be cured by rational answers; it can only disappear if the individual becomes and integral part of a meaningful world.”
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