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Kärlekens konst (1956)

av Erich Fromm

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3,482362,764 (3.84)11
The psychologist explores the theory, meaning, and practice of love, as well as its significance in contemporary Western society.
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» Lägg till fler författare (41 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Erich Frommprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Anshen Ruth NandaEfterordmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Bogdański, AleksanderÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Czerwiński, MarcinInledningmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Estany, ImmaÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Jansone, BaibaÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Kramer, Peter D.Inledningmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Mickel, ErnstÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Mickel, LiselotteÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Mordegaai, JakobÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Treurniet, ArieÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Vinaø, JanÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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He who knows nothing, loves nothing. He who can do nothing understands nothing. He who understands nothing is worthless. But he who understands also loves, notices, sees.... The more knowledge is inherent in a thing, the greater the love.... Anyone who imagines that all fruits ripen at the same time as the strawberries knows nothing about grapes. -- Paracelsus
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Is love an art?
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While irrational faith is rooted in submission to a power which is felt to be overwhelmingly strong, omniscient and omnipotent, and in the abdication of one's own power and strength, rational faith is based upon the opposite experience. We have this faith in a thought because it is the result of our own observation and thinking. We have faith in the potentialities of others, of ourselves, and of mankind because, and only to the degree to which, we have experienced the growth of our own potentialities, the reality of growth in ourselves, the strength of our own power of reason and of love. The basis of rational faith is productiveness; to live by our faith means to live productively. It follows that the belief in power (in the sense of domination) and the use of power are the reverse of faith. To believe in power that exists is identical with disbelief in the growth of potentialities which are as yet unrealized. It is a prediction of the future based solely on the manifest present; but it turns out to be a grave miscalculation, profoundly irrational in its oversight of the human potentialities and human growth. There is no rational faith in power. There is submission to it or, on the part of those who have it, the wish to keep it. While to many power seems to be the most real of all things, the history of man has proved it to be the most unstable of all human achievements. Because of the fact that faith and power are mutually exclusive, all religions and political systems which originally are built on rational faith become corrupt and eventually lose what strength they have, if they rely on power or ally themselves with it.

To have faith requires courage, the ability to take a risk, the readiness even to accept pain and disappointment. Whoever insists on safety and security as primary conditions of life cannot have faith; whoever shuts himself off in a system of defense, where distance and possession are his means of security, makes himself a prisoner. To be loved, and to love, need courage, the courage to judge certain values as of ultimate concern—and to take the jump and stake everything on these values.
Religion allies itself with auto-suggestion and psychotherapy to help man in his business activities. In the twenties one had not yet called upon God for purposes of “improving one's personality.” The best-seller in the year 1938, Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, remained on a strictly secular level. What was the function of Carnegie's book at that time is the function of our greatest bestseller today, The Power of Positive Thinking by the Reverend N. V. Peale. In this religious book it is not even questioned whether our dominant concern with success is in itself in accordance with the spirit of monotheistic religion. On the contrary, this supreme aim is never doubted, but belief in God and prayer is recommended as a means to increase one's ability to be successful. Just as modern psychiatrists recommend happiness of the employee, in order to be more appealing to the customers, some ministers recommend love of God in order to be more successful. “Make God your partner”, means to make God a partner in business, rather than to become one with Him in love, justice and truth. Just as brotherly love has been replaced by impersonal fairness, God has been transformed into a remote General Director of Universe, Inc.; you know that he is there, he runs the show (although it would probably run without him too), you never see him, but you acknowledge his leadership while you are “doing your part.”
Another form of projection is the projection of one’s own problems on the children. First of all such projection takes place not infrequently in the wish for children. In such cases the wish for children is primarily determined by projecting one’s own problem of existence on that of the children. 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. Children serve for projective purposes also when the question arises of dissolving an unhappy marriage. The stock argument of parents in such a situation is that they cannot separate in order not to deprive the children of the blessings of a unified home. Any detailed study would show, however, that the atmosphere of tension and unhappiness within the “unified family” is more harmful to the children than an open break would be—which teaches them at least that man is able to end an intolerable situation by a courageous decision.
The situation as far as love is concerned corresponds, as it has to by necessity, to this social character of modern man. Automatons cannot love; they can exchange their “personality packages” and hope for a fair bargain. One of the most significant expressions of love, and especially of marriage with this alienated structure, is the idea of the “team.” In any number of articles on happy marriage, the ideal described is that of the smoothly functioning team. This description is not too different from the idea of a smoothly functioning employee; he should be “reasonably independent” co-operative, tolerant, and at the same time ambitious and aggressive. Thus, the marriage counselor tells us, the husband should “understand” his wife and be helpful. He should comment favorably on her new dress, and on a tasty dish. She, in turn, should understand when he comes home tired and disgruntled, she should listen attentively when he talks about his business troubles, should not be angry but understanding when he forgets her birthday. All this kind of relationship amounts to is the well-oiled relationship between two persons who remain strangers all their lives, who never arrive at a “central relationship” but who treat each other with courtesy and who attempt to make each other feel better.
Love isn’t something natural. Rather it requires discipline, concentration, patience, faith, and the overcoming of narcissism. It isn’t a feeling, it is a practice.
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The psychologist explores the theory, meaning, and practice of love, as well as its significance in contemporary Western society.

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