Erich Fromm, an American psychoanalyst, is best known for his application of psychoanalytic theory to social and cultural problems. He was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and educated at the universities of Heidelberg and Munich and at the Psychoanalytic Institute in Berlin. He immigrated to the United States in 1934 and subsequently became a citizen. The theories of Fromm lay particular emphasis on the concept that society and the individual are not separate and opposing forces. That the nature of society is determined by its historic background, and that the needs and desires of individuals are largely formed by their society. As a result, Fromm believed, the fundamental problem of psychoanalysis and psychology is not to resolve conflicts between fixed and unchanging instinctive drives in the individual and the fixed demands and laws of society; but to bring about harmony and an understanding of the relationship between the individual, God, and society.
Love is the ultimate need and desire of all human beings. In The Art of Loving, Fromm discusses every aspect of the subject: romantic love, the love of parents for children, brotherly love, erotic love, self-love and the love of God. He looks at the theory of love as it appears throughout the cultures of the world and at the practice, how we show or fail to show love for one another. Love is an art, which we need to develop and practice in order to find true contentment. We need to find it individually as well as a society as a whole.
Fromm talks about romantic love and the fallacies that go with it. "Searching for this kind of "in love" feeling is a search for the ideal, which doesn't exist in this world--only in heaven, or whatever your idea of paradise is. Romeo and Juliet love is beautiful in literature and poetry, but it cannot survive for any significant amount of time in our world for by nature, being "in love" is a conglomeration of mixed feeling<...
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