Fromm Me to You

Have you ever read one of those books that states so succinctly an idea that you have harbored for a long time? I found one recently. The Art of Loving, by Eric Fromm. It sounds like Dr. Phil, I know. Don’t be alarmed. It could just as easily be called the Art of Creativity. This is not a pop-culture self-help book, but rather the theory of a philosopher who integrates the ideas of Campbell, Jung, Freud, Gandhi, Marx, Groddeck and Tagore. His ideas transcend cultural ideals of love to touch that place of humanity from which they come. He discuss the different ideas of love from erotic love, parental love, to brotherly love. I am quite certain that Gandhi would agree with him when he says:

“In thus giving of his life, he enriches the other person, he enhances the other’s sense of aliveness by enhancing his own sense of aliveness.”

“basic elements common to all forms of love. These are care, responsibility, respect and knowledge.”

“is and attitude, an orientation of character which determines the relatedness of a person to the world as a whole, not toward one ‘object’ of love.”

I tried for a very long time to discuss with JJ the way that the idea of love has evolved for me. I discovered at some point that he and I were just really talking about two fundamentally different concepts of something that we used the same words for. He was talking about the little ‘luv’ of popular ideals. The wham, bam, pop-culture narcissism of smut magazines. An objectified ideal. As Fromm says, “the assumption that the problem of love it the problem of an object, not the problem of a faculty. People think that love is simple, but that to find the right object to love – or to be loved by – is difficult.” The question for him seemed to be how to remove the drama from it. I don’t think you can. I think it is inherently dramatic. Although he asked questions about how to adapted it to work, I think what he really wants is something different.

I was wanting something different too. I was talking about the Big Love, the act of loving. The problem I had was that although I understood what it was that I was hoping to learn more about, I did not yet have the ability to define or describe it to someone else. This little book puts it so very neatly. It would take many a blog post to even summarize this idea, so I took the easy way and just added a link for a free download. I will leave you with a few quotes and a recipe that I would like to share with you because “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 joyous.”

Free download –

This is a simply beautiful recipe for pasta.

Lemon Pappardelle with Goat Cheese and Mint

  • Lemon Pappardelle
  • Goat cheese
  • garlic paste
  • fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • fresh mint, chopped
  • butter
  • shallots, sliced thin
  • Jalapeños, chopped

Boil your pasta until tender, as normal. Saute your shallots for about two minutes, toss in the jalapeños and sauté for about one more minute. Toss the pasta with a little butter and the garlic paste until it is nicely coated. Top with the shallot and jalapeño sauté, tomatoes, goat cheese and mint.


“the confusion between the initial experience of ‘falling’ in love, and the permanent state of being in love”

“In contemporary  capitalistic society the meaning of equality has been transformed… Equality today means “sameness”, rather than “oneness”.

“mature love is union under the condition of preserving one’s integrity, one’s individuality.”


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