Neo-Freudianism Quotes Erih Fromm Psychology Online Courses

Neo-Freudianism Quotes - Erich Fromm

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Neo-Freudianism Quotes

“A person who has not been completely alienated, who has remained sensitive and able to feel, who has not lost the sense of dignity, who is not yet “for sale”, who can still suffer over the suffering of others, who has not acquired fully the having mode of existence – briefly, a person who has remained a person and not become a thing – cannot help feeling lonely, powerless, isolated in present-day society. He cannot help doubting himself and his own convictions, if not his sanity. He cannot help suffering, even though he can experience moments of joy and clarity that are absent in the life of his “normal” contemporaries. Not rarely will he suffer from neurosis that results from the situation of a sane man living in an insane society, rather than that of the more conventional neurosis of a sick man trying to adapt himself to a sick society. In the process of going further in his analysis, i.e. of growing to greater independence and productivity,his neurotic symptoms will cure themselves.” – Neo-Freudianism Quotes

“All men are in need of help and depend on one another. Human solidarity is the necessary condition for the unfolding of any one individual.”

“As long as anyone believes that his ideal and purpose is outside him, that it is above the clouds, in the past or in the future, he will go outside himself and seek fulfillment where it cannot be found. He will look for solutions and answers at every point except where they can be found – in himself.”

“As we ascend the social ladder, viciousness wears a thicker mask.” – Neo-Freudianism Quotes

“Attractive’ usually means a nice package of qualities which are popular and sought after on the personality market.”

“Both dreams and myths are important communications from ourselves to ourselves. If we do not understand the language in which they are written, we miss a great deal of what we know and tell ourselves in those hours when we are not busy manipulating the outside world.”

“Care and responsibility are constituent elements of love, but without respect for and knowledge of the beloved person, love deteriorates into domination and possessiveness.” – Neo-Freudianism Quotes

“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.”

“Destructiveness is the outcome of unlived lives.”

“Education makes machines which act like men and produces men who act like machines.”

“Even good deeds by the enemy are considered a sign of particular devilishness, meant to deceive us and the world, while our bad deeds are necessary and justified by our noble goals which they serve.” – Neo-Freudianism Quotes

“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.”

“I believe that love is the main key to open the doors to the “growth” of man. Love and union with someone or something outside of oneself, the union that allows one to put oneself into a relationship with others, to feel one with others, without limiting the sense of integrity and independence.”

“I believe that man is the product of natural evolution that is born from the conflict of being a prisoner and separated from nature, and from the need to find unity and harmony with it.” – Neo-Freudianism Quotes

“I believe that none can ‘save’ his fellow man by making a choice for him. To help him, he can indicate the possible alternatives, with sincerity and love, without being sentimental and without illusion. The knowledge and awareness of the freeing alternatives can reawaken in an individual all his hidden energies and put him on the path to choosing respect for ‘life’ instead of for ‘death.’”

“I want the loved person to grow and unfold for his own sake, and in his own ways, and not for the purpose of serving me.”

“If a person loves only one other person and is indifferent to all others, his love is not love but a symbiotic attachment, or an enlarged egotism.”

“If I am what I have and if I lose what I have who then am I?” – Neo-Freudianism Quotes

“If other people do not understand our behavior—so what? Their request that we must only do what they understand is an attempt to dictate to us. If this is being “asocial” or “irrational” in their eyes, so be it. Mostly they resent our freedom and our courage to be ourselves. We owe nobody an explanation or an accounting, as long as our acts do not hurt or infringe on them. How many lives have been ruined by this need to “explain,” which usually implies that the explanation is “understood,” i.e. approved. Let your deeds be judged, and from your deeds, your real intentions, but know that a free person owes an explanation only to himself—to his reason and his conscience—and to the few who may have a justified claim for explanation.” 

“Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says ‘I need you because I love you.” 

“In erotic love, two people who were separate become one. In motherly love, two people who were one become separate. The mother must not only tolerate, she must wish and support the child’s separation.” – Neo-Freudianism Quotes

“In love the paradox occurs that two beings become one and yet remain two.”

“In the nineteenth century the problem was that God is dead; in the twentieth century the problem is that man is dead.”

“Infantile love follows the principle: “I love because I am loved.”  Mature love follows the principle: “I am loved because I love.”  Immature love says: “I love you because I need you.”  Mature love says: “I need you because I love you.”  – Neo-Freudianism Quotes

“Is love an art? Then it requires knowledge and effort.” 

“It is naively assumed that the fact that the majority of people share certain ideas and feelings proves the validity of these ideas and feelings. Nothing could be further from the truth. Consensual validation as such has no bearing on reason or mental health.”

“Just as love for one individual which excludes the love for others is not love, love for one’s country which is not part of one’s love for humanity is not love, but idolatrous worship.” – Neo-Freudianism Quotes

“Just as love is an orientation which refers to all objects and is incompatible with the restriction to one object, so is reason a human faculty which must embrace the whole of the world with which man is confronted.”

“Love is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise. If love were only a feeling, there would be no basis for the promise to love each other forever. A feeling comes and it may go. How can I judge that it will stay forever, when my act does not involve judgment and decision.” 

“Love is an action, the practice of human power, which can be practiced only in freedom and never as a result of compulsion.”

“Love is not primarily a relationship to a specific person; it is an attitude, an ordination of character which determines the relatedness of the person to the whole world as a whole, not toward one object of love” – Neo-Freudianism Quotes

“Love is often nothing but a favorable exchange between two people who get the most of what they can expect, considering their value on the personality market.”

“Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.” 

“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.” 

“Love means to commit oneself without guarantee, to give oneself completely in the hope that our love will produce love in the loved person. Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also of little love.” – Neo-Freudianism Quotes

“Man is born as a freak of nature, being within nature and yet transcending it.”

“Man is the only animal for whom his own existence is a problem which he has to solve and from which he cannot escape.”

“Man is the only animal for whom his own existence is a problem which he has to solve.”

“Man may be defined as the animal that can say “I,” that can be aware of himself as a separate entity.”

“Man’s main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is. The most important product of his effort is his own personality.”

“Man’s main task is to give birth to himself. ”  – Neo-Freudianism Quotes

“Men are born equal but they are also born different.”

“Modern man has transformed himself into a commodity; he experiences his life energy as an investment with which he should make the highest profit, considering his position and the situation on the personality market. He is alienated from himself, from his fellow men and from nature. His main aim is profitable exchange of his skills, knowledge, and of himself, his “personality package” with others who are equally intent on a fair and profitable exchange. Life has no goal except the one to move, no principle except the one of fair exchange, no satisfaction except the one to consume.”

“Modern man thinks he loses something – time – when he does not do things quickly. Yet he does not know what to do with the time he gains, except kill it.” 

“Modern man, if he dared to be articulate about his concept of heaven, would describe a vision which would look like the biggest department store in the world, showing new things and gadgets, and himself having plenty of money with which to buy them. He would wander around open-mouthed in this heaven of gadgets and commodities, provided only that there were ever more and newer things to buy, and perhaps that his neighbors were just a little less privileged than he.” – Neo-Freudianism Quotes

“Most people die before they are fully born. Creativeness means to be born before one dies.”

“Nationalism is our form of incest, is our idolatry, is our insanity. ‘Patriotism’ is its cult…Just as love for one individual which excludes the love for others is not love, love for one’s country which is not part of one’s love for humanity is not love, but idolatrous worship.” 

“Neurosis can be understood best as the battle between tendencies within an individual; deep character analysis leads, if successful, to the progressive solution.”

“Not he who has much is rich, but he who gives much.”

“One cannot be deeply responsive to the world without being saddened very often.”

“Only the person who has faith in himself is able to be faithful to others.”

“Paradoxically, the ability to be alone is the condition for the ability to love.” 

“Reason flows from the blending of rational thought and feeling. If the two functions are torn apart, thinking deteriorates into schizoid intellectual activity and feeling deteriorates into neurotic life-damaging passions.”

“Reason is man’s faculty for grasping the world by thought, in contradiction to intelligence, which is man’s ability to manipulate the world with the help of thought. Reason is man’s instrument for arriving at the truth, intelligence is man’s instrument for manipulating the world more successfully; the former is essentially human, the latter belongs to the animal part of man.”

“Respect is not fear and awe; it denotes, in accordance with the root of the word (respicere = to look at), the ability to see a person as he is, to be aware of his individuality and uniqueness.”

“Robots do not rebel.”

“Selfish persons are incapable of loving others, but they are not capable of loving themselves either.”

“Society must be organized in such a way that man’s social, loving nature is not separated from his social existence, but becomes one with it. If it is true, as I have tried to show, that love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence, then any society which excludes, relatively, the development of love, must in the long run perish of its own contradiction with the basic necessities of human nature.”

“That millions of people share the same forms of mental pathology does not make these people sane.”

“The danger of the past was that men became slaves. The danger of the future is that men may become robots.”

“The existential split in man would be unbearable could he not establish a sense of unity within himself and with the natural and human world outside.”

“The fact that millions of people share the same vices does not make these vices virtues, the fact that they share so many errors does not make the errors to be truths, and the fact that millions of people share the same form of mental pathology does not make these people sane.” 

“The faculty to think objectively is reason; the emotional attitude behind reason is that of humility. To be objective, to use one’s reason, is possible only if one has achieved an attitude of humility, if one has emerged from the dreams of omniscience and omnipotence which one has as a child. Love, being dependent on the relative absence of narcissism, requires the developement of humility, objectivity and reason. I must try to see the difference between my picture of a person and his behavior, as it is narcissistically distorted, and the person’s reality as it exists regardless of my interests, needs and fears.”  – Neo-Freudianism Quotes

“The main condition for the achievement of love is the overcoming of one’s narcissism. The narcissistic orientation is one in which one experiences as real only that which exists within oneself, while the phenomena in the outside world have no reality in themselves, but are experienced only from the viewpoint of their being useful or dangerous to one. The opposite pole to narcissism is objectivity; it is the faculty to see other people and things as they are, objectively, and to be able to separate this objective picture from a picture which is formed by one’s desires and fears.” 

“The mature response to the problem of existence is love.”

“The narcissistic, the domineering, the possessive woman can succeed in being a “loving” mother as long as the child is small. Only the really loving woman, the woman who is happier in giving than in taking, who is firmly rooted in her own existence, can be a loving mother when the child is in the process of separation.”

“The only truly affluent are those who do not want more than they have.”

“The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers.”

“The real opposition is that between the ego-bound man, whose existence is structured by the principle of having, and the free man, who has overcome his egocentricity.”

“The revolutionary and critical thinker is in a certain way always outside of his society while of course he is at the same time also in it.”

“The sadistic person is as dependent on the submissive person as the latter is on the former; neither can live without the other.”

“The same polarity of the male and female principle exists in nature; not only, as is obvious in animals and plants, but in the polarity of the two fundamental functions, that of receiving and penetrating. It is the polarity of earth and rain, of the river and the ocean, of night and day, of darkness and light, of matter and spirit.” – Neo-Freudianism Quotes

“The sick individual finds himself at home with all other similarly sick individuals. The whole culture is geared to this kind of pathology. The result is that the average individual does not experience the separateness and isolation the fully schizophrenic person feels. He feels at ease among those who suffer from the same deformation; in fact, it is the fully sane person who feels isolated in the insane society — and he may suffer so much from the incapacity to communicate that it is he who may become psychotic. In the context of this study the crucial question is whether the hypothesis of a quasi-autistic or of low-grade schizophrenic disturbance would help us to explain some of the violence spreading today.”

“The successful revolutionary is a statesman, the unsuccessful one a criminal.”

“There is no meaning to life except the meaning man gives his life by the unfolding of his powers.”

“There is only one meaning of life: the act of living itself.”

“There is perhaps no phenomenon which contains so much destructive feeling as ‘moral indignation,’ which permits envy or hate to be acted out under the guise of virtue.” 

“To die is poignantly bitter, but the idea of having to die without having lived is unbearable.”

“To hope means to be ready at every moment for that which is not yet born, and yet not become desperate if there is no birth in our lifetime.”

“To love one person productively means to be related to his human core, to him as representing mankind. Love for one individual, in so far as it is divorced from love for man, can refer only to the superficial and to the accidental; of necessity it remains shallow.”

“We consume, as we produce, without any concrete relatedness to the objects with which we deal; We live in a world of things, and our only connection with them is that we know how to manipulate or to consume them.” – Neo-Freudianism Quotes

“What does one person give to another? He gives of himself, of the most precious he has, he gives of his life. This does not necessarily mean that he sacrifices his life for the other – but that he gives him of that which is alive in him; he gives him of his joy, of his interest, of his understanding, of his knowledge, of his humor, of his sadness – of all expressions and manifestations of that which is alive in him. 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. He does not give in order to receive; giving is in itself exquisite joy. But in giving he cannot help bringing something to life in the other person, and this which is brought to life reflects back to him.” 

“What most people in our culture mean by being lovable is essentially a mixture between being popular and having sex appeal.”

“Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies.” – Neo-Freudianism Quotes

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