Grand Canyon University
What is the Art of Love by Erich Fromm
What is love? Why do people starve for it, and watch endless love movies about being in love? Love is an art and requires knowledge and effort according to Erich Fromm (p.6). The book mentions that there is a lot to learn about love, it is not all just love songs and movies. I will discuss the importance the theory of love, how it is seen in the eye of people and the types of love (i.e. motherly love, fatherly love, brotherly love). This book demonstrates how love is a skill and it can be taught and developed. Love is not something that you just magically fall in to; it is actually a work in progress. The book mentions three premises in which we misunderstand what love actually is. The first premise being that we as people stress the fact of being loved rather than focusing on loving another (p.7). The second premise is that people think that love is so simple but it is just finding the right person to love that is hard. The third premise that he explains is that people assume that there is nothing to learn about love. Ones opinion of love is usually to love an object, which is usually a person and they are to be pursued or possessed this is the modern understanding of love. After reading the first chapter the author is very adamant in the fact that love is not something that you just “fall in to” it is much deeper than that. People know that love is important and they actually starve for it. Problem is that woman and men try to make themselves more attractive by cultivating their body in order to become more lovable, instead of concentrating on how to love. Fromm speaks about real love being a sentiment that cannot be easily indulged by just anyone; it is loving someone through humility, faith, discipline and courage.
The Art of Loving demonstrates that there are four basic elements of love and they include; care, responsibility, respect and knowledge (p.8). Each of these can be interpreted differently depending on each person, their relationship and circumstances. Love will be the hardest thing one has ever done, but on the same hand the most rewarding. Fromm mentions the concept of self-love. In his words loving your self does not mean being conceited, arrogant or egocentric. It actually means to care for yourself, take responsibility for your actions, taking the time to get to know yourself and being honest with yourself. If you want someone else to love you, or even you to truly love someone you must be able to love yourself in this way. Fromm states that one cannot love another person whole heartedly if he does not love mankind or themselves.
Theory of love based on the Art of Loving;
While we find love, or rather the equivalent of love, in animals, their attachments are mainly a part of their instinctual equipment; only remnants of this instinctual equipment ca be seen operating in man.
Love is the answer to the problem of human existence (p.9).
Chapter 2 review The love between a mother and a child is an unbreakable bond from birth (p.23) it is the feeling of dying, separation of anxiety from the mother. To the child the mother means warmth, food and the euphoric feeling of satisfaction and safety. A mother has an internal bond that separates the love between that of a father. A mother requires the child to do nothing in order to gain her love. The child is loved at birth for doing nothing; a mother’s love is unconditional and has no stipulations. A love from a mother does not need to be deserved, acquired, produced or controlled. If you have the love of your mother you have the biggest blessing of all, if you are lacking the love of a mother Fromm mentions that “ it is as if all beauty had gone out of life-and there is nothing I can do to create it” (p.24)
The relationship to a father is quite different to that of a mother. Mother is where we come