41 Greatest Erich Fromm Quotes

41 Greatest Erich Fromm Quotes

by / Comments Off / 159 View / Jan 12, 2015

Erich Fromm was a sociologist, philosopher, and psychologist from Frankfurt am Main, Germany. He is most known for his development of psychoanalytic sections at medical schools around the world. He died on March 18, 1980 at the age of 79.

“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.”

“Both dreams and myths are important communications from ourselves to ourselves.”

“Chronic boredom — compensated or uncompensated — constitutes one of the major psychopathological phenomena in contemporary technotronic society, although it is only recently that it has
found some recognition.”

“Destructiveness is the outcome of unlived lives.”

“Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.”

“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, union that allows one to put oneself into
relationship with others, to feel one with others, without limiting the sense of integrity and independence.”

“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.”

“I believe that the fundamental alternative for man is the choice between “life” and “death”; between creativity and destructive violence; between reality and illusions; between objectivity
and intolerance; between brotherhood-independence and dominance-submission.”

“I believe that the unity of man as opposed to other living things derives from the fact that man is the conscious life of himself. Man is conscious of himself, of his future, which is
death, of his smallness, of his impotence; he is aware of others as others; man is in nature, subject to its laws even if he transcends it with his thought.”

“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?”

“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

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

“In the Eastern religions and in mysticism, the love of God is an intense feeling experience of oneness, inseparably linked with the expression of this love in every act of living.”

“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.”

“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.”

“Man is born as a freak of nature, being within nature and yet transcending it. He has to find principles of action and decision-making which replace the principles of instincts.”

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

“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.”

“Mother’s love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved.”

“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.”

“Optimism is an alienated form of faith, pessimism an alienated form of despair.”

“Our society is run by a managerial bureaucracy, by professional politicians; people are motivated by mass suggestion, their aim is producing more and consuming more, as purposes in

“The confusion between temperament and character has had serious consequences for ethical theory. Preferences with regard to differences in temperament are mere matters of subjective taste.
But differences in character are ethically of the most fundamental importance.”

“The kind of relatedness to the world may be noble or trivial, but even being related to the basest kind of pattern is immensely preferable to being alone.”

“The most beautiful as well as the most ugly inclinations of man are not part of a fixed biologically given human nature, but result from the social process which creates man.”

“The most important misunderstanding seems to me to lie in a confusion between the human necessities which I consider part of human nature, and the human necessities as they appear as
drives, needs, passions, etc., in any given historical period. ”

“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 sick individual finds himself at home with all other similarly sick individuals. The whole culture is geared to this kind of pathology.”

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

“There can be no real freedom without the freedom to fail.”

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

“They are historical, but the product of rational imagination, rooted in an experience of what man is capable of and in a clear insight into the transitory character of previous and existing

“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.”

“Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers.”

“What is it that distinguishes man from animals? It is not his upright posture. ”

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

“While every human being has a capacity for love, its realization is one of the most difficult achievements.”

“Why should society feel responsible only for the education of children, and not for the education of all adults of every age?”