"According to The Art of Loving, Eric Fromm says that love is the only satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence. Loving is an art, and we must master not only the theory of love but also the practice of love. I (the author) learned that our deepest need is to overcome our aloneness and our separateness (which is, what I have recently discovered to be my current life's purpose - not to "overcome" separateness, but to feel the connection that is and to live from there.) We seek to escape from separateness in various ways. We seek conformity, mistaking it for union. This is a soul-crushing way to exist. Or we seek union through orgiastic states - drugs, alcohol, overwork, sport - or through (this ones hit me) creative activities. But the ultimate escape from separateness in through interpersonal union.
Fromm writes that mature love is union under the condition of preserving one's integrity and individuality. The paradox: two beings become one and yet remain two. Giving is the highest expression of potency. Fromm sets forth the elements of love:
care: which is active for the life and growth of the one or those that we love responsibility: which is caring for one's physical needs as well as one's higher needs respect: which is allowing others to grow as they needs to one their own terms.
-from Synchronicity - The Inner Path of Leadership - Joseph Jaworski
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