Some fools think of happiness, blissfulness, togetherness ...
They're not foolin' me, I know it isn't true ...
Love is just a lie ... Love hurts...
Nazareth. "Love Hurts" (1974).
You've probably heard this classic 70s song, maybe even grew up with it 🐣 playing in heartbreak movie scenes. "Any heart not tough or strong enough to take a lot of pain," the song tells us, but is love really that heavy? Is no heart strong enough, or is really love synonymous with pain?
Faced with these crucial questions, philosophers, psychologists, and spiritual teachers have had much to say. Among them, Erich Fromm, one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century, with The Art of Loving.
Here, love is not pain or even necessarily happiness; it's portrayed as a trait of maturity, the result of learning, and indeed an art that demands knowledge and effort. And we're not just talking about love between couples 💑, but something much broader and deeper.
This book, a solid 10/10, challenges the conventional notion of love. Love is presented as a response to the problem of human existence, exploring premises about love, forms of love and pseudo-love, its disintegration in contemporary society, questioning our values in a capitalist society.
Understanding conditional and unconditional love was personally a real mental twist 🤯. Forms of love that, on the surface, seem contradictory, but every mature person has internalized. This book also talks about love from birth and growing up, and finally addresses the conditions necessary to learn an art in general.
It's worth to say, that reading Erich Fromm is also delving into Sigmund Freud's critical perspective, the father of psychoanalysis. From this standpoint, the book covers sexuality and other fundamental topics according to Freud, making it a complete masterpiece.
In conclusion, The Art of Loving challenges us to rethink our beliefs about love. It invites us to explore love as an art that goes beyond romantic clichés, revealing deep layers of meaning in our constant quest for authentic connections with the world.