Quotations by Author

Erich Fromm

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.

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

Today I begin to understand what love must be, if it exists.... When we are parted, we each feel the lack of the other half of ourselves. We are incomplete like a book in two volumes of which the first has been lost. That is what I imagine love to be: incompleteness in absence.

Conditions for creativity are to be puzzled; to concentrate; to accept conflict and tension; to be born everyday; to feel a sense of self.

If it were not for hopes, the heart would break.

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

Immature love says: 'I love you because I need you.' Mature love says 'I need you because I love you.'

The history of man is a graveyard of great cultures that came to catastrophic ends because of their incapacity for planned, rational, voluntary reaction to challenge.

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.

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

That man can destroy life is just as miraculous a feat as that he can create it, for life is the miracle, the inexplicable. In the act of destruction, man sets himself above life; he transcends himself as a creature. Thus, the ultimate choice for a man, inasmuch as he is driven to transcend himself, is to create or to destroy, to love or to hate.

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

The mother-child relationship is paradoxical and, in a sense, tragic. It requires the most intense love on the mother's side, yet this very love must help the child grow away from the mother, and to become fully independent.

A vast sector of modern advertising... does not appeal to reason but to emotion; like any other kind of hypnoid suggestion, it tries to impress its objects emotionally and then make them submit intellectually.

Authority is not a quality one person "has," in the sense that he has property or physical qualities. Authority refers to an interpersonal relation in which one person looks upon another as somebody superior to him.

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.

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

In the nineteenth century the problem was that God is dead. In the twentieth century the problem is that man is dead.

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

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

Immature love says: "I love you because I need you." Mature love says: "I need you because I love you."