14 May 2015 Man for Himself by Erich Fromm and message for today related to book

On the 8th of May, Kyle and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary and Link had his neuter operation.  I know, what a day to do such a thing but with time off rare for us these days, we decided it was when we should do it.  (Everything went great and he’s doing just fine – healed quickly!).

While we waited for our boy to come out of surgery, we used the time to run errands and mix some treats, things we don’t normally do like having an espresso at Starbucks.  One of the places we needed to go was the Goodwill.  We have found this normally a great place to get Kyle’s work jeans.  For those of you who are welders or married to one, you know how quickly you can literally burn through a pair of jeans!  Sadly, they were cleaned out but we decided to see what other treasures we might find and mine was the book Man for Himself by Erich Fromm written in 1947.  This gem was mixed in with all sorts of other books ranging from old Textbooks to Encyclopedias etc.  As soon as I started skimming it I realized I had found a treasure and so far as I read it this feeling is valid!  Even back in 1947 when he wrote this, he saw what was going on in our society and how it was affecting human psychology and development.  Unfortunately, much of what he details hasn’t gone away…just manifested broader in scope and unfortunately in an even greater neurotic scale.

http://www.amazon.com/Man-Himself-Inquiry-Psychology-Ethics/dp/0805014039/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1431612723&sr=1-1&keywords=Man+for+Himself+Erich+Fromm – if you are curious to read this masterpiece for yourself

Some of the language/verbage is I want to say complicated but the truths rise up at you like a brilliant piece of sea glass revealed by the ocean tide.  Here is an excerpt that really illustrates my message today :  Pages 96 and 97

(b) Productive Love and Thinking

Human existence is characterized by the fact that man is alone and separated from the world; not being able to stand the separation, he is impelled to seek for relatedness and oneness.  There are many ways in which he can realize this need, but only one in which he, as a unique entity, remains intact; only one in which his own powers unfold in the very process of being related.  It is the paradox of human existence that man must simultaneously seek closeness and for independence; for oneness with others at the same time for the preservation of his uniqueness and particularity.  As we have shown, the answer to this paradox-and to the moral problem of man- is productiveness (In Chapter 3 Human Nature and Character, Part 2 Personality, he goes into great detail what productiveness means.)

One can be productively related to the world by acting and by comprehending.  Man produces things, and in the process of creation he exercises his powers over matter.  Man comprehends the world, mentally and emotionally, through love and through reason.  His power of reason enables him to penetrate through the surface and to grasp the essence of his object by getting into active relation with it.  His power of love enables him to break through the wall which separates him from another person and to comprehend him.  Although love and reason are only different forms of comprehending the world and although neither is possible without the other, they are expressions of different powers, that of emotion and that of thinking, and hence must be discussed separately.

Who was Erich Fromm?  http://www.erichfromm.net/ – link to his main website if your interest in learning more about him has spiked! 🙂

Here is the message that came through to me today and below the gallery is the typed out version for when a translation is needed and you wouldn’t be able to do that from images:

14 May 2015/7:06 am

*In light of all the past and ongoing sufferings being experienced in the world right now


Sometimes the only way to be whole is to be completely broken, helpless, powerless – shattered into millions of seemingly irretrievable pieces.  It is the collection of pieces, the best of parts of us and our possibilities that will make us the whole, without a hole, again.

As we rebuild ourselves, we are the same on the outside but it is our new internal completeness that shines through what seems to be our sameness.

The process of retrieving the scattered shards of our past selves may initially involve external forces — *religion, God(s), spirituality, rehab, therapy, medication, support groups.  While they provide structure, order, comfort, release, safety, validation…the goal is beyond these tangible forces.  We can take a great many lessons, advice, truths, insights, from them but ultimately the path must lead inward to the core of ourselves – be able to love, forgive, soothe and comfort ourselves without external forces.  If we do not seek our internal force and make peace with its shadow and light, we will remain shackled (dependent) to external forces positive and destructive for the rest of our lives – never truly be liberated from our physical/emotional/spiritual pain.

It is for this reason most people remain prisoners in the cell of their and the external worlds design – they have the key to get out but are not able or willing to find it….they are afraid of self, taught not to trust self from birth to death.

Our human society model has always encouraged, fostered and rewarded the absence of self- awareness,  the realization of full individual potential.  The single most powerful tools – fear and scarcity.  The single most powerful tool perverted and repressed – love.  Love of self and love of others whatever their form.  The only profit in love is when it suites the means of those who tangibly profit – it is conditional.  How we look, what we think/say/feel/do, how much material wealth, how much control and power we have – all conditions to modern love.

Even love of the intangible – God(s) and divinity have been made conditional even if the literature and rhetoric – surface messages – would seem otherwise.  We are conditioned to be unworthy.  Like Janusin this image – the two face doll.  One side not the truth of the other (speaking out of both sides of the mouth).

Our world is “noisy” with our gadgets of distraction, our industry and “advancement.”  Where is self to be found in all this “distracting”, biased, purpose/motive driven noise?

When there is no “noise” most literally go nuts…most have no idea who self even is beyond the dogma of writ society!  When is there time?  We are conditioned to have (strive for/covet) a standard of living to which most of us will never realize at the expense of personal fulfillment – basking in the experience of living that fulfills…i.e connection to family, friends…our brothers and sisters human.  Connection with our brothers and sisters plant, animal, fish, insect, reptile.  All the matters of the intangible connecting all these threads – joy, hope, love, compassion, loyalty, commitment, exploration, discovery…all the things that the once shattered self needs to be whole…fill the hole.  The hole that is reserved for only the intangible – our true self.

*All of this I write from my personal experiences thus far.  It’s taken me 47 years to be truly “free” and finally start experiencing/living who I am, not what the world wants me to be.




2 comments on “14 May 2015 Man for Himself by Erich Fromm and message for today related to book

    • I haven’t read The Sane Society (yet) there are so many books I want to read like his but my little town library doesn’t have much material like this genre. We have a Half Price books I need to go to with my list 🙂

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