All posts by lubovanbosch

While still working in ICT, I do believe that the same way the commands are crucial in information technology, the W o r d s are crucial for our us human beings

To have or to be?

Loving also has two meanings, depending upon whether it is spoken of in the mode of having or in the mode of being. Can one have love? If we could, love would need to be a thing, a substance that one can have, own, possess. The truth is, there is no such thing as “love.” “Love” is abstraction, perhaps a goddess or an alien being, although nobody has ever seen this goddess. In reality, there exists only the act of loving. To love is a productive activity. It implies caring for, knowing, responding, affirming, enjoying: the person, the tree, the painting, the idea. It means bringing to life, increasing his/her/its aliveness. It is a process, self-renewing and self-increasing. When love is experienced in the mode of having it implies confining, imprisoning, or controlling the object one “loves.” It is strangling, deadening, suffocating, killing, not life-giving. What people call love is mostly a misuse of the word, in order to hide the reality of their not loving. How many parents love their children is still an entirely open question. Lloyd de Mause has brought out that for the past two millennia of Western history there have been reports of cruelty against children, ranging from physical to psychic torture, carelessness, sheer possessiveness, and sadism, so shocking that one must believe that loving parents are the exception rather than the rule.
FROMM, Erich. To have or to be?. A&C Black, 2013.
Love E.Fromm