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The only truly affluent are those who do not want more than they have.
– Erich Fromm
The psychic task which a person can and must set for himself is not to feel secure, but to be able to tolerate insecurity.
One cannot be deeply responsive to the world without being saddened very often.
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.
Mother’s love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved.
Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says ‘I need you because I love you.’
Selfish persons are incapable of loving others, but they are not capable of loving themselves either.
There can be no real freedom without the freedom to fail.
As we ascend the social ladder, viciousness wears a thicker mask.
Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.
Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies.
The danger of the past was that men became slaves. The danger of the future is that men may become robots.
The successful revolutionary is a statesman, the unsuccessful one a criminal.
Sanity is only that which is within the frame of reference of conventional thought.
Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.
In love the paradox occurs that two beings become one and yet remain two.
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.
Only the person who has faith in himself is able to be faithful to others.
If I am what I have and if I lose what I have who then am I?
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.
The task we must set for ourselves is not to feel secure, but to be able to tolerate insecurity.
Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.
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.
There is only one meaning of life: the act of living itself.
The capacity to be puzzled is the premise of all creation, be it in art or in science.
Just as modern mass production requires the standardization of commodities, so the social process requires standardization of man, and this standardization is called equality.