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The Art of Being (Psychology/self-help) [Paperback]

Erich Fromm
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

22 Mar 1993 Psychology/self-help
How can we realize and actualize love, reason, and meaningful, productive work? Fromm here offers an Art of Well-Being, a way of living based on authentic self-awareness that comes only through honest self-analysis. He warns of the pitfalls of our attaining enlightenment without effort, or believing that life can be livedwithout pain. The tantalizing 'spiritual smorgasbord' offered by our consumer-oriented world, Fromm maintains, only feeds our illusions of 'easy awareness'. Confronting the psycho-gurus who preach these shortcuts to enlightenment, Fromm offers another way to self-awareness through meditation. If the Art of Being - the art of functioning as a whole person - can be considered the supreme goal of life, a breakthrough occurs when we move from narcissistic selfishness and egotism - from having - to psychological and spiritual happiness - being. The Art of Being is certain to be one of the most important and sought-after works in the Fromm canon for years to come. This volume is a sequel to one of Erich Fromm's most popular works, To Have or to Be. In this new book, Fromm examines the true paths - as opposed to false directions - that will lead us to self-knowledge and enlightenment.

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The Art of Being (Psychology/self-help) + The Art of Loving (Classics of Personal Development) + To Have or To Be? (Bloomsbury Revelations)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Constable; New Ed edition (22 Mar 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0094720908
  • ISBN-13: 978-0094720909
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 126,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Born in Frankfurt-am-Main, Erich Fromm (1900-1980) studied sociology and psychoanalysis. In 1933, he emigrated as a member of the Frankfurt School of social thinkers to the United States, moved to Mexico in 1950, and spent his twilight years between 1974 and 1980 in Switzerland. His books Fear of Freedom (1941) and The Art of Loving (1956) made him famous. Other well-known books are Marx's Concept of Man, Beyond the Chains of Illusion, and The Essential Fromm.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am your Stepping Stone 29 Nov 2011
By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Easy crisp and authoritative read; Fromm had the gift to take the most of some very complex ideas and then provide a path of transcendence by making them easily readable.

Here he returns back to his familiar themes, taken from Marx's ideas of the alienated man; he asks how does someone become authentic?

In this scenario it is a person who feels the vibrancy of being alive, as opposed to being a social actor. An actor is someone who impersonates a living person - the body that acts as a machine.

Fromm was deeply concerned about the richness of individual living, instead of being immersed within someone else's dream. This is another of his great works, that disentangles sociology and psychology to produce social psychology. Unfortunately this discipline is currently strangled by the syn-tax of marketing, the antithesis of the Fromm conception. Social Psychology wants to sell you something.

Trivial talk and the great scams are the shallow pools people inhabit to make weak social connections, scuttling within herd like movements to ensnare other people; thereby providing a meaning to their desperate lives. Here they coalesce as a group to create a common purpose.

Fromm used psychology to demarcate the incarnate anarchist, not the destroyer with the fizzing bomb, but the wo-man who can know and think for him-herself, rather than a follower of some bankrupt web spun creed.

This is a book aimed as much at the flag waving red as it is the double plus corpulence of the capitalist truffle muncher. It asks for a social world similar to Stirner's society of egoists, those who know themselves and can connect through another channel to like minded others. "Mindfulness" gets an outing in the book.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Noble indeed 29 Mar 2009
Even better in context but works fine on it's own. An absolutely invigorating read - Fromm's voice speaks from the page loud and clear. Resonates with me on a deeply fundamental level and delightfully easy to translate into daily living - indeed, it is a joy to lift his thoughts from the page and see them through the prism of one's own situation.

A wonderful and necessary reminder of how alive and humane psychodynamics can be, when coupled with dedication to self actualisation. The chapter on the commercialised nature of society and commodification of individuals is unmissable.

From Freud to Zen, realistic but tentative suggestions on how to facilitate individuation in an increasingly shallow and dehumanising society - what's not to like?
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Nice to read something from a Germanic 'deep thinker' again. The book is most certainly not following the Anglo-Saxon 'one minute manager' approach. Change takes time, it's difficult, painful and produces anxiety. Fair points all. Just the tone of the whole thing is a balm of sorts.

The book book is composed from chapters previously removed from another of his works and now suitably reworked. The fundamental distinction made is between having and being and consequences of both approaches, as well as the inability to successfully integrate them both is discussed. The author also explores in depth the desire for and ultimate failure of all 'quick-fix' methodologies, as well as the basis for their popularity.

While he might be a bit of an armchair scientist in the Freudian mould, I'd still rather listen to someone like him, than a jumped up 'I read the seven habits of successful people' pretend motivator. Only wish I'd stumbled across him earlier. Fromm, that is :)
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