Why is it so difficult to break away from the kind of existence that is based on having - gluttonous, conspicuous consumption - versus a life that is truly englightened and satisfying? Many unconscious factors come into play when individuals, even a whole society, stray into a superficial and false way of life. As Erich Fromm puts it in this posthumous publication, ours is "a life between having and being." The alternative states of having and being, as basic orientations of our lives and character, were subjects Fromm confronted in "To Have or to Be?" and "The Art of Being". The present work complements these texts with unpublished lectures, interviews, and apercus to lift us out of a life of passivity into one of creative joy.
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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. Rainer Funk is the author of "Erich Fromm: The Courage to be Human," as well as the editor of the multivolume German edition of Fromm's complete works.
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