Erich Fromm Quotes About Love and Freedom

Erich Fromm was a German-American social psychologist, psychoanalyst, and humanistic philosopher. He is known for his critical social theory and his critiques of capitalism, consumer culture, and authoritarianism. He also wrote several books that have become classics in the field of social psychology, such as “Escape from Freedom” and “The Art of Loving.”

In this article, we will explore some of the most powerful and thought-provoking quotes from Erich Fromm that capture his ideas about human nature, society, and the human condition. From his insights on love and freedom to his critiques of modern society, these quotes offer a glimpse into the mind of one of the most important thinkers of the 20th century.

61 Erich Fromm Quotes

erich fromm quotes
  1. “Man’s main task is to give birth to himself.”
fromm quotes

2. “Man is the only animal for whom his own existence is a problem which he has to solve.”

erich fromm escape from freedom quotes

3. “The task we must set for ourselves is not to feel secure, but to be able to tolerate insecurity.”

erich fromm love is a decision

4. “To spare oneself from grief at all cost can be achieved only at the price of total detachment, which excludes the ability to experience happiness.”

erich fromm Creativity quote

5. “Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.”

erich fromm quotes escape from freedom

6. “That millions of people share the same forms of mental pathology does not make these people sane.”

7. “There is nothing inhuman, evil, or irrational which does not give some comfort, provided it is shared by a group.”

8. “The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers. ”

9. “To die is poignantly bitter, but the idea of having to die without having lived is unbearable.”

10. “The real opposition is that between the ego-bound man, whose existence is structured by the principle of having, and the free man, who has overcome his egocentricity.”

Erich Fromm Quotes On Love

erich fromm Immature-love quote

11. “Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says ‘I need you because I love you.”

erich fromm quotes on love

12. “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.”

erich fromm quote on active love

13. “Love is the active concern for the life and the growth of that which we love. Where this active concern is lacking, there is no love.”

Love is an act of faith. quote

14. “Love is an act of faith.”

15. “One cannot be deeply responsive to the world without being saddened very often.”

16. “Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.”

17. “The mature response to the problem of existence is love.”

18. “Is love an art? Then it requires knowledge and effort.”

19. “Love is a power which produces love.”

20. “Love is possible only if two persons communicate with each other from the center of their existence.”

21. “Mother’s love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved.”

fromm love quotes

22. “Selfish persons are incapable of loving others, but they are not capable of loving themselves either.”

23. “Love is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise. If love were only a feeling, there would be no basis for the promise to love each other forever.” 

24. “Love isn’t something natural. Rather it requires discipline, concentration, patience, faith, and the overcoming of narcissism. It isn’t a feeling, it is a practice.”

25. “Love means to commit oneself without guarantee, to give oneself completely in the hope that our love will produce love in the loved person. Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also of little love.”

Famous Erich Fromm Quotes

26. “The deepest need of man, then, is the need to overcome his separateness, to leave the prison of his aloneness.”

27. “There is no meaning to life except the meaning man gives his life by the unfolding of his powers.”

28. “I cannot know who I am, because I don’t know which part of me is not me.”

29. “Indeed, freedom and the capacity for disobedience are inseparable; hence any social, political, and religious system which proclaims freedom, yet stamps out disobedience, cannot speak the truth.”

30. “Lack of concentration makes one tired, while concentration wakes one up.”

31. “Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.”

erich fromm knowledge quote

32. “The more knowledge is inherent in a thing, the greater the love”

33. “One can hardly overestimate people’s need to talk about themselves and to be listened to.”

34. “We owe nobody an explanation or an accounting, as long as our acts do not hurt or infringe on them.”

35. “The absolutely alienated individual worships at the altar of an idol, and it makes little difference by what names this idol is known.”

36. “For centuries kings, priests, feudal lords, industrial bosses and parents have insisted that obedience is a virtue and that disobedience is a vice.”

37. “Freedom does not mean license.”

Thought-Provoking Erich Fromm Quotes

38. “Not only thinking and feeling are determined by man’s character structure but also his actions.”

39. “The only truly affluent are those who do not want more than they have.”

40. “Without effort and willingness to experience pain and anxiety, nobody grows, in fact nobody achieves anything worth achieving.”

41. “If one is not productive in other spheres, one is not productive in the love either.”

42. “Just as modern mass production requires the standardization of commodities, so the social process requires standardization of man, and this standardization is called equality.”

43. “Hope is a decisive element in any attempt to bring about social change in the direction of greater aliveness, awareness, and reason.”

44. “The only way of full knowledge lies in the act of love; this act transcends thought, it transcends words. It is the daring plunge into the experience of union.”

erich fromm hate quote

45. “The ultimate choice for a man, in as much as he is given to transcend himself, is to create or destroy, to love or to hate.”

46. “They were more free, but they were more alone.”

47. “In the sphere of material things giving means being rich. Not he who has much is rich, but he who gives much.”

48. “As a child, every human being passes through a state of powerlessness, and truth is one of the strongest weapons of those who have no power.”

49. “The danger of the past was that men became slaves. The danger of the future is that men may become robots.”

50. “For despite what some people say, love is not only a sweet falling bound to come and quickly go away.”

Erich Fromm Quotes To Live By

51. “We all dream; we do not understand our dreams, yet we act as if nothing strange goes on in our sleep minds, strange at least by comparison with the logical, purposeful doings of our minds when we are awake.”

52. “Will is based on activity, whim on passivity.”

53. “Greed and peace preclude each other.”

54. “Aliveness always makes a beautiful.”

55. “The more man understands and masters nature the less he needs to use religion as a scientific explanation and as a magical device for controlling nature.”

56. “The attitude inherent in consumerism is that of swallowing the whole world. The consumer is the eternal suckling crying for the bottle.”

57. “The intensity and excitement which accompanies moments of infatuation is frequently relative to the degree of loneliness and isolation which has been previously experienced.”

erich fromm quotes escape from freedom

58. “The value judgments we make determine our actions, and upon their validity rests our mental health and happiness.”

59. “Man seeks for drama and excitement; when he cannot get satisfaction on a higher level, he creates for himself the drama of destruction.”

60. “Most people die before they are fully born. Creativeness means to be born before one dies.”

61. “The difference between being and having is not essentially that between East and West. The difference is rather between a society centered around persons and one centered around things.”

Additional Read: Contributions of Erich Fromm to Psychology

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