Thursday, August 23, 2007

To have or to be?

"The fear of death comes
from the idea of owning life,
of experiencing it as a possession."

"The mode of being exists
only in the here and now...
the mode of having exists only in time:
past, present and future.
In the having mode we are bound
to what we have amassed in the past:
money, land, fame, social status,
knowledge, children, memories."

-Erich Fromm
Fromm was a German-Jewish-American social psychologist whose brand of socialism rejected both Western capitalism and Soviet communism, which he saw as dehumanizing and bureaucratic social structures that resulted in a virtually universal modern phenomenon of alienation. He became one of the founders of socialist humanism, promoting the early writings of Karl Marx

[the having mode also drags awareness
into the not-yet-existing future
in which we aspire to have these things.
By dwelling in the not-yet-existent
we become ourselves non-existent.
We defer the being we could enjoy
in the here and now.]

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