This is my micro review of the "there's more to freedom than i expected" – where the author works through Erich Fromm's ideas on freedom
What if the only way to make progress in life is through a series of “tear off” events. One decides to tear off themselves from some influences in order to find freedom-from something, that is a new space for applying freedom-to something.
"We can even think of it [finding freedom] as a process—one in which pain is inevitable but ultimately fruitful if we navigate it correctly.”
After reading this article I also may have updated that:
- If I see a person too polite, too safe in their communication, asking constantly for permission, putting the importance of others too high above their own – it may mean that they have blurred cognition – and lean towards, what Fromm calls, masochist tendencies (this may not only be local but spill over and blur other judgments of theirs).
- And if I see a person taking too much space, being rude, easy to soft-aggression they also may have blurred cognition – and lean towards sadistic tendencies.
It may be trickier to identify masochistic tendencies in others and ourselves. It may feel awkward to do something about it. "Hey, you seem too polite, you may have some work to do", lol. I also may lean on that side and may have some calibrating to do.
We can even think of it [finding freedom] as a process—one in which pain is inevitable but ultimately fruitful if we navigate it correctly.
Freedom from: quitting this job you hate and losing these benefits, but now having the option to find a better job and take control of your life Freedom to: understanding and pursuing your passions and the things that make you feel alive Freedom from without freedom to: being too scared to discover and pursue your passions, not wanting to give up the status or comfort of the job you hated, falling into another job you hate, chasing status to appease other people, feeling overwhelmed with and paralyzed by the decisions you have to make to feel good about your life
We can even think of it as a process—one in which pain is inevitable but ultimately fruitful if we navigate it correctly.
modern man is in a position where much of what “he” thinks and says are the things that everybody else thinks and says; that he has not acquired the ability to think originally—that is, for himself
We neglect the role of the anonymous authorities like public opinion and “common sense,” which are so powerful because of our profound readiness to conform to the expectations everybody has about ourselves and our equally profound fear of being different.
Both masochists and sadists are grappling with feelings of intense anxiety over a world that feels alien and hostile to them. Whether they appear powerless or powerful, they cannot be free, because they depend on another individual, institution, or idea in an attempt to find security.
The masochistic person, whether his master is an authority outside of himself or whether he has internalized the master as conscience or a psychic compulsion, is saved from making decisions, saved from the final responsibility for the fate of his self, and thereby saved from the doubt of what decision to make. He is also saved from the doubt of what the meaning of his life is or who “he” is. These questions are answered by the relationship to the power to which he has attached himself. The meaning of his life and the identity of his self are determined by the greater whole into which the self has submerged. Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom (pg. 155)
On the one hand it is a process of growing strength and integration, mastery of nature, growing power of human reason, and growing solidarity with other human beings. But on the other hand this growing individuation means growing isolation, insecurity, and thereby growing doubt concerning one’s own role in the universe, the meaning of one’s life, and with all that a growing feeling of one’s own powerlessness and insignificance as an individual. — Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom (pg. 35)
(btw I am not sure if I love Fromm naming. How abut changing sadistic for controlling tendencies?)
For some reason I found it hard to read through this text. When I rephrased the following the connects started to be more intuitive.
Freedom from - What you decided to avoid
Freedom to - What this in turn enables you to do