In The Theory of Love (Part II), Fromm now moves on to the desire of men and women for love or union. Fromm claims we search for this union both within and without as we are bisexual psychologically and it is a way to find union with ourselves as well as another.
Hmmm …. this is interesting. When I first read this book it was like I was having an epiphany but with my second read through it, it’s not grasping me like it did the first time. Have I matured? Have Fromm’s ideas already percolated? Were Lewis’ descriptions of the different loves more enlightening and deeply resonating? I’m not sure, but on we go!
And thus we begin our read-along of The Art of Loving, beginning with the first chapter: Is Love An Art? In his Preface, Fromm cautions us not to expect easy instruction in the art of loving and, in fact, acquiring this art is a rare accomplishment because of our lack of qualities necessary to love. However that does not mean we mustn’t try.
As we reach the end of our The Four Loves Read-along, we have so far investigated Affection, Friendship and Romantic Love (the natural loves) but none of these loves are sufficient in and of themselves without another Love to support the feelings and keep them sweet. Lewis now investigates Charity, or Agape (ἀγάπη).