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The Lives of Erich Fromm

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Lawrence J. Friedman talks about Erich Fromm, a political activist, psychologist, psychoanalyst, philosopher, and one of the most important intellectuals of the 20th century. The Lives of Erich Fromm: Love’s Prophet, is the first study of Fromm's influences and achievements, and revisits his most important works.

Guests:

Lawrence J. Friedman

Comments [4]

Steve Scholle from Hartsdale, NY

My grandmother, Lenore G. Marshall, was a friend and colleague of Dr. Fromm's. They founded SANE Committee for nuclear disarmament together. This was a generation of activist idealists, especially among New York Jewish intelligencia.

My mother recalls her parents giving a holiday party. She answered the door for a rather frumpy, disheveled older man and almost turned him away. It was Dr. Fromm.

May. 07 2013 09:10 PM

Misconceptions and misinformation abound regarding the traditional Jewish mysticism known as "Kabbalah".

First, this highly esoteric field of study was only intended to be pursued by those select few who:
a) have already mastered the rest of the Torah (which means not only the entire "Hebrew Bible" with all of the classic commentaries but also, no less importantly, the entire Talmud and Shulchan Aruch, with all the major commentaries, and much more)
AND,
b) have a reached an outstanding level of piety and scrupulous observance of every detail of Jewish law ("halakhah") in even their private-most lives

The _basics_ and _fundamentals_ of Torah knowledge and observance are likened to bread or meat, Kabbalah to the spices and seasonings.

May. 07 2013 01:37 PM
Amy from Manhattan

This segment has been very interesting, but I have 1 quibble: Stepping on the person below you isn't sado*masochism* unless the other person enjoys being stepped on. What Prof. Friedman describes is more like plain sadism.

May. 07 2013 12:59 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Following your previous conversations about virtual reality, this topic is particularly prescient. Indeed, Kabbalah and all forms of mysticism were previous attempts to understand and create a "virtual world" where everyone is nice and equal. By the middle or end of this century, we will be able to create a real virtual world where everyone can be nice and equal because they will mostly be living in their own virtual world with little need to have real contact with others except as they wish through their virtual world. In fact, we are about 1/3rd of the way there right now, being able to communicate through the internet and play in virtual games and otherwise interact using avatars online.

May. 07 2013 12:54 PM

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