Sunday, November 1, 2015

Day 11.215 The Art of Love

From Erich Fromm's seminal The Art of Love:

"The first step to take is to become aware that love is an art, just as living is an art; if we want to learn how to love we must proceed in the same way we have to proceed if we want to learn any other art, say music, painting, carpentry, or the art of medicine or engineering. What are the necessary steps in learning any art? The process of learning an art can be divided conveniently into two parts: one, the mastery of the theory; the other, the mastery of the practice. If I want to learn the art of medicine, I must first know the facts about the human body, and about various diseases. When I have all this theoretical knowledge, I am by no means competent in the art of medicine. I shall become a master in this art only after a great deal of practice, until eventually the results of my theoretical knowledge and the results of my practice are blended into one – my intuition, the essence of the mastery of any art. But, aside from learning the theory and practice, there is a third factor necessary to becoming a master in any art – the mastery of the art must be a matter of ultimate concern; there must be nothing else in the world more important than the art. This holds true for music, for medicine, for carpentry – and for love. And, maybe, here lies the answer to the question of why people in our culture try so rarely to learn this art, in spite of their obvious failures: in spite of the deep-seated craving for love, almost everything else is considered to be more important than love: success, prestige, money, power – almost all our energy is used for the learning of how to achieve these aims, and almost none to learn the art of loving."

This is a terrific paragraph. If you take the time to carefully read it, one cogent takeaway that I find particularly poignant is this:

That the process of learning is conveniently divided into two parts: Mastery of the theory and then, mastery of the practice.

I think that for the sake of theme consistency, our core topic being all things health & fitness, one will quickly see the wisdom in Mr. Fromm's conjectures. Mr Fromme goes on to instruct that the theory and practice must be held in the forefront of a focused passion as if it were the most important act in the world, a matter of ultimate concern.

Consider the art of exercise. Master the theory, or put your trust in someone who has, and then, much like a musician asking how one gets to Carnegie Hall,


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