What most people in our culture mean by being lovable is essentially a mixture between being popular and having sex appeal.
We are a society of notoriously unhappy people: lonely, anxious, depressed, destructive, dependent — people who are glad when we have killed the time we are trying so hard to save.
To have faith in the possibility of love as a social and not only exceptional-individual phenomenon, is a rational faith based on the insight into the very nature of man.
The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers.
The narcissistic, the domineering, the possessive woman can succeed in being a “loving” mother as long as the child is small. Only the really loving woman, the woman who is happier in giving than in taking, who is firmly rooted in her own existence, can be a loving mother when the child is in the process of separation.
The mother-child relationship is paradoxical and, in a sense, tragic. It requires the most intense love on the mother’s side, and yet this very love must help the child to grow away from the mother, and to become fully independent.
The danger of the past was that men became slaves. The danger of the future is that men may become robots.
Respect is not fear and awe; it denotes, in accordance with the root of the word (respicere = to look at), the ability to see a person as he is, to be aware of his individuality and uniqueness.
Our conscious motivations, ideas, and beliefs are a blend of false information, biases, irrational passions, rationalizations, prejudices, in which morsels of truth swim around and give the reassurance albeit false, that the whole mixture is real and true. The thinking processes attempt to organize this whole cesspool of illusions according to the laws of plausibility. This level of consciousness is supposed to reflect reality; it is the map we use for organizing our life.
Obedience to a person, institution or power (heteronomous obedience) is submission; it implies the abdication of my autonomy and the acceptance of a foreign will or judgment in place of my own.
Man, the more he gains freedom in the sense of emerging from the original oneness with man and nature and the more he becomes an “individual,” has no choice but to unite himself with the world in the spontaneity of love and productive work or else to seek a kind of security by such ties with the world as destroy his freedom and the integrity of his individual self.