inner activity; activity, inner

For Aristotle (in his Ethica Nicomachea),“human good turns out to be activity of soul in accordance with virtue, and if there are more than one virtue, in accordance with the best and most complete.“ Hence, of course, contemplation can be the highest form of activity. Free and conscious activity means that the person is the author of his activity, i.e., that he is not active by exterior or inner compulsion; conscious activity means that the subject knows what he is doing, and is not acted upon by forces behind his back. (…)

The dynamism of human nature is primarily rooted in the need of man to express his faculties toward the world, rather than in his need to use the world as a means for the satisfaction of his physiological necessities. What Marx is saying is that because I have eyes I have the need to see; because I have ears I have the need to hear; because I have a brain I have the need to think; and because I have a heart I have the need to feel. In short, because I am man, I am in need of man and of the world. ― (1992s [1974]: Meister Eckhart and Karl Marx on Having and Being, in: E. Fromm, On Being Human, New York (Continuum) 1994, pp. 155f.)

By activity we do not mean „doing something,“ but the quality of creative activity that can operate in one’s emotional, intellectual, and sensuous experiences and in one’s will as well. One premise for this spontaneity is the acceptance of the total personality and the elimination of the split between „reason“ and „nature“; for only if man does not repress essential parts of his self, only if he has become transparent to himself, and only if the different spheres of life have reached a fundamental integration, is spontaneous activity possible. ― (1941a: Escape from Freedom, New York (Farrar and Rinehart) 1941, p. 258f.)