truth

Man qua man has an inherent tendency to enlarge his knowledge of reality and that means to approximate the truth. We are not dealing here with a metaphysical concept of truth but with a concept of increasing approximation, which means decreasing fiction and delusion. In comparison with the importance of this increase or decrease of one’s grasp of reality, the question whether there is a final truth about anything remains entirely abstract and irrelevant. The process of increasing awareness is nothing but the process of awakening, of opening one’s eyes and seeing what is in front of one. Awareness means doing away with illusions and, to the degree that this is accomplished, it is a process of liberation. ― (1968: The Revolution of Hope. Toward a Humanized Technology, New York (American Mental Health Foundation) 2010, p. 64.)


The truth has a peculiar quality, and that is, the truth since it represents reality, touches the person where the half-truth doesn’t. If you are in real relatedness to another person, that is to say, really with him, in him, and you say that which is a reality in him, it is very difficult for that person to hang on to his resistances. If you tell a patient half that reality because you think he can’t take it (…) then indeed the patient is untouched. Because the phone number doesn’t ring; it’s just that it has five right numbers but the sixth one doesn’t ring. You don’t touch it. ― (1992g [1959]: Dealing with the Unconscious in Psychotherapeutic Practice, in: E. Fromm, Beyond Freud: From Individual to Social Psychoanalysis, New York (American Mental Health Foundation) 2010, pp. 118f.)


We cannot split off our knowledge of ourselves from our knowledge of society. Both belong together. (…) Truth is indivisible. We cannot see reality here and remain closed to it there. That dulls our cutting edge and makes our search for the truth ineffectual. And we can see ourselves rightly only if we can see others rightly, only if we can see them in the context of their social circumstances, which is to say, only if we look sharply and critically at all that is going on around us in the world. ― (1974: In the Name of Life. A Portrait through Dialogue, in: E. Fromm, For the Love of Life, New York he Free Press, Macmillan) 1986, pp. 115f.)

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