p.p1 rich and not the person who has

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0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px ‘Times New Roman’; color: #000000; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000}span.s1 {font-kerning: none}span.Apple-tab-span {white-space:pre} Many people live with different purposes and meanings in life. Some people live without any purposes, or goals where some people live according to what their religion tells them to and some live just the way they want and believe it is right.

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One philosopher named Erich Fromm stated that humans naturally have two modes of living. The two fundamental modes are “having” and “being”. This essay will summarize what E.Fromm has stated about having and being, criticize his views on life and death, and also share my personal thoughts on his philosophy.

  Eric Fromm, a German-American social philosopher and also a psychologist was born in 1900. Not having a meaning of life, unhappiness, weariness and many more is said to be the common sickness of a person’s time. He claims that the person who is more is the one that is rich and not the person who has more possessions.

So what does he mean by having and being? Both terms are not simply something like “I have a chocolate cake”. According to Fromm, the two fundamental modes of having and being are different orientation to the self and also to the world (Fromm). Even though the two modes of existence are both included as a part of ourselves, Fromm claims that we can actually only belong to one or another. First of all, the mode to have is when your relationship towards the world is about possessing and owning. In the having mode, you want to make everyone and everything your own property, even your own-self.

When looking at the characteristics of the having mode, identity based on external possessions, passivity, fear of losing what one’s self has, lack of faith and destructiveness are can be seen as the characteristics (Haidar, Powerpoint slides). On the other hand, the being mode is the opposite of the having mode and also appearance but touches upon the true nature, the true reality of a person or an object (To Have Or to Be, p.24). Being active, the sense of identity based on what one is, faith and love of life, are all elements of the being mode (Haidar, Powerpoint slides). The being mode is very active as it is about being interested in life, and to meet and see and communicate with others and sharing, making life in a more interesting way. The two differences of the having mode and the being mode can be seen on what they rely on. People that are more on the having mode will rely on their possessions, that is, what they have. However, people that exists on the being mode will rely on the existence of what they are.

  Since the people that follow the having mode and the being mode live with different thoughts, they will also have different perspectives and values on life and death. The people that live on the mode of being will get pleasure by sharing with others and giving to others. They also accept the fact that no-one but their own self can give the meaning of their own lives.

The people that live according to the having mode will have fear of losing what they have because of their obsession towards wanting things. Because of this, they will also fear of getting old, becoming sick with an illness, and also failure. This is what causes them not to live at their fullest just because of their aim to live longer. For them, death is not something to fear just because they will not continue to live anymore, but is something to fear because they will lose what they posses, and from them the most beloved possession, which is their own person. In the being mode however, is where belief in afterlife belongs to.

Erich Fromm also talks about the belief of afterlife as the consequence of love and not of fear. He clams that believing in eternity comes from love. He also mentions that believing in afterlife shows that you believe in life and when you do not believe in the existence of afterlife, it means that you are betraying those you love and also life itself. I was very confused with this point he made as I had never thought that the belief in the existence of the afterlife could come from love. I think that love and the belief of afterlife are two different things that do not necessarily link with each other.

Also, just because you do not believe in the existence of afterlife should not really interpret that you are betraying those you love and life itself. I don’t really see how the two can connect with the existence of afterlife. Like this, the being mode and having mode having different interpretations in life, also has different thoughts about the afterlife. What I thought about Erich Fromm’s philosophy at first was that the having mode and the being mode can be applied to how people actually live however I also thought that humans don’t only follow one mode and could have mixed modes in them. Even though Fromm has also mentioned that both modes are a part of us, I still thought that standards of each modes were quite vague. Some people may not live at their fullest because they would want to live longer, but I still think that even those people would do something else instead to have fun and not just try to posses things.

I also couldn’t agree with what Fromm had said about the belief towards afterlife having to do with love and the betrayal of your own life if you had not believed in it. I didn’t really see a clear connection to love and afterlife. I believe that people could be full of love even if they had not believed in the existence of afterlife. Even though I myself also believe in afterlife, heaven, I don’t think anything much would have changed even if I hadn’t believed in it. This is why I disagreed with most of what Erich Fromm had said about life and afterlife. In conclusion, the having and being modes are two different modes that focuses on different things in life. Fromm had also seen life and afterlife as the consequence of love and not fear.

Even though I had agreed with some of the points on his philosophy, later on I realized that I actually disagree with most of his points on life and afterlife and also the two modes. It was still very interesting to know about his opinions of life as I had never thought about those things before. I couldn’t really tell if I belonged to the being or the having mode at first, which is why I think that people are a mixture of the two modes. It would also be interesting if I could find out more about other philosophers on how they think about this world and the afterlife.