The Heart of Man: Its Genius For Good and Evil

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The Heart of Man: Its Genius For Good and Evil by Erich Fromm

This book was very interesting reading. Mr. Fromm presented his take on the capacity of humans to do tremendous good, and their propensity to do horrendous evil. Although the book was first published fifty years ago, his arguments for Nature versus Nurture were still very compelling for me to this day.

My favorite chapter was, Freedom, Determinism, Alternativism. In it, Mr. Fromm spoke on the psychological aspect of our choices, and how we can lose our freedom of choice to do good the more we compromise ourselves. He states, eThe longer we continue to make the wrong decisions, the more out heart hardens; the more often we make the right decision, the more our heart softens." Very similar to what I believe today contributes to transformation or mutation of my soul. He further states, “…the decisive factor in choosing the better rather than the worse lies in awareness.

Awareness for me is mindfulness of my thoughts and feelings, and continued reflection and meditation time to slow everything down. I know of the countless wrong decisions that hardened my heart and the evil that resulted; I even know of the distortion in my thinking that came from taking the selfish and cowardly way innumerable times during my prison term. The deeper I crawled in, the harder it was to climb out. But I would like to say I have finally started to wake from my long, dark slumber into the light of self-awareness, and hope to one day make it extremely difficult for me to even consider choosing anything that might diminish my soul.

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