“If you must be heard, let it be like a babbling brook over the rocks.”*
Erich Fromm describes immature love as masochistic or sadistic. The former witnesses someone becoming the instrument of someone else, whilst the latter makes the other part of him or herself. Alternatively, ‘mature love is union under the condition of preserving one’s integrity, one’s individiuality.‘**
I found myself thinking about how there may be masochistic and sadistic voices, then. These voices being the expression of our lives.
‘The difference is only that the sadistic person commands, hurts, humiliates and that the masochistic person is commanded, exploited, hurt, humiliated.**
Some people have submissive voices. They don’t believe they have anything worth saying, they simply get on with their lives and let others shout louder – though, they can often display a negative subversiveness, sabotaging what others have to say, what others want to do.
Others have domineering voices. They want the controlling or final word on all things – even if they don’t say it out loud but only think it, meaning they can’t hear what others are saying. What they pursue is more important, their agenda comes first.
Those with mature voices maintain an inner and outer integrity, believing part of what they must be doing is raising of the voices of others. Because of this integrity, the mature voice knows that there is the possibility of more significant creativity – the sadistic and masochistic voices are more concerned respectively with telling others what they should do or seeking the advice of others. They are more about feeding passions rather than needing to love as verb or action.
“As we are part of the land, you too are parr of the land. This earth is precious to us. It is also precious to you. One thing we know, there is only on God. No man, be he Red Man or be he White Man, can be apart. We are brothers after all.”^
(*Kerry Hillcoat, quoted in the Northumbria Community‘s Morning Prayer.)
(**From Erich Fromm’s The Art of Loving.)
(^From Chief Seattle’s 152 letter to the United States government, quoted in Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers’ The Power of Myth.)