To have or to be, that is the question

The experience of ego-identity is based on the concept of having. I have “me” as I have all other things which this “me” owns. Identity of “I” or self refers to the category of being and not of having. I am “I” only to the extent to which I am alive, interested, related active, and which I have achieved an integration between my appearance – to others and/or to myself – and the core of my personality.*
(Erich Fromm)

Our knowledge, if we allow it to be transformed within us, turns into capacity for life-serving human deeds.**
(M. C. Richards)

Perhaps the difference a human having and a human being is that one seeks to own and the other to make space within for the other – be it person or object.

If I have I will not be changed.

Not so if I make space for the other within.

Who am I in relation to this person, this book, this idea, this tool, this tree, this river … :

To read is to expose a vulnerability, for at least a brief moment, to surrender to another perspective, to bring it inside yourself and try it on.^

Such a human being opens to immense creativity, having respect for the other person, the world, their god, themselves, objects and artefacts, thoughts and ideas:

It’s all about what you ingest throughout your lifetime that creates what your eye is.^^

*From Erich Fromm’s The Revolution of Hope;
**From M. C. Richards’ Centering;
^Aaron Koblin in Maria Popova and Claudia Bedrick’s A Velocity of Being;
^^Bill Ross, quoted in Austin Kleon’s blog: A gumbo in your head.

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