June 25, 1996 

This is my sociology project; the project being to help change society  in the way I attempt to describe in this letter. Please let me know of  ways this letter can be more effective.  

Erich Fromm starts "The Art of Loving" with, "Any theory of love  must begin with a theory of man, of human existence." I would do well  to reorganize this following his example, but for now, I just want to get  this out, and see what and if you think of it. 

Being, what is it? 

I imagine you smile. 

You read on, and then what. 
You read on, and you stop to think, you cry 
because this is so beautiful. 

You are now, for the moment, incapable of doing anything.  You feel as I feel, and you understand. 

You ask yourself, "What am I?". You imagine yourself dead,  and ask yourself, "What have I been." 

You put this down, and try to go back to your work, but you  stop. You want nothing more than to be with someone else, 
whatever that means. 


Is there any point in living if you are the only thing in  existence? I say no, and feel also there is no immediately apparent point  in living if I am the only human in existence in the present, past  and future. 

Being is only meaningful if you exist as well as I. 


Simply `being' would be enough if you were the only  being. Since there are quite a few beings, separate beings,  `being together' is all. 


I can only be with you inasmuch as you are separate from  every group except humankind. Its impossible now, is it? 

I cannot be with you if you are {just about any religion} first, 
I cannot be with you if you are {pick a race or culture} first, 
I cannot be with you if you are {pick a nationality} first... 

I cannot be with you unless you are are first and last yourself  and only yourself and nothing else. Only we who are unique,  different from everything else, only we can be together. 

Not a problem. You are no matter what you do— no matter  what 

you do, you are separate, you are unique. 

It is a consciousness thing though, you must be  consciously aware that you are separate from everything (everyone) else,  to be together with other people. 

Here I am saying this, and at the same time hoping that my  desire to be with you is the same as your desire. 

This desire for oneness is a characteristic of separateness. Just  as you are separate no matter what you do, you desire to  transcend this separateness, no matter what you think.(?) 


At the risk of nothing, I will ask what is `being together', and  I will answer, `loving'. 
What is loving? being together. 
{expand "being together" to "being together for no other  reason than to be together"} 


Here I am going to stop— I don't know what loving or  being together is, It is something we do, though. I am going to  ask those who want to be together simply to be together to  come together. And those who want to explore the ideas here  further, too. I was thinking we could meet this Friday at 6:00 p.m. in  the Sylvan Theater, and if it's raining, meet there too. Maybe  bring something to sit on, plan to stay forever. 

In fact, the convocation of a group of explorers is the  primary purpose of this letter. 

I imagine going to this place, Sylvan Theater, on Friday at  6:00, probably a little before. I will probably sit at the end  furthest away from the road, the end furthest away from the columns.  I will be the only one there. 
       Notes about this letter: About this paper, I need to be clear about what I hope to accomplish. I want to be with people in a meaningful way. I want to have friends I am able to get to know very well {I can not know you, I can only be with you} {this bothers me. To know you might be to be you, but then, how well do I know myself? So I guess I cannot know you, I can be with you}. I want to be with other people who ask lots of questions, who always question, I think, people who find their own way. The question is, are these people destined to be unhappy, will these people always be questioning and never enjoying the present? Unlikely. We ask questions with a goal, the goal of improving our experience. 

       In general, the question we ask is the question of what  is the best part of life, what have we loved most about our own  life, and what do other people like most about their lives.

Side 2
       But does this thinking get us anywhere? —{(Thought is  the most subtle form of ignorance.) Thinking does not get  us anywhere unless it leads to action. The action justifies  the thought.} 

       The best parts of my life have been when I have  felt together with people, so then why do I spend all this time  typing away by myself? Because the activities of those people I  could be with seem in someway superficial to me. The activities I  could be engaging in appear to me to be less than living. A  distraction from what we should be doing. 

       We should be creating, loving, being, not occupying  our mind with games or logic problems, but being. 

       The goal is to determine the best part of being and be  that way more. 

       The goal is to determine a direction for the individual  and collective individuals. Collective society needs to work for  a world where the individual is recognized and appreciated as  the most beautiful manifestation of the society. Each  individual should be appreciated for herself, by herself and by the  others around her. Conversation should not focus on the superficial,  but the immediate concerns and emotions of the individual. 

       What if this world is realized, what will it be like? People will focus on their own selves and the people around them whom they can appreciate as individuals. They will spend time with their own selves, with eachother and for eachother. They will spend time exploring themselves and exploring others , and exploring the world with others . The knowledge of one's self and the knowledge of others will be the greatest attainment in life. {being together will be the greatest attainment in life} 

       Yes this is a product of my aloneness, but I am alone for  a reason. I am alone because I do not want to be together  superficially, for apparently someother purpose. I want to be with  other people simply to be with them. {redundant, I pound it in.} 

       What do people do when they are with other people  simply to be with them? Nothing and everything. They are open  about the purpose. 

       What would be the effect on society if the focus  changed thus? People would choose settings that allowed them to best  be with other people. Would people have professions— would  people have professions? People would — 
       so back to the paper. What would the purpose of the paper be? The purpose of the paper would be to appreciate individuals and to encourage individuality. The person who is a member of any group but humankind gives up some of her individuality , sometimes gaining an incredible amount {she gains a community, maybe a way of life, but is at the same time more segregated from those not in her community.} {I'm sorry. I'm imagining a Jewish woman, whose life is her religion. She lives (?) an incredible, beautiful life. But I cannot share. Perhaps there are members of religions—— let's work on this question, if it is one, 

later.} But this even is not necessary. The people of this paper  (?) will consider themselves first members of humankind, and  last members of humankind, and then members of their  respective groups. 
       {I cannot feel a part of a group which others cannot be  a part. You may be a part of a group, but I cannot be a part of  it unless I give up some of myself. I cannot say a religion or  cultural heritage is more important than what I believe to be important  for myself. I have no religion but what I develop, and I have  no cultural heritage but the one I create. Any limiting of  horizon sucks, so I will be a part of no group but humankind} {and  why not just be? why not be a member of no group but the group of  all things in existence. Man is "life being aware of itself"1 and  thus is different, distinct, from all that is not human. I cannot be with  a rock as I can be with a human.} {the less your individuality,  the less your need to transcend it. The path of the human:  acknowledging separateness, then transcending separateness.} 
       How many hypocrites will we be? None I think— only  we who are true to ourselves can be true to others. Only we  who respect ourselves can respect others. But who knows.  Probably just 1. 
       So my personal goal is this: I, with some help (or do I have individual aspirations) print this letter, and bring together people who are interested in putting these ideas in practice, and we will see what happens from there. We will print the paper to encourage others, but the focus will be the meetings and the personal interactions that result. {the focus will be the being, but I doubt there will be a new letter, only revisions} 
       What will happen once this group exists?{It already exists. What will happen once more people become aware of this group's existence (the group of all human beings)?} Will I drop the paper? It will be short, always, only one piece of paper, so no big deal, and other people will have something to write. If not I can draw pictures on it, I'm sure. 

       The purpose of this paper to ask: what is the best of life  how we can experience more of the best of life how we  can improve upon the best and other questions. 
       The purpose of this paper is to allow people who have  these questions and some ideas to meet and try out their ideas. 
1) from page 8 of 
Title: The art of loving. 
Author: Fromm, Erich, 1900—1980. 
Edition: [1st ed.]. 
Pub. Info.: New York, Harper [1956]. 
Phy Descript: 133 p. 20 cm. 
Notes: World perspectives, v. 9. LC 
Subject: Love. 
Suzzallo General Stacks 
Undergraduate General Stacks 

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