A third existential need is for rootedness, or the need to establish roots or to feel at home agahi in the world. When humans evolved as a separate species, they lost their home hi the natural world. At the same thne, their capacity for thought enabled them to realize that they were without a home, without roots. The consequent feelings of isolation and helplessness became unbearable.
Rootedness, too, can be sought hi either productive or nonproductive strategies. With the productive strategy, people are weaned from the orbit of their mother and become fully born; that is, they actively and creatively relate to the world and become whole or hitegrated. This new tie to the natural world confers security and reestablishes a sense of belongingness and rootedness. However, people may also seek rootedness through the nonproductive strategy of fixation—a tenacious
192 Part II Psychodynamic Theories reluctance to move beyond the protective security provided by ones mother. People who strive for rootedness through fixation are "afraid to take the next step of birth, to be weaned from the mother's breast. [They] . . . have a deep craving to be mothered, nursed, protected by a motherly figure; they are the externally dependent ones, who are frightened and insecure when motherly protection is withdrawn" (Fromm, 1955, p. 40).
Rootedness can also be seen phylogenetically in the evolution of the human species. Fromm agreed with Freud that mcestuous desires are universal, but he disagreed with Freud's belief that they are essentially sexual. Accordmg to Fromm (1955, pp. 40-41), incestuous feelings are based in "the deep-seated cravmg to remain hi, or to return to, the all-enveloping womb, or to the all-nourishing breasts." Fromm was influenced by Joliami Jakob Bachofen's (1861/1967) ideas on early matriarchal societies. Unlike Freud, who believed that early societies were patriarchal, Bachofen held that the mother was the central figure hi these ancient social groups. It was she who provided roots for her children and motivated them either to develop then individuality and reason or become fixated and incapable of psychological growth.
Fromm's (1997) strong preference for Bachofen's mother-centered theory of the Oedipal situation over Freud's father-centered conception is consistent with his preference for older women. Fromm's first wife, Frieda Fromm-Reichmann was more than 10 years older than Fromm, and his long-time lover, Karen Horney, was 15 years his senior. Fromm's conception of the Oedipus complex as a deshe to return to the mother's womb or breast or to a person with a mothering function should be viewed hi light of his attraction to older women.
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