Although modern technology has blinded us to some fundamental human limitations so that we consider ourselves omnipotent self-sufficient and self-existing or possessors of unlimited power in reality we are weak frail needy and destitute. Although we cannot create a leaf or a gnat or even a molecule of water our entrapment by the spell of modern technology makes us loathe to admit this. We are content to ascribe all natural events from sunrise and sunset to the movements of atoms to nominal natural laws that function without our intervention. Even our bodies work independently of us for we cannot prevent ourselves from sleeping becoming hungry or thirsty or dying at the hands of a microscopic creature.

We always are accompanied by sorrows arising from past misfortunes and by worries about the future. Fear love and expectations are inseparable from our existence while such things as youth and beauty of which we are very fond leave without saying “good-bye.” We greatly fear and are overwhelmed unexpectedly by misfortune old age and death. Countless requirements must be maintained if we are to go on living yet we have total control over none of them. We may be injured accidents may end our hopes and disease and unexpected events always threaten and block our way to happiness. We endure earthquakes storms floods fires and other natural catastrophes. Both the vast variety of phenomena and our awareness of our own frailty make our own weakness and helplessness quite clear.

Despite our claims of dominating nature and conquering space we have more need of religion than our ancestors ever did. We may not be worshipping fetishes as they did such as trees animals rivers fire rain and heavenly bodies but according to Fromm millions of us have our own fetishes: national heroes movie stars politicians sports figures musicians and many many others.

Furthermore millions of us practice such modern religions as transcendental meditation necromancy. Satanism and spirit worship in the hope of satisfying that which cannot be satisfied with scientific and technological advancements. Others seek fulfillment in stadiums nightclubs casinos jobs and trade unions. They transform such places into places of devotion because they cannot suppress their need to worship. Inevitably those who do not believe in and worship the One God become the slaves of numerous deities.