In The Theory of Love (Part II), Fromm now moves on to the desire of men and women for love or union. Fromm claims we search for this union both within and without as we are bisexual psychologically and it is a way to find union with ourselves as well as another.
Hmmm …. this is interesting. When I first read this book it was like I was having an epiphany but with my second read through it, it’s not grasping me like it did the first time. Have I matured? Have Fromm’s ideas already percolated? Were Lewis’ descriptions of the different loves more enlightening and deeply resonating? I’m not sure, but on we go!
And thus we begin our read-along of The Art of Loving, beginning with the first chapter: Is Love An Art? In his Preface, Fromm cautions us not to expect easy instruction in the art of loving and, in fact, acquiring this art is a rare accomplishment because of our lack of qualities necessary to love. However that does not mean we mustn’t try.
As we reach the end of our The Four Loves Read-along, we have so far investigated Affection, Friendship and Romantic Love (the natural loves) but none of these loves are sufficient in and of themselves without another Love to support the feelings and keep them sweet. Lewis now investigates Charity, or Agape (ἀγάπη).
Yes, it’s finally my belated post for Week 4 of The Four Loves Read-along, focussing on Eros! Please read on ….!
Lewis seems to be saying that we are between angels and animals, Venus is the carnal within Eros but she’s kinda funny so laugh at her or she will extract revenge, Eros is Eros but he cannot be Eros by himself, the husband is the head only if he gives most, rough play in sex can be harmless and wholesome (did I read this correctly … however notice the “can be“), while a person is not usually worshiped, Love is and then the expectations are God-like which cannot be fulfilled and then everyone is resentful and implacable and it all falls apart …. LOL!
And the above summary contain the conclusions come to after a very superficial read of a difficult chapter where, in fact, we have to do WORK to follow Lewis. So here goes …
Let’s begin afresh (please!) with Eros or Romantic L❤️ve …
Again from my The Four Loves Read-along week 2 post I’ve had thoughts brewing. On Marian’s blog, I posted a question that I’ve been musing about and I thought I’d re-post here in case anyone has any enlightening comments on it:
“Were you surprised when Lewis spoke about developing Affection for people one normally would have nothing to do with but circumstances brought them together? I find that nowadays most people choose only people they would want to hang out with. Where have the relationships gone which form in spite of themselves? Has our world changed drastically from Lewis’ world?”
I do think generally that in spite of our outward modern multi-cultural tolerances, that people actually have practically less tolerance towards the differences of people. What do you think?
I’m a few days late with this post as life is becoming rather hectic but I will try to keep up as we move along. Rest assured though; all the posts will go up eventually!
Before I continue with The Four Loves week two posting, I wanted to put down some more thoughts from week one. After reading the second chapter on Like and Loves for the Sub-Human, I said I was having difficulty finding the distinction between what Lewis called Patriotism (love of home and family) and Ethics, which he implies might replace it (I think it has in our century). Well, I was listening to a training video on workplace harassment and I believe Lewis’ point finally dawned on me. The video sounded as if it were addressing early teens, which in itself was shocking given that it was targeting fully matured adults, but I was also struck by how much we are relying on other people to tell us what to do and how to behave. People used to have an intrinsic value system, and while we’re not perfect, we would never have had to lay out instructions on common, obvious, sensible behaviour like we do today. Was the former (intrinsic value system) based on Lewis’ Patriotism: a strong sense of ties to a family, a community and a place and therefore the better you behaved the more not only the community would benefit, but everyone else also? And thus, has it degraded into a more fragmented society where people without those ties (or less of them), live only for themselves and therefore Ethics has had to step up in an almost haphazard way to try to govern people who are less able to govern themselves? I wonder …..
In any case, on to week two where Lewis examines the Greek word, στοργή (storge, with a hard “g”) which roughly translated means affection, “especially of parents for offspring”, but Lewis expands the term. Let’s see what he has to say ….
And here we go with our The Four Loves read-along! Here is the first post. I hope my notes help clarify the start of the book and please feel free to add any comments below. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I found the beginning quite dense and Lewis sometimes a wee bit difficult to follow. I think it will get easier, however, as he begins to examine each type of love.
I’m going to attach some questions to each chapter. You can use these to answer them as a post on your blog, or simply mull them over to understand the reading better. I do hope they help!
What are your ideas about love? Is love an overwhelming romantic feeling? Can it be a decision or a duty? Can you fall out of love? Have you wished for a better understanding of the love of God? Can friends love each other? What about families and our love for them? In English, we use the same word for all these feelings … love …. but the Greeks have different words for these feelings of love and each has its different distinctions. Do you want to learn more? Then please join me in my read-along of C.S. Lewis’ The Four Loves for the month of June!