The Four Loves
This is a short book summary of CS Lewis’s classic, the Four Loves.
The four loves come from the Greek who use four words to describe what we use one for.
Storge: Affection Love
Phileo: Friendship Love
Eros: Romantic Love.
Agape: Divine Love.
Storge Love: [The frosting on the cake] Affection is the most humble of the loves. It is the love of enjoying someone or something. Storge is the joy in seeing Les Miseribles. Liking this play can be a sort of this love. Also for people, it can be the enjoyment of their company, whether they believe what we do or not. Ice-Cream, watching 24 the series, being with good friends, quality as Storge love. Now this kind of love is the jacket that clothes the other loves that we may enjoy them. But even in this innocence their is the danger of selfishness. Of hoarding something or someone to their pain, or our.
“Love, having become a god, becomes a demon.”
Phileo Love: [The punch on the side] Friendship is the least needed says Lewis of the Loves. This is the least jealous of the loves. “Friendship arises out of mere companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure or burden.”
This friendship is pointing somewhere, going somewhere, while Eros points the people at each other Phileo points them toward that certain goal.
Funny that Lewis also states that if a male and female of same interests and goals, who are not repulsive to each other and love no one else, will eventually grown into Eros love. No true friendship, for single male and single female for Lewis. But although he speaks of this love as the least needed, it seems the most enjoyed and the longest lasting of the earthy loves.
Eros Love: [My cake!] This is also the love that creates the hottest of fires in our emotions. It can be a wonderful light, or a scorching fire. Romantic or erotic love: Lewis calls this “being in love.” Now there is a difference in being in love and “falling in love.” You can control the former but not the last one. It is the love that is least thought about but most felt. It will be completely destroyed says Lewis as destroying the mountain view when you locate it in the retina, by analyzing it. It is sexual and not. It seeks one and only one person. “The fact that she is a woman is far less important than the fact that she is herself.” This love does not aim at happiness, but on a particular person at all cost. “Better to be miserable with her than happy without her.” He writes
“When the two people who thus discover that they are on the same secret road are of different sexes, the friendship which arises between them will very easily pass – may pass in the first half hour – into erotic love. Indeed, unless they are physically repulsive to each other or unless one or both already loves elsewhere, it is almost certain to do so sooner or later. And conversely, erotic love may lead to Friendship between the lovers. But this, so far from obliterating the distinction between the two loves, puts it in a clearer light. If one who was first, in the deep and full sense, your Friend, is then gradually or suddenly revealed as also your lover you will certainly not want to share the Beloved’s erotic love with any third. But you will have no jealousy at all about sharing the Friendship. Nothing so enriches an erotic love as the discovery that the Beloved can deeply, truly and spontaneously enter into Friendship with the Friends you already had; to feel that not only are we two united by erotic love but we three or four or five are all travelers on the same quest, have all a common vision.”
Agape Love [Do you want my cake?]: This is the highest and most unselfish of the loves, the 1 Corinthians 13 love. Also called Charity. It is not natural, It goes against our very natures. It loves the unlovable, undeserving, the ugly. It gives all and asks for not a thing in return. It is the one that takes the greatest chance. And is hit with the most loss. But Lewis pens word that echo down the very core of our souls as a hated truth:
“To love at all is to be vulnerable, love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make of keeping it intact…you must give your heart to no one not even an animal…lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket -safe, dark, motionless, airless-It will change, it will not be broken it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”
This is our choice, take a chance, tis better to love and die, than to not love and cry. God is Love, and that love we all will slowly develop as we grown in Him: We begin to change from natural to supernatural.
It is a wonderful thing to have all four of the loves aimed at one person. They all do for my precious wife. But they must fall in order, least we treat them as a means and not an end.
In all, it is one of my favorite books Again Lewis amazes me, and inspires me in his work.
What do you think? Is there more to love than these four? If so what are they?