Tuesday, June 15, 2010


C.S. Lewis wrote of the 4 loves. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Four_Loves Lewis discusses Love from the viewpoint of the 4 Greek words for love: affection, friendship, eros, and charity.

Affection (storge) is fondness through familiarity especially of family members. Otherwise it describes people who have found themselves together by chance and have a positive feeling for each other by association. It is "ready made", "built in" widespread and natural.

Friendship (filia) is described as a strong bond between people who have a shared interest or activity. It's more than mere companionship.

Eros is love in that sense of the 'being in love'. It is distinct from sexuality but naturally overlaps with this.

Charity (Agape) is the love of God. It is also the highest of virtues. It is self sacrificing.

Lewis like other writers looks at Love in terms of 'dimension'. Love is seen as having "depth" and "breadth" , being both general and specific and far more than a mere "feeling".

Erich Fromm in his classic, Art of Loving, described love in terms of the adolescent and mature. Love to him too was not a 'mere feeling', or 'biological drive', more than 'lust' but rather the mature sustained creative process that not only caused two to grow together but was evidenced in the growth around them. He likened the chaos of teenagers in love, self centered and disruptive to the mature love of a long term couple where the 'evidence' of their love was present in the success of their lives and the positive contributions to their community that came from their love. Said briefly, "love is what love does".

Increasingly the destructive consumer forces of the lowest of Hollywood and pulp fiction have gone so far as to say 'love is hate' and 'love is lust'. The denigration of this word has given rise to the lowest forms of 'art' and appealed increasingly to the 'senses'. Recently a large fashion corporation promoted padded bikini bras for 5 year olds, a natural necessary out growth of the consumer industry that sells school 'vendor' foods with excess sugar that has caused the rampant obesity in the television generations. Similiarly the advertisement for love are dominated by gratuitous sex. Love indeed is subsumed by sex by the very same marketing forces that claimed to 'care' for the children with their toxic food vending machines.

Just as LSD was once touted as the same as 'knowing God', today a 'one night stand' is touted as the same as 'lifelong marriage'. The legal system has got rich and fat off the destruction of marriage and denigration of church covenant to state contract to finally marketing the only existing 'marriage' in the west today, "the prenuptial agreement".

Meanwhile the overwhelming power of the state to 'divide and conquer' has broken down all relationships and called whatever is left 'conspiracy'.

Love remains. McLean's triune brain shows that there are 'reptilian' elements, mammalian elements and human elements in the very anatomical structures of the central computer. Robert Hare in the movie Corporations showed that the basic social construct of capitalist consumerism was based solely on the lowest mental processes of humans, the reptilian.

The reptile eats, defecates, defends its territory, lusts and reproduces. It doesn't care for it's own kind, eats its fellows, it's babies, and ruins it's environment while being hostile to anything that surprises it. The human equivalent is the psychopath. Mammalian mental functions are akin to the animal relationships with the capacity for family and kinship associations , eg the dog family and pack. The historic 'governments' of 'democracy' that existed before the feudal corporate take over showed these elements in their relationships, care for young and old and assorted treaties.

As yet, the human structures that indeed are anything that are different from reptile or mammal, and hence make humanity distinct have little support in the organizational models of present day. They may have had a place in monastic centers but that's just conjecture. To be truly human is for example to have the capacity to 'love one's enemies'. Certainly reptiles and mammals don't do this but the human capacity for love and indeed abstraction give rise to this same capacity. Idealism, fantasy, some art forms, memory, and the capacity to consider long term projects are really part of what is truly human. Discipline, commitment, the virtues in fact of bygone days, were what made men and women distinct from reptiles and mammals.

Love may be less or more. So much is in the 'naming' and the 'language'. What is called 'love' today is a distinctly different 'product' than what was called 'love' yesterday. What is called marriage today is also a commodity distinctly different from the ideal that it once represented. Friendship too meant more than mere association. All of the 'virtues' were what were associated with the loves that the likes of C.S. Lewis and Erich Fromm spoke of. Today the very 'words' have lost their meaning.

Revival is about recovering the words and meanings from the abyss of vending machines. Food once meant 'nutrition'. Love once meant love. Is it too late to recover the language and words that got hidden in the padded bras of 5 year olds by courts, governments and corporations?


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