Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Four Loves Review

The Four Loves is a non-fiction book by C.S. Lewis about the different ways humans show their affection toward each other.  The book covers four main topics: storge, philia, eros, and agape.

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The Imaginative Conservative
My favorite part of this book was the beginning chapter when C.S. Lewis described the difference between love that needs something in return and love that gives something to the beloved.  It actually reminded me of this quote from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Queenie was reading Newt's mind and she deciphered that he had a past with someone that ended unhappily, and that the person was a "taker; you need a giver".

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This is true of anyone.  How can anyone enjoy being around someone who is constantly taking things from them and never giving anything in return?  I think the point C.S. Lewis was trying to make is that both people in love need to give each other something 

This reminded me of the Giving Tree, another great story.

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If you know the heart-breaking story of the Giving Tree, you know that the tree ends up giving away everything it has to this little boy.  To me, this is the epitome of caring for someone.  If you're willing to give yourself away for someone else, it's clear you care about them.

The key is that both people need to be giving all of themselves all the time so it's not that you're emptying your bucket and staying empty.  You're emptying yourself and being filled with someone else's love.

Unfortunately the relationship between the boy and the tree was not very mutual and the boy gets off well while the tree basically dies.

I encourage you to read this book.  It's a really fast read and C.S. Lewis is insightful as always.  Let me know what you think about it!

And because this is C.S. Lewis, I couldn't restrain myself from annotating quotes:

“Friendship ... is born at the moment when one man says to another "What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .”

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. 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. To love is to be vulnerable.”

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art.... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”

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Huffington Post

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