Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Four Loves: Eros

I am a visual learner, so today about drove me crazy! I apologize to you Adrianna and Paulo, but I found it very hard to follow Lewis when he was speaking on the recording. Maybe if he was reading exactly the words from the chapter, and I could read as he spoke, then I would have gotten more out of it. Nonetheless, I was able to follow his ideas when I was reading it alone. It amazes me that Lewis can write profoundly on a topic such as the Law of Human Nature and do the same on the topic of love and sexuality.

By eros Lewis means the state of 'being in love.' It is the appreciative part of love, compared to the animal element venus. Venus is the need-pleasure of love. Without eros, sexual desire wants the thing in itself; it doesn't want the woman, it just so happens that pleasure comes from the woman. On the contrary, eros wants the beloved, the woman, not just any woman.

Without eros, sexual desire is a fact about ourselves. The opposite is true with eros; sexual desire becomes about the beloved, it includes the other person involved. That is why with eros pleasure is a by-product. We do not seek sexual pleasure when we are in love, it just happens to come along with the whole package.

I really like when Lewis talks about the need for laughter, and how we cannot be completely serious about venus. 'Banish play and laughter from the bed of love and you may let in a false goddess." "Sensible lovers laugh." "It is a bad thing not to joke, worse, not to take a divine joke. Lewis even goes on to suggest lovers act in baffoonery. Only love that is short-lived doesn't include comedy, play, and even buffoonery.

One of the statements I liked best from this chapter is when Lewis uses a carton of cigarettes to describe how men seek pleasure. A man does not want a cigarette; he wants the pleasure that he obtains from a cigarette. If the pleasure come through some other medium, then he would desire that item instead. Lewis also mentions that men do not keep the carton after the cigarettes are gone. This is how many of us treat the opposite sex. Men seek the pleasure that comes from intercourse, so they engage in sex with many women, but afterwards the women are thrown out. They constantly want to be fulfilled but they need more and more to fill that longing. It goes back to this longing that we have for our Lord. Only He can satisfy us, but we are too busy looking for earthly ways to fill our voids. Sex is just another commodity these days, sold all over the media, so it is not shocking that sex is taken so lightly. So many of us are after venus when we should be after eros. I know that we all have this animal instinct in us, but we must learn to supress it. We can only do that with the help of God, and the help he brings us in other believers. I do not think we can use will power alone to combat lust and impurity, but we need it paired with guidance from our Lord. I pray for the courage to confess to God when I am weak in my desires and the strength to get back up when I am beaten down with my sins.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Kaitlyin,

    Thanks for your observations on the readings! It will be used for next DCM classes. Sorry to hear you had such a hard time… Where you at least able to get something out of the talk?
    Furthermore, I also like very much Lewis’ idea of a cigarette carton. How important for us, women, it is to remember that and for men to understand this!
    Also, may I suggest that you may want to conclude with the remainder of the readings of ‘The Four Loves’? As 'Storge', Philia and finally 'Agape' love should come before/above all? I.e. learning to be Christ like and loving your own family, and learning to have and cultivate friendships should come before Eros or Venus. I.e. Agape > Storge > Philia > Eros > Venus.
    Yes, may God be with you as you seek to follow His (not Lewis’) guidance on the developments of Eros in your life!
    A & P