One of the best treaties in history about love: The four Loves of C. S. Lewis
The types of love, from the lowest to the highest, explained by a convert writer
Loves each have a form. Each one rises based on more basic love. Love in its form is an analog in the way with words that are equal to the sentences of a book.
And when it comes to one of C. S. Lewis, we know in advance that it will deal with what it announces. No trap, no cardboard: everything is in sight. In the four loves, the word love, for example, appears no less than 1,001 times. The word affection does it on 242 occasions. And friendship or friend, in 466. This essay, therefore, honors the honesty of its author.
The Irish virtue of Lewis
Along with the Confessions of St. Augustine, the four loves are the most incisive work ever written by a convert. Although baptized in the Church of England, C. S. Lewis has the characteristic hospitality of his land. This is why the Christians of all confessions feel at home in their pages.
Of the Defender of the faith...
The great contribution of the four loves, we can find in the evolution of Lewis as a writer. By becoming a Christian, he initially wrote as an apologist: he sought the demonstration of divine truths from his early beginnings.
If his life were a banquet, then he got the strong plates. Thus, the friendships, which in their case were always men, because they did not believe in the friendship between man and woman.
Yes, but in married love. The death of his wife, after a long illness, provoked an unusually long mourning process. But this duel, although it was already near the dusk, did not manage to stagnate its life.
... To the writer of Love
As Lewis's life evolved, he also experienced a change in literary motives: from that primal demonstration of the truths of faith to the exposition of love.
The merit of the four loves, beyond their literality and peculiarities, is precisely to situate ourselves in the centrality of love in the Christian message.
This centrality makes love go up in ascending, in a sense of creature to creator.
Also, in this article we will address it in the same order as the author does and, in this way, we will reach the end until the love of God. But on the feast of life, we will begin with the first course.
It is mainly the love of the parents for their offspring. We have it in common with animals, which by itself does not imply anything good or bad, taking into account the distance, of course. It is there where there are warmth and the smell of new life. So, the mother who cares for the baby. Also, the dog or the cat, their puppies.
Lewis stops in the love of mothers. This follows a certain principle. It's a love that gives, it needs to give. It is not exhausted however in that giving, but it needs to be needed. And when it stops being needed, the planet is full of mothers who say that their children are not going to see them or that they do not call them... And this is because it is the most expansive of love.
And it is the most expansive because it is the most common of them. This is why it extends beyond mother-child relationships. And it brings us a lot of people. It is the paradigm of love that makes partners.
In contrast, other loves are more selective.
It is the one that arises among the companions. It is born among people who perform the same activity. So, between those who play the same profession or among those who have a common pastime. But not everyone will be friends, thank God! They will only be, among the companions, who share a common vision or when in that group, one person is discovered to the other.
Although it is a selective love, we are not the ones who choose our friends. It is providence that has done it since the dawn of time. This is why friendship is an instrument by which God reveals to everyone, as a feast, the beauties of all others. At the feast, it is he who has prepared the table. Then you have chosen the guests. And it is he, in short, whom we should always allow being presided over.
From this feast so spiritual and selfless, of which the Greeks came to understand that it was the most similar to the divine, we will move to another more corporeal and sexually defined.
It is the love between man and woman, specifically the kind in which they are commonly said to be in love.
In this particular love, we find the opaquest passages of Lewis. We have seen that when his wife died, he experienced a long process of loss. This is because I thought I would never see her again.
And I wasn't going to see her again for Lewis's conviction in the system proposed in the four loves. On this scale, love charity provokes, by assuming them, that all the inferior loves are extinguished. This includes love marriage or Eros.
This is why any farewell is always definitive. Hence the onerous grief of his wife. And this is also the reason why he sees a certain tragic element, of destiny, in the development of inferior loves.
So, for Lewis, Eros is a tragedy. And it is in the sense that it is directed towards an inevitable destiny: either it becomes a demon, in which case the lovers are attacked until they are destroyed; either we direct him to God and, then, Eros is absorbed by a superior love.
It is the very substance of God, from which Scripture says: God is love. It is the only one that we can say, at least without losing the decency, that with this love is enough.
In this sense, Saint Augustine wrote: You made us Lord for you and our heart is restless until he rests in you. For this among all of them, this is love enough.
And being enough goes to the rescue of other loves when they fail, especially in the case of Eros, and absorbs and orders, making them endure.
We must specify here what Lewis understands by the charity. For him, it is a very substantial concept. His scoops are not what we understand by praying, being in his presence or loving him. For Lewis charity is to be in the fullness of communion with the divine substance. Is to be in heaven. His advances are some mystical trances. This is why it is a very scarce love.
It is so scarce that we do not know if we have tasted in our life. So, while there is time, our task will be to make us aware of your absence. So, we have a flaw and an advantage: by making us aware of something, for example when we remember a dream, we realize that we were a little awake.
But if you are interested in being more informed of this feast, you must contact C. S. Lewis and the guests who are sailing.