Friday, July 28, 2006


"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."
~C.S. Lewis

(from "The 4 Loves")

When I first read this passage out of The 4 Loves- I was stunned. I wrote it down...tried to memorize it. This past week in a panic I tried to recall it, tried to find it...thank goodness for Google! I have almost every book Mr. Lewis wrote- I'd have been looking for quite a while :)

We often hear people speak about building walls around their heart- to protect themselves...but we rarely hear the fortress being described as a casket.

It is a casket- or a tomb--those walls around the heart. And those walls are built with anger, or bitterness, greed, or indifference, and almost always fortified with pride.
But threre are stranger materials sometimes...
Anything we can surround ourselves with and hide inside of can be a casket.

Even religion, or politics, or another person.

To step out makes us vunerable.

What's worse- a broken heart, or an Unbreakable one?

Let me have This One that can be broken. It has been mended before, it will no doubt need mending again...

And as for the casket- I plan to be I won't be needing that either.

Storge- Affection
Philia- Friendship
Eros- Sexual love
Agape- Selfless love, the love of God

These are the 4 Greek words that are translated as love in English.

It is a shame there is only one word for LOVE in English, isn't it?

*****This wonderful addition came from Lux- and it was just too good not to add to the post! Thank you Lux! :)

PAG IBIG: love for a person or country

Iniibig Kta: I am IN LOVE with you

Sinisinta Kita: I adore you ( said by a lover to another)I love are my sweetheart

Mahal Kita: said by one person to another..could be husband to wife or lover to another or parent to child

Irog: means my sweetheart..term of endearment meaning LOVE.

MAHAL: term of endearment meaning LOVE..said by man to woman..or parent to child...


schaumi said...

I will be back to reread and comment. I'm on my way to eat sushi.. yummmm..

Lady Wordsmith said...

I've often reflected on the wonder of the once broken hearted. Indeed, they prove not the fragility of love - but the unbreakability of the heart.

And the sentiment you close with is very on the money: "It is a shame there is only one word for LOVE in English, isn't it?" Yes. It is a shame. Especially considering that we always give more names to that which we hold in highest regard.

Although ... I am a little shame faced myself: When I read your closing words, I though of what I recently saw on the History channel. It was about the Old West in the US, including the role of prostitutes - and the almost hundreds of names they are given.

~Lady (Oh my! This does make my moniker stand out, now doesn't it?)

ThursdayNext said...

This is lovely. One of my favorite texts that talks about these Greek words for all kinds of love is Plato's Symposium; its a wonderful text. :) Glad that Shaumi is eating sushi tonight! xoxo

luxlucisvita said...

Mayden!!!...I wrote a long leter to you only to watch it disappear!!!...I dunno' if you are going to get it...I can't stay here if not...I rewrite on Monday... where I am we kinda' have different versions of love...

PAG IBIG: love for a person or country

Iniibig Kta: I am IN LOVE with you

Sinisinta Kita: I adore you ( said by a lover to another)I love are my sweetheart

Mahal Kita: said by one person to another..could be husband to wife or lover to another or parent to child

Irog: means my sweetheart..term of endearment meaning LOVE.

MAHAL: term of endearment meaning LOVE..said by man to woman..or parent to child...

and to you Mayden...a sweet I love you...for being a dear friend..

schaumi said...

I like all of lux's different ways of saying love.
We may only have one word for love, but we do have a whole plethora of idioms in which the word love is used. So perhaps that makes up for it.

I've been rummaging through a lot of books lately before packing them in a box. I came across this quote by Herrmann Hesse, an author, who I read a whole lot as a teenager and into my early 20s.

"You know quite well, deep within you, that there is only a single magic, a single power, a single salvation... and that is called loving. Well, then, love your suffering. Do not resist it, do not flee from it. GIve yourself to it. It is only your aversion that hurts, nothing else.

It is of course easier to hide in a tomb, casket or rely on the crutches of relligion, politics or another person than to confront a 'broken heart' which implies suffering.
It seems almost trite to say that only by embrassing suffering can we get through it and transform ourselves into hopefully better, more loving and more openminded people.

ps. sharing a sushi meal with good friends was just the break i needed.

X. Dell said...

As Doc-T quips, you don't need a casket to isolate your heart. A glass jar will do just fine.

I understand what you're saying here, and appreciate it, especially within a larger context. Especially when I think of how many minds also lie in state.

puerileuwaite said...

Nice post, FM.

Mayden's Voyage said...

Schaumi-Any chance that we can pick a sushi place halfway between us this fall and have an early dinner? I hope so :)

Lady W~ :) My definition of a "lady" has not been sullied- so your profile is pure with me :)
I dislike my own use of the word love to express how I feel about strawberries one minute- and my adoration for my baby nephew the next. The 2 are not the same, although- baby A is sweet enough to eat I think! :)

Thank you Miss E~ I have not read Plato's Symposium- and I suppose I shall. Reading "Sons and Lovers" right now...'tis a bitter read.

Lux :) Oh- these are wonderful! I added them to the post! Thank you friend...and a dear "I love you" too you for being so precious to me!

Schaumi- "embrassing suffering"...nothing trite about that! Wow.
On a very personal note- the thing in my past that caused me the most damage (to my heart and spirit) brought me great shame, as well as grief. The healing took a long time- but the final closing of the wound took place when I could speak about it openly (to a youth group no less!). I thought, before hand it was going to kill me. When it was over- I was 100% repaired. There was nothing to be ashamed my suffering, but I had to push past the feeling that I would be looked down on. I was quite surprised to emerge with everyone weeping- everyone touched...and everyone knowing that I spoke out of love for the kids in front of me- because I wanted them to make better choices than I had.
It was transforming. It was difficult- and it was worth it.

X- :) You can be quite cheeky when you want to be :) "Storge" friend! :)

"P" (is there some other name I can call you?- please tell me what it is!!!) Thank you :)

Enemy of the Republic said...

Right now I am pressed for time, but I want you to know that this matters to me. I'm writing a paper about the love of God as depicted in Paradiso by Dante--did you know that some theologians disclaim agape and move more with eros, not for the obvious sexuality, but in terms of movement and intensity. It's a little weird, but it does fit the poem; you can see God as both light and movement--the source of this is his love. I have a long way to go, but I wanted to share this with you.

schaumi said...


i'm sure there are many good sushi places between our locations :). It would be fun.

Yes, sometimes it is quite healing and purging to just 'let it all hang out'-
a well used cliche, but sometimes cliches are 'right on the ball'.

X. Dell said...

Sorry, Mayden, my intention wasn't to be cheeky. Cryptic, perhaps, but not cheeky.

Enemy, I for one did not know that some theologians actually went more towards Eros than Agape, but the information is quite fascinating. I wonder, for example, if that might have somehow been tied to Catharism. After all, if Agape is the expression of Rex Coeli, the Eros would seem more appropriate for Res Mundi. And if you had pockets of Cathar-influenced theologians, some of that might have made it's way into the debate.

Just a thought.

puerileuwaite said...

Most people shorten it to P or PW. You can chose anything that you like.

Mayden's Voyage said...

X- Ummmm- it was me that was being cheeky ;)

PW- that will work just fine...

fatty ~ said...

having just learnt a little about CS Lewis in school, he is a fascinating subject.

He sure hit the mark about love!

Mayden's Voyage said...

Fatty- Lewis was on the mark about alot of things...with profound insights and intelligence. His book, which I have misplaced at the moment, The Weight of Glory is remarkable, as well as Mere Christianity.

X- and I correct in understanding that Rex Coeli means "King who brings us together", and Rex Mundi means "King who cleans/purifies us". Just wanted a definition in case others, like me, were curious.

X. Dell said...

Cora, Rex Coeli translates to 'King of the Heavens," and Rex Mundi translates into "King of the World."

At the risk of oversimplification, the King of the Heavens ruled over all that was abstract--e.g., thought, emotion, honor, etc.; while Rex Mundi ruled over all that was physical--the earth, the sky and the body, etc.. in Cathar theology.

Worshipping Rex Coeli was fairly easy. All you had to do was substitute Heaven's King for Yaweh, and your local conservative cleric wouldn't know the difference. You can find it in all sorts of artworks that were either commissioned or conceived by esoteric circles; for example, the J.S. Bach oratorio "Himmels Koenig sei wilkommen" [May Heaven's King Be Welcome].

Baron Ectar said...

Good Grief woman how in the world do you know what I need and when I need it. I have copied this and it now will lay in my wallet for me to read over and over again.