Adventures in Divorce

I always wondered why people who murdered their spouses didn't just get a divorce.... I now understand why

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Location: Nap Town, Indie-anne-ahhhhhh!, United States

No, I'm not a prophetess. Cassandra, according to Greek mythology, spurned the advances of the Greek god Apollo and her gift of prophecy was cursed so that her predictions would never be believed. Such is my life. I tend not to think like most people, which is a gift... but also a curse. So step into my mind, take off your shoes and stay for awhile... you're always welcome, loved ones.

September 23, 2009

"It's a dangerous necessity.... a world famous mystery......"

"It's a dangerous necessity, a world famous mystery......."

.......Love.

It is such a small word. Too small, in fact. And yes, I do mean "small" in the sense that it is insufficient to encompass and characterize the range of human emotions and experiences that the word is used to describe. There really needs to be more words, a delineation of the different types of love, sort of like how Eskimos supposedly have many different words for "snow".

The Greeks got close.... they have 6 different words for love:
* Agapē (αγάπη agápē) means "love" in modern day Greek, such as in the term s'agapo (Σ'αγαπώ), which means "I love you." In Ancient Greek, it often refers to a general affection rather than the attraction suggested by "eros." Agape is used in ancient texts to denote feelings for a good meal, one's children, and the feelings for a spouse. It can be described as the feeling of being content or holding one in high regard.

* Eros (ερως érōs) is passionate love, with sensual desire and longing. The Modern Greek word "erotas" means "(romantic) love;" however, eros does not have to be sexual in nature. Eros can be interpreted as a love for someone whom you love more than the philia, love of friendship. It can also apply to dating relationships as well as marriage. Plato refined his own definition: Although eros is initially felt for a person, with contemplation it becomes an appreciation of the beauty within that person, or even becomes appreciation of beauty itself. It should be noted Plato does not talk of physical attraction as a necessary part of love, hence the use of the word platonic to mean, "without physical attraction." Plato also said eros helps the soul recall knowledge of beauty, and contributes to an understanding of spiritual truth. Lovers and philosophers are all inspired to seek truth by eros.

* Philia (φιλία philia) means friendship in modern Greek. It is a dispassionate virtuous love, a concept developed by Aristotle. It includes loyalty to friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality and familiarity. In ancient texts, philos denoted a general type of love, used for love between family, between friends, a desire or enjoyment of an activity, as well as between lovers.

* Storge (στοργή storgē) means "affection" in ancient and modern Greek. It is natural affection, like that felt by parents for offspring. Rarely used in ancient works, and then almost exclusively as a descriptor of relationships within the family.

* Thelema (θέλημα thélēma) means "desire" in ancient and modern Greek. It is the desire to do something, to be occupied, or to be in prominence.

* Xenia (ξενία xenía), hospitality, was an extremely important practice in Ancient Greece. It was an almost ritualized friendship formed between a host and his guest, who could previously have been strangers. The host fed and provided quarters for the guest, who was expected to repay only with gratitude.
(thanks Wikipedia!)

I can certainly understand and identify examples of each type of love in my life..... I have agape for all of my readers, eros for that certain someone who doesn't want to have anything to do with me right now, philia for my BFFs, storge for my kids, and xenia for people who I may not know well but who are welcome in my home. And, of course, there are some overlaps.... I may have more than one type for one person.

In the English language, however, we condense all of these concepts down into one word: Love. And like the literary commingling of these concepts into the word "love", I think we humans also tend to emotionally commingle these concepts as if they were fungible and interchangeable such that we get confused as to what type of love we are actually feeling, and may mistake one for another. Or, what's worse, is that we may only come to recognize one type and think that all the others aren't really "love"..... typically this is true as it relates to Eros.

I'm sure everyone has known or heard of that one person who has been married 5 times, or that friend who goes through boyfriends/girlfriends like water. Usually these are the most hopelessly romantic, head over heels, disgustingly syrupy-sweet cake baking-est people in the world. They fall "in love" hard and fast...... and they also fall OUT of love hard and fast.

I think their problem is that these individuals only recognize that Eros feeling as "love". Because I hate to tell you, loved ones, the other types of love are.... well.... kinda boring. Or at least not exciting in the way that it makes you feel giddy and butterflies and swooning all over the place making goo-goo faces at each other. It doesn't give you that RUSH. Not saying that Eros doesn't last at all in a relationship, it just diminishes in intensity in a long term loving relationship. If all goes well, Eros gives way to Agape, Philia, and eventually Storge.

Eros, though, is addictive. And like any other drug, it clouds your judgment, and makes you long for it when it goes away.

(This would be a good time to go read My Chemical Romance, which partially explains how and why this happens.)

But if there's nothing else to back up that feeling, it does and will go away. And it's not what REAL love is all about anyway.... it's not enough to sustain a relationship. One of my favorite analogies of this (and forgive me if I'm being redundant) is that of a campfire. If you throw lighter fluid soaked kindling onto a fire, sure it'll burn hot and bright.... but a few minutes later your fire is out. You need both kindling (Eros) AND a few solid pieces of firewood (Agape and Philia) to keep it going. You may not be able to see the heat ("Ooooh, pretty flames!") but you can feel it, and it'll keep you warm and comfortable all through the night. *snuggle* Too many people think that when they no longer feel those butterflies that love is gone, and then it's on to the next one. They don't take the time to appreciate the other types of love and that THOSE are the types that we all should be striving for.

Though they don't number all that many, I've had enough Eros-driven relationships to last me one lifetime. Of course, I need Eros in my life (my most prominent "Love Language" is physical touch and I'm a..... uh.... very passionate person), but what I really long for is comfort, that feeling that all is right with the world. I had that, and I fucked it up on some pure Eros shyt that turned out to be just a pile of burnt out ashes. In the short time I've been dating, I've (finally) learned to truly appreciate the difference and not get caught up in the illusion of love..... hopefully not too late.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous VerbFashion said...

I like this breakdown of 'love.'

What stood out to me was the Thelema, "desire to do something, to be occupied, or to be in prominence" because I feel I too just fucked up a situation being much too ambitious and only desiring to be more occupied.

I know now that I didn't have the 'eros' love at all because I'm not longing for the person in particular but just to be someone's person all over again. Mature much?

September 24, 2009 at 11:58 AM  

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Adventures in Divorce: "It's a dangerous necessity.... a world famous mystery......"

"It's a dangerous necessity.... a world famous mystery......"

"It's a dangerous necessity, a world famous mystery......."

.......Love.

It is such a small word. Too small, in fact. And yes, I do mean "small" in the sense that it is insufficient to encompass and characterize the range of human emotions and experiences that the word is used to describe. There really needs to be more words, a delineation of the different types of love, sort of like how Eskimos supposedly have many different words for "snow".

The Greeks got close.... they have 6 different words for love:
* Agapē (αγάπη agápē) means "love" in modern day Greek, such as in the term s'agapo (Σ'αγαπώ), which means "I love you." In Ancient Greek, it often refers to a general affection rather than the attraction suggested by "eros." Agape is used in ancient texts to denote feelings for a good meal, one's children, and the feelings for a spouse. It can be described as the feeling of being content or holding one in high regard.

* Eros (ερως érōs) is passionate love, with sensual desire and longing. The Modern Greek word "erotas" means "(romantic) love;" however, eros does not have to be sexual in nature. Eros can be interpreted as a love for someone whom you love more than the philia, love of friendship. It can also apply to dating relationships as well as marriage. Plato refined his own definition: Although eros is initially felt for a person, with contemplation it becomes an appreciation of the beauty within that person, or even becomes appreciation of beauty itself. It should be noted Plato does not talk of physical attraction as a necessary part of love, hence the use of the word platonic to mean, "without physical attraction." Plato also said eros helps the soul recall knowledge of beauty, and contributes to an understanding of spiritual truth. Lovers and philosophers are all inspired to seek truth by eros.

* Philia (φιλία philia) means friendship in modern Greek. It is a dispassionate virtuous love, a concept developed by Aristotle. It includes loyalty to friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality and familiarity. In ancient texts, philos denoted a general type of love, used for love between family, between friends, a desire or enjoyment of an activity, as well as between lovers.

* Storge (στοργή storgē) means "affection" in ancient and modern Greek. It is natural affection, like that felt by parents for offspring. Rarely used in ancient works, and then almost exclusively as a descriptor of relationships within the family.

* Thelema (θέλημα thélēma) means "desire" in ancient and modern Greek. It is the desire to do something, to be occupied, or to be in prominence.

* Xenia (ξενία xenía), hospitality, was an extremely important practice in Ancient Greece. It was an almost ritualized friendship formed between a host and his guest, who could previously have been strangers. The host fed and provided quarters for the guest, who was expected to repay only with gratitude.
(thanks Wikipedia!)

I can certainly understand and identify examples of each type of love in my life..... I have agape for all of my readers, eros for that certain someone who doesn't want to have anything to do with me right now, philia for my BFFs, storge for my kids, and xenia for people who I may not know well but who are welcome in my home. And, of course, there are some overlaps.... I may have more than one type for one person.

In the English language, however, we condense all of these concepts down into one word: Love. And like the literary commingling of these concepts into the word "love", I think we humans also tend to emotionally commingle these concepts as if they were fungible and interchangeable such that we get confused as to what type of love we are actually feeling, and may mistake one for another. Or, what's worse, is that we may only come to recognize one type and think that all the others aren't really "love"..... typically this is true as it relates to Eros.

I'm sure everyone has known or heard of that one person who has been married 5 times, or that friend who goes through boyfriends/girlfriends like water. Usually these are the most hopelessly romantic, head over heels, disgustingly syrupy-sweet cake baking-est people in the world. They fall "in love" hard and fast...... and they also fall OUT of love hard and fast.

I think their problem is that these individuals only recognize that Eros feeling as "love". Because I hate to tell you, loved ones, the other types of love are.... well.... kinda boring. Or at least not exciting in the way that it makes you feel giddy and butterflies and swooning all over the place making goo-goo faces at each other. It doesn't give you that RUSH. Not saying that Eros doesn't last at all in a relationship, it just diminishes in intensity in a long term loving relationship. If all goes well, Eros gives way to Agape, Philia, and eventually Storge.

Eros, though, is addictive. And like any other drug, it clouds your judgment, and makes you long for it when it goes away.

(This would be a good time to go read My Chemical Romance, which partially explains how and why this happens.)

But if there's nothing else to back up that feeling, it does and will go away. And it's not what REAL love is all about anyway.... it's not enough to sustain a relationship. One of my favorite analogies of this (and forgive me if I'm being redundant) is that of a campfire. If you throw lighter fluid soaked kindling onto a fire, sure it'll burn hot and bright.... but a few minutes later your fire is out. You need both kindling (Eros) AND a few solid pieces of firewood (Agape and Philia) to keep it going. You may not be able to see the heat ("Ooooh, pretty flames!") but you can feel it, and it'll keep you warm and comfortable all through the night. *snuggle* Too many people think that when they no longer feel those butterflies that love is gone, and then it's on to the next one. They don't take the time to appreciate the other types of love and that THOSE are the types that we all should be striving for.

Though they don't number all that many, I've had enough Eros-driven relationships to last me one lifetime. Of course, I need Eros in my life (my most prominent "Love Language" is physical touch and I'm a..... uh.... very passionate person), but what I really long for is comfort, that feeling that all is right with the world. I had that, and I fucked it up on some pure Eros shyt that turned out to be just a pile of burnt out ashes. In the short time I've been dating, I've (finally) learned to truly appreciate the difference and not get caught up in the illusion of love..... hopefully not too late.

Labels: ,