Tuesday, January 28, 2014

"The Four Loves" / C.S. Lewis / The unnecessary nature of Friendship, once more.

Friendship, unlike Eros, is uninquisitive.  You become a man's Friend without knowing or caring whether he is married or single or how he earns his living.  What have all these 'unconcerning things, matters of fact' to do with the real question, Do you see the same truth?  In a circle of true Friends each man is simply what he is:  stands for nothing but himself.  No one cares two-pence about anyone else's family, profession, class, income, race, or previous history.  Of course you will get to know about most of these in the end.  But casually.  They will come out bit by bit to furnish an illustration or an analogy, to serve as pegs for an anecdote;  never for their own sake.  That is the kingliness of Friendship.  We meet like sovereign princes of independent states, abroad, on neutral ground, freed from our contexts.  This love (essentially) ignores not only our physical bodies but that whole embodiment which consist of our family, job, past and connections.  At home, besides being Peter or Jane, we also bear a general character;  husband or wife, brother or sister, chief, colleague or subordinate.  Not among our Friends.  It is an affair of disentangled, or stripped minds.

... Hence the exquisite arbitrariness and irresponsibility of this love.  I have no duty to be anyone's Friend and no man in the world has a duty to be mine.  No claims, no shadow of necessity.  Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself (for God did not need to create).  It has no survival value;  rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.  (The Four Loves. p. 84,85)

--I don't know. -- "Do you see the same truth?" --It seems that seeing "truth" is often very much about "relationships" themselves, as in the "truth about relationships." 

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