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Road Less Traveled

Road Less Traveled

Postby Newport#1 » 09 May 2006, 03:17

I just read CS Lewis's A Grief Observed and then read The Road Less Traveled. I would like to know if anyone would agree that CS Lewis would not go for 'The Road Less Traveleds' idea of love and what he might comment on it. Especially excepts such as the following from The Road Less Traveled, "No matter whom we fall in love with, we sooner or later fall out of love if the relationship last long enough. This is not to say that we invariably cease loving the person with whom we fell in love. But is is to say that the feeling of ecstatic lovingness that characterizes the experience of falling in love always passes. The honeymoon always ends. The bloom of romance always fades."
I do not believe in this idea and don't think CS Lewis would agree with it either.
My girlfriend is very affraid of this idea and is one who seems to agree with the Road Less Traveled as a concept of love. I believe in CS Lewis's concept of love and would like to hear others opionions on this. Thanks.
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re: Road Less Traveled

Postby A#minor » 09 May 2006, 03:23

I would recommend that you read Lewis' The Four Loves before you start even defining what love is. If it ends, then it isn't really love; it could be only infatuation.
"My brain and this world don't fit each other, and there's an end of it!" - G.K. Chesterton
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Re: Road Less Traveled

Postby Karen » 09 May 2006, 11:58

Newport#1 wrote:I do not believe in this idea and don't think CS Lewis would agree with it either. My girlfriend is very affraid of this idea and is one who seems to agree with the Road Less Traveled as a concept of love. I believe in CS Lewis's concept of love and would like to hear others opionions on this. Thanks.


Lewis wrote something exactly like this in Mere Christianity, and as someone who has been married for over 20 years I can tell you that it is, at least in my experience, true:

What we call "being in love" is a glorious state, and, in several ways, good for us. It helps to make us generous and courageous, it opens our eyes not only to the beauty of the beloved but to all beauty, and it subordinates (especially at first) our merely animal sexuality; in that sense, love is the great conqueror of lust. No one in his senses would deny that being in love is far better than either common sensuality or cold self-centredness. But, as I said before, "the most dangerous thing you can do is to take any one impulse of our own nature and set it up as the thing you ought to follow at all costs." Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling. Now no feeling can be relied on to last in its full intensity, or even to last at all. Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last; but feelings come and go. And in fact, whatever people say, the state called "being in love" usually does not last. If the old fairytale ending "They lived happily ever after" is taken to mean "They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before they were married," then it says what probably never was nor ever could be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships? But, of course, ceasing to be "in love" need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense - love as distinct from "being in love" is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both parents ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be "in love" with someone else. "Being in love" first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it....

People get from books the idea that if you have married the right person you may expect to go on "being in love" for ever. As a result, when they find they are not, they think this proves they have made a mistake and are entitled to a change - not realising that, when they have changed, the glamour will presently go out of the new love just as it went out of the old one. In this department of life, as in every other, thrills come at the beginning and do not last. The sort of thrill a boy has at the first idea of flying will not go on when he has joined the R.A.F. and is really learning to fly. The thrill you feel on first seeing some delightful place dies away when you really go to live there. Does this mean it would be better not to learn to fly and not to live in the beautiful place? By no means. In both cases, if you go through with it, the dying away of the first thrill will be compensated for by a quieter and more lasting kind of interest. What is more (and I can hardly find words to tell you how important I think this), it is just the people who are ready to submit to the loss of the thrill and settle down to the sober interest, who are then most likely to meet new thrills in some quite different direction.


There's more, and you should read the whole thing (it's in the section entitled "Christian Marriage"). I wish you and your girlfriend all the best. :)
I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library. -- Jorge Luis Borges
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re: Road Less Traveled

Postby Esther » 10 May 2006, 01:21

I've only been married for 11 months, so I realize that I am still very much in the "honeymoon" phase and cannot speak from the experience of multiple years or decades, but I believe that the statement from Mere Christianity is true. Even in my first year I can see the folly of pinning all of my marriage on my feelings, because they do indeed come and go. A bad night's sleep or a particularly stressful week can have a distinct effect on how I feel about everything, including my husband. But I don't fear those times because I know that our relationship is deeper than that. We work hard at communicating well and staying well connected with each other, and this is how that greater depth of love begins to form.

Let me encourage you that this change is not something to be afraid of. When a couple gets married, they (should) begin to develop a sense of attachment to each other. This sense of attachment is much deeper than being infatuated or excitedly in love. Proper attachment is what makes you want to seek comfort primarily in each other when you go through a difficult time - when we are growing up that person is usually one of our parents, but after a couple gets married, they begin to find that ultimate comfort in each other. It's what makes you feel like family and not just lovers. It's what helps you stay committed to each other for a lifetime.

I also encourage you to read the recommended chapter from Mere Christianity. It might also be helpful to remember that Joy and Lewis were only married about three years, which means that they did not have the opportunity to experience many of the changes that Lewis discusses in Mere Christianity, and this probably colored some of his thoughts in A Grief Observed (it's been awhile since I read it, so I cannot quote anything specific). The change would not be due to any change of mind on the truth of his previous statement, but on the fact that his experience of grief took place during the early, rather than later, stages of marriage.
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Re: re: Road Less Traveled

Postby Karen » 10 May 2006, 11:42

Esther wrote:It might also be helpful to remember that Joy and Lewis were only married about three years, which means that they did not have the opportunity to experience many of the changes that Lewis discusses in Mere Christianity, and this probably colored some of his thoughts in A Grief Observed (it's been awhile since I read it, so I cannot quote anything specific). The change would not be due to any change of mind on the truth of his previous statement, but on the fact that his experience of grief took place during the early, rather than later, stages of marriage.


That's a very good point, Esther.
I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library. -- Jorge Luis Borges
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re: Road Less Traveled

Postby carol » 10 May 2006, 21:00

I'd be interested to know how much difference those "early years of marriage" have for people who marry later in life (for the first time) compared to those who marry young.

Does anyone have experiences they could comment on here, relevant to what Esther wrote? (not disagreeing with her) Having remained single for a very long time, I sometimes wonder what the love/adjustment equation is like for people marrying after 40.
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Re: Road Less Traveled

Postby Waving Girl » 11 May 2006, 23:33

Newport#1 wrote:I just read CS Lewis's A Grief Observed and then read The Road Less Traveled. I would like to know if anyone would agree that CS Lewis would not go for 'The Road Less Traveleds' idea of love and what he might comment on it. Especially excepts such as the following from The Road Less Traveled, "No matter whom we fall in love with, we sooner or later fall out of love if the relationship last long enough. This is not to say that we invariably cease loving the person with whom we fell in love. But is is to say that the feeling of ecstatic lovingness that characterizes the experience of falling in love always passes. The honeymoon always ends. The bloom of romance always fades."
I do not believe in this idea and don't think CS Lewis would agree with it either.
My girlfriend is very affraid of this idea and is one who seems to agree with the Road Less Traveled as a concept of love. I believe in CS Lewis's concept of love and would like to hear others opionions on this. Thanks.


I have read and studied M. Scot Peck's books--psychiatrist.

What he says is true -but limited, imo, very limited. Cannot compare to C.S. Lewis's experiences.

He runs a 'Community' in New England. That's something but not enough for me.

I don't believe the man accepts woman as equals. That is the truth.

'Scotty'--certainly thinks well of himself.
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re: Road Less Traveled

Postby Waving Girl » 11 May 2006, 23:37

My concept of love.

'The Ivy Crown' William Carlos Williams


http://plagiarist.com/poetry/9084/
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re: Road Less Traveled

Postby Waving Girl » 12 May 2006, 06:34

The Road Less Traveled

Carol Brucher-Plein Air artist

Take a look at Carol Brucher.

http://lpapa.org/artistmem/brucher.html

She's out in the Napa Valley area of CA. I doubt that she needs to read the book--but obviously understands the concepts.
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