Search Results for Philia
Philia is a Greek term that roughly translates to “friendly love.”
Aristotle said there are three types of philia:
- Love for what is of practical use
- Love for what is pleasing
- Love for the good
The term philia is generally avoided by Christian theologians as it denotes a superficial, transitory and contingent love.
As Aristotle suggests, philia is about mutuality–that is, giving and getting something. If, for instance, another person is no longer deemed useful, pleasing or good, the love of philia dries up.
The same thing could be said of romantic love or eros.
However, Christian theologians suggest that the Holy Spirit strengthens married couples so as to properly align the physical and emotional desires of eros with agape.
The sacrificial love of agape is said to stand alone as the permanent, noblest and highest type of love, arguably discovered by most after journeying through many relationships characteristic of philia and eros.
Having said that, some interpret Aristotle’s third type of philia to mean that helping others helps oneself. In other words, the highest type of friendship maximizes the good, contributing to a kind of “win-win” situation. And this arguably approximates the idea of agape.
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As the god of romantic love he is praised in Hesiod‘s hymns as the most beautiful of all the gods. In popular myth and classical art he’s depicted as shooting arrows of love into the hearts of soon-to-be lovers. The Orphic mystery cults deemed his creative powers great enough to regard him as the creator of the world. Hesiod wrote that Eros sprung from Chaos, representing instinctual, sexual and creative energy.
Sigmund Freud hypothesized a general life instinct which he called eros, in contrast to an opposing death insinct, thanatos (Greek = death). C. S. Lewis and many others use the term eros to describe emotional romantic love as opposed to Agape, or selfless love.
Plato used the term eros to signify a desire to seek the transcendental beauty of the eternal Forms, which is partially recognized in particular instances within this changing world of becoming.
Eros is paralleled by the Roman god Cupid and in Latin is Amor.
- Cupid, aka Eros, has long history (fromlifeidletolifefantastic.wordpress.com)
- Psyche (wellheregoes.wordpress.com)
- Eros Most Dizzying (sensualblissvoyager.wordpress.com)
- Eros Love (akissofbliss.wordpress.com)
- Notes on Eros and Civilization (kimquilo.wordpress.com)
- The Metaphysics of Romantic Love (exlaodicea.wordpress.com)
Projection, literally “throwing in front of oneself,” is a Freudian defense mechanism which Charles Rycroft¹ points out has two meanings:
- Believing inner mental activity is outwardly real, as in dreams and hallucinations
- Attributing one’s own mental activity to an external object²
A disturbing aspect of the first type of projection would be found in the violent psychotic who can’t distinguish between their violent inner fantasy world and their personal acts of violence. These people walk around, as it were, in a kind of waking dream state, not realizing that they’re harming real people as they live out their darkly twisted desires, “defend” against non-existent threats or, perhaps, obey the promptings of inner demons.
An example of the second type of projection would be a mother with no respect for her daughter’s individuality who continually complains that her child has “no respect” for elders, even though the child is respectful of elders.
Projection need not be negative, but it often is. Freud, in a letter to C. G. Jung, jokes that one should not be “led like Faust see a Helen [of Troy] in every woman.”³
Joseph Campbell says projection may be positive, providing the activated content is mutually beneficial. For instance, a young man and woman in the grip of projection reenact the archetypal contents symbolized in the Romeo and Juliet or Tristan and Isolte stories. Here we see the “perfect” other in our new partner’s eyes, if but for a while, until reality creeps in or maybe bites.
Jung, too, recognizes that projection may be positive but only as long as the archetypal contents are ‘alive’ and facilitate mutual growth. Some psychological theorists ask if we can ever strip ourselves from projection, wondering if relationships are merely mutually agreed upon fantasies or temporary infatuations.
In response to this, others like Erich Fromm say our ability to love others makes us uniquely human. For Fromm, to reduce this divine mystery to a psychoanalytic interpretation is to do great injustice to the sanctity and beauty of love.
Perhaps the goal is to recognize and progressively go beyond projections to reach a more profound mode of relationship, realizing that we’ll probably always fall a bit short of perfect, genuine and selfless love for others.
¹ Charles Rycroft, A Critical Dictionary of Psychoanalysis, Harmondsworth: Penguin 1977, pp. 125-126.
² For Freud, the term “object” can also refer to other people.
³ Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, New York: Vintage, 1965, p. 363.
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Sacks, Oliver (1933 – )
An influential British-born neurologist and best-selling author whose clinical/anecdotal writing style stresses the inalienable dignity of human beings suffering from various neurological disorders.
Sacks looks at how patients with neurological disorders cope and, in so doing, strives to understand body-soul interaction in both disabled and so-called normal people.
He appeared in Wim Kayzer‘s innovative video series, A Glorious Accident: Understanding Our Place in the Cosmic Puzzle, along with Rupert Sheldrake, Stephen Jay Gould, Daniel Dennet and other major figures at the cutting edge of their respective fields.
His overt holism is best illustrated in his own words:
Mozart makes me a better neurologist.
On the Web:
- Oliver Sacks, author of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and An Anthropologist on Mars, discusses amusia, the inability or inhibited ability of the brain to process music. “
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Adi Da (aka Free-John, Da 1939- ) Originally Franklin Jones, Adi Da is an American guru born in Jamaica, New York. He has also gone under the names of Da Free-John, Bubba Free-John and Heartmaster Da.
Adi Da claims to have reached enlightenment at age three years. In their Dictionary of Cults, Sects, Religions and the Occult, Mather and Nichols note that this achievement did not last. In his college days Adi Da explored different forms of hedonism, to include LSD and open sex.
To this criticism Adi Da replies that his activities were an essential stage within his path of discovery.
Adi Da also says he is an incarnation of the Brahman. Like many New Age enthusiasts, he denigrates organized forms of Christianity. And like most Hindus and devotees of Hinduism, Adi Da counters the Christian claim that Jesus is the only son of God.
For Adi Da Jesus is one of many avatars or “incarnations,” not unlike that which Adi Da, himself, claims to be.
But Adi Da is not just critical of organized Christianity. He, in fact, contests all organized religions, claiming the truth of the spiritual quest may be found in one’s own heart.
To realize this apparent truth, veils of selfishness and ignorance must be recognized and dispelled.
Ironically, his California group gatherings and North American tours exhibit many of the characteristics of organized religion, with Adi Da at the center.
Listed in several cult and manipulation internet indexes, Adi Da has founded the Free Communion Church/Dawn Horse Fellowship and Laughing Man Institute.
While claiming to be beyond any particular system, he studied under and has theological affinities with several Hindu gurus, the most salient affinity being the belief in reincarnation. It has also been suggested that he possesses psi abilities and can read the thoughts of his disciples, an alleged ability known as siddhis in Hindu and Buddhist belief systems.
Some call Adi Da a religious genius, others a profound theologian and yet others suggest he’s the head of a “dysfunctional organization” for sincere but sorely misguided seekers (Source » http://www.adidaarchives.org ).
On the World Wide Web:
- http://www.adidam.org/ (Official web site)
- http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/misc/adida.cfm/ (Mixed opinion)
- http://guruphiliac.blogspot.com/2005/06/big-adi-daddi.html (Negative opinion)
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As C. S. Lewis suggests in The Four Loves (1960), this is distinct from matrimonial, emotional, passionate-erotic and friendly love.
For many Christians, agape also refers to the institution of the Eucharist by Jesus Christ.
The Eucharist is often connected with the Jewish Passover meal, an event signifying, among other things, fellowship.
Christians tend to stress that the Eucharistic meal is not just a celebration of fellowship. For Christians believing in the Eucharist, agape is a “love feast” that involves a genuine participation in the life, death and resurrection of Christ. The rite is said to pierce through time and space and be sanctified from heaven.
For believers, the Eucharist is not a mere symbol nor memorial; rather, the host is essentially if not visibly transformed into the body and blood of Christ.
The roots of the Eucharist are traceable to ancient Greece and Rome, where it was believed that deceased ancestors partook of food and drink offered at funeral feasts.
Somewhat like the Eucharist, this was not just a memorial feast but an active celebration of the living and the dead. » Consubstantiation, Eros, Philia, Transubstantiation,
- “Painting of a feast / Early Christian catacombs / Paleochristian art.
Fresco of female figure holding chalice in the Agape Feast. Catacomb of Saints Pietro e Marcellino (Saints Marcellinus and Peter), Via Labicana, Rome, Itally” » http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Agape_feast_03.jpg
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