Monday, October 11, 2004

More from Lewis on Friendship

In a circle of true Friends each man is simply what he is: stands for nothing but himself. No one cares twopence about any one else's family, profession, class, income, race, or previous history...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 consists of our family, job, past and connections...Hence (if you will not misunderstand me) 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.

From the same chapter:

People who bore one another should meet seldom; people who interest one another, often.
~C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves, Chapter 4 (1960)

On this day:
1930 Lewis, his brother Warren, Mrs. Janie Moore, her daughter Maureen, and Mr. Papworth the dog move into their new home, The Kilns, near Oxford. This will be Lewis's home until his death in 1963.

Link of the day: The Most Boring Blog in the World

Dear Readers,

Well, as you can see I am back safe and sound from my trip to Chicago. It was a wonderful experience: I highly recommend seeing the Lord of the Rings Symphony if it comes to a location near you. The best part of the trip was getting to meet so many people from the message boards at (Oh yes, it was a thrill to get to meet Howard Shore as well!) May I just say that you *all* interest me--let's be sure to meet, whether in person or electronically, very often!!


3 Comment(s):

At Mon Oct 11, 08:14:00 PM EST, Blogger Arevanye said...

So, no wise cracks about how *this* is the most boring blog in the world? ;-)

I just want to comment that I love the line: "Friendship...has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival."

We are such a communal creatures, aren't we? Interesting how we all need friends to feel whole.

At Tue Oct 12, 12:31:00 AM EST, Blogger Bob said...

No, this is certainly not the most boring blog in the world.

But I think Lewis is wrong here. Friendship is not useless, though pleasant. Friendship does have survival value, and I'd say it contradicts Scripture to claim otherwise. See Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, where it is written:

"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."Perhaps not all friendships are necessary, but certainly having friendships is. Man was not created a solitary being. See Genesis 2:18.

I like Lewis, I respect his thinking, but I'm inclined to say that he's off-base on this topic. He's not totally wrong, but he's not quite right either.

At Tue Oct 12, 06:42:00 AM EST, Blogger Arevanye said...

Bob, I'm so glad you're visiting--if it is one thing I'm very shaky on (well, I'm shaky on my knowledge of many, many things), it is my knowledge of Scripture. Thanks for giving us those references.

Now, at this point in his life (1960) Lewis had enjoyed very long friendships with many people. I wonder why he doesn't acknowledge the fact that they have been essential to his life? Do you think he is perhaps thinking of survival value in the very basic "food, clothing, shelter" definition, and that one could exist without friends within that definition? (What a bleak existence it would be!)


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