Sunday, 25 June 2017

BECOMING THE RIGHT PERSON

'We place too much emphasis on finding the right person and not nearly enough upon the cultivation of qualities which allow us to deserve love and which enable us to give love - even when things are difficult.' 
John Armstrong, Conditions of Love, p.158. 

HOW TRUE LOVE MATURES

'The experience of love has to begin outside of maturity; it's just that, if a relationship is to last, if love is to survive and develop over an extended period, we need to bring to the relationship a set of qualities quite different from those which took us into it in the first place. The Byronic hero might be madly exciting to have an affair with, would be a nightmare as a husband. Imagine Hamlet as a father. Imagine Cathy discussing mortgage repayments with Heathcliff. This is the internal tragedy of love. If love is successful, if our love is returned and develops into a relationship, the person we are must turn out to be other than the person we imagined them to be. Love craves closeness, and closeness always brings us face to face with something other than we expected. The person who looked so confident and full of life when we knew at first turns out, eventually, to have an array of hidden anxieties and fears.' 
John Armstrong, Conditions of Love, p.153. 

Saturday, 24 June 2017

INFATUATION

'If infatuation is based on fantasy, the cure is a generous serving of banality.'
John Armstrong, Conditions of Love, p.81. 

Friday, 23 June 2017

WE NEED OTHERS

'...there is a special lack of self-sufficiency which seems to be part of the structure of the human mind. Because in a sense we are too close to ourselves, we have no difficulty in obtaining a perspective upon what we do and how we think. We need the interpretive attention of another to help us see ourselves in a more balanced way.' 
John Armstrong, Conditions of Love, p.58. 

FRIENDSHIP

'Sometimes when we meet another person we have an instinctive sense that we're going to get on well with them, that the possibilities of friendship are open. This is not only because we find that we can rub along comfortably with them, work amicably with them, find them interesting (although obviously these aspects are important); in that initial moment it's often the feeling that there is something about their mode of being, about the texture of their inner life, which seems unfamiliar. There are convivial friendships based on congruence of interest or taste. And there are, more rarely, friendships based on congruence of spirit. "You seem to know," the feeling goes, "what it is like to look out at the world from behind my eyes, and not because I have told you.'" 
John Armstrong, Conditions of Love, p.52. 

LONELINESS

'To be lonely is to feel a distressing gulf between the character of one's own inner life and what seems to be the experience of others. Thus the paradigm of loneliness comes not in the absence of others but in the presence of other people to whom one's own way of thinking and feeling seems alien. It is with people who haven't a clue what you are on about, as you tentatively reveal your won pleasures, hopes or fears, that the burden of being alone is felt. The need to be loved is, amongst other things, the need to reverse this situation: the need to find someone who can say (often enough), "I know how you feel, not just because you are telling me about it but because that's how I feel too."'
John Armstrong, Conditions of Love, p.51. 

MARRIAGE

'The problem is not in finding the person but in finding the resources and capacities in oneself to care for another person - to love them. Searching for the right "object" diverts attention from finding the right attitude.' 
John Armstrong, Conditions of Love: The Philosophy of Love, p.35. 

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

DROWNING MODALISMS

'...concentrating on the event of Christ's baptism highlights the historical activity of the fellowship among the three persons. Many modalisms have drowned in the Jordan because it is very difficult to explain what a merely unipersonal God would be doing as a man, a voice, and a dove.' 
Fred Sanders, The Triune God, p.196. 

Monday, 19 June 2017

RENEWING SOCIETY

'Above all, any existential revolution should provide hope of a moral reconstitution of society, which means a radical renewal of the relationship of human beings to what I call the "human order," which no political order can replace. A new experience of being, a renewed rootedness in the universe, a newly grasped sense of higher responsibility, a newfound inner relationship to other people and to the human community - these factors clearly indicate the direction in which we must go.' 
Vaclav Havel, 'The Power of the Powerless' in Open Letters, p.209. 

REAL SOLUTIONS MUST BE OPEN TO ALL

'If Western young people so often discover that retreat to an Indian monastery fails them as an individual or group solution, then this is obviously and only because, it lacks that element of universality, since not everyone can retire to an ashram. Christianity is an example of an opposite way out: it is a point of departure for me here and now - but only because anyone, anywhere, at any time, may avail themselves of it.' 
Vaclav Havel, 'The Power of the Powerless' in Open Letters, p.196.