Saturday, October 1, 2011

Is Fear the Heart of Love?

...topic from Death Cab for Cutie, "I will follow you into the dark."
For there is nothing which men love but the good. Is there anything?' 'Certainly, I should say, that there is nothing.' 'Then,' she said, 'the simple truth is, that men love the good.' 'Yes,' I said. 'To which must be added that they love the possession of the good?' 'Yes, that must be added.' 'And not only the possession, but the everlasting possession of the good?' 'That must be added too.' 'Then love,' she said, 'may be described generally as the love of the everlasting possession of the good?' 'That is most true.'
- Plato, "Symposium"
But isn't there a fear of separation from it as well?

26 comments:

Elmers Brother said...

That Death Cab for Cutie song is very interesting. I own five of their albums, much of it is somewhat dark.

As for love....the Good Book says that there is no fear in love but tjaat perfect love casts out fear.

-FJ said...

That's very interesting, too... it's almost like they were two ends of a circle... knowing that a circle has no ends...

-FJ said...

...or one being the "fount" of the other.

-FJ said...

...as a fear of G_d might beget a love of Him.

-FJ said...

...ala "Observations on the Nature of Beauty and the Sublime."

-FJ said...

erratum - substitute "feelings" for "nature" and "Beautiful" for "Beauty", above

Elmers Brother said...

On God being the fount of the other ..the dame chapter says that God is love.

1 John 4:7-21 NASB

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.

Elmers Brother said...

True virtue is the quality of raising the feeling of humanity's beauty and dignity to a principle. When a person acts in accordance with this principle, regardless of inclination, that person is truly and sublimely virtuous.

From your link on Kant. I hadn't realized he was into Galena temperaments. I learned about them in a youth group Bible study.

Speedy G said...

I understand that there can be no fear IN G_d. I believe that the fear lies in us, in OUR separation from Him.

Speedy G said...

...I believe that the Galena temperments may have been an earlier variation upon the "cardinal virtues" that catholics once extolled.

Elmers Brother said...

From what I understand the OT verse that goes...the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom...

Ryrie writes:

The wisdom is that reverancing God is expressed in submission to his will.

The Hebrew word for fear in this verse means reverance, reverant

Joe Conservative said...

...again reverence sounds like a "virtuous word" for "fear"... much as "temperance" is merely a "virtuous word" for a form of inaction that achieves a desired result.... had it not been successful, the identical inactivity/ inaction would have been labeled "cowardice."

Joe Conservative said...

...much as "wisdom" is the virtuous word for what would have otherwise been termed an "injustice."

Elmers Brother said...

Just thinking out loud here. I'm not suggesting otherwise necessarily but Since God IS (agape) unconditional love, why would there be a reason to be afraid? If someone, especially my Creator, loves me despite my falling short, how can I respond any other way than awe.

-FJ said...

If that were all G_d was, but it isn't, is it?

Elmers Brother said...

And if love were all we were? Jesus said the Ten Commandments could be summed up with Love the LORD your God with all your heart soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself.

Elmers Brother said...

Some might argue God's story (OT and NT) might be described as God loving us in such a way that each story is one in which man galls short and God redeems. In the words of Geoff Moore...."Sounds like love to me."

Elmers Brother said...

I suppose its the chicken or the egg argument sometimes it as you described it a circle.

-FJ said...

If it were all simply Love, we wouldn't need a Trinity or a Nicaean Council to describe His Nature, would we? All I know is that I can't possibly define it, as it is both Boundless and Eternal (amongst many other things).

-FJ said...

Something both Beautiful AND Sublime... worthy of both Love and Reverence.

Elmers Brother said...

Beautifully said.

Elmers Brother said...

Kierkegaard's answer: No, the one who in love forgets himself, forgets his suffering, in order to think of someone else's, forgets all his misery in order to think of someone else's, forgets what he himself loses in order lovingly to bear in mind someone else's loss, forgets his own advantage in order lovingly to think of someone else's -truly, such a person is not forgotten. There is one who is thinking about him: God in heaven. Or love is thinking about him. God is Love, and when a person out of love forgets himself, how then would God forget him! No, whle the one who loves forgets himself and thinks of the other person, God is thinking of the one who loves. The self-lover is busy; he shouts and makes a big noise and stands on his rights in order to make sure he is not forgotten -and yet he is forgotten. But the one who loves, who forgets himself, is recollected by love. There is One who is thinking of him... -Søren Kierkegaard, Works of Love, ed. and trans. Howard Hong and Edna H. Hong (Princeton: Princeton UP, 1995), 281. Cited in Miroslav Volf, Free of Charge, 103.

The security of the divine attention makes the 'risk' of love a secure investment. Let us spend wisely.

Elmers Brother said...

Kierkegaards treatise on I Corinthians 13 is really amazing. Its one of my favorite books. I'm just much too simple a guy to make a decent discussion partner.

Thersites said...

You make a great discussion partner, as I have little to no exposure to Kierkegaard before now, nor is my knowledge of biblical passages very extensive. This is all rather wonderfully new to me. And you have obviously already given this subject some extended thought.... and I thank you for sharing what you think.

Thersites said...

A friend of mine just lent me a set of lectures upon St. Augustine that I recently finished listening to. I always wanted to read his "City of G_d, but never got around to it....

Elmers Brother said...

Me too.