The Four Loves

by C.S. Lewis

The greatness of Plato’s Symposium is to the greatness of this book as the sphere of the Earth is to the sphere of the fixed stars.

The four loves are: Affection, Friendship, Eros, and Charity (Storge, Philos, Eros, and Agape).

I especially connected with Lewis’ redemption of Eros.

The sternest feminist need not grudge my sex the crown offered to it either in the Pagan or in the Christian mystery. For the one is of paper and the other of thorns. The real danger is not that husbands may grasp the latter too eagerly; but that they will allow or compel their wives to usurp it.

Eros never hesitates to say, “Better this than parting. Better to be miserable with her than happy without her. Let our hearts break provided they break together.” If the voice within us does not say this, it is not the voice of Eros.

Gödel, Escher, Bach:

an Eternal Golden Braid
by Douglas Hofstadter

This is a pretty good book. It does a great job of “continuing” from where my St. John’s liberal education left off into the 20th century. The author’s style is well-suited for introducing extremely complicated ideas in the most copacetic way possible.

However, what the book promises, it does not deliver. Hofstadter is a hard-core materialist, and seems to be heading towards a materialistic creation myth that doesn’t just wave it’s hands at “A Really Long Time” as its god.

It isn’t surprising, however. Materialism at best can offer despair, but at least that despair is not your fault.