Thursday, November 29, 2007

Eros, Philos, Agape

Love and relationship matters are uncharted territory into which I seldom venture for this blog. Experience has shown me that these areas are largely a "crap shoot". With a modicum of common sense and basic knowledge of astrology, though, it's often possible to avoid too much of that other kind of crap. Without venturing far into said territory, I'll risk a mention of something I discovered and learning !

I'd noticed the word "agape" used to close a reader's comments on various news articles. The word is, I understand, pronounced a-ga-pay, not agape, as I'd initially read it to myself, assuming that the commentor was "agape with admiration" for the article upon which they'd commented. I discovered, however, that agape (a-ga-pay) is one of a trio of Greek words used to describe types of love: Eros, Philos and Agape. I'm not certain that the three words should be capitalized, I'd say not, but most sources seem to disagree. Eros is the Greek god of love, of course, but here we're not talking about the god.

Eros = romantic and sexual love. The word "erotic" originated from this.

Philos = friendship, affection, brotherly love, any non-sexual love. I guess that "philosophy" derives from this, and Philadelphia, known as "City of Brotherly Love".

= the highest, the ultimate, unconditional love, and love encompassing all humanity and all of life.

I decided to try to relate these three concepts to those I have of the 12 zodiac signs. We each have all 12 zodiac signs in our nature, and are capable of experiencing all three types of love. Most relationships evolve. An eros relationship will evolve, eventually into a philos relationship, after lust, heat and excitement have subsided. A philos love could develop into eros - and back again! Agape, if I understand it correctly is the ultimate evolution, not necessarily in connection with a one-to-one relationship, but with mankind, all living things, and the world.

Aries, Taurus, Leo and Scorpio seem, to me, to mainly connect with eros love - self-oriented, sex-oriented.

Aquarius, Gemini, Libra and Cancer seem more akin to philos - brotherly, motherly, friendly all spring to mind here.

Sagittarius and Pisces have, to my mind, most in common with agape. They are somehow more evolved, outward looking, compassionate and humane. Aquarius might fit here, as an alternative - with Sagittarius moving to join the philos bunch.

I don't see Capricorn and Virgo as clearly connected to any of the above, but they're bound to fit somewhere.

So.....shall I start using "Agape" at the end of letters and messages, instead of my usual "Love" or "Best Wishes"? It seems a tad lofty. I think I'd best stick with "Love", plain and simple.


Daryl said...

I was trying to remember my Catholic school philosophy class teachings regarding the definition of eros vs. agape and what that third missing one was. So thank you for filling in the blank. I was prompted to do the research when a local sub shop renamed itself as Eros Restaurant. I thought I was mis-remembering the definition for the word, but I guess not... so now really have to ask the owner what prompted that name selection.
Let's all put a little more of all three types into our lives, shall we? !!

Twilight said...

Hello Daryl - thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Yes indeed - more of all three love-types are needed in this old world ! :-)

j said...

as i pisces, i have long had a personal frustration with the word "love". its never big enough for me to express what, exactly, i'm looking for.
years ago i stummbled on the eros, philos, agape trio and...fell in love.
i have since struggled with explaining the trio. the difference. why i can love and walk away- because of eros. and why i am still searching- because of agape.
the hebrew language also does a nice job differentiating the word love into 3:
ahab, hesed and raham.
somewhere entangled in these 7 words in the single thing we all ache for.

Twilight said...

Hello j, thank you for commenting.

Yes it's tricky to explain. I often think this:

Agape, in some ways seems easier to give because it expects nothing in return, and therefore is never disappointing. Eros and philos really need some level of return to be totally satisfying, and here lies potential disappointment.

The ideal is, as you say, a rare blend of all. :-)

Katherine said...

I am an astrologer and an astronomer. I had a dream last night about Agape. I thought in the dream that Agape was a star, along with some other unidentifiable astronomical data.

I am trying to find out what Agape is, where it orbits, and what kind of body it is in the heavens. Can you help?


Twilight said...

Katherine ~ Hi ~ The only thing I can find, via Google search, is an asteroid called Ariel with a crater on it named Agape.

Katherine said...

Hi Twilight :)

Thank you for your post ... I'm not having much luck with it. It DID mean a lot to know what Agape stood for in the dream. It was aligned with the Earth and the Earth was glowing from it. So maybe that's what the dream was trying to tell me -- that only the type of love that Agape stands for will heal the Earth.