That demon love

Unchecked devotion

Affection is the most instinctive, in that sense the most animal, of the loves; its jealousy is proportionately fierce. It snarls and bares its teeth like a dog whose food has been snatched away.” Thus writes C. S. Lewis in that modern classic, The Four Loves.

Such sentiments are rarely articulated when we speak of love. We usually extol love’s nobility, or ponder the way it makes people capable of great devotion. But just because of its nobility and the capacity for fierce devotion that love provokes, love may be terrible if and when it is unchecked by any higher loyalty or devotion. “Love,” Lewis says, “having become a god, becomes a demon.”


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