Blog 8: Jeweler’s Shop

Pope John Paul II explains his ideas of the three dimensions by telling the story of three different couples. Andrew and Teresa are long-term friends who suddenly realize they are in love with each other while on a hike. Stefan and Anna met on the same hike and fell in love at first sight. Both couples end up getting married and having children and when their children end up falling in love with each other they realize how their parent’s relationships have affected theirs.

Metaphysics is introduced as a theme in this story through the focus of true love including fondness, desire, and benevolence. It is the natural progression of love’s development as we witness it through these three couples. Stefan and Anna’s relationship shows this progression best because their initial fondness is shown well when they fall in love at first sight. This is described in the forward as a “love budding out of complexes, doubts, and uncertainties” (JPII 19). This leads to them having a stronger desire to be together. Their relationship reaches a point of benevolence when they eventually want to benefit and will the good of the other; although their love becomes a struggle over time.

I see the dimension of psychology as the aspect of love that is most focused on feelings. It is another way that the idea of love is processed. The psychology of love starts with the first impression where a person is first presented to the point where emotions become associated with that person. This eventually converts into value over time. This is well shown by Andrew and Teresa because the impression of each other did not convey emotion at first because they had been just friends. During their hike, they were able to recognize the hidden emotion that they had associated with the impression of each other. Through their marriage and life together they learned to value each other as people on the deepest of levels which they conveyed to their son Christopher.

Ethics is the third dimension and it shows that work has to be continuously put into a relationship for it to continue to be successful. A common misconception is that upon marriage everything effortlessly changes and a bond is magically created. The dimension of ethics shows us that effort has to be put into a relationship constantly for it to thrive. Christopher and Monica face this when they first meet and decide they want to work hard to avoid the problems that their parents had as well as having a successful relationship. These three dimensions could easily be applied to every couple in the play and in life but I chose to assign a couple to each of them to focus on a specific example. I agree with JPII that these dimensions of love are a vital aspect of a healthy relationship.

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4 Comments

  1. I like that you used the couples to represent the different dimensions of love in a different way that I had initially considered. I think that Stefan and Anna can portray certain aspects of metaphysics, but would be interested to hear more of your thoughts concerning the downfall of their relationship. I saw this as a deterioration of some of the psychological aspects of love. I also really liked your description of the ethical dimensions of love and thought that you summarized it well.

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  2. Your paragraph on the psychology of love really stuck out to me. I thought you did a good job of emphasizing the importance of emotions and feelings when it comes to the psychological dimensions of love. In addition, I appreciate that you saw how each couple related to a particular dimension well, but did not limit each couple to that particular dimension by saying ” These three dimensions could easily be applied to every couple in the play and in life but I chose to assign a couple to each of them to focus on a specific example.” This highlights the complexities of both love and the nature of each couple’s relationship by not limiting them to a single dimension. Your examples of each couple are astute and you did a great job encapsulating all three couples in your response. Specifically, highlighting the role of fondness and benevolence in Stefan and Anna’s relationship is important. Their love was primarily based on this fondness. This presents problems for them later on as love is much more than fondness.

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  3. I liked your analysis of the metaphysics of love being “love at first sight”. Personally, I don think that the metaphysics of love are anything more than infatuation, something without much substance at all. I like that you did not confine each couple to represent a single form of love because I think that the dimensions can be found in all of the couples. I used Andrew and Teresa as an example of all of the dimensions. I think the way that you pointed out the importance of benevolence in Stefan and Anna’s relationship and that their love was built mostly on this, which caused issues for them later.

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  4. Sierra,
    I like how you incorporated the quote “love budding out of complexes, doubts, and uncertainties” when discussing Anna and Stefan’s relationship, for their love undergoes a type of transformation that is necessary for the nuptial bond to be strengthened. However, I found that the fondness that constituted much of their love to induce the destruction of their marriage, and thus found their love void of a complete ethical dimension.
    That being said, I appreciated your choice to not confine any of the three relationships to a singular dimension. Bits and pieces of each dimension can be found in every relationship– yet we must strive to contain all 3 as completely as possible, in order for a strong marital bond to be always present
    .

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