Thursday, 3 November 2016

The Age of Love.

I have believed for some time that civilisations pass through three phases. First comes the Age of Duty. Marriage in this age is a practical matter. The son of a sheep farming family will marry a family of spinners and so on. We found this in Europe until the 14th century when the aristocracy discovered romance in the form of courtly love. Most of Africa still uses this system.

Next comes the Age of Love. This is where civilisation reaches its height and It is possible to think of happiness rather than mere survival. The age of love starts among the very rich and works its way down the social scale as societies get richer. The age of love may have begun back in the 14th century but the serfs would have remained almost unaware of it for many centuries.

Final we have the Age of Sex which marks a civilisation in decline. It our own phase but it is not new. Rome passed this way too.

I was recently in Bath and was struck by how expensively it all was built. This is because the town was built as a gift to future generations. A civilisation based upon love will do this while a civilisation based upon sex will not. Sex consumes what it earns and leaves nothing to those that follow.
A photo posted by Richard Ford ( on

Both photographs are from a hostel I stayed at on a recent trip to bath. It is a fairly average house for the area and clearly not built for a single generation. It will remain standing long after modern most modern homes are gone.
What follows our current age -the age of sex? Collapse and the invasion of foreign tribes. We are seeing this final stage play out now. Eventually from the dark age that follows comes a new civilisation based upon duty- and so the cycle continues.

There is only one way to escape this fate. This is to return to the highest phase- the age of love.

It would be the first time a civilisation has reversed a decline so late in the cycle.

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