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Eros - Agape - Philia

Naranjo makes the observation that there are three kinds of love which form a triad, Eros, Agape, and Philia. The first is child-like and self-referential, oriented more so the to individual desires. Agape is mother-like and is oriented to giving love outwards and to others, and the third love is philia which is father-like and admirative. While the love of I (eros) and you (agape) is more self-explanatory, the admirative love (philia) transcends both of these things and is a more detached love. It represents the love a child has for their father (a mixture of I and you). Further, they are also all connected to the instincts in some way, with conservation corresponding to compassion, sexual to erotic, and social to admirative.

Eros (or desire-love), agape (or giving-love) and philia (or admiring-love) may be characterized as the love of the child, the love of the mother, and the love of the father. These are predominantly related to the first, second, and third persons that distinguish the structure of our language: desire-love, with its yearnings to receive, privileges the I, while agape-love is a love of you, and admiring-love projects the valuing experience beyond the I-you experience, in a personification of that which is or a symbolization of pure value: He. It may also be said that love of I embraces the inner animal that exists in us, a creature of desires, while the love of you approaches the other like a person or human being, and admiring-love encounters its true object in the divine—whether in a universal dimension or in the experience of incarnate divinity.

The Enneagram of Society, Naranjo

Eros - Erotic - Child

This is a child's love which has a much more hedonistic and self-referential quality to it, distinguished by its youthfulness and wanting to be at the center of a relationship. It is like a child who is focused on receiving the love of the parents. In Greek mythology Eros is depicted as a beautiful and carefree youth, and Cupid, Eros' Roman equivalent, takes on the image of a youthful and infantile character who incurs this youthfulness in others. So the Eros love speaks to the innocent, impulsive, self-serving, and instinctual expression of love.

SX - LoveE8 - LoveE7 - LoveE3 - Love

Agape - Compassion - Mother

The love of agape is a mother's love, a love that is directed towards others, like the love of a mother to a child. It is the most empathetic kind of love and tends to hinge on the satisfaction of the other, leading to a personal felt emotion at the response of others' emotions. If the significant other is sad, there is an empathetic reaction, as well as the inverse. When healthy, this is the kind of love that is unconditional, doting, and accepting.

E2 - LoveE9 - LoveE4 - LoveSP - Love

Philia - Admirative - Father

This is the most detached love of the three and combines the I and you aspects of the former two. This is the love of the father, though it is not necessarily given or received. It is much less emotionally invested than the mother's love, and much less youthful than the child's love, and embodies more of a "North Star" attitude towards love, one of guiding and being a strong role-model for the significant other. This love is more detached and impersonal, and the father expresses love through becoming a "figure" of admiration.

E5 - LoveE6 - LoveE1 - LoveSO - Love

Auxiliary and Tertiary Love

The nine types further break down and embody a second love which complements the primary love, and then a tertiary love which corresponds to one of the aforementioned instincts. The diagram below shows the auxiliary and tertiary love of each type.

Screenshot (19).png

Translator's note: C, Se, So = Conservation, Sexual, and Social instincts respectively. C, E, A = Compassionate, Erotic, and Admirative love respectively.


[1] - Traditions, A. G.-. A. a. F. /. I. (2022, March 30). Are there countertypes in Naranjo’s Love Types? - Ann Gadd - Author at Findhorn / Inner Traditions - Medium. Medium. 

[2] - Naranjo, C. (2005). The Enneagram of Society: Healing the Soul to Heal the World. 

[3] - Naranjo, C. (2017). Ensayos sobre psicología de los eneatipos 


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