Monday, May 18, 2009

Magical decoys for eternal delights

From Care of the Soul (Ch. 4):

"'What is human love? What is its purpose? It is the desire for union with a beautiful object in order to make eternity available to mortal life.' It is a fundamental teaching of the Neo-platonists that earthly pleasures are an invitation to eternal delights. Ficino says that these things of ordinary life that enchant us toward eternity are 'magical decoys.' In other words, what appears to be a fully earthly relationship between two human individuals is at the same time a path toward far deeper experiences of the soul. ... The early Romantic German poet Novalis put it quite simply: love, he says, was not made for this world."

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