How Evil is this Love?

How Evil is this Love?

Supposing I covet you and want you for me and only me.

How evil is this love?

Epicurus defined three types of pleasures:
Natural necessary pleasures: like getting a drink of water when you’re thirsty or something to eat when you’re hungry: these you have to do, so do them. The apogee of pleasure is freedom from pain and desire, so bliss is pretty basic and well-within the reach of most people: as long as you are not writhing in physical or emotional agony, you can sit back, breathe deep, and enjoy the paradise of a calm, pleasant, natural necessary moment.
Natural unnecessary pleasures: like having a little something sweet or taking a walk or having sex: these are healthy pleasures that, with moderate and judicious use, can be used to vary your foundational pleasure of freedom from pain and desire.
Unnatural unnecessary pleasures; also called VAINGLORIES: like building statues to yourself, demanding a specific piece of cake, or the frenzied madness of romantic love, full as it is of delusions like “I must have her” and “she’ll never leave me” and “we belong together”. These pleasures are about satisfying the ego. They enflame desire and encourage foolish actions that are likely to cause you pain. They are self-defeating so-called pleasures and should always be avoided.

[117] …

There are three motives to injurious acts among men–hatred, envy, and contempt; and these the wise man overcomes by reason. Moreover, he who has once become wise never more assumes the opposite habit, not even in semblance, if he can help it. He will be more susceptible of emotion than other men that will be no hindrance to his wisdom. However, not every bodily constitution nor every nationality would permit a man to become wise.

[118] Even on the rack the wise man is happy. He alone will feel gratitude towards friends, present and absent alike, and show it by word and deed. When on the rack, however, he will give vent to cries and groans. As regards women he will submit to the restrictions imposed by the law, as Diogenes says in his epitome of Epicurus’ ethical doctrines. Nor will he punish his servants ; rather he will pity them and make allowance on occasion for those who are of good character. The Epicureans do not suffer the wise man to fall in love; nor will he trouble himself about funeral rites; according to them love does not come by divine inspiration: so Diogenes in his twelfth book. The wise man will not make fine speeches. No one was ever the better for sexual indulgence, and it is well if he be not the worse.

[119] Nor, again, will the wise man marry and rear a family: so Epicurus says in the Problems and in the De Natura. Occasionally he may marry owing to special circumstances in his life. Some too will turn aside from their purpose. Nor will he drivel, when drunken: so Epicurus says in the Symposium. Nor will he take part in politics, as is stated in the first book On Life; nor will he make himself a tyrant; nor will he turn Cynic (so the second book On Life tells us); nor will he be a mendicant. But even when he has lost his sight, he will not withdraw himself130 from life : this is stated in the same book. The wise man will also feel grief, according to Diogenes in the fifth book of his Epilecta. And he will take a suit into court. [120] He will leave written words behind him, but will not compose panegyric. He will have regard to his property and to the future.

He will be fond of the country. He will be armed against fortune and will never give up a friend. He will pay just so much regard to his reputation as not to be looked down upon. He will take more delight than other men in state festivals. 131

132 The wise man will set up votive images. Whether he is well off or not will be matter of indifference to him. Only the wise man will be able to converse correctly about music and poetry, without however actually writing poems himself. One wise man does not move more wisely than another. And he will make money, but only by his wisdom, if he should be in poverty, and he will pay court to a king, if need be. He will be grateful to anyone when he is corrected. He will found a school, but not in such a manner as to draw the crowd after him; and will give readings in public, but only by request. He will be a dogmatist but not a mere sceptic; and he will be like himself even when asleep. And he will on occasion die for a friend.

The school holds that sins are not all equal; that health is in some cases a good, in others a thing indifferent; that courage is not a natural gift but comes from calculation of expediency; and that friendship is prompted by our needs. One of the friends, however, must make the first advances (just as we have to cast seed into the earth), but it is maintained by a partnership in the enjoyment of life’s pleasures.

[121] Two sorts of happiness can be conceived, the one the highest possible, such as the gods enjoy, which cannot be augmented, the other admitting addition and subtraction of pleasures.

[Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers
R.D. Hicks, Ed. Epicurus (341BC-271BC) Entry

Now what?

All I ever wanted was some kind of friend.
All I ever needed was some kind of you.
All I ever looked for was your smile.
I want to be strong and able enough
to give you what you need
in all the ways that a woman
needs love.
I want to be man enough
to love you woman good.

Why is that so bad?

I don’t have to have you.
If its not good for me to have you,
please then don’t give me you.
But is this life not anyways a dress-up game?
And so why not dress up together?
In playing the game we dismantle our disguises
and cannot help but meet one another
beneath the reeds
where the water is brown and soft
I want to meet you
if there’s a good way
in this life.

Indulging in vainglories amounts to indulging in the delusion that one is an eternal infinite Good.
The Truth is that the Light shining in and through all things–including our every conscious moment–is an eternal infinite Good. Vainglories are sins because they make us worship the mundane aspects of our conscious spaces, thus directing our deepest widest love away from its proper object: the Light shining in and through all things.

But I just want to cuddle up next to you and show you a movie I like.
And to make you feel good and be happy and be glad with you.
Couldn’t that be compatible with worshipping the Light that Knows that and in what sense it is True to say “we’re all in this together”? I’m greedy for your body and your giggle, but can’t we travel down these paths into a deeper and wider kind of kinship, sharing a meditation around the gentle kindness that redeems all?


I’m just essaying.


Authors: Hard to say
Copyright: AMW

and why is it that wise man won’t write any poetry?

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