Liber Aleph



De Arte Voluptate Dilemma Quædam[1]

There is a certain Objection, o my Son, to our Thesis concerning Will that it should flow freely in its Way: vide licet, that for such as I am it is well, because I am endowed by Nature with a Lust insatiable in any Kind, so that the Universe itself seemeth incapable to appease it. For I have poured myself out unceasingly, in Bodily Passion, and in Battles with Men, and with Wild Beasts, and with Mountains and Deserts, and in Poetry and other Writings of the Musick of mine Imagination, and in Books of our own Mysteries, and in Works Magical, and so forth, so that in Mine Age I am become verily a Slave to mine own Genius and my Law is that unless I sleep or create, my Soul is sick, and fain to claim the Reward and the Recreation of my Death. But (I hear thee say it) this is not the Case of All, or even of many, Men; but their Act of Will is satisfied easily at its first Guerdon. Should not then their Wisdom be to resist themselves for a Space, as Water heaped up by a Dam gathereth Force, and Hunger feedeth upon Abstinence? Also, there is that which I have written in a former Chapter of the right Use of Discipline; and thirdly, this free Flowing is without Subtility of Art, as it were an Harlot that plucketh Men by the Sleeve.

[1] On a Certain Problem in the Art of Pleasure

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