Universal Experience in the Time of Augustine

“To love then, and to be beloved, was sweet to me; but more, when I obtained to enjoy the person I loved, I defiled, therefore, the spring of friendship with the filth of concupiscence, and I beclouded its brightness with the hell of lustfulness . . . . My God, my Mercy, with how much gall didst Thou out of Thy great goodness besprinkle for me that sweetness?”

“Stage-plays also carried me away, full of images of my miseries, and of fuel to my fire. Why is it, that man desires to be made sad, beholding doleful and tragical things, which yet himself would no means suffer? yet he desires as a spectator to feel sorrow at them, this very sorrow is his pleasure. What is this but a miserable madness? for a man is the more affected with these actions, the less free he is from such affections.”

~The Confessions of St. Augustine, c. 400 AD

Human experience in Augustine’s day wasn’t much different from ours. This is all so immensely relatable–in life, and in art.

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