Dysmorphology Course
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Dressing Venus.
Love blinds and is blind

Amor like Dementia
is a powerful God
(attr. to Plato)
Bliss is Cupid finding Psyche
It is desire embracing Mind
(from Apuleius Lucius)

Love is the force that governs
the union of natural elements
(the antidote of Chaos)
Worship of Venus.
Absence is to love
what wind is to fire
it extinguishes the small
it inflames the great
(De Bussy Rabutin)

The riddle of life
The riddle of death
The enchantment of genius
of unadorned beauty ...
These things were ours ...
(Boris Pasternak)

Amantium Irae
Amoris Integratios
Quarrels between lovers
integrate their love
(Pablius Terentius)
A recent encyclical letter "Deus Caritas Est" by Pope Benedict XVI on Christian love is illuminating. The encyclical starts with "God is love" ... and it continues with ... "is not the result of an ethical choice ... but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon". Soon after the Pontiff notes "We immediately find ourselves hampered by a problem of language ... love ... frequently used and misused word ... " This is precisely what motivates Pandora Word Box illustrated overviews - to expose the ideas inherent in words. The Pontiff comments that "Eros was thus celebrated as divine power, as fellowship with the Divine ... that love promises infinity, eternity - a reality far greater and totally other than our everyday existence ...". But he also calls attention that love is not simply instinct but that love calls for maturity and to ... "pass through the path of renunciation ... no longer is it self-seeking ... instead it seeks the good of the beloved: it becomes renunciation and it is ready, and even willing, for sacrifice".

The remarks by Pope Benedict XVI find echo in ancient myths, in particular those about the love and devotion of Cupid for Psyche. The cupidity of CUPID was ceaseless until he was captivated by the beauty of Psyche. His erotic desires transformed him into EROS but as he matured his eroticism became devotion and he changed from Eros into AMOR, the emblem of transcendental love.

Dr. Sigmund Freud also knew of the story of Cupid and Psyche as he experimented with PSYCHoanalysis. His studies of "immature" patients that some would call "hysteric", showed that such persons seem to fail to "grow up" and retain "childish" behaviors, particularly in matters related to sexuality - one symptom being and inability for true love. In  modern and perhaps crude parlance, "immature" adults are rather prone to be selfish and their CUPIDITY is one cause why they find their "sex life" unsatisfying. Dubbed as the "me first" generation, they act as "consumers" of "love objects" which fail to satiate them - "the more they get, the more they want", is a popular saying. To "grow up" and become and adult implies the capacity to be able to love and nurture another. An enamored AMORous adult emanates AMOR, a term linked to an idea in AMMA which points to motherhood and nurturing.

The CLIMAX of love is adoration and DEVOTION. Psyche was mortal and Amor was so devoted to her that he petitioned the Olympic Gods to grant her immortality. Often those who truly love have sacrificed their life for another. True love can be immortal, an example being the devoted wife of Mausolos who erected a magnificent MAUSOLEUM in his memory. Since then, human monuments dedicated to beloved people are called mausoleums.

Solitary love interested Saint Augustine, who despised his contemporary Apuleius for his story about Cupid and Psyche. St Augustine was a redeemed sinner who wrote - "nothing is so powerful in drawing the spirit of a man downwards as the caresses of a woman ...". His views evolved into precepts dear to some devout Christians who confuse love with sex and obsess about erotica much more than about materialistic cupidity that corrupts church members as much as politicians.
Venus and Adonis.
- Compiled by W. Wertelecki, M.D.