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Augustine And Love

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How does Augustine define love?

Augustine states continuously that he was not yet in love, but was in love with love. This statement doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t believe that someone can be in love with something, if he or she doesn’t understand what love is. “I was not yet in love, but I was in love with love, and from the very depth of my need hated myself for not more keenly feeling the need.” (pg. 35) How can Augustine hate himself if he doesn’t know what loves feel like? I think a lot of Augustine’s statements about love are interesting. Augustine has some very good points about love, but he contradicts himself also. Is Augustine saying he wasn’t in love or he doesn’t understand love? Both of these statements make me wonder how can he be in love with love, if he isn’t in love.

After stating this, Augustine continues to support his statement by talking about friendship. Is the friendship Augustine mentions lustful or sincerely about love? “Thus I polluted the stream of friendship with the filth of unclean desire and sullied its limpidity with the hell of lust.” (pg. 35) Obviously Augustine is letting the idea of love turn straight to lust. He talks about unclean desires, but he says he wants to be clean and courtly. Maybe Augustine has the wrong idea about love. Love is when you care deeply about someone and will do anything for them. Thinking about sexual desires and physical attractions are defining...
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