Theme Of Love In The Confessions

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In The Confessions, Augustine argues that the desire for more than is needed is a natural human condition, thus, humans are condemned to be restless. Throughout the novel he explores what he argues are the actions which can result in a feeling of fulfillment: love and pilgrimage. In his lecture on The Confessions, Neil Robertson made the argument that in the book, love is the problem and the solution. I will argue that love is the problem because it causes a constant lack of satisfaction while simultaneously it is the solution because it is the cause of restlessness, and therefore the purpose of our search for fulfillment. In this paper I will explore this through Augustine’s desires and pilgrimage. I will outline the importance of the loves…show more content…
This experience is very important for it is a representation of human desire for evil. For Augustine, committing evil for the sake of sinning is much worse than committing evil for a purpose or end goal. He already “had plenty of what [he] stole and much better quality too, and [he] had no desire to enjoy it when [he] resolved to steal it. [He] simply wanted to enjoy the theft for the sake, and the sin” (II.4.9. p37). This act of evil is another example of Augustine’s restlessness, for he was looking for understanding and clarity through defying divine law. This love of sin itself is a driving force towards God, Augustine writes, “There was time in my life when I was afire to take my fill to hell” (II.1.1, p33). Augustine later understands that by God allowing him to sin, it drew him closer in relationship with God by showing him that sinning does not produce fulfilment. He writes, “You were ever present to me, mercifully angry, sprinkling very bitter disappointment over all my unlawful pleasures so that I might seek pleasure free from all disappointment” (II. 4, p34). God is showing him mercy only because he knows that later he will understand that life is more fulfilling with…show more content…
This love for God, although stabilizing, does not completely satisfying his restlessness. Augustine’s restlessness is never fully satisfied, for this is a human condition which cannot be eliminated. Augustine’s pilgrimage is an action for him to transfer his energy from the pursuit of sinful desires into a desire which is fulfilling. Augustine believes that, “Matters are so arranged at [Gods] command that every disordered soul is its own punishment” (I.12.19, p25), for those who desire evil will it upon themselves in their search for clarity, and the punishment for this is through the lack of order in ones own soul. Augustine finds this order through his love of sin, leading to his love for philosophy, and finally for God himself. In order to find this stability it was necessary for him to experience sin

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