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Table of contents
PREFACE
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.1
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.2
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.3
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.4
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.5
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.1
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.2
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.3
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.4
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.5
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.6
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.7
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.8
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.9
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.10
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.11
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.1
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.2
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.3
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.4
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.1
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.2
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.3
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.4
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.1
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.2
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.3
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.4
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.5
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.6
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.1
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.2
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.3
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.4
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.5
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.6
PROSTITUTION-7.1
PROSTITUTION-7.2
PROSTITUTION-7.3
PROSTITUTION-7.4
PROSTITUTION-7.5
PROSTITUTION-7.6
PROSTITUTION-7.7
PROSTITUTION-7.8
PROSTITUTION-7.9
PROSTITUTION-7.10
PROSTITUTION-7.11
PROSTITUTION-7.12
PROSTITUTION-7.13
PROSTITUTION-7.14
PROSTITUTION-7.15
FOOTNOTES-1
FOOTNOTES-2

 

Some writers seem to confuse the liability in matters of love to 

deception or disappointment with the larger question of a 

metaphysical illusion in Schopenhauer's sense. To some extent 

this confusion perhaps exists in the discussion of love by 

Renouvier and Prat in _La Nouvelle Monadologie_ (pp. 216 _et 

seq._). In considering whether love is or is not a delusion, they 

answer that it is or is not according as we are, or are not, 

dominated by selfishness and injustice. "It was not an essential 

error which presided over the creation of the _idol_, for the 

idol is only what in all things the _ideal_ is. But to realize 

the ideal in love two persons are needed, and therein is the 

great difficulty. We are never justified," they conclude, "in 

casting contempt on our love, or even on its object, for if it is 

true that we have not gained possession of the sovereign beauty 

of the world it is equally true that we have not attained a 

degree of perfection that would have entitled us justly to claim 

so great a prize." And perhaps most of us, it may be added, must 

admit in the end, if we are honest with ourselves, that the 

prizes of love we have gained in the world, whatever their flaws, 

are far greater than we deserved. 

 

We may well agree that in a certain sense not love alone but all the 

passions and desires of men are illusions. In that sense the Gospel of 

Buddha is justified, and we may recognize the inspiration of Shakespeare 

(in the _Tempest_) and of Calderon (in _La Vida es Sueno_), who felt that 

ultimately the whole world is an insubstantial dream. But short of that 

large and ultimate vision we cannot accept illusion; we cannot admit that 

love is a delusion in some special and peculiar sense that men's other 

cravings and aspirations escape. On the contrary, it is the most solid of 

realities. All the progressive forms of life are built up on the 

attraction of sex. If we admit the action of sexual selection--as we can 

scarcely fail to do if we purge it from its unessential 

accretions[67]--love has moulded the precise shape and color, the 

essential beauty, alike of animal and human life. 

 

If we further reflect that, as many investigators believe, not only the 

physical structure of life but also its spiritual structure--our social 

feelings, our morality, our religion, our poetry and art--are, in some 

degree at least, also built up on the impulse of sex, and would have been, 

if not non-existent, certainly altogether different had other than sexual 

methods of propagation prevailed in the world, we may easily realize that 

we can only fall into confusion by dismissing love as a delusion. The 

whole edifice of life topples down, for as the idealist Schiller long 

since said, it is entirely built up on hunger and on love. To look upon 

love as in any special sense a delusion is merely to fall into the trap of 

a shallow cynicism. Love is only a delusion in so far as the whole of life 

is a delusion, and if we accept the fact of life it is unphilosophical to 

refuse to accept the fact of love. 

 

It is unnecessary here to magnify the functions of love in the 

world; it is sufficient to investigate its workings in its own 

proper sphere. It may, however, be worth while to quote a few 

expressions of thinkers, belonging to various schools, who have 

pointed out what seemed to them the far-ranging significance of 

the sexual emotions for the moral life. "The passions are the 

heavenly fire which gives life to the moral world," wrote 

Helvetius long since in _De l'Esprit_. "The activity of the mind 

depends on the activity of the passions, and it is at the period 


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