Blind Venus.
Beauty's Power.
(Part Three.)
Christopher Bernard
[Total Pages: 14]
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9. Love's Illusion


    Our need to know the truth - and the distrust we learn for our sudden intuitions of truth, which are so much like beauty's revelations, but as misleading as they are briefly convincing - sometimes leads us to see beauty itself as an illusion, something that floats on the surface of an object but tells us nothing trust-worthy about it. We see beauty as a will-o'-wisp, as Siren, Lorelei, witch; as the devil's sweetest manifestation of untruth and destroyer of the

soul - "thou shalt have no graven images before me" lest its beauty steal your soul. Puritans of all generations fear beauty, especially its highest form in the radiant flesh of youth, the splendor of a woman's body, as much as they cannot help loving it, and with the demented passion of a jealous lover, try to destroy it. The most common complaint between lovers is "You lied to me" - but it is not the lover who lies; their beauty said one thing, and they said another; their beauty said "Yes" and their mouths said "No." In bafflement and longing, we say, "You're lying."

    Schöne schein: the beautiful image, beautiful mask, shimmer on the surface of a lake in late summer, slick of oil on the road after rain,