When Christianity passed over souls like a storm that rages all night until morning, the havoc it had invisibly wreaked could be felt, but only after it had passed did the actual damage become clear. Some thought that the damage resulted from Christianity’s departure, but this was just what revealed the damage, not what caused it. And so our world of souls was left with this visible damage, this glaring affliction, without the darkness to cloak it with its false affection. Souls were seen for what they were.
In recent times, souls contracted a sickness known as Romanticism, which is Christianity without illusions or myths, stripped to its withered and diseased essence.
The fundamental error of Romanticism is to confuse what we need with what we desire. We all need certain basic things for life’s preservation and continuance; we all desire a more perfect life, complete happiness, the fulfillment of our dreams and …..
It’s human to want what we need, and it’s human to desire what we don’t need but find desirable. Sickness occurs when we desire what we need and what’s desirable with equal intensity, suffering our lack of perfection as if we were suffering for lack of bread. The Romantic malady is to want the moon as if it could actually be obtained.
‘You can’t have your cake and eat it too.’
Whether in the base realm of politics or in the private sanctuary of each man’s soul, the malady is the same. The pagan didn’t know, in the real world, this sickly dimension of things and of himself. Being human, he also desired the impossible, but he didn’t crave it. His religion was and only in the inner sanctum of mystery, only to the initiated, far from the common people and the , was it given to know the transcendental things of religions that fill the soul with the world’s emptiness.
— FERNANDO PESSOA