“And because she’s served with all the attentions due to a god by a lover who is not pretending otherwise but is truly in the throes of love, and because she’s disposed to be a friend of the man who’s serving her (even if she… initially rejects the lover)… she lets the man spend time with her. It is a decree of fate, you see, that bad is never friends with bad, while good cannot fail to be friends with good. Now that she allows her lover to talk and spend time with her, and the man’s good will is close at hand, the girl is amazed by it as she realizes that all the friendship she has… is nothing compared to that of this friend who’s inspired by a god.
After the lover has spent some time doing this, staying near the girl (even touching her… on occasions), then the spring… named ‘Desire’… begins to flow mightily in the lover and is partly absorbed by her, and when she is filled, it overflows and runs away outside her. Think how a breeze or an echo bounces back from a smooth solid object to its source; that is how the stream of beauty goes back to the beautiful girl and sets her aflutter. It enters through her eyes, which are its natural route to the soul; there it waters the passages for the wings, starts the wings growing, and fills the soul of the loved one with love in return. Then the girl is in love, but has no idea what she loves. She does not understand, and cannot explain, what has happened to her. It is as if she had caught an eye disease from someone else, but could not identify the cause; she does not realize that she is seeing herself in the lover as in a mirror. So when the lover is near, the girl’s pain is relieved just as the lover’s is, and when they are apart she yearns as much as she is yearned for, because she has a mirror image of love in him–‘back love’– though she neither speaks nor thinks of it as love, but as friendship. Still, her desire is nearly the same as her lover’s, though weaker: he wants to see, touch, kiss, and lie down with her; and of course, as you might expect, she acts on these desires soon after they occur..
Meanwhile… swelling with desire, confused, she hugs her lover and kisses him in delight at his great good will. And whenever they are lying together she’s completely unable, for her own part, to deny the lover any favor he might beg to have… Now if victory goes to the better elements in both their minds… their life here below is one of bliss and shared understanding.”
– Plato, Phaedrus, 255a – 256a
Creating Desire in Women: Quote – Plato
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