Ficino, Marsilio – Selected Letters - From a letter to Girolamo Amazzi
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Ficino, Marsilio – Selected Letters
From a letter from Marsilio Ficino to Girolamo Amazzi: greetings.
How different is the nature of love from that of almost everything else , my most loving and best loved Amuzzi. For the bigger other things are, the stronger other things are thought to be; but the more extreme love and friendship appear to be the frailer they seem to be. For often extreme love is injured by a succession of little things, more so than moderate love.
Either the heat of the desire itself arouses fiery choler which, fanned by something trivial, sometimes floods out in a great surge of anger; or preoccupation with one fixed idea begets melancholy, which is full of groundless fears. More precisely, when a man thinks that he has given everything to another and therefore demands everything in return from his beloved, his avarice never obtains what it was seeking with the whole force of his mind.
But the desire of the erring mind, essentially weak or self-seeking, suffers these frustrations deservedly. Since this desire feeds on the winds of the world, just when it seems to be growing most it is not so much growing as swelling; thus the stronger it appears, the weaker it is.
Therefore human love is a thing full of anxious fears.
Divine love, however, kindled by the flames of the virtues and growing strong from celestial rays, seeks to return to the sublime heights of heaven, that no fear of earthly ills can ever trouble. Of such a kind is our mutual love, Amazzi. Therefore, as you are sure of your love toward me, so be just as sure of my love toward you. Far be it from us that one human heart should fail to respond to another that is always calling. Even strings seem to respond to strings that are similarly tuned and one lyre resounds in answer to another, indeed a solid wall may echo to one who calls.