Petrarch on amorous servitude vs spiritual progress

“What I used to love, I love no longer. But I lie: I love it still, but less passionately. Again have I lied: I love it, but more timidly, more sadly. Now at last I have told the truth; for thus it is: I love, but what I should love not to love, what I should wish to hate. Nevertheless I love it, but against my will, under compulsion and in sorrow and mourning. To my own misfortune I experience in myself now the meaning of that most famous line: ‘Hate I shall, if I can; if I can’t, I shall love though not willing.’*” 

*Ovid Amores iii 11. 35.

pg. 42-43.


I love this passage, because it shows how I often ideate – going from lie to lesser lie to eventual truth. Honesty is a process that often comes through a progression of lies. Why it comes from this I don’t know.