Note: This entry is designed to gather into one place the aphorisms in which Gómez Dávila mentions love, sensuality, and sex.
God is the substance of what we love. (#105)
Our ability to love something other than God proves our indelible mediocrity. (#155)
The particular creature we love is never God’s rival. What ends in apostasy is the worship of man, the cult of humanity. (#2,986)
Only because He commanded us to love men does the modern clergyman resign himself to believing in the divinity of Jesus; whereas, in truth, it is only because we believe in the divinity of Jesus that we resign ourselves to loving men. (#684)
To love one’s neighbor is without doubt a commandment, but the gospel is the love that awaits us. (#1,883)
Love is the organ with which we perceive the unmistakable individuality of beings. (#8)
Love loves the ineffableness of the individual. (#381)
To love is to hover without rest around the impenetrability of a being. (#448)
Love is the act which transforms its object from a thing into a person. (#306)
To love is to understand the reason God had for creating what we love. (#371)
The perfections of the one we love are not fictions of love. To love, on the contrary, is the privilege of noticing a perfection invisible to other eyes. (#47)
Love and hate do not create, but reveal, qualities which our indifference obscures. (#223)
Behind every common noun arises the same common noun with a capital letter: behind love is Love, behind the encounter is the Encounter.
The universe escapes its captivity when in the individual instance we perceive the essence. (#527)
Of the beings we love, their existence is enough for us. (#158)
The happiness of the being we love is the only earthly good that satisfies us beyond measure. (#1,232)
The smile of the being we love is the only effective remedy for tedium. (#475)
To live with lucidity a simple, quiet, discreet life among intelligent books, loving a few beings. (#497)
The two wings of intelligence are erudition and love. (#1,460)
Let us learn to accompany those we love in their errors, without becoming their accomplices.(#1,407)
A man loves only someone who adores him, but respects only someone who insults him. (#97)
Mutual disrespect quickly turns friendship or love between plebeian souls into a mere bilateral contract for rudeness. (#1,164)
None of us finds it difficult to love the neighbor who seems inferior to us.
But to love someone we know is superior is another thing. (#677)
The most presumptuous wisdom stands ashamed before the soul drunk with love or hatred. (#172)
Nothing surpasses the beauty of loyal love, of the love that is not loyalty with love, but the loyalty of love itself. (#2,189)
Questions only fall silent when faced with love.
“Why love?” is the only impossible question. (#352)
To the happiness of those we love most we are allowed to contribute only a silent tenderness and an impotent compassion. (#1,368)
Love is not a mystery but a place where mystery is dissolved. (#353)
Each of life’s insults of a beloved countenance nourishes true love. (#330)
Our own cross burdens us less than the one we cannot help our beloved to carry. (#2,389)
Every being lies there, shattered to pieces by its life, and there is no way for our love to pick up all the pieces. (#1,064)
Love is essentially the adherence of the spirit to another naked body. (#376)
Modern man does not love, but takes refuge in love; does not hope, but takes refuge in hope; does not believe, but takes refuge in a dogma. (#408)
Clergymen and journalists have smeared the term “love” with so much sentimentality that even its echo stinks. (#804)
The modern writer forgets that only the allusion to the gestures of love captures its essence. (#2,581)
Love uses the vocabulary of sex to write a text unintelligible to sex alone. (#2,686)
Indifference to art is betrayed by the pompous solemnity of the homage often rendered it.
True love remains silent or mocks. (#592)
The most ardent passion does not deceive, if it recognizes the inadequacy of its object.
Love is not blind when it loves madly, but when it forgets that even the irreplaceable loved being is only a mysterious first fruits.
Love that does not believe it is justified is not betrayal, but propaedeutic. (#1,073)
Sensuality & Sex
A voluptuous presence communicates its sensual splendor to everything. (#16)
An intelligent idea produces sensual pleasure. (#68)
In authentic humanism there breathes the presence of a discreet and comfortable sensuality. (#75)
The hand that has not learned how to caress does not know how to write. (#1,728)
As the waters of this century rise, delicate and noble sentiments, sensuous and fine tastes, discreet and profound ideas take refuge in a few solitary souls, like the survivors of the flood on some silent mountain peaks. (#827)
Sensuality is a cultural legacy of the ancient world.
Societies where the Greco-Roman legacy is being wiped out, or where it does not exist, only know sentimentalism and sexuality. (#1,865)
Immodesty is the solvent of sensuality. (#2,254)
The spirit searches in a painting for a sensual enrichment. (#87)
Art is the supreme sensual pleasure. (#1,321)
Only one thing is not in vain: the sensual perfection of the moment. (#89)
A great love is a well ordered sensuality. (#113)
Spiritual realities move us by their presence, sensual realities by their absence. (#199)
A naked body solves all the universe’s problems. (#239)
Love is essentially the adherence of the spirit to another naked body. (#376)
Let us repudiate the abominable suggestion that we should renounce friendship and love in order to banish misfortune.
On the contrary, let us mingle our souls just as we weave our bodies together.
May the beloved be the land of our shattered roots. (#377)
Sex does not solve even sexual problems. (#245)
Despite what is taught today, easy sex does not solve every problem. (#2,533)
The problem is not sexual repression, nor sexual liberation, but sex. (#1,438)
Ages of sexual liberation reduce to a few spasmodic shouts the rich modulations of human sensuality. (#2,622)
“Sexual liberation” allows modern man to pretend to be ignorant of the multiple taboos of another kind that govern him. (#2,709)
The 19th century did not live with more anguish because of its sexual repression than the 20th century with its sexual liberation.
Identical obsession, even when the symptoms are the opposite. (#1,101)
Modern man inverts the rank of problems.
When it comes to sex education, for example, everyone pontificates, but who worries about the education of the sentiments? (#1,884)
The purpose of sex education is to make it easier to learn sexual perversions. (#2,063)
The ability to consume pornography is the distinctive characteristic of the imbecile. (#2,396)
Eroticism exhausts itself in promises. (#409)
Eroticism is the rabid recourse of souls and times that are in agony. (#1,443)
Eroticism and Gnosticism are the individual’s recourse against the anonymity of mass society. (#2,501)
Eroticism, sensuality, and love, when they do not converge in the same person are nothing more, in isolation, than disease, vice, and foolishness. (#414)
The increasing disintegration of the person can be measured by comparing the expression “amorous adventure,” which was in style in the 18th century, with the expression “sexual experience,” which is used in the 20th century. (#840)
This century has succeeded in turning sex into a trivial activity and an odious topic. (#2,456)
The most recent generations are particularly boring: believing in effect that they invented violence and sex, they copulate doctrinairely and doctrinairely kill. (#2,369)
In the society that is starting to take shape, not even the enthusiastic collaboration of the sodomite and the lesbian will save us from boredom. (#2,534)
When the modern consciousness suspends its economic routines, it only oscillates between political anguish and sexual obsession. (#1,514)
Modern man’s life oscillates between two poles: business and sex. (#2,180)
Sex and violence do not replace transcendence after it has been banished.
Not even the devil remains for the man who loses God. (#1,377)
To liberate man is to subject him to greed and sex. (#2,051)
Sexual promiscuity is the tip society pays in order to appease its slaves. (#1,493)
By merely looking at the face of the modern man one infers the mistake in attributing ethical importance to his sexual behavior. (#2,480)
We would like not to caress the body we love, but to be that caress. (#248)
The sensual is the presence of a value in the sensible. (#250)
A sensual object is one that reveals its soul to the senses. (#1,260)
What draws us away from God is not sensuality but abstraction. (#343)
Replacing the concrete sense perception of the object with its abstract intellectual construction makes man gain the world and lose his soul. (#2,614)
The realism of photography is false: it omits in its representation of the object its past, its transcendence, its future. (#2,735)
The passivity of things deceives us: we manipulate nothing with impudence without hurting a god. (#1,751)
Hope is not fatally stultifying, if we do not hope in a future with an upper-case F.
To cherish the hope of a new earthly splendor is not illicit, provided we hope in a splendor that is wounded, frail, mortal.
We can love what is of the earth without fault, as long as we remember that we love fleeting clay. (#1,084)
Sensuality is the permanent possibility of rescuing the world from the captivity of its insignificance. (#473)
When the object loses its sensual fullness and becomes an instrument or a sign, reality evaporates and God vanishes. (#1,384)