Lust

Lust

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Lust is an emotional force that is directly associated with the thinking or fantasizing about one's desire, usually in a sexual way.

Etymology


The word lust is phonetically similar to the ancient Roman lustrum
Lustrum
A lustrum was a term for a five-year period in Ancient Rome.The lustration was originally a sacrifice for expiation and purification offered by one of the censors in the name of the Roman people at the close of the taking of the census...

, which literally meant "purification". This was the five-year cycle time for the ritual expiation of "sins" called the lustration
Lustration
Lustration is the government process regulating the participation of former communists, especially informants of the communist secret police, in the successor political appointee positions or in civil service positions in the period after the fall of the various European Communist states in 1989 –...

 as practiced in ancient Greek and Roman cultures, occasionally involving human sacrifice. Sexual intercourse was one of a list of sins requiring lustration. Another similar word existed in ancient Latin, lustratio.

The Seven Deadly Sins
Seven deadly sins
The 7 Deadly Sins, also known as the Capital Vices or Cardinal Sins, is a classification of objectionable vices that have been used since early Christian times to educate and instruct followers concerning fallen humanity's tendency to sin...

, written during the 5th century is a similar list of sins requiring expiation or forgiveness. These doctrines forbade even thoughts and desires for fornicatio (fornication), later generalized as luxuria (lust/lechery).
The concept also was progressively embodied in debates about mandatory Clerical celibacy
Clerical celibacy
Clerical celibacy is the discipline by which some or all members of the clergy in certain religions are required to be unmarried. Since these religions consider deliberate sexual thoughts, feelings, and behavior outside of marriage to be sinful, clerical celibacy also requires abstension from these...

 beginning in the 1st through 5th centuries and following. For example, Henry Charles Lea
Henry Charles Lea
Henry Charles Lea was an American historian, civic reformer, and political activist. Lea was born and lived in Philadelphia.-Parents:...

 states that "Sixtus III barely admits that married persons can obtain eternal life" in his "Sacerdotal History of Christian Celibacy" (p. 45). He also states, "Siricius and Innocent I ransacked the Gospels for texts of more than doubtful application with which to support the innovation ". (p. 53)

However, in the 11th to 15th centuries the northern European usage of the verb still meant simply "to please, delight;" or "pleasure". A related form "lusty", originally meant "joyful, merry" or "full of healthy vigor". See.

The word "lust" began being used in the 16th century in the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

's early non-Latin Bible translations. This is despite the fact that the original Koine Greek Bible has no single word that is uniquely translated as heterosexual lust. q.v.

Today, the meaning of the word still has differing meanings as shown in the Merriam-Webster definition. Lust: 1. a: pleasure, delight b: personal inclination: wish 2. intense or unbridled sexual desire: lasciviousness 3. a: intense longing: craving b: enthusiasm, eagerness . See

Protestantism


In translations of the
New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

, the word "lust" is occasionally used as a translation of the Koiné Greek
Koine Greek
Koine Greek is the universal dialect of the Greek language spoken throughout post-Classical antiquity , developing from the Attic dialect, with admixture of elements especially from Ionic....

 word, 'επιθυμία', Strong's number 1939 and in its various forms. The related word 'ἐπιθυμέω' Strong's number 1937 is rendered as "lust" in the oft-quoted King James Version verse here:
You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully 1937 has already committed adultery with her in his heart.. (Gospel of Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the four canonical gospels, one of the three synoptic gospels, and the first book of the New Testament. It tells of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth...

 5:27–28)

However, this verse represents the only instance 'ἐπιθυμέω' is rendered as 'lust' in the New International Version of the Christian Bible. Further insight can be gained from Jesus Christ describing His own feelings using both of these word forms in Luke 22:15:
And he said unto them, With desire <'επιθυμία' Strong's number 1939> I have desired <'ἐπιθυμέω' Strong's number 1937> to eat this passover with you before I suffer (Luke 22:15, KJV)

Note also that doubling two similar words in Koine Greek is not mere redundancy. Rather, it is a common semantic mechanism to accomplish the emphatic voice. Various versions therefore render Christ's words in Luke 22:15 as "eagerly desired" NIV, "great desire" BBE
Bible in Basic English
The Bible In Basic English is a translation of the Bible into Basic English. The BBE was translated by Professor S. H. Hooke using the standard 850 Basic English words. 100 words that were helpful to understand poetry were added along with 50 "Bible" words for a total of 1,000 words total...

, "fervent desire" NKJV, "earnestly desired" WEB
World English Bible
The World English Bible is a public domain translation of the Bible that is currently in draft form. Work on the World English Bible began in 1997 and was known as the American Standard Version 1997...

, RSV
Revised Standard Version
The Revised Standard Version is an English translation of the Bible published in the mid-20th century. It traces its history to William Tyndale's New Testament translation of 1525. The RSV is an authorized revision of the American Standard Version of 1901...

. Obviously, Mt 5:27–28 has no expression of intense desire using this mechanism.

This analysis raises several questions in Biblical Hermeneutics. Did Christ deprecate even casual heterosexual desire in Mt 5:28? Is all heterosexual desire lust? There are several understandings of Mt 5:27–28 that attempt to answer these questions.
  1. The most permissive view rejects the 16th century translation to "lust". This view centers instead on the word "woman" (γυνή in Koine Greek
    Koine Greek
    Koine Greek is the universal dialect of the Greek language spoken throughout post-Classical antiquity , developing from the Attic dialect, with admixture of elements especially from Ionic....

    , Strong's number 1135). It is taken to mean simply "another man's wife". The KJV renders γυνή as "wife" in 92 of its 201 uses in the Koine Greek Bible. The context of half of those remaining imply that the woman is at least a mother (e.g. having children, etc.), or has a husband, or has prior commitments in some fashion. The presence of the word "adultery" also supports this view. Thus, Mt 5:28 says simply that one is never to covetously desire another man's wife / possession even with a mere look. Value judgments on all other heterosexual desires are therefore considered unstated..
  2. A more traditional view accepts the "lust" translation as if it were inspired by God
    Biblical inspiration
    Biblical inspiration is the doctrine in Christian theology that the authors and editors of the Bible were led or influenced by God with the result that their writings many be designated in some sense the word of God.- Etymology :...

    . It considers almost all heterosexual desire outside marriage to be sin. Romance is usually considered to be non-sexual and is often, therefore, acceptable. This approach is represented in the book "I Kissed Dating Goodbye
    I Kissed Dating Goodbye
    I Kissed Dating Goodbye is a best-selling 1997 book by Joshua Harris. The book focuses on Harris' disenchantment with the contemporary secular dating scene, and offers ideas for improvement, alternative dating/courting practices, and a view that singleness need not be a burden nor characterized by...

    " by Joshua Harris
    Joshua Harris
    Joshua Eugene Harris is an American pastor and author, perhaps most widely known as the author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye , in which he explains what he believes to be the biblical approach to dating and relationships.He is currently senior pastor of Covenant Life Church, the founding church of...

    .
  3. A more demanding approach is to accept the principles of Celibacy
    Celibacy
    Celibacy is a personal commitment to avoiding sexual relations, in particular a vow from marriage. Typically celibacy involves avoiding all romantic relationships of any kind. An individual may choose celibacy for religious reasons, such as is the case for priests in some religions, for reasons of...

     as practiced within Clerical celibacy
    Clerical celibacy
    Clerical celibacy is the discipline by which some or all members of the clergy in certain religions are required to be unmarried. Since these religions consider deliberate sexual thoughts, feelings, and behavior outside of marriage to be sinful, clerical celibacy also requires abstension from these...

     in several world religions, including those by greater Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and historically by the medieval Cathars (e.g. the "perfect") and others. An elaboration of this view is in the titled Roman Catholic section below. q.v.
  4. The final view in this pseudo-continuum considers this verse to be an endorsement of male Homosexuality
    Homosexuality
    Homosexuality is romantic or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality refers to "an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affectional, or romantic attractions" primarily or exclusively to people of the same...

    . In Mt 5:28, Jesus Christ seems to forbid even casual desire for any woman. Several of the extra-biblical (and disputed) apocryphal books, (e.g. the Secret Gospel of Mark
    Secret Gospel of Mark
    The Secret Gospel of Mark is a putative non-canonical Christian gospel known exclusively from the Mar Saba letter, which describes Secret Mark as an expanded version of the canonical Gospel of Mark with some episodes elucidated, written for an initiated elite.In 1973 Morton Smith , professor of...

    ) embody and elaborate this approach. The controversial HBO documentary "Celibacy" relates a saying among monks in the early Saint Catherine's Monastery that "With wine and boys around, monks have no need of the devil to tempt them." Thus, homosexuality is considered in this unusual view to be the most spiritual state possible in matters of sexual desire. See the Lavender Mafia and Homosexuality and Roman Catholic priests. This final view is rejected by established Roman Catholic and most Mainline (Protestant) authorities. See Heresy
    Heresy
    Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma. It is distinct from apostasy, which is the formal denunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion...

    .

Catholicism


According to the Catholic Encyclopedia
Catholic Encyclopedia
The Catholic Encyclopedia, also referred to as the Old Catholic Encyclopedia and the Original Catholic Encyclopedia, is an English-language encyclopedia published in the United States. The first volume appeared in March 1907 and the last three volumes appeared in 1912, followed by a master index...

, a Christian's heart is lustful when "venereal satisfaction is sought for either outside wedlock or, at any rate, in a manner which is contrary to the laws that govern marital intercourse". Pope John Paul II states that lust is totally different from the natural desire for sexual love of man and woman.

In Roman Catholicism, lust became one of the Seven deadly sins
Seven deadly sins
The 7 Deadly Sins, also known as the Capital Vices or Cardinal Sins, is a classification of objectionable vices that have been used since early Christian times to educate and instruct followers concerning fallen humanity's tendency to sin...

, taking the place of extravagance (Latin: luxuria). This change occurred because in the Romance languages
Romance languages
The Romance languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family, more precisely of the Italic languages subfamily, comprising all the languages that descend from Vulgar Latin, the language of ancient Rome...

, the cognate
Cognate
In linguistics, cognates are words that have a common etymological origin. This learned term derives from the Latin cognatus . Cognates within the same language are called doublets. Strictly speaking, loanwords from another language are usually not meant by the term, e.g...

s of luxuria (the Latin name of the sin) evolved
Semantic change
Semantic change, also known as semantic shift or semantic progression describes the evolution of word usage — usually to the point that the modern meaning is radically different from the original usage. In diachronic linguistics, semantic change is a change in one of the meanings of a word...

 to have an exclusively sexual meaning; the Old French
Old French
Old French was the Romance dialect continuum spoken in territories that span roughly the northern half of modern France and parts of modern Belgium and Switzerland from the 9th century to the 14th century...

 cognate was adopted into English as luxury, but this lost its sexual meaning by the 14th century.

Lust is now considered by Catholicism to be a disordered desire; when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.

Hinduism


In the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
The ' , also more simply known as Gita, is a 700-verse Hindu scripture that is part of the ancient Sanskrit epic, the Mahabharata, but is frequently treated as a freestanding text, and in particular, as an Upanishad in its own right, one of the several books that constitute general Vedic tradition...

, Lord Krishna
Krishna
Krishna is a central figure of Hinduism and is traditionally attributed the authorship of the Bhagavad Gita. He is the supreme Being and considered in some monotheistic traditions as an Avatar of Vishnu...

, an Avatar
Avatar
In Hinduism, an avatar is a deliberate descent of a deity to earth, or a descent of the Supreme Being and is mostly translated into English as "incarnation," but more accurately as "appearance" or "manifestation"....

 of Vishnu
Vishnu
Vishnu is the Supreme god in the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism. Smarta followers of Adi Shankara, among others, venerate Vishnu as one of the five primary forms of God....

 declared in verse 21, that lust is one of the gates to Naraka
Naraka
Naraka is the Sanskrit word for the underworld; literally, of man. According to Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism, Naraka is a place of torment, or Hell...

 or hell. "Arjuna
Arjuna
Arjuna in Indian mythology is the greatest warrior on earth and is one of the Pandavas, the heroes of the Hindu epic Mahābhārata. Arjuna, whose name means 'bright', 'shining', 'white' or 'silver' Arjuna (Devanagari: अर्जुन, Thai: อรชุน, Orachun, Tamil: Arjunan, Indonesian and Javanese: Harjuna,...

 said: O descendant of Vrsni, by what is one impelled to sin
Sin
In religion, sin is the violation or deviation of an eternal divine law or standard. The term sin may also refer to the state of having committed such a violation. Christians believe the moral code of conduct is decreed by God In religion, sin (also called peccancy) is the violation or deviation...

ful acts, even unwillingly, as if engaged by force? Then Krishna said: It is lust only, Arjuna, which is born of contact with the material mode of passion and later transformed into wrath, and which is the all-devouring sinful enemy of this world. As fire is covered by smoke, as a mirror is covered by dust, or as the embryo is covered by the womb, the living entity is similarly covered by different degrees of this lust. Thus the wise living entity's pure consciousness
Consciousness
Consciousness is a term that refers to the relationship between the mind and the world with which it interacts. It has been defined as: subjectivity, awareness, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind...

becomes covered by his eternal enemy in the form of lust, which is never satisfied and which burns like fire. The senses, the mind
Mind
The concept of mind is understood in many different ways by many different traditions, ranging from panpsychism and animism to traditional and organized religious views, as well as secular and materialist philosophies. Most agree that minds are constituted by conscious experience and intelligent...

 and the intelligence
Intelligence
Intelligence has been defined in different ways, including the abilities for abstract thought, understanding, communication, reasoning, learning, planning, emotional intelligence and problem solving....

are the sitting places of this lust. Through them lust covers the real knowledge of the living entity and bewilders him. Therefore, O Arjuna, best of the Bharatas, in the very beginning curb this great symbol of sin
Sin
In religion, sin is the violation or deviation of an eternal divine law or standard. The term sin may also refer to the state of having committed such a violation. Christians believe the moral code of conduct is decreed by God In religion, sin (also called peccancy) is the violation or deviation...

—(lust) by regulating the senses, and slay this destroyer of knowledge
Knowledge
Knowledge is a familiarity with someone or something unknown, which can include information, facts, descriptions, or skills acquired through experience or education. It can refer to the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject...

and self-realization
Self-realization
Self-realization is a self-awakening.Self-realization may also refer to:* Self-Realization Fellowship, worldwide spiritual organization founded by Paramahansa Yogananda...

. The working senses are superior to dull matter
Matter
Matter is a general term for the substance of which all physical objects consist. Typically, matter includes atoms and other particles which have mass. A common way of defining matter is as anything that has mass and occupies volume...

; mind
Mind
The concept of mind is understood in many different ways by many different traditions, ranging from panpsychism and animism to traditional and organized religious views, as well as secular and materialist philosophies. Most agree that minds are constituted by conscious experience and intelligent...

 is higher than the senses; intelligence
Intelligence
Intelligence has been defined in different ways, including the abilities for abstract thought, understanding, communication, reasoning, learning, planning, emotional intelligence and problem solving....

 is still higher than the mind
Mind
The concept of mind is understood in many different ways by many different traditions, ranging from panpsychism and animism to traditional and organized religious views, as well as secular and materialist philosophies. Most agree that minds are constituted by conscious experience and intelligent...

; and he [the soul] is even higher than the intelligence
Intelligence
Intelligence has been defined in different ways, including the abilities for abstract thought, understanding, communication, reasoning, learning, planning, emotional intelligence and problem solving....

. Thus knowing oneself to be transcendental
Transcendence (religion)
In religion transcendence refers to the aspect of God's nature which is wholly independent of the physical universe. This is contrasted with immanence where God is fully present in the physical world and thus accessible to creatures in various ways...

to the material senses, mind and intelligence, O mighty-armed Arjuna, one should steady the mind by deliberate spiritual
Spirituality
Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.” Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop...

 intelligence and thus—by spiritual strength—conquer this insatiable enemy known as lust." (Bhagavad-Gita, 3.36–43)
In this ancient manuscript the idea behind the word 'Lust' is best comprehended as the psychological force called 'Wanting'.

Islam


In Islam, intentional lascivious glances are forbidden. Lascivious thoughts are disliked, for they are the first step towards adultery, rape and other antisocial behaviors. But in Islam, "Desire for the opposite sex" is not forbidden (haram
Haram
The Arabic term has a meaning of "sanctuary" or "holy site" in Islam.-Etymology:The Arabic language has two separate words, and , both derived from the same triliteral Semitic root . Both of these words can mean "forbidden" and/or "sacred" in a general way, but each has also developed some...

) as it is natural. the Islamic prophet Mohammed had his fears about lust as he once said, "The fornication of the eyes is to look with lust; the fornication of the tongue is to speak lustful things; the fornication of the hands is to touch with lust; the fornication of the feet is to walk towards lust; the fornication of the heart is to desire evil.", the prophet also stressed the magnitude of the "second glance", as the first glance towards an attractive member of the opposite sex could be just observatory, the second glance could be that gate into lustful thinking. Islam does not advocate celibacy
Celibacy
Celibacy is a personal commitment to avoiding sexual relations, in particular a vow from marriage. Typically celibacy involves avoiding all romantic relationships of any kind. An individual may choose celibacy for religious reasons, such as is the case for priests in some religions, for reasons of...

 but it requires marriage to conduct sex legally. So in conclusion Islam prohibits the actions that may lead to forbidden sexual acts, especially lustful gazing, to decrease the probability of "sinful" behavior.

Judaism


In Judaism, all evil inclinations and lusts of the flesh are characterized by yetzer hara
Yetzer Hara
In Judaism, yetzer hara , or yetzer ra refers to the inclination to do evil, by violating the will of God. The term is drawn from the phrase "the imagination of the heart of man [is] evil" , which occurs twice in the Hebrew Bible, at Genesis 6:5 and 8:21.The yetzer hara is not a demonic force, but...

(Hebrew, יצר הרע). Yetzer hara is not a demonic force; rather, it is man's misuse of the things which the physical body needs to survive, and is often contrasted with yetzer hatov. This idea was derived from Genesis 8:21, which states that "the imagination of the heart of man is evil from his youth".

Yetzer hara is often identified with Satan and the angel of death, and there is sometimes a tendency to give a personality and separate activity to the Yetzer. For the Yetzer, like Satan, misleads man in this world, and testifies against him in the world to come. Yetzer is, however, clearly distinguished from Satan, and on other occasions is made exactly parallel to sin. The Torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

 is considered the great antidote against this force. Though, like all things which God has made, the Yetzer is good: for without it, man would never marry, beget a child, build a house, or trade.

Paganism


Few ancient, pagan religions have actually considered lust to be a vice. The most famous example of a widespread religious movement practicing lechery as a ritual would be the Bacchanalias of the Ancient Roman Bacchantes. However, this activity was soon outlawed by the Roman Senate in 186 BC
186 BC
Year 186 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Albinus and Philippus...

 in the decree Senatus consultum de Bacchanalibus
Senatus consultum de Bacchanalibus
The senatus consultum de Bacchanalibus is a notable Old Latin inscription dating to AUC 568, or 186 BC. It was discovered in 1640 at Tiriolo, southern Italy...

. The practice of sacred prostitution, however, continued to be an activity practiced often by the Dionysians.

Sikhism


In Sikhism, lust is counted among the five cardinal sins or sinful propensities (the others being anger
Anger
Anger is an automatic response to ill treatment. It is the way a person indicates he or she will not tolerate certain types of behaviour. It is a feedback mechanism in which an unpleasant stimulus is met with an unpleasant response....

, ego, greed and attachment
Attachment theory
Attachment theory describes the dynamics of long-term relationships between humans. Its most important tenet is that an infant needs to develop a relationship with at least one primary caregiver for social and emotional development to occur normally. Attachment theory is an interdisciplinary study...

). In common usage, the term stands for wanting to have sex and it is in this sense that it is considered an evil if uncontrolled in Sikhism.

Brahma Kumaris


According to Brahma Kumaris religion, sex lust is the greatest enemy to mankind and the gateway to hell. Followers do not eat onions, garlic and eggs as the sulphur in them can excite sex-lust in the body which is bound to celibacy in the Brahma Kumari doctrine. Physical sex is impure and leads to body-consciousness and many crimes. It poisons the body and leads to many diseases. The Brahma Kumaris teach is it like foraging about in a sewer. Students at the Spiritual University must conquer lust in order to go to Golden Age
Golden Age
The term Golden Age comes from Greek mythology and legend and refers to the first in a sequence of four or five Ages of Man, in which the Golden Age is first, followed in sequence, by the Silver, Bronze, and Iron Ages, and then the present, a period of decline...

 heaven on earth where children are created by power of mind for 2,500 years of peace and purity (like holy swan).

Meher Baba's teachings


The spiritual teacher Meher Baba
Meher Baba
Meher Baba , , born Merwan Sheriar Irani, was an Indian mystic and spiritual master who declared publicly in 1954 that he was the Avatar of the age....

 described the differences between lust and love:
In lust there is reliance upon the object of sense and consequent spiritual subordination of the soul to it, but love puts the soul into direct and co-ordinate relation with the reality which is behind the form. Therefore lust is experienced as being heavy and love is experienced as being light. In lust there is a narrowing down of life and in love there is an expansion in being...If you love the whole world you vicariously live in the whole world, but in lust there is an ebbing down of life and a general sense of hopeless dependence upon a form which is regarded as another. Thus, in lust there is the accentuation of separateness and suffering, but in love there is the feeling of unity and joy....

In art



Literature


From Ovid
Ovid
Publius Ovidius Naso , known as Ovid in the English-speaking world, was a Roman poet who is best known as the author of the three major collections of erotic poetry: Heroides, Amores, and Ars Amatoria...

 to the works of les poètes maudits
Poète maudit
A poète maudit is a poet living a life outside or against society. Abuse of drugs and alcohol, insanity, crime, violence, and in general any societal sin, often resulting in an early death are typical elements of the biography of a poète maudit....

, characters have always been faced with scenes of lechery, and long since has lust been a common motif in world literature. Many writers, such as Georges Bataille
Georges Bataille
Georges Bataille was a French writer. His multifaceted work is linked to the domains of literature, anthropology, philosophy, economy, sociology and history of art...

, Casanova and Prosper Mérimée
Prosper Mérimée
Prosper Mérimée was a French dramatist, historian, archaeologist, and short story writer. He is perhaps best known for his novella Carmen, which became the basis of Bizet's opera Carmen.-Life:...

, have written works wherein scenes at bordellos and other unseemly locales take place.

Despite the apparent evils of Baudelaire, author of Les fleurs du mal
Les Fleurs du mal
Les Fleurs du mal is a volume of French poetry by Charles Baudelaire. First published in 1857 , it was important in the symbolist and modernist movements...

, he had once remarked, in regard to the artist, that "The more a man cultivates the arts, the less randy he becomes... Only the brute is good at coupling, and copulation is the lyricism of the masses. To copulate is to enter into another—and the artist never emerges from himself".

The most notable work to touch upon the sin of lust, and all of the Seven Deadly Sins, is Dante's la Divina Commedia. Dante's criterion for lust was an "excessive love of others," insofar as an excessive love for man would render one's love of God secondary.

In the first canticle of Dante's
DANTE
Delivery of Advanced Network Technology to Europe is a not-for-profit organisation that plans, builds and operates the international networks that interconnect the various national research and education networks in Europe and surrounding regions...

 Inferno, the lustful are punished by being continuously swept around in a whirlwind, which symbolizes their passions. The damned who are guilty of lust, like the two famous lovers, Paolo and Francesca, receive what they desired in their mortal lives, their passions never give them rest for all eternity. In Purgatorio
Purgatorio
Purgatorio is the second part of Dante's Divine Comedy, following the Inferno, and preceding the Paradiso. The poem was written in the early 14th century. It is an allegory telling of the climb of Dante up the Mount of Purgatory, guided by the Roman poet Virgil...

, of the selfsame work, the penitents choose to walk through flames in order to purge themselves of their lustful inclinations.

In philosophy


The link between love
Love
Love is an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment. In philosophical context, love is a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection. Love is central to many religions, as in the Christian phrase, "God is love" or Agape in the Canonical gospels...

 and lust has always been a problematic question in philosophy.

Schopenhauer notes the misery which results from sexual relationships. According to him, this directly explains the sentiments of shame and sadness which tend to follow the act of sexual intercourse. For, he states, the only power that reigns is the inextinguishable desire to face, at any price, the blind love present in human existence without any consideration of the outcome. He estimates that a genius of his species is an industrial being who wants only to produce, and wants only to think. The theme of lust for Schopenhauer is thus to consider the horrors which will almost certainly follow the culmination of lust.

In New Age Teachings


In many religious doctrines lust is loosely defined with the result that it is often equated and confused with the physical expression of love in the sexual act. Barry Long
Barry Long
Barry Long was an Australian spiritual teacher and writer.Barry Long was born and raised in Australia and had little formal education. In his twenties he became editor of a Sunday newspaper and later press secretary in the New South Wales Parliament. At this time he was married with two children...

 states that lusting is only the thinking about sex, and this thinking about the natural sexual energy gives rise to a separate powerful emotional condition known as lust. This emotional condition is the problem in love. A quote from Barry Long on the subject of celibacy (with regard to being free of sexual force) clarifies his definition of love:
"You don’t need a celibate body, you need a celibate mind"

A celibate mind is a mind free of lust. He states that the natural attraction between the sexes is pure and holy. The physical act of sex in the absence of wanting and trying, thinking and fantasizing(lust), results in the creation of a state of love in the bodies. The error in love is to think about sex.

Relation to "Lechery"


Lechery currently redirects to this article though it is not the same as lust. Lust is an interior, psychological action. Lechery is behaviour, a physical manifestation or behavioural pattern of an interior condition (lust). Lust does not necessarily result in the action of lechery. The dictionary definition confirms that lechery is a behaviour: inordinate indulgence in sexual activity; unrestrained and promiscuous sexuality; immoderate indulgence of sexual desire; lewd and lustful behavior.

In psychoanalysis and psychology



Lust, in the domain of psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis is a psychological theory developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis has expanded, been criticized and developed in different directions, mostly by some of Freud's former students, such as Alfred Adler and Carl Gustav...

 and psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

, is often treated as a case of "heightened libido
Libido
Libido refers to a person's sex drive or desire for sexual activity. The desire for sex is an aspect of a person's sexuality, but varies enormously from one person to another, and it also varies depending on circumstances at a particular time. A person who has extremely frequent or a suddenly...

".
A person is more likely to lust over someone who does not resemble oneself. Self-relatedness is a cue of kinship and causes an instinctual reaction to not be attracted. Therefore, self-resemblance decreases attractiveness and sexual desire in a person while less resemblance increases attractiveness and sexual desire creating a higher possibility of lust.

See also

  • Concupiscence
    Concupiscence
    Concupiscence is often defined as an ardent, usually sensual, longing or lust. The concept is most commonly encountered in Christian theology, as the selfish human desire for an object, person, or experience...

  • Kam
    Kam
    Kam meaning deep desire, uncontrolled longing, concupiscence, sensuality or lasciviousness is counted among the five cardinal sins or sinful propensities in Sikhism. In common usage, the term stands for excessive passion for sexual pleasure and it is in this sense that it is considered an evil...

  • Kama
    Kama
    Kāma is often translated from Sanskrit as sexual desire, sexual pleasure, sensual gratification, sexual fulfillment, or eros54654564+more broadly mean desire, wish, passion, longing, pleasure of the senses, the aesthetic enjoyment of life, affection, or love, without sexual connotations.-Kama in...

  • Libido
    Libido
    Libido refers to a person's sex drive or desire for sexual activity. The desire for sex is an aspect of a person's sexuality, but varies enormously from one person to another, and it also varies depending on circumstances at a particular time. A person who has extremely frequent or a suddenly...

  • Love
    Love
    Love is an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment. In philosophical context, love is a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection. Love is central to many religions, as in the Christian phrase, "God is love" or Agape in the Canonical gospels...

  • Masturbation
    Masturbation
    Masturbation refers to sexual stimulation of a person's own genitals, usually to the point of orgasm. The stimulation can be performed manually, by use of objects or tools, or by some combination of these methods. Masturbation is a common form of autoeroticism...

  • Seven Deadly Sins
    Seven deadly sins
    The 7 Deadly Sins, also known as the Capital Vices or Cardinal Sins, is a classification of objectionable vices that have been used since early Christian times to educate and instruct followers concerning fallen humanity's tendency to sin...

  • Sexual attraction
    Sexual attraction
    Sexual attractiveness or sex appeal refers to an individual's ability to attract the sexual or erotic interest of another person, and is a factor in sexual selection or mate choice. The attraction can be to the physical or other qualities or traits of a person, or to such qualities in the context...

    Lust
    Envy
    Envy
    Envy is best defined as a resentful emotion that "occurs when a person lacks another's superior quality, achievement, or possession and either desires it or wishes that the other lacked it."...

    Gluttony
    Gluttony
    Gluttony, derived from the Latin gluttire meaning to gulp down or swallow, means over-indulgence and over-consumption of food, drink, intoxicants or wealth items to the point of extravagance or waste...

    Greed
    Pride
    Pride
    Pride is an inwardly directed emotion that carries two common meanings. With a negative connotation, pride refers to an inflated sense of one's personal status or accomplishments, often used synonymously with hubris...

    Sloth
    Sloth (deadly sin)
    In the Christian moral tradition, sloth is one of the seven capital sins, often called the seven deadly sins; these sins are called sins because they supposedly destroy the charity in a person's heart and thus may lead to eternal death.-Definition:Sloth is defined as spiritual or emotional...

    Wrath

Further reading


External links