The spiritual world of Ramon Llull
The book of the Lover and the Beloved / Lo libre de Amich e Amet
Love has made its home between fear and hope, and lives in anxiety there.
But it dies forgotten, when its foundation rest on worldly delights
“The book of the Lover and the Beloved” is one of the most impressing books of Ramon Llull, one of the most remarkable authors form the middle ages in Europe. The book consists of 366 verses for daily reflection. Ramon Llull call these verses “moral metaphors”. Below a selection of some moral metaphors:
The roads where the Lover seeks his Beloved are long and dangerous, crowded with cares, longing sighs, and weeping, but illuminated with love.
They asked the Lover if he would trade his Beloved for another. He answered:
”But who else is better and nobler than the sovereign eternal good, who is infinite in greatness, power, wisdom, love, and perfection”.
While the Lover wandered in this travail, he found a hermit sleeping beside a beautiful spring. The Lover awakened the hermit and asked if he had seen his Beloved in his dreams. The hermit replied that the prison of love held his thoughts captive both when sleeping and when awake. The Lover was delighted to find a companion in prison. They both cried with joy because the Beloved had few such Lovers.
The lover asked the Intellect and Will which was closer to his beloved.
The two ran a race, but the intellect reached the Beloved faster than the will.
My Beloved is one. In His unity my cares and desired unite as one will.
The unity of my Beloved upholds all unities and pluralities and the plurality in my Beloved upholds all unities and pluralities.
The light from the room of the Beloved shined into the room of the Lover, relieving its darkness and filling with pleasure, anguish, and cares. The Lover threw everything out of his room in order to welcome the Beloved there.
They asked the Lover what the fruits of love were. He answered: “pleasure, meditation, desire, sights, anxiety, travail, danger, torment and anguish: love does not allow his servants to touch it without these fruits”.
“The book of the Lover and the Beloved” inspires me as a metaphor of the human being searching for meaning and higher values than guide us on the way we choose to go.
Ramon Llull, The book of the Lover and the Beloved (Lo libre de Amich e Amat).
An English translation with Latin and Old Catalan Versions transcribed form original manuscripts
by Mark D. Thompson, 1995. Warmister, UK: Aris & Phillips Ltd in association with the Centre for Mediterranean Studies, University of Bristol.
ISBN 085668 633 6 (cloth)
ISBN 085668 634 4 (limp)sed.