XXXVI. But the holy scripture has prohibited such an exchange as this when it says, “Thou shalt not exchange good for Evil”{53}{#le 27:33.} (111) On this account therefore pleasure is accursed, and let us now see how well adapted to it are the curses which the scripture denounces against it, “Thou shalt be cursed” says God, “above all creatures.” Therefore, the whole race of animals is irrational andunder the guidance only of the external senses; but every one of the outward senses curses pleasure as a most inimical and hostile thing to it; for it is in reality hostile to the outward senses. And the proof of this is that, when we are sated with an immoderate indulgence in pleasure, we are not able either to see, or to hear, or to smell, or to taste, or to touch with any clearness of our faculties, but we make all our essays and approaches in an obscure and imbecile manner. (112) And this happens to us when we are for a moment at a distance from its infection; but at the exact moment of the enjoyment of pleasure we are completely deprived of all such perception as can arise from the operation of the outward senses, so that we seem to be mutilated. How then can it be anything but natural for the outward sense to denounce curses upon pleasure which thus deprives it of its faculties?

XXXVII. (113) “And he is accursed beyond all the beasts of the field.” And I mean by this, beyond all the passions of the soul, for it is only there that the mind is wounded and destroyed. Why then does this one appear to be worse than all the other passions? Because it is almost at the bottom of them all, as a sort of base or foundation for them, for desire originates in the love of pleasure, and pain consists in the removal of pleasure; and fear again is caused by a desire to guard against its absence. So it is plain that all the passions are anchored on pleasure; and perhaps one might say that they would absolutely have had no existence at all if pleasure had not been previously laid down as a foundation to support them.