Delusion Makes You Happy

If Folly is any judge, that man is the happiest who is most thoroughly deluded.  May he remain in that state which comes from me alone and is so widespread that I doubt whether there can be found one person in the whole race of man who has been wise for every moment of his life and has never been touched by some madness or other. The reason a person who believes he sees a woman when in reality he is looking at a gourd is called crazy is because this is something beyond usual experience.  However, when a person thinks his wife, who is enjoyed by many, to be a an ever-faithful Penelope, he is not called insane at all because people know that this is a common thing in marriage.” Desiderius Erasmus, The Praise of Folly, in The Essential Erasmus, trans. John P. Dolan (New York, 1964), 128.

In this famous satire, Erasmus gives folly a voice.  Here he explains how those who are the most deluded seem the happiest in this temporal life.

This entry was posted in Erasmus, happiness, Renaissance. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.