What does “Love is blind” mean?
“Love is blind” describes the weakness of a person in love who fails to see the flaws and imperfections of the person they love, and who often becomes oblivious to reality and ignores the wrong decisions they are making due to influence of that person.
Love is blind and cannot always see things as they appear to others.
In this next story we can see many a clichè about love…
The Story of Cupid and Psyche
Cupid, god of love, was the son of Mars and Venus; and though he was always the happiest of children, his mother was distressed because he never grew up, but remained year after year a chubby, dimpled child. When she consulted Themis, the goddess of Justice, to find out why Cupid was never any older, she was told that “Love cannot grow without Passion.” This explanation was at first very mystifying; but later, when Anteros was born, Venus understood the meaning of the strange words. Cupid then developed into a tall slender youth who did not revert to his childish form except in his brother’s absence, when he again became a rosy, mischievous child. Though grown larger in stature, the god of love still kept his gauzy wings, and always carried a bow and a quiver full of arrows. No mortal ever saw him, though many knew when he had come and gone; but should any one be touched by a shaft sent carelessly from Cupid’s golden bow, he was henceforth a slave to the slender winged god who bore lightly in his hand so much of human happiness and misery.
There was once a king who had three daughters whose beauty was famed far and wide; but the loveliness of the youngest was so great that people called her the goddess of Beauty and worshiped her with offerings of flowers. The maiden, Psyche, was troubled over all this adoration, and begged her followers to cease from their mad worship; for she knew that Venus would be sure to punish the one who usurped her title and received the homage due only to an immortal. The people continued, however, to call Psyche the goddess of beauty; and when Venus saw her own temple forsaken and her shrines ungarlanded, she was so incensed at the insult that she vowed to punish poor Psyche, who had been a most unwilling object of all this mistaken devotion. The goddess summoned her son Cupid to her presence and bade him go slay the maiden who had presumed to be her rival in beauty.
Believing that his mother’s anger was justified, Cupid was quite willing to kill the offending mortal with one of his poisoned arrows; and accordingly he went in search of Psyche, whom he found asleep in one of the rooms of her father’s palace. It was night, and the moonlight shone through the open window, falling softly upon the couch where the maiden, unconscious of her doom, lay sleeping.
One bright beam had lightly touched her forehead just as Cupid entered, and he saw with delight the loveliness that his mother had been eager to destroy. As he leaned nearer to the sleeping maiden one of his own arrows grazed his side, and all unknowingly he was wounded. Not wishing to harm the beauty that he was now beginning to love, Cupid softly left the room and went back to Olympus.
When Venus found that her rival was not dead, and that Cupid refused to hurt a thing so fair, she began to persecute poor Psyche until life grew unbearable for the helpless maiden, and she determined to kill herself. So she stole secretly from the palace and climbed up a high mountain, where there was a ledge of rock overhanging a steep cliff. It was rather fearful to look down into the valley from the rocky ledge, and for a moment Psyche’s heart failed her; but then she remembered the daily annoyances that Venus inflicted upon her, and she remembered also the words of the oracle which said that her future husband was to be “no mortal, but a monster whom neither gods nor men can resist.” So, summoning all her courage, she threw herself over the cliff, expecting to be dashed to pieces upon the rocks below. But Cupid had been watching over her, ever since she began her weary journey up the mountain; and when he realized what she meant to do, he commanded Zephyrus to keep very near and to catch her lightly when she fell. So it was not upon the cruel rocks that Psyche’s soft body lay, but in the friendly arms of the west wind who bore her to a distant island, where Cupid had already made preparations for her coming.
On the thick grass in the midst of a beautiful garden, Zephyrus laid his slight burden; and when Psyche opened her eyes, she found herself unhurt, though bewildered by her strange journey through the air and by its unexpected ending. She rose from the grass and began to wander about the garden, wondering where she might be and what land lay beyond the blue water whose waves rolled lazily upon the beach that stretched away for miles at the foot of the garden. Then she strolled further inland among the flowers, and soon came to a beautiful palace whose doors were opened wide as if to welcome her. Timidly she entered the stately hall, and saw before her a richly-laden table and a chair placed in readiness for the coming guest. Soon she heard voices speaking to her gently, and they bade her eat and drink, for the feast was spread in her honor. Seeing no one, but reassured by the kindly voices, she ate of the food so generously provided. Then she went again into the garden, but left it soon and hurried down to the sea; for when evening came on, she began to be lonely, and the silence of the garden grew oppressive. On the beach she heard the sound of lapping water and felt herself a part of the life that beats forever in the restless changing sea.
At night she sought the palace where the unseen servitors again ministered to her wants; and in the darkness, Cupid came to woo her. He did not reveal his name, but he told how he had rescued her from death and brought her to this island, that she might never again be persecuted by jealous Venus. Everything that she wished for would be hers for the mere asking, and the invisible attendants would always be on hand to do her bidding. He himself would ever be her loyal lover; and would come each night to cheer her solitude. The only thing that he asked in return was that she should never seek to know his name or try to see his face. Psyche listened to the words of Cupid, and was won by the soft pleading of his voice. She was content to stay on the unknown island, and to be with her unseen lover, whose name and face must remain forever a mystery. Many happy weeks passed, and Psyche never wished to leave her new home, for though she was often lonely as she walked each day in the rose-garden, she forgot the long hours of solitude when Cupid came at night to gladden her with his love and to tell her of his wanderings.
As time went on Psyche began to wonder how things were faring at her father’s palace; and she wished very much to see her sisters who must have long since believed her dead. Cupid had told her she might ask for anything that she wished save the two forbidden things, so she summoned the west wind and bade him bring her sisters to her. Zephyrus gladly obeyed, and soon Psyche saw her two sisters standing beside her, more astonished than she to find themselves there. For hours they talked together, and Psyche told them of her adventure on the mountain and how she had been rescued by the friendly west wind. She told them of her mysterious lover, of his riches and his great kindness, and regretted that she could not describe his appearance; but, she explained, this was impossible since she herself had never seen him. As the sisters listened to Psyche’s story, their hearts were filled with bitter envy that she should be thus favored above all other maidens; and they planned to rob her of her happiness. They reminded her of the words of the oracle that she should marry a monster; and under the pretense of a loving interest in her welfare, they urged her to break her promise to her lover and to find out whether he was in truth a monster that was only waiting his time to devour her. Psyche at first scorned these malicious suggestions, but by and by they began to make an impression on her troubled mind, and she found herself ready to listen and to believe. Finally she agreed to carry out the plan that her sisters arranged, which was to secrete a sharp knife in her room and use it to kill the monster as he slept.
When Zephyrus had taken the sisters back to their own home, and Psyche was once more alone, she felt ashamed of the promise that she had made them; but at the same time she could not forget the words of the oracle nor cast off the suspicions that now filled her mind. She was anxious, too, to see her lover’s face and to be able to confront her sisters with the truth when they should taunt her again. So that night when Cupid was fast asleep, she rose softly, and by the light of a tiny lamp which she noiselessly lit, she groped for the knife with which she intended to slay the creature who—her sisters assured her—was so frightful that he dared not show his face. Cautiously she stepped to Cupid’s side, and held over him the flickering lamp; but how astonished she was to behold—not an ugly monster as she had expected—but a slender youth whose beauty was so great that she felt her heart beat fast with joy. Breathless she gazed at the unconscious form, and dared not move for fear of waking him; but as she bent adoringly over him a drop of oil fell from her lamp on Cupid’s shoulder, and he awoke.
For a moment he stared with startled eyes at the knife and the lamp held in her trembling hands; then he understood the meaning of it all, and his beautiful face grew sad. In a voice full of pity he spoke to the now remorseful Psyche, and told her that, as she had broken her promise, he must go away from her and never come again. In vain Psyche wept and begged him to forgive her rash deed, confessing that it was her sisters who had tempted her to betray her trust. But Cupid gently freed himself from her clinging arms, and spreading his gauzy wings flew out into the night. Psyche, still weeping, went down into the garden, hoping that Love might relent and return in spite of his parting words; but as the hours passed she was still waiting alone, and when the morning came it found her fast asleep, lying wet-eyed among the dew-laden flowers.
When at last Psyche awoke, it was midday; and looking around she found to her surprise that she was in a deep valley with mountains on all sides, and that the palace with its rose-garden had vanished. All day she wandered in the valley, meeting no one who might direct her to her home; and when at length she came to a stately marble temple, she was glad to enter it and rest. Though she did not know to whom the temple was dedicated, Psyche prayed to the gods for help; and Ceres, at whose altar she was kneeling, heard her, and in pity answered her prayers. She told the disheartened maiden that her lover was no other than Cupid, the god of Love, “whom neither gods nor man can resist,” and that if she wished to gain favor in the eyes of his mother,—and thereby win her lover back,—she would do well to seek the temple of Venus and offer her services to the offended goddess.
Psyche listened to these friendly words, and thanked Ceres for taking pity on her suffering. When she left the temple she walked many miles through the valley, until she came to a shrine on which were hung flowers, fruit, and jewels, which the suppliants of Venus had brought as votive offerings. Before this shrine Psyche knelt very humbly, and implored the goddess of Beauty to accept her service and set her some task by which she could prove her fidelity. Venus was still angry at the memory of Psyche’s former honors, and she was not to be placated by any prayers, however sincere. She accepted the maiden’s service, but determined to torment her by setting impossible tasks.
She brought Psyche into a granary, where there were thousands of different kinds of seeds all thrown in bewildering and unsorted heaps. Pointing to these, the goddess bade her separate them all, and pile them together so that by nightfall each seed should be in its proper place. Poor Psyche was in despair at ever being able to tell one kind of seed from another; but Cupid, hearing her sighs, sent an army of ants who worked silently and swiftly at the enormous heap of seeds, and before twilight came the work was done.
When Venus saw this almost impossible task accomplished, she knew that Psyche had never done the work unaided; so reproving her angrily for her incompetence, she gave the maiden another commission, which was to gather some golden fleece from the sheep that were browsing in a meadow not far from Venus’s shrine. Next morning Psyche set about her task, but as she neared the river that must be crossed before she could reach the meadow, the kindly reeds on the water’s edge spoke to her, and warned her of the danger of her undertaking. They told her that the rams in the flock were so fierce that they would surely destroy her if she ventured at this hour among them; but that if she waited until noontide, when they grew drowsy and lay down on the grass beside the river, then she could cross in safety, and gather the bits of golden fleece which she would find caught on the bushes. Psyche listened gratefully to this advice; and when the sun was high overhead, and the panting sheep were gathered by the river, lulled to sleep by the drowsy murmur of the reeds, she crossed the water fearlessly, and gathered an armful of golden fleece from the bushes among which the flock had wandered. That night she delivered her precious burden to Venus, who again reproved her angrily, knowing well that it was through Cupid’s intervention that she had escaped the dangerous rams.
Then the goddess gave her a third errand, and bade her go down to gruesome Hades to beg of Proserpina, Pluto’s queen, a box of her magic ointment, which could restore all fading beauty to its former perfection. In the early morning Psyche set out on her journey, fearful of the dangers that lurked by the way, but eager to gain the favor of her hard-hearted mistress, so that she might thereby win her lover back. When she had walked many hours, not knowing where to find the entrance to remote and unsought Hades, a voice whispered softly in her ear, telling her of a certain cave through which she might enter the dreaded region of the dead. Then the voice directed her how to go unharmed past Cerberus, the three-headed dog, and how to persuade Charon, the silent ferryman, to row her across the black and swiftly-flowing river. Encouraged by this timely help, Psyche was able to secure the desired box, and to come safely out of that dark country from which only the gods are privileged to return.
As she trod wearily up the valley back to the shrine of Venus, it occurred to her to take a little of the magic ointment for herself, for she knew that these days of waiting and working had dimmed the beauty that once charmed Cupid’s eyes. So she opened the box and out sprang the invincible Spirit of Sleep, who seized upon poor unresisting Psyche and laid her, apparently lifeless, by the roadside. But Cupid was watching over his beloved through all the stages of her journey; and when he saw her unconscious on the ground, he flew quickly to her assistance, and fought with the masterful Spirit of Sleep until he conquered it, and compelled it to return to the box from which it had been set free. Then he roused Psyche from her sudden sleep and told her that her troubles were at an end, for henceforth he would always stay beside her. Together they went up to bright Olympus and stood before Jupiter’s throne, where Cupid besought the gods to look with favor upon their love and to grant to Psyche the gift of immortal life. To this great Jupiter gladly consented; and Venus, who was now ready to forgive her one-time rival, welcomed her as the fitting wife of Cupid,—for Psyche is but another name for Soul, and the Soul, to find its true happiness, must dwell forever with Love.
Excerpt from “STORIES OF OLD GREECE AND ROME BY EMILIE KIP BAKER”
Love is blind, and lovers cannot see, the pretty follies that themselves commit.
The Merchant of Venice – Act 2, Scene 6
― William Shakespeare
Love is blind; friendship closes its eyes.
― Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Love is blind and love can be foolish – Our heart doesn’t always love the right people at the right time. Sometimes we hurt the ones that love us the most and sometimes we love the ones that don’t deserve our love at all.
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