0

I am struggling to understand the following sentence.

“I tell them that if they will occupy themselves with the study of mathematics they will find in it the best remedy against the lusts of the flesh.”

― Thomas Mann

I read this post but still I don't understand "... remedy against ... ".

Does the phrase "the best remedy against the lusts of the flesh" mean the best remedy after 'damages' of sexual activities, etc. or does it mean the best means to prevent someone from the lusts of the flesh, or something else?

closed as off-topic by J. Taylor, Robusto, Scott, curiousdannii, jimm101 Nov 14 '18 at 14:08

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • I don't have time to write a proper answer now, but roughly: "this is the best way to quench sexual desires". – njuffa Nov 10 '18 at 5:33
  • What exactly are 'damages' of sexual activities"? – michael.hor257k Nov 10 '18 at 11:24
  • 2
    If only I had known, at 13, that hard study of mathematics would distract me from impure thoughts! – Michael Harvey Nov 10 '18 at 14:58
  • Could you give the source of this quotation please. – David Nov 11 '18 at 23:37
3

Lust is not a sexual activity. Lust is a desire for sexual activity (among other things):

1 Strong sexual desire.
‘he knew that his lust for her had returned’

1.1 [in singular] A passionate desire for something.
‘a lust for power’

1.2 [usually lusts] Theology A sensuous appetite regarded as sinful.
‘lusts of the flesh’

Therefore, a remedy against lust cures the lust, the desire itself. The person so cured will have no desire for activities that bring (only) bodily pleasure.

(In other words, he's saying that studying math will keep them from masturbating and/or fornicating - whichever they were doing.)

-1

Does the phrase "the best remedy against the lusts of the flesh" mean the best remedy after 'damages' of sexual activities, etc. or does it mean the best means to prevent someone from the lusts of the flesh?

With remedy meaning: Vocabulary.com

something that relieves or cures a problem or illness

My sense, by rewriting the phrase for explanation, would be:

“I tell them that if they will occupy themselves with the study of mathematics, they will find in it the best remedy against the lusts of the flesh, now and in the future

  • 1
    Wow. Such a simple question, yet you have somehow managed to completely avoid answering it. – michael.hor257k Nov 10 '18 at 11:00