“There is always something of a gap between sincerely expressed and sincerely held ideals and one’s inward conformity to and transformation by those ideals.”
In simpler terms, ‘easier said than done.’
Peter Abelard, students from around the world may have flocked to France in order to learn from your genius… however, your flaw… one that quite possibly prevented you from achieving happiness, one that Juan Ramon Jimenez observed so eloquently:
“That love of Eloise; what tenderness,
what simplicity, what perfect reality!
All was clear and named by its name,
in full chastity. While she remained in the midst of
not touched by what is low within the fullness.
If your woman, Peter Abelard, could be like that, then
the ideal lives, we must not deny it.
Your ideal lived, why did you deny it,
stupid Peter Abelard?
Men, women, men,
we must find the ideal, for it exists.
Eloise, Eloise, in what does the ideal
end? And tell us, what are you now,
and where are you now? Why did you, vain Peter Abelard,
send her to a convent, while you went away
with the plebian monks, if she were
the center of your life, of her life, of life,
and wouldn’t it have been the same with you when you
as before, if she were the ideal? You did not know,
I am the one who knows it, disobedience
from the sweetly obedient, full of grace.”