If you find yourself writing a sex blog but devoid of an appropriate Valentine’s Day post, I do not recommend going to Pyrosophy, where my friend Dr. Faustus slings a brand of dark philosophy that’s too pessimistic for my own none-too-sunny disposition and worldview. However, his take on a remembered parable may have resonances for anybody whose Valentine’s Day is not going as romantically as the movies-and-television V-day fantasy would lead us to expect.

First, the parable:

In ancient China there was a Taoist Adept whose commitment to knowing the Way was unsurpassed. He practiced arcane arts and strange disciplines without fail for years and years until at last he had achieved such a state of perfect equilibrium with his natural surroundings that he was able to walk on water. Filled with excitement at this achievement, he summoned his Master and demonstrated this extraordinary ability. Instead of being astonished or praising the Adept, the Master merely turned aside and shook his head sadly. “Oh my son,” he said, “why do you bother with such foolishness when only a hundred yards downstream Old Ling the Ferryman would have been happy to carry you across the river for a few pennies?”

And here’s the patented Dr. Faustus gloss:

This charming anecdote might be about many things, but I myself happen to think that it is best told to anyone contemplating entry into a romantic relationship.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody!

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