In my opinion I feel as if Augustine’s Confessions is still very much relevant and timeless in today’s world in the aspect of religion and spirituality, morality, and love. In Confessions Augustine undergoes a transition from his original view on religion to a different view. He begins to be cautious of sin in his life and in the lives of those around him. Most of all, Confessions helps in understanding the Journey of man in his search for a more spiritual connection, the struggles they may be faced with, and he right path to be chosen, which is a struggle that many can relate to today.
When looking at this in Confessions you see in Book VIII, Augustine tells us of his transition to Christianity. He describes how he was able to overcome his struggle with his internal battles and become a follower of Christ. Augustine describes his struggle as having “two wills, one carnal, one spiritual, were in conflict with one and other”.
Augustine’s is having an internal battle between his pleasure seeking side and his spiritual side. The quote “This was the controversy raging in my heart, a controversy about myself, against myself” is where Augustine recognizes this internal conflict between his good and bad side.
This is when he embraces Christianity. This statement is relevant today in many ways. The statement does not Just apply to religion. In life in general, there will always be internal battles that you will have to face. Whatever it may be, you will have to decide what the right path to take it is and this will be what defines you as a person.
During Augustine’s Journey you notice in ook VI of Confessions that Augustine is struggling with his feelings on sex, women, and love.
He begins his spiritual Journey and has to change his perspective from being a young man that has an overwhelming desire for sex and women to a lifestyle that is in compliance with the church. This means that he can only have sexual relations within the confines of marriage. Augustine comments on his struggle with this as he describes himself as a “slave for lust”. After he sends his mistress away he says: “And so, since I was not a lover of wedlock so much as a slave of lust, I procured nother mistress – not a wife, of course.
Thus in bondage to a lasting habit, the disease of my soul might be nursed up and kept in its vigor or even increased until it reached the realm of matrimony. Nor indeed was the wound healed that had been caused by cutting away my former mistress; only it ceased to burn and throb, and began to fester, and was more dangerous because it was less painful. ” Augustine uses words such as “wound”, “bondage”, and “disease of my soul” suggesting that Augustine sees this as a bad habit that needs to be fixed. In book VI you can see that is thoughts on women and love are pushing towards the church’s thoughts on it. Yet, his body is still struggling with this his lustful desires.
After reading Confessions you can see what the Augustine goes through in order to achieve his goals of spirituality. As well as through his first-person narratives you gain an understanding as to what may lead to conversion and the path towards spirituality. Through reason and the strength to overcome the struggles with internal battles, such as morality and lust, the Journey can be completed.