08 Oct We do not perceive ourselves to be sick, renders us more hard to be cured (MICHEL DE MONTAIGNE)
Let us add another story, not very improper for this subject, which Seneca relates in one of his epistles:
“You know,” says he, writing to Lucilius, “that Harpaste, my wife’s fool, is thrown upon me as an hereditary charge, for I have naturally an aversion to those monsters; and if I have a mind to laugh at a fool, I need not seek him far; I can laugh at myself. This fool has suddenly lost her sight.
I tell you a strange, but a very true thing she is not sensible that she is blind, but eternally importunes her keeper to take her abroad, because she says the house is dark.
That what we laugh at in her, I pray you to believe, happens to every one of us: no one knows himself to be avaricious or grasping.
And, again, the blind call for a guide, while we stray of our own accord. I am not ambitious, we say; but a man cannot live otherwise at Rome; I am not wasteful, but the city requires a great outlay; ’tis not my fault if I am choleric — if I have not yet established any certain course of life: ’tis the fault of youth. Let us not seek our disease out of ourselves; ’tis in us, and planted in our bowels; and the mere fact that we do not perceive ourselves to be sick, renders us more hard to be cured.
If we do not betimes begin to see to ourselves, when shall we have provided for so many wounds and evils wherewith we abound? And yet we have a most sweet and charming medicine in philosophy; for of all the rest we are sensible of no pleasure till after the cure: this pleases and heals at once.”
The Essays of Montaigne
Michel de Montaigne