September 17, 1880
I cannot conceal from myself that for a dozen years or more I have ceased to be under the spell of sex; I know too well the defects and weaknesses of the idol. I had set it too high, to the detriment of the virile man; I have liked women and sought their company too much. At last impartiality has come. It is never too late to be wise. If I continue to feel a slight preference for the more loving sex, I am less naive, less blind, less credulous, less admiring than before. The veil of Maya has worn thin, and illusion is less necessary to me. My camaraderie has enabled to see truly. I can look at them as they look at one another, as their mothers, fathers and brothers look at them, as the doctor sees them, that is, in all the ways other than the amorous and illusioned way. I am sensitive to their charm, without overrating them; I am touched, moved, grateful, attracted, without being deceived. This is the state I prefer.