Engraving by Michael Burgesse after John Bapti...
Engraving by Michael Burgesse after John Baptist Medina. Illustration to Book 11 of Paradise Lost, by John Milton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Temperance describes the state or quality of being temperate which requires a sense of self-restraint in conduct, actions, speech, expression, and indulgence of the appetite. The essence of temperance is choosing moderation and to deliberately avoid excess and avoid self-indulgence. Living in moderation and virtue are identical. Socrates has stated that the intemperate man is like a vessel full of holes, because it can never be satisfied. Sigmund Freud explained temperance in the context of pleasure-principle and reality-principle. To be temperate, man has to avoid immediate satisfaction of his desires, postpone gratification of his desires, seek delayed and diminished pleasure, learn to endure pain, renounce certain sources of pleasure, be reasonable in seeking satisfaction of desires in relation to reality. Temperance and Courage are virtues based upon an ability to stand firm against pain and danger. Temperance contributes the virtue of fortitude which strengthens men against the fear of pain as well as against enticement of pleasure. Temperate character involves habitual moderation of desires to keep them in accord with reason. Temperance is a disposition that has moderating influence on passions and acts so as to keep them within bounds. A temperate man is not pained at the absence of pleasure or by his abstinence from it.



John Milton(1608-1674), English Poet, published in 1667, towards the end of his life, the greatest epic in English language, PARADISE LOST, which narrates the story of Satan's rebellion against God, the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden and the condemnation of man to face Death in his Life. Milton has provided the most eloquent statement on the Law of Temperance which man must observe all his Life and face Death with Peace of Mind.


In his epic poem of Paradise Lost, John Milton provides the most eloquent statement on the Law of Temperance which man must observe all his Life and face the fact of Death with Peace of Mind. I am using the term ‘Whole Temperance’ as the rule or law of temperance must be observed during the entire period of life. I am pleased to reproduce the poem, “The Law of Temperance”( Nothing Overmuch ), from Paradise Lost, Book XI, verses 520 to 540. Angel Michael reveals to Adam the Law of Temperance which would help him to prepare to face the problem of death:

“I yield it just, said Adam, and submit.

But is there yet no other way, besides

These painful passages, how we may come

To Death, and mix with our connatural dust?

There is, said Michael, if thou well observe

The rule of not too much, by temperance taught

In what thou eat(st) and drink(st), seeking from thence

Due nourishment, not gluttonous delight,

Till many years over thy head return:

So maist thou live, till like ripe Fruit thou drop

Into thy Mother lap, or be with ease,

Gathered, not harshly pluckt, for death mature:”

I say let us observe the rule of moderation in the food and drink that we consume during all of our lives, and what do you want to say???  Please share your thoughts and views. 

Published by WholeDude

Whole Man - Whole Theory: I intentionally combined the words Whole and Dude to describe the Unity of Body, Mind, and Soul to establish the singularity called Man.

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