Of God and His Creatures

"There will be need too of external prosperity, while man is man: for his nature is not self-sufficient for contemplation, but needs a healthy body, food and other comforts" (Nic. Eth., X, ix, 1). The laying to rest of all desire reminds us rather of Asiatic conceptions of happiness, involving the removal of work and worry and of the consequences of sin, the most accessible side of the concept of felicity, mortalibus aegris. But to the Thomist and the Christian, desire is appeased by full intensity of life (contemplatio, theôria): to the Asiatic by an intellectual stillness verging on anaesthesia (nirvâna). We pray for requiem aeternam, likewise for lux perpetua; but to the perfect Buddhist nirvâna is simply extinction. Buddhism is the antithesis of the scholastic thesis, ens est bonum.

Of God and His Creatures: 3.63