In Greek mythology Lethe is a river of the Underworld by drinking from which one acquires forgetfulness of all that is past. In the cults of metempsychosis widespread in ancient Greece it was said that souls needed to drink from this river prior to their rebirth or reincarnation in order to wipe out the memories they still retained of their directly preceding existences. Clearly, the continued existence of our species presupposes a similar “Lethean principle”. How else is it possible to explain that parents, even in the face of the >Balance Sheet of the Total Suffering of the Species, continue to impose existence on ever more new human beings and that women take upon themselves, again and again, the >Torture of Birth? Without such a “Lethean Principle” that pronatal >Intentio recta that is blind to the neganthropic aspect of our condition could hardly be sustained and that >Intentio obliqua which reflects carefully upon each respective individual wish to procreate would be far more widespread.
In a letter to her daughter from the 31st of May 1671 Madame de Sévigné writes with regard to Providence:
“If we were always to continue in the same mind we are in at the end of a journey, we should never stir from the place we were then in ; but Providence, in kindness to us, causes us to forget. It is much the same with lying-in women. Heaven permits this forgetfulness that the world may be peopled…”