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Maeterlinck, Maurice – Wisdom and Destiny – On sickness and health



Type of spiritual experience

A description of the experience


To-day misery is the disease of mankind, as disease is the misery of man. And even as there are physicians for disease, so should there be physicians for human misery.

But can the fact that disease is, unhappily, only too prevalent, render it wrong for us ever to speak of health? which were indeed as though, in anatomy—the physical science that has most in common with morals—the teacher confined himself exclusively to the study of the deformities that greater or lesser degeneration will induce in the organs of man.

We have surely the right to demand that his theories be based on the healthy and vigorous body; as we have also the right to demand that the moralist, who fain would see beyond the present hour, should take as his standard the soul that is happy, or that at least possesses every element of happiness, save only the necessary consciousness.

We live in the bosom of great injustice; but there can be, I imagine, neither cruelty nor callousness in our speaking, at times, as though this injustice had ended, else should we never emerge from our circle.

The source of the experience

Maeterlinck, Maurice

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