Maeterlinck, Maurice – Wisdom and Destiny – On Destiny
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
WISDOM AND DESTINY - MAURICE MAETERLINCK translated by ALFRED SUTRO
He is the happiest man who best understands his happiness; for he is of all men most fully aware that it is only the lofty idea, the untiring, courageous, human idea, that separates gladness from sorrow. Of this idea it is helpful to speak, and as often as may be; not with the view of imposing our own idea upon others, but in order that they who may listen shall, little by little, conceive the desire to possess an idea of their own. For in no two men is it the same. The one that you cherish may well bring no comfort to me; nor shall all your eloquence touch the hidden springs of my life. Needs must I acquire my own, in myself, by myself; but you unconsciously make this the easier for me, by telling of the idea that is yours.
…… It behoves us, the first thing of all, to prepare in our soul a place of some loftiness, where this idea may be lodged; as the priests of ancient religions laid the mountain peak bare, and cleared it of thorn and of root for the fire to descend from heaven. ….. All morality, all study of justice and happiness, should truly be no more than preparation, provision on the vastest scale—a way of gaining experience, a stepping-stone laid down for what is to follow.
Surely, desirable day of all days were the one when at last we should live in absolute truth, in immovable logical certitude; but in the meantime it is given us to live in a truth more important still, the truth of our soul and our character; and some wise men have proved that this life can be lived in the midst of gravest material errors.