Maeterlinck, Maurice – Wisdom and Destiny – On Knowing yourself
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
WISDOM AND DESTINY - MAURICE MAETERLINCK translated by ALFRED SUTRO
Side by side with those whom men and events oppress, there are others who have within them some kind of inner force, which has its will not only with men, but even with the events that surround them. Of this force they are fully aware, and indeed it is nothing more than a knowledge of self that has far overstepped the ordinary limits …….
But this knowledge of self is only too often regarded as implying no more than a knowledge of our defects and our qualities, whereas it does indeed extend infinitely further, to mysteries vastly more helpful. To know oneself in repose suffices not, nor does it suffice to know oneself in the past or the present. Those within whom lies the force that I speak of know themselves in the future too. Consciousness of self with the greatest of men implies consciousness up to a point of their star or their destiny. They are aware of some part of their future, because they have already become part of this future. They have faith in themselves, for they know in advance how events will be received in their soul. The event in itself is pure water that flows from the pitcher of fate, and seldom has it either savour or perfume or colour.
To those round about us there happen incessant and countless adventures, whereof every one, it would seem, contains a germ of heroism; but the adventure passes away, and heroic deed is there none. But when Jesus Christ met the Samaritan, met a few children, an adulterous woman, then did humanity rise three times in succession to the level of God.