Schopenhauer, Arthur - The World as Will and Idea - On motives
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
The World as Will and Idea – Arthur Schopenhauer
Sometimes we do not know what we really fear, because we lack the courage to bring it to our distinct consciousness. Indeed, we are often mistaken as to our real motive in doing or not doing something, till some chance in the end reveals our secret to us, and we recognise that what we had taken to be the motive was not that one but another which we had not wanted to admit to ourselves, because it is not at all compatible with the good opinion we hold of ourselves. For example, we refrain from doing something on purely moral grounds, as we believe, but later learn that we were restrained only by fear, for as soon as all danger is removed, we do it. In some instances this may go so far that a person does not even guess the actual motive of his action and moreover, he does not believe himself capable of being influenced by such a motive; and yet it is the actual motive for his action.