To Find the Way to Oneself

I have always believed that finding the way to himself is each man’s only true vocation. I always think why it is so difficult for one to be true himself all the time? It is very simple – if he decides to be true himself and follows his own destiny, he will be different from others; he has to stand alone. However, I really think that even if one becomes alone and even if one feels unbearable loneliness, he must pay attention to his call from the innermost and must follow his own destiny relentlessly. I truly believe that every single individual has his unique vocation, so we should not feel embarrassed our own uniqueness and inner desire. We should cherish our own uniqueness so that we can become who we truly are. One must find his true vocation and inner call in order to be happy – that is the path he should follow. Hermann Hesse perfectly depicted the importance of seeking one’s own fate:

I did not exist to write poems, to preach or paint, neither I nor anyone else. All of that was incidental. Each man had only one genuine vocation – to find the way to himself. He might end up as poet or madman, as prophet or criminal – that was not his affair, ultimately it was of no concern. His task was to discover his own destiny – not an arbitrary one – and live it out wholly and resolutely within himself. Everything else was only a would -be existence, an attempt at evasion, a flight back to the ideals of the masses, conformity and fear of one`s own inwardness. The new vision rose up before me, glimpsed a hundred times, possibly even expressed before but now experienced for the first time by me. I was an experiment on the part of Nature, a gamble within the unknown, perhaps for a new purpose, perhaps for nothing, and my only task was to allow this game on the part of primeval depths to take its course, to feel its will within me and make it wholly mine. That or nothing!

I had already felt much loneliness, now there was a deeper loneliness still which was inescapable.

I made no attempt at reconciliation with Pistorius. We remained friends but the relationship changed. Yet this was something we touched on only once; actually it was Pistorius alone who did. He said:

“You know that I have the desire to become a priest. Most of all I wanted to become the priest of the new religion of which you and I have had so many intimations. That role will never be mine – I realize that and even without wholly admitting it to myself  have known it for some time. So I will perform other priestly duties instead, perhaps at the organ, perhaps some other way. But I must always have things about around me that I feel are beautiful and sacred, organ music and mysteries, symbols and myths. I need and cannot forgo them. That is my weakness. Sometimes, Sinclair, I know that I should not have such wishes, that they are a weakness and luxury. It would be more magnanimous and just if I put myself unreservedly at the disposal of fate. But I can`t do that, I am incapable of it. Perhaps you will be able to do it one day. It is difficult, it is the only truly difficult thing there is. I have often dreamed of doing so, but I cant; the idea fills me with dread: I am not capable of standing so naked and alone. I, too, am a poor weak creature who needs warmth and food and occasionally the comfort of human companionship. Someone who seeks nothing but his own fate no longer has any companions, he stands quite alone and has only cold universal space around him. That is Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, you know. There have been martyrs who gladly let themselves be nailed to the cross, but even these were no heroes, were not liberated, for even they wanted something that they had become fond of and accustomed to – they had models, they had ideals. But the man who only seeks his destiny has neither models nor ideals, has nothing clear and consoling! And actually this is the path one should follow. People like you and me are quite lonely really but we still have each other, we have the secret satisfaction of being different, of rebelling, of desiring the unusual. But you must shed that, too, if you want to go all the way to the end. You cannot allow yourself to become a revolutionary, an example, a martyr. It is beyond imagining -“

Yes, it was beyond imagining. But it could be dreamed, anticipated, sensed. A few times I had a foretaste of it – in an hour of absolute stillness. Then I would gaze into myself and confront the image of my fate. Its eyes would be full of wisdom, full of madness, they would radiate love or deep malice, it was all the same. You were not allowed to choose or desire any one of them. You were only allowed to desire yourself, only your fate.


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