19 Nov Excerpt from Otto Maier’s diary
Excerpt from Otto Maier’s diary …
1938 – 16 April
It’s the evening before Easter Day, I sat meditating, and considered many questions concerning my experiments at Gross; all of a sudden arose so horrible a tempest, that I imagined no other but that through its mighty force, the hill on which my little house was founded would fly into pieces.
I took courage, and persisted in my meditation, till somebody in an unusual manner touched me on the back; whereupon I was so hugely terrified, that I dared hardly look about me; yet I showed myself as cheerful as (in such occurrences) human frailty would permit. Now the same thing still twitching me several times by the vest, I looked back, and behold it was a fair and glorious lady …
While others spent their time on long dinners, Maier could be found in his study assembling ingenious machines, producing small objects of miraculous motions the likes of which his friends asserted had never been seen before. In the process, Maier attained “real memories of eternal matters from the treasure-chambers of his rich spirit.” Otto Maier found no satisfaction for his mind or his soul in what he knew. He looked for a deeper knowledge that might bring true peace of mind. So while the (blind) world saw him as a master, he himself was only too aware of the imperfections of the knowledge.
What seemed unassailable in knowledge he knew to be insecure—including, of course, his own reputation. What was thought to be known, he said, was often simply a cloak for deceit. You could not trust wholly in the books of the “masters” if it was secure truth you were seeking; you had to go to the source: practical experience. You had to get off your bottom and find things out for yourself, whether people liked you for it or not. If truth was far away and in a distant, inaccessible clime, then you had to follow your conscience and take the risk involved in real knowledge. Be it jungle or desert, there is always a star to guide you.