(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 30 April 2019, Radhadesh, Belgium, Srimad Bhagavatam 9.15.31)
The German writer Goethe, who is like the German equivalent of Shakespeare, came up with an interesting point.
He said that a child is a realist because a child is trying to understand what are apples and what are pears; a child tries to figure out the difference. He tries to understand what is reality.
A youth is an idealist – a dreamer of what he is going to make of his life. He said that in mid-life, one becomes a bit of a cynic. The person goes, “But yeah, yeah, yeah. I have seen it. These dreams … I know very well what happens.”
Goethe then said that in old age, one becomes a mystic. This is because in old age, you can see that even the people that have all the qualifications, all of them that should logically become a success, they are not becoming a success. Meanwhile, the people that have no attributes at all for becoming a success, they became the successful. This is when you become a mystic and realize that there is a divine hand in the entire arrangement and if you do not have the divine blessings, no plan can be successful. It is not possible then; nothing will work without these divine blessings.