Every living creature is happy when he fulfills his destiny, that is, when he realizes himself, when he is being that which in truth he is. For this reason, Schlegel, inverting the relationship between pleasure and destiny, said, “We have a genius for what we like.” Genius, man’s superlative gift for doing something, always carries a look of supreme pleasure.
In a man like Friedrich von Schlegel the courage to be as an individual self produced complete neglect of participation, but it also produced, in reaction to the emptiness of this self-affirmation, the desire to return to a collective. Schlegel, and with him many extreme individualists in the last hundred years, became Roman Catholics. The courage to be as oneself broke down, and one turned to an institutional embodiment of the courage to be as a part.paul tillich