Friday, May 8, 2009

Relying on "Self-Reliance"

In his essay "Self-Reliance," Ralph Waldo Emerson says, "To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, — that is genius." That rules. I agree.

Then he says, "Speak your latent conviction, and it shall be the universal sense; for the inmost in due time becomes the outmost." That rules. I honestly feel like I'm really waking up to something.

"A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages." Holy shit, right? Isn't that awesome. I never thought of it that way!

He goes on to say, "Great works of art have no more affecting lesson for us than this. They teach us to abide by our spontaneous impression with good-humored inflexibility then most when the whole cry of voices is on the other side." I agree. This is fantastic. How have I gone all this time without ever reading this essay before? What the hell have I been missing? Damn. This rules.

Then he goes on to say, "Else, to-morrow a stranger will say with masterly good sense precisely what we have thought and felt all the time, and we shall be forced to take with shame our own opinion from another."

Oh. Oh, I see.

Well, fuck you, too, Waldo.

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