The man must be so much, that he must make all circumstances indifferent. Hudson and Behring accomplished so much in their fishing-boats, as to astonish Parry and Franklin, whose equipment exhausted the resources of science and art. Let the words be gazetted and ridiculous henceforward. For nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure.
You may fulfil your round of duties by clearing yourself in the direct, or in the reflex way. So God has armed youth and puberty and manhood no less with its own piquancy and charm, and made it enviable and gracious and its claims not to be put by, if it will stand by itself.
Why should we assume the faults of our friend, or wife, or father, or child, because they sit around our hearth, or are said to have the same blood?
Yet see what strong intellects dare not yet hear God himself, unless he speak the phraseology of I know not what David, or Jeremiah, or Paul. Our age yields no great and perfect persons. Thy love afar is spite at home. In this pleasing, contrite wood-life which God allows me, let me record day by day my honest thought without prospect or retrospect, and, I cannot doubt, it will be found symmetrical, though I mean it not, and see it not.
All persons that ever existed are its forgotten ministers. Let us stun and astonish the intruding rabble of men and books and institutions, by a simple declaration of the divine fact.
To be great is to be misunderstood. Familiar as the voice of the mind is to each, the highest merit we ascribe to Moses, Plato, and Milton is, that they set at naught books and traditions, and spoke not what men but what they thought.
But when to their feminine rage the indignation of the people is added, when the ignorant and the poor are aroused, when the unintelligent brute force that lies at the bottom of society is made to growl and mow, it needs the habit of magnanimity and religion to treat it godlike as a trifle of no concernment.
He would utter opinions on all passing affairs, which being seen to be not private, but necessary, would sink like darts into the ear of men, and put them in fear.
Infancy conforms to nobody: Who can thus avoid all pledges, and having observed, observe again from the same unaffected, unbiased, unbribable, unaffrighted innocence, must always be formidable.
It must be that when God speaketh he should communicate, not one thing, but all things; should fill the world with his voice; should scatter forth light, nature, time, souls, from the centre of the present thought; and new date and new create the whole.
A sturdy lad from New Hampshire or Vermont, who in turn tries all the professions, who teams it, farms it, peddles, keeps a school, preaches, edits a newspaper, goes to Congress, buys a township, and so forth, in successive years, and always, like a cat, falls on his feet, is worth a hundred of these city dolls.
Here is the fountain of action and of thought. He carries ruins to ruins. The inquiry leads us to that source, at once the essence of genius, of virtue, and of life, which we call Spontaneity or Instinct. Our housekeeping is mendicant, our arts, our occupations, our marriages, our religion, we have not chosen, but society has chosen for us.
Self-existence is the attribute of the Supreme Cause, and it constitutes the measure of good by the degree in which it enters into all lower forms. Meantime nature is not slow to equip us in the prison-uniform of the party to which we adhere.
The prayer of the farmer kneeling in his field to weed it, the prayer of the rower kneeling with the stroke of his oar, are true prayers heard throughout nature, though for cheap ends. There is no Lethe for this. All things are made sacred by relation to it, — one as much as another. It is the spirit of God pronouncing his works good.
There are two confessionals, in one or the other of which we must be shriven. But the man in the street, finding no worth in himself which corresponds to the force which built a tower or sculptured a marble god, feels poor when he looks on these.
Abounding with short aphorisms, the essay begins with an admonition to believe in the true self, which is considered in essence identical with the Universal Spirit: So let us always sit.Essays for Self Reliance and Other Essays Self Reliance and Other Essays essays are academic essays for citation.
These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Self Reliance and Other Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Use this lesson plan to help students analyze Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay 'Self-Reliance.' Students will watch an engaging video defining transcendentalism, then take a look at key ideas before applying concepts to an activity.
Throughout his life, Emerson kept detailed journals of his thoughts and actions, and he returned to them as a source for many of his essays. Such is the case with "Self-Reliance," which includes materials from journal entries dating as far back as The essay "Self-Reliance," from which an excerpt is presented here, is the clearest, most memorable example of Emerson's philosophy of individualism, an idea that is deeply embedded in American culture.
"Self-Reliance" is an essay written by American transcendentalist philosopher and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson.
It contains the most thorough statement of one of Emerson's recurrent themes: the need for each individual to avoid conformity and false consistency, and follow their own instincts and ideas. In "Self-Reliance," philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson argues that polite society has an adverse effect on one's personal growth.
Self-sufficiency, he writes, gives one the freedom to discover one'strue self and attain true independence.Download