Emerson was hugely influential in the US American philosophical scene, touching the life and work of Du Bois, Rilke, Thoreau and many others. Tonight, for the first time since high school, he directly influenced mine, through an essay recommended to me by my most well-read friend.
I share it with you. It is called “Self-Reliance.” My friend recommended I read it twice. Once today, once tomorrow. “See what changes,” he said. “It’s like a journal; each time you read it with your situation in mind and it shifts.” The overall story though is (as the title states in Latin) do not look outside yourself.
Ne te quaesiveris extra for anything. For answers. For truths. For reasons to keep going. Peer into the universe within. You will see it is all there. Everything. Answers (and more question). Truth(s). Reasons to keep going and to stop. Just rest and be fully present = experience eternal life.
Sometimes I forget that there is nothing in this world that isn’t me. Whether there is something that is ultimately true or true ultimately only to you, who knows? And if I knew which end of that string was the ultimate one it wouldn’t matter. Live it all. Resonate with the world. Embrace authentic human interaction with all beings; and breathe. You are all beings and concepts. Don’t pretend you are not and try to avoid/repress/resign the more hostile aspects of experience or hard parts of life. Live the questions…kiss the joy as it flees (with that which you thought was your answer).
An excerpt: “To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all, — that is genius. Speak your latent conviction, and it shall be the universal sense; for the inmost in due time becomes the outmost,—— and our first thought is rendered back to us by the trumpets of the Last Judgment.”
This was especially helpful to me tonight because I felt my compassion for myself (all things) decreasing and my trust of everything else (me) fraying. As I examine the internal fray, I will not rush. I will stare it in my face. Conformity and consistency will not have the last word; 3rd chakra shines. I have decided to do the work it takes to rebuild that trust because with child-like solvency I share my clay-vesseled treasure and contentedly experience the precious genius others offer. Resonance. Divinity.
The writer of the Gospel of Matthew puts it this way in 18:3, “Jesus said, truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
eMErson gets the last word:” But do your work, and I shall know you. Do your work, and you shall reinforce yourself.”