Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sunday Transcendentalist Quote

Emerson, reflecting on a Higher Power, before it was called that:

I find this amazing revelation of my immediate relation to God a solution to all the doubts that oppressed me. I recognize the distinction of the outer and inner self; the double consciouness that, within this erring, immortal mind, whose powers I do not know, but it is stronger than I; it is wiser than I; it never approved me in any wrong; I seek counsel for it in my doubts; I repair to it in my dangers; I pray to it in my undertakings. It seems to me the face which the Creator uncovers to his child. It is the perception of this depth in human nature, this infinitude belonging to every man that has been born, which has given a new value to the habits of reflection and solitude.
This is from Ralph Waldo Emerson's journal during a trip to Europe that he took after relinquishing his pulpit and before writing Essay on Nature, as quoted on page 26 in The Concord Quartet: Alcott, Emerson, Hawthorne, Thoreau, and the Friendship that Freed the American Mind by Samuel A. Schreiner, Jr.

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