October 06, 2004

Emerson and Self-Reliance

I have read some poems and phrases by Emerson, and I really find personal meaning to certain situations in life. With his Self-Reliance essays I continually found that familiar meaning throughout Emerson's concerns. As a woman, reading this essay I felt slightly unimportant. It seemed that Emerson is speaking to man and that the reader is to be no other than a "man" or of male gender.

Aside from this odd feeling, I took a few of Emerson's thoughts to the application of today's world. One thought that Emerson gave in paragraph 11 is "how the world whips us with its displeasure, and therefore man must know how to estimate a sour face". This is so true in todays world. I am an extremely observant individual when I am out in the world. According to various situations, I find peoples facial expressions and actions histerically amusing. For example, a rowdy customer at a grocery store, whose items are not coming up on sale in the register. Watch out grocery clerk. Emerson remarks,"Fear never but you shall be consistent in whatever variety of actions, so they be each honest and natural in their hour."

Yes, life has many displeasures, and at times these displeasures can be lessons to be learned throughtout our lives.

Emerson tends to get quite emotional with his ideas and feelings, and beacuse of this trait I can easily relate to some of his ideas. Another thought of Emerson that caught my attention is his speaking of relations of the soul to the divine spirit in paragragh 22. Emerson quotes, "Whenever a mind is simple and receives a divine wisdom, then old things pass away,- means, teachers, texts, temples fall; it lives now, and absorbs past and future into the present hour." What does does Emerson mean by "It lives now"?

Posted by ShannaDeFrances at October 6, 2004 12:03 PM

hey, in regards to your question of what "it" means in Emmersons essay, i think he's referring to the divine wisdom that is recieved during times of oneness with yourself and God.-that sounds weird huh? but in that same line he uses the words, divine wisdom, and then proceeds on by just saying it, instead. I'm not quite sure but that is what I gathered.

Posted by: Nikki Moses at October 11, 2004 03:38 AM

Just read your comments and must say that I respectfully disagree with you on the "Man" comment.

I am of the opinion that he intends "Man" to be a universal concept.

Of course there will be some that disagree...but then again...they probably have some sort of political agenda.

Posted by: Linqiushan at December 2, 2005 06:38 PM
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