« Happy 799th, Magna Carta. | Main

June 17, 2014

Letting your angels go: Writing in 1841, R.W. Emerson viewed modern man as an uber-Wenie afraid to grow.

Query: Would Emerson think of us the same way if he had been alive and writing in 2014?

To us, in our lapsed estate, resting, not advancing, resisting, not cooperating with the divine expansion, this growth comes by shocks. We cannot part with our friends. We cannot let our angels go. We do not see that they only go out that archangels may come in.

We are idolaters of the Old. We do not believe in the riches of the soul, in its proper eternity and omnipresence. We do not believe there is any force in to-day to rival or recreate that beautiful yesterday. We linger in the ruins of the old tent

--Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882): Essays, First Series, "Compensation" (1841)

Emerson in 1857

Posted by JD Hull at June 17, 2014 05:52 PM


Post a comment

Remember Me?