Continuing our discussion of “Self-Reliance” by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
“The relations of the soul to the divine spirit are so pure, that it is profane to seek to interpose helps. 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. Whenever a mind is simple, and receives a divine wisdom, old things pass away, —means, teachers, texts, temples fall; it lives now, and absorbs past and future into the present hour. All things are made sacred by relation to it, —one as much as another. All things are dissolved to their centre by their cause, and, in the universal miracle, petty and particular miracles disappear. If, therefore, a man claims to know and speak of God, and carries you backward to the phraseology of some old mouldered nation in another country, in another world, believe him not. Is the acorn better than the oak which is its fulness and completion? Is the parent better than the child into whom he has cast his ripened being? Whence, then, this worship of the past? The centuries are conspirators against the sanity and authority of the soul. Time and space are but physiological colors which the eye makes, but the soul is light; where it is, is day; where it was, is night; and history is an impertinence and an injury, if it be any thing more than a cheerful apologue or parable of my being and becoming.”
“We’ve always done it that way!” The siren song of stagnation.
“Our way of doing it is the only way!” Ego run amok.
“You must believe as we believe, or off to eternal burning you go!” Sorry, but God is bigger than your box.
Find the Source for yourself. Of course, take the advice of others who have been there and done it. In the beginning, you may need to take a whole lot of advice, run nearly everything by someone else – I had to do this in order to quit alcohol and drugs. But don’t get stuck there.
You may be an acorn now, but if you take care of yourself and allow others to help, you can become a tree.
What do you think about this passage? Have an opinion you’d like to share? Feel free to drop your own thoughts in the comments.