Monday, May 25, 2009

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Born 25th May 1803 in Boston, Massachusetts
Died 27th April 1882 in Concord Massachusetts

The love that is in me, the justice, the truth can never die & that is all of me that will not die. All the rest of me is so much death— my ignorance, my vice, my corporeal pleasure. But I am nothing else than a capacity for justice, truth, love, freedom, power. I can inhale, imbibe them forevermore. They shall be so much to me that I am nothing, they all. Then shall God be all in all. Herein is my Immortality. (October 24, 1836)

I said when I awoke, After some more sleepings & wakings I shall lie on this mattress sick; then dead; and through my glad entry they will carry these bones. Where shall I be then? I lift my head and beheld the spotless orange light of the morning beaming up from the dark hills into the wide Universe. (October 21, 1837)

The event of death is always astounding; our philosophy never reaches, never possesses it; we are always at the beginning of our catechism; alwasys the definition is yet to be made, What is Death? I see nothing to help beyond observing what the mind's habit is in regard to that crisis. Simply, I have nothing to do with it. It is nothing to me. After I have made my will & set my house in order, I shall do in the immediate expectation of death the same things I should do without it. (October 28, 1837)

Life & Death are apparitions. Last night the Teachers' Sunday School met here & the theme was Judgment. I affirmed that we were Spirits now incarnated & should always be Spirits incarnated. Our thought is the income of God. I taste therefore of eternity & pronounce of eternal law Now & not hereafter. Space & time are but forms of thought. I proceed from God now & ever shall so proceed. Death is but an appearance. Yes & life's circumstances are but an appearance through which the firm virtue of this God-law penetrates & which it moulds. The inertia of matter & of fortune & of our employment is the feebleness of our spirit. (May 14, 1838)

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), Journals