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August 28 2014

Extracts from Ralph Waldo Emerson “Essays”


Love is omnipresent in nature as motive and as reward. Love is our highest word, and the synonym of God…

Passion… [sic] makes all things alive and significant. Nature grows conscious. Every bird on the boughs of the tree sings now to his heart and soul. Almost the notes are articulate. The clouds have faces, as he looks upon them. The trees of the forest, the waving grass, and the peeping of flowers have grown intelligent; and almost he fears to trust them with the secret they invite.

He is a new man, with new perceptions, and a religious solemnity of character and aims… [sic] He is somewhat. He is a person. He is a soul.

But this dream of love, though beautiful, is only one scene in our play. In the procession of our soul from within outward, it enlarges its circles ever, like the pebble thrown into the pond or the light proceeding from an orb.

Love prays. It makes covenants with Eternal Power, in behalf of this dear mate. The union which is thus effected… [sic] adds value to every atom in nature, for it transmutes every thread throughout the whole web of relation into a golden ray, and bathes the soul in a new and sweeter element…

The soul may be trusted to the end. That which is so beautiful and as attractive as these relations, must be succeeded and supplanted only by what is more beautiful, and so on for ever.


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