Term Paper: Ralph Waldo Emerson

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[. . .] (Bartleby, 2012a) Natural laws are also overcome by man. The law of gravity for example has been overcome and we have now flown into space. That means each individual comes with wholeness and complete and there are probably no two individuals precisely alike as regards the relative condition or action on them of their material and spiritual minds. Therefore individuals ought to accept themselves as they are and progress. Thus the individual is capable of drawing from the universe and build his or her individuality both in their personality and thinking. This alone will bring in individuality and the life be lived in full. Individuals have a duty thus to produce original thought and savour life on those principles. Man thus always starts wrong and the dogmas of earlier thinkers crowd out their original thinking. Emerson says that those who are educated begin with original ideas but grow up "in libraries believing it their duty to accept the views which Cicero, which Locke, which Bacon have given, forgetful that Cicero, Locke, and Bacon were only young men in libraries when they wrote these books." (Bartleby, 2012c)

Thus for long do the learned try to find knowledge from the peers. They also imitate not the mannerisms or principles but the thought patterns and the thinking of the peers. This leads to imitation and this imitation does not allow the mind to think original thoughts and in that way the mind 'dies'. Imitating another thinker is thus the death of originality and original thought and experience. This will lead to the death of the mind and exploration. It will thus lead to the death of originality. Thinkers have revolutionized the world only by being original and not by imitating thought patterns. It is in this context that Emerson says that imitation is suicide. Why also add that envy is ignorance? The reason is that when man does not realise that he or she is unique, there is a possibility that he or she may therefore envy the status of another because the person does not realize that he or she is also capable of drawing from the universe just as the other whom he envies. There is the same "power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is, which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried." (Bartleby, 2012b) Therefore envy is foolish and only the ignorant can indulge in that.


Bartleby. (2012a) "Essays -- Nature: 1844" Ralph Waldo Emerson. (1803 -- 1882). Essays and English Traits: The Harvard Classics, 1909 -- 14." Retrieved 11 October, 2012 from www.bartleby.com/5/114.html

Bartleby. (2012b) "Essays -- Self-Reliance: 1841" Retrieved 11 October, 2012 from www.bartleby.com/5/104.html

Bartleby. (2012c) "Ralph Waldo Emerson. The American Scholar" An Oration Delivered

before the Phi Beta Kappa Society, at Cambridge, August 31, 1837. Retrieved 11 October, 2012 from www.bartleby.com/5/101/html

Emersoncentral. (2009) "Ralph Waldo Emerson: The Method of Nature" An Oration

delivered before the Society of the Adelphi, in Waterville College, Maine, August 11, 1841. Retrieved 11 October, 2012 from www.emersoncentral.com/methnature.htm… [END OF PREVIEW]

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