In May I will visit Switzerland. The land of Swiss army knives, watches, rösti, cheese, beauty, cleanliness, neutrality and impressive mountains like The Matterhorn.
This week the spotlight is on Ralph Waldo Emerson. I created a small biography about Emerson which you can read by clicking on the link below the article. He was a writer, poet lecturer and essayist who created the foundations of the transcendentalism movement. Among the transcendentalists’ core beliefs was the belief in an ideal spirituality that “transcends” the physical and empirical and is realized only through the individual’s intuition.
The publication of Emerson’s 1836 essay Nature is usually considered the moment at which transcendentalism became a major cultural movement. Emerson wrote in his speech “The American Scholar”: “We will walk on our own feet; we will work with our own hands; Divine Soul which also inspires all men.” Emerson closed the essay by calling for a revolution in human consciousness to emerge from the new idealist philosophy:
So shall we come to look at the world with new eyes. It shall answer the endless inquiry of the intellect, — What is truth? and of the affections, — What is good? by yielding itself passive to the educated Will. … Build, therefore, your own world. As fast as you conform your life to the pure idea in your mind, that will unfold its great proportions. A correspondent revolution in things will attend the influx of the spirit.
Emerson believed in individualism, harmony between man and nature. He defines nature as a paradise rather than being ruled by a superior being.
The God inside us
I got inspired by his words and started thinking about my own ideas of god and nature. For me personally when I look at god I think of two things. First of all I feel that I am my own God. I can love, I can give, I can create. It is a wonderful feeling if you realize that you can create your own world. That God is inside you. It is a wonderful feeling that you can overcome anything, become anything you want and achieve anything you want. We human beings are a fantastic life form and we should treat our mind and body with the biggest respect because it is this machine which makes it all possible.
We also should pay respect to everything else around us. Because our surroundings supply us with anything we need. Stay sharp and look for opportunities provided to you. Have a lot of respect for nature as it is our beautiful supplier.
That brings me to my second idea of God. We may be our own personal creators but we are also one with nature. We have to pay respect to the nature around us because that is the place where the real magic happens.
Nature is chaos and order combined into a lush salad of well combined miracles.
It is the way healing comfrey plants grow close to stinging nettle plants. Its the way every animal has his part in the food chain. It is the enormously strong will to live in all humans, plants and animals that makes them make the most epic journeys or the most thoughtful solutions to survive. It is the adjustments like colored camouflage of animals that can go up in their environment. It is the amazing efficiency of ants working together. It is a lonely bright colored flower in a field of greyness.
We live in a beautiful world in a fantastic machine with a magnificent control center. Closer to paradise we will never become. Treasure yourself as much as you can for you are a miracle. Treasure anything around you because you are surrounded by so much other miracles which deserve your love and attention.
Treat your body as a temple, your mind as a library and the world and people around you as its visitors. They will bring you gifts and knowledge when you are good to them and listen to them. Pay respect to them and expand there library with your wisdom. If we do this we will become even better creator’s and our lives will be great and successful. This brings me back to Emerson again who wrote the following beautiful words:
To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty,
To find the best in others,
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.