Excessive respect for thebrilliance of past thinkers can discourage us from exploring new ideas and seeking individualized truths. They cast the dignity of man from their downtrod selves upon the shoulders of a hero, and will perish to add one drop of blood to make that great heart beat, those giant sinews combat and conquer. The great man makes the great thing. Brought up to the profession of music, it was not until he was thirty years old that he turned his attention to astronomy. Emerson American Scholar and Se. They were a secure bond of union between the numerous independent states and did much to help the nation to repel its foreign invaders. Through his essay Compensation, Emerson explains that every action is compensated accordingly.
These in most countries were three--nobles, clergy, and commons, the commons being the third estate. The fable implies, that the individual, to possess himself, must sometimes return from his own labor to embrace all the other laborers. American culture is highly influenced by the European culture Emerson by this speech tries to determine the real American culture and ask his citizen to preserve the essence of the real American culture. It is pearls and rubies to his discourse. Polaris is now the nearest conspicuous star to the north pole of the celestial equator. Emerson's ripe fruit found its way into his diary, where it lay until he needed it in the preparation of some lecture or essay. To the young mind, every thing is individual, stands by itself.
Therein it resembles his own spirit, whose beginning, whose ending, he never can find,—so entire, so boundless. I look upon the discontent of the literary class as a mere announcement of the fact that they find themselves not in the state of mind of their fathers, and regret the coming state as untried; as a boy dreads the water before he has learned that he can swim. Here are the materials strewn along the ground. By and by it finds how to join two things and see in them one nature; then three, then three thousand; and so, tyrannized over by its own unifying instinct, it goes on tying things together, diminishing anomalies, discovering roots running under ground whereby contrary and remote things cohere and flower out from one stem. Hence, the restorers of readings, the emendators, the bibliomaniacs of all degrees.
Ever the winds blow; ever the grass grows. I ask not for the great, the remote, the romantic; what is doing in Italy or Arabia; what is Greek art, or Provençal minstrelsy; I embrace the common, I explore and sit at the feet of the familiar, the low. But I have already shown the ground of my hope, in adverting to the doctrine that man is one. The dread of man and the love of man shall be a wall of defense and a wreath of joy around all. It is a great stride.
The actions and events of our childhood and youth are now matters of calmest observation. Qualifying his previous insistence on individual creation, he says that he never underestimates the written word: Great thinkers are nourished by any knowledge, even that in books, although it takes a remarkably independent mind to read critically at all times. So is there no fact, no event, in our private history, which shall not, sooner or later, lose its adhesive, inert form, and astonish us by soaring from our body into the empyrean. The main enterprise of the world for splendor, for extent, is the upbuilding of a man. Man acquires knowledge through the events of nature.
The new deed is yet a part of life,--remains for a time immersed in our unconscious life. In Greece the accomplished athlete was reverenced almost as a god, and cases have been recorded where altars were erected and sacrifices made in his honor. In this view of him, as Man Thinking, the theory of his office is contained. He then learns that in going down into the secrets of his own mind he has descended into the secrets of all minds. First, one, then another, we drain all cisterns, and waxing greater by all these supplies, we crave a better and a more abundant food. Or, I might say, it depends on how far the process had gone, of transmuting life into truth. That to finally understand that nature is connected and that the soul of humans and the natural philosophy of nature are all one greater idea, is only the beginning.
Of course the word here means an object of blind admiration and devotion. If it were only for a vocabulary, the scholar would be covetous of action. Although the three themes Emerson touches upon in The American Scholar are only thirds without all together, the most prominent of the three is nature. In self-trust, all the virtues are comprehended. The world of any moment is the merest appearance. An infant that needs a hand to brace himself as he learns to walk, or a thinker who needs to be shown the connection which , in turn, turns the thinking man into Man Thinking.
These being his functions, it becomes him to feel all confidence in himself, and to defer never to the popular cry. By and by, it finds how to join two thingsand see in them one nature; then three, then three thousand; and so, tyrannized over by its own unifying instinct, it goes ontying things together, diminishing anomalies, discovering roots running under ground whereby contrary and remote thingscohere and flower out from one stem. We no more feel or know it than we feel the feet, or the hand, or the brain of our body. Citing an Arabic proverb that says that one fig tree fertilizes another — just like one author can inspire another — Emerson suggests that true scholars should resort to books only when their own creative genius dries up or is blocked. I only would say that it needs a strong head to bear that diet. One of the most distinguished of English historians.
But nature also appeals to our higherfaculty, the Reason, to intuit underlying truths and thedivine laws that animate all creation. Instantly the book becomes noxious. Without it he is not yet man. The most imaginative of men, yet writing with the precision of a mathematician, he endeavored to engraft a purely philosophical Ethics on the popular Christianity of his time. The essay is divided into three major influences: Nature, Books and Action.
Books are the best type of the influence of the past, and perhaps we shall get at the truth, — learn the amount of this influence more conveniently, — by considering their value alone. Pope possessed little originality or creative imagination, but he had a vivid sense of the beautiful and an exquisite taste. In the degenerate state, when the victim of society, he tends to become a mere thinker, or, still worse, the parrot of other men's thinking. So much only of life as I know by experience, so much of the wilderness have I vanquished and planted, or so far have I extended my being, my dominion. The troubadours were made much of and became a strong element in the development of the Southern spirit. Genius is always sufficiently the enemy of genius by over-influence.