.

And by a prudent flight and cunning save A life which valour could not, from the grave. A better buckler I can soon regain, But who can get another life again? Archilochus

Monday, January 13, 2014

Self Reliance

"Ne te quaesiveris extra*"

"Man is his own star; and the soul that can
Render an honest and a perfect man,
Commands all light, all influence, all fate;
Nothing to him falls early or too late.
Our acts our angels are, or good or ill,
Our fatal shadows that walk by us still."

Cast the bantling** on the rocks,
Suckle him with the she-wolf's teat;
Wintered with the hawk and fox,
Power and speed be hands and feet.
- Emerson (1841)

I read the other day some verses written by an eminent painter which were original and not conventional. The soul always hears an admonition in such lines, let the subject be what it may. The sentiment they instil is of more value than any thought they may contain. To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, — that is genius. Emerson, "Self-Reliance" (opening of essay following poem above)

*“Do not seek outside yourself.”
** A young, illegitimate child

7 comments:

nicrap said...

Romulus and Remus? I didn't exactly get the allusion in the last two lines.

-FJ said...

Yeah, I was having a bit of trouble with them as well.... as self-reliance will both empower you AND your enemies (the State?).

nicrap said...

hmm. Sort of expanding the myth then? Good it's not "history". ;)

Thersites said...

Perhaps Rousseau took this poem to heart when he dropped off his five children at the Enfants-Trouvés foundling home.

FreeThinke said...

YES!

All new knowledge comes from INTUITION -- i.e. DISCOVERY.

What we learn from others has value, BUT --- only if we see it for ourself.

Thersites said...

...and all surplus "power" comes from collecting "zeroes"...

What? You seek something? You wish to multiply yourself tenfold, a hundredfold? You seek followers?—Seek zeros! - FN

Zeroes of "mind".

Thersites said...

Now where did I put my hecatoncheires?