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Episode #164 ... Ralph Waldo Emerson - Self Reliance

2022-04-21 | 🔗
Today we talk about Emerson and his essay about self reliance.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hello, everyone, I'm Stephen West! This is philosophize. This. Thank you to everyone who keeps the show going through Patria, really appreciate everyone. It still supports thanks for all the contributions on the website and forgotten merchant philosophy, is this dot org. Today's episode is part one in a mini series on Ralph Waldo Emmerson. I hope you loved the show today. So something that's been hammered home on the show pretty regularly in the past. Maybe a little bit too much at times is something that at this point, seems like it's become. a bit of a philosophical truism. It's the realisation that you can Never really know anything for certain. Now who really cares when anybody says something like this? But what are they even saying of certain that we can know anything for certain. This is a line that, when it said and polite conversation can seem to some people, like this sort of dusty old undergraduate credo, an idea that at best is pointless because it's really not saying anything and at worst completely deletes the possibility of a discussion right at the outset. Then again, there are other people out there. That would see this
statement is something that is undeniably true, something that's necessary for any level of new ones. Thinking and that, if there's a mistake being made here, the mistake lies in the person who hears that you can't know anything for certain and then decides to sit around and do nothing because you can't know anything for certain anyway. Guess I'll grab me a bag of skeptical Tito's and just call it a life see: there's a lot of discussion among fans of philosophy, about what the value of philosophy is in today's day and age. Why is philosophy even important in modern And there's a lot of answers to this, but one of the ones who are most popular. That philosophy is a bit of a baptism by fire philosophy. is not about slowly discovering the truth about existence? By reading what wise people said six hundred years ago, the last If he is more about taking it down a pegre to humbling you, you know that that classic philosophy mean the never ending cycle between you think things, and
the wrong. Did you think things again and you're wrong again? In other words, philosophy is kind of like an intellectual boot camp or if you can survive the discomfort of having your police challenged. If you can stay, went to the exercise, despite knowing that there's a long road ahead, you that is not going to be that easy. If you can survive that you can. Potentially out of the other side, more developed as a person. Now one thing you'll possess. If you can get through the in years of being wrong about everything is hopefully a healthy amount of self doubt and, as is the case of air then people, but time into master in this life. The Dunning Krueger effect eventually starts to kick in. What I mean is there comes a point where reminding everyone that you can't ever know anything for certain only starts to cannibalize our responsibility to make things better in this world. There comes a point when philosophy is less about humility and more about inspiration a point where you Devil No, that you need to proceed with caution, but nonetheless we still gotta proceed as people invested in the press aggressive teen human being on this planet.
the creation of meaning series can be seen as an example of finding a way past. The stunning Krueger effect an attempt at grounding a cautious approach forward, while still always remaining open to new ideas, will similarly the guy we're talking about today, Ralph Waldo Emerson. He can be seen as another example of this. An attempt at finding that foundation leverage point from which we can navigate the universe, with at least some conception of truth connected to our actions and for Ralph Waldo Emerson. That leverage point is going to be grounded in the individual, see while other philosophers out there, don't trust the individual. They try their hardest to appeal to externalities as the ultimate source of truth or meaning Emerson's going to say that the way to gain access to the truth is actually to turn inward that the external things we tack on to our individual perspectives are really a source of corruption and the
deepest connection available between people and the transcendent immaterial aspects of the universe is through the most primary thing. We have access to our own individual human experience. Now this is going to take a couple of three episodes to unpack the various points he's making there. This first episode is going to be on what I think is the most intuitive entry point into his work, his famous essay titled self Reliance, but first little bit of historical context. It's going to help us throughout the rest of the series, Ralph, Waldo Emerson, was a citizen of the United States. He publishes its essay in the year eighteen, forty one, which places him in between the rebel Sherry WAR, that united the country and the civil war that divided the country he publishes its essay fifty three years after the constitution was ratified. So what's important understand. Is that he's writing this essay as a citizen of a country
It really is a baby. This was a country that had a lot of problems that needed to be worked out internally. Citizens are arguing with each other about the issues that matter to them at the time. A couple examples here: the existence of slavery, the rights of women, the treatment of native Americans, the treatment of industrial workers and workers' rights, more generally, the treatment of immigrants that were coming into the country other words, nothing. Any of us can possibly relate to today right The chief criticism at the time is that the United States was great on paper. We had all these beautiful words written on fancy parchment about what the country stands. For. You know everyone's created equal life, liberty. Pursued a happiness. We got it all, but what does the country actually look like in practice? Nothing like that feeling at the time is: how do we fix that? which path forward. Are we going to choose for this nation because for as much as the original settlers came to North America to escape what they saw as the ban ideas that were governing the societies, a Europe we sure do talk a lot about creating a brave new world, but in practice we just seen
be importing all the bad ideas into our new neighbourhood. Further criticism at the time can somebody really call the United States a country with its own culture at that point, or is it just a patchwork of a bunch of european ideas dressed up in an uncle SAM costly Ralph Waldo Emerson believed that we needed to solve these big problems that face the country and part of doing so was gonna, involve creating a distinct culture, unique to the United states and the only way you're gonna do that he thought is if the citizens of the United States started thinking for themselves, creating the solutions to the problems instead of sitting around passively waiting on some external body or idea to solve all the problems for them. Self reliance was an essay that, among other things, at its core, was a call to action to american citizens and its with this in mind that he begins the USA by asking an important question of his fellow citizens who might be reading it's a question has now become famous and transcendentalists literature. He asked how often debate
we'll sit around thinking about some issue that faces their country or their community come up with what seems like a really good idea seems like it's making a great point about whatever the prevailing discussion is on the matter, and then, after they arrive at this good idea, they throw the ideal way. Don't ever talk about it, people ask them about social issues- and they never even bring it up if for no other reason than because they themselves were the ones that came up with it, the thinking being that hey, I came up with this idea, so this is probably just a stupid wait. I mean who am I to come up with any sort of interesting counterpoint to the discussion of my age, I'm just an ordinary person, I'm not some genius, I'm not a thought leader of some sort. Yeah sure this idea is truly how I feel about the situation. But if I say this thing in public, I'm probably going to embarrass myself, I must be missing something incredibly obvious here that all the smart people already know Ralph Waldo Emerson things.
It is an absolutely toxic way of thinking about yourself and he says so often what naturally goes along with this type of attitude as a further assumption that, if you are thinking person, and you want to know more about the world around you that the path to becoming a really smart person with well thought out beliefs comes from reading a bunch of other really smart people and I quote, unquote, experts and whatever area you want to educate yourself about, in other words, to get smart All you gotta do is turned to a philosopher a religion, artists, thought, leaders, external sources of truth. You read these really smart people and essentially just say whatever they said. Somebody asked me what you think about something you just rest. the pre approved. Smart person answer that memorized last week. That's basically what becoming a smart person even is where else Would you learn how to think intelligently other than
listening to smart people will Ralph Waldo Emerson thinks this is exactly where people go wrong when trying to learn to think intelligently, see if Emerson was anything, he was an enemy of dogma of all varieties. Didn't think that you should just imitate someone else's opinions. If you want to be a smarter person, as he says, imitation it's suicide and what he meant by that is that when you trade, your own unique personal development for a ready made dogma spoon fed you by a third party, you are effectively sacrificing your life. Your sacrificing your own, unique contribution that you and only you can offer to society early in the USA Emerson makes it clear that one of the most important realizations that any human being can ever arrive at in this life is to trust thyself. This is going to be a theme throughout the rest of the essay hints. The title self Reliance now don't get him wrong here. He is not saying don't educate yourself by all means
and all you want to as many sources as you can get as much information as is available to you, but he would say the second. The source changes from telling you the facts of the matter to telling you how you should be feeling about those facts. That's the second. It turns from education, two indoctrination. He says it's pretty alarming when you consider how uncommon it is for someone to trust them cells in their own ability to formulate an opinion about anything. He asked why is there such a rare quality for people to have quick pause here in the S acres? I think it's important to illustrate what Emerson trying to do in a philosophical context is calling into question the most common traditional ways that people have viewed. Morality, see instead of deify, Cultural figures, in saying that people should look to them to figure out how to navigate every second of their life. Ralph Waldo Emerson, offering up an alternative morality, one more centred around the perspective of the thinking individual person, so to further illustrate this point in the US,
The next move for Emerson is naturally going to be to explain why these external sources of wisdom, religions, the political leaders, all aspects of society, He needs to explain why these are not in fact forms of enlightenment, as many people see them, but more accurately are dogmas that corrupt, the more natural, individual, intuition and conscience that we're all born with. Because that's the big question here for Ralph Waldo Emerson, we all start off individuals, you can see examples of self reliance all around you in nature. Look at certain animals look at plants, look at children of our own species, a child. It is naturally a non conformist to anything their parents or society tells them is the right way to be feeling when a five year old kid walks into a room of adults, she's not worried about her reputation, she's not worried about losing their job. She's not worried about offending the delicate. Sensibilities of a group or whenever narrative of the world makes them feel the most comfortable. My daughter, the other day straight up, told somebody
llamas are not real like she looked them in the eye and said llamas are not real. She ain't buying it. I I felt bad, I pulled her aside. I showed her pictures alarmists. I took her to see ulama in person she's like not Eddie, that's a sheep, and you know what I was proud of her. In that moment, she doesn't care if she's reciting, the socially reed upon norm right or wrong. She is marching to the beat of her own drum there, and look it's not like Emerson defending people independently making unfounded claims is defending the spirit and play their the Spirit of self reliance. He's trying to point out that there is a distinct
difference between children whose opinions about a situation are not bought or finessed in any way in what he calls the quote: cautious adult people who are so scared about their reputation, their group identity, not offending anybody too much that they can never actually fully be themselves. When you are a cautious adult, you care far more about saying something polite than what is right. So when do people turn into these cautious adults? That's the question here when the children of our species get beaten to submission by society at all levels. Well, if you want to solve a problem, probably pretty useful to figure out how it happened in the first place, so you don't run to the problem again, and this is exactly what Emerson spends the majority of the essay doing. There are three major traps that people fall into the
It caused him to lose his initial ability to be self reliant, and the first one we're going to talk about today is called conformity now. This is far from a mysterious philosophical term. Simply put fact is to Emerson most people conform to the demands of their society. We go out into the world, we become adults and society puts pressure on us to be a virtuous person and what is being a virtuous person conforming to the normalized ways of thinking approved by society, in fact, Emerson, one of the primary The goals of society is to get you to stop thinking for yourself. So much so he says but when you fall in line and play the game demanded of you by society shockingly, this is when people will often start referring to you as a mature person. Oh, you really matured in the last couple years doing great living your best life out there are some people may call that the process of maturing but to Emerson, in reality its much more of a systematic anesthesia, something
they call it becoming a more moral person. Others might call it blindly conforming to what some external source told you to do, but the question remains for Emerson. Why not listened to what you want to do? Instead, why always yield to some external source? Not somewhat could respond to this and say hold on a second Emerson. Is this really such a bad thing? That's going because don't we want society to be a governing influence on some people's behaviour and for the record everything's included in their when he says the word society conforming to a religion conform to a philosophy, conforming to a political ideology. Don't we want these things to help direct the thinking of some people? I mean for one valid question: does every person on this planet have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to their moral approach towards life? Could we see that society provides a necessary service to people in that way, but more than just alleviating confusion, though, does
society, allow us to avoid a certain level of disaster that is going to come if we base our morality on the intuitions of the individual, like if you don't follow some sort of external moral code. What if I'm sitting at the dinner table and We take the last piece, a chicken and my moral intuition in that moment. Is this Adam. The head with a fork is my. individual moral approach better than following some collective moral approach dictated by society? Well, Ralph, Waldo Emerson, as it turns out, is not an advocate of stabbing people in the head with a fork but he would say that if that is really your moral intuition better to act honestly, and have a chance to learn from your mistakes. Recalibrate and grow then to lie, fall in love and with what everyone else, tells you as a proper response. Jesse, you can get everyone's approval, you can't move early grow if you're not being Morley honest now, the stabbing in ahead is obviously an extreme example here,
but you can imagine the same line of thought applying to less extreme examples, say standing up for what you believe is right when your opinion might not be the most popular with the mob mentalities of the world. The bigger point here for Emerson is that, if you're an advocate for conformity and any capacity, then you have to also be able to answer the question how much informatie is too much conformity, because maybe some things are easy to agree on right. Maybe we can all agree that we shouldn't be able to murder each other things like that, but how about conformity when it comes to which political viewpoints people should be able to hold? Should society govern that? How about which jobs society thinks he'd be the best at? Should you conform to that? How about who society thinks your spouse, be at a certain point blindly following society, not thinking for yourself and instead disconnect coming to somebody else's opinions at a certain point that becomes an act of cowardice to Emerson but again hold on their Ralph another objection. What am I supposed to
much a never agree with anything anyone says about the world. What, if I'm listening to someone talk about the way the world is ended? genuinely resonates with me? My individual personality agrees with their individual personality. Is that some hard to imagine, I think Emerson, would say it's not hard to imagine. The point here is to remain true to yourself to not need society or other people to tell you how you should be feeling, and only you can know if that's what's going on in your head and each particular instance, or but just consider this if you're somebody that false strongly into one particular social camp or another. I think he just say beware of the convenience of staying in that position. You know how convenient that all your moral intuitions correspond with Christianity, if your Christian, how convenient that your politics matches up perfectly with a certain group, people that have a certain letter next to their name. How convenient that, every time
I listened to a certain show. You find yourself agreeing with everything the host is saying, I think he'd say don't underestimate people's willingness to conform to the ideas of others just so that they don't have to live in the often difficult place of true non can normally the feel of Emerson riding during this section of the essay it's it's like. He thinks it's a tragedy when people conform to outside opinions- and he says it's a tragedy for two reasons. The first reason is that when you conform to any way of thinking your friends, your family and everybody that you care about, never actually get to witness who you truly are. He says his purse who doesn't think for themselves, is so terrified of thinking the wrong thing, embarrassing themselves upsetting,
People around them that the only person their friends and family ever get to know is just some collection of pre approved. Talking points. Think of the cost. A person has to pay simply for the privilege of feeling accepted by the mob. The second reason is a tragedy to conform to society is because, as he says, just think of all the wasted time there for every second, you spin, proselytizing a religion philosophy, a political ideology for every second, you volunteered to be an unpaid, mercenary on behalf of someone else. That is a second wasted towards the cause of actually call creating something valuable with your time here, where you can truly make a contribution to this, I agree with your own unique skill, set experience and expertise. This is one of the mistakes american citizens during the time of Emerson. Most of them are sitting around really re about the issues of bother them all the social injustice, wanting things to change just sitting around waiting for some external force or dogma that come along to solve all the problems for them, but Emerson would ask how many of those people were being in,
visuals using their unique talents to create something that actually tries to move things in the right direction? There's a lesson here: Emerson can offer to people living in modern times. You know: there's a lot of people out there who consider themselves too nonconformists because they strongly up oh some way that things are structured within society. But what is the difference between true nonconformity and the type of nonconformity that just looks good on social, a lot of people superimposing flags on their profile, pictures as a symbol of their solidarity, Lahti, screaming, into the yawning abyss of twitter to people that more or less already agree with each other or any example of activism. Are you zero skin in the game and nothing to lose regardless of the good intent behind it. It's interesting to ask in merely symbolic support of a cause, be a convenient disguise for that cowardice. That Emerson was talking about before, because it you're not actually changing hearts and minds are contributing to progress and Emerson point if you're, just appealing to some third party that gave you all the talking points, your screaming at people,
What are you at that point, will certainly not a self reliant individual, that's interested in creating something that may serve others in many ways you are just as complicit as some that's doing nothing at all? Is this just a covert model digital version of conforming to the way that things are content with nothing changing fact is. Society, needs a lot of people dedicated to the cause of the status quo, Emerson, the needs of society and the needs of the individual, don't always necessarily a line, and this is one of the real dangers of conformity to him. It causes otherwise super passionate people to waste so much time. they could otherwise been offering their own unique talents towards arriving at a solution is in this spirit that Emerson thinks that the solution to conformity is obvious. Its non conformity and of conformity comes about by looking outside of ourselves for how it should be feeling about.
the world than true nonconformity is only going to come from a turn inward. That said, even if you realize this, even if you can avoid falling into the trap of all these different types of external dogmas, you're still run out of the woods. Yet. The second major trap that people fall into that sabotage is our ability to be a self reliant. Person can be thought of as a sort of internal dogma. What Emerson calls the trap of consistency see, because so far, all this talk by Emerson of Sting true to yourself and relying on your individual perspective that sound good in theory, but it definitely has fair share critics, one of the most common rebuttals to what we ve been talking about so far has to be that we cannot rely on individual perspectives to be a reliable source of legitimacy, because individuals themselves are not reliable. People change all the time, people think one thing one day and completely I remind the next, the volatility of the industry, will ensure that we can never build our society around them in this way of thinking about.
individual, manifests itself in our today lies in what Emerson calls a strange obsession or even a fixation that society has on the consistency of our beliefs. There are many examples of this, but one of the most obvious ones to start with our deep positions, people hold that are running for political office. Try running for public office in the United It's in changing your mind about anything. Regarding the issues you will instantly be labelled a flip flapper unprincipled, inconsistent. How can I even know who I am voting for? If you change your mind about things, I don't even know who I am looking at right now this idea. That, if you're gonna run for political office here, you should have been five years old so down the slide and had some sort of a penny moment. Like Keynesian economics, I like it, and never changed your mind again about anything you'll. Heaven forbid you oh and changes in individual over the years develop yourself as a person. This is
the idea that you should feel ashamed. If you don't know exactly where you stand on something that, if you're publicly wrong about something that you should carry around a scarlet letter with you forever or that throughout the process of educating yourself, if you feel one way and then hear something that changes your mind the next day and then something else. The changes you the day after that there's this idea that that makes you an intellectually weak person, maybe just dumb Maybe you just agree with whoever is arguing the point in front of you and your brain actually incapable of differentiating between good or bad points, or maybe this fetish we have about the consistency of our beliefs- has absolutely nothing to do with being a well thought out person another bit of philosophical context about what Emerson's up to this particular portion of the USA, this long standing, enlightenment era, confidence in reason, order and consistency that the legitimacy of an idea is directly connected to how consistent that idea is you can understand why? The thinking is that, if something is true, it's gonna be just as true tomorrow, as it is true today that, if an
it is proven to be false at some point and we have been formerly living in error as a society now. This is certainly a noble cause right and you can see how it directly connected to this lack of content. send the whims of the individual as a marker of legitimacy. You can see why people might try to make someone feel dumb who changes their mind or contradicts themself from one week to the next, but Ralph Waldo Emerson, making the case for the individual is going to call all of this into question. In reality, as he says, consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, one of his most famous quotes. Now. Why would he say something like that see the Ralph Waldo Emerson, Truth of the universe is not something that you grasp one day and then spend the rest of your life, defending the fact that you believe the exact same stuff you did twenty years ago has nothing to do with the legitimacy of what you're, believing when a person seems inconsistent or contradictory,
Cautious adult that spends their days embroiled in society, repeating what other people told them to say. They might see that person as stupid or confused, but inconsistency and contradicting yourself is not the mark of a stupid or confused person to Emerson. It is often the mark of some uncommitted truly thinking for themselves, some truly in touch with how disordered, unreasonable and inconsistent the truth of things often is the cautious adult from their perspective, is utterly incapable of seeing that this person may actually be more connected to the truth. Then they are. He compares this whole process to sailing a ship into a headwind. How do you get to a particular destination on a sailboat if the wind is blowing in the opposite direction that you want to go, but not in a rigid apps. loot consistent straight line. If you tried to go in a straight line, you just standstill or go backwards. No, you have to go from side to side zagging in zagging, using the winds to move towards the general direction that you wanted to end up in and it should be said people sitting on the beach.
watching you from the sidelines are going to be like dang that person's all over the place, like seems like they had one too many ice teas on that boat. Call the police call the Vatican call a philosopher, call someone to fix them, because this person must be crazy or stupid. their sailing in this way, but for all that movement back and forth the person sailing on the boat was all the while slowly but surely moving closer to their destination. He would ask this person that standing on the beach, the cautious adult looking at the person changing there, until the time quote, why drag around the corpse of your memory end quote what he means by this is why continue to hold onto ideas that are being challenged simply because you happen to believe them in the past
why not live in the present. Why spend your life always pleased waiting to defend what you already believe? Why me so defensive? The burden in the futility of that is really like, dragging around a corpse with you everywhere that you go in life. Ralph Waldo Emerson asked the people living during his time in America to dare to be inconsistent. Consider the fact he says that no great thinker who has ever lived has ever been considered a great thing. or because they consistently adhered to the status quo. You know when it when it comes to never changing your mind about anything and believing what everyone else believes they were. The greatest of all time write their name down in the history books. No, that's never what happened. The greatest thinkers of all time seemed totally contradictory, inconsistent and misunderstood. He says quote: ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood. Is it so bad? Then, to be misunderstood, Pythagoras
understood and Socrates and Jesus and Luther and Copernicus, and Galileo and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh to be great, is to be misunderstood. End quote the cost of greatness sometimes requires you to be a misunderstood person living in a state of true non can, Germany, with the mobs of society, constantly breathing down your neck. You know one thing he never promises and self reliance is that it's gonna be an easy life. is as easy to be a non conformist, while sitting in your basement never talk to anyone but tried doing it in public. We are being attacked by a mob of conformity
screaming somebody else's ideas at you much more difficult, but he says true change the kind of change Americans needed during his time that would bring about the abolition of slavery, women's rights, the rights of workers and all the other issues that matter to them. True change was only gonna come about from actual individual stepping up in daring to exist outside of that mob and again it is a disgusting idea to Emerson to think that you are somehow not capable of being that individual just think about whole idea for a second, but it takes a great person to think of an idea that can change the world, for the better Emerson will want to ask. What really is the difference between these so called great person?
these so called ordinary person, because here's what really happens most people think about the world and have their own intelligent feelings about things. Most people through the humility of social conditioning dont, dare to speak up about their ideas for fear of looking stupid or these social backlash of at all. Then one day, somebody with something with with an up childhood trauma to believe that they actually have something important to say that person, steps up, has the courage to voice their opinions and then magically. They start to go in supporters and followers, and why? Because their voicing something that resonates with people, in other words their voice, something that a lot of other people were already thinking anyway. So where does this magic start to kickin? When does this person become somebody? Who's anointed by God? Defeatist system in reality Emerson, but ask what really was the difference between the rate person in the ordinary other than the fact that the great person?
they were needed in a moment, didn't take the safe and easy path of mimicry. Every thinking person is capable of being one of these so called great people and its at this point in the essay that Emerson stops talking about how we shouldn't be thinking and start shaping a plan for how we should be thinking. If you want to access the truth of the universe. Emerson says one good place to start is not gonna be outside of you, but, on the contrary, the most inward local primary access point that we have available to us, and that is our own individual into wish. see if society can be thought of as an abstract collection of what he calls to would have knowledge than what we can gain by accessing the universe through our individual perspective is what he calls intuitive knowledge and he play
is the latter on a much different level than the former, but it's worth asking where's all this coming from like. Why does the individual specifically get such a privilege spot in emissions worldview, while in some of these transcendentalists lower that's out there? There is this concept of the overall, sometimes directly interchanged with the word go but understand that Emerson, far from some Bible, thumpin guy trying to save you from the devil here once again he's a staunch opponent of any sort of dogma, religious or otherwise it's kind of one of the main points of his work now know our buddy Ralph he'd be considered much more of a deist. You know he's the type of person that believes in a God believes in a creator in some sort of guaranteed unifying order to the universe, but doesn't believe that back on involves itself in human affairs whatsoever. The strain This is that a belief in this type of God freeze him from the chains of religious fundamentalism, but it also doesn't relegate him to a hard line.
Purely materialistic view of the universe that might limit someone who's, just trying to explain things through science to Emerson. There are immaterial transcendent aspects of reality. They just manifest themselves to us, sometimes through the material old more on this next episode. But the important part here now is to understand this oversight on his work and how it in part represents a connection that the individual has the universe in its totality. The idea and transcendental is amiss at every part of the universe is connected to every other part of the universe, including us as self reliant. Individuals uncorrupted by society, he says quote: we lie in the lap of immense intelligence, which makes us receivers of its truth and organs of its activity. In quote that immense intelligence that he's talking about is the over
so and as self reliant individuals, we can become receivers of its truth and organs of its activity, in other words, people that are willing to pay attention and watch the universe at work will gain access to the truth. People unwilling to do the work who take the uninspired path of regurgitate talking points will never gain access to the truth. Wisdom gained from intuition, which he sometimes called spontaneity. He sometimes causes instinct, wisdom gained from here has a profound added benefit to Emerson, because not only can the sort of wisdom inform our everyday decisions, but then, through the practice of getting better at connecting with this overall with the universe, we also inexorably feel more connected with the universe and our relationship to it
so being a truly self reliant. Individual removes the need for some third party text or group to make you actually feel connected to something. Ralph, Waldo Emerson closes out the essay talking about ways we can apply self reliance. Two specific areas of society, for example religion, assets to conform self reliance, could improve upon that. The arts ask us to just imitate the artist that came before us. We could use more self reliant artists? It's an interesting closer to the USA and it's gonna be relevant to next episode. When we talk about his essay on nature and how we can rethink the historical concept of nature, what that means through this transcendentalists Lynn? But if I know my listeners, then I know there's quite a bit. You out there all running the exact same thing right about now. Wait so Emerson, saying that I should follow society as a guide. To tell me how I should be living philosophers included, but he just spent the entire.
Ass. A telling me how I should be living when she say that's a bit inconsistent and not in a good way, but I think he'd say that he's being obviously misunderstood there. I think I want to clarify heading into next episode that he didn't claim to be or want to be thought of. As a philosopher. In the first place, he thought of himself. It seems as much more of a poet than a philosopher? He thought philosophers have been missed the mark for a really long time and a health frame. All the ideas presented in this episode today. I ll leave you with his words from another section of his writing, where he re imagines the entire way that philosophy might be done in the future. He writes quote the analytic process is cold and believing- and shall I say, It somewhat mean as spying. There's something surgical in metaphysics has retreated we're not in owed a better form. The poet sees holes and avoids analysis the medicine.
Mission, dealing as it were, with the mathematics of the mind, puts himself out of the way of the inspiration, Lou is that which is the miracle and creates the worship. I think that philosophy is still rude in elementary, it will one day be taught by poets. The poet is in the natural attitude. He is believing the philosopher after some struggle. Having only reasons for believing end quote, thank you for listening talked in extra,
Transcript generated on 2022-05-01.