Thursday, December 19, 2019

Freedom and Slavery. (with Emerson)

Freedom and Slavery

Our Life energy 
Apparently comes from
Knowing our real Self..
Knowing also our self
Which dreams in story
But thrives only as Self..
We choose our lens: 
Self or self..and our
Perceptions unfold
In Freedom or slavery...

What do we mean when
We say:  I Am...?

 For the origin of all reform is in that mysterious fountain of the moral sentiment in man, which, amidst the natural, ever contains the supernatural for men. That is new and creative. That is alive. That alone can make a man other than he is. Here or nowhere resides unbounded energy, unbounded power...

But the man of ideas, accounting the circumstance nothing, judges of the commonwealth from the state of his own mind. `If,' he says, `I am selfish, then is there slavery, or the effort to establish it, wherever I go. But if I am just, then is there no slavery, let the laws say what they will. For if I treat all men as gods, how to me can there be such a thing as a slave?' But how frivolous is your war against circumstances. This denouncing philanthropist is himself a slave holder in every word and look. Does he free me? Does he cheer me? He is the state of Georgia, or Alabama, with their sanguinary slave-laws walking here on our north-eastern shores. We are all thankful he has no more political power, as we are fond of liberty ourselves. I am afraid our virtue is a little geographical. I am not mortified by our vice; that is obduracy; it colors and palters, it curses and swears, and I can see to the end of it; but, I own, our virtue makes me ashamed; so sour and narrow, so thin and blind, virtue so vice-like. Then again, how trivial seem the contests of the abolitionist, whilst he aims merely at the circumstance of the slave. Give the slave the least elevation of religious sentiment, and he is no slave: you are the slave: he not only in his humility feels his superiority, feels that much deplored condition of his to be a fading trifle, but he makes you feel it too. He is the master. The exaggeration, which our young people make of his wrongs, characterizes themselves. What are no trifles to them, they naturally think are no trifles to Pompey.
~~Ralph Waldo Emerson,  Lecture on the Times (two excerpts)

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