Long time readers may have noticed the evolution of this blog into pure literary criticism with occasional interior decorating updates. This is largely, not to pick at scabs, due to a group of fundamentalist religious fanatics whose principle applied doctrinal quirk is vicious behavior, who Laurie and I ran afoul of about a year ago. Subsequently, I deemed it prudent to grow stingy with personal details in my online life. Also, my current work hours make writing, socializing, and anything aside from animal survival, difficult.
Recently, I've noticed the virtual and vacant leather couch potential of my blog. I have also been turning over in my head for some month the words of a friend of mine who suggested I write whatever I feel like in spite of anticipated peril. Add to that my recent ear-bending toward the Transcendentalists and the Quakers and you've got a characteristically circumlocutory way of warning you that sometime in the very near future it is my intention to write a bit about religion on this blog. Specifically, sorting through the rubble of my own.
So, I'll be brutally honest and admit that in most of these books in the Harvard Classics series there is a point where I'm sold. Before that point, in my head I'm usually struggling with maintaining interest, I read very slowly because I'm not yet hooked and am still frittering away my reading hours reading Beartato comics until I hit the hook. After I find that point, however, I am hooked and begin devouring the book (not literally.) With Ralph Waldo Emerson, this came with this quote, which was what I was meaning to post in the first place.
"Let me admonish you, first of all, to go alone; to refuse the good models, even those which are sacred in the imagination of men, and dare to love God without mediator or veil. Friends enough you shall find who will hold up to your emulation Wesleys and Oberlins, Saints and Prophets. Thank God for these good men, but say, `I also am a man.' Imitation cannot go above its model. The imitator dooms himself to hopeless mediocrity. The inventor did it, because it was natural to him, and so in him it has a charm. In the imitator, something else is natural, and he bereaves himself of his own beauty, to come short of another man's.
"Yourself a newborn bard of the Holy Ghost, — cast behind you all conformity, and acquaint men at first hand with Deity. Look to it first and only, that fashion, custom, authority, pleasure, and money, are nothing to you, — are not bandages over your eyes, that you cannot see, — but live with the privilege of the immeasurable mind. Not too anxious to visit periodically all families and each family in your parish connection, — when you meet one of these men or women, be to them a divine man; be to them thought and virtue; let their timid aspirations find in you a friend; let their trampled instincts be genially tempted out in your atmosphere; let their doubts know that you have doubted, and their wonder feel that you have wondered. By trusting your own heart, you shall gain more confidence in other men. For all our penny-wisdom, for all our soul-destroying slavery to habit, it is not to be doubted, that all men have sublime thoughts; that all men value the few real hours of life; they love to be heard; they love to be caught up into the vision of principles. We mark with light in the memory the few interviews we have had, in the dreary years of routine and of sin, with souls that made our souls wiser; that spoke what we thought; that told us what we knew; that gave us leave to be what we inly were. Discharge to men the priestly office, and, present or absent, you shall be followed with their love as by an angel."More soon.