Saturday, January 01, 2011

Reflections on Reliance

"A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his. In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty." R.W. Emerson Self Reliance

I have been digesting slowly Emerson's work on self reliance. There are some powerful words contained in those pages.

I have had to read small sections and then walk away for a while to ponder. There is just too much to take at one sitting. Take the above. How many times have we all had those thoughts that we have dismissed because the thought originated in our mind so we choose to throw it away? It is not that we have brilliance in all our thoughts, but it is saying that all too often we have no faith in our very own mind.
Perhaps even more so, we lack the heart to follow our thoughts. Its scary out there. You have a dream, a hope, an aspiration, or even just a thought, but we get lost in the complexity of the situation, then just walk away. It is slothfulness.
We cut ourselves off at the knee before we even begin because we lack the constitution to follow our own heart. Do we lack trust in our own capabilities? Do we fear failure? Is it that it’s just too comfortable at home, on the couch, watching the TV?
I saw myself as a weak and stupid individual so clearly my thoughts were not worth having.
What keeps you from following your heart and your mind? What have you rejected?