Seek the Love of Truth and Virtue

Nature by Ralph Waldo Emerson

The human mind is constantly attracting vibrations of thought which harmonizes with the thoughts that dominate the mind.  Dominating thoughts in the mind reproduce themselves into outward physical action and therefore transform physical reality. Ideas, in this respect, are what they are by virtue of preceding affections.

Part of our excursion to discover how to “transmute an idea into reality” included an in depth look at Ralph Waldo Emerson’s book entitled “Nature”. The idea for the book began to take form as an object in Emerson’s mind as he returned from Europe in 1833. Including material compiled from his journals, sermons and lectures, he states that, “Nature is a discipline of the understanding in intellectual truths.”

By identifying nature as a component of the Universe, Emerson asserts that all our questions about the order of the universe may be answered by our experience of life and the world around us. By defining nature as everything separate from the inner individual, he states, “A life in harmony with nature is the love of truth and virtue.” Love is the most powerful emotion a human being can experience. Truth is defined as fact, belief or reality and virtue is the moral excellence considering temperance, prudence, courage and justice.

“Nature gives us great lessons to educate both understanding and reason.” He explains that reason transfers lessons into its own world of thought by perceiving the analogy that marries mind and matter. “By degrees, we may come to know the primitive sense of the permanent objects of nature and every form significant of its hidden life and final cause.” Now, consider the unlimited possibility of meaning when it comes to space, time, society, labor, climate, food, locomotion, animals and mechanical forces.

Every property of matter (solidity, resistance, inertia, extension, figure, divisibility) is a school for understanding. Our dealing with sensible objects is a constant exercise in the necessary lessons of difference, likeness, order, being and seeming, progressive arrangement, ascent from particular to general, and combination to one end of manifold forces. “It is a tedious training to form the common sense… to instruct us that good thoughts are no better than good dreams, unless they be executed.”

“Perceive the Perpetual Presence of the Sublime.”

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