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Emerson, Ralph Waldo - Intellect - On inspiration and wisdom

Identifier

013559

Type of spiritual experience

A description of the experience

Ralph Waldo Emerson – Intellect

We have little control over our thoughts.  We are the prisoners of ideas.  They catch us up for moments into their heaven and so fully engage us that we take no thought for the morrow, gaze like children, without an effort to make them our own.  By and by we fall out of that rapture, bethink us where we have been, what we have seen, and repeat as truly as we can, what we have beheld.  As far as we can recall these ecstasies, we carry away in the ineffaceable memory the result, and all men and all the ages confirm it.  It is called Truth. 

But the moment we cease to report and attempt to correct and contrive, it is not truth.

We perceive the superiority of the spontaneous or intuitive principle over the arithmetical or logical.  Logic is the procession or proportionate unfolding of the intuition; but its virtue is as silent method; the moment it would appear as propositions and have a separate value, it is worthless … All our progress is an unfolding... you have first an instinct, then an opinion, then knowledge – trust the instinct to the end, though you can tender no reason.  It is vain to hurry it.  By trusting it to the end, it shall ripen into Truth and you shall know why you believe.

The source of the experience

Emerson, Ralph Waldo

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