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Emerson, Ralph Waldo - Nature - We know nothing rightly for want of perspective



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Ralph Waldo Emerson – Nature

We know nothing rightly for want of perspective.  Now we learn what patient periods must round themselves before the rock is formed, then before the rock is broken, and the first lichen race has disintegrated the thinnest external plate into soil and opened the door for the remote Flora, Fauna, Ceres and Pomona to come in.

How far off yet is the trilobite!  How far off the quadruped! How inconceivably remote is man!  All duly arrive, and then, race after race of man.  It is a long way from granite to oyster; farther yet to Plato, and the preaching of the immortality of the soul.  Yet all must come, as surely as the first atom has two sides….

Motion or change, and identity or rest, are the first and second secrets of nature.  Motion and Rest….

The direction is for ever onward, but the artist still goes back for materials; and begins again with the first elements on the most advanced stage; otherwise, all goes to ruin.  If we look at her work, we seem to catch a glance of a system in transition.  Plants are the young of the world, vessels of health and vigour, but they grope ever upward towards consciousness, the trees are imperfect men and seem to bemoan their imprisonment, rooted in the ground.  The animal is the novice and probationer of a more advanced order.

The source of the experience

Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Theory of Evolution

Activities and commonsteps