Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Snip from Kindle from Marilynne Robinson from R. W. Emerson

Absence of Mind: The Dispelling of Inwardness from the Modern Myth of the Self (Marilynne Robinson)
- Highlight Loc. 148-54 | Added on Sunday, June 06, 2010, 12:39 PM

Recently I read to a class of young writers a passage from Emerson’s “The American Scholar” in which he says, “In silence, in steadiness, in severe abstraction, let him hold by himself; add observation to observation, patient of neglect, patient of reproach, and bide his own time,—happy enough if he can satisfy himself alone that this day he has seen something truly…. For the instinct is sure, that prompts him to tell his brother what he thinks. He then learns that in going down into the secrets of his own mind he has descended into the secrets of all minds.” These words caused a certain perturbation. The self is no longer assumed to be a thing to be approached with optimism, or to be trusted to see anything truly. Emerson is describing the great paradox and privilege of human selfhood, a privilege foreclosed when the mind is trivialized or thought to be discredited. The clutch of certitudes that, together, trivialize and discredit are very much in need of being looked at again.


Great Insights by Both Authors.  I underlined something that jumped out to me.

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