Monday, April 1, 2013

"To be Great is to be Misunderstood." Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Grand Canyon
"Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

Some of my favorite people are the transcendentalist: Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, Margaret Fuller, Emily Dickerson.

When I taught 11th grade English, I would spend quite a bit of time on the transcendentalist, because they spoke to my heart. 

Transcendentalist Beliefs
1. The spiritual unity of all forms of being with God, Humanity, and Nature all sharing a universal soul, the oversoul
2. The inherent goodness (divinity!) of Man and Nature
3. The value of individualism
4. The belief that the natural world is symbolic of the spirit world
5. The "Lemon Pie" theory (to know the part is to know the whole)
6. That Society is the source of corruptive, distracting materialism
7. That Man is naturally good, even divine, because of his Divine Intellect
8. That Nature is inherently good because it is symbolic of the spirit (God)
9. That God, the Oversoul, is the universal soul that permeates all being (much like "the Force")

I spend a lot of time pondering the above quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson from Self Reliance. The idea that to be great is to be misunderstood always makes my heart leap, and I always wonder if some people shy away from their greatness, because they do not want to be misunderstood.

But, we must ask ourselves "What is wrong with being misunderstood if we are following our own inherent goodness, spirit, nature?"

"To be Great is to be Misunderstood," and it is All Right.....

Happy Monday My People!

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