January 28, 2009

In sympathy with society?

A man must be in sympathy with society about him, or else, not wish to be in sympathy with it. If neither of these two, he must be wretched.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson [from his journals, March-April 1848], in EMERSON IN HIS JOURNALS, selected and edited by Joel Porte, Harvard University Press, Cambridge (Massachsetts) - London (England), 1982.

I have been posting for months now thoughts by Ralph Waldo Emerson, from his Journals, and will probably continue to do so, because it’s my firm conviction that “The Sage of Concord” has still much to teach us all. A few days ago, thanks to Tom, I discovered that someone is being doing something similar with Emerson’s fellow Transcendentalist (and best friend): The Blog of Henry David Thoreau. If you take the time to check it out I’m sure you’ll enjoy the visit.


  1. I often go to Thoreau's Journal just to read about what he saw and thought. It's relaxing in a lot of ways. And sometimes I wish I could also retire to some Waldenesque place and just think.

  2. Yes, Thoreau, who wrote 'Renew Thyself!'

    I've lived in Concord for some time. I like Walt Whitman a lot, a poet appreciated by Emerson.

    Having been a bit emotional in my last response to you on my blog I'm here to beg your pardon.

    Although, I believe one must (try to) be sage and moderate (and renew oneself?) in the sense of conciliation (which shouldn't imply weakness though).

    Also bloggers have a responsibility, if they have an audience. Let us not throw gasoline on the fire. In Nettuno close to Rome some youngsters yesterday have almost burnt alive an Indian immigrant, 'just for fun'.

  3. Tom, although Thoreau is not one of my favorite thinkers, I have always appreciated his anticonformist character and free-wheeling creative thinking.

  4. MoR, I answered you.

    PS: Hey man, don't worry, if you are an "arsonist" I am a revolutionary ... ;-)

  5. I thought you'd know by now that the arsonist I meant to be you, not me....