an amazing puzzle

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The universe is a more amazing puzzle than ever, as you glance along this bewildering series of animated forms, – the hazy butterflies, the carved shells, the birds, beasts, fishes, snakes, and the upheaving principle of life everywhere incipient, in the very rock aping organized forms. Not a form so grotesque, so savage, nor so beautiful but is an expression of some property inherent in man the observer, — an occult relation between the very scorpions and man. I feel the centipede in me, — cayman, carp, eagle, and fox. I am moved by strange sympathies; I say continually, “I will be a naturalist.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

15 thoughts on “an amazing puzzle”

    1. Jeff, I read somewhere that both Emerson and Thoreau were regular readers of the Upanishads and appreciated the ideas of unity that they found there. Connections and unity everywhere!

    1. Yes! But I have a feeling I would be doing more listening than contributing to the conversation! One reason I’ve always loved books – the messages, wisdom and guidance found in them are there to peruse whenever needed, even after the one who wrote the words is long gone.

  1. Hi Barbara,
    Yes a great American Philosopher, I believe that he worked his way through school doing odd jobs, not much different than some have to do today really. He certainly knew how to express his feeling, a wonderful poet as well.

    1. That’s interesting, Magsx2. I have to admit I don’t know much about Emerson’s life – perhaps when I finish reading Dickinson’s biography I’ll start reading one of Emerson’s.

      I have been to the Concord School of Philosophy building, where he lectured a few times, on the grounds of Orchard House, the home of Louisa May Alcott. I think I could spend several days exploring all the historical treasures in Concord.

  2. Barbara, I think you were so astute to quote Emerson. He knows his stuff! What a puzzle the Universe is, indeed. Feeling the centipede and the worm and the Barbara and the Jeff and the Laurie and the computer in me~~and, oh, by the way, guess what? I did a Barbara-blog today! Can you guess what it’s made of?

  3. I agree with Cait – the “strange sympathies” is wonderful coming as it does after “I feel the centipede in me, – cayman, carp, eagle, and fox.” Those lines remind me of a remarkable book called The Peregrine, by J.A. Baker, an author who spends a winter in the 1960s tracking and following the raptors across the fields and marshes of eastern England, always alone. It is a haunting and enraptured journey, in which in essence the man becomes the birds. What separates us is no longer so easily distinguishable.

    1. “The Peregrine” sounds like a wonderful book. I am fascinated by people who have the courage to go out and explore the natural world alone for more than a day. They are richly rewarded for their efforts, and it’s a blessing so many of them are willing to share their insights and experiences with us less adventurous souls. The book is not published on Kindle yet so I put in a request to the publisher to have it done, and will be notified if it happens. As always, thanks for stopping by and for the book recommendation, Julian!

Your comments are welcomed and appreciated...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.