Recently I’ve posted some quotes I was moved by when reading Emerson’s Nature. The whole book is absolutely ingenious, yet I thought it is one thing to be moved by something and another explaining what did stir in you. So I decided I’ll bring you a bit of my perspective to the quotes and will be delighted if you will share yours.
The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other; who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood. His intercourse with heaven and earth, becomes part of his daily food.
What does Emerson mean by our inward and outward senses? I interpret it as the ability to process information from our senses in a way that deepens our understanding of the world by providing a certain kind of insight. I find it is often what happens when you venture to nature – you develop this feeling of interconnectedness as everything in nature makes sense, whereas if you live in an urbanized area you gradually lose the ability to see the grandeur of nature. You have to periodically rediscover it.
What is the spirit of infancy? One thing that instantly came to my mind is something you can (or could) hear of quite often if you dabble in personal development by the means of esoterics and such – your inner child. But somehow I feel it is different. It is not just about retaining this ever-lasting positive curiosity, but also a certain longing for growth and experience, a sense of adventure.
To the people that live in this state of equilibrium using both our inner and outward senses this realisation, the understanding of nature – not by the means of analysis but rather by the means of inner knowledge – can provide a sort of non-physical sustenance.
I realise now that I am trying to describe the indescribable and I’m afraid I won’t be able to do so as brilliantly as Emerson did in his work 😀 And suddenly I find myself longing to go hiking, preferably in solitude or with silent companions who won’t disturb this elated feeling you get from being in nature, this je ne sais quois that feels as natural and tangible as it is eerie and imperceptible.
How would you describe water to a fish? 😀