Saturday, February 25, 2012
Part or Particle of God
Emerson's phrase "part or particle of God" has always struck me. It is found in Chapter 1: Nature. Emerson describes how he lets go of his human tendencies, or "mean egotism," and takes in nature. He says he lets "the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God." He is allowing nature to become a part of him, but he is also letting in the "currents of the Universal Being." Emerson seems to be implying that God, the "Universal Being" is being absorbed into him through nature. At first I thought this meant that nature and God are the same. After all, he becomes part or particle of God through nature. However, two paragraphs later Emerson says "the power to produce this delight, does not reside in nature, but in man, or in a harmony of both." I took this to mean that one cannot become godly without nature, but also one must be human to become godly. So to be part of God one must be human and accept and understand nature. Only then can one be godly. I'm not sure if this is a correct interpretation, but this is how I read it.