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Excerpt from the Essay “Compensation” by Ralph Waldo Emerson (vegetarian), Part 2 of 2

2022-07-05
Lingua:English
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“The world globes itself in a drop of dew. The microscope cannot find the animalcule which is less perfect for being little. Eyes, ears, taste, smell, motion, resistance, appetite, and organs of reproduction that take hold on eternity -- all find room to consist in the small creature. So do we put our life into every act. The true doctrine of omnipresence is, that God reappears with all his parts in every moss and cobweb. The value of the universe contrives to throw itself into every point. If the good is there, so is the evil; if the affinity, so the repulsion; if the force, so the limitation.”

“The world looks like a multiplication table, or a mathematical equation, which, turn it how you will, balances itself. Take what figure you will, its exact value, nor more nor less, still returns to you. Every secret is told, every crime is punished, every virtue rewarded, every wrong redressed, in silence and certainty. What we call retribution is the universal necessity by which the whole appears wherever a part appears.”

“Cause and effect, means and ends, seed and fruit, cannot be severed, for the effect already blooms in the cause, the end preexists in the means, the fruit in the seed.”

“Men seek to be great; they would have offices, wealth, power, and fame. They think that to be great is to possess one side of nature, -- the sweet, without the other side, -- the bitter. This dividing and detaching is steadily counteracted. Up to this day, it must be owned; no projector has had the smallest success. The parted water reunites behind our hand. Pleasure is taken out of pleasant things, profit out of profitable things, power out of strong things, as soon as we seek to separate them from the whole. We can no more have things and get the sensual good, by itself than we can get an inside that shall have no outside or a light without a shadow. ‘Drive out nature with a fork, she comes running back.’”
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