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Emerson on War

Friends, Readers:

Obviously neither of us have ever been to war, but the condition of where we live is very war-like in ways, not because of the violence but because of the existence of enemy lines. Here we have a demonized enemy and a great force that continually presses against it. There is great evidence of the hatred which fuels war and man’s ability to take another man’s life. In light of this, here are some of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s thoughts on the subject, originally published in 1838.

“War,” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“It is really a thought that built this portentous war establishment, and a thought shall also melt it away. Every nation and every man instantly surround themselves with a material apparatus which exactly corresponds to their moral state, or their state of thought.

“Observe how every truth and every error, each a thought of some man’s mind, clothes itself with societies, houses, cities, language, ceremonies, newspapers. Observe the ideas of the present day–orthodoxy, anti-masonry, antislavery; see how each of these abstractions has embodied itself in an imposing apparatus in the community; and how timber, brick, lime and stone have flown into convenient shape, obedient to the master idea reigning in the minds of many persons.

“You shall hear, someday, of a wild fancy which some man has in his brain, or the mischief of secret oaths. Come again one or two years afterwards, and you shall see it has built great houses of solid wood and brick and mortar. You shall see a hundred presses printing a million sheets; you shall see men and horses and wheels made to walk, run and roll for it: this great body of matter thus executing that one man’s wild thought.”

Emerson dares us to dream and to make those wishes vocal. Tell others the world you dream of and perhaps you will ignite in them a similar passion.

With many across the globe realizing that a connection, deeper than we’d originally realized or intended, exists, and that interdependence is now inevitable and, in fact, a global occurrence now, as we speak, we may multiply our dream.

Let us dream in loud voices. And let us come back a few years later to find our dreams fulfilled.

Grace & Peace,
Tim & Al