“Within us is the soul of the whole, the wise silence, the universal beauty, the eternal ONE.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Like most of you I discovered Ralph Waldo Emerson’s writings during my early schooling. It was many years later when I came to comprehend the depth of his spirituality and the significant role he played in underscoring the personal nature and experience of the spiritual.
Emerson was a noted voice of the Transcendentalist movement, espousing the inherent goodness of people and nature. Many considered him the intellectual father of the New Thought movement.
Emerson’s writing conveyed the clear understanding he had that each of us carries within ourselves the One. He understood that despite our obvious individuation and the separate perspective we hold as we go through earthly life, each of us is a part of the One – the All and the Everything, the Absolute. In sum, he recognized the divine essence of each of us.
Religious traditions have used different nomenclature to convey this grand reality.
Hindu scripture names Brahman as the supreme life giving cosmic spirit and Atman as the individual experience of Brahman. Abrahamic traditions identify this ultimate reality as God and the individuation as the soul.
Whichever nomenclature you prefer. . . “within us is the soul of the whole.”
I love analogies for their ability to translate lofty or complicated ideas. Here is one that might help crystalize this. Think of your body as an automobile and your soul as the driver. The body cannot run without the presence of the soul, much like the car in need of a driver. But neither the car nor its driver can run without an energy source. In the case of humans, this is God, Brahman, the Absolute, the Divine.
So, as you get in the car to take a ride to enjoy the spectacular beauty of autumn as it unfolds, imagine that you are ferrying around the Divine within as She enjoys the magnificence of Her creation.
Happy Autumn. . .