Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Silent Church

But now we are a mob. Man does not stand in awe of man, nor is the soul admonished to stay at home, to put itself in communication with the internal ocean, but it goes abroad to beg a cup of water from the urns of men. We must go alone. Isolation precedes true society. I like the silent church before the service begins, better than any preaching.

These are the voices which we hear in solitude, but they grow faint and inaudible as we enter the world. Society everywhere is in a conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members. Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater. The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs.

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s 1841 essay, Self-Reliance, is a wonderland of creative thought. Emerson would kneel to express his thoughts about the lack of integrity that exists in the top floor as well as the cellar of capitalism. Society is a joint-stock company where substantial benefits are always elusive. There’s a sense of irrelevance and expendability in the capitalistic air. And that air is overflowing with an awareness that the system is a complicated mess of decay and impermanence. Frustration is the spread on the cracker of dissension, and the crumbs are simultaneously building other realities in different locations and on different social levels.

This is the era of nonconformists. This is the era when mortal plans are not vibrating in a field of goodness. And this is the era when nothing is more sacred than the integrity of our own minds. No law is as sacred as the connection within the framework of consciousness. We plow through life in the presence of opposition. We bow to names and badges. And we participate in a distorted form of capitalism that harbors dead institutions, and fuels a new sense of vanity that worships and follows angry bigots. We hide behind a college of political fools, and we give alms to sots who control the temperature of saneness in order to stroke their own vanity.

So it’s time to speak with hard words or with gestures that awaken the misunderstood aspect of our immortal consciousness. It is the time to be great and misunderstood at the same time without violating our harmonious freedom. Our internal ocean is our silent church. And it is the free-flowing expression of our character.