Ralph Waldo Emerson’s study


February 11th, 2017 – part 1 of 4 (30 minutes)

Jim:                 I have the great privilege of introducing you to somebody we all know and love, and that is, Barbara Solowey.

Barbara:             (light applause) Good to be here. (light applause) So, let’s do this transcendentally (pause). And really come together, and that means (pause) letting everything settle down (pause). It’s a kind of meditation (pause), but it will put you in a position to really be totally here.


So, feel the weight of your body seated on a chair (pause). Let the listening open wide outside the head. Let the thoughts go. And when it actually happens is much greater space and peace. So connect to that. The peace of the own self. And when we do connect immediate effect as an open mind, and an open heart and everyone is in cool [01:47 breathe]. That’s transcendental. So as we proceed to stay connected to the peace of your own self. And speak and share from there as we study Emerson’s essay on self-reliance. This is the self upon which upon which to be relined.  So let us proceed. So as this is a series no matter when you come in, we are actually gonna go on to the next paragraph and not worry as Katherine [02:34 Discover] joined us last time, and we were up to paragraph 21 with Emerson you don’t miss anything. Every paragraph is unique and teaching unto itself. So not even to think like that. Right. So you might have a slightly different version, some numbered differently, but the one I have paragraph 24 is this one.

And it starts this should be playing enough. That’s the first sentence. So if you could find that and then will be all on the same page. Its half way into the essay. So just look up I know you have it. Good.

Participant 1:     Yes

Barbara:             By the way Linda, is this your first time with Emerson?

Participant 2:     Ah, No

Barbara:             Joe you ever read Emerson before?

Participant 3:     No

Barbara:             Wanda did you ever read him?

Great, great. So no matter whether it’s first time, a second time, a millionth time the way it really is that, there’s always something new to get out of anything. Right? That’s the truth. So that’s what he teaches. So how we do this, is we read a little bit and then speak about it, even ask a question, leaving space for everybody to speak, wait till you have something to say. Right. So that’s the way we work here. With due respect to everyone here. Alright. Saad start reading this one.

Now I have to just back up a second. He’s saying this should be playing enough. What the hell is he talking about? Right. [Laughing]. You got to know what he meant in the last paragraph. So the last paragraph, is about a rose, unless you sweet that. Okay. Because it is an analogy to what it means to be perfectly yourself. In every moment you are alive. So would somebody like to read that one.

Participant 4:     I will.

Barbara:             Go ahead

Barbara:             So now we are back up on 23. Man is timid and apologetic.

Paticipant 4:      A man is timid and apologetic. He is no longer upright. He dares not say “I think,” “I am” ” but quotes some saint or sage. He is ashamed before the blade of grass or the blowing rose. These roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones; they are for what they are; they exist with God to-day. There is no time to them. There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence. Before a leaf-bud has burst, its whole life acts; in the full-blown flower there is no more; in the leafless root, there is no less. Its nature is satisfied, and it satisfies nature, in all moments alike. But man postpones or remembers; he does not live in the present, but with reverted eye laments the past, or, heedless of the riches that surround him, stands on tiptoe to foresee the future. He cannot be happy and strong until he too lives with nature in the present, above time.”

Barbara:             Thank you very much. Now, this is what he means  she will be playing enough. So you might wanna echo what you, what struck you now about hearing that rose analogy. Is it playing enough to you what he means? What did he calling force?

Participant 5:     A person. It’s just where you are [06:38 inaudible] isn’t it?

Barbara:             it’s enough, and not only enough it’s perfect. We don’t usually think always totally perfect. We [06:48 inaudible] something missing. Right. He’s saying no in every moment. It’s perfect. For instance in the ground when it’s growing not just on Valentine’s Day when you give it to your loved one. It’s in every moment. That is the truth about who we are, the self alone. We are not talking about; we are not talking about emotional or physical. We are talking about the Soul the Self, it’s perfect. Already perfect. Anything else you wanna say about that?

Participant 6:     It’s just a matter of memory that…

Barbara:             Yes

Participant 6:     [07:27 inaudible]

Barbara:             And when you do remember, what happens?

Participant 6:     I mean this stays will be longer, I remember one or more [07:47 inaudible]

Barbara:             and he is suggesting that that’s when you are happy and strong when you remember who you are. What would you say to that? Any example will do. Hold on. Let me just….

Participant 7:     I think it’s a [08:08 inaudible]

Barbara:             No, but I am asking for an example, not a theory. Examples from your life, when you feel yourself.

Participant 6:     [08:20 inaudible]

Barbara:             Nice

Participant 6:     I wanted to be there and just like this is everything. I could sit like this for the rest of my life.

[All Laughing]

Barbara:             And by the way Carl, that’s no small thing because words fall back to that experience. They can guide you there, but experience itself is beyond words in thoughts and formulations. You know seriously. Let’s say what will you would say, Lesly.

Participant 8:     It’s so funny. [08:54 inaudible] there so phenomenal I would hear the word truth immediately bring you to the present. I found a whole room became so calm, just like before we said the word present and found like all of the sudden room was calm. Energy shifted to the word truth

Barbara:             Guy.

Participant 9:     there was like a sensation that sticks with me. [09:26 inaudible]. There was a point meeting where I found that my fellows [09:36 inaudible] we were probably a good ally towards [09:41 inaudible], and it was pretty amazing and that sensation stick with me for days.

Barbara:             I do remember. Now we talked about it yes.

Participant 9:     it was a [09:53 inaudible]

Barbara:             Yes

Participant 9:     it had that feeling. Technically there struggling right now in the country.

Barbara:             Yes it’s so true, and by the way, that transcendence is the real unity in life. [10:14 inaudible] ideas and who would you stand for it’s with the soul itself. Humanity. Excellent.

Participant 10:   I am just gonna point out is obvious transcendence still such a [10:28 inaudible] to get that feeling. But it’s been multiple things are happy [10:34 inaudible] you are really quite to do [10:40 inaudible] to have faith. Just the way it is.

Barbara:             Yes. Exactly, Exactly.

Participant 10:   It’s in those moments where we have to be still and say, all I have to do is understand my role like where do I put my foot, and that’s where I am responsible.

Barbara:             Yeah that’s right. And possible having larger view of it. Right. Which comes with wisdom and experience. It takes the large point of view, not the little point of view.

Participant 10:   And courage, you need to have courage.

Barbara:             Mitchell, Did you want to say something?

Participant 11:   Yeah, I was so [11:36 inaudible]. I am confident, the part I get right now. That’s all.

Barbara:             Yes, exactly and by the way you know what, that beautiful words may come with fidelity, faith, and own self. That’s what he is teaching. By the way with this essay, every paragraph, every sentence is another take on what it means to be self-reliant. There so many ways to express it. He takes fifty paragraphs to do it. Right. And so do us. Because it what words talking about. Right. This is the kind of conversation, words matter that will elevate you. There will be no issue. And that’s why we come together in times like this.

Participant 11:   For example [12:33 inaudible] privilege of looking at the floor and it felt the way my body. It was fantastic I felt the energy of the room and even the structure, the space and the anticipation. That’s why I had to say present anticipation. This really makes sense. And [13:04 inaudible] and the moment that we had before, many moments we had before, but I looked at the floor, you know the actual pattern of floor, while we were doing it, so I was just looking at the space and I was reminded and I have to say I kind of swelled up with appreciation that we’ll all be together. It’s like, I won’t say love, but appreciate. We all got here the same time. We’ll be somewhere else. It’s perfect just perfect as a group.

Barbara:             Anybody else want to come? [13:59 inaudible] Lynda

Participant 12:   You know this [14:02 inaudible] in the present and this personally for myself you know do practice, and just kind of you know learning should be quiet.  It’s very, very important. And you kind of like you are perfect. You know that’s all, that space is perfect. And this is week I had to you know raise because I was just bombard with I realize problems and you know like. So overwhelm. I came home and sat and just [14:44 inaudible] and found that simpler. I didn’t even realize that I was looking for a center, I just wanted to quiet, kind of push everything away. But you do find that moment. Be like I am okay. So its clarification and that. It’s simpler that you are looking for and that’s perfect.

Barbara:             Absolutely. And that’s why the school practical philosophy is a miracle. Because from day one, night one, all through that you stay there. That’s the most important tools you get to keep coming back to yourself. Keep coming back to yourself throughout the day and that’s the promises you’ll never forget to yourself. The more you do that the more present you are, the more awake you are, and that’s why it’s called being awake, spiritually awake. We are spiritual beings, you must have hear this having a human experience, not the other way around. Rushing around, having to do everything, you know wanted to look good and all the ego crap, no, Remember the self. That’s primary. And this is what he is teaching us. Always and whenever you do. There is a peace, a happiness, and a strength. Anybody else want to come until that before we continue our work today. Bill

Participant 13:   [16:18 inaudible]

Barbara:             Yes

Participant 13:   We don’t have to do anything.

Barbara:             Nothing.

Participant 13:   [16:26 inaudible]

Barbara:             Yeah. [Laughing]. All you have to do is like an open up. Open up. Right. There people often use the unclench fists. Right I saw once a card. Let go let God in. Right. When you let go. The universal forces come through us, not otherwise. Otherwise it’s my way, which Emerson is pointing to.

Participant 14:   [16:59 inaudible]

Barbara:             Good Idea. So we are ready for the next paragraph. Right. Now you know what he means. This should be plain enough. Alright. And the he is gonna show you, what people do with that. Plain obvious wisdom, yet see what strong intellects, Dare not yet here God himself, unless he speaks the phraseology of I know not what David or Jeremiah or Paul. What is that mean? So he is talking about people that we rely heavily on their intellect. And they won’t go direct to God. What do they doing. Unless he speak the phraseology of…

Participant 15:   of some other person and expert.

Barbara:             Exactly, right. And then he says, we shall not always set so great a price on a few texts, on a few lives. Why? Because all lives matter. All of us matter. Not just you. We are like children who repeat by rote the sentences of grandames and tutors. Right. I see it, people just go to google now a days in education, they quote someone and that’s it. That isn’t intellect, that’s paraging. And, as they grow older, of the men of talents and character they chance to see, in boys that chancing now a days, painfully recollect exact words they spoke. Let’s comment on that. What have you seen about this paraging and what’s behind it? Why do we repeat by rote what other people have said? Seriously take a look, what makes you do that?

Participant 16:   Because those people have [19:17 inaudible] a perspective for what they’ve said so they are just adapting that prospect by repeating exactly, so they’ll be respected as well

Barbara:             Yes that’s the bottom line. We want you know be in that category. Yet, what missing. Your authentic opinion and thon and knowledge?

Participant 17:   We all say to quiet ourselves to have a whole original thought.

Barbara:             That’s true also. That is definitely true. Right.

Participant 18:   Your friends criticize what we have to say, the moment if you say Emerson said this.

Barbara:             Exactly [Laughing] it’s a [20:02 inaudible], that’s right. What else? I mean I am sure you see it sometimes when you might God forbid you do this, why do you do it? What is it about? You want to impress people. Right? Oh, look how well I am. Look how educated I am. But what else? What else causes this imitation? He said earlier on that imitation is suicide. Nah, ignorance and suicide. That how strongly these men and women who are of high mindedness all the time. Really think about it. Not only as cowardly. Its suicidal. I see your hand. Yes

Participant 19:   I was saying this remind me of [20:56 inaudible] campaign and this whole notion that came out that a woman speak of, they are just loud, and they talk too much but if a man let’s say [21:14 inaudible] let’s say Abraham Lincoln, somebody who is already putting himself, but he says if you say the same thing [21:22 inaudible] Abraham Lincoln said this, then suddenly everybody like, did he? Really? And that person who is now instead of saying this, hey this is what I am thinking, they are getting more people’s attention.

Barbara:             Yeah, and it may be a really bad attention too in long run. That they cowardly hide behind someone else’s thought, Sin words.

Participant 20:   I think sometimes what happen is that people forget that there, Abraham Lincoln had just sweep the words first. He is like, he is Abraham Lincoln but he was [22:08 inaudible] someone has to speak the words first whether he is Abraham Lincoln, or Martin king or me. Someone has to speak them first. If you don’t have the conviction behind those words and the belief that what you are saying is right, you get caught up in that lime mind role. And you had just hold long it’s a safety neck for to stay with this group where there are four five person that you have to stay. And I am staying here by myself and I am to [22:43 inaudible]. But your words or you in fact may have the better thought. You may have better solution but you are afraid no one will hear you and you won’t stand and talk that I have a thought or opinion and its easier to get stepped up in group.

Barbara:             Very easy. And then, the whole group can be you know because of that tendency.

Participant 20:   it becomes a habit, we are not educating the social life, to respect our own individuality.

Barbara:             Yes, Yes, that’s right.

Participant 20:   But for me, instead of respecting the room, what I think is just as good is anybody else.

Barbara:             And by the way, you should now, this is what they are both celebrating Henry David Thoreau and Emerson is the power of the individual, each of us can make enormous difference, That’s why it’s called Self reliance.