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Posts tagged “human

Emerson’s Stairs

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“All is mystery, mystery, mystery; we know not whence we came, nor why,
we know not whither we go, nor why we go.”

– Mark Twain “Three Thousand Years Among the Microbes” – 1905

“Where do we find ourselves? In a series of which we do not know the extremes, and believe that it has none. We wake and find ourselves on a stair; there are stairs below us, which we seem to have ascended; there are stairs above us, many a one, which go upward and out of sight.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson “Essays – Experience” – 1844

 

   What, then, is our current position, and what strange tool shall we use to measure our location and log our progress?

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We are in motion, passing through the thing and form called human – shape shifting ourselves from forms we uncomfortably acknowledge to some other fabulous shape: shapes upon shapes. Forms we cannot draw the outline of in our minds, for we are within the process and the ruler we would use to assess it must measure great spans of Time. The journey is by no means assured of an ending, much less one that we might project for ourselves.
As Loren Eiseley put it, we are “crouched midway on that desperate stair whose steps pass from dark to dark. . .”
–  Loren Eiseley, “Man Against the Universe” – The Star Thrower, 1978

 

“Tantalus means the impossibility of drinking the waters of thought which are always gleaming and waving within sight of the soul. The transmigration of souls is no fable. I would it were; but men and women are only half human.”
–  Ralph Waldo Emerson “Essays – History” – 1841

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