Recently, I was in conversation with my father, whom I adore; and from whom I digress superlatively on interests of politics; and he put a question to me: what gave me cause to be happy to be liberal. I offered – for I could not – no answer; but, to reveal to him that I am neither exultant nor sorrowful at this condition; merely that this segment of the political subdivision is where my attitudes and convictions serendipitously alight; by intuition – or default, if you will – rather than by design or intent:
“What am I? What has my will done to make me that I am? Nothing. I have been floated into this thought, this hour, this connection of events, by secret currents of might and mind, and my ingenuity and wilfulness have not thwarted, have not aided to an appreciable degree.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson, Intellect, 1841This supposition is prevalent in much of Emerson’s writing: intuition is the fundamental intellect; it is inherent and attends us sans condonation or wish; to endeavour to pursue the truth by means of sentient deliberation is to depart from it; for the truth can only emerge when one lays oneself open to it and empowers one’s intellect to do the seeing. Furthermore, indulging ourselves in the delectation of becoming swept away by our intuition affords the truth the means to find us; the moment deliberation and doubt take over; that moment, the truth eludes us. Is it not more benevolent to be shrouded in truth?
PS – am I the only one nearly possessed by the urge to bellow, “two-four-six-oh-ooooone!” upon reading the first three words of the quote by my hero?