Nature: Addresses/Lectures

Nature

A subtle chain of countless rings
The next unto the farthest brings;
The eye reads omens where it goes,
And speaks all languages the rose;
And, striving to be man, the worm
Mounts through all the spires of form.

Introduction

Nature Introduction Our age is retrospective. It builds the sepulchres of the fathers. It writes biographies, histories, and criticism. The foregoing generations beheld God and nature face to face; we, through their eyes. Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe? Why should not we have a poetry and philosophy of…

Nature

Nature Nature Chapter I from Nature, published as part of Nature; Addresses and Lectures To go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society. I am not solitary whilst I read and write, though nobody is with me. But if a man would be alone, let him look…

Commodity

Nature Commodity Chapter II from Nature, published as part of Nature; Addresses and Lectures Whoever considers the final cause of the world, will discern a multitude of uses that result. They all admit of being thrown into one of the following classes; Commodity; Beauty; Language; and Discipline. Under the general name of Commodity, I rank…

Beauty

Nature Beauty Chapter II from Nature, published as part of Nature; Addresses and Lectures A nobler want of man is served by nature, namely, the love of Beauty. The ancient Greeks called the world {kosmos}, beauty. Such is the constitution of all things, or such the plastic power of the human eye, that the primary…

Language

Nature Language Chapter IV from Nature, published as part of Nature; Addresses and Lectures Language is a third use which Nature subserves to man. Nature is the vehicle, and threefold degree. 1. Words are signs of natural facts. 2. Particular natural facts are symbols of particular spiritual facts. 3. Nature is the symbol of spirit.…

Discipline

Nature Discipline Chapter V from Nature, published as part of Nature; Addresses and Lectures In view of the significance of nature, we arrive at once at a new fact, that nature is a discipline. This use of the world includes the preceding uses, as parts of itself. Space, time, society, labor, climate, food, locomotion, the…

Idealism

Nature Idealism Chapter VI from Nature, published as part of Nature; Addresses and Lectures Thus is the unspeakable but intelligible and practicable meaning of the world conveyed to man, the immortal pupil, in every object of sense. To this one end of Discipline, all parts of nature conspire. A noble doubt perpetually suggests itself, whether…

Spirit

Nature Spirit Chapter VII from Nature, published as part of Nature; Addresses and Lectures It is essential to a true theory of nature and of man, that it should contain somewhat progressive. Uses that are exhausted or that may be, and facts that end in the statement, cannot be all that is true of this…

Prospects

Nature Prospects Chapter VIII from Nature, published as part of Nature; Addresses and Lectures In inquiries respecting the laws of the world and the frame of things, the highest reason is always the truest. That which seems faintly possible — it is so refined, is often faint and dim because it is deepest seated in…