self-reliance emerson

Self-reliance and Non-conformity

Familiar as the voice of the mind is to each, the highest merit we ascribe to Moses, Plato, and Milton is, that they set at naught books and traditions, and spoke not what men but what they thought

Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1841

power of thought can change everythingThis is high praise indeed for those who have the courage of their convictions and an understanding of the fact that each of us is a part of the Universal, that power comes from within and the only truth that matters is our own.

Children intuitively understand this, or at least have not yet had the opinions and conventions of their families and the society in which they live suppress their natural tendencies to see the world as it is and their inalienable right to Be, Do and Have according to their desires. Thus the phenomenon of wisdom “out of the mouths of babes” and the recognition that we start out with an abundance of self-reliance.

That the opposite of courage is conformity is made clear in Emerson’s essay. Stating beliefs contrary to those of current thought, regardless of political correctness or the niceties of polite society takes courage. But Emerson opines one must above all be true to oneself and have the courage of ones convictions.

The fear of criticism for not conforming keeps many great ideas from being brought to light. Similarly, this fear raises it’s ugly head and causes people to avoid appearing inconsistent. But Emerson says “Speak what you think now in hard words, and speak tomorrow what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said today.” If one always does this, sticks to his own opinion and thought, never wavering, over the long haul the seeming inconsistency will be recognized as just the opposite. It’s so much easier to remember what you said if the truth is always spoken.

Imitation may be flattering to the imitated, but should be anathema to all. Emerson puts it very well when he says “Insist on yourself, never imitate. Your own gifts you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another, you have only extemporaneous, half possession.”

I recall Mandino’sI am nature’s greatest miracle” when I read “He who knows that power is inborn, that he is weak because he has looked for good out of him and elsewhere, and so perceiving, throws himself unhesitatingly on his thought, instantly rights himself, stands in the erect position, commands his limbs, works miracles; just as a man who stands on his feet is stronger than a man who stands on his head.” from Emerson.

My Own Self-reliance Has Grown

And so to my experience. I marvel at the advances I have made over the past 5 and one half months. Development of even more self-reliance than previously has been obvious. I have a huge appreciation of the spiritual in me and in all mankind, which concept only fleetingly entered my consciousness in the past. I have evidence that all mankind and all nature are connected. That thrills me.

I have spontaneously abandoned the habit of smoking. I have taken the courageous step to reconcile with an estranged son, and found that as Haanel says “The operation of this law is interesting. Those who put it into operation find that when they go out to meet the person with whom they anticipate a difficult
interview, something has been there before them and dissolved the supposed differences; everything is changed; all is harmonious;” (Master Key Part Two -21).

I took this issue to the Silence often. Inexplicably, just before Christmas, I had the occasion to watch the movie “Home Alone” in which the kid left home alone while the family heads to Paris for Christmas, talks with a man who has been estranged from his son and his granddaughter. The kid asks the guy why he doesn’t just call his son and learns the man is afraid his son won’t talk to him. In straight forward, honest, kid fashion he says “aren’t you a little old to be afraid?”.

That was huge for me. I picked up the phone a few days later and the world changed for the better, just as I had envisioned. I had the knowledge. All I had to do was apply it.

My journey continues. My habits of reading The Scrolls, my Definite Major Purpose, the Blueprint Builder, my Service card and Plan of Action are now well established and will continue. I am having frank discussions with The Guy In The Glass.

I look forward to the Sits and the Seeking of the Silence. I am committed to an extended period of solitude and Silence. I remember how a solitary, week long trip to the woods during the fall, hunting deer with a bow always rejuvenated me and had me back at the high pressure corporate job with renewed enthusiasm.

There is something comforting and healing about being alone with your thoughts, watching the natural world and all its glories unfolding around you. Everything slows down, details come to the fore, colours and sounds in the woods are muted yet so very clear and musical. Sitting alone at the campfire, gazing into the flames always set my heart at ease.

I have much more knowledge now. I look forward to what The Silence and the Universal Mind in me will reveal.



About the Author Terry Neraasen

Online marketer from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I come from a background in science with wetland and waterfowl ecology and management as both passions and vocation. I continue to be very passionate about wildlife conservation and protecting the environments upon which we all depend. I have been around the block with network marketing and affiliate sales. While I no longer focus on those areas of business I do promote the best MLM training I've ever seen- Go90Grow. It's all based on The Success System That Never Fails. I have graduated to online retailing of physical products. I'm a graduate and Certified Guide for The Master Key Experience which is the ultimate in personal development. Get in touch if you've a mind to. I'm always open to new things and new friends.

follow me on:

Leave a Comment:

Add Your Reply