Emerson: God’s Choice to Man: Truth or Repose

Daily Dabble in the Classics, Ralph Waldo Emerson

God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose. Take which you please,—you can never have both. Between these, as a pendulum, man oscillates. He in whom the love of repose predominates will accept the first creed, the first philosophy, the first political party he meets,—most likely his father’s. He gets rest, commodity and reputation; but he shuts the door of truth. He in whom the love of truth predominates will … abstain from dogmatism, and recognize all the opposite negation between which, as walls, his being is swung. He submits to the inconvenience of suspense and imperfect opinion, but he is a candidate for truth, as the other is not, and respects the highest law of his being.

Source: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essay on “Intellect.”

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