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fully supported his decision. He died on the 32nd day of his self-declared
profound peace had descended upon the ashram and all connected with it.
sense of fun, maintained even upon his death bed, for when asked by a monk
grew up near Lake Tahoe. He was orphaned by age 11 and raised by a family
Chinmayananda, whom he extensively assisted in setting up his Chinmaya
devotees, then the largest group from America ever to come to India. Similar
Subramuniyaswami sought to fill the gap by inspiring dozens of groups to
Engineers from Apple came to Kauai to marvel at the setup. Apple even sent a
This super-efficient system supercharged his prolific outreach through
Saiva Siddhanta Yoga Order. This group of 14 initiated swamis with lifetime
his super compendium of books on Hinduism so carefully compiled, classified,
proclaimed that he is a genius of Hinduism. He has put millions under a deep
terminal illness. Upon hearing his medical prognosis, he meditated upon the
all the karmic entanglements that inevitably produces. No life-support
hands of unscrupulous doctors. No lapsing into unconscious coma. No loss of
a quiet, slow, natural exit from the body, coupled with spiritual practices,
support from friends and relations."
would come, and compensated by bringing dozens of extra copies. At the end
promote Sanatana Dharma. The magazine is supplemented with a daily e-mailed
faith." Ram Swarup, perhaps India's most outstanding Hindu thinker, wrote,
erected in America that they gave him 11 acres of land and supported every
to Bangalore to supervise the workers. The family oversees even today the
Hemisphere, and one for which Subramuniyaswami has insisted upon the most
even when efficiency experts urged him to permit hydraulic tools to speed up
personal teaching. Relying upon his own intuition and profound mystical
land, train swamis and priests, maintain libraries, support pundits,
called upon to settle disputes in the community, to advise politicians, even
to help arrange marriages. Subramuniyaswami was called upon to perform all
No group of Hindus counted Gurudeva their champion more than the noble
set up a monastery on a 12-acre parcel at Riviere du Rempart. Hundreds of
The Spiritual Park was created at a cost of several million rupees, all
member of "Vision Kauai," a group of community leaders including
superintendent of schools, business and agricultural leaders, to bring a
from island residents upon his passing was at times as deep and as heartfelt
[In Praise of Black Sheep] : ...Neither should we forget that raising a "good" child is a dubious goal in the first place, if only because the line between instilling integrity and breeding self-righteousness is so fine... The good child cries very little, he sleeps through the night, he is confident and good-natured. He is well-behaved, convenient, obedient, and good. Yet no consideration is given to the fact that he may grow up to be indolent and stagnant...
* [Bringing Up Genius]
Greg Smith
Bringing Up Genius : http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A16604-2002Jan8.html
Bringing Up Genius
[Articles]/[Children] > Bringing Up Genius
[Words] > Genius
Lord Essex : Genius is entitled to respect only when it promotes the peace and improves the happiness of mankind.
[Bringing up Genius|http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A16604-2002Jan8.html]
The University of Hard Knocks
up to date first edition [xxxxx10x.xxx] please check file sizes
corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other
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hundred times upon lyceum courses, at chautauquas, teachers'
bringing the audiences of America together. For lecture audiences
us "stop, look, listen"--Blind man learns with one bump--Going up
ones shake up and the little ones shake down--The barrel of life
sorting people--How we hold our places, go down, go up--Good luck
and bad luck--The girl who went up--The man who went down--The
notices--You cannot uplift people with derrick--No laws can
V. GOING UP--How we become great--We must get inside greatness--
X. GOING UP LIFE'S MOUNTAIN--The defeats that are victories--
the eternal day--Going south is going upward
plug. I cannot make it run. That will depend upon the temperature
running freely, you will have to warm up.
it. How much any one gets out of a lecture depends also upon the
growing up from the Finite to the Infinite, and that it is done by
and struggle up to a higher vision.
high-chair throne right up beside the dinner table. The coffee-pot
There were weeks after that when I was upholstered. They put
notice upon me, and then let me go ahead and get my coffee-pot.
coffee-pot would spill upon me. I cannot remember when I disobeyed
my mother that a coffee-pot of some kind did not spill upon me, and I
downward, but we have to make effort to go upward.
upward has to be pushed.
The seeress is the soothing syrup for mental infants.
Are You Going Up or Down?
that go upward have to be pushed. Going upward is overcoming.
movements--things that go upward--never run themselves. They must
upward to larger life.
line of least resistance, depend upon it you are going downward.
upward. Note the multitude making little or no effort, and even
the tomorrow of communities that go upward. Majorities are not
fill up with disappointment, their vision becomes dulled. They
become anaemic feeding upon the husks.
How they must be bumped to think upon their ways. Every time we do
"I can do wrong and not get bumped. I have no feelings upon the
so that they will not think upon their ways! How he keeps the music
flypaper shows me up better than anything at home. What a fine
right, of course, but she isn't up-to-date. We young set of modern
There is a good deal of suicide charged up to Providence.
some blow came crushing upon you and gave you cruel pain.
are lessons in The College of Needful Knocks. They point upward to
Do you know how you got upon this stage, Mr. Piano? You were bumped
here. This is no reflection upon the janitor. You became a piano by
One day I was up the Missabe road about a hundred miles north of
limestone, charcoal and other textbooks. Then they corked it up and
Some of the sophomore steel went up into another grade where it was
on up and up, at every step getting more pounding and roasting and
the price had gone up into thousands of dollars.
But her mother petulantly interrupted me. She had wheeled the
greatness. We go up in life. We become educated. Let me bring you
pushes the big ones up and the little ones down.
that the big ones shake up and the little ones shake down. Put some
shake upward and the smaller shake downward. You will see every
Mix them up again and shake. Watch them all shake back as they were
beans and some walnuts. You will pardon me for bringing such a
and the big walnuts shake up. Not one bean asks, "Which way do I
big ones go up.
Note that I mix them all up and then shake. Note that they arrange
Suppose those objects could talk. I think I hear that littlest bean
and low down. I never had no chance like them big ones up there.
Help me up."
I say, "Yes, you little bean, I'll help you." So I lift him up to
the top. See! I have boosted him. I have uplifted him.
is too small to stay up. He cannot stand prosperity.
the can. Lifting them up or putting them down will not do it. But
grow bigger and he will shake up. Let the big one grow smaller and
The same law that shakes the little ones down and the big ones up
lifted up to some big place, or when we want some big person to be
artificially boosted up into some place where he rattles.
We shake down if we become small; we shake up if we become great.
If we wish to go up, we must grow greater, and we shall shake up.
3. He is going up.
place. If he shrinks up he will rattle. Nobody can stay long where
In order to stay the same size he must grow enough each day to supply
and you shake up to a greater place.
people shake up and the unlucky people shake down. That is, the
shook down and the big ones shook up. The bump that was bad luck to
Luck does not depend upon the direction of the bump, but upon the
The other girls poked fun at her and played jokes upon her because
for she is the office superintendent.
superintendent. Jennie had been here four years."
making shiny super-calendered paper. I asked the man working there
man over there at the supercalendered machine?" pointing to the man
gone up and down. You may have noticed two brothers start with the
same chance, and presently notice that one is going up and the
were only up there I might amount to something. But I am too low
forward and upward. That is the only way to hold our place.
We young people come up into life wanting great places. I would not
hands." I heard a Chicago superintendent say to his foreman, "Give
The danger is that the hero of them may get to leaning upon them.
The Artificial Uplift
There are so many loving, sincere, foolish, cruel uplift movements
in the land. They spring up, fail, wail, disappear, only to be
having the barrel do the uplifting, they try to do it with a
The victims of the artificial uplift cannot stay uplifted. They
You cannot uplift a beggar by giving him alms. You are using the
be helped on the inside. Not many willing to grow up.
When Peter and John went up to the temple they found the lame
up and walk."
joyful sound!--I would leave my pick hang right up in the air. I
why I was not sitting upon one of those mahogany seats instead of
enchanted up into a king. But life's good fairies see to it that
lands upon the throne.
to be the same size. Yes, I'll pass laws to turn the barrel upside
the big ones would shake right up to it and the little ones would
them, and the barrel has shaken us up to them.
Getting up is growing up.
shake everybody up as fast as everybody grows.
Going Up
WE go up as we grow great. That is, we go up as we grow up. But so
We go up from selfishness to unselfishness.
We go up from impurity to purity.
We go up from unhappiness to happiness.
We go up from weakness to strength.
We go up from low ideals to high ideals.
We go up from little vision to greater vision.
We go up from foolishness to wisdom.
We go up from fear to faith.
We go up from ignorance to understanding.
We go up by our own personal efforts. We go up by our own service,
blacksmith shop right up with us! We make it a great kitchen or
the going up from the Finite to the Infinite.
The Master looked with love and pity upon their unpreparedness.
"Are ye able to drink of the cup?" Then he gave the only definition
That is we cannot be "born great," nor "have greatness thrust upon"
This is the Big Business of life--going up, getting educated,
are now upward for an infinite number of steps.
devotion. We must battle up over every inch. And as fast as we
lives. We find our spiritual influences going upward. So the winds
upward currents. And so as our problems disappear and our life
currents set upward, the world is drawn toward us with its
of power. We find the world around us rising up to call us blessed.
Our greatness therefore does not depend upon how much we give or
upon what we do, whether peeling potatoes or ruling a nation, but
upon the percentage of our output to our resources. Upon doing with
And as you are faithful over a few things you go up to be ruler
I do not know who fitted the boards into the floor I stand upon. I
do not know all the great people who may come and stand upon this
come and stand upon it, if each be doing his work with the same
that go upward.
the tickets and had done all the managing. He was superintendent of
uplift movements that his name gets into the papers about every day,
vacation going up and down the streets. He dug into the local
man who owned the mill. He had made it with his own genius out of
the minute the child could sit up in the cradle and notice things.
great--of going up--of getting educated.
rolled up who give him the degrees. So as Mr. T. Steer of Panhandle
from department to department. They upholstered him, enameled him,
When they next opened up the mill, F. Gustavus Adolphus was at its head.
would swell up. How fast he grew! He became the most useful man in
got to looking up to him to start and run things.
But now I see that Bill went up in spite of his handicaps. If he
The young person with electrical genius will make an electrical
see how much more he will achieve with the same genius and with
they put you upon the witness stand.
How long this nation will endure depends upon how many Gussie boys
hearing nothing, his head down, without ambition enough to prick up
his ears. Such work deadens and stupefies. The masses work about
But getting a vision of life, and working to grow upward to it,
enables us to travel upward.
instead of by shaking up.
The happiness is in going up--in developing a greater arm, a
upward. It is the proof that we are progressing.
The Prodigal Son came to himself afterwhile and thought upon his
will stop chasing amusements long enough to think upon his ways, he
What is the matter with the small town? Do not blame it all upon
insane. No two of them can agree upon how to get together and how
up into little antagonistic social, business and even religious
He encouraged his students to be self-supporting, and most of them
school into competing groups, so that the student who had no
work their way thru and to act upon their own initiative.
pupils sat around the philosopher in the groves.
universities. We are spending millions upon them in laboratories,
the old oak-slab bench with its splintered side up.
primary schools and up thru the grammar grades, and get the first
go up thru all the departments and institutions necessary to give
hands upon hot stoves and coffee-pots, and had to get many kinds of
taking up a collection of sympathy. "Look at my bad luck!" Fool!
I had saved up my money for weeks to attend the fair. I bet it all
and stood up in his buggy. "Let the prominent citizens gather
disappeared. I never knew where it went. The man whipped up his
to lock up. You get the pathos of that--the investments nobody
You are a natural leader and everybody looks up to you."
I waited till next day. I sat up all night in a day coach to save
had made up to that time, for I got the most out of it. I do not
fortune right up on this platform and put it down there on the
took me up into his office after the lecture in which I had related
Absalom, wake up! This is bargain night for you. I paid eleven
sit in a semicircle upon the stage in their new patent leather. I
sweeps downward and the fingers remain up in the air. So by all
up over Alps of difficulty and seeing the Italy of promise and
was "short-circuited." The "brethren" waited upon me and told me I had
fragments from the books together with my own native genius. I
worked that sermon up into the most beautiful splurges and spasms.
necktie, but failed to get any man to hang it upon. I got up before
that earlier. I wish now I had sat down before I got up. I was the
know what it is to be left alone in the world upon my own
wholesome, uplifting sentiments in Carrie Jacobs-Bond's songs
defeat, or that our lives must fill up with poverty or sorrow, or
become wrecks. But I am insisting upon what I see written all
The world is full of theorists, dreamers, uplifters, reformers, who
looking upward, and half the time their feet are in the flower-beds
or trampling upon their fellow men they dream of helping. Their
ideas must be forged into usefulness available for this day upon
His conversation was largely made up of classical quotations.
didn't supply the one sentence needed for the occasion. The man was
of the things in his memory. Since I have grown up I always think
That is growing up.
ladies' aid society oyster supper. We always got our spoons back.
My second, Make, em recite. That is, fill 'em up and then empty 'em.
arouse their enthusiasm for an education. With the pupils larger and
shut my eyes and see it yet. I can see my pupils coming forward to
for we were "dressed up." Many a head showed father had mowed it
got up before that "last day of school" audience and opened my
And my pupils wept as their dear teacher said farewell. Parents
them up, but they wept the more.
"due at corncutting," as we termed that annual fall-time paying up
scarcely know whether to look up or down as I say that. He never
I went back to the same hall to speak, and stood upon the same platform
Then I went back to the little hotel and sat up alone in my room
could live in that hotel was a superior order of being. But the
hotel has a superior order of vitality.
authoresses and scientists and scientist-esses and geniuses and
genius-esses and things like that.
goddess at the general delivery window and superintendent of the
marked, "Mr. Lambert, Private." They would have to send up their
I expected to go up had shaken down and some that I expected to
stay down had shaken up.
The only changes had come where God had come into a life to uplift
these years to support a home and care for her family. She had kept
roll up my sleeves and go to work in the "devil's corner" to earn
by grim necessity, every honest effort is laid up at compound
But I am a very grateful pupil in the first reader class of The
It keeps wabbling around, never giving up and quitting, and it gets
south. He picks up a little stream and he has some more water. He
goes on south. He picks up another stream and grows some more. Day
by day he picks up streamlets, brooklets, rivulets. Business is
picking up! He grows as he flows. Poetry!
supplies we will need along the way. All we have to do is to start
retire upon his laurels. He goes on south and grows greater. He
them. "I must congratulate you upon your success. You have arrived."
south to efficiency and promotion. They wonder why their genius is
I used to know a violinist who would say, "If I were not a genius,
You children cheer up. Your black hair and auburn hair and the other
"Please don't throw it up to me now. I am just as ashamed of it as
few birthdays. Some people spin up to Methuselahs in a few years.
The last man on the bench did not rise. He helplessly looked up at
getting up. I'm too old. When you get as old as I am, you'll not
get up, either."
Mr. Edison has said that his genius is mainly his ability to keep
before I hit upon that."
That is success supreme. Not "succeeded" but "succeeding."
pitching horseshoes up the alley and talking about "ther winter of
can hardly keep up. Moses is eighty-five and busier and more
does--it "waits" on something or other. And this committee goes up
stand in line and wait their turn. When they get up to Moses' desk,
Wake up! Your clock has run down. Anybody who wants to be a child
sorry for a child. Hurry up and go on south. It is better on south.
dinner ready. She would cook up about all the "brethren" brought in
"company" had to come and gobble it up. They would fill the table
He would often put his hand in benediction upon my head.
with fuzz on his upper lip, but he'll be happier when his lip feels
ring up the hearse, for you will be a "dead one."
the guests stand up. There they are--rows of retired farmers who
For they are dead from the ears up. They have not thought a new
is the supreme test of character. That is, Why go on south? Not for
The valley throws its junk back upon the river. The valley pours
its foul, muddy, poisonous streams back upon the Mississippi to
But the Twin Cities merely throw their waste back upon their
does not say, "I am not appreciated. My genius is not understood.
He fattens upon bumps. Kick him, and you push him farther south.
I watched them pile the steel train upon a ferry-boat. I watched
the boat crossing a river more than a mile wide. Standing upon the
conquering gloriously. You bear upon your bosom the commerce of
Going Up Life's Mountain
wild cat and then look at the tabby cat. The wild cat supports
handwriting upon the wall to save him.
bankrupt them before they can be rich.
Go Up the Mountain
up half a mile into Rubio Canyon, to the engineering miracle, the
hundred feet up the side of a granite cliff, to the top of Echo Mountain.
rockwall where his life depends upon the honesty of the man who drove
Alpine Tavern. One cannot ride farther upward. This is not the summit,
upward from Alpine Tavern to the summit. It is three miles long
To go up that last eleven hundred feet and stand upon the flat rock
distances. You throw the pebble and it falls upon your toes!
All alone I scrambled up that three-mile trail to the summit. All
alone I stood upon the flat rock at the summit and looked down into
the swimming distances. I did not know why I had struggled up into
down upon clouds. I thought of the cloud that had covered me in the
that first mile. The sun was shining upon me, the sky was all blue
I must go on up the mountain to see it.
matter how black and sunless today, when I have struggled on up the
Each day as I go up the mountain I get a larger vision. The miles
upon them from higher up. Each day as I look back I see more
unimportant as we go higher up the mountain to more important
Today I look back to the bump that sent me up Mount Lowe. I did not
gate, but it opened another gate to a better pathway up the mountain.
where I stood. I was farther up the mountain. I turned and looked
up to the summit. The beams of the setting sun were yet gilding
That means, go on up!
Child of humanity, are you in the storm? Go on upward. Are you in
the night? Go on upward.
I am going on upward. Take my hand and let us go together. Mount Lowe
But I shall be on the mountain top. I shall look down upon the
night, as I am learning to climb and look down upon the storms. I
the number on up. "Eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither have
We are not growing old. We are going up to Eternal Life.
Rejoice and Go Upward!
It's Up To You!
Are You Shaking Up or Rattling Down?
bought 1000 copies of the booklet "It's Up to You!" and of it he
Up to You!" for their workers.
AT A LYCEUM, not long since, I felt that the lecturer had chosen a theme too foreign to himself, and so failed to interest me as much as he might have done. He described things not in or near to his heart, but toward his extremities and superficies. There was, in this sense, no truly central or centralizing thought in the lecture. I would have had him deal with his privatest experience, as the poet does. The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer. I am surprised, as well as delighted, when this happens, it is such a rare use he would make of me, as if he were acquainted with the tool. Commonly, if men want anything of me, it is only to know how many acres I make of their land- since I am a surveyor- or, at most, what trivial news I have burdened myself with. They never will go to law for my meat; they prefer the shell. A man once came a considerable distance to ask me to lecture on Slavery; but on conversing with him, I found that he and his clique expected seven eighths of the lecture to be theirs, and only one eighth mine; so I declined. I take it for granted, when I am invited to lecture anywhere- for I have had a little experience in that business- that there is a desire to hear what I think on some subject, though I may be the greatest fool in the country- and not that I should say pleasant things merely, or such as the audience will assent to; and I resolve, accordingly, that I will give them a strong dose of myself. They have sent for me, and engaged to pay for me, and I am determined that they shall have me, though I bore them beyond all precedent.
This world is a place of business. What an infinite bustle! I am awaked almost every night by the panting of the locomotive. It interrupts my dreams. There is no sabbath. It would be glorious to see mankind at leisure for once. It is nothing but work, work, work. I cannot easily buy a blank-book to write thoughts in; they are commonly ruled for dollars and cents. An Irishman, seeing me making a minute in the fields, took it for granted that I was calculating my wages. If a man was tossed out of a window when an infant, and so made a cripple for life, or seared out of his wits by the Indians, it is regretted chiefly because he was thus incapacitated for business! I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself, than this incessant business.
The ways by which you may get money almost without exception lead downward. To have done anything by which you earned money merely is to have been truly idle or worse. If the laborer gets no more than the wages which his employer pays him, he is cheated, he cheats himself. If you would get money as a writer or lecturer, you must be popular, which is to go down perpendicularly. Those services which the community will most readily pay for, it is most disagreeable to render. You are paid for being something less than a man. The State does not commonly reward a genius any more wisely. Even the poet laureate would rather not have to celebrate the accidents of royalty. He must be bribed with a pipe of wine; and perhaps another poet is called away from his muse to gauge that very pipe. As for my own business, even that kind of surveying which I could do with most satisfaction my employers do not want. They would prefer that I should do my work coarsely and not too well, ay, not well enough. When I observe that there are different ways of surveying, my employer commonly asks which will give him the most land, not which is most correct. I once invented a rule for measuring cord-wood, and tried to introduce it in Boston; but the measurer there told me that the sellers did not wish to have their wood measured correctly- that he was already too accurate for them, and therefore they commonly got their wood measured in Charlestown before crossing the bridge.
It is remarkable that there are few men so well employed, so much to their minds, but that a little money or fame would commonly buy them off from their present pursuit. I see advertisements for active young men, as if activity were the whole of a young man's capital. Yet I have been surprised when one has with confidence proposed to me, a grown man, to embark in some enterprise of his, as if I had absolutely nothing to do, my life having been a complete failure hitherto. What a doubtful compliment this to pay me! As if he had met me half-way across the ocean beating up against the wind, but bound nowhere, and proposed to me to go along with him! If I did, what do you think the underwriters would say? No, no! I am not without employment at this stage of the voyage. To tell the truth, I saw an advertisement for able-bodied seamen, when I was a boy, sauntering in my native port, and as soon as I came of age I embarked.
The community has no bribe that will tempt a wise man. You may raise money enough to tunnel a mountain, but you cannot raise money enough to hire a man who is minding his own business. An efficient and valuable man does what he can, whether the community pay him for it or not. The inefficient offer their inefficiency to the highest bidder, and are forever expecting to be put into office. One would suppose that they were rarely disappointed.
Perhaps I am more than usually jealous with respect to my freedom. I feel that my connection with and obligation to society are still very slight and transient. Those slight labors which afford me a livelihood, and by which it is allowed that I am to some extent serviceable to my contemporaries, are as yet commonly a pleasure to me, and I am not often reminded that they are a necessity. So far I am successful. But I foresee that if my wants should be much increased, the labor required to supply them would become a drudgery. If I should sell both my forenoons and afternoons to society, as most appear to do, I am sure that for me there would be nothing left worth living for. I trust that I shall never thus sell my birthright for a mess of pottage. I wish to suggest that a man may be very industrious, and yet not spend his time well. There is no more fatal blunderer than he who consumes the greater part of his life getting his living. All great enterprises are self-supporting. The poet, for instance, must sustain his body by his poetry, as a steam planing-mill feeds its boilers with the shavings it makes. You must get your living by loving. But as it is said of the merchants that ninety-seven in a hundred fail, so the life of men generally, tried by this standard, is a failure, and bankruptcy may be surely prophesied.
Merely to come into the world the heir of a fortune is not to be born, but to be still-born, rather. To be supported by the charity of friends, or a government pension- provided you continue to breathe- by whatever fine synonyms you describe these relations, is to go into the almshouse. On Sundays the poor debtor goes to church to take an account of stock, and finds, of course, that his outgoes have been greater than his income. In the Catholic Church, especially, they go into chancery, make a clean confession, give up all, and think to start again. Thus men will lie on their backs, talking about the fall of man, and never make an effort to get up.
The rush to California, for instance, and the attitude, not merely of merchants, but of philosophers and prophets, so called, in relation to it, reflect the greatest disgrace on mankind. That so many are ready to live by luck, and so get the means of commanding the labor of others less lucky, without contributing any value to society! And that is called enterprise! I know of no more startling development of the immorality of trade, and all the common modes of getting a living. The philosophy and poetry and religion of such a mankind are not worth the dust of a puffball. The hog that gets his living by rooting, stirring up the soil so, would be ashamed of such company. If I could command the wealth of all the worlds by lifting my finger, I would not pay such a price for it. Even Mahomet knew that God did not make this world in jest. It makes God to be a moneyed gentleman who scatters a handful of pennies in order to see mankind scramble for them. The world's raffle! A subsistence in the domains of Nature a thing to be raffled for! What a comment, what a satire, on our institutions! The conclusion will be, that mankind will hang itself upon a tree. And have all the precepts in all the Bibles taught men only this? and is the last and most admirable invention of the human race only an improved muck-rake? Is this the ground on which Orientals and Occidentals meet? Did God direct us so to get our living, digging where we never planted- and He would, perchance, reward us with lumps of gold?
After reading Howitt's account of the Australian gold-diggings one evening, I had in my mind's eye, all night, the numerous valleys, with their streams, all cut up with foul pits, from ten to one hundred feet deep, and half a dozen feet across, as close as they can be dug, and partly filled with water- the locality to which men furiously rush to probe for their fortunes- uncertain where they shall break ground- not knowing but the gold is under their camp itself- sometimes digging one hundred and sixty feet before they strike the vein, or then missing it by a foot- turned into demons, and regardless of each others' rights, in their thirst for riches- whole valleys, for thirty miles, suddenly honeycombed by the pits of the miners, so that even hundreds are drowned in them- standing in water, and covered with mud and clay, they work night and day, dying of exposure and disease. Having read this, and partly forgotten it, I was thinking, accidentally, of my own unsatisfactory life, doing as others do; and with that vision of the diggings still before me, I asked myself why I might not be washing some gold daily, though it were only the finest particles- why I might not sink a shaft down to the gold within me, and work that mine. There is a Ballarat, a Bendigo for you- what though it were a sulky-gully? At any rate, I might pursue some path, however solitary and narrow and crooked, in which I could walk with love and reverence. Wherever a man separates from the multitude, and goes his own way in this mood, there indeed is a fork in the road, though ordinary travellers may see only a gap in the paling. His solitary path across lots will turn out the higher way of the two.
Men rush to California and Australia as if the true gold were to be found in that direction; but that is to go to the very opposite extreme to where it lies. They go prospecting farther and farther away from the true lead, and are most unfortunate when they think themselves most successful. Is not our native soil auriferous? Does not a stream from the golden mountains flow through our native valley? and has not this for more than geologic ages been bringing down the shining particles and forming the nuggets for us? Yet, strange to tell, if a digger steal away, prospecting for this true gold, into the unexplored solitudes around us, there is no danger that any will dog his steps, and endeavor to supplant him. He may claim and undermine the whole valley even, both the cultivated and the uncultivated portions, his whole life long in peace, for no one will ever dispute his claim. They will not mind his cradles or his toms. He is not confined to a claim twelve feet square, as at Ballarat, but may mine anywhere, and wash the whole wide world in his tom.
That excitement about Kossuth, consider how characteristic, but superficial, it was!- only another kind of politics or dancing. Men were making speeches to him all over the country, but each expressed only the thought, or the want of thought, of the multitude. No man stood on truth. They were merely banded together, as usual one leaning on another, and all together on nothing; as the Hindoos made the world rest on an elephant, the elephant on a tortoise, and the tortoise on a serpent, and had nothing to put under the serpent. For all fruit of that stir we have the Kossuth hat.
We may well be ashamed to tell what things we have read or heard in our day. I did not know why my news should be so trivial- considering what one's dreams and expectations are, why the developments should be so paltry. The news we hear, for the most part, is not news to our genius. It is the stalest repetition. You are often tempted to ask why such stress is laid on a particular experience which you have had- that, after twenty-five years, you should meet Hobbins, Registrar of Deeds, again on the sidewalk. Have you not budged an inch, then? Such is the daily news. Its facts appear to float in the atmosphere, insignificant as the sporules of fungi, and impinge on some neglected thallus, or surface of our minds, which affords a basis for them, and hence a parasitic growth. We should wash ourselves clean of such news. Of what consequence, though our planet explode, if there is no character involved in the explosion? In health we have not the least curiosity about such events. We do not live for idle amusement. I would not run round a corner to see the world blow up.
Not without a slight shudder at the danger, I often perceive how near I had come to admitting into my mind the details of some trivial affair- the news of the street; and I am astonished to observe how willing men are to lumber their minds with such rubbish- to permit idle rumors and incidents of the most insignificant kind to intrude on ground which should be sacred to thought. Shall the mind be a public arena, where the affairs of the street and the gossip of the tea-table chiefly are discussed? Or shall it be a quarter of heaven itself- an hypaethral temple, consecrated to the service of the gods? I find it so difficult to dispose of the few facts which to me are significant, that I hesitate to burden my attention with those which are insignificant, which only a divine mind could illustrate. Such is, for the most part, the news in newspapers and conversation. It is important to preserve the mind's chastity in this respect. Think of admitting the details of a single case of the criminal court into our thoughts, to stalk profanely through their very sanctum sanctorum for an hour, ay, for many hours! to make a very bar-room of the mind's inmost apartment, as if for so long the dust of the street had occupied us- the very street itself, with all its travel, its bustle, and filth, had passed through our thoughts' shrine! Would it not be an intellectual and moral suicide? When I have been compelled to sit spectator and auditor in a court-room for some hours, and have seen my neighbors, who were not compelled, stealing in from time to time, and tiptoeing about with washed hands and faces, it has appeared to my mind's eye, that, when they took off their hats, their ears suddenly expanded into vast hoppers for sound, between which even their narrow heads were crowded. Like the vanes of windmills, they caught the broad but shallow stream of sound, which, after a few titillating gyrations in their coggy brains, passed out the other side. I wondered if, when they got home, they were as careful to wash their ears as before their hands and faces. It has seemed to me, at such a time, that the auditors and the witnesses, the jury and the counsel, the judge and the criminal at the bar- if I may presume him guilty before he is convicted- were all equally criminal, and a thunderbolt might be expected to descend and consume them all together.
Do we call this the land of the free? What is it to be free from King George and continue the slaves of King Prejudice? What is it to be born free and not to live free? What is the value of any political freedom, but as a means to moral freedom? Is it a freedom to be slaves, or a freedom to be free, of which we boast? We are a nation of politicians, concerned about the outmost defences only of freedom. It is our children's children who may perchance be really free. We tax ourselves unjustly. There is a part of us which is not represented. It is taxation without representation. We quarter troops, we quarter fools and cattle of all sorts upon ourselves. We quarter our gross bodies on our poor souls, till the former eat up all the latter's substance.
So is the English Parliament provincial. Mere country bumpkins, they betray themselves, when any more important question arises for them to settle, the Irish question, for instance- the English question why did I not say? Their natures are subdued to what they work in. Their "good breeding" respects only secondary objects. The finest manners in the world are awkwardness and fatuity when contrasted with a finer intelligence. They appear but as the fashions of past days- mere courtliness, knee-buckles and small-clothes, out of date. It is the vice, but not the excellence of manners, that they are continually being deserted by the character; they are cast-off-clothes or shells, claiming the respect which belonged to the living creature. You are presented with the shells instead of the meat, and it is no excuse generally, that, in the case of some fishes, the shells are of more worth than the meat. The man who thrusts his manners upon me does as if he were to insist on introducing me to his cabinet of curiosities, when I wished to see himself. It was not in this sense that the poet Decker called Christ "the first true gentleman that ever breathed." I repeat that in this sense the most splendid court in Christendom is provincial, having authority to consult about Transalpine interests only, and not the affairs of Rome. A praetor or proconsul would suffice to settle the questions which absorb the attention of the English Parliament and the American Congress.
Government and legislation! these I thought were respectable professions. We have heard of heaven-born Numas, Lycurguses, and Solons, in the history of the world, whose names at least may stand for ideal legislators; but think of legislating to regulate the breeding of slaves, or the exportation of tobacco! What have divine legislators to do with the exportation or the importation of tobacco? what humane ones with the breeding of slaves? Suppose you were to submit the question to any son of God- and has He no children in the Nineteenth Century? is it a family which is extinct?- in what condition would you get it again? What shall a State like Virginia say for itself at the last day, in which these have been the principal, the staple productions? What ground is there for patriotism in such a State? I derive my facts from statistical tables which the States themselves have published.
A commerce that whitens every sea in quest of nuts and raisins, and makes slaves of its sailors for this purpose! I saw, the other day, a vessel which had been wrecked, and many lives lost, and her cargo of rags, juniper berries, and bitter almonds were strewn along the shore. It seemed hardly worth the while to tempt the dangers of the sea between Leghorn and New York for the sake of a cargo of juniper berries and bitter almonds. America sending to the Old World for her bitters! Is not the sea-brine, is not shipwreck, bitter enough to make the cup of life go down here? Yet such, to a great extent, is our boasted commerce; and there are those who style themselves statesmen and philosophers who are so blind as to think that progress and civilization depend on precisely this kind of interchange and activity- the activity of flies about a molasses- hogshead. Very well, observes one, if men were oysters. And very well, answer I, if men were mosquitoes.
In short, as a snow-drift is formed where there is a lull in the wind, so, one would say, where there is a lull of truth, an institution springs up. But the truth blows right on over it, nevertheless, and at length blows it down.
What is called politics is comparatively something so superficial and inhuman, that practically I have never fairly recognized that it concerns me at all. The newspapers, I perceive, devote some of their columns specially to politics or government without charge; and this, one would say, is all that saves it; but as I love literature and to some extent the truth also, I never read those columns at any rate. I do not wish to blunt my sense of right so much. I have not got to answer for having read a single President's Message. A strange age of the world this, when empires, kingdoms, and republics come a-begging to a private man's door, and utter their complaints at his elbow! I cannot take up a newspaper but I find that some wretched government or other, hard pushed and on its last legs, is interceding with me, the reader, to vote for it- more importunate than an Italian beggar; and if I have a mind to look at its certificate, made, perchance, by some benevolent merchant's clerk, or the skipper that brought it over, for it cannot speak a word of English itself, I shall probably read of the eruption of some Vesuvius, or the overflowing of some Po, true or forged, which brought it into this condition. I do not hesitate, in such a case, to suggest work, or the almshouse; or why not keep its castle in silence, as I do commonly? The poor President, what with preserving his popularity and doing his duty, is completely bewildered. The newspapers are the ruling power. Any other government is reduced to a few marines at Fort Independence. If a man neglects to read the Daily Times, government will go down on its knees to him, for this is the only treason in these days.
Those things which now most engage the attention of men, as politics and the daily routine, are, it is true, vital functions of human society, but should be unconsciously performed, like the corresponding functions of the physical body. They are infrahuman, a kind of vegetation. I sometimes awake to a half-consciousness of them going on about me, as a man may become conscious of some of the processes of digestion in a morbid state, and so have the dyspepsia, as it is called. It is as if a thinker submitted himself to be rasped by the great gizzard of creation. Politics is, as it were, the gizzard of society, full of grit and gravel, and the two political parties are its two opposite halves- sometimes split into quarters, it may be, which grind on each other. Not only individuals, but states, have thus a confirmed dyspepsia, which expresses itself, you can imagine by what sort of eloquence. Thus our life is not altogether a forgetting, but also, alas! to a great extent, a remembering, of that which we should never have been conscious of, certainly not in our waking hours. Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our had dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? I do not make an exorbitant demand, surely.

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