Quote for Discussion: Episode 2

Today’s quote is from Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson, which I read in high school.  I was reminded of it by this extraordinary post by the great hilzoy of Obsidian Wings.

Most men have bound their eyes with one or another handkerchief, and attached themselves to some one of these communities of opinion. This conformity makes them not false in a few particulars, authors of a few lies, but false in all particulars. Their every truth is not quite true. Their two is not the real two, their four not the real four; so that every word they say chagrins us, and we know not where to begin to set them right.


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  1. …a lot of my favorite quotes are filled with references to “Most men”.  Anyone care to take a stab at analyzing that?

  2. and i love the quote you pulled. 

    my fave was always ‘a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds’  genius.  and…

    ‘Whenever a mind is simple and receives a divine wisdom, then old things pass away,-means, teachers, texts, temples fall; it lives now, and absorbs past and future into the present hour. All things are made sacred by relation to it,-one thing as much as another.’

    oh, hell…link to ‘self-reliance’

    ‘most men’ should read the whole thing  😉

  3. “Attached to a community of opinion” means “false in all particulars”?  No: being false is a product of dishonesty, and there are honest and embedded people as well as dishonest and disembedded.

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