divine postman: the universe is a slow effect. all things in nature will move at a sustained pace. the flowers are steady in their growth; the clouds are perfect in their patient motion; the trees are never hasty, but are always rooted in the grace of the seasons and obey the hand of time.
our growth can only take place within, cato; nature is constantly preparing us for the change that she will bring at the passing of the seasons. the laws in nature are the laws in man. whatever obstacles have been placed before us, the soul knows how it will succeed. once it has leaped above the barrier, it will teach us how to sustain the victory.
there are many mountains that we will climb, cato, the wisdom gained is the wealth earned. patience is the cause of fortune; success treads on every left and right step. yes, we are the cowed, my friend,- we the trustless. it is a mischievous notion that we are come late into nature; that the world was finished a long time ago. as the world was plastic and fluid in the hands of hera, so it is ever so much of her attributes as we bring to it.
to ignorance and fear, it is flint. they adapt themselves to it as they may; but in proportion as a man has anything in him divine, the firmament flows before him and takes his signet and form. not he who is great who can alter matter, cato, but he who can alter my state of mind. they are the kings of the world who give the colour of their present thought to all nature and all art.
cato: and persuade men by the cheerful serenity of their carrying the matter, that this thing which they do, is the apple which the ages have desired to pluck, now at last ripe. and inviting nations to the harvest. the great man makes the great thing. the world is sustained by the spontaneous creations of the great mind, that believes in its great thought. the mind is the maker of all good and all evil.
there is one mind common to all individual men, divine postman. every man is an inlet to the same and to all of the same. he that is once admitted to the right of reason is made a freeman of the whole estate. what plutarch has thought, he may think; what pythagoras has felt, he may feel; what at any time has befallen cyrus the great, he can understand.
who hath access to this universal mind is a party to all that is, or can be done. for this is the only and sovereign agent. the days of war were good, divine postman, men did not waste their time in idleness. they lived with purpose and vigour never wasting the precious rays of the sun in brothels and offices and houses. the day is always his, who works in it with serenity and great aims.
the unstable estimates of men crowd to him whose mind is filled with a truth, as the heaped waves of the atlantic follow the moon. the men and women in our society are parlor soldiers. they shun the rugged battle of fate, where strength is born; the great pleasures in life can only be enjoyed through great suffering. let us confront the truth, divine postman, and be the conscious of the world upholding righteousness.
divine postman: i used to be a christian, cato, and a proud believer until i saw the deception i was living under. i had gained the whole world but came close to losing my soul. nature with her naked loveliness knocked on my door, and bid me sell and give all that i own. i abandoned this useless home filled with fleeting pleasures, and found my eternal home in the rocks, the trees, the mountains, the sea.
i see young men and young women, whose misfortune it is to have inherited farms, houses, cars, helicopters, yachts, barns, cattle, and farming tools; for these are more easily acquired than gotten rid of. they are bolts and bars that will keep them confined, cato! all their lives will be spent maintaining these things. better if they had been born in the open pasture and suckled by a wolf, that they might have seen with clearer eyes what field they were called to labor in.
why should they begin digging their graves as soon as they are born? all things are resolved to their centre, my friend, by their cause. let them live a man’s life, and search for the wisdom that sustains all life. how many a poor immortal soul have i met, cato, well-nigh crushed and smothered under its own load, creeping down the road of life and dieing in ignorance.
the portionless, who struggle with no such unnecessary inherited encumberances, find it labor enough to subdue and cultivate a few cubic feet of flesh. but men labor under a mistake, cato, the better part of the man is soon plowed into the ground for compost. they are mowed down by their ignorance, and are spit out into retirement by the institutions that used them as tools.
cato: by a seeming fate, commonly called necessity, they are employed, as it says in an old book, laying up treasures which moth and rust will destroy and thieves break through and steal. it is a fool’s life, as they will find out when they get to the end of it, if not before. all that lives, divine postman, is this heart that beats; when it stops, all that a man owns will never bring the pulse back.
never let man tell you what you can or cannot do, but be thyself and know thyself to be and ever at thy season be thou free. i will persist on my soul’s emphasis, divine postman, and follow the grace of the seasons. we like only such actions as have already long had the praise of men, and do not perceive that anything man can do may be divinely done.
iAM the child of the star that orders all things under the sun and moon. we think greatness entailed or organized in some duties, divine postman, in certain offices or occasions, and do not see that the advancing soul will manifest the beauty it formed through the seasons. a man is a method, a progressive arrangement; a selecting principle, a golden impossibility, gathering his like to him wherever he goes.
the line he must walk is a hair’s breadth. he takes only his own out of the multiplicity that sweeps and circles round him. he is like one of those booms, divine postman, which are set out from the shore on rivers to catch driftwood, or like the loadstone amongst splinters of steel. all that we love will come running back to us.
it is good to take a leap of faith, my friend, and forsake all possessions and all companions to search for the truth. oh! divine your harvest will be; for apollo will raise thee beyond what thou had ever conceived, and thou will sit on the very same seat with hera, overlooking the whole earth, exercising dominion over all men. go your way, divine postman, and show mankind the glory of the living soul.
divine postman: our fortune is in proportion to our giving. the millionaire is the mind that believes in the native good in man, and lays down his life restoring mankind to its divine state. the most public place, cato, is the most solitary. the blogger in utter solitude remembering his spontaneous thoughts and recording them, is found to have recorded that which men in crowded cities find true for them also.
he then learns, that in going down to the secrets of his own mind, he has descended into the secrets of all minds. oh! how the gods desire to do a great work in us. he who has mastered any law in his private thoughts, cato, is master to that extent of all men whose language he speaks, and of all into whose language his own can be translated. let us not distrust the fitness of our frank confessions, my friend, for we are the compliment of our hearers.
they drink of our words because we fulfill for them their own nature completing their partial experience. the deeper we dive into our privatest, secretest presentiment, to our wonder we will find, that this is the most acceptable, most public, and most universally true. the conscious ones delight in it; the better part of every man feels, this is my music, this is myself.
cato: anyone who can consciously and consistently set his soul ablaze with a living faith and hope, builds for himself in solitude a life that is voluptuous and delightful beyond any other kind of life. you should no longer be concerned of what the world says of you, divine postman, but with what you say to yourself. but first prepare to receive yourself there.
it would be madness to entrust yourself to yourself if you cannot govern yourself. there are ways to fail in solitude as in company. the hardest labor of all is to know thyself; to worship the soul is to master thyself. we have a soul that can turn in on itself, divine postman, it can keep itself company. the gods will only trust us with their wise ways when we are content with ourselves. filling our minds with their divine promises; focusing on the great star that is infinite in goodness and power.
the great stars must be just, they leave every man, with profound unconcern, to set his own rate. hero or driveller, they meddle not in the issue. they will certainly accept your own measure of doing and being, whether you sneak about and deny your own name, or whether you see your work produced to the concave sphere of the universe, one with the revolution of the stars. the stars will never fail to guide you, divine postman,- they will carry you home in quiet obedience.
all that does not conform with their motion is a waste. whatever labor you put your hand to it will be fruitless, when it is not in harmony with the seasons. the rushing mob reject the wisdom in nature, and plague themselves with incessant toils. why should we make it a point with our false modesty, to disparage that man we are and that form of being assigned to us?
a good man is contented, divine postman. i love and honor emerson, but i do not wish to be emerson. i hold it more just to love the world of this hour, than the world of his hour. nor can you, if iAM true, excite me to the least uneasiness by saying, ‘he acted, and you sit still.’ i see action to be good, when the need is, and sitting still to be also good. emerson, if he was the man i perceive him to be, would have sit still with joy and peace, if his lot had been mine.
divine postman: heaven is large, cato, and affords space for all modes of love and fortitude. why should we be busybodies and superserviceable like the fools who rush to offices and schools every morning? action and inaction are alike to the true. one piece of the tree is cut for the weathercock and one for the sleeper of a bridge; the virtue of the wood is apparent in both.
i desire not to disgrace the soul, cato; the fact that iAM here certainly shows me that the soul had need of an organ here! shall i not assume the responsibility? shall i skulk and dodge and duck with my unseasonable apologies and vain modesty and imagine my being here impertinent? shall i crouch in fear, and reject the calling that iAM here to fulfill, and forsake the treasure iAM to find?
the good soul nourishes me and unlocks new repositories of power and enjoyment to me everyday. it reciprocates my presence and supplies my own needs. i will not meanly decline the immensity of good, because i have heard that it comes to others in another shape. besides, why should we be cowed by the name of action? ’tis a trick of the senses,- no more.
we know, cato, that the ancestor of every action is thought. it is the seed that will yield the fruit. the poor mind does not seem to itself to be anything unless it have an outside badge,- some meaningless machine, or burdening household, or religious affiliation, or suit and boots and high heels, or office, or title, or any how, some wild contrasting action to testify that it is somewhat. all men and all women desire significance, however most find it in fleeting pleasures that are the spring of their discontent.
the rich mind lies in the sun and sleeps, my friend, and is nature. it is rooted within and has no business with the noise of everyday routine. to think is to act! to be wise is to wait. it may seem to the ignorant mob that the solitary blogger is inactive and idle. but he is moving the soul within as he meditates on plato, and observes the folly of the world. he is the world’s mind, cato, his wisdom will sustain the age. the blogger’s success is mirrored by the bamboo tree.
he will nourish his soul for four years, without any conceivable growth, but at the turn of the fifth year, he will receive his glory and be a voice unto many, honoured by all nations. evermore welcome to gods and men is the self-helping mortal. for him all doors are flung wide; him all tongues greet; him all honors crown; him all eyes follow with desire. our love goes out to him, cato, because he did not need it.
we solicitously and apologetically celebrate and caress him because he held on his way and scorned our disapprobation. he believed in his divinely inspired thought and stood for truth and beauty. to the persevering mortal, the gods are swift, cato. the gods love him because men hated him. he is the product of nature,- the patient mind of athena. every fact he understood and every journey he honoured and now he lives in blest eternity, one with hera. i, now, know, my friend, that all good belongs to the great soul and may be had if paid for according to nature’s lawful coin. i will follow the star.