Emerson's Nature "Nature Is A Vehicle Of Thought"

812 words - 3 pages

Emerson: Nature (Topic 2)5/11/02Ralph Waldo Emerson's quote, " nature is the vehicle of thought," means that there is a link between language and thought as spirit is to nature. To break down this phrase, one can say that nature is the medium of expression of thought. From nature, we create symbols (or words). We think and then apply our thoughts to nature through the median, which is language. From this we learn much about ourselves. Back in the days of the cave man, people copied visualizations from nature onto the cave walls as an example of language. However, language and writing has evolved and become more complex over time, so that we now have to look deeper into words to see their relationship to nature. Emerson uses three parts to his construction of his essay. He says natural facts are related to spiritual facts, and nature is a symbol of spirit. Language is symbolic because it is a way of describing the action or thing that you see. The thing you see or the action is put into symbols (or words), which is manifested by language. Thus, we can now relate certain definitions in which to understand what Emerson is saying.Emerson's ideas strongly support the fact that "nature is the vehicle of thought." The vehicle that Emerson is talking about isn't the one we are familiar with today (such as a car, or bike). A vehicle is a medium through which something is transmitted, conveyed, or expressed. Therefore, we can simplify this statement by saying nature is the medium that the process of thought is expressed. How is this statement supported? The answer is three-fold: 1. Words are signs of natural facts that occur in the world. 2. Natural facts are symbols of spiritual facts. 3. Nature is the symbol of spirit.To begin, lets look at the first idea. Every word that is used to express a fact can be traced to its root, which is found to be borrowed from some material appearance. For example, right is traced back to straight, wrong as twisted. Spirit is wind (you can't see spirit but you have faith in its presence, just like you feel the wind but don't see it.) We cannot see the transformation of this language because it evolved over time. This shows that words are natural facts. Not only are words symbolic, but also so are things in nature.States of mind like...

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