Go Forth to Meet Nature
In his essay "Nature," Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that man should "go forth to meet nature, not to make war upon her, but to purify, to rescue, and to ornament." This idea of cooperating with nature, not fighting against it, is a central theme in Emerson's writing.
Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a critic of the countervailing pressures of society, and he is still regarded as one of the most influential thinkers of his time. Emerson's essays, lectures, and poems expressed his philosophy of self-reliance, individualism, and the power of the individual to perceive truth.
Emerson believed that humans are innately good and that society, with its rules and restrictions, corrupts them. He felt that each person has the ability to find his or her own way in life, and he urged people to follow their own instincts and intuition rather than blindly following the crowd.
"In the woods, we return to reason and faith," Emerson wrote. This simple statement sums up his philosophy of life. Emerson believed that nature is the best teacher and that spending time in nature will help us to remember what is truly important in life. He also believed that each person has the potential to find his or her own truth, and that religion should be a personal relationship with the divine, not a set of dogmatic beliefs.