Emerson on Goethe

“There is a certain heat in the breast which attends the perception of a primary truth, which is the shining of the spiritual sun down into the shaft of the mine. 
Every thought which dawns on the mine, in the moment of its emergence announces its own rank,- whether it is some whimsy, or whether it is a power. 
If he have his incitements, there is, on the other side, invitation and need enough of his gift. 
Society has, at all times, the same want, namely of one sane man with adequate powers of expression to hold up each object of monomania in its right relations. 
The ambitious and mercenary bring their last new mumbo-jumbo… and, by detaching the object from its relations, easily succeed in making it seen in a glare; and a multitude go mad about it, and they are not to be reproved or cured by the opposite multitude who are kept from this particular insanity by an equal frenzy on another crotchet. 
But let one man have the comprehensive eye that can replace this isolated prodigy in its right neighborhood and bearings,- the illusion vanishes, and the returning reason of the community thanks the reason of the monitor.”
-RW Emerson (writing about Johann Goethe)

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