Vexation of Thinking

 

Vexation of Thinking

 

“A sect or party is an elegant incognito devised to save a man from the vexation of thinking.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

A sect was the same thing as a party, he asserted, and both were unthinkable, for they encouraged the individual to live his life according to the opinions of others rather than by the dictates of virtue.

― Emerson’s Emergence: Self and Society in the Transformation of New England 1800-1845 by Mary Kupiec Cayton

 

Denouncing both religious and political strife, he proclaimed that “a Sect or Party is an elegant incognito devised to save a man from the vexation of thinking.” Emerson would emerge out of the “dim confusion” of 1831, resign his pulpit, repudiate “corpse-cold” Unitarianism, and establish himself as the premier philosopher of American individualism in what he called, for better and worse, the “age of the first person singular.”

― 1831: Year of Eclipse by Louis P. Masur

 

My Comments

Ralph Waldo Emerson denounces both religious and political strife.

Anything that encourages the individual to live his life according to the opinions of others rather than by the dictates of virtue is UNTHINKABLE.

Where are we today? Just look at the mindless followers of Religions, Political Parties, and a host of other organizations which discourage free and open thought.

Having someone else do your thinking for you is taking the ultimate “shortcut” in your life!