Every Spirit Builds Itself a House – Some Thoughts on Emerson

window for spirit-builds-house“Every spirit builds itself a house;
and beyond its house, a world;
and beyond its world a heaven. 
Know then, that the world exists for you:
build, therefore, your own world.”

         —Ralph Waldo Emerson

These thoughts come to me as I contemplate Emerson’s words: 

I am just one person among the billions of humans of the world, but I have the great gift of thought.  The power of thought allows me to move from seeing with the mind to creating what otherwise would not be—in myself, in the larger world, and even in the great future stream of life.

“Every spirit builds a house…”

Every time I think harsh thoughts about myself, I place a brick of negativity into the house of my character.  Each time I am gentle and caring with myself, I strengthen the foundations of my being.  Today, will I strengthen or weaken the house of my character?

“…and beyond its house a world…”

When I entertain fearful or judging thoughts about others, I build barriers on the roads that join people in community.  But when I see the good in others, I open the commerce of compassion between us.  Today will I work to open the paths that join us?

“…and beyond its world a heaven…”

In a part of my mind that I visit less often is a place for building the world that just might be—not a heaven that is someplace else, but an ideal to hope for right on this earth.  Do I dare to imagine a world where people live in peace? Where each individual is valued? Where the green earth is cared for?  Will I act today to build a small part of that new life?

“Know then, that the world exists for you: build, therefore, your own world.”

House frameWith the lively flow of thoughts in my mind, I am always building.  The bits and pieces that I nail into place will be will be a part of the what I am tomorrow.

Today, may I hold thoughts that build joy and character in me, that strengthen my sense of community, and that picture a peaceful and verdant world for all.

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