The Essay on Self-Reliance (Classic Reprint)
Excerpt from The Essay on Self-Reliance
Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist. He who would gather immortal palms must riot be hindered by the name of goodness, but must explore if it be goodness. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of our own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world.
I remember an answer which when quite young I was prompted to make to a valued adviser who was wont to importune me with the dear old doctrines of the church. On my saying, What have I to do with the sacredness of traditions, if 1 live wholly from within? My friend suggested - But these impulses may be from below, not from above. I replied, They do not seem to me to be such; but if I am the devil's child, I will live then from the devil. No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature.
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