virus: Excerpt from "Self Reliance" (long)

Reed Konsler (
Mon, 3 Mar 1997 13:27:52 -0500

>From: Richard Brodie <>
>Date: Fri, 28 Feb 1997 17:37:44 -0800
>Subject: virus: Excerpt from "Self Reliance" (long)
>Reed, I am posting this to address your question about how people expect
>you to be and what would happen if you changed. I have reworded
>Emerson's essay into modern English. Those interested should consult the
>[Excerpted from "Self Reliance" by Ralph Waldo Emerson, edited and
>updated by Richard Brodie. (C) 1997 Richard Brodie. All Rights

Now you are speaking my language. I also find that passage rich with
meaning. Thank you very much for presenting it here.

I don't know that I ever disagree with you that much. I don't even know
that I'm not a level-3 thinker. I refuse to accept such sounds
like a hierarchy and I don't think such metaphors are efficient. Notice
that Emerson wrote the passage as an advocation from one individual to
another...a dialectic not an exposition. Perhaps that is my disgreement
with your is too expository, too intelectualized.
You describe the system of thought as though you were not a participant,
sometimes. It sounds, well, too objective to be enlightened...does than
make any sense? You speak as an observer and not as a participant, or a
teacher and not a student.

Maybe it just sounds that way to me? Others have made (I think) similar
comments. I don't accept "Well if you're on level-2 then you just don't
get it. You'll have a tendency to do X,Y or Z." That's non-falsifiable
crap and you know it; an expression of your frustration but not a
constructive transmission of information. Patience is a virtue; if you
can't find the right metaphor that is as much your failure as the audience.

"But I've already done so much, I try so hard!" you say. Good. Does that
journey end?

Thanks again, I've always loved Emerson.


Reed Konsler