Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ralph Waldo Emerson on URI Mysticism

It's hard for me not to think of Linked Data and the Semantic Web when reading this part of an Ralph Waldo Emerson's The Poet (quoted from (Not that I make a habit of reading Emerson, but I just finished Neal Stephenson's Anathem.):
The poet did not stop at the color, or the form, but read their meaning; neither may he rest in this meaning, but he makes the same objects exponents of his new thought. Here is the difference betwixt the poet and the mystic, that the last nails a symbol to one sense, which was a true sense for a moment, but soon becomes old and false. For all symbols are fluxional; all language is vehicular and transitive, and is good, as ferries and horses are, for conveyance, not as farms and houses are, for homestead. Mysticism consists in the mistake of an accidental and individual symbol for an universal one.

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