Thoreau's Journal: 15-Aug-1851

May I love and revere myself above all the gods that men have ever invented. May I never let the vestal fire go out in my recesses.


slskenyon said...

I think that many would interpret this passage to mean narcissism or arrogance, but I think that Thoreau was getting at the idea that one should rely upon oneself--that no "god" or supernatural power should be given credit for the accomplishments that one is able to make. It goes hand in hand with the "God helps those who help themselves" idea without giving God all the credit in the end.

Nan said...

I'd have to disagree with you there. I think the emphasis here is on the "which man has created". I don't think he's talking about his own faith, I think he's delineating God of any person's faith from the God that "religion" creates (the old man with two geezers guarding the front gate, etc.).

Man will always fall short of defining God, and I think that's Thoreau's point.