Thought and Deed

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Of course, that means you really have to make the decision, not just think of or wish for something. For it is only the mind that has decided sincerely and seriously that can inspire a cosmic conspiracy. And of course, that power encompasses poor decisions as well as good ones. The universe is not here to save you from yourself. So if you decide, and thereby set the universe in motion, make sure you have decided well.

The hardest part of serious communication is the natural lag that almost always occurs between the fieriest thought and the time when it can be expressed. For thinking is a private activity, much more likely to produce its highest results during a random musing in the middle of the night, or while walking alone on a quiet street, or even while engaged in, or rather somewhat disengaged from, a more routine social interaction, during which the mind briefly wanders off, as the body remains occupied in that stuffy room or office, onto some quiet rocky path darkened with the shade of tall trees, through the branches of which an unpredictable ray of sunlight occasionally stabs at one’s vision. How many of our most exciting flashes of insight, translated into language too late, come across to others, and all too often even to ourselves, in as false or degraded a form as our most revelatory dream or disturbing nightmare sounds when we try to explain it to someone over sandwiches the next day?

If a man set in motion one tenth of the interesting schemes or grand designs that occur to him in a normal day, he would likely have a far more exciting life, acquire much more wealth, meet a wider variety of people, see places most people never see, and gain repute among many as a remarkable and even inspiring figure. But who says excitement, wealth, social mobility, adventure, and reputation are the things he ought to be seeking, or that the acquisition of these very things would not undermine his search for the true, the good, and the beautiful, precisely to the extent that he acquired them?

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