He used the German word for transcendental to refer to intuitive or innate knowledgewrote those words in Book 1, line 7, of his Satires.The quotation is an apt introductory aphorism for Emerson's essay, for it sums up the central idea of "Self-Reliance" and the transcendental philosophy behind it: that one should rely on his own inner voiceto make important decisions and put his life on a righteous path.One may liken this inborn knowledge to conscience or intuition.
Then, after only three sentences, he switches to second person, as if he is advising a listener sitting across the table from him.
Later, in the paragraph, he switches to third person as he presents an exhortation about humankind in general.
He also urges readers to avoid envying or imitating others viewed as models of perfection; instead, he says, readers should take pride in their own individuality and never be afraid to express their own original ideas.
In addition, he says, they should refuse to conform to the ways of the popular culture and its shallow ideals; rather they should live up to their own ideals, even if doing so reaps them criticism and denunciation.
That quotation, which begins with the words Man is his own star, reinforces the view expressed in the Latin quotation.
Please be aware that the following summary condenses the content of Self-Reliance." It retains first-person point of view to make the summary more readable and easier to understand.Emerson uses first-, second-, and third-person point of view.In the opening paragraph of the essay, he first writes in the first person, telling readers about an experience of his.Following is the first part of the essay, in which Emerson uses all three points of viewfirst person in black, second person in red, and third person in blue: I read the other day some verses written by an eminent painter which were original and not conventional.The soul always hears an admonition in such lines, let the subject be what it may."Self-Reliance" is an essay that urges readers to trust their own intuition and common sense rather than automatically following popular opinion and conforming to the will of the majority."Self-Reliance" was published in 1841 in a collection entitled Essays.Emerson urges his readers to retain the outspokenness of a small child who freely speaks his mind.A child he has not yet been corrupted by adults who tell him to do otherwise.If the government adopted a policy or a law that offended their consciences, they generally reacted strongly.Transcendentalism, as Emersons moral philosophy was called, did not originate with him or his fellow transcendentalists in New England but with the German philosopher Emanuel Kant.