Patron Saint of the Genuine Individual: Walt Whitman

Patron Saint of the Genuine Individual: Walt Whitman

Becoming an genuine individual is a great risk and can usher in profound criticism from the world of convention where approvals and buy-ins are the hallmarks of the day. The path of authenticity is “apolitical” in that it neither kowtows to the value of self-sacrifice to the greater good (defined by a group or ideology) nor does it worship at the altar of any self-achievement gained at the cost of others. Authenticity is owned by no collective. It raises no particular flag nor favors any exclusive color.

Prisons are full of misdirected ones who have broken the laws of social norm. Monasteries, mountains, deserts, and sanctuaries of all sorts abound with eccentrics whose individuality is as fragile as a teacup. Many of these at most are members of religious cults or terrorist groups of one sort or the other, blinded by filters of truth,force fed by a strong-willed, charismatic and manipulative dictator.

All who seek to be a true individual must forge a path away from the crowd and along a way that follows the hidden stream, with no bars to hold them captive nor cloister of comfort for their return.

Walt Whitman achieved this feat of feats, this challenge of challenges. Some of those who “know” and who can see deeper realities have stated emphatically that this human being was a highly advanced soul.

Walt Whitman brief bio— by Neale Lundgren

Walter “Walt” Whitman (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) was an American mystic- poet, essayist and journalist. He maintains an emblem of honor that cannot be tarnished or erased by the critic who has not ventured into the wild territory that exists beyond the academic, church, town, state, or federal halls.

Excerpt From Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself”:

I tramp a perpetual journey, (come listen all!)

My signs are a rainproof coat, good shoes, and a staff cut from the woods,

No friend of mine takes his ease in my chair,

I have no chair, no church, no philosophy,

I lead no man to a dinner table, library, exchange,

But each man and each woman of you I lead upon a knoll,

My left hand hooking you round the waist,

My right hand pointing to landscapes of continents and the public road.

Not I, not any one else can travel that road for you,

You must travel it for yourself.

It is not far, it is within reach,

Perhaps you have been on it since you were born and did not know,

Perhaps it is everywhere on water and on land.

  • Tony Williams
    Posted at 20:58h, 29 August Reply

    Wasn’t it Whitman who once wrote, “the purpose of any journey is to return to the place of origin, and to know that place better”? His words and kindred spirit have always resonated strongly with me.
    I surely fall into the “born on the path and did not know it” category. Being an only child, with older parents, gave me alot of alone time and introspection growing up.
    The massive upside is that you can have many opportunities for “perfect moments” of child wonder and awe at everyday things. It’s like a door being opened to a secret venue. The downside is it’s lonely and you want to share this beauty with others.
    Guess that’s one reason why “Do you hear what I hear” was always a favorite Christmas song of mine, for both it’s lyrics, theme, and the melody itself.

    Thank you Neale for sharing this,

    • nlundgren
      Posted at 18:50h, 30 August Reply

      Hello Tony,

      Thanks for your sharing a bit of your personal journey and the magic of childhood.. I believe it was T.S. Eliot in the Four Quartets who wrote that one would find that at the end of one’s journey one would arrive full circle at the beginning.

      • Tony Williams
        Posted at 20:07h, 12 September Reply

        Thanks for the clarification Neale, being out of my literary studies for a time, some of those authors blend together. Perhaps it’s time to revisit that era of human awakening, understanding during the latter 19th and early 20th century. At this point, I remeber enough info to aggrivate my circle of friends, but not enough to win me any money on Jeapordy (insert cheeky grin here).

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