There is a special relationship, a sympathy, between man and nature.But by itself, nature does not provide the pleasure that comes of perceiving this relationship.
At the beginning of Chapter I, Emerson describes true solitude as going out into nature and leaving behind all preoccupying activities as well as society.
When a man gazes at the stars, he becomes aware of his own separateness from the material world.
The goal of science is to provide a theory of nature, but man has not yet attained a truth broad enough to comprehend all of nature's forms and phenomena.
Emerson identifies nature and spirit as the components of the universe.
Our delight in the landscape, which is made up of many particular forms, provides an example of this integrated vision.
Unlike children, most adults have lost the ability to see the world in this way.
The stars were made to allow him to perceive the "perpetual presence of the sublime." Visible every night, they demonstrate that God is ever-present. We retain our original sense of wonder even when viewing familiar aspects of nature anew.
Emerson discusses the poetical approach to nature — the perception of the encompassing whole made up of many individual components.
He defines nature (the "NOT ME") as everything separate from the inner individual — nature, art, other men, our own bodies.
In common usage, nature refers to the material world unchanged by man. Emerson explains that he will use the word "nature" in both its common and its philosophical meanings in the essay.