Self Reliance is Emerson’s essay on the profound importance of belief in self. His essay struck many responsive cords in me and resonated with Haanel’s teaching and what we have learned in the MKMMA. Self-help books do not teach self-reliance. They give us mantras to repeat that come from others, from without. However wise these pithy sayings may be, in the end of the day we must think our own thoughts from within. The key to hearing our own thoughts is to quiet our mind through silence. Only then can we hear ourselves think. Mostly our thoughts are drowned out by the chatter coming from the sea of sameness. Heidegger calls this “idle chatter” which is always inauthentic. “They speak” is a copy of a copy of a copy and recycles empty sayings. In order to animate genuine thinking we must catch our sudden flashes of brilliance that come to us like lightning but quickly disappear. Only when we are on our own path do we become aware of what we really think. We must be courageous enough to follow our own path and allow our thinking to guide us. Our thoughts will then be original, bold and powerful. They will have the power to manifest our life of purpose.