For Emerson the soul transcends all conflict and has no enemies;soldiers he considered to be ridiculous. War is "abhorrentto all right reason" and against human progress. From theperspective of spiritual oneness he spoke of "the blazingtruth that he who kills his brother commits suicide." Helooked at the Civil War as a retribution to purge the nation ofthe evil of slavery, and he detested the lack of freedom duringthe war. In 1865 he vowed that if martial law came to Concord,he would disobey it or move elsewhere. He foresaw "that dreamof good men not yet come to pass, an International Congress."Prophetic also was this: "As if the earth, water, gases,lightning and caloric had not a million energies, the discoveryof any one of which could change the art of war again, and putan end to war by the exterminating forces man can apply."12


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