Quotation by Ralph Waldo Emerson

What opium is instilled into all disaster? It shows formidable as we approach it, but there is at last no rough rasping friction, but the most slippery sliding surfaces. We fall soft on a thought.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Experience," Essays, Second Series (1844).

Emerson's point is that experience is such a difficult thing for us to get hold of and to understand, that even the most painful and difficult times seem to elude our full ability to truly know and grasp the succeeding moments of time.
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