When I converse with a profound mind, or if at any time being alone I have good thoughts, I do not at once arrive at satisfactions, as when, being thirsty, I drink water, or go to the fire, being cold: no! but I am first apprised of my vicinity to a new and excellent region of life. By persisting to read or to think, this region gives further sign of itself, as it were in flashes of light, in sudden discoveries of its profound beauty and repose, as if the clouds that covered it parted at intervals, and showed the approaching traveller the inland mountains, with the tranquil eternal meadows spread at their base, whereon flocks graze, and shepherds pipe and dance.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Experience," Essays, Second Series (1844).
The vicinity metaphor, namely that perfection abuts us, is what Stanley Cavell calls "nextness." Next can mean what comes after something in a succession of things (succession being one of Emerson's most repeated words) and it can also mean that which stands near to us. Hence, for Emerson, truth or spirit or the better or perfection is always about us, and, of course, it is what we are (all) about.