Emerson states his themes pretty straightforwardly. He outlines a number of nature's beneficial effects on human beings and how it seems to even restore us to a better and more fundamental version of ourselves. It is clear that human beings thrive only when we allow ourselves to go out into nature and experience its myriad benefits on our bodies and minds and souls. Emerson says, in part,
In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life,—no disgrace, no calamity, (leaving me my eyes,) which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground [...] all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God.
In nature, then, we become our best selves. Our egos seem to dissolve and we recognize the divinity in our own natures. We no longer see only "I" that we typically identify as, the self-centered and selfish self, but, rather, how we are connected to God and nature around us, everywhere. Emerson offers further evidence of this relationship between ourselves and all of nature when he describes the "occult relation between man and the vegetable." Emerson believes in a divine trinity of nature, humanity, and God; we are all connected and there is a spark of the divine within each of us. This means that we can recognize this spark within elements in nature just as they can recognize the spark of divine within us too. In nature, Emerson says, "I am not alone and unacknowledged." This idea, of the connection among all things on the earth is paramount to Emerson's essay.