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Ralph Waldo Emerson
1803-1882 (Age at death: 79 approx.)

Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 - April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, philosopher, and poet, best remembered for leading the Transcendentalist movement of the mid 19th century. His teachings directly influenced the growing New Thought movement of the mid 1800s. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society.

Emerson gradually moved away from the religious and social beliefs of his contemporaries, formulating and expressing the philosophy of Transcendentalism in his 1836 essay, Nature. As a result of this ground breaking work he gave a speech entitled The American Scholar in 1837, which Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. considered to be America's "Intellectual Declaration of Independence". Considered one of the great orators of the time, Emerson's enthusiasm and respect for his audience enraptured crowds. His support for abolitionism late in life created controversy, and at times he was subject to abuse from crowds while speaking on the topic. When asked to sum up his work, he said his central doctrine was "the infinitude of the private man."

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32 Quotation(s) Total:

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All poets have signalized their consciousness of rare moments when they were superior to themselves, --when a light, a freedom, a power came to them which lifted them to performances far better than they could reach at other times."

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Ralph Waldo Emerson

All poets have signalized their consciousness of rare moments when they were superior to themselves, --when a light, a freedom, a power came to them which lifted them to performances far better than they could reach at other times."

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Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every truth is a power. Every idea, from the moment of its emergence begins to gather material forces-- after a little while makes itself known. It works first on thoughts, then on things: makes feet and afterwards shoes; first hands, then gloves; makes men, and so the age and its material soon after. The history of the world is nothing but a procession of clothed ideas."

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Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every truth is a power. Every idea, from the moment of its emergence begins to gather material forces-- after a little while makes itself known. It works first on thoughts, then on things: makes feet and afterwards shoes; first hands, then gloves; makes men, and so the age and its material soon after. The history of the world is nothing but a procession of clothed ideas."

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Ralph Waldo Emerson

Into every intelligence there is a door which is never closed, through which the creator passes. The intellect, seeker of absolute truth, or the heart, lover of absolute good, intervenes for our succor, and at one whisper of these high powers, we awake from ineffectual struggles with this nightmare. We hurl it into its own hell, and cannot again contract ourselves to so base a state."

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Ralph Waldo Emerson

Into every intelligence there is a door which is never closed, through which the creator passes. The intellect, seeker of absolute truth, or the heart, lover of absolute good, intervenes for our succor, and at one whisper of these high powers, we awake from ineffectual struggles with this nightmare. We hurl it into its own hell, and cannot again contract ourselves to so base a state."

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Ralph Waldo Emerson

The plays of children are nonsense, but very educative nonsense.
...Like a bird which alights nowhere, but hops perpetually from bough to bough, is the power which abides in no man and no woman, but for a moment speaks from this one and for another moment from that one."

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Ralph Waldo Emerson

The plays of children are nonsense, but very educative nonsense.
...Like a bird which alights nowhere, but hops perpetually from bough to bough, is the power which abides in no man and no woman, but for a moment speaks from this one and for another moment from that one."

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Ralph Waldo Emerson

TO FILL THE HOUR, --THAT IS HAPPINESS: to fill the hour and leave no crevice for a repentance or an approval. We live amid surfaces, and the true art of life is to skate well on them. Life itself is a mixture of power and form and will not bear the least excess of either. To finish the moment, to find the journey's end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours is wisdom."

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Ralph Waldo Emerson

TO FILL THE HOUR, --THAT IS HAPPINESS: to fill the hour and leave no crevice for a repentance or an approval. We live amid surfaces, and the true art of life is to skate well on them. Life itself is a mixture of power and form and will not bear the least excess of either. To finish the moment, to find the journey's end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours is wisdom."

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Ralph Waldo Emerson

A great part of courage is the courage of having done the thing before.
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Ralph Waldo Emerson

A man is like a bit of Labrador spar, which has no lustre as you turn it in your hand until you come to a particular angle; then it shows deep and beautiful colors. There is no adaptation or universal applicability in men, but each has his special Talent, and the mastery of Successful men consists in adroitly keeping themselves where and when that turn shall be oftenest to be practiced.
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Ralph Waldo Emerson

All poets have signalized their consciousness of rare moments when they were superior to themselves, --when a light, a freedom, a power came to them which lifted them to performances far better than they could reach at other times."

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Ralph Waldo Emerson

As the traveler who has lost his way, throws his reins on his horse's neck, and trusts to the instinct of the animal to find his road, so must we do with the divine animal who carries us through this world. .....This is the reason why bards love wine, mead, narcotics, coffeee, tea, opium, the fumes of sandalwood and tobacco or whatever other species of animal exhilaration.
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Ralph Waldo Emerson

As we grow old, the beauty steals inward.
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Ralph Waldo Emerson

Democracy becomes a government of bullies tempered by editors.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson

Democracy becomes a government of bullies tempered by editors.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every burned book enlightens the world.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson

He only is rich who owns the day. There is no king, rich man, fairy or demon who possesses such power as that. The days come and go like muffled and veiled figures sent from a distant, friendly party: but they say nothing, and if we do not use the gifts they bring, they carry them as silently away.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson

He only is rich who owns the day. There is no king, rich man, fairy or demon who possesses such power as that. The days come and go like muffled and veiled figures sent from a distant, friendly party: but they say nothing, and if we do not use the gifts they bring, they carry them as silently away.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson

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