Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes and Sayings
1. Love, and you shall be loved. All love is mathematically just, as much as the two sides of an algebraic equation.
#2 Address on The Method of Nature, 1841
2. He who is in love is wise and is becoming wiser, sees newly every time he looks at the object beloved, drawing from it with his eyes and his mind those virtues which it possesses.
#3 Essays, VI. Friendship, 1841
3. DEAR FRIEND: If I was sure of thee, sure of thy capacity, sure to match my mood with thine, I should never think again of trifles in relation to thy comings and goings. I am not very wise: my moods are quite attainable: and I respect thy genius: it is to me as yet unfathomed; yet dare I not presume in thee a perfect intelligence of me, and so thou art to me a delicious torment. Thine ever, or never.
Excerpt from Wikipedia: 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.
Success, a poem, which is often attributed to Emerson but disputable
To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others;
to leave the world a bit better,
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch
or a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
Ralph Waldo Emerson Sayings
#1 Journals, 11 November 1842
1. Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
#2 Essays: First Series, 1841, History
2. Every revolution was first a thought in one man’s mind and when the same thought occurs in another man, it is the key to that era.
#3 Literary Ethics, Address to the Literary Societes of Dartmouth College, 24 July 1838
3. Thought is all light, and publishes itself to the universe. It will speak, though you were dumb, by its own miraculous organ. It will flow out of your actions, your manners, and your face. It will bring you friendships. It will impledge you to truth by the love and expectation of generous minds. By virtue of the laws of that Nature, which is one and perfect, it shall yield every sincere good that is in the soul, to the scholar beloved of earth and heaven.
4. A great man is always willing to be little.
#5-7 Essays: First Series, 1847, Self-Reliance
5. Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.
6. To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, — that is genius.
7. Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events. Great men have always done so, and confided themselves childlike to the genius of their age, betraying their perception that the absolutely trustworthy was seated at their heart, working through their hands, predominating in all their being.
#8 Journals, May 3, 1845
8. It is easy to live for others; everybody does. I call on you to live for yourselves.
#9-10 The Complete Works, 1904, Vol. X. Lectures and Biographical Sketches, V. Education
9. … adopt the pace of Nature. Her secret is patience
10. Respect the child, respect him to the end, but also respect yourself. Be the companion of his thought, the friend of his friendship, the lover of his virtue, — but no kinsman of his sin.
#11 The American Scholar, 1837
11. Character is higher than intellect. Thinking is the function. Living is the functionary. The stream retreats to its source. A great soul will be strong to live, as well as strong to think.
#12 Journals, 8 November 1838
12. Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.
#13 Essays: First Series, Circles
13. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
#14 Delphi Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson (Illustrated)
14. Before we acquire great power we must acquire wisdom to use it well.
#15 Think, Vol. 4-5, 1938, p. 32
15. Every man I meet is in some way my superior; and in that I can learn of him.
#16 Literary Ethics, Address to the Literary Societes of Dartmouth College, 24 July 1838
16. Thought is all light, and publishes itself to the universe. It will speak, though you were dumb, by its own miraculous organ. It will flow out of your actions, your manners, and your face. It will bring you friendships. It will impledge you to truth by the love and expectation of generous minds. By virtue of the laws of that Nature, which is one and perfect, it shall yield every sincere good that is in the soul, to the scholar beloved of earth and heaven.
#17 Nature, 1836
17. The reason why the world lacks unity, and lies broken and in heaps, is, because man is disunited with himself.
18. It is not length of life, but depth of life.
#19 Lectures and biographical sketches (1883), p.116
19. Respect the child. Be not too much his parent. Trespass not on his solitude.
#20 Journals, 20 December 1822
20. To different minds, the same world is a hell, and a heaven.
#21 The Conduct of Life, Chapter 6, Worship, p. 214
21. People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
#22 Essays: First Series, 1841, Spiritual Laws
22. The ancestor of every action is a thought.
#23 An Address Delivered Before the Senior Class in Divinity College, Cambridge, Sunday Evening, July 15, 1838
23. The man who renounces himself, comes to himself.
#24 Essays: First Series, Heroism
24. It was a high counsel that I once heard given to a young person, — “Always do what you are afraid to do.”
#25 Essays: Second Series, Gifts
25. The only gift is a portion of thyself.
#26-27 Essays: First Series, Friendship
26. The only money of God is God. He pays never with any thing less, or any thing else. The only reward of virtue is virtue: the only way to have a friend is to be one.
27. A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Bef