Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

Converse with a mind that is grandly simple, and literature looks like word-catching. The simplest utterances are worthiest to be written, yet are they so cheap, and so things of course, that, in the infinite riches of the soul, it is like gathering a few pebbles off the ground, or bottling a little air in a phial, when the whole earth and the whole atmosphere are ours.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "The Over-Soul," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
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It is a sign of our times, conspicuous to the coarsest observer, that many intelligent and religious persons withdraw themselves from the common labors and competitions of the market and the caucus, and betake themselves to a certain solitary and critical way of living, from which no solid fruit has yet appeared to justify their separation.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. speech, January 1842, at the Masonic Temple in Boston, repr. In The Dial (1843) and Nature, Addresses, and Lectures (1849). "The Transcendentalist," repr. in The Portable Emerson, ed. Carl Bode (1946, repr. 1981).
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The boxer's ring is the enjoyment of the part of society whose animal nature alone has been developed.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Speech given to the American Peace Society, Boston, Massachusetts. "War," (1838).
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That only which we have within, can we see without. If we meet no gods, it is because we harbor none. If there is grandeur in you, you will find grandeur in porters and sweeps. He only is rightly immortal, to whom all things are immortal.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Worship," The Conduct of Life (1860).
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Art should exhilarate, and throw down the walls of circumstance on every side, awakening in the beholder the same sense of universal relation and power which the work evinced in the artist, and its highest effect is to make new artists.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Art," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
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Earth's a howling wilderness, Truculent with fraud and force.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Berrying," Poems (1847). The poem is an argument against this idea.
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Every man supposes himself not to be fully understood; and if there is any truth in him, if he rests at last on the divine soul, I see not how it could be otherwise. The last chamber, the last closet, he must feel was never opened; there is always a residuum unknown, unanalyzable. That is, every man believes that he has greater possibility.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Circles," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
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Let not the tie be mercenary, though the service is measured in money. Make yourself necessary to somebody. Do not make life hard to any.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Considerations by the Way," The Conduct of Life (1860).
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The whole world is an omen and a sign. Why look so wistfully in a corner? Man is the Image of God. Why run after a ghost or a dream? The voice of divination resounds everywhere and runs to waste unheard, unregarded, as the mountains echo with the bleatings of cattle.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Demonology," Lectures and Biographical Sketches (1883, repr. 1904).
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Underneath the inharmonious and trivial particulars, is a musical perfection, the Ideal journeying always with us, the heaven without rent or seam.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Experience," Essays, Second Series (1844).
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