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Ralph Waldo Emerson

An American Mystic

“Ralph Waldo Emerson is one of my Western heroes. Thanks to Emerson, more than any other figure, I realized that I didn’t need anyone’s approval or permission to live my life–or to teach as I saw fit. I’ve since discovered that you will often go further and initiate more actual change if you go against the common wisdom instead of with it.” 
~ Fred Davis


“God offers every mind it’s choice between truth or repose.
Take which you please–you can never have both.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Let us be silent, that we may hear the whisper of God.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


Ralph Waldo Emerson: American Mystic, American Master (55m)


“On a hot summer day in the very early 1970s, I was wandering around a tiny branch of the public library when I stumbled upon Walden, a book by an author I’d never heard of, Henry David Thoreau. Little did I know that my life would be forever changed by what I found in its pages. Thoreau was my first philosopher-hero and he, chiefly through that book, introduced me to a whole new way of thinking and seeing. I have carried his message in my heart and mind for four decades, and think about him quite often.

Forty years after Walden, I finally read the amazing work of Thoreau’s close friend and benefactor, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and it, too, changed my life for what I can report is certainly “the better,” but which feels to me like “the best.” The book was Emerson: Essays and Lectures in the wholly wonderful Library of America collection, which includes four Emerson titles. I was deeply moved by the first long essay I read, “Nature,” because suddenly I could consciously understand what, due to the previous absence of clarity here, I had unconsciously resonated with in Thoreau’s work so many years before.”

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