Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes

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Ralph Waldo Emerson

Birthdate: 25. May 1803
Date of death: 27. April 1882
Other names: Ральф Эмерсон

Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society, and he disseminated his thoughts through dozens of published essays and more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States.

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". Following this 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."Emerson wrote most of his important essays as lectures first and then revised them for print. His first two collections of essays, Essays: First Series and Essays: Second Series , represent the core of his thinking. They include the well-known essays "Self-Reliance", "The Over-Soul", "Circles", "The Poet", and "Experience." Together with "Nature", these essays made the decade from the mid-1830s to the mid-1840s Emerson's most fertile period. Emerson wrote on a number of subjects, never espousing fixed philosophical tenets, but developing certain ideas such as individuality, freedom, the ability for mankind to realize almost anything, and the relationship between the soul and the surrounding world. Emerson's "nature" was more philosophical than naturalistic: "Philosophically considered, the universe is composed of Nature and the Soul." Emerson is one of several figures who "took a more pantheist or pandeist approach by rejecting views of God as separate from the world."He remains among the linchpins of the American romantic movement, and his work has greatly influenced the thinkers, writers and poets that followed him. "In all my lectures," he wrote, "I have taught one doctrine, namely, the infinitude of the private man." Emerson is also well known as a mentor and friend of Henry David Thoreau, a fellow transcendentalist.

Works

Nature
Nature
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Experience
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Conduct of Life
The Conduct of Life
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Music
Ralph Waldo Emerson
English Traits
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Worship
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Brahma
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Essays: First Series
Essays: First Series
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Rhodora
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Illusions
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Poems
Poems
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Quatrains
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson

„We will walk on our own feet; we will work with our own hands; we will speak our own minds…A nation of men will for the first time exist, because each believes himself inspired by the Divine Soul which also inspires all men.“

—  Ralph Waldo Emerson

1830s, The American Scholar http://www.emersoncentral.com/amscholar.htm (1837)
Context: We will walk on our own feet; we will work with our own hands; we will speak our own minds... A nation of men will for the first time exist, because each believes himself inspired by the Divine Soul which also inspires all men.

„You can never do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.“

—  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Culture
1860s, The Conduct of Life (1860)
Variant: You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.

„Happiness is a perfume which you cannot pour on someone without getting some on yourself.“

—  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Variant: Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting some on yourself.

„For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.“

—  Ralph Waldo Emerson

No known source in Emerson's works; first found as a piece of anonymous folk-wisdom in a 1936 newspaper column:
: Every minute you are angry, you lose 60 seconds of happiness.
:* Junius, "Office Cat" https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/85995624/, The Daily Freeman [Kingston, NY] (30 December 1936), p. 6
Misattributed

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„What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.“

—  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Variant: Your actions speak so loudly, I can not hear what you are saying.

„I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.“

—  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Variant: I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.

„When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.“

—  Ralph Waldo Emerson, Illusions

Widely attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson on the internet; however, a presumably definitive source of Emerson's works at http://www.rwe.org fails to confirm any occurrence of this phrase across his works. This phrase is found in remarks attributed to Charles A. Beard in Arthur H. Secord, "Condensed History Lesson", Readers' Digest, February 1941, p. 20; but the origin has not been determined. Possibly confused with a passage in "Illusions" in which Emerson discusses his experience in the "Star Chamber": "our lamps were taken from us by the guide, and extinguished or put aside, and, on looking upwards, I saw or seemed to see the night heaven thick with stars glimmering more or less brightly over our heads, and even what seemed a comet flaming among them. All the party were touched with astonishment and pleasure. Our musical friends sung with much feeling a pretty song, “The stars are in the quiet sky,” &c., and I sat down on the rocky floor to enjoy the serene picture. Some crystal specks in the black ceiling high overhead, reflecting the light of a half–hid lamp, yielded this magnificent effect."
Misattributed

„Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.“

—  Ralph Waldo Emerson

1840s, Essays: First Series (1841), Self-Reliance
Source: Self Reliance
Context: A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — 'Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.' — Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.

„The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.“

—  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Attributed to Emerson in Life’s Instructions for Wisdom, Success, and Happiness (2000) by H. Jackson Brown Jr., as well as numerous on-line sources since, the article "The Purpose of Life Is Not To Be Happy But To Matter" at the Quote Investigator https://quoteinvestigator.com/2014/11/29/purpose/ indicates that this quote is probably derived from various statements first made by Leo Rosten, including the following words delivered at the National Book Awards held in New York in 1962: "The purpose of life is not to be happy — but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you lived at all."
Misattributed

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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