Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotations

I’ve been collecting quotations for years and figured I’d put my collections online for others to use as they wish. Enjoy these quotations, use the comment form to share any quotations by Ralph Waldo Emerson you don’t find here.

More on Ralph Waldo Emerson: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Waldo_Emerson.

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

What is the hardest task in the world? To think.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is no use to preach to me from without. I can do that too easily myself.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I hate quotations.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am ashamed to see what a shallow village tale our so-called history is.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every man is wanted, and no man is wanted much.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Respect the child. Be not too much his parent. Trespass not on his solitude.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are always getting ready to live, but never living.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The sum of wisdom is, that the time is never lost that is devoted to work.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I look on that man as happy, who, when there is a question of success, looks into his work for a reply.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The highest prize of life, the crowning fortune of a man, is to be born with a bias to some pursuit which finds him in employment and happiness.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

A sufficient measure of civilization is the influence of good women.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

A beautiful woman is a picture which drives all beholders nobly mad.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wit makes its own welcome, and levels all distinctions. No dignity, no learning, no force of character, can make any stand against good wit.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

There needs but one wise man in a company and all are wise, so rapid is the contagion.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Much of the wisdom of the world is not wisdom, and the most illuminating class of men are no doubt superior to literary fame and are not writers.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The cannon will not suffer any other sound to be heard for miles and for years around it.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The secret of ugliness consists not in irregularity, but in being uninteresting.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you would rule the world quietly, you must keep it amused.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every truth leads to another. The bud extrudes the old leaf, and every truth brings that which will supplant it.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every violation of truth is not only a sort of suicide in the liar, but is a stab at the health of human society.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Trust men, and they will be true to you; treat them greatly, and they will show themselves great.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The power which the sea requires in a sailor makes a man of him very fast, and the change of shores and population clears his head of much nonsense of his wigwam.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright; he dares not say “I think,” “I am,” but he quotes some saint or sage.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

A mob is man voluntarily descending to the nature of the beast.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Of all debts, men are least willing to pay the taxes. What a satire is this on government!
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every natural power exhilarates; a true talent delights the possessor first.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do what we can, summer will have its flies.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tragedy is in the eye of the observer, and not in the heart of the sufferer.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Often a certain abdication of prudence and foresight is an element of success.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Spartans, stoics, heroes, saints and gods use a short and positive speech.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Better things are said, more incisive, more wit and insight are dropped in talk and forgotten by the speaker, than get into books.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Society will pardon much to genius and special gifts, but, being in its nature a convention, it loves what is conventional, or what belongs to coming together.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Society never advances. It recedes as fast on one side as it gains on the other.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I think we must get rid of slavery or we must get rid of freedom.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you put a chain around the neck of a slave, the other end fastens itself around your own.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

That which we call sin in others is experiment for us.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The religions we call false were once true. They also were affirmations of the conscience correcting the evil customs of their times.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

God himself does not speak prose, but communicates with us by hints, omens, inference and dark resemblances in objects lying all around us.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Heaven always bears some proportion to earth. The god of the cannibals will be a cannibal, of the crusaders, a crusader, and of the merchants a merchant.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

God builds his temple in the heart on the ruins of churches and religions.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul; unbelief, in denying them.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

For every Stoic was a Stoic; but in Christendom where is the Christian?
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Jesus astonishes and overpowers sensual people. They cannot unite him to history, or reconcile him with themselves.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I like the silent church before the service begins, better than any preaching.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The first and last lesson of religion is, “The things that are seen are temporal; the things that are unseen are eternal.” It puts an affront upon nature.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Never strike a king unless you are sure you shall kill him.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

To accomplish anything excellent, the will must work for catholic and universal ends.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We think our civilization near its meridian, but we are yet only at the cock-crowing and the morning star.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Pride ruined the angels.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The imbecility of men is always inviting the impudence of power.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Poverty consists in feeling poor.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Poverty demoralizes.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Politics is a deleterious profession, like some poisonous handicrafts. Men in power have no opinions, but may be had cheap for any opinion, for any purpose.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is always a certain meanness in the argument of conservatism, joined with a certain superiority in its fact.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

They are conservatives after dinner, or before taking their rest; when they are sick, or aged.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Government has come to be a trade, and is managed solely on commercial principles. A man plunges into politics to make his fortune, and only cares that the world should last his days.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

A Sect or Party is an elegant incognito, devised to save a man from the vexation of thinking.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

All men are poets at heart. They serve nature for bread, but her loveliness overcomes them sometimes.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The poet gives us the eminent experiences only—a god stepping from peak to peak, not planting his foot but on a mountain.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The sign and credentials of the poet are that he announces that which no man foretold.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Great men are they who see that spiritual is stronger than any material force, that thoughts rule the world.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Philosophy is the account which the mind gives to itself of the constitution of the world.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is no philosopher who is a philosopher at all times.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I suppose you could never prove to the mind of the most ingenious mollusk that such a creature as a whale was possible.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The new molecular philosophy shows astronomical interspaces betwixt atom and atom, shows that the world is all outside; it has no inside.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The world is his who can see through its pretension.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The god of Victory is said to be one-handed, but Peace gives victory to both sides.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Next to the originator of a good sentence is the first quoter of it.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Talent alone cannot make a writer. There must be a man behind the book.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

It has come to be practically a sort of rule in literature that a man, having once shown himself capable of original writing, is entitled thenceforth to steal from the writings of others.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Condense some daily experience into a glowing symbol, and an audience is electrified.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nature encourages no looseness, pardons no errors.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nature, as we know her, is no saint.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are no fixtures in nature. The universe is fluid and volatile.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nature is an endless combination and repetition of a very few laws. She hums the old well-known air through innumerable variations.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

What omniscience has music! So absolutely impersonal, and yet every sufferer feels his secret sorrow soothed.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Can anybody remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Man can paint, and make, or think nothing but man.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

A man is a golden impossibility.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The power of love, as the basis of a State, has never been tried.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

All mankind love a lover.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The doctrine of hatred must be preached as the counteraction of the doctrine of love, when that pules and whines.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Writing is more and more a terror to old scribes.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Man’s life is but seventy salads long.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We live amid surfaces, and the true art of life is to skate well on them.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

My life is not an apology, but a life. It is for itself and not for a spectacle.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The favorite phrase of English law is “custom whereof the memory of man runneth not back to the contrary.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Any laws but those which men make for themselves are laughable.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Things have their laws, as well as men; and things refuse to be trifled with.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

…that the state must follow and not lead the character and progress of the citizen.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let a man keep the law—any law—and his way will be strewn with satisfactions.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Knowledge is the knowing that we cannot know.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

No facts to me are sacred; none are profane; I simply experiment, an endless seeker with no Past at my back.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

…as soon as honeyed words of praise are spoken for me, I feel as one that lies unprotected before his enemies.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nature never rhymes her children, nor makes two men alike.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Whoso would be a man, must be a Nonconformist.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am a better believer, and all serious souls are better believers, in immortality than we can give grounds for.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The blazing evidence of immortality is our dissatisfaction with any other solution.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Immortality. I notice that as soon as writers broach this question they begin to quote. I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I like man, but not men.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let us treat men and women well; treat them as if they were real; perhaps they are.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Homeopathy is insignificant as an art of healing, but of great value as criticism on the hygeia or medical practice of the time.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every spirit makes its house; but afterwards the house confines the spirit.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The house is a castle which the king cannot enter.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The history of man is a series of conspiracies to win from Nature some advantage without paying for it.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Most of the results of history are brought about by discreditable means.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

…the party of Conservatism and that of Innovation, are very old, and have disputed the possession of the world ever since it was made.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Heroism feels and never reasons and therefore is always right.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The heart has its arguments, with which the understanding is not acquainted.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Give me health and a day and I will make the pomp of emperors ridiculous.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We find a delight in the beauty and happiness of children, that makes the heart too big for the body.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

When divine souls appear, men are compelled by their own self-respect to distinguish them.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The measure of a master is his success in bringing all men round to his opinion twenty years later.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

When nature removes a great man, people explore the horizon for a successor; but none comes, and none will. His class is extinguished with him.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nothing is more simple than greatness; indeed, to be simple is to be great.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

It will never make any difference to a hero what the laws are. His greatness will shine and accomplish itself unto the end, whether they second him or not.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Great men serve us as insurrections do in bad governments.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The essence of greatness is the perception that virtue is enough.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Government has been a fossil; it should be a plant.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every actual state is corrupt. Good men must not obey the laws too well.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Man’s conclusions are reached by toil. Woman arrives at the same by sympathy.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The only way to have a friend is to be one.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Better be a nettle in the side of your friend than his echo.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I hate the prostitution of the name of friendship to signify modish and worldly alliances.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of Nature.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him I may think aloud.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We want but two or three friends, but these we cannot do without, and they serve us in every thought we think.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Earth laughs in flowers.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death, and afraid of each other.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

All infractions of love and equity in our social relations are speedily punished. They are punished by fear.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fear always springs from ignorance.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

‘Tis weak and vicious people who cast the blame on Fate.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The bitterest tragic element in life from an intellectual source is the belief in a brute Fate or Destiny.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

If a man can write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mouse-trap than his neighbor, though he builds his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The longest wave is quickly lost in the sea.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Each animal or vegetable form remembers the next inferior and predicts the next higher.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are students of words: we are shut up in schools, and colleges, and recitation-rooms, for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bag of wind, a memory of words, and do not know a thing.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The office of the scholar is to cheer, to raise, and to guide men by showing them facts amidst appearances.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is this to be said in favor of drinking, that it takes the drunkard first out of society, then out of the world.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is only when mind and character slumber that the dress can be seen.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is one other reason for dressing well, namely that dogs respect it, and will not attack you in good clothes.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The household is the school of power.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

…a war, a crusade, a gold mine, a new country, speak to the imagination and offer swing and play to the confined powers.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

A man in debt is so far a slave.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The reason of idleness and crime is the deferring of our hopes.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Conversation is our account of ourselves.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The true test of civilization is not the census, nor the size of cities, nor the crops—no, but the kind of man the country turns out.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

To hazard the contradiction—freedom is necessary.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Philanthropies and charities have a certain air of quackery.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We do not quite forgive the giver. The hand that feeds us is in some danger of being bitten.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Take egotism out, and you would castrate the benefactors.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The secret of education is respecting the pupil.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I always seem to suffer from a loss of faith on entering cities.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

By necessity, by proclivity, and by delight, we all quote. In fact, it is as difficult to appropriate the thoughts of others as it is to invent.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

No one ever prayed heartily without learning something.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Noblesse oblige; or, superior advantages bind you to larger generosity.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

A man is a god in ruins.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Money, which represents the prose of life, and which is hardly spoken of in parlors without an apology, is, in its effects and laws, as beautiful as roses.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every hero becomes a bore at last.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The universe does not attract us until it is housed in an individual.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

One of the benefits of a college education is to show the boy its little avail.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

So of cheerfulness, or a good temper, the more it is spent, the more it remains.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The human body is a magazine of inventions…. All the tools and engines on earth are only extensions of its limbs and senses.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The aristocrat is the democrat ripe and gone to seed.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The secret of drunkenness is, that it insulates us in thought, whilst it unites us in feeling.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

When it is dark enough you can see the stars.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life consists in what a man is thinking of all day.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

A man’s library is a sort of harem, and tender readers have great prudency in showing their books to a stranger.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are as much informed of a writer’s genius by what he selects as by what he originates.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Good writing is a kind of skating which carries the performer where he would not go.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I wish to say what I think and feel today, with the proviso that tomorrow perhaps I shall contradict it all.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The machine unmakes the man. Now that the machine is so perfect, the engineer is nobody.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Only an inventor knows how to borrow, and every man is or should be an inventor.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

As soon as there is life there is danger.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Culture is one thing and varnish is another.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

When Nature has work to be done, she creates a genius to do it.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Men wish to be saved from the mischiefs of their vices, but not from their vices.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

A child is a curly, dimpled lunatic.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Never try to make anyone like you: you know, and God knows, that one of you is enough.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

To the dull mind nature is leaden. To the illumined mind the whole world burns and sparkles with light.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The people are to be taken in very small doses.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

No change in circumstances can repair a defect of character.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

A little integrity is better than any career.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Cause and effect are two sides of one fact.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Trade, that pride and darling of our ocean, that educator of nations, that benefactor in spite of itself, ends in shameful defaulting, bubble, and bankruptcy, all over the world.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Commerce is of trivial import; love, faith, truth of character, the aspiration of man, these are sacred.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Great men, great nations, have not been boasters and buffoons, but perceivers of the terror of life, and have manned themselves to face it.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The courage of the tiger is one, and of the horse another.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Men over forty are no judges of a book written in a new spirit.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

If we encountered a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he read.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Be sure to read no mean books. Shun the spawn of the press on the gossip of the hour. Do not read what you shall learn, without asking, in the street and the train.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are books… which take rank in your life with parents and lovers and passionate experiences.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

‘Tis the good reader that makes the good book; in every book he finds passages which seem confidences or asides hidden from all else and unmistakably meant for his ear.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The virtue of books is to be readable.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

A man is known by the books he reads.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

All ages of belief have been great; all of unbelief have been mean.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are born believing. A man bears beliefs as a tree bears apples.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Artists must be sacrificed to their art. Like bees, they must put their lives into the sting they give.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every genuine work of art has as much reason for being as the earth and the sun.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Art is a jealous mistress, and if a man have a genius for painting, poetry, music, architecture, or philosophy, he makes a bad husband and an ill provider.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Perpetual modernness is the measure of of merit in every work of art.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let the stoics say what they please, we do not eat for the good of living, but because the meat is savory and the appetite is keen.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Who can guess how much industry and providence and affection we have caught from the pantomime of brutes?
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Men resemble their contemporaries even more than their progenitors.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are a puny and fickle folk. Avarice, hesitation, and following are our diseases.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Work rather for those interests with the divinities honor and promote—justice, love, freedom, knowledge, utility.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hitch your wagon to a star. Let us not fag in paltry works which serve our pot and bag alone.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The glory of the farmer is that, in the division of labors, it is his part to create. All trade rests at last on his primitive activity.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

No man ever stated his griefs as lightly as he might. Allow for exaggeration in the most patient and sorely ridden hack that ever was driven.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

What is so pleasant as these jets of affection which make a young world for me again?
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. No man has learned anything rightly, until he knows that every day is Doomsday.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Act, if you like,—but do it at your peril. Men’s actions are too strong for them. Show me a man who has acted and who has not been the victim and slave of his action.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Why should we be cowed by the name of Action?… To think is to act.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is one mind common to all individual men…. Who hath access to this universal mind is a party to all that is or can be done, for this is the only and sovereign agent.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

…the thought is always prior to the fact; all the facts of history pre-exist in the mind as laws.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every mind must know the whole lesson for itself—must go over the whole ground. What it does not see, what it does not live, it will not know.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

All history becomes subjective; in other words there is properly no history, only biography.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

To the poet, to the philosopher, to the saint, all things are friendly and sacred, all events profitable, all days holy, all men divine.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same…. Nothing is so fleeting as form; yet never does it quite deny itself.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Gothic cathedral is a blossoming in stone subdued by the insatiable demand of harmony in man.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

…the poet was no odd fellow who described strange and impossible situations, but that universal man wrote by his pen a confession true for one and true for all.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

…that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better or for worse as his portion….
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We but half express ourselves, and are ashamed of that divine idea which each of us represents…. Trust thyself; every heart vibrates to that iron string.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Speak what you think now in hard words and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict everything you said today.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We pass for what we are. Character teaches above our wills.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Be it how it will, do right now. Always scorn appearances and you always may. The force of character is cumulative.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We denote this primary wisdom as Intuition, whilst all later teachings are tuitions. In that deep force, the last fact behind which analysis cannot go, all things find their common origin.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We lie in the lap of immense intelligence, which makes us receivers of its truth and organs of its activity.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every man discriminates between the voluntary acts of his mind and his involuntary perceptions, and knows that to his involuntary perceptions a perfect faith is due.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

If we live truly, we shall see truly.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The soul raised over passion beholds identity and eternal causation, perceives the self-existence of Truth and Right, and calms itself with knowing that all things go well.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life only avails, not the having lived.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I will so trust that what is deep is holy, that I will do strongly before the sun and moon whatever inly rejoices me and the heart appoints.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

And truly it demands something godlike in him who has cast off the common motives of humanity and has ventured to trust himself for a taskmaster.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

As soon as the man is at one with God, he will not beg. He will then see prayer in all action.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Discontent is the want of self-reliance; it is infirmity of will. Regret calamities if you can thereby help the sufferer; if not, attend your own work and already the evil begins to be repaired.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another you have only an extemporaneous half possession.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is only as a man puts off all foreign support and stands alone that I see him to be strong and to prevail.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

But men are better than their theology. Their daily life gives it the lie. Every ingenuous and aspiring soul leaves the doctrine behind him in his own experience.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

What we call retribution is the universal necessity by which the whole appears wherever a part appears.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Cause and effect, means and ends, seed and fruit, cannot be severed; for the effect already blooms in the cause, the end pre-exists in the means, the fruit in the seed.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

That which the droning world, chained to appearances, will not allow the realist to say in his own words, it will suffer him to say in proverbs without contradiction.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Proverbs, like the sacred books of each nation, are the sanctuary of the intuitions.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

…pay every just demand on your time, your talents, or your heart. Always pay; for first or last you must pay your entire debt.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The law of nature is, Do the thing, and you shall have the power; but they who do not the thing have not the power.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The good man has absolute good, which like fire turns every thing to its own nature, so that you cannot do him any harm.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

In general, every evil to which we do not succumb is a benefactor.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The nature and soul of things takes on itself the guaranty of the fulfillment of every contract, so that honest service cannot come to loss.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The soul is. Under all this running sea of circumstance, whose waters ebb and flow with perfect balance, lies the aboriginal abyss of real Being…. Being is the vast affirmative.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The soul refuses limits and always affirms an Optimism, never a Pessimism.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Such should be the outward biography of man in time, a putting off of dead circumstances day by day, as he renews his rainment day by day.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

All loss, all pain, is particular; the universe remains at the heart unhurt.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

When the act of reflection takes place in the mind, when we look at ourselves in the light of thought, we discover that our life is embosomed in beauty….
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The less a man thinks or knows about his virtues the better we like him.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is natural and beautiful that childhood should inquire and maturity should teach; but it is time enough to answer questions when they are asked.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We judge a man’s wisdom by his hope, knowing that the perception of the inexhaustibleness of nature is an immortal youth.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is a soul at the center of nature and over the will of every man, so that none of us can wrong the universe.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Each man has his own vocation. The talent is the call. There is one direction in which all space is open to him. He has faculties silently inviting him thither to endless exertion.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

A man is a method, a progressive arrangement; a selecting principle, gathering his like to him wherever he goes.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

What your heart thinks great, is great. The soul’s emphasis is always right.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

God screens us evermore from premature ideas. Our eyes are holden that we cannot see things that stare us in the face, until the hour arrives when the mind is ripened; then we behold them….
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is no teaching until the pupil is brought into the same state or principle in which you are; a transfusion takes place; he is you and you are he; then is a teaching….
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The way to speak and write what shall not go out of fashion is to speak and write sincerely…. He that writes to himself writes to an eternal public.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

That which we do not believe we cannot adequately say, though we may repeat the words ever so often.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Never was a sincere word utterly lost. Never a magnanimity fell to the ground but there was some heart to greet and accept it unexpectedly.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

As much virtue as there is, so much appears; as much goodness as there is, so much reverence it commands.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Real action is in silent moments.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The fact that I am here certainly shows me that the soul had need of an organ here.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

By conversation with that which is in itself excellent, magnanimous, lowly, and just, the lover comes to a warmer love of these nobilities, and a quicker apprehension of them.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every promise of the soul has innumerable fulfillments; each of its joys ripens into a new want.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are by nature observers, and thereby learners.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are put in training for a love which knows not sex, nor person, nor partiality, but which seeks virtue and wisdom everywhere, to the end of increasing virtue and wisdom.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We have a great deal more kindness than is ever spoken… the whole human family is bathed with an element of love like a fine ether.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let the soul be assured that somewhere in the universe it should rejoin its friend, and it would be content and cheerful alone for a thousand years.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I must feel pride in my friend’s accomplishments as if they were mine, and a property in his virtues.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our friendships hurry to short and poor conclusions, because we have made them a texture of wine and dreams, instead of the tough fibre of the human heart.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

For now, after so many ages of experience, what do we know of nature or of ourselves? Not one step has man taken towards the solution of the problem of his destiny.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happy is the house that shelters a friend!
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

There can never be deep peace between two spirits, never mutual respect, until in their dialogue each stands for the whole world.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is foolish to be afraid of making our ties too spiritual as if so we could lose any genuine love.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Some wisdom comes out of every natural and innocent action.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you believe in the soul, do not clutch at sensual sweetness before it is ripe on the slow tree of cause and effect.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

As much wisdom may be expended on a private economy as on an empire, and as much wisdom may be drawn from it.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We must not try to write the laws of any one virtue, looking at that only. Human nature loves no contradictions, but is symmetrical.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

In regard to disagreeable and formidable things, prudence does not consist in evasion or in flight, but in courage.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life wastes itself whilst we are preparing to live.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The violations of the laws of nature by our predecessors and our contemporaries are punished in us also.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The heroic soul does not sell its justice and its nobleness. It does not ask to dine nicely and to sleep warm. The essence of greatness is the perception that virtue is enough.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

All men have wandering impulses, fits and starts of generosity. But when you have chosen your part, abide by it, and do not weakly try to reconcile yourself with the world.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our faith comes in moments; our vice is habitual. Yet there is a depth in those brief moments which constrains us to ascribe more reality to them than all other experiences.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Man is a stream whose source is hidden.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am constrained every moment to acknowledge a higher origin for events than the will I call mine.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree; but the whole, of which these are the shining parts, is the Soul.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The soul of man is not an organ, but animates and exercises all the organs; is not a function, like the power of memory, of calculation, of comparison, but uses these as hands and feet.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

A man is the facade of a temple wherein all wisdom and all good abide.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The blindness of the intellect begins when it would be something of itself.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

As there is no screen or ceiling between our heads and the infinite heavens, so is there no bar or wall in the soul, where man, the effect, ceases, and God, the cause begins.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The soul knows only the soul; the web of events is the flowing robe in which she is clothed.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The soul looketh steadily forwards, creating a world before her, leaving worlds behind her. She has no dates, nor rites, nor persons, nor specialties, nor men.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The heart which abandons itself to the Supreme Mind finds itself related to all its works, and will travel a royal road to particular knowledges and powers.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The soul is the perceiver and revealer of truth. We know truth when we see it, let skeptic and scoffer say what they choose.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

A thrill passes through all men at the reception of new truth, or at the performance of a great action, which comes out of the heart of nature.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The soul answers never by words, but by the thing itself that is inquired after.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

That which we are, we shall teach, not voluntarily but involuntarily.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

But genius is religious. It is a larger imbibing of the common heart. It is not anomalous, but more like and not less like other men.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The soul is superior to its knowledge, wiser than any of its works.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The simplest person who in his integrity worships God, becomes God; yet for ever and ever the influx of this better and universal self is new and unsearchable.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

When we have broken our god of tradition and ceased from our god of rhetoric, then may God fore the heart with his presence.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every proverb, every book, every byword that belongs to thee for aid or comfort, shall surely come home through open or winding passages.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

O believe, as thou livest, that every sound that is spoken over the round world, which thou oughtest to hear, will vibrate to thine ear.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The things that are really for thee gravitate to thee.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

He that finds God a sweet enveloping thought to him never counts his company.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The faith that stands on authority is not faith. The reliance on authority measures the decline of religion, the withdrawal of the soul.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The soul gives itself, alone, original, and pure, to the Lonely, Original and Pure, who, on that condition, gladly inhabits, leads, and speaks through it.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our life is an apprenticeship to the truth that around every circle another can be drawn; that there is no end in nature, but every end is a beginning.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every general law is only a particular fact of some more general law presently to disclose itself.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

In nature every moment is new; the past is always swallowed and forgotten; the coming only is sacred. Nothing is secure but life, transition, the energizing spirit.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

He who is immersed in what concerns person or place cannot see the problem of existence.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

God enters by a private door into every individual.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our spontaneous action is always the best. You cannot with your best deliberation and heed come so close to any question as your spontaneous glance shall bring you.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

All our progress is an unfolding, like the vegetable bud. You have first an instinct, then an opinion, then a knowledge, as the plant has root, bud and fruit.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

But the oracle comes because we had previously laid siege to the shrine. So now you must labor with your brains, and now you must forbear your activity and see what the great Soul showeth.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

How wearisome the grammarian, the phrenologist, the political or religious fanatic, or indeed any possessed mortal whose balance is lost by the exaggeration of a single topic.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Truth is our element of life, yet if a man fasten his attention on a single aspect of truth and apply himself to that alone for a long time, the truth becomes distorted and not itself but falsehood.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Neither by detachment, neither by aggregation, is the integrity of the intellect transmitted to its works. It must have the same wholeness which nature has.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

One soul is a counterpoise of all souls, as a capillary column of water is a balance for the sea.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose. Take which you please—you can never have both.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Because the soul is progressive, it never quite repeats itself, but in every act attempts the production of a new and fairer whole.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are immersed in beauty, but our eyes have no clear vision.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The best of beauty is a finer charm than skill in surfaces, in outlines, or rules of art can ever teach, namely a radiation from the work of art, of human character.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Art is the need to create. Nothing less than the creation of man and nature is its end.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

A true announcement of the law of creation would carry art up into the kingdom of nature, and destroy its separate and contrasted existence.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

As soon as beauty is sought, not from religion and love but for pleasure, it degrades the seeker.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Too feeble fall the impressions of nature on us to make us artists. Every touch should thrill.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The experience of each new age requires a new confession, and the world seems always waiting for its poet.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We know that the secret of the world is profound, but who or what shall be our interpreter, we know not.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Man, never so often deceived, still watches for the arrival of a brother who can hold him steady to a truth until he has made it his own.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Since everything in nature answers to a moral power, if any phenomenon remains brute and dark it is because the corresponding faculty in the observer is not yet active.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nature has a higher end, in the production of new individuals, than security, namely ascension, or the passage of the soul into higher forms.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The condition of true naming, on the poet’s part, is his resigning himself to the divine aura which breathes through forms.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

So much of our time is preparation, so much is routine, and so much retrospect, that the pith of each man’s genius contracts itself to a very few hours.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

But the definition of spiritual should be that which is its own evidence.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Into every intelligence there is a door which is never closed, through which the creator passes.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

A man is like a bit of Labrador spar, which has no luster as you turn it in your hand until you come to a particular angle; then it shows deep and beautiful colors.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Human life is made up of the two elements, power and form, and the proportion must be invariably kept if we would have it sweet and sound.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

A man is a golden impossibility. The line he must walk is a hair’s breadth. The wise through excess of wisdom is made a fool.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life is a series of surprises, and would not be worth taking or keeping if it were not. God delights to isolate us every day, and hide from us the past and future.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The results of life are uncalculated and uncalculable. The years teach much which the days never know.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The consciousness in each man is the sliding scale, which identifies him now with the First Cause, and now with the flesh of his body; life above life, in infinite degrees.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The spirit is not helpless or needful of mediate organs. It has plentiful powers and direct effects. I am explained without explaining, I am felt without acting, where I am not.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

As I am, so I see; use what language we will, we can never say anything but what we are.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Is there any religion but this, to know that wherever in the wide desert of being the holy sentiment we cherish has opened into a flower, it blooms for me?
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The coldest precision cannot go abroad without encountering inexplicable influences.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

He is a dull observer whose experience has not taught him the reality and force of magic, as well as of chemistry.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

This masterpiece is best where no hands but nature’s have been laid on it.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Character is nature in its highest form. It is of no use to ape it or to contend with it.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is not enough that the intellect should see the evils and their remedy. We shall still postpone our existence, … whilst it is only a thought and not a spirit that incites us.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We boast our emancipation from many superstitions; but if we have broken any idols it is through a transfer of idolatry.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

…men of character are the conscience of the society to which they belong.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Without the rich heart, wealth is an ugly beggar.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The love of beauty is mainly the love of measure or proportion. The person who screams, or uses the superlative degree, or converses with heat, puts whole drawing-rooms to flight.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

He is a good man who can receive a gift well.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Rings and other jewels are not gifts, but apologies for gifts. The only gift is a portion of thyself. Therefore the poet brings his poem: the shepherd, his lamb; the farmer, corn.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

…everything is dealt to us without fear or favor, after severe universal laws.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nature cannot be surprised in undress. Beauty breaks in everywhere.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

…he who knows what sweets and virtues are in the ground, the waters, the plants, the heavens and how to come at these enchantments,—is the rich and royal man.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We nestle in nature, and draw our living as parasites from her roots and grains, and we receive glances from the heavenly bodies, which call us to solitude and foretell the remotest future.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

If we had eyes to see it, a bit of stone from the city wall would certify us of the necessity that man must exist, as readily as the city. That identity makes us all one.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Motion or change and identity or rest are the first and second secrets of nature:—Motion and Rest. The whole code of her laws may be written on the thumbnail.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nature is loved by what is best in us.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nature who made the mason, made the house.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every known fact in natural science was divined by the presentiment of somebody, before it was actually verified.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

To the intelligent, nature converts itself into a vast promise, and will not be rashly explained. Her secret is untold.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The reality is more excellent than the report.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nature is the incarnation of a thought…. The world is mind precipitated.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every moment instructs, and every object; for wisdom is infused into every form.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

All good is eternally reproductive. The beauty of nature re-forms itself in the mind, and not for barren contemplation, but for new creation.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Proportion is almost impossible to human beings. There is no one who does not exaggerate.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Eleusinian mysteries, the Egyptian architecture, the Indian astronomy, the Greek sculpture, show that there have always been seeing and knowing men on the planet.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

For rightly every man is a channel through which heaven floweth, and whilst I fancied I was criticizing him, I was censuring or rather terminating my own soul.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

As long as any man exists, there is some need of him.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The eye must not lose sight for a moment of the purpose.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is the secret of the world that all things subsist and do not die but only retire a little from sight and afterwards return again. Whatever does not concern us is concealed from us.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nothing is dead; men feign themselves dead, and endure mock funerals and mournful obituaries, and there they stand looking out of the window, sound and well, in some new and strange disguise.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Love shows me the opulence of nature, by disclosing to me in my friend a hidden wealth, and I infer an equal depth of good in every other direction.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We fancy men are individuals; so are pumpkins; but every pumpkin in the field goes through every point of pumpkin history.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

No sentence will hold the whole truth.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The corruption of man is followed by the corruption of language.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is not words only that are emblematic; it is things which are emblematic. Every natural fact is a symbol of some spiritual fact.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The use of natural history is to give us aid in supernatural history; the use of the outer creation, to give us language for the beings and changes of the inward creation.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The world is emblematic. Parts of speech are metaphors because the whole of nature is a metaphor of the human mind.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nature is manifold. The unity absorbs, and melts or reduces. Nature opens and creates.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The words I and mine constitute ignorance.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is no thought in any mind but it quickly tends to convert itself into a power and organizes a huge instrumentality of means.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

No power of genius has ever yet had the smallest success in explaining existence. The perfect enigma remains.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The mind does not create what it perceives, any more than the eye creates the rose.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Plato affirms the coincidence of science and virtue; for vice can never know itself and virtue, but virtue knows both itself and vice.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is no lawless particle, and there is nothing casual in the action of the human mind.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fate is unpenetrated causes.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The day of days, the great day of the feast of life, is that in which the inward eye opens to the Unity of things…. It is not in us so much as we are in it.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you please to plant yourself on the side of Fate, and say, Fate is all; then we say, a part of Fate is the freedom of man.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is not yet any inventory of a man’s faculties, any more than a bible is his opinions. Who shall set a limit to the influence of a human being.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is no chance and no anarchy in the universe. All is system and gradation. Every god is there sitting on his sphere.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Solitude is impracticable, and society fatal. We must keep our head in the one and our hands in the other. The conditions are met, if we keep our independence, yet do not lose our sympathy.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We pray to be conventional. But the wary Heaven takes care you shall not be, if there is anything good in you.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nothing is beneath you if it is in the direction of your life….
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nature arms each man with some faculty which enables him to do easily some feat impossible to any other, and thus makes him necessary to society.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

A man is the prisoner of his power. A topical memory makes him an almanac; a talent for debate, a disputant; skill to get money makes him a miser, that is, a beggar.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nature is reckless of the individual. When she has points to carry, she carries them.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

A great part of courage is the courage of having done the thing before. And in all human action those faculties will be strong which are used.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

A cheerful intelligent face is the end of culture, and success enough. For it indicates the purpose of nature and wisdom attained.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

God made yeast as well as dough, and loves fermentation just as dearly as he loves vegetation.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life must be lived on a higher plane. We must go up to a higher platform, to which we are always invited to ascend; there the whole aspect of things changes.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The soul lets no man go without some visitations and holy-days of a divine presence.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nothing shall warp me from the belief that every man is a lover of truth.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nature is the opposite of the soul, answering to it part for part. One is seal, and one is print. Its beauty is the beauty of (our) own mind. Its laws are the laws of (our) own mind.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is never a beginning, there is never an end, to the inexplicable continuity of this web of God, but always circular power returning to itself.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is one light which beams out of a thousand stars. It is one soul which animates all men.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I embrace the common, I explore and sit at the feet of the familiar, the low. Give me insight into today, and you may have the antique and future worlds.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

… that is ever the difference between the wise and the unwise; the latter wonders at what is unusual, the wise man wonders at the usual.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The life of man is the true romance, which, when it is valiantly conducted will yield the imagination a higher joy than any fiction.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Each material thing has its celestial side.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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